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How to choose a gaming PC

The single most important component in a gaming PC is the graphics card. However, with hundreds of different graphics cards to choose from we've put together this guide to help you buy the right card for you. The first thing to think about is what sort of monitor you’ll be playing games on.

I want a great gaming experience

Most gamers opt for a 23in or 24in monitor as this provides the best balance between screen size and cost, typically around £120 - £140. Modern 23in and 24in monitors have a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels – the same as a Full HDTV. Going for a 24in monitor has the added advantage that you also don’t need to spend a fortune on a gaming PC. This is because the higher the resolution of the monitor the more powerful graphics card you will need.

I’m feeling flush

If you’re feeling a bit more flush then the next big step up in PC gaming is a 27in or 30in monitor. These cost a lot more 23in or 24in monitors, starting at around £460, and not only are a bigger but have a high resolution too, typically either 2,560 x 1,440 or 2,560 x 1,600. This means that games and applications will look simply amazing when you’re sat in front of your PC. The downside is that you need a powerful graphics card to play games on a 27in or 30in monitor. Also, when choosing a monitor make sure you check the specs carefully, as there are budget 27in monitors which have the same resolution as a 24in monitor, i.e. 1,920 x 1,080. Don’t buy of these, they’re a false economy as the pixels are oversized and so look blocky and unclear.

I want the ultimate gaming experience

For the ultimate thrill-seeking PC gamer you should look at buying several monitors and linking them together side by side. This sort of configuration will cost you a small fortune in monitors and graphics cards but will provide a much more immersive gaming experience than any single monitor can. Think of it like you’re playing games in your personal IMAX cinema!

Which graphics card is right for me?

Based on the three scenarios above we’ve put together this handy table to explain what sort of graphics card you should be looking at.

Why buy a system?

You can of course go to our parent website www.scan.co.uk and buy a load of separate components and assemble a PC yourself. However, we hope that you don’t experience the frustration of fault finding; as if you do you’ll need to have the patience of a saint and loads of spare time!

The reality is full system assembly can be a real pain.
What do you do if one or more of the components is suspected to be faulty
How can you diagnose the issue with certainty?
How do you know how your system is performing?
Are you using all the latest drivers and patches ?

The answer is you don’t know unless you have all the resources and a suite of the latest benchmarking software to evaluate performance and stability.

If you experience problems you have to send the components back and then have them tested after going through all the hassle of testing them again yourself. This costs time and money. Our advice - save yourself the hassle, let us build your system so you can get gaming the moment it is delivered by our courier.

Don’t just take our word for it though; Scan 3XS systems have won more than 1,593 awards in the press for their performance, build quality, service and value for money.

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