Serious gamers know that when it comes to success on the (virtual) battlefield, your gaming rig can be just as important as your skill with a controller. A system that’s not up to the task of running your favorite game will result in sluggish response, stuttering video and even a complete system crash.
TOP GAMING DESKTOPS
LEGION TOWER 5i
The NEW Legion Tower 5i Intel gaming desktop features up to 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors and a redesigned chassis with a larger glass side panel and more understated aesthetic perfect for both gaming and content creation.
LEGION TOWER 7i
The NEW Legion Tower 7i gaming desktop features 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, a 34L chassis, and unique mesh front which allows RGB fan lighting to shine through - it's a pure gaming rig through and through.
Choosing a Gaming Desktop
But choosing the right system for your needs involves a host of considerations. Make the wrong choice, and you could end up spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a rig that offers little more than ongoing disappointment.
To help you make the right choice, Lenovo has compiled these resources to aid in your decision.
Building vs. buying
One of the first questions that will arise when considering an investment in a gaming machine is whether to buy an off-the-shelf model or build your own from scratch. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages in building your own computer include the potential cost savings. In some cases, particularly when it comes to very high-end components, building your own gaming computer can be less expensive than buying a prebuilt machine. A prebuilt machine can come with a markup that can make it more expensive than building a comparable machine from scratch.
If you build your own gaming machine, you can select the components that meet your specific wishes. That can be an important factor if you want to gear your machine to a specific PC game title. And if at some point in the future you decide to upgrade one of the components, you already have the skills to take on the task.
And of course, there’s a certain amount of pride and satisfaction that comes with defeating alien invaders with the tools you built yourself.
On the other hand, buying a prebuilt machine offers the peace of mind that comes with a warranty and support from the manufacturer. If there’s a problem, you know where to turn. Some manufacturers, including Lenovo, offer the ability to customize certain models in their gaming machine lines with component upgrades that may provide an improved experience.
In many cases, buying a prebuilt machine may actually be less expensive than building your own. Because they’re building thousands of machines, manufacturers have the ability to buy components in bulk, resulting in an overall less expensive final product. In addition, when building your own computer, it can be easy to overlook some components when creating your budget. An off-the-shelf model will come preloaded with an operating system, for example, while you’ll have to purchase a copy when building your own. That alone can add $100 to the cost of your system.
And lastly, the machines a company such as Lenovo offers aren’t just random compilations of components. In fact, companies spend a great deal of time and effort into designing a product that offers the best value for the money.
Key Features of a Great Gaming Desktop
The graphics processing unit, commonly referred to as the graphics card, is the component responsible for translating information from the gaming program into what we see on the screen and probably the most important component of a gaming machine. The more powerful the GPU, the faster that information is displayed and the better the gaming experience will be. A GPU with at least 8GB of onboard memory is ideal for most games. AMD and NVIDIA currently dominate the graphics card market. Look for the latest 30 Series graphics cards from NVIDIA, available on select Legion desktop models. NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ 30 Series GPUs feature updated ray tracing technology that brings realistic lighting to compatible games. Plus, this series of NVIDIA GPUs features DLSS technology that boosts frame rates and generates beautiful, sharp images for your games, as well as Resizeable BAR support that increases performance in certain games that allows for more efficient CPU-to-GPU asset transfer as you move through game worlds.
The processor, or CPU, is the heart of any great gaming system and is nearly as important as the graphics card in delivering a great gaming experience. The main features to look for in a gaming processor are clock speeds and cores. The clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz), is the speed at which the chip operates, so higher is faster. Cores can be thought of as the processors within the processor, with most CPUs today having between two and 64 cores. You’ll want at least four cores for gaming. Lenovo offers only the best processors from the top two names in the game: AMD and Intel. Look for up to 11th Gen Intel® Core™ or AMD Ryzen™ 5000 series processors on our latest Legion desktops.
RAM, or random-access memory, enables your computer to store game data in memory instead of having to constantly swap it out to the hard drive. Some games require as little as 4 GB to run properly, while others require as much as 16 GB. You’ll likely need at least 16 GB of RAM for an ideal gaming experience if you’re running top-notch competitive games. But for extreme gamers and content creators, select Legion desktop models offer up to 32GB of RAM.
When it comes to storage, gamers have a few main options: the traditional hard disc drive (HDD), solid-state drive (SSD), and more recent NVME storage. Traditional HDDs utilize physical components which limits how fast you can read or store on them. However, they are often a much more affordable option for storing larger files like videos and movies. For gaming purposes specifically, you’ll likely want to consider a faster option than HDD. SSD drives use flash memory, so programs, like PC games, load much faster than they do from a traditional HDD. And because they don’t have any moving parts, they’re more reliable than a traditional hard drive and are better able to handle being bumped or dropped. They use less electricity and run cooler and quieter than a traditional drive. Thanks to their speedier data access, they also have improved multitasking capabilities compared to an HDD. Like SSDs, NVME storage is a more recent technology. NVME storage cards are your fastest consumer option for gaming. These cards attach directly to compatible motherboards, meaning they offer even greater read/write speeds than that of SSDs, but will come at a higher price point most often.
