Every gamer wants a top of the line gaming PC to play all the AAA (best looking and the most hardware demanding) games to their heart’s content. But money does become a constraint at times and it is not possible to afford all the best hardware. But worry not, there are alternatives and it is possible to build PC that plays those AAA and AA games with decent graphics without breaking the bank.
Now, it is important to decide what exactly are the games that one wants to play and at what settings. Then one needs to decide what are the specs that they think will be able to play those. If you want to go a bit further and want to be future safe, would probably need to spend a bit more to make sure the hardware supports some soon to catch up technology and uses the present ones efficiently.
In this story, we are going to talk about building a basic and budget gaming PC which is enough to play AA, AAA and online multiplayer games in medium and high settings with some decent amount of frames per second(FPS). We will keep in mind that the components we are choosing for this PC will be recent.
The processor is the brain of the computer and is something around which you base your build around. Processing power is essential in rendering and processing them. But we must keep in mind that while making a gaming PC, processing power comes second to that of your graphics processing unit(GPU) or your graphics card. With that in mind, for a budget gaming PC, we can easily select on the 7th generation Intel processors like the Intel i3 7100, or the unlocked version of Intel i3 7350k which has a higher clock speed and better performance.
The i3 7350 costs a bit more than the i3 7100 but if we are to look for something that has a better price to performance ratio, the new AMD Ryzen 3 1300X can be considered. The Ryzen 3’s price is much closer to the i3 7100 with a performance that is slightly better than the i3 7350k. There are some minor trade-offs that we will mention as we go on.
As for the cooling of the processors, the i3 7100 would not need any special cooling, but it would be wise to invest in a decent air cooler for the unlocked Intel and especially the AMD card as they would produce some heat.
The motherboard is the skeleton of the PC and needs to be strong and have good software capabilities to do the job in the concerned case. For the Intel i3 processors, you can go for the MSI B250M Pro-VH which comes with one reinforced PCIe slot, 2 DDR4 RAM slots that can run a max of 32GB. As for the AMD one, the Prime A320M K seems like a good choice which supports one PCIe slot, 2 DDR4 RAMs with max 32GB.
The pricing for the MSI board is slightly higher than the Asus Prime one, though only by a small margin.
Investing in a good RAM is important because these are what buffer the game files and are one of the most used components. Though 8GB should be enough a decent 16GB combo of 2 8GB RAMs will improve load times quite a bit. I suggest the Corsair DDR4 2400MHz RAM from their Value Select collection. These would be more than enough for the games and is supported by both the Intel and AMD boards.
There was a time when games could fit into floppy drives worth 1.44MB, but those times are past and the average AAA game today occupies more than 20GB space each. Investing in 2TB hard drive like the WD Blue 2TB would be a wise choice.
Apart from hard drives, the other integral part of PC these days are SSD or Solid State Drives which are essentially evolved storage solutions with extremely high-speed read-write capabilities. A 120GB SSD like the WD Green would be useful to install Windows in and will drastically cut down the boot times.
Graphics Card or GPU
Now we come to the most important part of any gaming PC, the GPU. Let’s get this straight, we want to play games with the best possible graphics. Hence, keeping price point and performance in mind, the best option for a budget gamer right now would be a Nvidia GTX 1050 from companies like Zotac or Asus. Both companies have some decent pricing and build good quality cards.
If you are worried about the cooling issues and would want better FPS than what a GTX 1050 would provide you, without going up in the pricing too much. Then you could look at investing on a Nvidia GTX 1050 AMP Extreme edition. The AMP extreme card has better build and 3 fans which keep the CPU cooler and has a better build quality.
Power Supply Unit
Choosing an efficient PSU is important because if it is too low, the components of the PC will not be able to draw enough power and work inefficiently. A PSU with a voltage rating much higher than needed will only waste more electricity. So considering all the component options that we have chosen so far a Corsair CX500 would do the job just fine. Though if you are of a mind to improve the GPU and getter a better oen then I would suggest getting a Corsair CX600 just to be on the safe side.
A cabinet holds all the components inside it and needs to be strong enough to hold it all. The Corsair Carbide Series 100R is a decent one at a budget pricing which would be appropriate for out PC.
These components ought to make a decent budget gaming PC without pinching the pocket too hard and still give some decent perfromance.