Won't blow minds but won't damage your bank account, either
If you were to take the shell off the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you’d find that the parts are comparable to a budget gaming PC. If you’re not interested in platform specific games like God of War or Halo, and you’re not sure you want to buy a gaming PC or a console, then your best option is to just build your own upgradable gaming PC.
Aside from the actual building process, it’s pretty straightforward to know how to throw together a gaming PC; you just need all the basic necessary components, like a computer case, power supply, storage device, RAM, etc. Below is a look at all of those hardware pieces and more, with explanations of what you need to make your gaming PC as inexpensive, yet usable, as possible.
|CPU||AMD – Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor||$94.99|
|Motherboard||MSI – B450M PRO-VDH Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard||$79.99|
|Memory (RAM)||Patriot – Viper 4 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory||$54.99|
|Storage||Western Digital – Blue 500GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive||$67.89 (After Mail in Rebate)|
|Case||Cooler Master – MasterBox Q300L MicroATX Mini Tower Case||$39.99|
|Power Supply||EVGA – SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply||$69.99 (After Mail in Rebate)|
As you can see from the table above, the base total comes out to $432.84. With mail-in rebates to deduct, and several dollars or more for shipping, you’re looking at around $410 for your own DIY gaming PC. Not bad!
Tip: There are lots of places to buy computer parts online, so if the links above are no longer valid or you think you can get them cheaper elsewhere, consider finding other places to buy the parts.
AMD’s Ryzen 3 2200G or “Raven Ridge” is one of the few Ryzen Chips to come with onboard graphics. Although performance would be much higher with certain GPUs, having the onboard graphics set drops the price significantly.
The Ryzen 3 2200G has the Company’s Vega GPU built in. Although the “Vega” name is used, this isn’t comparable to their Dedicated Graphics cards (Radeon RX, Vega 56 Radeon RX Vega 65), which compare to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 10- series gaming graphics cards.
I also did a comparison between the Intel and AMD processors for low-end budget builds, which you should read. AMD also released their new Ryzen 3000 processors, which are another great option to look at for this scenario.
One of the most important components to a build is the motherboard. Choosing a motherboard can be tricky. Not only are there many different manufacturers, some don’t support some chipsets.
For this build, we chose the B50M by MSI. Inexpensive, yes, but this board is both reliable and easy to overclock. With that being said, however, we don’t suggest overclocking without doing a bit of research.
MSI’s B450M PRO-VDH AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard is built on the AMD B450 chipset, supporting Ryzen processors with an AM4 socket. We’re only using two of the four slots given, but this board has the capacity to hold up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM running at up to 3466 MHz, when overclocked.
For the storage, it’s equipped with four SATA III ports and a single M.2 slot, which utilizes the PCIe 3.0 x4 interface for speeds of up to 32 GB. While we’re not using a graphics card on this build, it does come with one PCIe 3.0X16 slot for a graphics card. This will come in handy in case on a later date you decide to upgrade to a dedicated graphics card.
A common myth is that the more RAM, the better. The truth is that there really is a “sweets spot” when it comes to the amount and speed of RAM needed for gaming and everyday use.
For this build, we used dual 4GB DDR4-2800 memory, which comes out to be 8 GB of RAM. Anything less the 8 GB might result in stuttering, induced lag, and sharp decreases in frame rate. Many will say 16 GB is becoming the new standard, but in our tests, it only showed a slight increase compared to 8 GB.
SSD’s (solid state drive) are becoming the norm when it comes to storage. With less power consumption, faster boot up speeds, and up to 30% faster file read speeds, the SSD is an easy choice over older mechanical hard drives.
You can, of course, substitute for a much larger SSD, but to save a few bucks, we went with 500GB. The downside to a hard drive this size is that you might not be able to fit as many games on it as you’d like. Some games these days are upwards of 60 GB or more, meaning after several, you’ll need something bigger.
One way around this is to install only essentials games, or, of course, to cough up a few more dollars and purchase a 1 TB HDD for $50 or so. The important thing is to have your operating systems and important files on the SSD for quicker access times.
There are many choices when it comes to your decision a case. For this project, we went with the Cooler Master Q300L MicroATX.
For the price, this is a no-brainer: easy cable management, spacious design, and even an adjustable handle on top.
Yeah, 650W is a bit of an overkill for a power supply on this build. However, we’re not just building for now, but also for the future, and if you decide on a graphics card later, you’ll be glad you chose to spend a few extra dollars on your power supply.
One of the many perks of the SuperNOVA 650G3 by EVGA is that it’s fully modular, meaning you can remove any unnecessary wires to make wire management easier.
Another important factor is the 80 Plus Gold standard rating, which means that the PSU is rated for at least 87% efficiency at 20% load, 90% at 50% load, and 87% at 100% load.
This PC isn’t meant to blow minds; it’s for the budget-friendly builder. Sure, if you’re willing to throw an extra hundred dollars, you can get a cheaper graphics card. If this is the case, we suggest the RX 580 for around $119, or the GTX 1050 for $125.
It’s also important to mention that if this is your first build, make sure to do your research on how to build. There are many great step-by-step guides on YouTube and other websites.