PC Gaming Enthusiasts & Console Gamers
Video games have come a long way in the last 40 years. Originally starting life as basic text-based adventures before slowly transitioning into the retro interactive pixilated blocks we love from the '80s. Today, video games are completely unrecognisable from their predecessors and represent cinematic masterpieces that are almost undiscernable from reality.
Although video games can be played on consoles such as the Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PS4, or Nintendo Switch, those of us who want to experience true immersion, play on gaming PC's.
Should I Buy a Console or Gaming PC?
The war between console gamers and PC gamers has waged for many years. Supporters from both sides have valid arguments but what cannot be contested, is the performance of the average gaming PC is far superior to any console.
A games console, on the other hand, is relatively cheap (in comparison), has a lot of exclusive titles and are optimised for media consumption. The main issue with consoles is they utilise 'low end', (mainly) non-upgradable hardware. This results in consoles that are outdated rapidly. Even a slight spec upgrade requires purchasing a whole new console.
If you have the budget to spend, a gaming PC is the only way to go, especially if you want to experience games as the studio intended.
PC Master Race
It's time to join the PC Master Race and experience a whole new lifestyle. A gaming PC is like the Ferrari of the gaming world. Housing high-end components, displaying ultra-high-resolution graphics, and supporting super-high framerates, there is literally no better way to experience video games.
Should I Buy a Laptop or Desktop PC For Gaming?
Choosing between a Gaming Laptop or Desktop Gaming PC mainly comes down to portability and available space. If you specifically need a portable device or have limited room, then a gaming laptop is a perfect option for you.
What Gaming PC Should I Buy?
Which Gaming PC you choose is very much down to your personal requirements and budget. When selecting the PC you need to ensure the specifications and aesthetics meet your needs.
At Overclockers UK we have simplified the process, allowing you to choose the perfect Gaming PC by selecting from various key elements listed below.
AMD or Intel, that is the question. If the processor is the main driving force behind your Gaming PC purchase, choose PC's by Processor.
Everyone has a favorite, and whether you are team green (Nvidia) or team red (AMD) we have a Gaming PC for you. If the manufacturer and series of the card are the most important aspect, select PC's by Graphics Card.
If you plan on playing games at 4K, head over to the 4K category and bask in the ultra high definition glory.
If you want to experience the most immersive VR possible, choose a PC from our selection of VR Gaming PC's
Choosing by video game is probably the best way to ensure your system is compatible with your favorite game. Most of the computers in this range are also themed to match!
What Gaming Monitor Should I Buy?
Choosing the right monitor is key to having a great PC gaming experience. When selecting a gaming monitor there are a few things to consider including size, resolution, panel type, refresh rates and whether to choose FreeSync or G-Sync.
Size and Resolution
From 20" and below to a staggering 30" and above, your monitor size greatly affects your immersion. In very basic terms, the screen size relates to how much space there is to display content and the resolution indicates how many pixels are squeezed into the visible space. The higher the resolution, the better the quality of the displayed image on the screen. For instance, a 30" monitor with a 1080p resolution wouldn't look as sharp or detailed as a 30" monitor with a 4k resolution.
We highly recommend choosing the biggest screen you can afford with the highest resolution possible. With this said, If you are only going to play 1080p content, smaller screen sizes such as 22" models and above work great. This is true up to around 24". At 27" the recommended resolution is 1440p+ and at 30+ we highly recommended 4k. There are of course exceptions and additional features will play a big part in choosing your monitor.
You might have seen there are many different types of monitor panels including IPS (In-Plane-Switching), TN (Twisted Nematic) and VA (Vertical Alignment) but which should you choose for gaming?
Gamers generally favor a monitor with a TN panel due to the superior refresh rate. In reality, it all depends on the type of gaming you do regularly. For those who play games with a lot of fast action, a TN panel is perfect. Gamers who want vibrant colours, great viewing angles, and premium graphics quality, IPS are the panel of choice. Finally, for those who favor contrast and great colour reproduction, a VA panel is ideal.
TN monitors have the fastest response times coming in at between 1 and 5ms which is the ideal range for blur-free gaming. IPS panels, on the other hand, come in at around 5-8ms due to processing times and VA panels even slower.
