iGaming has been a lucrative category in the gaming industry for a long time now, especially now that people have more time to play online. The NDP Group’s report even found that the iGaming market had grown by at least 30% during the early months of 2021 compared to last year.
And while there are several gaming categories that have led to iGaming’s success, one of the biggest contributors is the sudden—and continuous—increase in the number of online poker players. As a result, there have been more online poker tournaments, better prizes for the winners, and added support for its servers. If you were looking for an opportunity to start playing online poker, now is most definitely the time.
However, much like any other game, online poker has PC requirements that you need to meet if you want your games to run smoothly.
The CPU is the most important component in a PC, as it decides how fast your computer can run its applications. But your CPU choice is more crucial when building a PC for online poker—especially if you’re playing on a browser.
In fact, most, if not all, poker rooms that let players play online poker with real money are hosted on a browser. So, while they consume a lot of graphical resources, they borrow a lot of power from your CPU.
This is because connecting to global servers to play multi-table tournaments as well as Sit & Go tournaments eat up a lot of processing memory. This is why it’s recommended that your CPU is at least an upper mid-range one, like an Intel i5 core or AMD Ryzen 5.
The RAM works hand in hand with your CPU to determine how quickly your PC can run multiple processes at a time. The bigger the RAM is, the more processes your computer can run at a time, and browsers have many processes enabled in the background.
For example, if you have active plug-ins (like ad blockers) each one is a “process.” Each tab is also one “process.” In the case of online poker, the game and chat room are two separate processes. The game will struggle if you have more than two tabs open with very little RAM. To this end, we recommend at least 8 GB of RAM.
The GPU is responsible for loading the graphics on screen, although yours will only work hard if said graphics are run directly on non-browser software, like HD Poker on Steam. As aforementioned, the CPU carries most of the burden if the online poker platform is browser-based.
For anyone who plays browser online poker games, a budget GPU like the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti or an integrated one like the Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 are more than enough to run your games. Alternatively, for anyone playing software native online poker games should opt for a mid-range GPU like the NVIDIA GTX 1660.
However, there are some browser-based online poker rooms that could be graphics-heavy, like the ones that use 3D models like 888 Poker. In this case, a mid-range GPU will be more practical.
Every online gaming category has its own hardware specifications. For online poker, you should be focusing on the CPU and RAM as well as setting aside a decent budget for the GPU.