PC gaming is growing much faster than console gaming around the world and India is no exception. The number of serious PC gamers in the country is growing at record speed. . They want their gaming rigs to be an extension of their individual personality and are demanding highly customised rigs with the cutting-edge features and looks they dream about. And they don’t mind spending a good amount of money and time to get these rigs made as per demand.
This trend has also resulted in an increasing number of professional rig makers, specialising in the gaming segment. These professionals are either individuals who themselves are hardware geeks, offshoots of System Integrator (SI) companies, or retailers that specialise in offering one-stop solutions to all the gaming sector needs.
Aravind Ananth (left) and Vaibhav Shetty, Fragging Monk
What the Hardcore Gamers Want
Just like the regular Indian PC users, gamers in India look at their systems as a long time investment, according to Vaibhav Shetty of Bengaluru-based Fragging Monk, which specialises in making gaming rigs.
“Most gamers who approach us want their rigs to give out good performance in terms of high FPS (Frames Per Second) with components that are powerful enough to not just run the current games but also those slated to be released over the next two years,” he said. Fragging Monk has built the rigs for LXG Cafe, one Bengaluru’s leading gaming destinations, and for their franchisees.
Sameer Jagtap of Pune-based PC retailer Havok Nation, who runs a gaming cafe in addition to making gaming rigs, agrees.
“Most gamers want their PCs to last up to three years, with no upgrades in the near future,” he said.
SameerJagtap (left) and Pramod Hambir of Havok Nation
During this time, gaming rigs should be the epitome of stability and reliability, with no reboots, BSODs (Blue Screen of Deaths) or crashes, said Mumbai-based Lee Pereira, who has been making high-end systems for many his friends who are gaming enthusiasts
At the same time these rigs need to give gamers the best gaming experience that the current generation technologies have to offer. This is where, according to them, GIGABYTE motherboards play a crucial role.
How GIGABYTE Motherboards Fit into the Gaming Scheme of Things
GIGABYTE motherboards are truly rugged and offer a seamless, powerful overclocking experience that gamers look forward to while competing to win, emphasised Fragging Monk’s VaibhavShetty.
These specialised gaming rig makers have been employing GIGABYTE motherboards on custom-built rigs over the years. Currently GIGABYTE motherboards based on the Intel® Z97 chipset for medium to high-end rigs, and the Intel® X99 chipset for the ultimate rigs, are the trend.“For most of the rigs we make nowadays, we use GIGABYTE X99-Gaming G1 motherboards,” said Vaibhav Shetty.
In India, Mother Nature can prove to be the ultimate challenge. Fierce storms can strain the power grids of cities, which are already under a heavy burden from a rapidly growing population. With GIGABYTE motherboards, gamers can ‘tan’ their system for hours regardless of India’s hot weather conditions, thanks to their high-quality Japanese Solid Capacitors and unique PCB design, said Pereira.
While the capacitors provide the essential reliability to meet the power needs of high-end users running demanding games, GIGABYTE’s 2X Copper PCB design provides sufficient power trace paths between components to handle greater than normal power loads. Heat is the enemy of computer components so to keep the heat in check GIGABYTE engineers have developed the industry’s most innovative design of heat sinks and heat pipes. These aid gamers at the basic level in their quest for getting extreme performance from their PCs.
For online gamers, ensuring latency remains low and gameplay stays smooth is of the highest importance – anything but the best could have deadly results. The Killer™ Intelligent Networking Platform from Rivet Networks, found on many GIGABYTE boards, automatically detects and steps up game traffic ahead of other network traffic for smoother, lag-free in-game performance. Its latest Sound Blaster software suite ensures the most powerful audio platform offering first-class audio quality, effects and features for gamers.
Technology-wise GIGABYTE gaming motherboards’ Killer E2200 Networks provide lag free gaming, and their Realtek HD Audio with audio amplifier provides crisp sounds,” said Pramod Hambir of Havok Nation.
It’s tough to find a gamer who would disagree.
“When you are competing hard, even a small loss of FPS or some type of lag would tremendously affect the playing capability or the streaming quality. The use of the GIGABYTE Gaming motherboards ensure that none of these problems arise,” added Aravind Ananth of Fragging Monk.