IPS panels offer the widest viewing angles and don't colour shift. VA panels come in a close second followed by TN which offer poor viewing angles. As long as you are generally sat directly across from the monitor any of the 3 panels will work perfectly. If you are sat at a slight angle or looking up or down at the monitor ensure you choose an IPS panel.
if you are looking for vibrant, accurate colour representation, IPS and VA panels are fantastic.
You cannot beat VA panels for deep blacks, offering up to twice the contrast of TN. IPS, unfortunately, offer relatively poor contrast ratios. If you are playing games with a lot of dark areas, you cannot beat a VA panel.
The refresh rate of a monitor dramatically improves how smooth objects move in a game thus reducing motion blur. The reduction also offers a slight competitive advantage as the image displayed is refreshed more often. In fact, the refresh rate directly relates to the number of times per second the image is refreshed. For example, a 60Hz monitor refreshes the image on screen 60 times a second.
For gaming, it's best to choose a 120hz, 144Hz or 240Hz monitor (if your hardware is capable). 120Hz-144Hz offers a dramatic leap over 60Hz and your eyes will thank you for it.
FreeSync & G-Sync
First off, you need to understand 2 things, FPS (Frames Per Second) and Refresh Rate.
FPS is the number of frames per second your graphics card outputs and the Refresh Rate is the number of times your monitor refreshes the image on the screen (per second).
On occasion your FPS and Refresh Rate don't sync correctly, causing something called screen tearing. Don't worry, this is easily rectified using FreeSync and G-Sync enabled monitors. The technology simply syncs the Frame Rate and Refresh Rate which avoids screen tearing completely.
How do I choose a FreeSync or G-Sync Monitor?
Choosing a monitor with FreeSync or G-Sync all depends on your graphics card. If you have an AMD graphics card, choose a Freesync compatible monitor and if you have an Nvidia graphics card, choose a G-Sync monitor. There's nothing else to it.
PC Gaming Timeline
Video Games have been mainstream since the early 80’s thanks to the Amstrad CPC 464 but actually began life with the development of the microprocessor and microcomputer. In 1952 OXO, an adaption of noughts and crosses was created by Sandy Douglas and operated on the EDSAC. OXO is thought to be the world’s very first computer game and kick-started a revolution that would span decades of innovation and creativity.
Today, gaming is a scene, a lifestyle. It’s become part of who we are. It caters to everyone and unites millions across the globe.
Text based adventures
The first generation of games were often text-based adventures or interactive fiction in which players had to use text commands to control characters or interact with the environment. A famous example of this was Adventure, developed for the PDP-11 in 1976. A year later Microchess - one of the very first ‘retail’ games went on sale and eventually sold a staggering 50,000 copies on a cassette tape.
By the early 80’s most games were being created and distributed through local hobby clubs and via magazines such as Creative Computing. The magazines in particular really helped to develop the hobby and aided the distribution of game code that could be typed into a computer and then played.
In 1981 IBM launched the IBM Personal computer which was a sophisticated piece of hardware at the time. This iconic computer literally catalysed the computing revolution by inevitably leading to the creation of a wave of inexpensive clones such as the Tandy 100. The clones caused a massive price crash making home computing affordable for the very first time.
The IBM PC used a DOS (Disk operating system) based platform which the clones also utilised pushing the OS (Operating system) into the mainstream. Thanks to the popularity many consumer software companies started to increase the list of compatible IBM products.
1981: Average Specification
In the meanwhile
Early computer game companies decided to capitalise on the success of arcade games by porting or cloning the most popular games. By 1982 the top-selling games from the Atari 400 were ports of the popular games Frogger and Centipede while the top-selling game for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was, in fact, the Space Invaders clone: Ti Invaders.
The launch of EGA
In 1984 the EGA video card was introduced allowing for better graphics and more video memory meaning the cheap clones could now outperform the more expensive Apple and Commodore machines. The Tandy 1000, in particular, is noteworthy thanks to its enhanced graphics, sound and built-in joystick ports. This made the Tandy the best overall platform for IBM compatible DOS games.
1984: Average Specification
Growth and fall
By 1987 the PC market was growing so quickly that the platform had overtaken consoles and become “the most important platform for games companies”. DOS based computers dominated the market surpassing Apple and Commodore.
