Get the Most from your Online Poker Play with the Right Computer Setup
Just about everyone owns a computer system these days. If you want to play online poker, it’s the first of many requisites on the list. For serious grinders, however, choosing the best system setup is paramount to an affable streaming experience.
Online poker players have enough frustrations to deal with already. Having an inadequate computer system that can’t keep up with your level of gameplay will only mount those frustrations. Not only can a slow or unresponsive system cause a player to miss out on opportunities, it can throw them into tilt mode, resulting in rash and expensive decisions. Therefore buying the right online poker computer setup is essential.
Desktop or Laptop; Monitor Size?
The first thing you’ll want to decide is whether your needs would be best met by a desktop or laptop computer. Both can offer the necessary system requirements to run online poker software seamlessly, but a desktop gives you the freedom to choose a separate monitor that’s appropriately sized.
Serious grinders are driven by multi-tabling. The more multi-tabling you intend to do, the larger screen size you’ll want to purchase to ensure ease of visibility when tiling tables.
If you need a system that can travel with you, a laptop is the obvious choice. The 21” variety can be bulky, not to mention pricey, but necessary. On the other hand, if you’ll do the majority of your grinding from home, a desktop PC can be equipped with much larger monitors with higher resolution.
When selecting a monitor, you can easily go up to 27” or more, but make sure the resolution is high enough to match the size. HD is a must, and if your budget allows, go for the 4k resolution. If not, a minimum 1920 x 1080p is recommended.
Windows or Mac?
I’ve been a devout Windows fan all my life, but I know Mac users who swear by their operating system of choice. Since all of the top online poker sites provide optimized platforms for both, I would recommend sticking with what you are already familiar with.
The system features are the most important aspect of all, and for this reason I highly encourage readers to spend plenty of time shopping around before choosing the right computer system. You will need a fast enough processor, adequate hard drive, plenty of RAM and, most importantly, a quality graphics card.
Processors: The Inlet Pentium i7 processor is top of the line these days, but it’s also the most expensive and not necessary for online poker grinders. An i5 core should suffice just fine. Avoid generic models.
Hard Drive: There are two types of hard drives you’ll come across when shopping for a good computer system – the standard Hard Drive (HD) and the newer Solid State Hard Drive (SSHD). Purchasing a system with an SSHD is going to cost some extra money, but in my opinion, is worth the added expense. They are faster, much more stable and boot up the system in mere seconds.
RAM: The Random Access Memory (RAM) is the part of a computer that holds onto previously accessed information so that you can pull it back up without reloading it all over again. Generally speaking, online poker players don’t need too much RAM, but if you intend to run multiple applications, the more RAM you have, the faster your system will operate. 8-16GB of RAM should do the job just fine.
Graphics Card: Don’t get stingy when it comes to your graphics card. You can load up with top of the line processor, SSHD and superfluous amounts of RAM, but it won’t do you any good with an inferior graphics card. The NVIDIA GTX 970 and 980 cards are a bit pricey, but well worth it. You can snag the AMD RADEON R9 380 for around $220, and it’s not a bad deal if you’re on a tight budget, but if you can swing it, shell out the extra cash for the GTX 970.
Note: If you choose an HD 4k monitor, make sure your graphics card supports it.