A gaming computer needs plenty of memory, a reliable hard drive and an optical drive.


Memory (RAM)

When it comes to main memory I usually buy Kingston DIMMs. Main memory is one of the three main components, along with a processor and video card, that determines a computer’s performance. In addition, computers used for gaming tend to require more memory than computers used for other purposes. The only research I do for memory is to compare the price of Kingston DIMMs with DIMMs of identical configuration from other manufacturers.

I always buy a pack of 2 DIMMs in the latest DDR version (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, etc) configured to run at the current mainstream speed (Look at the specs of your motherboard and find the highest supported non-overclocked speed. If you don’t have your motherboard specs, search for RAM on www.amazon.com and see what most people are buying).

The available capacities (2GB, 4GB, 8GB) increase each time I design a computer so I look at the recommended requirements of the most demanding game I plan to play and buy more RAM than the recommended amount. Kingston doesn’t make memory in the fastest speeds available from some other manufacturers but that memory is much too expensive. Kingston makes reliable memory at a very good price.



Hard Drive

When it comes to hard drives I research the available models. I prefer Western Digital. I’ve never had any trouble with Western Digital hard drives and I suggest you stick to 7200 RPM drives. WD drives come in many flavours. Some are meant for desktops and some aren’t. The Blue series is meant for desktops. They’re inexpensive because they’re slow – the rotational speed is only 5400 RPM. The Black series is also meant for desktops and is known as the Performance series. They cost more but they’re fast with a rotational speed of 7200 RPM. For drives where you plan to install software I would stick with 7200 RPM drives. For drives that will hold only data you could use 5400 RPM drives.



Optical Drive

There’s not much to say about optical drives (DVD and Blu-ray) except I would get a DVD writer rather than a Bluray writer. No developer has ever released software on blu-ray so you don’t need a blu-ray drive to install software. Also, write-once (BD-R) and re-writable (BD-RE) blu-ray discs are not worth the purchase price. It’s much cheaper to buy several DVD-Rs than one BD-R. I would research the available models of DVD writers as there are many good brands and models to choose from.


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