Buying a gaming PC for a 11 year old or a teenager is no easy task if you don't understand what the terminology means, or what system specification they need to play their favourite games. It doesn't actually matter what age the recipient is, but I remember a colleague told me they wanted to buy a gaming PC for their 13 year old son, who was currently playing games on the (seemingly inadequate) family computer.
The first question I asked was "Which games do they play?". Unfortunately, "A shooting game where people fly," was not very helpful, so I put together a few questions to help me create a system specification that would meet the parents' budget and the gaming needs of a near-teenager. Their son ended up with their dream PC for Christmas (shooting things and flying), and the parents were over the moon. You'll be pleased to know I've replicated these easy to follow questions in this article, and added in some extra help from our experts here at CCL.
Regardless of age or gaming preference, buying a gaming PC as a gift this Christmas may feel like you are out of your depth, but this handy guide should help. If you are still unsure, we've also got some final tips that will make your life much easier.
Who Is This Guide For?
The guide has been designed for a parent or guardian who is looking to buy a first PC for a gamer. They may be an 11 year old, a teenager, or a young adult - but this guide will help you choose the right PC regardless of their age.
We are assuming you have no technical knowledge or experience with computers or PC gaming, so we'll refrain from using any technical jargon, too.
Where To Start?
The very first question is - which games do they want to play? This small amount of research will answer every other question for you, and help you decide which PC specification fits. The needs of an FPS gamer are considerably different from that of a driving games fan, so this is where we start.
To make our way through the guide, we just need to know a few things...
Step 1: Which Games Do They Want To Play?
Right now, the gamer you are buying for is probably itching to play one or more games on the infographic below, or are making do with the family computer that is struggling to meet their needs. Whilst you may not understand what "I'M LAGGING!!" or "My FPS terrible!" means, it can mean the difference between ranking in an Apex Legends tournament or achieving a Victory Royale in Fortnite. Important stuff to a teenager, right?
The following infographic is not exhaustive, and there are some crossovers, but it will help to understand which gaming PC specification you need. Some games can be run on lower spec computers, but for the best experience (and a reduced amount of moaning about lag & freezing) it is always best to go with a little higher than the minimum recommended specification. For example, Minecraft can be run on a budget, mid-tier or high-end gaming PC, but the experience is different across the specs. Once the player begins creating large structures and playing multiplayer, there is an increased pressure on the PC, and performance can dwindle.
We have included the most popular categories of game right now in December 2021, and these are - E-Sports, Variety Gaming, RPG (Role Playing Games) and AAA Gaming. If you don't see the game they want to play in this list, don't worry. There's an easy way to check which PC you need for any game. We'll get into that a little further into the article.
Still Need Help?
Didn't see the game they want to play in our infographic? Don't know which PC is best? That's ok! Rule number one is "Don't Panic!"
If you still need assistance, simply click here for help deciding which PC is most suitable.
Step 2: Recommended Budget, Mid-Tier and High-End PCs
The second step is choosing the PC itself. You know which games they want to play, and you're ready to select the gaming PC of their dreams!
All of these PCs are available for delivery before Christmas, and you can check our Christmas and New Year delivery cut-off dates here.
CCL Recommended Budget Gaming PC
Perfect for E-Sports gaming and titles that are not too demanding, the Horizon Vega 5 gaming PC is packed with enough performance to compete in games like CS:GO, Fortnite, Valorant and Rainbow Six Siege.
CCL Recommended Mid-Tier Gaming PCs
The Horizon 3 Intel GTX 1650 enables gamers to take on more demanding games, with a dedicated graphics card - the Nvidia GTX 1650 - that will perform well at medium settings in games such as FIFA 2022, Forza Horizon 5, and in competitive releases such as Apex Legends, and all E-Sports titles.
Fans of sandbox games such as Minecraft and GTA Online will have the power they need to enjoy these larger, open-world games.
