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  • Custom Gaming Installations

    Computers have become a staple of our society since their creation. They allow us to access information rapidly and enjoy entertainment in a way we never could before. In fact, many companies have made the latter the focal point of their businesses.

    Around the world, there are internet cafés, e-sports arenas, and even retailers that put a major focus on the hardware in the rig that makes them effective for gaming. However, creating a high-quality gaming rig is not as straightforward as you might think. And your local business will suffer if your machines do not meet the standards of the customer. With this article, we hope to give some insight into what details need to be considered when installing a custom gaming rig in your place of business.

    What is on the Inside is What Counts

    Regardless of what kind of business you are adding to New Jersey’s technology front, building custom gaming rigs for the facility requires a great deal of focus and consideration toward the internal components and hardware for the computer. Seven essential hardware components go into a gaming computer that simply cannot be skimped on. These are the:

    1. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
    2. Motherboard
    3. Memory (RAM)
    4. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
    5. Storage
    6. Power Supply Unit
    7. System Cooling

    Computer Internal Components

    The CPU and motherboard are essential for getting the machine to run as they serve as the proverbial brain of the computer. Without these components, the computer is little more than a glorified paperweight with no ability to run an operating system or software of any kind.

    The RAM is crucial to any gaming rig as it allows the computer to access data rapidly and effectively with minimal lag. Without sufficient RAM, many games will be unplayable, and those that are will experience a great deal of lag and hangtime, which is a game-killer for online play.

    The GPU, or graphics card, is another essential component since it is what will allow the machine to render the game at the highest level of fidelity. Without a high-quality graphics card, the machine will be unable to play graphically intensive games on settings that can truly be admired. Picking the right graphics card for your system, including finding one in the first place, is often the core of a computer build.

    Finally, the power supply allows these components to be powered, and the cooling system prevents them from overheating and damaging the computer. The power supply you need will be determined by the other components, with high-quality components requiring higher power levels to draw on.

    Meanwhile, the cooling systems range from simple air circulating fans to liquid cooling to keep the components cooler and prevent overheating due to intense gaming sessions. Most cooling options will work, so cooling often becomes a matter of aesthetics rather than functionality.

    Of course, other considerations need to be made, such as monitors, headphones, and other general accessories necessary for a public gaming space. However, when it comes to getting the computer up and running, these components take priority.

    The common factor with gaming computer components is the high price, especially given the shortage of parts to machines following the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on supply lines. For example, a modern NVIDIA graphics card alone can set you back $1,500 to $2,000 for a single unit. Other parts are slowly growing more expensive as well, including RAM, CPUs, and storage.

    This expense is why it is crucial to broker deals with retailers for bulk purchases. By making these deals to buy these financially demanding components in bulk, you can work out arrangements that allow you access to multiple units without paying the total retail cost of each unit combined. Once you have the hardware, it becomes a matter of installation.

    Essential Software Installation

    Once the computers have been built and are ready to be powered on, the next step is installing the operating system. Currently, the best operating system for gaming is Microsoft Windows. Therefore, you will be installing Windows 10 or 11 across all the machines.

    Acquiring the licenses for Windows operating systems is a simple matter of purchasing them online, with bulk deals and volume licenses for businesses to authorize licenses for multiple machines at once. You can download the install media and burn it to a DVD or, if your machines don’t have DVD drives, place it on a USB flash drive instead. Microsoft will send you licensing keys to activate the OS for each machine.

    Installing Windows Operating System

    Once the operating system has been successfully installed, you need to worry about installing any companion software to your hardware. For example, say every machine in your café or e-sports arena uses an NVIDIA-series graphics card. You might want to consider installing the NVIDIA Experience application from their website since the application will alert you to driver updates and allow you to install them directly from the app, rather than manually checking the website for and downloading updates.

    Additionally, your mouse and keyboard selection might have similar companion applications worth installing for much the same reason. For example, Logitech and Razer are notorious for their companion applications serving as an update and customization hub. Not to mention these apps allow you to control the colors of RGB lighting on your gaming components.

    Once that is settled, you will want to establish restrictions to avoid customers tinkering with any established settings. One thing sure to sow chaos is having customers who can access the core settings of a machine. Fortunately, Windows operating systems enable you to create different profiles with varying permissions.

    For example, the initial profile would be the manager or employee profile used to access update software or adjust the settings of an individual machine that will affect all profiles on the machine. Meanwhile, another profile could be created for customers that will benefit from these settings while also keeping the customer from accessing them.

