There are some great deals out there on PC gaming systems with Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approaching. These days you can purchase “gaming” systems not only at places like Best Buy and CyberpowerPC but also Walmart and Fingerhut, too. That means that you need to be very careful before you make your next purchase because not all of these systems are built the same.
As I have mentioned before on our website and podcast, we have seen many gaming systems in our shop that have been purchased online at a big name website and they are pretty disappointing. Our customers tell us that they weren't clear at the time on what they were buying. They saw a good processor and or graphics card but never paid attention to the rest.
Do they give you the name brand of the hard drive, power supply, RAM, etc... or do they just mention the type? This often means that they are going to use a lesser brand component to keep the price low. What this means for you: a weak hard drive or power supply will greatly affect your rig's performance. On our systems, we only use the best components like Western Digital Black hard drives. We want our customers to receive the best system possible for the money.
Along with generic components that we sometimes see in the brand name builds, we also tend to see under powered components. You don't want to run an i5 or i7 system with a hot graphics card on a 500 watt power supply. Before you purchase your rig, check the power supply and make sure it is beefy enough and is 80+ certified for an efficient power flow.
Also, whether you are choosing your own parts or buying a rig “as-is” off the shelf, make sure its components play well together. Some graphics sets fight the Hybrid EFI or UEFI settings that come with the newer motherboards. Also, check the motherboard's PCIe and USB standards. For example, if you are getting a board with PCIe 2.0 or USB 2.0, then if an M.2 slot is available, it will be limited on use. With many users looking to the new Samsung EVO SSDs, it is important to know what your motherboard can handle. (In an upcoming article, I will address the new issues with over heating and these new mega SSDs.)
Finally, when you see a great deal on a PC gaming rig, check the fine print to see what comes stock and what is considered additional. Many of the gaming rigs I see offered online look great in the initial add but once you start tailoring it to your specs (ie: required graphics card, healthy amount of RAM, operating sytem, etc.) you will notice that the price changes dramatically....and don't forget shipping.
Hopefully, this advice will help arm you with knowledge before you choose your next gaming system. We will be offering some great deals Black Friday through Cyber Monday, so take a look at the systems we have to offer in our online store. We welcome you to comparison shop and know that we work hard to build great PCs that we ourselves would be proud to own.