Wednesday 23 August 2017

5 Things I'll Be Considering When I Upgrade My PC for Playing Games

Let’s be real for a minute here - my PC setup for gaming (and other tasks) is not ideal. I’ve been using the same laptop for almost five years and while it gets the job done for some games, blog writing and video editing, it’s generally my last choice when it comes to playing games, especially long ones like JRPGs. I would, however, like to upgrade my PC one day to experience more high quality JRPGs on PC and improve my PC experience in general. I may not be rushing out to get a new one soon, but here are 5 things I’ll be considering when it’s time as a long-time console player looking deeper into buying a PC.

1) Laptop or Desktop
The decision of laptop or desktop is probably the hardest one for me. Deep down, I’d love to have a really nice and high-powered desktop computer with a big HD monitor and the best specs, but I have to be realistic. Since I’m currently living overseas for at least another year, when it comes to visiting home, I would want to bring my laptop for gaming and just keeping up with my life. Because of this, I think a laptop would be most suitable for me.

Luckily, my dreams of having a high-powered PC setup on the go are still achievable. Powerful gaming laptops, such as HP’s Omen series, are becoming more and more common these days and I’m grateful for that since people like me don’t have to miss out on PC gaming fun for not having a PC. If I’m ever in a situation where I know I won’t be moving around a lot, I’d probably opt for a Desktop, but there’s something very nice about having something put together with portability and gaming in mind (it probably appeals to the part of me that loves portable consoles too).

2) Smooth Performance
My biggest problem with my current PC is its performance abilities. I mentioned I can get video editing and some gaming done on my computer, but it’s certainly not a smooth process on some days. Just opening some applications takes over a minute sometimes and I actually consider what tasks are faster to do on my phone when things get really bad. Performance will be an extremely high priority for me when getting a new PC. Since starting up my computer is half the problem, I really like the idea of getting my OS going from a SSD to make this process super snappy, along with upgrading to at least 16GB of RAM. Even though RAM and SSD’s aren't cheap, I'd really value getting into gaming or editing right away rather than waiting around, so I think it's worth spending a little more on.

3) Visuals
Console gaming is pretty beautiful, but whenever I see videos of games running so seamlessly on PC, a little piece of me dies inside knowing that my current computer would struggle immensely if I played the same games. Computer gaming is so pretty and smooth that I wonder how my console gaming would be affected if I played one of my favourite JRPGs with the sharpest visuals and smoothest frame rate. Performance is more important to me than visuals, but since I’m not even sure if my computer can do 1080p, to upgrade to a graphics card at the very least capable of that would be a good start. (Also, Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition just got announced this week. You bet I'm dying to see this gorgeous visuals on a great screen!)

4) Hard Drive Space
Being overseas has meant I’ve graciously accepted a digital-only gaming life (at least for the titles I buy in English) and I’ve learnt from my console gaming life that I tend to keep certain big game files on my hard drive for a while (such as Final Fantasy XV and Persona 5 for my PS4) for occasional use. For my current PC, while not a JRPG, this is something I already do with Hearthstone because I know I’ll get back to it sometime. This is a bad habit I’m sure I’ll continue on a new PC, so I’d like at least a 1TB hard drive for my next one. Since starting the JRPG Jungle YouTube channel, my 500GB hard drive regularly gets backed up onto my external hard drive, so at least with a 1TB hard drive I could do this less often and hopefully keep some games on it for easy access.

5) Price and Future Compatibility
I put these points together because they kind of go hand in hand. I’m the type of person who is usually okay with buying a slightly older model that kind of works to save a little money. This is the mindset I went in with when buying my current laptop and while it definitely saved me money and I still think I got a good deal, it means my computer feels a little older than it should. For my next computer, I want to invest in something that will be able to keep up with advances in gaming and tech as much as possible, so I’d like to get something newer, but I also don’t want the most expensive thing around, but I'd like some a little upgradeable too. There are new gameplay methods like VR to consider and since whether or not the future of VR will be on consoles or PC is still to be determined (and it could be both), I want to have something capable of playing it on. Regardless of what I get, I know I’ll be saving up at least $1000 for a PC next time, but I’ll be keeping much more in mind so I can get something I can get a lot of use out of.

While I’m not an expert about computers and will probably always be a console girl at heart, having a better PC would open me up to different big and indie JRPG experiences, so upgrading my setup is something I hope to do in future. The advantage of playing consoles is usually that I don’t need to worry about upgrading at all, but the advantage of PC is getting a game that is usually graphically and performance-wise in its best possible form. Hopefully I can dip my toes into the PC side of this more sometime with the many gaming PC desktop and laptop options available nowadays, but until then at least my current consoles run smoother than my current PC.


Do you have your dream PC? Do you prefer playing JRPGs on PC or console?
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