Ergonomics Header
By The Computer Guy / Advice, Tips and Tricks / 0 Comments

How do you stay comfortable?

 

Ergonomics is an everyday thing, but not many realise it. Everyone has that one chair. You know, the chair in your house, office or just somewhere in your daily life. It’s the chair you don’t want to sit on. After reluctantly using it, your back can hurt, or you shift yourself around the whole time just trying to get comfortable. So, when we sit we want to be comfortable- though it’s possible that we’re getting too comfortable. As the hours tick on we only deepen that butt-groove in the couch and heighten our risk of health issues.

 

Ergonomics is a big fancy word that basically means “comfortable and efficient”. When in a work space or at home people can slouch, strain their eyes and sit in one spot for hours. The damage this does isn’t common knowledge- and that needs to change.

 

 

Contents

  1. Introduction – Our Sedentary Lives
  2. Computer Ergonomics
  • How You Work

– Picking a Chair

– Standing

  • Keyboard and Mouse
  • Monitor

– Position

– Colour

– Time

  1. Sitting Properly and Posture
  • Improving How You Sit

5. Stretching 

  • Stretches for the whole body, done at the desk!

 

 

 

Introduction to Ergonomics – Our Sedentary Lives

 

The average person will sit for around ten to thirteen hours every single day. Working in office jobs or studying all day, combined with sleeping for eight hours creates what is described as a ‘sedentary lifestyle’. Sedentary behaviour is associated with ‘deleterious health outcomes’, as stated by the University of Queensland in their article; Physiological and Health Implications of a Sedentary Lifestyle.

It can be hard to avoid this, as many occupations along with hobbies all call for attention on a sole screen. More brain power is used, rather than physical power, and this is what stops us from moving so much.

 

Families spend time together bonding over television. Teenagers spend time on phones while they rest. Gaming Culture is booming and will only get bigger from here on out. Office jobs are becoming more common as online culture and media grow. To have a lifestyle where time is mostly spent standing and moving is out of reach for a significant percentage of people.

 

“The explosion of computer technology in the workplace is truly astounding. You can’t function in today’s office without interacting with a computer. Unfortunately, the single greatest oversight in computer education is the limited information about how to properly integrate the human body with the mesh of electronic nirvana.”

-UCLA Office Ergonomics 2012

 

 

Most of issues that come with this lifestyle is the lack of adaption. Yes, we still need to be as active as possible, however even sitting down we can take steps to keep our bodies from becoming damaged. Bad posture, back issues and eye strain are some of the biggest issues with working in front of a computer.

 

 

 

Ergonomic Set-Ups for Computers

 

How you position yourself at is crucial. Being at an awkward, odd or straining angle can result in neck pain, back pain, eye strain, RSI, muscular tension and headaches.

 

Standing or Sitting?

Different work environments have different requirements. Office jobs are more for sitting for eight hours, only standing to go get a drink or pass over papers. Customer service is more hands on and keep you moving around all day.

Whether you sit down or stand up for the whole shift, knowing what you need to keep comfortable and treat your body right is important.

 

Chairs and Seating

Puzzle Pieces fit together when the shape of the sides match. This lets the pieces rest together in their place without bending. It’s a comparable situation for your chair and back.

Ergonomic chairs, both business and gaming, are often shaped to support the arch of your back. Especially when being used for an extended period, this makes a difference. Gamers are known to sit at a computer for hours on end, so when a gaming chair is designed it needs to accommodate for this. They’re mostly made of leather (or similar materials), tall with room to support the upper back as well- Some even have a head rest!

Office chairs are a bit different, as they’re designed with a business aesthetic. The backs are shorter but often are softer and made of fabric instead.

The idea of these chairs is to allow you to lean back and get the proper support. It takes the strain off your spine.

 

A good chair should:

  • Be at a comfortable height relative to your desk
  • Tilt – adjust the back to suit you
  • Have enough depth to support your hips and legs. Having about 3-6cm of space between the end of the chair and the back of your knees is ideal.

 

Note: There are also adjustable desks! They’re often used in offices and IT rooms in schools!

 

Standing at Work

Sometimes you don’t need to sit down when working. Of course, if you’re moving around frequently or going between multiple jobs, standing is what is done anyway. It’s easier than sitting for thirty seconds before going somewhere else because someone broke the coffee machine again, or the phone rings.