    These profiles can also be used to restrict download permissions and prevent customers from being able to download potentially malicious software from the internet or tweak the settings of the games installed on the computer without administrative permissions. While profile management is not a form of software that needs to be installed, it is an essential first step when getting a gaming rig up and running for public use.

    Network Setup

    Once you have the gaming computers constructed and the operating system up and running, the next step is patching the computer into the network. How you go about connecting the machines to the network is up to you. You are probably most familiar with the prospect of connecting a device to the network via a Wi-fi signal. However, this is not the only option and, in many cases, not the best option. When creating a facility where computers, especially gaming rigs, are essential for commerce, choosing between a wired or wireless network connection can be challenging.

    A wireless connection would involve each computer relying on a wireless connection to the network. This method has several benefits, such as minimizing the number of cables needed to get every machine patched in, not worrying about outlet shortages or placement of the machines.

    Setting Up Network

    However, gaming computers tend to take up a lot of bandwidth when communicating with a network, especially when the game is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game like Warframe or Final Fantasy XIV or a battle royale game like Fortnite. In addition, depending on the number of machines patched into the system, a wireless connection for each one might cause more problems by causing connection issues. Wi-fi connections require minimal barriers between routers and computers, and too many devices connected at once can interfere with one another.

    Conversely, a wired ethernet connection provides the same connection as a wireless system with far more stable results. This benefit is because an ethernet connection plugs the computer directly into the router’s system, maintaining a hard link between the machine and the router and ensuring that any lost connection is almost certainly due to an issue with the router itself than a problem with the machine.

    On the other hand, a wired connection requires, well, wires, which can create a maze of cabling and an additional installation and maintenance overhead you might not want. Wi-fi is easier but less effective for games that need consistent connections. Wired is more complex but more stable for gaming.

    When it comes to gaming, a wired connection also minimizes the potential lag between the machine communicating with the router and what happens in-game. This boils down to smoother gameplay and less frustration for patrons of your facility.

    However, gaming computers will require one last feature to ensure an ideal installation.

    A Reliable Support Network

    No matter what they are used for, computers are computers, and are prone to hardware or software failures of many kinds. Whether you are selling gaming computers, running an e-sports arena, or even an internet café, your machines will need regular maintenance and support to minimize the number of issues. To maintain computers efficiently and troubleshoot any immediate issues, you might want to consider funding an information technology department to handle that side of things for you. Gaming machines are no different from business machines in terms of the basic principles of their functionality. An IT department will be able to manage the issues without much trouble.

    However, you might not have the means or desire to develop an IT department from the ground up, especially if you are only working with a facility in a limited size with a set number of machines. If this is the case, you can outsource your IT needs to an independent firm that will handle all of the technical issues for you in exchange for a monthly or annual sum, depending on the contract. But what will they cover, you ask?

    IT Support Network

    Imagine, if you will, a group of teenagers who have finished school for the day and come down to your e-sports facility to log some hours in League of Legends or World of Warcraft. They begin their session only for one of the machines to flash an error box and prevent them from playing. This error leaves the player unable to do what they came here for. However, for software issues, an IT firm will be able to offer remote support to control the machine wirelessly, diagnose the issue, and resolve it all without having to wait for them to come to you.

    Additionally, an IT firm will advise you on security measures, provide data backup options, and offer general helpdesk services. At the end of the day, using an IT firm will allow problems to be resolved promptly and help your patrons get back in the game.

    Wrapping Up

    There is a lot to see and do in New Jersey for locals and tourists alike. However, for the former, sometimes all they want to do is hit the local internet café and get some game time in with their friends. In these cases, your facility needs to have quality computers with quality support to give them the experience they want. Installing the machines can be a hassle for those with no direct experience doing so, but with some help, you can be operating one of the most successful facilities in the state. Once you have the resources to build the computers and set them up, all you need to do is establish a support system and watch your business grow.

    Computer for Gaming

    To that end, we at ComputerTech would like to extend our services. We specialize in providing quality IT services to companies in New Jersey and beyond. We can offer all of the remote services and strategies discussed here and much more. So, if you are looking to use an IT department of any kind, contact us today and see how we can help get you and your customers back in the game.

    If you or your business have any questions or concerns regarding the installation process for gaming computers or just computers in general, please feel free to contact us at any time. We will gladly clear up any potential confusion you may be having.