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Do you need high-end hardware for quality gaming?

 

Laptops are capable of using the software of modern games because of their hardware: graphics cards, processors and so on. Decent hardware is surprisingly commonplace and affordable, take the most important part of any laptop for example: the processor. High end processors can boast 16 cores and beyond and be priced at around half a grand – without the laptop attached! 

 

But in reality, most games can be played on a 4 core (i5) processor just fine – even a pre-loved one will do. You can find a refurbished corei5 processor for around seventy bucks online.

(The numbers in i3, i5, i7 etc. signify their processing power, it is a confusing fact of life that the number is similar but never the same as the quantity of cores.)

If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on hardware, then refurb is the route for you. Offering all levels of quality, from whole laptops to individual parts, tech merchants have been converting customer’s old wares into ‘like new’ products for decades. Some of the prices are a steal, but you do need to shop around a bit first as some refurbs seem to be tagged as if they are fresh from the assembly line. 

If you consider yourself a serious gamer with high standards then using a laptop is still fine, but you may want to look a bit further up the market to make sure its graphics card can handle your taste. If you want Rockstar’s stunning detail, with frame rates running as smooth as Hitman’s head then we’re talking hundreds on the GPU alone and well over a thousand for the laptop. 

But hold on, what if not everyone wants to play games with the detailed graphics of Red Dead 2 or maps the size of Minecraft? Do they need high-end hardware? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. 

Take online casinos games – products that have gleaned a lot from the technological frontier that is the gaming world. Indeed, they could now be considered the same world. Modern casino games are extremely advanced compared to their clunky counterparts in times gone by. And yet, when it comes to playing on even the best live casino online, pretty much any device connected to the internet could be considered sufficient hardware.  

That said, it’s worth noting that virtual reality casino games have come out to offer an even more immersive casino experience. Like all virtual reality projects, they are still in their early days and, obviously, you will need some virtual reality hardware to access the games. The Oculus Rift is probably the first port of call for consumers and casino game developers alike, a new headset is four hundred bucks so… with the right jackpot maybe you can win the money back!

 

If ‘sufficient’ doesn’t fill you with confidence, then here is the minimum laptop spec that will guarantee good gameplay for online casinos: 

  • Basic graphics card or integrated graphics 
  • Core i5 processor
  • SSD storage 
  • 8GB RAM (4 is only okay)

 

The good news is this is all very standard stuff so if you are buying a new laptop then make sure there are no surprises on the spec! The spec does not, however, account for your internet connection – this is a separate matter of your router and ISP (internet service providers). If your internet connection is dodgy then games might lag and, in the case of online casinos, this could mean wasting a bet or missing a win. 

These days, most ISPs offer high quality broadband at affordable prices. The problems arise when there are many people under one roof, or the router is ill-placed in relation to your laptop. Indeed, the router does not even need to be far away from your device to be in a bad position; if it is in direct contact with brick, metal, or the floor then this will stymie the WIFI signal. The ideal position for the router is elevated with plenty of space around it, preferably on a fabric surface. A small coffee table with a cloth on top for example. 

If you have set everything up well and there are still issues because your partner is watching true crime upstairs whilst your grandma downloads several albums at once there is still an antidote. The TP link is an affordable piece of hardware that uses the electrical circuits of your house (that lead to the sockets) as an ethernet cable, keeping your connection strong no matter what’s going on. Well, that is how the original one worked, now it seems the company has streamlined its products a lot further with the ability to bypass WIFI troubles  still as its core function. 

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