Chapter 14. Fun Is Good: Upgrading for Enhanced Game Play
IN THIS CHAPTER
Most people use their PCs, even just a little, for playing
The part about PC gaming that many users have trouble believing is that playing a game is probably the most demanding application you can perform on your computer. It's true; all those fancy graphics and gee-whiz sound effects definitely put your computer system through its paces.
In fact, to get the best game play possible, you need a truly state-of-the-art computer system. If you purchased a low-end computer, you might find that it doesn't play the latest games quite as fast or as smoothly as you might have expected—which means that it's time to upgrade!
Application #1: PC Gaming
What can you do to beef up your system for better game play?
First, you'll want to start with a
Assuming you have enough horsepower, you should consider upgrading almost everything else in your system. You should go with a fairly large hard disk, lots of memory, and a 3D sound card connected to a kick-ass surround sound speaker system. You'll also need a CD-ROM drive, and possibly a DVD drive—many of the new games come on a single DVD rather than multiple CDs.
As to video cards, you want to get the newest and most expensive one you can afford. For new games like Doom III and Half-Life 2, you'll need a card with 3D graphics acceleration, 256MB of video RAM, and compatibility with Microsoft's new DirectX 9 technology, which allows enhanced shading effects and the layering of different textures. Expect to pay up to $500 for one of these cards.
The result of these upgrades is a state-of-the-art gaming system, as shown in Figure 14.1.
Figure 14.1. A state-of-the art PC gaming system.
Upgrade Checklist for PC Gaming
Application #2: Network Gaming
To play games over your home or small-office LAN, you still need to beef up your system as you would for playing single-player PC games. The difference is the network connection.
The big consideration when setting up a small LAN is whether to go wired or wireless. As
Upgrade Checklist for Network Gaming