Unfortunately, this didn’t last and by 1988 Nintendo had greatly affected the computer game industry. in 1993 ASCII Entertainment reported the market for console gamers was 12 times larger than the computer game market.
Even with Nintendo taking the limelight, the revolution continued with the introduction of VGA graphics and FM synthesis sound in 1989 improving the gaming capabilities further. IBM and Apple tried to avoid customers associating their computers with gaming but acknowledged VGA, audio and joystick options were popular with customers.
1988: Average Specification
By 1990 DOS accounted for 60% of the computer games which further increased to 82% by 1992 making it the market-leading OS. By 1993 Computer gaming world survey found that 91% of the readers primarily used IBM PC’s and compatible hardware for gaming, compared to 6% for Amiga, 3% for Macintosh, and 1% for Atari S.
Many leading games launched during this period including Hovertank 3D, Star Cruiser, Wolfenstein 3D, Civilization, Myst, Wing commander and the critically acclaimed Doom which was a true breakthrough in 3D graphics.
1993: Average Specification
From 1995 many gaming companies decided to make the change to CD-ROM’s thanks to the increase in capacity, lower production costs and reduced software piracy. Unfortunately, this came at a ‘price’ and due to the increase in memory requirements, users were facing a wide array of issues - Each requiring a different fix or a specially designed memory management program.
By 1996 Microsoft ‘Windows’ was growing heavily in popularity thanks to it simple GUI (graphical user interface) and built-in memory management features eliminating the issues of DOS-based systems.
Windows was superior in almost every way to the original textbase DOS alternative of which Windows was actually built from. IBM’s DOS platform was actually originally created by Microsoft who simply licensed it to IBM.
The release of NT/95 removed DOS game compatibility forcing the use of an emulator. Fortunately, games designers simply began to create games with native support and eventually dropped DOS altogether.
1998: Average Specification
With the success of console gaming, an easy to use GUI driven OS with built-in memory management and ever-growing hardware improvements - the dawn of modern PC gaming was upon us.
Constant innovation, faster, more powerful graphics and improved CPU technologies resulted in never before seen levels of realism that far exceeded the capabilities of consoles, cementing PC’s as the master race.
The internet has played a big part in the success of computer gaming as a whole, opening up cooperative or competitive play between 1 or more networked computers. Thanks to the wide availability of the internet in the 90’s, online gaming rapidly increased in popularity. Notable titles include Nexus: The Kingdom of Winds (1996), Quake World (1996), Starcraft (1998), and Counterstrike (1999).
The ability to network eventually led to tournaments, LAN parties and the beginning of the e-Sports scene.
2001: Average Specification
A form of competitive gaming, e-Sports are taking the world by storm growing from an audience of approximately 71.5 million in 2013 to over 226 million in 2015 according to Newzoo. Although e-Sports are now watched by a huge fan base worldwide, organised offline competitions have always been part of the video game culture, largely between amateurs. Today professional teams battle it out for huge sums money in tournaments such as League of Legends World Championship and Intel Extreme masters. Games currently played in the professional leagues include Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Call of Duty and Overwatch.
2014: Average Specification
With gaming continuing to evolve at an outstanding pace and Moore’s law still holding true (to the most part) – Computers will continue to become more powerful and the games, more realistic.
Not only are we committed to developing the very best prebuilt gaming PCs, but gaming will always remain a key focus for Overclockers UK - It's in our blood! From events to elite tier gaming hardware, performance-enhancing peripherals and the very best accessories such as our premium range of gaming chairs from noblechairs.
Whether you are new to the scene, a hardcore gamer or even avid streamer – We have you covered! We stock a wide range of products from all the very best manufacturers including Razer, SteelSeries, Corsair, HyperX, and ASUS. It doesn’t matter if you need a graphics card or a gaming surface – we are always here to help you make the right decision and choose hardware that will give you the edge without breaking your budget.
2018: Average Specification
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Whether you are after advice, product information or even aftersales support we are here for you. Overclockers UK offers unparalleled customer service which is available across multiple platforms including telephone, social media, email, webnotes, live chat, and even a dedicated section on Overclockers forum. We even offer a 3 year warranty on our own PC's.
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