Having solid shoes is a must for these jobs. High heels, as good as they make your legs look, are out of the picture. A shoe with a low heel is okay but save the stilettoes for the Victoria Secret Runway. Relatively thick soles, plus an arch for support is ideal for this, as they take the pressure off your feet and back.

If your arms can’t rest comfortably by your side, or your working on a large object then standing is usually better for your posture. Applying downward pressure, like loading bags or inserting screws, standing is better for the back as well.

Customer service and trade work involves mostly standing, so even when not sitting it’s important to be mindful of your posture. With new products coming out, there are even convertible desks to allow workers to stand when using the PC!

 

Keyboard and Mouse

There are thousands of keyboard designs, and mice of every single shape and colour. Though it’s good to know what type is good for you. The wrists shouldn’t sit at an awkward angle, and your hands shouldn’t point outward when you type.

Keyboards can have a variety of features to help with use. Gaming keyboards often have ‘anti-ghosting’ keys, allowing your fingers to feel them better. Some are curved to accommodate for the natural position your arms should sit in. Some keyboards are shorter in length so the mouse can be kept closer, this helps as if the hands are too far apart, it can strain the muscle connecting your thumb to your wrist.

 

Try it now- hold your hands flat in front of you (palms facing down) and turn your fingertips outward. The strain is only light, but over time it does damage.

 

Compact, wireless, slim and flat designs are cool for travel, but they aren’t always comfortable. Having a mouse that doesn’t accommodate your hand shape and is the wrong size is like wearing jeans that are too small. Mice have different shapes just like keyboards, they can have different angles and sizes for different hands. There are mice designed for left hand users too!

There are also options for mouse mats. Multiple brands offer mouse mats with a plush cushion for the wrist to sit on. Like the shape of a chair, this helps with support and reduces strain.

 

 

Monitors and Screens

Something that is stared at for hours on end, either working, playing or watching movies. Are you being safe? Are you protecting your eyes?

 

Position

Having to tilt your neck to view a screen when you just want to casually scroll through your feed is tedious. This hurts your neck and can lead to headaches, something that’s best to avoid. When positioning a monitor, make sure its at eye level, and doesn’t cause strain. If you’re using a laptop, keeping it on a desk or cooling pad can give it a good angle. Laptop screens are easily adjustable, and since they can be moved it is easy to get comfortable.

 

 

If you are using a laptop, don’t rest it on your lap, a bed sheet, blanket or other soft surface. This can lead to overheating. If you’d like more on this, feel free to read ‘Keeping it Cool: How to Stop Your PC from Overheating this Summer!’

Avoid use of devices in direct sunlight, as the reflective glare off the screen can make it harder to see. Typically this results in a user leaning close to the screen to view it, which can be harmful.

 

 

 

 

Colour

Blue light is what gives the whites its cool toned, vibrant hue.

A few hours before your regular bedtime, your body releases melatonin. This reduces your general alertness, and helps you sleep easier. Blue light effects this from happening, why do you think so many people stay up late, scrolling through their feed? Blue also happens to be the colour theme of most social media sites. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, think back a bit. Were you on your phone, tablet or PC before bed?

There are ways to filter blue light from devices, phones are beginning to come with settings to filter out the blue light from the screen. As for computers, the settings can be changed through windows, allowing a user to toggle what colours come through the monitor.

Glasses have been created as well, with the purpose of filtering blue light before it reaches your eyes.

 

Time

Every hour of use, take the time to look away from the screen for 30-90 seconds. If there is a window nearby, or an open area, try focusing on something distant. It can be hard to remember but giving your eyes that small and frequent break helps. This can reduce risk of both headaches and eye strain.

 

 

Shortcuts and Solutions

Keyboard shortcuts don’t just save time, they save movement. Moving your wrists back and forth tiny distances over and over as you move the mouse can strain the muscles. Knowing basic shortcuts to copy and paste, to save or load can help. The small movements you don’t do add up fast, reducing the risk of RSI.

 

Definition of repetitive strain injury : any of various painful musculoskeletal disorders (such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis) caused by cumulative damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, or joints (as of the hand or shoulder) from highly repetitive movements

 

RSI is something people who type constantly can suffer from. Having media keys on a keyboard, or programmable keys on a mouse are features utilized by people who play video games or work in multimedia to reduce strain and save time.