Any type of electrical component will generate a certain amount of heat, and because the components of a gaming laptop are much more powerful than those in a traditional business laptop they’ll run much hotter. As a result, cooling is a critical factor. Most gaming processors and graphics cards include features that slow down their performance if they get too hot, and insufficient cooling can cause damage to those components. Lenovo Legion gaming laptops utilize advanced Coldfront 2.0 cooling technology which cools and dissipates heat via a dual-channel thermal mechanism, so that your critical components are always protected. What’s more, you can adjust between Quiet, Balance, and Performance thermal modes depending on your activity and needs.
Peripherals & Accessories for Gaming Desktops
Although the desktop PC itself is the key component of any gaming rig, the peripherals can be a significant contributor as well. In fact, there are many peripherals specifically designed to enhance the gaming experience. Those include the:
Computer monitors continue to get larger and their resolution continues to increase. In addition, the recent introduction of curved monitors promise to make the gaming experience more immersive. A monitor featuring 1080p resolution is the minimum needed for today’s games, with 4K offering the sharpest detail. When it comes to refresh rates bigger is better, with most gaming monitors offering at least 144 Hz. Response time is an indicator of how long a monitor takes to change individual pixels from black to white or from one shade of gray to another. Longer response times can result in a blurry picture. Top-of-the-line monitors offer a 0.5ms response time.Shop Gaming Monitors
Although it may seem that a keyboard isn’t an important component when it comes to gaming, the opposite is true. There are two types of keyboards: membrane and mechanical. Membrane keyboards use a layer of rubber or silicone that acts as both the “spring” and the electrical contact, while mechanical keyboards feature a mechanical switch under each key. Serious gamers prefer mechanical keyboards. Not only are they more precise, but they’re typically tougher than a membrane-based keyboard and better able to stand up to repeated keystrokes. Gaming keyboards also include the ability to allow multiple keys to be pressed at once, and often include features such as backlighting and dedicated macro keys.Shop Gaming Keyboards
As with gaming keyboards, the value of a gaming mouse can be overlooked. Although a gaming mouse does the same things as a standard mouse bundled with a business PC, a great gaming mouse is one that fits comfortably in your hand and offers greater sensitivity and faster response time than a traditional mouse. Features of a gaming mouse includes higher dots per inch, or DPI, than a traditional mouse, as well as higher acceleration. DPI is a measure of how much the cursor moves with a movement of your hand, while acceleration indicates how quickly the cursor moves based on how quickly your hand moves. In both cases, higher is better. Other features of a gaming mouse include programmable buttons and faster response time than a standard mouse.Shop Gaming Mice
Gamers often spend hours in battle, so one of the main features to look for in a gaming headset is comfort. Other features include wired vs. wireless and open vs. closed earpieces. Do you want to leave your headset on when getting up for a snack? Do you want to be able to hear people coming up behind you while you’re gaming? Many gaming headsets offer surround sound for a more immersive sonic experience. And of course, because you’ll likely be constantly communicating with teammates, you’ll want a microphone that picks up your voice clearly. Unidirectional mics are much better at isolating your voice from background sounds than omnidirectional designs.Shop Gaming Headsets
Prebuilt Lenovo Gaming Desktops
When it comes to choosing a prebuilt gaming desktop PC, Lenovo offers a number of excellent choices. Those include Lenovo’s:
LEGION GAMING TOWERS
Lenovo Legion Towers are expertly engineered, from their refined chassis to their impressive lighting effects to their high-performance components. Featuring the latest gaming processors and discrete graphics, these gaming towers deliver powerful performance.
Lenovo Legion towers employ an innovative cooling system with streamlined air intake (and optional liquid cooling on some models). And when it comes to being ready for the future, Lenovo Legion towers feature a tool-free upgrade system that provides easy access to the internal components whenever you want to upgrade.Shop Gaming Towers
Making the choice
Making the choice
Gaming is one of the most popular activities in which we can engage today. In fact, gaming is quickly taking its place alongside athletic activities, with educational institutions ranging from elementary schools to colleges and universities sponsoring competitive gaming teams.
In fact, some universities are offering gaming related degrees, and some cities around the world are sponsoring professional gaming leagues. In 2019, the top gamer in the world earned more than $17 million in winnings and endorsements. Gaming has moved beyond being an enjoyable pastime and is now serious business.
If you’re seeking an outstanding gaming machine, check out what Lenovo has to offer. We stand ready to help!Shop All Legion Gaming