The Ultimate Gaming Rig

My gaming rig is 10 years old, and I'm in dire need of a replacement. But what is the ultimate gaming rig?

Every time I buy a new computer, I have to learn everything about hardware and the state of various operating systems all over again. In a series of posts, I’ll got through some of the important things to consider when buying a gaming rig:

  1. Operating system: Windows or Linux?
  2. CPU: Intel or AMD?
  3. Graphics Card: Nvidia or AMD?
  4. Form factor: Laptop or desktop?
  5. Tinkering factor: Parts or pre-assembled?
  6. Sustainability: New or second-hand?
  7. Conclusion: So what’s the ultimate gaming rig setup, then!?

I’ve decided on this specific order of things because decisions taken on the top of the list might limit the available choices later.

In this seventh and final post in the series, we’ll have a look at what I decided in the previous posts and how those decisions describes the ultimate gaming rig.

This is the Ultimate Gaming Rig

So, you can either read through all the six other entries, or enjoy this summary:

  • I’ll use Linux as my primary operating system, with Windows as a dual boot option for those few games I want to play that don’t support Linux.
  • I’ll use an AMD CPU because it delivers more bang for the buck compared to Intel.
  • I’ll use a graphics card with an Nvidia GeForce GPU because the chip delivers tons of performance, and Nvidia has proven Linux support.
  • I’ll build a desktop computer because I want to be able to get the most out of my money, and have a wider range of hardware options than I would get compared to a gaming laptop.
  • I’ll find and purchase individual hardware components instead of a pre-assembled gaming rig. This is a lot more work, but this will ensure I have a wide range of hardware options, and more control of the hardware.
  • I’ll buy second-hand hardware when I can, saving both money and the environment.

So the ultimate gaming rig is a custom built, second-hand hardware, dual boot Linux/Windows desktop computer with an AMD CPU, and an Nvidia GeForce based graphics card.

The description above is terribly subjective, of course. If you want something to take with you when you travel, a desktop would be a terrible choice, for instance. And if you don’t enjoy playing around with hardware, buying individual parts instead of a pre-assembled computer is less than ideal.

But I’m pretty sure this is the ultimate gaming rig for me.

If you’re looking for a relatively cheap, plug-and-play solution to cover your gaming needs, then a computer isn’t really the best choice. In that case, a gaming console is what you should get. But I’ve never been much a console person. I’ve never owned a Nintendo, believe it or not, and the most recent console I own is a PlayStation 3. It’s a bit embarrassing, but the PlayStation is only being used to watch DVDs and Blue Ray movies.

Gaming consoles don’t appeal to me mainly for two reasons.

First of all, you can’t really upgrade the hardware or the software. That’s all locked down by the manufacturer, at least not without a serious amount of unauthorized tinkering. In practice, upgrading means purchasing the next generation of your favorite gaming console.

The second reason is the console gamepad. It’s great for certain games, but truly terrible for others. I play a lot of strategy games, and nothing beats a mouse and a keyboard when playing strategy games. Also, I’ve never understood gamers who prefer a gamepad to mouse and keyboard controls when playing first person shooters.

In Summary

I’ve set myself up for quite a lot of work. I’ll have to begin the search for the best hardware that covers my needs. Not only do I have to find out what brands I want to use, I’ll also have to look at specifications, reviews, message boards, and then purchase all the hardware - preferably second hand - and finally assemble everything.

Maybe a pre-assembled Windows 10 computer is a better idea after all? It will be interesting to see how this works out.


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