It is also possible to wear gloves which properly support the hands. Unlike winter gloves, they’re designed to apply pressure where the hands and wrists need support.

 

 

Sitting Properly

 

Two words:

Don’t Slouch

 

Though many may have been scolded by parents or teachers when they were young to sit up straight, sometimes we forget. It seems so simple but while sitting at a desk, the shoulders hunch forward and people subconsciously forget to keep themselves upright. This is never good for posture.

 

The following majorly contribute to good posture

  • Chair supporting natural curve of back
  • Shoulders are relaxed
  • Sitting Upright
  • Neck is not strained
  • Looking down at the monitor, around 30 degrees
  • Feet Flat on Floor
  • Elbows bent at a right angle

 

ergonomics
Image from BlitzResults – For more Information Health and other topics visit their website

Good posture reduces risk of muscular strain and depends on consciously remembering to stay upright. It isn’t impossible but often needs to be practiced until it becomes habit.

 

 

 

Stretching

The body can become stiff if sat in one place for too long. Even when waking up from a night of rest, the first thing many people do it stretch. This allows the muscles to move more freely and get blood moving through the body.

 

Stretching and shaking out limbs to loosen them is beneficial and prevents stiffness. Especially in colder weather, the body can settle into one position, which makes it harder to move about. The back, neck and hands usually feel it the most. There’s a plethora of stretches and small desk exercises that help prevent soreness, and help the body cope with Sedentary behaviour.

 

Here is a list of basic stretches which can be  done at the desk.

 

Doing a few of these every hour or so while working can improve the many hours sat behind a screen.

 

Arms and Back

  1. Clasp hands together above the head with palms facing outward.
  2. Push your arms up, stretching upward.
  3. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

 

Shoulders

  1. Cup right elbow with left hand
  2. Lift elbow, move across the chest without moving the body
  3. Hold for 10-30 seconds and release. Repeat with opposite arm

 

Arms

  1. Lift arm above head so elbow is in the air, arm bent and hand reaching down to the back
  2. With opposite hand, gently push elbow backwards
  3. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat with opposite arm.

 

Back

  1. Clasp hands behind your back.
  2. Push the chest outward and raise the chin.
  3. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

 

Legs 

  1. Extend legs forward, straightening the knees
  2. One leg at a time, rest heel on ground and point toes upwards
  3. Lean forward slightly and stretch toes back towards you. Do this for both legs.

 

Wrists (Joints)

  1. Raise your arms to be straight in front of you.
  2. Rotate hands in an motion ten times
  3. Repeat, rotating them the opposite way

 

Wrists (Muscles)

  1. Open hands and have palms facing outwards
  2. Place one hand over the other, palms touching
  3. Gently apply pressure to push fingers and knuckles back, stretching the wrist

 

 

 

Now that you have read all of that, feel free to wistfully gaze into the distance, focus on something to give your eyes a break. Have some water, and take a breather! 

 

 


 

Thank you so much for reading! This is The Computer Guy’s weekly blog, where we post about different tips, ideas and advice to help everyday users! Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or share this post!

-The Computer Guy

 


 

Check Out Our Other Posts:

SSD vs HDD: Battle of the Hard Drives

Being Safe Online: What to Know and How to Take Caution

Online Scammers: Protect Yourself from their Nasty Tricks

Advertising Online: The Media Migration Companies are Making

 

 

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Blog Post - Overheating Header
By The Computer Guy / Advice, Tips and Tricks / 0 Comments

If we’re overheating we can go to the beach, grab some ice cream and take a dip in the ocean to keep cool when the weather is merciless, our computers are left to try keep cool by themselves. Yes, we can go for a swim, but it’s honestly not recommended to throw a laptop in the pool if it overheats.

At facilities such as High Schools and Libraries, rooms like computer labs often have air conditioning- this is required to stop the technology from frying. When a computer works to perform tasks, they can get warmer- which isn’t an issue in itself- the issue arises however, when the outside world heats it up even more.

 

Contents

 

1.What is Heat Damage

  • What Can Cause Heat Damage?

