PC gamers have always sought to have the best equipment so that they can play the latest games. This, of course, plays into the hands (and pockets!) of component and PC manufacturers. Once they have the equipment, they can then try to stretch it to the edge of its capabilities in order to provide a better experience. This has led to a complete sub-culture where patrons try to outdo each other on their PC builds, sometimes spending thousands of pounds for an exponentially small improvement in performance, but giving them bragging rights over their peers.
Of course technology tends to move so fast that within a week or two of their build going public, someone will have improved their design and posted slightly higher stats. This never ending battle to be king of the hill keeps some people busy for MONTHS at a time. And it doesn’t look like it will end any time soon!
There are countless websites devoted to hardware for your PC. They will sell you the latest graphics card or processor and tell you that you need it to compete in online gaming. The reality is that the PC you already have will likely run most games (it won’t play them all!) but it may do so very slowly, with very poor graphics rendering. This is where these sites know you will need to spend money to beef up your system. Generally people who go to mainstream shops and buy a PC need something that will browse the web and open emails for them. They may also want to watch Youtube videos and listen to Radio 4 but in general they won’t be doing anything too taxing.
PC gamers on the other hand tend to be a much more involved buyer. They will want a decent multi-core CPU with a low power draw. The GPU needs to be high end, with as many Petaflops as they can get for their money. Water cooling? That’s right, running water inside your expensive PC! The list of updatable components is not quite endless, but the number of iterations is. A low end gaming rig can be put together for a few hundred pounds, or you can splurge several thousands on a beast.
If you want to compete then you need to read up some more on the subject, and you also better have deep pockets!