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The summer is already half over, which means back to school is only a month away. Which is a bummer for most but there is a silver lining, it is the best time to get a new PC or upgrade from your current potato of a rig and I have got some great gaming computesr here, to help give you a one up on the competition in game and in school.

There are so many gaming computers on the market now, it’s hard to know where to even start when it comes to choosing. That’s why I’m going to make a few recommendations to hopefully ease your burden and hopefully help you find a rig that’s not only good for your chosen gaming but can also help you with your school work and more!


Why choose a laptop for gaming???

In recent years high end gaming laptops have been giving their desktop brethren a run for their money in terms of gaming performance. The hardest hurdle they have had to conquer is cooling as their smaller form factor makes it harder to get airflow and heat sinks in side. This usually means the better performance you want from a gaming laptop means it will come with a larger size than say a MacBook Pro or similar work oriented laptop. Still they offer many advantages like portability, versatility, they come with a built in monitor, track pad and more often than not a user facing webcam. They also always come with built in wifi and bluetooth as well, where as most gaming desktops will expect you to use a wired internet connection and controllers. Another added bonus with a laptop in terms of school, you can use it to help take notes and do presentations. With that being said let’s check out a few gaming laptops.

Alienware QHD 13″ Touch Gaming Laptop

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Display: 13 inch 3200 x 1800 touchscreen

CPU: Intel Core i7-6500U 2.5 GHz Dual Core

HDD: 500GB

Memory: 16 GB DDR3 RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M

Input/Output Ports: 3 x USB 3.0; Headphone/Mic Combo; Microphone; HDMI; Mini Displayport; RJ-45; External Graphics-Dock Port

Networking: 10/100/1000 Ethernet Port, Integrated Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0

This first laptop is the Alienware QHD 13” Touch Gaming Laptop, which offers a lot of versatility in a small package and can also be combined with the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which connects to the external graphics port. This means when you are at home you can connect to a much more powerful graphics card and get desktop performance. Even without the add on graphics amplifier this little machine can run most modern games at over 30fps at moderate to high settings, but don’t expect to be playing any of the latest VR games anytime soon.  If you are looking for portability and versatility this machine has got you covered.


ASUS ROG GL752 17.3″ Gaming Laptop


Asus ROG Laptop.jpgSpecs

Display: 17.3 inch  1920 x 1080 LED Backlit

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Dual Core

HDD: 1 TB plus a 128 GB Solid State Drive

Memory: 16 GB DDR4 RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M

Input/Output Ports: 1 x Microphone-in Jack; 1 x Headphone-out Jack; 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN Insert; 1 x mini Display Port; 1 x USB3.1 Type C (gen 1)

Networking: 10/100/1000 Ethernet Port, Integrated Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0

This ASUS Republic of Gamers 17 inch laptop is a great bang for the buck. It offers the same graphics capability as the Alienware laptop above but has a bigger monitor (albeit a little lower resolution). Another big thing to note is the included 126 GB solid state drive, which will help with quick boots times of your operating system and your most used programs and games. If you don’t mind the added size this can still serve you as a great portable gaming computer.


Don’t forget to get a mouse if you plan to do any competitive gaming on a laptop


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Even though the laptops I mentioned include touchpads, if you plan to do any serious gaming be it AWPing noobs in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or running as the tank for your chosen guild in World of Warcraft, you’re going are definitely going to want an optical mouse. The Razer DeathAdder Chroma Wired Optical Mouse is critically acclaimed by fans and pros alike.

Gaming Desktops pack a whole lot of punch

Getting a gaming desktop is also a good choice as they generally offer much better performance than laptops and can be upgraded much easier. The first thing you need to consider before buying a gaming desktop PC are which kind of games you want to play. If you are big into eSports and just want to play the big names like League of Legends and Counter-Strike, you can get away with a bit of a cheaper rig using a budget parts and a lower end graphics card. If you plan to only play current AAA titles at max setting you’ll need to spend a little more, to say the least. With that being said, most gaming computers are also easily powerful enough to get all your school work done on as well.




