The importance of budget gaming PCs cannot be overstated. Indeed, the goal is achieving optimal performance without breaking the bank. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through building a budget gaming PC. We’ll help you get the most bang for your buck.
1. Setting Your Budget for your Gaming PC
To set your budget and goals for a gaming PC, start by evaluating your financial priorities and deciding how much you’re willing to spend. Consider both short-term and long-term financial goals.
When determining your price range, consider factors such as the type of games you play, desired performance, and your overall financial situation. For instance, if you play demanding AAA games and want smooth performance at 1080p, you may need a budget closer to $1,000.
Next, define your performance expectations, such as the desired resolution (e.g., 1080p, 1440p) and frame rate (e.g., 60fps, 144fps). Keep in mind that higher resolutions and frame rates often require more expensive components.
It’s essential to strike a balance between your gaming preferences and financial priorities. Think about what trade-offs you’re willing to make to achieve your desired performance level. For example, you might opt for a slightly less powerful GPU to save money, knowing that you can still achieve satisfactory gaming performance at lower settings.
2. Prioritizing Components
Prioritizing components in a budget gaming desktop build is essential for achieving the best performance while staying within your budget constraints. The concept of prioritization involves organizing tasks or components based on their importance or value. In the context of building a gaming PC, prioritization means focusing on components that significantly impact gaming performance and allocating more budget to them.
When prioritizing components, consider their value versus the effort or cost required to obtain them. For a gaming PC, components like the GPU and CPU should be prioritized, as they greatly influence gaming performance. Allocate more budget to these components, ensuring that you choose the best options within your financial constraints.
On the other hand, it’s essential to identify components that may have a lesser impact on performance and can be allocated less budget. For instance, aesthetics such as custom case lighting or premium cases can be considered lower-priority items, as they don’t directly influence gaming performance.
By properly prioritizing components in your budget gaming PC build, you can achieve a balance between performance and cost.
3. Scouring the Used Market for Second-Hand Parts
The shift from buying new to supporting reuse, repair, and resale is gaining momentum. The growing second-hand market provides ample opportunities for finding cost-effective used components for your gaming PC.
To find reliable second-hand parts, consider reputable online platforms and local classifieds. Always check the seller’s reputation, reviews, and ratings to ensure a positive experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, request additional pictures, or even negotiate the price.
When buying used parts, there are potential risks. To minimize them, verify the condition and functionality of the component before purchasing. Additionally, inquire about any warranty or return policies in case issues arise. If possible, test the component in person or request a video demonstration to ensure it’s working correctly.
Stay vigilant for scams and be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true. Research the average price of the part you’re looking for to avoid overpaying or getting scammed. By following these tips, you can confidently navigate the used market and find quality second-hand components.
4. Reusing Parts from Old PCs
Reusing parts from old PCs can be an effective way to save money and make the most of your existing hardware. Here are some components you can consider reusing:
- Case and Fans: If you have a high-quality case that’s still in good condition, it’s an excellent candidate for reuse. Proper airflow is crucial for a PC, so make sure the fans are functioning well and are not too noisy.
- Power Supply Unit (PSU): If your old PSU is still in working order and provides enough wattage for your new build, you can reuse it. However, if it’s more than a few years old or doesn’t meet your new build’s power requirements, consider upgrading to a more efficient model.
- Hard Drives and SSDs: You can reuse hard drives and SSDs if they are still functional and have adequate storage capacity. However, keep in mind that drives can degrade over time, so it’s essential to monitor their health and back up data regularly.
- Peripherals: Reusing peripherals like monitors, keyboards, mice, and speakers can help save money when building a new PC. Ensure they are compatible with your new system and meet your requirements in terms of performance and functionality.
By reusing and repurposing old components, you can save money, reduce electronic waste, and give new life to your old hardware.
5. Budget Component Recommendations
If you’re building a gaming PC on a budget, you’ll want to choose a CPU that offers great performance without breaking the bank. Here are some top picks according to reputable tech websites:
PC Gamer recommends the Intel Core i5-13400F as the best budget CPU for gaming in 2023.
