We've been blabbing about the upcoming "it" devices of gaming: The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Both are next-gen, both will make it to the top of gamers' "I wish my Ninong buys me this" list, and both are slated to come out by the end of the year. We can't wait!
In the midst of all our excitement, we got thinking: What will we need to turn our boring desktop into a full-pledged gaming PC? We decided to channel our inner feelingerong PC expert to come up below with a list of parts you need for a totally wapak! gaming rig.
1) A top-notch processorThe processor or CPU is the "brains" of your PC. It handles the computations needed for all the software that keeps your whole system running. In other words, it tells your PC what it needs to do at any given time.
Why your gaming rig needs it: Gaming, especially with the latest titles, can be really tasking for a PC, even when there are no other programs running at the same time. With all the commands and visual information, you'll need a capable and fast CPU to process them all at a rate that won't leave you shouting "P*ta, ang bagal naman!" Hence, the faster the processor, the better.
Pro-tip: Go with a chip that's made by either AMD or Intel, two companies at the forefront of processor tech. With Intel, you've got speedy bad boys from the Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770 line, which are among the fastest in the market. You could also go for the newer Haswell chips, although, since they're relative newbies, their performance is yet to be fully analyzed. For AMD, the new Piledriver series will give you speed on a lower cost.
AMD and Intel's processors come in dual-core and quad-core variants. Dual-core is fine for casual mainstream gaming and is better for the pocket. However, go quad-core if you're a long-term thinker, as they're faster and will be able to handle more hardcore games down the line.
2) A fast graphics card
The processor might be the brains of your system, but the graphics or video card (also called the graphics processing unit or GPU) is the heart of your gaming experience. It handles all the calculations and processing for game visuals, so eye-candy quality is pretty much dependent on it.
Why your gaming rig needs it: Since we're talking gaming here, a superior graphics card is needed and will reveal the line between mediocre and drool-worthy visuals. Aside from delivering stunning graphics, a better GPU will also help determine how fast these visuals are rendered, with the higher the FPS (frames per second), the better.
Pro-tip: There are many brands that make video cards, but most gamers will agree that those from Nvidia's GeForce GTX range and AMD's Radeon line are the ones to look for. The former's 4GB GTX Titan card is widely recognized as one of the best in the field. It's also outrageously expensive, retailing locally at around P50,000—the same price as a mid-range PC.
If you don't want to burn 50K in one go, mid-range cards like Nvidia's GTX 660 Ti and AMD 7870 are good enough to handle current and even future games at a price tag between P10,000-P15,000. Take note that whatever card you're looking for, be mindful of the on-board memory. 1GB is good for casual gaming with a small display while 2GB or more will let you maximize all of your game's visual bells and whistles with minimal effect on overall performance (read: less lags).
NEXT: How much memory do you need?