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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Gaming Setup

First, again, sorry about the missed update. I went to long into the night (morning) and couldn't muster the energy to put anything up. I also have a pounding headache to show for it, so I guess that's my punishment.

Anyway, here's tonight's topic: setup. It's different for everyone, and comes from both the monetary limitations and the actual gaming preferences, so mine and yours and the pros' are going to be drastically different. I'll start with my own setup and expand onto my thoughts on what a prime setup should be for various people. I'll stick to the PC for today, and I might go into consoles tomorrow.

First, my rig. Don't shoot me, but it's nothing spectacular. At all. I run a two year old MacBook Pro with an NVidia 8600 GT graphics card and 2 gigs of ram. I don't just play with the stock keyboard and screen and mouse. I'm not a masochist. For a screen I use a 19 inch, 720p Insignia through the attached HDMI port, and for my purposes, it's more than I could ever need, right now. I have a Logitech Pro 2000 wireless keyboard and mouse, which serve me rather well unless the connection isn't great, as it can be with all the stuff on my desk. I now have Turtle Beach PX21 headphones, which I'll be reviewing once I get a few weeks of gameplay with them. A couple early dings on them, however, are that they are not circumaural, but instead sit within the lobe of the ear. Granted, the padding is very good, so no real pain yet, but we'll see. Also, there is an annoying feedback from the microphone which I think is there for gaming, since this is a gaming headset, not a casual listening headset. I use a Staples mousepad with puppies on it, which make me smile and serves my current purposes. For internet I have Comcast cable at 2 Mbs through an Airport Extreme Router and ethernet cable. I have the capability, therefore, to run any PC game on the market, albeit the newer ones run at low settings. I'm not choosey, so I don't really mind. I want to upgrade, but funds aren't there. I'm working on that.

For the casual gamer, or the guy who plays RPGs for a couple hours a week, maybe a little more, the setup I described above is probably more than enough. In fact, even less would probably do. Go to Best Buy and pick up a stock PC and you'd probably do just fine for the RPGs and casual games out there.

For the enthusiast, which I myself quickly crawl towards, more oomph is in order. A newer NVidia or ATi graphics card, say in the 280 GT or 5500 series, respectively, is probably sufficient. The prices on those cards is at all time lows, so getting your hands on a card to last a few years is easy. 720p screens are the way to go, since the human eye has trouble discerning between it and 1080p resolution except at very large screen sizes. The keyboard/mouse I use is probably not really a good choice, since it's exceedingly cheap and the signal likes to flake at the end of long sessions. Wired keyboards and mice are the way to go, if you can find a way to keep them untangled from all the other cords that go with the various tech devices for a gaming setup.

For the pro, I can only imaging that everything is at the very top of the line, from $100 dollar mice and keyboards to mousepads, graphics cards and screens and headsets. Without the skill-set, time or wish to go into competitive gaming, there's not much I can say. That isn't mentioning that these guys get a lot of their stuff for free from their sponsors, so money isn't that big an issue. What I can be assured of though, is that setups like these are upwards of $10,000 dollars or more, and that doesn't count the countless hours spent using the equipment, the constant upgrades and cost of transportation, food and living.

Whew. I'm going to bed now.

Thanks for reading,

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