On the other hand, VideoGamer suggests the Intel Core i3-12100F as the best budget CPU under $150. They also recommends the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X as the best overall budget CPU. However, we suggest that for an additional $30, you may consider stretching your budget to opt for the Intel Core i3-13600F.
Tom’s Hardware recommends the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G as the best cheap CPU for gaming, while the Intel Core i5-13600K and AMD Ryzen 5 7600X are great mid-range options.
In sum, a good budget CPU for gaming can fall within the $200-$300 price range. At this price point, you can expect to find CPUs with performance and features that can handle most modern games with ease.
Here are some top picks according to reputable tech websites:
According to Tom’s Hardware, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super is the top pick for a budget GPU for gaming, delivering impressive performance for its price. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, the GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G is an option to consider. While it is slightly older and less powerful than the GTX 1660 Super, it comes with a lower price tag. It doesn’t have the faster memory and higher boost clock speeds found on the Super, though.
- Gigabyte GeForce® GTX 1660 OC 6G$329.00 w/GST
On the other hand, TechRadar suggests the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT as a great mid-range GPU that offers excellent performance for 1080p and 1440p gaming, with a reasonable price tag. Besides, we also suggests the AMD Radeon RX 6600. It is also a budget graphics card, is a slightly less powerful version of the RX 6600 XT. It’s a good option for those on a tighter budget who still want solid performance for 1080p gaming.
Additionally, if you consider the under $300 budget, the MSI Radeon RX 6500 XT MECH 2X 4G OC could be a good option to consider. It features a solid cooling system and overclocking potential.
PC Gamer recommends the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 as a great mid-range GPU that offers great performance and is well-suited for 1440p gaming, while still being relatively affordable.
Ultimately, the best budget GPU for gaming will depend on your specific needs and budget. Be sure to consider factors such as your desired resolution, the types of games you want to play, and your preferred graphics settings. Do your research and compare prices and performance to find the best option for you.
Choosing the right RAM is crucial to ensure smooth and responsive gameplay. Fortunately, there are many options to choose from. According to several articles, the following are the best RAM options for a budget custom PC:
It is important to note that the choice of RAM may also depend on the type of CPU and motherboard you have. Aim for at least 16GB of RAM. DDR4 memory is ideal for budget gaming PCs. Before making a purchase, it is important to check the compatibility of the RAM with your system.
G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3600 (CL16) – This RAM is a great option for budget gaming destops, with a relatively low cost and excellent performance. It offers a speed of 3600MHz and a low CAS latency of 16.
A 256GB or 512GB SSD offers both speed and affordability. Alternatively, a 1TB HDD provides more storage at a lower price.
According to various sources, some of the best options include the WD BLACK SN850X 1TB, Samsung 990 Pro 1TB M.2 NVMe Gen4, and Crucial P3 1TB M.2 NVMe 3D. Other good options are the WD Black SN770 1TB M.2 NVMe Gen4 and the SK hynix Platinum. The Crucial P3 is a particularly good value for its capacity and write speed.
- Samsung 990 PRO NVMe PCIe Gen.4 1TB$252.00 w/GST
Choose a reliable PSU with at least 80 PLUS Bronze certification. A PSU that has been recommended by some sources is the Cooler Master MWE 550 Bronze. This PSU is affordable and provides stable power to a gaming PC, making it a good option for those on a budget.
- Seasonic S12III-550W 80+ Bronze Power Supply Unit$89.00 w/GST
- MSI MAG A650BN 80+ Bronze 650W Power Supply Unit (5Y)$99.00 w/GST
- Cooler Master MasterWatt 550W Semi-Fanless Modular 80+ BRONZE Certified Power Supply Unit$99.00 w/GST
- Cooler Master MasterWatt 650W Semi-Fanless Modular 80+ BRONZE Certified Power Supply Unit$119.00 w/GST
It is important to note that when selecting a power supply for your budget gaming PC, you should ensure that it provides enough power to run all your components efficiently. Also, it’s a good idea to choose a PSU from a reputable brand such as Cooler Master or MSI.
