Do you actually need a gaming PC to play games?

Gaming is often said to be an expensive hobby, and not just because of the high prices of games these days. Most people say that if one is serious about gaming, then they should own a gaming PC. It helps to boost the enjoyment of playing games and also run said games well. In fact, some popular games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin Creed series and more are rather graphically demanding. They require good processing power as well. All this can be solved with the purchase of a gaming PC.

However, is it true that you need a gaming PC to play games? Can’t other types of PCs and laptops be used to play games? In this article, we discuss the importance of gaming PCs in providing gaming enjoyment and the alternatives to gaming PCs should you not be able to afford a good one.

Why gaming PCs?

Why gaming PCs? For non-gamers and casual gamers, the significance of owning a gaming PC just to play games is often lost on them. Most simply do not see the need for gaming PCs in order to run popular titles such as Fortnite, Valorant etc. However, to hardcore gamers, gaming PCs are often seen as the most important device needed to run their favourite games.


They are not without reason. Most popular AAA games these days are very graphically demanding. With the likes of Elden Ring, Cyberpunk 2077, Diablo IV, gaming PCs would be the optimal choice for serious gamers. They are able to place graphic cards that can handle the graphic demands of such games inside their gaming PCs due to the high customizability of those PCs. In fact, as we have explained in our other articles, gaming PCs are popular with gamers because of their customizability. It allows for gamers to place any components in their gaming PCs to handle the games that they wish to play.


Processing power is important too. Certain games, such as open-world ones, tend to require good processing power due to the large amounts of data that need to be processed for the game to run well. Hence, gaming PCs are often the choice for gamers because, well again, the customizability aspect of it allows gamers to choose their desired processors to run their games smoothly. It presents choices for gamers, which is something that other options such as laptops would not allow.

What are gaming PCs?

Image taken from Volta PC. This is one of the pre-built gaming PCs that we sell here at Volta PC.

Image taken from Volta PC.

What makes a PC a gaming PC? According to Vibox, a gaming PC is a computer that is ‘designed and optimized for playing video games’. This means that most components in gaming PCs are meant to produce good framerates for gaming. For instance, Intel’s latest 13th Gen processor chips are benchmarked via games and are determined to be one of the strongest gaming chips in the market. This means that there are specific components in the tech market that are directed towards gamers. This makes up a good gaming PC.

Can you play games without a gaming PC?

Does this mean that you cannot play your favourite games well without a gaming PC? In 2023, this might not be the case. There are alternatives to gaming PCs that you can look at. We’ll be discussing 2 of the main alternatives; gaming laptops and productivity PCs.

Gaming laptops

It is no surprise that the first alternative we thought of are gaming laptops. Gaming laptops, true to their name, have been created for the main purpose of running games. In our article here, we discussed about the differences between gaming laptops and gaming PCs. Depending on your priorities and workflow, the choice might be different. In 2023, gaming laptops are just as, if not more, powerful than certain gaming PCs. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the power of your gaming PC depends on the components inside. This is the same for gaming laptops. The only differences are in the price and portability.


Gaming laptops are known to be more expensive than gaming PCs with similar components. But with the right configurations, you can definitely play games on them as well. So, gaming PCs are not the only devices on which you can play games. Nowadays, gaming laptops are equipped with components that push their gaming performance benchmarks beyond normal laptops. Hence, many popular game titles such as Cyberpunk 2077, Valorant, Fortnite etc. can now be played comfortably on gaming laptops. On the downside, you’ll most likely have to pay a premium to get a gaming laptop that contains the high-end processors and graphics card.


Gaming laptops are portable. Gaming PCs are not. This is a huge difference between the 2 device types. Gaming laptops provide an alternative for gamers who want to play games when they travel. So, if you’re a gamer looking to travel on the go, chances are that you should be looking at gaming laptops instead of gaming PCs. So, gaming laptops is a great alternative to gaming PCs, especially if you’re gaming on the go. While the price might be a little daunting, it can be considered as a worthy trade-off if portability is high on your list.

Looking to do more research before purchase? Check out our article to find out more about whether a gaming laptop or gaming PC suits you more. Also, if you’re worried about gaming laptops being too heavy for you to bring while travelling, check out this article here to find out more. If you’re a student looking to invest in a gaming laptop to balance both studies and gaming, check out this article here.

Productivity PCs

Some might think this to be a strange alternative to gaming PCs. After all, productivity PCs rarely have ‘gaming’ components inside them, thus not allowing them to hit high gaming performances. However, most games today are actually playable on PCs with decently low specs. This includes productivity PCs.

For example, according to Riot Games, the recommended ‘playable’ specs for Valorant (60 FPS) is Intel 4th Gen i3-4150 and GeForce GT 730 with 4GB of RAM. According to Onsiteg, the recommended specs for a good productivity PC is to have a minimum 6-core and recent processor, a ‘2018 or newer mid-range or high-range’ GPU and 16GB or higher DDR4 RAM. The Intel i3-4150 has 2 cores and the GeForce GT 730 was released in 2014. Hence, as we can see, a productivity PC of this level can handle Valorant’s demands with ease. Another popular shooter game, Overwatch, has recommended specs of Intel i5 or equivalent, GeForce GTX 660 and 6 GB RAM, according to Nvidia. The base Intel i5 series chip has 4 cores, GTX 660 was released in 2012 (even older). Your productivity PC can handle Overwatch with ease as well, it seems.

How about open-world games? As we have mentioned earlier, open-world games, due to their large game world, require high graphics power and processing speed to run smoothly at 60 FPS. Let’s test it out. A popular open-world game, the Witcher 3, has recommended specs of Intel 7th Gen i5-7400/AMD Ryzen 5 1600, GTX 1070 and 8GB RAM. The i5-7400 has 4 cores, Ryzen 5 1600 has 6 cores (close shave there). Nvidia’s GTX 1070 was released in 2016. Here we can see that Onsiteg’s recommended specs for a productivity PC is still holding up against open-world games.


In this article, we have discussed about the perceived importance of gaming PCs for gamers. However, does this mean that gaming PCs are a necessary condition to be achieved before playing games? Of course not. We have offered 2 viable alternatives; gaming laptops and productivity PCs. These are options that people might not have thought of when they think of playing games. We hope that you have taken away relevant and important information from reading this article.

Should you still wish to own a gaming PC after this, Volta PC offers custom-built PC services, and 3 pre-built models; Models V, T and A. Alternatively, should you now wish to get yourselves a gaming laptop, we have options here for your perusal. Otherwise, if you need to buy PC parts to build your own PC or PC peripherals, check out our catalogue here. Happy gaming!

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