A Lazyguide to gaming (on a budget) this festive season.

4 min read
12

Guest Writer: Karl Thomson

 

It’s that time of year where we all rush around partaking in that glorious consumer-driven nightmare that is Christmas. I assume that everyone who would be reading this is hoping to find some form of stocking stuffer like one of the ludicrous amount of good games released in the past month, or new hardware to play one of said ludicrous games.

Here at Lazygamer, we encourage wanting either of the above or just buying it yourself, as that’s what we would and have done. However, before digging into your University fund to finance a new graphics card so Far Cry 2 can be cranked up to ultra quality, here are a few pointers to get the absolute most gaming pleasure for gamers on a budget.

  1. Clean it, and clean it well. – Heat is thy enemy and dust traps the heat in. So take everything out, get a vacuum cleaner to suck the dirt out of your rig, then use something like a soft toothbrush to get those particularly vicious bits of muck out.
     
  2. Make sure your PC is well ventilated – Continuing on the heat theme; make sure all the heat generated has a way to get out. Get an extra case fan if you need to and make sure all your fans work properly. If a fan has seized, just throw it away, its not worth the overheating risk.
     
  3. Over clock your graphics card – Providing excess heat can be dealt with, nudge your graphics card up 10% and run anything that will make the card work like a Russian in a Siberian Prison camp. If your PC crashes, just clock it down a notch. Rinse and repeat. Applications like RivaTuner for Nvidia cards can even reset the clock speed at restart, preventing a system lockup which would just make you look foolish.
     
  4. RAM is cheap and awesome – The current price of a 1GB DDR2 800MHz RAM card is around R250-R350, which is a pitiful amount of money for the performance increase. So go buy more, buy more now.
     
  5. Knowledge is king – before buying anything expensive, do some research. How good is it in practice? Is there a better option available? Does it have any problems? Every bit of prior knowledge of a product will help in making the right choice in hardware. www.tomshardware.com is a good place to start.
     
  6. Don’t lust after better graphics only – Fallout 3 running at 30fps on medium is better than 10fps on. Also, no one likes a graphics w**re.
     
  7. Buy an Xbox360/ PlayStation3 – It’s cheaper than a new high end graphics card and they both have gaming libraries that makes me weep with joy. A hardcore gamer cannot not offer any reason not to buy this over top-of-the-range Geforce or Radeon. Just don’t buy a Wii, you will be disappointed if you enjoy real gaming.
Read  Valve renames Artifact card after claims it was racist

 

Hopefully, these helpful hints can help the financially-challenged gamer get the most out of this wonderful gaming period. It really should go without saying that if you have a Celeron PC, just skip straight to point 7 and save yourself the agonizing question of “Will it run?”

Last Updated: December 5, 2008

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

Check Also

Return of the Obra Dinn is on deck for mystery, and launching next week

The follow-up to Lucas Pope's Papers, Please is a maritime insurance investigation on a lo…