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Does gaming on a standard PC mess it up after a period of time or is it a myth?

By secretassasin69 · 18 replies
Mar 22, 2011
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  1. Basically my friend told me that gaming on a pc can mess it up but I am not sure if that's true please help me


    By the way i have a AMD Phenom x3 processorwith 4 gb ram and nvidia Geforce 9300 GE graphics
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    That depends on what you mean by "mess it up". Gaming is the most intensive operation there is short of a burn in test a la' Furmark , OCCT, and the like. As such it produces much more heat than cruising the web or doing your taxes.. It's a lot like using a car. If you put 20k miles a year on it, it may only last 10 years as opposed to 20 years if you only drive it 10k miles a year. If you take care to make sure that you are not overheating the components while gaming, It will last longer than your use for it. (unless you keep your machines for more than 8-10 years. This of course assumes that you are making use of decent quality components. A poor quality PSU for example can bring things to a screeching halt prematurely however, I suspect that is not what your friend meant. So technically, yes gaming messes it up. But then so does turning it on and browsing the web, just slower. The things that kill a PC as a practical matter are heat and inefficient power delivery/regulation. If you take care with both of those, It will last longer than you want it around.
    Hope that helped.
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,979   +71

    If anyone knows about gaming and PC's it is red1776.

    As he rightly points out quality parts will take you a long way. I'm still using my old socket 939 PC system for gaming and it is about 6 years old. It still works quite fine even after all the gaming I have done. Why? because the parts I choose were/are good.
  4. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    No. The answer is an absolute: He is wrong.
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    As red said, "It depends"
    Firstly on how intensive the use is, secondly the amount of electrical current flowing through the system components, and third...pure dumb luck of the draw.
    For the normal lifespan of a system -i.e. changing the setup before it becomes the object of derision from friends and young family members, you shouldn't have too much to worry about.
    Overclocking system components can (and will) shorten lifespans. By how much largely depends on component build quality and current draw/cycling.

    For a more in concise answer...
    Electricity (current) moving through a circuit is known as electron migration. Over time atoms in the circuit move due to the current flow (analogy would be rocks in a river or soil erosion) out of position causing weakening of smaller components (transistor and power gates in CPU's are a prime example). These effects are known as electromigration and hot carrier degradation and are well documented.
    So it becomes very much a case of "your mileage may vary". The more voltage (and hence current) you add to the CPU, GPU, motherboard chipset and voltage regulation of board and graphics -the smallest components handling the highest amperage-would tip the argument in favour of your friends viewpoint, although I would stress that under normal conditions these processes take years to manifest.
    I would also add, that quality of materials used in the system components (everything from solder quality to copper and other metal/alloy purity) is probably more significant to keeping these effects at bay than a slight voltage/amperage increase in the system.

    [wiki page for electromigration][wiki page concerning hot carrier degradation]

    Must be time for recess...
  6. secretassasin69

    secretassasin69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 61

    thanks i was pretty sure that my pc might be able to cope
  7. secretassasin69

    secretassasin69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Well i put up my pc specs please tell me if that would be suitable for running black ops with a gamepad/controller
  8. secretassasin69

    secretassasin69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 61

    yh thanks for your advice i edited the original post with my pc specs please tell me if that would be ideal for a bit of casual gaming thanks again
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Depending upon the screen resolution, I wouldn't think 9300 level graphics are going to offer the primo gaming experience for CoD:Black Ops. Just a guess on my part.
    It pretty much depends on your screen res, what your expectations are, and if they are not met-what kind of budget you can afford (if any) to get closer to what you want.
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    I always burned on this when the person comes back and says "it works fine!...I'm getting 10 FPS, nice and smooth!" so....unless you find 10 FPS acceptable and consider it playable, gaming will be a very low resolution and low detailed affair. For the cost of a $100+/- card like the 4850 or gs 250, you can get a huge boost in performance. at least here in the states. If you want to share with us your favorite online retailer, we can narrow the search a bit.


  11. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Your video card isn't really meant for gaming, even on a casual level with modern games imo. If you are interested in purchasing something that can handle modern games better, could you please answer a few questions?

    What resolution do you plan to game at?
    What type of budget are you working with?
    Are you able to purchase from an online vendor?
    What is your current power supply?

    The two video cards linked by Red should work well for some casual gaming even at their age.

    Regarding the gamepad, I don't see why you should have issues. I personally have used a one without problems on much older hardware.
  12. krusty

    krusty TS Rookie

    It can mass your computer, but not nearly is Internet.
    If u'r really worried just don't install a browser :)
  13. stylestrauss

    stylestrauss TS Rookie

    Mess up

    It does not mess up your comp but the files generated over time do cause problems.
  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    No. not per se- but gaming does tax the system and generate a lot of heat. If you have a decent rig with a very good graphics card, adequate cooling, then you shouldn't have a problem. If you have an el cheapo system, then it will run hot and/or underpowered and you could burn the system out early. As a rule of thumb, store bought off-the-shelf systems generally aren't designed for gaming. They're built for mom and pop and students to do productivity which is a low powered, unintensive activity.

    Will it mess up your files? Just about any software has the potential to corrupt your files over time, but if you practice good housekeeping, do registry repairs and house keeping software like CCleaner, you shouldn't have issues.

    Heck- I have more problems on my xbox, which is a dedicated gaming device than I do on my power rig computer I recently built.
  15. secretassasin69

    secretassasin69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 61

    actually sometime in the future i plan to build the Enthusiast's PC in the TS Desktop Buying PC guide
  16. secretassasin69

    secretassasin69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 61

    well actually i was gonna build the Enthusiast's PC in the TS desktop PC buying guide
  17. secretassasin69

    secretassasin69 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 61

    What do you think of my rig is it an el cheapo or a decent one.:eek:

    and how can i perform registary repairs
  18. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Posts: 233   +59

    agreed , i wouldnt fancy gaming with a 9300 , would be a struggle and look horrible. Especially when you can buy a half decent card fro a reasonable price these days
  19. gobbybobby

    gobbybobby TS Guru Posts: 549   +9

    naa man Gaming donn't mess your PC up, sure it puts the components under some pressure but bah thats what they are designed for! My £400 <£500 with OS> rig. GTS 250 AMD phenom9550X4 2.2 GHz (overclocked to 2.5Hgz) 640Gb standered hardrive. foxconn mobo wtill going strong after 2 years with Vista ultimate, countless games like JC2 Unreal 3, I mean in the summer when its hot and sticky I played Unreal 3 for like 10 hours striaght and I never had a problem with it other than having to once fiddle with a loose RAM stick

    I mean I left the thing on for Days at a time when downloading large files on my Uber slow 1meg broadband connection.

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