Question from Glenda: I know this might be a dumb question but I’m really ignorant about things like this.
My son wants a gaming computer for his birthday but I want to get him a computer that he can use for schoolwork too.
My question is will a gaming PC do other things besides just play games? Things like let him type essays, view websites, use email and maybe edit pictures?
Rick’s answer: That isn’t a dumb question at all, Glenda. This issue is confusing for lots of people, in fact.
The short answer is yes, your son will be able to use his gaming computer for literally anything that a “regular” computer can be used for.
At its core, a gaming computer is just like any other computer. It has a CPU, temporary storage space (RAM), permanent storage space (hard drive and/or SSD) and input/output devices (mouse, keyboard, video monitor and speakers).
The difference is a gaming PC typically has a more powerful CPU and video card and (sometimes) more RAM and data storage space than a general purpose computer because many games tend to be so demanding of hardware resources.
Think of a “regular” computer as an economy-class Chevy and a gaming computer as a “muscle car”.
Both of those vehicles will get you where you need to go, but the muscle car has the potential to get you there a lot faster.
If you just need to drive around town and take an occasional road trip, the Chevy will do just fine. But if you plan to do any kind of racing you’re going to have a much better chance of being successful if you drive a muscle car.
However, you can use the muscle car to drive around town and take road trips just like you can with the Chevy.
Bottom line: If you’re inclined to give your son a gaming PC for his birthday, I say go for it. He’ll be able to use it for playing games in his leisure time, plus use it for his schoolwork as needed.
You’ll find a great selection of gaming desktop PCs and gaming laptops at Amazon when you get ready to buy one for your son. You can also get them locally at Best Buy or most any place where computers are sold.