Gaming on a Budget: 7 Things to Know Before Buying or Building Your PC
So, you’re considering building or buying a new PC for gaming? If you’re on a budget, it can be
difficult to determine what’s essential and what is only required for the most demanding games on
the highest settings. This is especially true with all the hardcore gamers out there showing off their monster rigs.
The following 7 tips will help you knock down the price …
1) What Games Do You Want To Play?
Usually, when someone decides they want to get into PC gaming, they have a specific title in mind or are a fan of a certain type of game (i.e. first-person shooters). Maybe you attempted to play a game on your old PC and it just didn’t work. Whatever the reason, before you splash out on a new computer, take some time to honestly asses what games you will likely be playing over the next year. Then do some research online about their minimum and recommended system requirements—Can I Run This, is a great tool for this.
These are a list of hardware specifications that are required to play the game. The minimum will allow you to play the game on lower settings, while the recommended will allow you to get more out of the game with the settings turned up. Then it’s a case of buying or building a PC that can meet these requirements.
2) Price Range
As with any kind of budget, once you know your price range don’t be tempted to overspend. There
are some budget PCs out there that will certainly play most games at medium and above settings.
A good example is the Dell Inspiron 5675 that can be picked up for just over $600 and can include AMD hardware or Intel and Nvidia, depending on your preferences. The AMD Ryzen 5 / Radeon RX 580 build easily handles games at 1080p and some even higher.
Tip: If you want to boost your budget but don’t have the cash right away, you might consider a
payday loan via a reputable online service like Elc Loans.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutia of computer processing, but the tried and true Intel Core i series (i3 i5 i7) is the way to go. Get whichever you budget permits, with the i7-8700K being the obvious choice.
AMD’s new Ryzen platform is also good for budget PC building.
4) It’s Not All About The Graphics Card
Yes, the graphics card is perhaps the single most important element of a gaming PC, but that card will not perform properly if the other hardware isn’t up to scratch.
In other words, don’t fork out for the most expensive card you can afford and then only buy 1GB of RAM and chuck in an old slow processor. It’s better to have a well-rounded system without any
bottlenecks than one top-end part surrounded by mediocre parts.
We wouldn’t go any lower than a GeForce GTX 1050 for entry-level gaming.
5) Solid State Drives
Solid State Drives (SSD) are all the rage right now, and for good reason—boot time is reduced
considerably and gaming performance is more consistent with less loading. But, if you are on a budget an SSD is not essential and might even be a waste of funds. If everything else is on point, a regular hard drive is not going to significantly impact your gaming experience. And, you get more hard drive space for your buck, which is important if you are going to string many
6) Fancy Cooling?
Any time spent Googling gaming PCs will invariably bring up a wide range of fancy cooling systems that make use of liquid and ten thousand fans. However, a budget gaming PC does not require such systems and you will be throwing money away if you buy them.
The stock CPU cooler or a slight upgrade and an additional fan on the case are sufficient for most people. You can use programs to relay how hot everything is running and upgrade further if
necessary. Just remember to place your machine somewhere where it can get airflow, i.e. not on the floor in the corner of the room.
7) Ditch the Optical Drive
If you’re on a budget and building your PC piece by piece, there’s no need to buy a DVD drive as the majority of games now can be delivered digitally. Spend the extra cash on an extra RAM stick.
PC gaming is always going to be more technical than console gaming, but with a little bit of research, you can soon develop a good build on a budget.
Built your own gaming PC on a budget? What hardware did you go with? Let us know in the comments below!