2. Checking Your PC’s Temperature

  • RealTemp (Program)
  • Risks that Come With Overheating

3. How to Keep Your PC Cool

  • Internal Components
  • Environment
  • Dust – The Silent Killer

 


 

What is Heat Damage?

It’s honestly self-explanatory, almost like sunburn for computer parts (except it doesn’t heal over a few days with aloe).

Heat Damage can cause discolouration in parts and stop the technology inside from working, or at least slow it’s working speed massively. This becomes an immense issue as if a part such as the CPU becomes so damaged that it cannot work, and as a result neither can the machine function as it’s supposed to.

If your computer runs hotter than normal, there are ways to check how it’s functioning, see what can be changed and improve the situation. Overheating can come with a plethora of risks to your PC and your wallet, so know how to avoid it.

 

What Can Cause Heat Damage?   

  • Environmental Heat
  • Over Clocking
  • Lack of Care
  • No Thermal Paste

 

These will be touched on throughout this post, though it’s good to have a reference. If a computer suffers heat damage, one of the listed reasons is most likely the cause.

 


 

Checking your PC’s Temperature

 

RealTemp

RealTemp is a program which instantly assesses the current temperature of your computer. It also provides data on the minimum and maximum temperature of your PC, allowing you to make a judgement on if more cooling is needed. The ability to be left open and run in the background, it can live monitor and relay data for you to view.

 

Varied brands and components have different recommended running temperatures.

Intel states on their Official Website that the recommended temperature to run at is 45 to 60 degrees Celsius, though if it is running for extended periods of time it’s best if it’s on the lower half of that range.

Graphics Cards from brands such as Gigabyte shouldn’t run hotter than around 63 Degrees Celsius, even when under a load and the fans are running.

 

The Risks that Come with Overheating   

  • Computer Damage (Hardware)
  • Voiding of Warranty
  • Loss of Data

 

 

Damage to your computer means damage to your wallet. By burning out parts in your PC, you’ll only end up needing replacements, so it’s in a user’s best interest to keep that from happening. The CPU in a computer is one of the most likely parts to suffer in heat, and it’s also the most expensive to replace. A CPU can get up to $500 when bought new, and that’s a hefty price tag for simply not taking enough care of a computer. With laptops, the motherboard can even be damaged which is extremely difficult to repair or replace, in both Business Grade and Retail machines.

 

Warranty may also be void, as overheating is mainly a result of a lack of care. Manufactures and retailers will assume the user didn’t use the product properly or put it in a dangerous circumstance. As most warranty covers faults with a product, and issue’s out of a user’s control, overheating and heat damage isn’t something that can be claimed.

Hard Drives are something a lot of users consider important, and rightfully so! It’s the part that contains all your data and files, so the thought of losing that is worrisome. Especially with newer models of laptops, the hard drives are becoming attached to the motherboard. If a graphics chip or CPU in a PC overheats, it can cause fatal damage to the motherboard and any parts attached. Overheating can also cause data loss in flash drives and SSD’s, especially if it runs for an extended period at a high temperature.

 

 


 

How to Keep your PC Cool

 

Internal Components

 

CPU

There are two main ways that CPU’s are cooled, through either water cooling or with fans.

Water Cooling is only able to be done within desktops, and is often chosen for its aesthetic appeal. It requires cleaning and can be pricey however is very efficient when cooling. It uses pipes and coolant to cool down the CPU and even a Graphics Card if built to do so. Often chosen to be used in Gaming PC’s, it is efficient and reliable, though it is advised to get it fitted professionally to reduce risk of leaks.

Thermal Paste is used when the cooling fan is placed on top of the CPU. As the name suggests it helps control the temperature of the CPU. If a CPU is not installed properly, and doesn’t have the right amount of thermal paste it can lead to part damage.

 

Graphics Cards

When it comes to Graphics Cards, the actual card is rather thin, and the bulk of its size is from the cooling system. The larger cards often have one to three, sometimes even four, fans to cool the chip. Excess amounts of data can create heat and damage the card, which is why gaming laptops can be dangerous. Parts can become overheated as the card which is naturally half the size of the laptop is squeezed into a small laptop. If it needs three fans to keep cool, taking those away can create sufficient damage.

