Small Form Factor Gaming

Several months ago I set a challenge for myself, build a small form factor system with a low wattage power supply to play modern titles at decent video settings. The goal was to use a low profile video card, modern components, and keep things as quiet as possible.

Our Favorite Games: Heroes of Newerth

Heroes of Newerth (HoN) is a free-to-play Action Real-Time Strategy (ARTS)-style game loosely modeled after the classic Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III, and it’s currently one of my favorite games. ARTS games have a top-down view similar to an RTS (eg. Age of Empires, Warcraft, Starcraft) but emphasize single-unit development and de-emphasize base building. Each person starts with control of a single unit or ‘hero’, and often controls only that unit for the entirety of the game. Teams compete in 3v3 or 5v5 games usually lasting 30-60 minutes depending on game mode.

Gaming Computers: Its All About Balance

We sell all sorts of computers here at Puget Systems, and one of the more popular requests is for a gaming computer. In fact, we have designed one of our main brands around gaming – the Puget Deluge is an excellent system to consider for a gaming rig. Some gamers come to us already knowing what specs they want, but others are seeking more detailed guidance on what processor, video card, and other components to go with. The exact advice we give depends on the situation: the sorts of games they are interested in, the screen resolution they plan to run, their budget, and other preferences. However, a lot of that advice can be distilled down into the following basic principles.

Gaming Performance with Dual Monitors

Many of the computers we sell here at Puget Systems will be used for playing games, and we also get a lot of folks wanting to run two (or more) monitors. Sometimes those goals intersect, and in those situations I have had people ask if they needed to get a second video card so that using additional monitors will not impact their performance for gaming. I myself use two monitors here at work, which has been a great improvement in usability, but I don’t play games in the office. Because of that I’ve had to fall back on anecdotal evidence when this topic comes up, and make educated guesses depending on individual scenarios. Rather than continue in that approach, though, I wanted to get hard numbers to support my advice.