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CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz Quad Core


Memory: 8 GB DDR3

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 730

Networking: 10/100/1000 Ethernet Port and Integrated Wifi

Input/Output Ports: 1 x Front; 1 x Back Microphone-in Jack;1 x Front; 1 x Back Headphone-out Jack; 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN 1 Front (USB 3.0); 2 Back (USB 3.0); 1 Front (USB 2.0); 4 Back (USB 2.0)

Includes: Mouse and Keyboard

This gaming PC from iBUYPOWER, is not going to break any records or get you into virtual reality gaming but it is more than capable of playing some of the latest games like GTA V on high setting and putting out reasonable frame rates. It comes in a rather cool looking Thermaltake case and also give you more then enough room to upgrade with more hard drives(3 x 2.5 inch HDD or 2 x 5.25 HDD) and later a higher end graphics card as well.

Acer Predator G6-710 Gaming PC


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CPU: Intel Core i5-6400 2.7 GHz Quad Core

HDD: 1 TB, plus 128GB (Solid State)

Memory: 16 GB DDR4

Graphics: Nvidia GTX960 2GB

Networking: 10/100/1000 Ethernet Port,Integrated Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0

Input/Output Ports: 1 x Microphone-in Jack; 1x Headphone-out Jack; 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN, USB Ports 2 Front; 8 Back, SD Card Reader

Includes: Mouse and Keyboard

This Acer Predator machine is a great mid range buy and even supports 4K resolution gaming (if you have a 4K monitor that is). It’s more than capable of running the latest games at high settings and more than acceptable frame rates. However it does fall just under the virtual reality threshold but is easily upgraded with a better VR capable graphics card and more ram. It also comes with a 128 GB solid state drive which as always helps with load times of your operating system and most used programs. It’s case is also inspired by tank treads and overall it looks really cool in my opinion.


Alienware Area-51 Gaming PC

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CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3 GHz 6 Cores

HDD: 2 TB, plus 128GB (Solid State)

Memory: 16 GB DDR4

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970

Networking: 10/100/1000 Ethernet Port,Integrated Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0

Input/Output Ports: Rear: RJ-45 (10/100/1000Base); Audio 5.1 Channel (5 Jack), 4 x USB 3.0 Ports; 4 x USB 2.0 PortsFront: 2 x USB 3.0 Ports; Mic-in, Headphone, Media Card Reader

Includes: Mouse and Keyboard

This Alienware Area-51 is an absolute gaming beast. With a virtual reality gaming ready graphics card and its 4K ability, you will be playing the latest and greatest games available in no time, while they look amazing in the process. This massive machine sports a great look too but try not to spend all your time gaming on it as I’m sure it will help you get some homework done too, from time to time.


Don’t forget a sweet gaming monitor

All these desktops are great and powerful gaming machines, however unlike their laptop counterparts, they don’t come with a built in screen. They do however support multiple screens, so if you want to build yourself the ultimate battle station that is more than possible, especially if you have the Alienware Area-51 gaming PC as your center piece.

Acer Predator 32 4K ultra.jpgMy current gaming monitor is a great bang for buck HD solution, the ASUS 23.6″ FHD 1ms GTG TN LED Gaming Monitor. It supports 1080p resolution and also has a few gamer related features, like the ability to always have a crosshair on the screen or by placing a timer on screen as well.


As for 4k gaming the Acer Predator 32″ 4K Ultra HD is one amazing monitor. Not only does it offer an amazing high definition experience, it’s super easy to setup and has a great look that should fit alongside any gaming rig.

If you already have a rig it might be time to upgrade

Most of you will already have a computer of some sort and in most cases they are doing what you need them to do. If it’s a few years old already mind you, it might be time for an upgrade. Buying a whole new machine like the ones above is great but in some cases upgrading the RAM and graphics card is all you really need to do. In that case be sure to check out some of the latest enthusiast graphics cards available. A great example of one of these cards is the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition. It’s compatible with VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, and will be a great card for any of your gamings needs.


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All the computers mentioned above are great out of the box gaming solutions, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the world of PC gaming. The quest for more frames per second and high resolutions is no where close to ending. Also the community of gamers is constantly growing so don’t forget to get yourself an Elgato HD60 USB 2.0 Game Capture, if you want to stream or start your career as a YouTube Let’s Player. Regardless of your gaming rig or gaming preferences don’t forget to do your homework once the school year gets here.

Brad Pajuluoma
Being a child of the 80s Brad grew up playing any and all video games he could get his hands on from the 8 and 16 bit era. As he grew older, video games turned into a life passion. He now works as the QA Lead for one of Toronto’s leading mobile developers. Aside from playing any and all video games he can fit into his hectic schedule, Brad is also a DJ. He enjoys playing some of today’s latest and greatest electronic dance music at clubs here in the city.