 

Fans in Desktops

To create airflow in computers, fans can be installed to the front, back, top and bottom panels on a desktop case. This is to push warm air out and keep cool air coming in, allowing the machine to operate as well as possible. Some fans are also used for cosmetic reasons, such as LED and RGB effects, though this is more prominent in gaming PC’s.

 


 

Environment

 

Air Conditions

Having an Air Conditioning system is convenient and nice in Summer, and it’s also great for your computer. It provides an environment in which your PC won’t have to stress with external weather and can run as it does in Winter. This eliminates a generous portion of issues that computers can have from the weather.

Is there a heap of dust in the air? This may create a harmful situation for your PC as the dust can cause a plethora of issues. The best solution to this is to clean the area, open a window and wipe down dusty surfaces.

 

Where Is Your PC?

This applies both to laptops and desktops, as where a computer is can greatly affect its over-all health in the long run.

Desktops don’t need special treatment, or a pedestal to sit on, they simply need a cool area where airflow can reach its vents. Having a desktop shoved under a desk where your feet sit isn’t instantly going to break it (just be careful not to kick it). The issue with that placement arises with the dust and dirt. When a desktop is in a place where dust and dirt can become trapped and build up easily, it can put the machine at risk. Especially if it’s out of sight, that means it’s out of mind- this makes the chance that the user forgets to clean it or check up on it sufficiently higher.

Laptops, as they can be moved around, need a bit more caution as to where they sit. There are a lot of ways people like to sit with their laptops to get comfortable, but there’s a good list of places where they shouldn’t go:

  • Mattresses or Blankets
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Pillows
  • Ironically enough, a User’s Lap

 

A laptop draws cool air through the vents in the bottom, and pushes the warm air out the side. By placing it onto a surface, mostly something that’s soft and can block the vents, the fans cannot draw in enough air to sufficiently cool the laptop. The air it then pushes out is even hotter when this happens, and it’s a good indicator of how hot the parts inside are.

 

“Even though it’s a called a Laptop, sitting it on your lap is probably the last place you want to put it.”

 

overheating

 

Where Should It Sit?

A good place for a laptop to sit is a hard surface such as a desk. There are also products such as cooling pads, which generally connect via a USB cable to your laptop and run fans underneath the bottom of it. This helps ventilate air through, while elevating the device to an ergonomic angle. Desktops simply need an area where there is less chance of dust building up, such as corners or under desks.

 


 

Dust – The Silent Killer

Fans are efficient and work on getting airflow to parts, and keep them cool- if they can. Dust is something we notice, but don’t pay much mind to in daily life, but this is what makes it so dangerous. Over time as fans pull in air to the PC for cooling, tiny amounts of dust get pulled in with it. This isn’t fatal for the machine, but if not cleaned periodically it can become that way. As dust comes in, it begins to stick to the fans and slows their movements due to the weight. More piles on it can cause extra friction and eventually stop moving. This becomes a significant issue, with no fans to support the hardware they will overheat.

Dust also can mask the machine and its inner surfaces, resembling insulation. This provides the perfect environment for a higher running temperature.

To avoid dust building up, the best method is to physically clean your PC every 6 months or so. This can vary depending on how much dust is in the environment it’s in, or if it travels a lot (like a laptop which is taken while travelling.) There are a few ways to go about cleaning, the most affordable being compressed cans of air, opening the machine if possible and gently blowing away dust. This is best done outside, and before going ahead make sure to double check it will not void any warranty. If the machine cannot be opened, it’s possible to blow the air through the vents on the machine, and allow space for it to escape.

Again, do this carefully and be gentle with any fans as too much compressed air at once can stress them. Remember to check warranty before beginning. Clean out while the machine is turned off and unplugged.

 

Safety Guards

CPU’s are fitted with Safe Guards, which simply mean that they’re designed to cease functioning and cut out when it is under unsafe conditions. Many CPU’s will simply shut off if they overheat to a point where it isn’t safe. These can be disabled however it is strongly recommended that they are left as they are. When disabled severe damage can be done to the PC parts, as there’s no programming in place to protect them.

 

Get it Checked Out!

Often, many users will use their computers for years on end without a single health check or update. As we get older, we go to the doctors to get our health checked by a professional, instead of just googling our symptoms. If a computer is overheating often, or running slow it’s a clever idea to take it to an IT professional so its overall health can be checked.

