Gaming and photo-editing computers are used to run intensive programs that require a better-than-average computer to handle the system requirements. There are a number of key components you'll need to consider while building the perfect computer for your needs.
There are a few different types of gaming and photo-editing computers. The option that gives you the most control is building your own computer. You can choose every component and often save a lot of money putting it together yourself. Prebuilt computers offer an option to choose limited customisation options and getting them already put together. Many laptop manufacturers offer high-performance prebuilt laptops, although very few laptops have the option to upgrade components in the future.
The graphics card is the most important component in a gaming and photo-editing computer. It controls all graphics processing, and choosing a recently released video card provides a form of future-proofing by entering the video card market at the top of the technology curve. Most graphics cards are made by ATI or Nvidia, or companies building on the base architecture of these two companies.
A few important technical specifications for video cards include memory, interface and compatibility. Video cards often come with 1 to 2 gigs of memory and this exceeds most system requirements.
The most common interface is PCI-Express. PCI-Express cards sometimes have a feature called SLI. This allows you to run two video cards at once for additional power. Video cards sometimes have compatibility issues with certain hardware configurations, so researching interaction between the graphics card and the rest of the components is a good idea.
Other significant computer components for a gaming and photo-editing computer are the processor, memory and cooling system. The biggest and best graphics card is useless if it runs into a processor speed bottleneck. Common processor manufacturers are AMD and Intel. Most processors come in dual or quad core processors, which means two to four processors are contained in one chip. A total of 4 to 8 gigs of memory covers every requirement you'll run into in the gaming and photo-editing world.
A good cooling system is essential to the health of your gaming machines. Intense computer processes heat up the processor, video card and hard drive. If it's too hot for too long, the computer could reboot or the hardware could be damaged. An appropriate cooling system keeps the temperatures within normal operating levels during even the most intense use.
The general guidelines for high-performance computer components cover many different situations, but at times you'll need to take a look at the software you're going to install on the computer. Check the software system requirements to make sure that all of the components meet or exceed recommended requirements.
The gaming and photo-editing computer is best suited for a 64-bit operating system environment. The 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows Vista is required for certain games and photo-editing software. It has a higher capacity for memory and processing power, and all 64-bit drivers are certified by Microsoft to reduce driver-related crashes.