Whether you’re already a fan of online casino games, or you’re someone who’s just starting out, it’s important to have the right equipment if you want to have a good gaming experience. Here are the different types of hardware you’ll need to enjoy playing online.
What equipment do you need to play casino games online?
The first area of hardware you should look at is the way that your device connects to the internet, because no matter how powerful it is, if your internet connection is poor, your gaming experience could be terrible, or you might be unable to play games entirely. Once you have the right internet hardware – such as a good router that connects your device(s) to the internet – you then need to look at the hardware you would need to play the games themselves, whether that’s a computer, mobile device, or both.
Before you can start playing online games, it’s important to have a stable internet connection that supports online gaming. It’s also worth checking your internet speed – there are many websites that can do this for you – to make sure it’s going to be fast enough for your needs.
Depending on your circumstances, you may have more or less control over how stable or reliable your connection is. For example, if you are renting an apartment with an internet service included, it may not be possible to switch your internet service provider (ISP). Or you may be living in an area that is only serviced by one ISP or has an array of providers, all of which offer a poor service. Or you may be reliant on a mobile provider with poor coverage in your area. In these and other cases, there may not be a hardware solution to address your problem if the service provision itself is the issue.
If you do have a greater degree of control over how you get online from home, the most important device is your router. There is a wide range of choices when it comes to these devices, but for most people, the most important thing to look for is the router’s ability to provide a stable Wi-Fi network across your entire home that can seamlessly connect to the ISP you’ve chosen to use. More advanced users who have some experience setting up their own computing devices may want to look for routers that offer traffic management or quality of service (QoS) tools. You’ll need to consider how many people in your household wish to be online at the same time and how much bandwidth everyone needs for what they want the internet for.
Failure to take these key factors into account could negatively affect your internet experience. For example, a router that doesn’t offer high-speed Wi-Fi may manage blisteringly fast and stable speeds close to the router, but a slower and more unstable connection in another part of your home (note: there are various ways of boosting the signal). For the more digitally savvy, traffic management or QoS will allow you to prioritize how your home network handles internet traffic. Without these features, online gamers may find games are slow or unresponsive because their internet connection is affected by bandwidth-hungry services such as streaming video that other people in your household may be using.
What to look for in a router
Choosing the right router also means that you’ll be able to have a fun time even if you have a fiber or DSL connection that’s on the slower side. Generally speaking, online games are more about the stability of your connection, the hardware that provides it, and where the game servers are, than they are about pure bandwidth. What this means is that someone with a 10Mbps internet connection and the right router might have a better time gaming than someone with 100Mbps and the wrong router.
There are dozens of options to consider, so when purchasing a router, look for a device that supports 5GHz/AC1200 Wi-Fi, and ideally offers traffic management or QoS features. Routers that provide these features can be found for as little as $60, but you may need to spend more, depending on how many people in your household use the internet or how big your home is. Some of the most high-end routers can go for as much as $450. Bear in mind that it’s the router, together with the actual internet service you access with it, that will provide your connection, so try to get the two working together really well before you start.
Once you have a stable internet connection to provide you with a fun online casino games experience, you then need the right hardware to play on, whether that’s a computer or mobile device. Your choice of hardware can mean the difference between a buttery-smooth gaming experience, or one that is playable, but a bit on the choppy side. Let’s explore the specifications for computer hardware, before we take a look at mobile devices.
While many people may not know the difference between AMD and Intel, dual-core or quad-core, or a CPU and a GPU, the good news is for online casino games you don’t really need to. Many of today’s entry-level computers, whether they’re laptops or desktops, provide enough horsepower to run most gambling games. Even if you can only shop at a place like Walmart or Target, you are still likely to find a cheap computer that can run your favorite online casino games.
However, just because these games run, that doesn’t mean the experience will be ideal, or, in some cases, fun to play. That’s why we’ve put together a brief breakdown of what to look for in a desktop or laptop computer.
What to look for in a desktop or laptop
When buying a Mac, desktop computer, or getting a PC built for you, these are the hardware specifications we’d recommend to deliver a reasonably good experience:
- A minimum of a quad-core processor – an AMD Ryzen 2200G (which features integrated graphics), AMD Ryzen 3300X, or Intel Core i3-10100 (which also features integrated graphics) will be fast enough for the majority of people who want to play gambling games. Apple Macs with a Core i5 processor or M1 chip will also provide more than enough speed. The only exception is if you’re buying a much older second-hand Mac with an older i5 chip, which may only come with a dual-core processor.
- A minimum of 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM – while most online gambling games don’t need above 4 gigs of RAM to run, if you want your computer to continue running smoothly while playing games, a minimum of 8GB is recommended. This is especially important since operating systems and web browsers are using increasing amounts of memory to run. If purchasing a Mac instead, you should still try to find a machine with 8GB of RAM.
- Integrated graphics or entry-level stand-alone graphics card – when it comes to graphics, two of the three processors that we recommended have enough speed to run online gambling games. If you prefer a stand-alone graphics solution, just about any graphics card will do, so look at what suits your budget as well as your other gaming needs. Macs come pre-built and will feature graphics cards or built-in graphics that are suitable for gambling games.
- Choose an SSD as your main storage drive – speed-wise, even the fastest traditional hard drives struggle to keep up with budget solid-state drives (SSDs). If you can, make sure your desktop computer has an SSD as its primary storage device, as this will speed up the majority of things you do on your computer. Again, budget is the main factor here – you get what you pay for. Also, people should be aware that while SSDs are much faster, they are usually smaller, so a combination of an SSD and a regular hard drive is best for the perfect mix of speed and storage space.
If you’re interested in casino gaming on a mobile device, there are a lot of different hardware specifications you can look out for, but generally speaking, the more expensive the phone, the faster the hardware powering it. While this idea does also apply to desktop computers to some degree, it’s entirely possible to customize an affordable PC that plays gambling games well, while you can’t customize the hardware in most mobile devices.
So instead of going into excessive detail about hardware specifications, here’s one simple rule to follow: if you spend at least $400 on a new iPhone, $300 on a new iPad (if you can find the right deal), $250 on a new Android phone, or $230 on a new Android tablet, you should be purchasing a device that offers you very reasonable performance when using a casino games app.
Play all your favorite casino games online with BetMGM
Whether you prefer to play on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, it’s important to know that your hardware (and internet connection/service) is up to the task of handling both old and new casino games. Once you’ve made sure that it is, you need to choose an online casino that has all the games you enjoy and that offers great casino odds – an online casino like BetMGM.
At BetMGM, you can enjoy a wide variety of gaming experiences with great casino odds on your devices. If you enjoy playing games live at a casino online, be sure to check out our live-dealer games. If you want to strike it big, try out the jackpot slots at our casino. A fan of table games like craps and roulette? We have dozens of games for you to choose from.
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