Some people aren’t eager on the idea of opening their computers to check it themselves or just for a clean. Therefore, the option of taking it down to your local IT store is always one to consider.

 

 


Thank you so much for reading! This is The Computer Guy’s weekly blog, where we post about different tips, ideas and advice to help everyday users! Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or share this post!

-The Computer Guy

 


Check Out Our Other Posts:

SSD vs HDD: Battle of the Hard Drives

Being Safe Online: What to Know and How to Take Caution

Online Scammers: Protect Yourself from their Nasty Tricks

Advertising Online: The Media Migration Companies are Making

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Acase Glaze Case
By The Computer Guy / Advice, Tips and Tricks / 0 Comments

Contents

1. Where to Start

2. What Do You Want?

  • Are you streaming or editing videos?

3. What Do You Need?

  • Starbound vs. The Witcher 3 – Comparing Games

4. Getting the Most on a Budget

  • There are some parts of the PC will drain a budget.

5. What to Avoid

  • Gaming Laptops
  • Water Cooling

6. Warranty

  • What Warranty is Available and How it can be Voided.

 


 

Where to Start

How cool would it be to have the most expensive, high speed gaming PC, that never lags and runs the best graphics? Of course, it would be cool, but most people don’t have a year of rent money to spend on a computer.

Knowing what you want to use the computer for, and what you need to do it can save you HUNDREDS!

With consoles such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, game developers need to make the game to suit the console and its graphic limits. With computers, since so many parts are interchangeable and new parts are consistently being released, game developers are pushing the limits of what their games can do. Different games need different amounts of power.

There’s this idea out there that you need a five-hundred-dollar Intel i7 and a thousand-dollar 1080Ti Graphics Card to have an amazing gaming PC, and anything else will lag. Sure, having these will make your gaming super smooth and no doubt spectacular, but that doesn’t mean you need them.

 

So, here’s how you can break down what will suit your needs and wants best.

 


 

What Do You Want?

 

Ask yourself, what exactly am I using this for?

Most people will just say ‘gaming’ but that alone is a huge blanket statement. Playing games can range anywhere from Solitaire to ARK. This is where we start to narrow down what you’ll be doing. The more demanding games you want to play, the more power your PC will need.

Are you editing videos or streaming? Various parts are made for different uses. CPU’s like the i5 are designed for 3D gaming, making them great for any gamer. However, if you’re recording and editing videos constantly or streaming an i7 may be the way to go. The i7 CPU was designed for video processing and editing, it can decrease render time and has more power for live streaming games.

Graphics are always nice when they’re on a higher setting- more details and shading look fantastic in games. Though if you’re just playing basic platformers like Terraria then you won’t need to splurge. FPS Games run extremely well on a lot of cards, but if you’re playing just for yourself, or with friends, then it’s safe to turn the graphics down. In all honesty, not having the detail on the Lobby Claw Machine in Overwatch is worth sacrificing for the extra frames.

 


 

What Do You Need?

Take out the factors of video editing and streaming, and then think: what’s needed to just play’.

For a simple comparison of games and their graphics, let’s have a look at two very popular games.

 

First up, Starbound. 

Starbound is a platform style, open world fantasy game. It’s a simple 2D game, like Super Mario Bros – this along with characters and objects is all that needs rendering. The only reason a game such as this would become demanding is if modifications were added, or there was a large amount of data at once (for example, many enemies with extravagant attacks fighting you at once). These types of games, even browser games such as Runescape, can be run on a budget gaming computer.

gaming computer
Starbound Gameplay

 

Non-demanding, casual games are great for starting players of all ages. Casual players who don’t see a need to have super high graphics or enjoy this style can save some money. Games like Starbound, Terraria or even Minecraft can run well on smaller machines. There’s no need to buy more if this is all you plan to do!

 

Secondly, The Witcher 3

A lot of recent, popular games are very demanding. A good example is The Witcher 3, being a 3D fantasy adventure game with characters and objects, all having their own unique animations. Details in games like this go from strands of hair, to grass and water moving with the wind.

gaming computer
The Witcher 3 Gameplay

 

Creating something so life-like is amazing to look at, but it needs the power behind it to run. Adding in the shading, textures and foliage gives the graphics card more to process. Some of the top games such as these need a good system to run smoothly, with the graphics turned up.

