On the cusp of moving out and starting your first year of university? Here’s what you need to consider if you’re thinking about buying a gaming rig for your dorm.
Embarking on your university career is hard enough these days without factoring in all the usual questions that need to be asked before departure: do I have enough socks? Are these the right books? How do you boil an egg?
One question that’s becoming increasingly popular however is whether or not it’s worth siding with a gaming PC as your main work device. Given that gaming PCs typically cost far more than your average laptop or tower, it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, but there are plenty of additional benefits to be had from having one around. To help make the decision easier, we’ve boiled down the key things to bear in mind before putting down some cold hard cash on a gaming PC.
Gaming PCs aren’t for everyone
This may seem like an obvious point, but it needs to be said. The allure of playing games in your spare time can be tempting enough, but if you’re set to a strict budget then it doesn’t make sense to spend all of your money on a gaming PC.
Luckily, there are plenty of entry-level laptops and Google Chromebooks available that can handle typical uni work, all without breaking the bank. Options like the Surface Laptop Go and the Honor Book 14 are great in this regard, but if you want to know our full list of recommendations then do take a look at our best student laptop round-up.
Gaming PCs are great for societies and esports
If you’re already an avid gamer, then it only makes sense that you’ll want to find some like-minded folk with whom you can share your passion. To that end, university clubs and societies are a great way of making friends and building a social circle, and it’s essential that you have at least some way of playing games on campus if you do fancy joining a gaming society.
If competitive play is more your cup of tea then you’ll be glad to know that university esports teams are growing in popularity. As any good esports contender knows, the quality of your gaming rig is equally as important as your skill at a particular title, so to be in with a chance of winning, it’s worth forking how for a high quality machine.
Gaming PCs can also handle video editing
In order to run the latest triple-A titles, gaming PCs require high-power graphics cards and plenty of RAM to boot – both of which also have a huge impact on the prowess of a laptop or PC when it comes to video editing. As such, for any gaming rig you splash out for, you’ll also be getting a computer capable of processing and rendering video without fuss.
That type of power can be particularly appealing to anyone taking a course in filmmaking or a degree that has some sort of video editing component to it. Alternatively, you could even try to set up a revenue stream by filming and editing Let’s Plays in your spare time (anything that can help to curb the cost of a night out at the students’ union bar).
What’s out there?
Thanks to the boom in gaming laptops, it’s no longer necessary to lug around a tower PC anymore to get your gaming fix at uni. Models like the HP Omen 15 and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 are easy to slip into a backpack, but they still bring the punch when you need it.
This isn’t to say that tower PCs are gone for good however, as they still offer the best means for enjoying the latest games with all the specs maxed out, and they don’t have to cost a fortune if you know where to look. Sites like Cyberpower PC for instance have custom builds to suit your needs and even gaming bundles that get you everything you need (such as a monitor, keyboard, headset, etc.) in one swoop.
Our advice would be to read through our best laptop roundups, have a shop around and see what’s available – there’s always money to be saved if you set aside some time for research before making a final decision.