Select a motherboard that is compatible with your chosen CPU, GPU, and RAM. Ensure it has the necessary features and expansion slots to accommodate your needs.
One option that is frequently recommended is the Asus TUF Gaming X570. This motherboard is our top choice for the best AM4 motherboard on the market due to its competitive price point. It has advanced cooling functionality rarely seen at this side of the pricing spectrum. It offers a range of features such as support for PCIe 4.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity, making it a great choice for a budget gaming PC.
For those with an AMD processor, the best budget X570 motherboard is the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4. It provides great performance and features at an affordable price.
6. Building and Assembling Your Budget Gaming PC
You will need at minimum seven essential components: a graphics card (GPU), a processor (CPU), memory (RAM), storage (SSD or HDD), a power supply unit (PSU), a motherboard, and a case. When building a budget custom PC, it’s crucial to balance performance and cost to achieve the best results without overspending. PC Gamer offers a guide for a budget desktop build that can run most new games at 60fps at 1080p on high settings.
If you lack expertise in building PCs, it’s recommended to choose a custom gaming PC provider like VOLTA PC. These providers typically offer a built-in feature on their website that allows you to select the parts you desire. Most importantly, they will handle the assembly for you.
7. Optimizing Your Gaming PC
Once you have assembled your budget gaming PC, it’s essential to optimize its performance. Some general steps to optimize your gaming PC include:
- Update your GPU drivers: Keeping your graphics card drivers up-to-date can significantly improve performance and stability in games.
- Adjust in-game settings: Find the right balance between visual quality and performance by tweaking settings like resolution, texture quality, and anti-aliasing.
- Optimize your power settings: Adjust your power settings to ensure your PC is running at its full potential. Set the power plan to “High Performance” in Windows to maximize performance.
- Disable unnecessary startup programs: Some applications can automatically start when your PC boots up, consuming valuable system resources. Disable any unnecessary startup programs to reduce the load on your system.
- Clean your PC regularly: Dust and debris can accumulate inside your PC, affecting cooling and overall performance. Clean your PC’s components, fans, and filters regularly to maintain optimal performance.
These are just a few steps to optimize your gaming desktop. Remember that regular maintenance, software updates, and adjusting settings can help keep your gaming experience smooth and enjoyable.
8. Solid Budget Gaming PC under $1200 by VOLTA PC
First, let’s start with the CPU. The AMD Ryzen 5 5500 is a great choice for a budget build. It’s a six-core processor that has a base clock speed of 3.2GHz and can boost up to 4.0GHz.
Next, let’s talk about the motherboard. The MSI B550M Pro-VDH WIFI is an excellent option for this build. It supports the latest PCIe 4.0 standard, which means you’ll be able to take advantage of the latest high-speed SSDs and graphics cards.
When it comes to memory, we recommend the Gigabyte AORUS RGB Memory DDR4 16GB. This kit has a high frequency of 4400MHz and tight timings, which means it will perform well in both gaming and productivity tasks. Plus, the RGB lighting is a nice touch.
For storage, we suggest the Samsung 980 NVMe PCIe Gen.3 1TB. It’s a fast SSD that uses the PCIe Gen.3 interface, which means you’ll get fast boot and load times. With 1TB of storage, you’ll have plenty of space for your operating system, applications, and games.
When it comes to graphics, we recommend the Intel Arc A750 Graphics 8GB. It’s a budget-friendly graphics card that can handle most modern games at 1080p. Plus, it supports PCIe 4.0, which means it will work well with the MSI B550M Pro-VDH WIFI motherboard.
With these parts, you can build a budget PC that performs well for under $1200. Order this custom PC at https://voltapc.sg/aliciapc.
Building a gaming desktop requires planning, prioritizing components, and finding cost-effective parts. By following these steps, you can enjoy a great gaming experience without overspending. Embrace the world of gaming with your new, budget-friendly custom PC.
If you’re looking for a custom PC in Singapore, make sure to check out Volta PC. They offer a wide range of options to cater to your specific gaming needs and preferences. Don’t wait any longer, enhance your gaming experience today by visiting Volta PC and exploring their offerings!