Remember when looking up PC requirements for a game, the minimum is what it needs to LAUNCH, you’ll need more than that for it to run decently.

 


Getting the Most on a Budget

You don’t need a fortune to get your games up and running. Looking at the cost of Graphics Cards and CPU’s it can get overwhelming. As nice as it would be if you could, you can’t run every game in existence on a three-hundred-dollar computer that’s lived its life checking emails.

Refurbished parts are always a good option to consider when budgeting. People are upgrading constantly, getting new parts all the time since the market is always growing with newer technology. With so many people upgrading so often, refurbished parts aren’t too hard to come by and are more affordable than new parts. Do take caution when buying these parts, always ask about warranty.

Once you know what you want to do, you can find out what you need. Buying more than what is needed, and in turn over-spending is more common than it should be, since a lot of people don’t know what’s needed for what they want.

 

There are some parts of the PC will drain a budget.

The CPU is the best example, with the i7 being popular, but cost around two-hundred more than other chips. Graphics Cards also can put a dent in your pocket if you aren’t careful. Cards around five-hundred dollars, such as 1060 cards, will run a clear majority of current games. Sometimes yes, the graphics settings need to be turned down to up the frames.

 

Image result for pubg graphics menu

 

Graphics cards are a main factor with games, but it’s better to have a balanced build rather than a high-end graphics card in a basic build. Running the latest Graphics Card with 3 fans on a Power Supply made to power a basic motherboard and maybe one fan won’t work for long. Imagine trying to use one bicycle to get 5 people across town at once, it wouldn’t hold everyone!

 

Again, avoid overspending and get some different opinions before making a choice. You don’t need a $2,000 computer to play Minecraft.

 


 

What to Avoid

 

Gaming Laptops

Gaming laptops are something that are advertised and seen online a lot. It seems super cool at a glance- something that lets you play all your games and it’s portable! Well, when you look at one of these laptops, compare it to the size of a graphics card alone.

When it comes to the Graphics Cards, the actual card isn’t that big, it would fit into a laptop. But the fans that cool them down? No way. Some cards use THREE fans for cooling to make sure they don’t overheat. This is a very common problem in gaming laptops. Even with laptops in general, people leave them on their actual lap and block the vents on the bottom. Desktops have fans in them and vents, with room for air to move around, ensuring that the parts can keep cool.

Like friction on a tire, the faster and harder you ask a computer to run, the more it heats up. This is why gaming laptops, while they seem like a great idea, can turn sour.

 

Water Cooling

Water cooling is something that looks awesome, it’s a fantastic way to add a theme to your PC and amp up the aesthetic of it. However, they’re high maintenance and pricey to buy in the first place. Every six months, water cooling pipes need to be completely flushed out and cleaned, along with replacing the cooling liquid. This means disconnecting your computer completely and opening it, possibly even needing to pull it apart. Forgetting to clean them or even replace them after 12-18 months can lead to corrosion and damage to your computer. Between the cleaning, buying cleaning materials and coolant it becomes a lot of maintenance to have.

A suitable alternative to water cooling is LED lights. These can be into pretty much any of the hardware. And if having the pipes for the aesthetic is that important, clear or coloured pipes with LED’s in them look great and don’t need consistent cleaning.

 

 


Warranty

Buying new or used Gaming PC’s should always include some amount of warranty. Even Some things aren’t covered by warranty (not sure if you can get your money back if you hit your PC with a cricket bat) however faults with the product are always covered.

There are Two Types- Labour and Part Warranty. Labour covers the work done, for example if it was built for you, this would cover the way the machine was put together. This covers things like misplaced cables or RAM coming loose. Part Warranty involves separate parts from companies such as Gigabyte and Intel, and if a fault occurs with the actual product or it breaks, it’s covered.

 

Warranty may be void on a product if:

  • Machine overheats from lack of ventilation or dust
  • Damage from Lack of Care
  • Machine is opened or tampered with.

 


 

Thank you so much for reading! This is The Computer Guy’s weekly blog, where we post about different tips, ideas and advice to help everyday users! Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or share this post!

-The Computer Guy


 

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