Mid-tier gaming PCs do not come much better value than the Horizon 3 Intel GTX 1660S, with an Nvidia GTX 1660S graphics card to handle the heavy workload from games such as GTA V/Online, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Red Dead Redemption 2 and all E-Sports titles at high quality resolution.
CCL Recommended High-End Gaming PCs
To experience any of the top 100 games the way developers intended, and to experience Ray Tracing and fast gameplay, the Horizon 5M is priced to provide excellent value and performance. For the gamer who wants to have speed, excellent graphics and reliability, this is the ideal system. With enough memory, processing power and graphics card performance to play all of the top 100 games at high resolutions, and dominate any competitive game with sheer speed, this truly is an all-rounder that can't be matched in this price bracket.
The Horizon 5 AMD RTX 3060 Gaming PC is designed with the pro-gamer in mind. The specifications match or exceed every requirement for the top 100 games right now, and will happily play any of the new titles released in 2022 and beyond. The RTX 3060 graphics card is one of the most highly sought-after GPUs, with incredible performance in huge, expansive titles that demand Ray Tracing and DLSS to experience the best quality gaming.
CCL Recommended EXTREME Gaming PC
It would be remiss of us not to mention the exceptional EXTREME gaming PCs in our Nazare range. For the gamer who does not want any compromise, and with performance that dominates the higher echelons of benchmarks, the Nazare 5112 iCUE RTX 3070 Ti operates on another level.
Featuring the all new GeForce RTX® 3070 Ti and incredible AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (designed for gaming), and having a raft of RGB lighting at the touch of a button, this truly is as good as it gets. Titles such as Cyberpunk 2077, Metro Exodus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and many other incredibly demanding games were designed with THIS kind of system in mind, to truly experience the best gaming possible.
Step 3: Choosing A Monitor
With the PC selected, you now just need to find a suitable monitor! If you have some time to spare, we recommend having a read of our detailed monitor guide here, but you can choose from a huge range of monitors based on your budget here.
Generally speaking, a 23" - 27" monitor is ideal for gaming, and for budget & mid-tier PCs a 60Hz - 120Hz monitor will suffice. For high-end gaming, 120Hz - 165Hz will ensure superior and smooth visuals.
Remember Rule #1: Don't Panic!
Each one of our BUDGET, MID-TIER and HIGH-END & EXTREME Gaming PCs above has a system specification that you can check against the PC game they want to play. Every game has a minimum and recommended system requirements to help gamers understand if their PC can run it.
Unfortunately, this can still be confusing for people who know nothing about computers! Fear not, however. CCL is on hand to help you figure things out.
So, first, let's figure out the specification required for the game or games they want to play...
Step 1. Finding The Recommended System Requirements
If you search Google for the recommended system requirements for any game, you will be presented with a list that looks a lot like this: -
Now, this may look confusing, because chances are you don't know your Ryzens from a Radeons - but that's ok.
All you need to do is head over to Google and search for "recommended system requirements" followed by the game title you want to check. In the above example, we can see the recommended specs for Battlefield 2042. If we click on this specification, we can see the full recommended specification: -
Operating system: 64-bit Windows 10
Processor (AMD): AMD Ryzen 5 1600
Processor (Intel): Intel Core i5-6600K
Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon RX 560
Graphics card (Nvidia): Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Hard-drive space: 100GB
Once you have these specifications, keep them handy and go to Step 2 below:
Step 2. Let CCL Help!
You can give us a call on 01274 471201 9:00 - 5:30 Mon-Fri with the recommended system requirements for any game - and we'll tell you which of our systems will be perfect (and within your budget)!
NOTE: Don't worry if you can't find the system requirements, either. Just tell us which games the PC needs to play, and we'll give you our best advice.
If you prefer Live Chat, you can access this by clicking the live chat bar at the bottom right of the page, or by clicking the link below.
Chat with our PC sales team instantly. Live chat is available Monday - Friday 09:00 - 17:30.
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