“Audiophiles around the world felt the PC could never be a source of a high-end audio system. GIGABYTE motherboards have technologies that support this, and have been proving them wrong with their focus on Hi-Fi audio technologies,” Pereira said, talking about the importance of audio for gamers. “For example, GIGABYTE motherboards’ new USB DAC-UP ports are like a dream come true for gamers.”
Motherboards Gaming Rig Makers Vouch for
The staff at Havok Nation comprises hardcore gamers and they only use the best. Their customers deserve the same which is why they recommend for their customers the GIGABYTE GA-B85-D3H motherboard for entry-level rigs; GA-H97-DS3H, GA-Z97X-Gaming 3 or GA-Z170X-Gaming 5 motherboards for mid-range rigs; and the GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI or GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 for high-end rigs. For both mid-range and high-end gaming rigs, Pereira has been vouching for GIGABYTE motherboards based on Intel chipsets. His preference is GA-Z170X-Gaming GT or GA-Z170X-UD5 TH for higher end rigs. For entry-level rigs, he prefers the AMD-based GA-970A-D3P motherboard.
Fragging Monk, meanwhile, suggests GIGABYTE motherboards based on the Intel® B85 chipset for low-end, Intel® H97 chipset for mid-range, and Intel® Z97 chipset for high-end rigs. For gamers who swear by AMD-based rigs they recommend GIGABYTE motherboards based on AMD 870, 970 and 990X chipsets for entry-level, mid-level and high-end rigs respectively.
The PC Configuration They Recommend
Fragging Monk’s Configuration for its ‘Shaolin’ range of Mid to High End Rig
• CPU: AMD FX-8350
• Motherboard: GIGABYTE motherboards based on AMD 990X chipset
• RAM: 8GB Corsair / Kingston
• HDD: WD 2TB
• GPU: GeForce GTX 970
• Cabinet: Cooler Master MasterCase
• PSU: Gold 600W
• CPU Liquid Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon or equivalent
Lee Pereira’s ‘Dream’ Configuration
• CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K
• Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA Z170X Gaming G1
• RAM: 16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800Mhz
• HDD: 240 GB Intel SSD, & 2TB WD Black Drive in RAID
• GPU: GeForce GTX 980Ti
• Cabinet: NZXT Phantom 820
• PSU: Corsair HX1000i
• CPU Liquid Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX
Havok Nation’s Recommendations for High End [4th Gen LGA 1150] Rig
• Procesor: Intel Core i7 4790 / 4790K
• Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z97X-Gaming 7
• RAM: G.SkillRipjawsX 16GB / 32GB DDR3 1866Mhz
• HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
• GPU: GIGABYTE GTX 970 G1 Gaming / GIGABYTE GTX 980 G1 Gaming 4 GB / Zotac GEFORCE GTX 980 AMP! / ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 4GB
• Cabinet: NZXT Phantom 530 / NZXT H440 / Corsair Obsidian 650D
• PSU: Corsair RM 650 / Seasonic SS-650KM III
• CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX / Deepcool Captain 240 [Recommended for overclocking with K series processor]
• SSD: ADATA XPG SX910 128GB / Samsung 850 Pro 120GB
Havok Nation’s Recommendations for High End [Haswell-E LGA 2011-V3] Rig
• CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K / 5930K
• Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-X99-Gaming G1 WiFi
• RAM: G.SkillRipjaws 4 / Ripjaws V 32GB DDR3 3000Mhz
• HDD : Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB
• GPU: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming / Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP!
• Cabinet: NZXT Phantom 630 / NZXT Phantom 820 / Corsair 780T
• PSU: Corsair RM 850 / Seasonic SS850KM III / Seasonic SS860 XP II
• CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX / Deepcool Captain 360 [Must for LGA 2011-V3]
• SSD: ADATA XPG SX910 512GB / Samsung 850 Pro 512GB
PC Gaming – The Way Forward
The PC gaming industry has witnessed a sharp upsurge in the last two years. A growing number of gamers have started preferring PC gaming to console gaming, with the growing demand for high graphics and 4K quality oriented gaming. Moreover, the PC can be upgraded as and when required, unlike the console wherein the user has to painfully wait for much time for next generation console launches. As a result you see a trend where gamers, depending on their levels of interests and inclinations, are ready to spend from Rs. 50,000 up to Rs. 5 lakh for a gaming rig that matches their personalities and performance needs.
And a matchless, performance-oriented, durable, and value-for-money motherboard surely fits perfectly in the current Indian gaming scheme of things.