What should one look for when buying a computer for gaming?

Answer

Gaming computers should have a high-end graphics cards, processors and lots of RAM which are required to enhance the gaming experience. When considering a gaming computer you should carefully evaluate the following:

* Processor - A fast CPU, or processor, will prevent lags in large or complex games like first person shooters or MMORPGs (massively multi-player online role-playing games). Some systems have dual and quad-core processors for extreme gaming.

Intel Core i5 or i7 if you wanna spend more.

* Memory - A large memory allows the computer to quickly access frequently used information or programs. This is critical for gaming. A gaming PC should have between two and eight GB of RAM memory and a sufficient hard drive.

4gb of dual channel ram

* Video/Audio - A game is only as good as the graphics card supporting it. Many games have life-like, real-time images that require a high-end graphics card. Most computer manufacturers allow you to upgrade your graphics card. The sound should be a clear as the image.

ATI 5870 or GTX 480 are max cards ATM. (480 comes out next week)

* I/O Device - Some computers come with various peripherals including a mouse, keyboard, speakers and a monitor while others don't. This may or may not be important depending on the buyer. Additionally, some gaming systems come with uniquely designed towers with sleek cases and neon lights.

Update - Stefan Skarbinski

Also the PC should include:

*HDD - A quick one so that the game can read from the computer quicker etc. ATM namely an SSD or a 1000rpm HDD

* Motherboard - for a major gamer most of the time not 100% of the time overclocking the graphics card, ram and CPU is done for an even better gaming experience and the BIOS of certain motherboards let us do this so get the right one ^^

* Memory - Another thing to consider for the memory is the latency of the RAM this will be a big factor trust me ^^

*Cooling - If gaming and if you do overclock then a better CPU cooler will be needed as well as better case etc. Source: http://www.topdiablo3gold.com/

Answer

If you want a computer that's good for gaming, you should make sure that it at least has Windows XP. Make sure that it has at least 2GB of RAM, because everyone wants a good game, not a slow game. If you're looking for a gaming laptop, I would highly recommend a Dell XPS.It has 4GB RAM. Its 2000 dollars....It's the best gaming laptop.

Answer

"I would recommend starting with a fast processor and lots of memory. Quality sound and graphic cards are also pretty much essential." - Tina

To add to Tina's answer I would defintely focus on getting a good graphics card. At the moment you can buy very good graphics cards from ATI that run most games at great resolutions for great prices. Bang for your buck. Second, you don't need a lot of memory these days, 1 gigabyte of RAM is defintely enough but you can still play most games with 512, if your graphics card is 256-512 it will handle most of the memory processing. The best processors on the market are dual-core and they are definitely affordable. Don't worry about a good sound card, you can get great quality out of a on-board soundcard. So, instead of wasting too much money on memory one should focus on a good video card when gaming and a decent processor and 512 RAM. Good luck if you decide to purchase a new computer or upgrades!

- Mike "Fiends" Cairns

Here is a list of the componants that make up the best possible PC for gaming today (excluding psu, case and exact motherboard specs):

Nvidia Geforce 9800 GX2, Intel core 2 Extreme Q6600, At least 2Gb of ddr800 Ram (if you want to play latest games), Motherboard with 6 SATA connectors, 2 PCI-E slots(SLI capable), 10000 Rpm harddrive

Answer

Out of date ^^^

Ati Radeon 5970, Intel i7 965, At least 2GB of DDR3 2000 RAM, and one of those new hard drives with a 500gb platter, faster than the older 10K RPM drives. Note* This is one of the best possible gaming rigs that you could get. There are many modifications that can be done to it to increase performance. Please also note that this gaming rig would also cost $1000+

I got a GTX 470, 6gb DDR3, ASUS M4A785-M, 750GB WD 7200RPM HDD, 600w OCZ PSU, all cost around $850. I can run anything on highest.