BY ALEJANDRO VILLARREAL: Why buy a console when you can build a powerful gaming PC?
(No, not the one in the picture…but it sure is pretty, right?)
One of our new years resolutions for this year was not to buy a Gaming PC, but to build one. Buying a pre-built gaming PC doesn’t make financial sense – it’s generally more expensive and you miss out on the joy of building your own monster.
We’ll guide you through a budget build that can be an alternative to a console, with the added bonus of cheap Steam games and the ability to upgrade in the future. Sure, entry to the PC master race can be expensive (the beastly Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti will put an $800 dent in your bank account without buying other parts) but it doesn’t need to be.
This build is what is considered a budget build; you won’t be strreaming 4K gameplay across Twitch with a crazy high FPS count, but you’ll be able to enjoy most games at 1080p.
For the processor we’re going with the AMD Ryzen 5 1400 Quad Core Processor. In our opinion, it is the king of processors for it’s price range, completely destroying i3 competition. Don’t get me wrong, Intel processor are great quality, but AMD has made signifcant leaps in the past few years and, for the sheer performance alone, we have go with the Ryzen.
The AMD Ryzen 5 1400 gives a quad-core processor with 8 threads, compared with the dual cores and 4 threads of the Intel i3. It’s a no-brainer.
The MSI Gaming AMD Ryzen B350 is is one of the cheapest AM4 gaming motherboards on the market and, despite its price tag, I’m really confident that this motherboard will deliver whatever you need to make a great budget PC.
This workhorse can handle up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and comes with a Turbo M.2 slot if you ever want to use a SSD (you will). This motherboard also supports overclocking if you ever want to overclock your processor or your graphics card.
For RAM we are going to go with the an 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM. 8GB of RAM is pretty much all you’re going to need for a budget Gaming PC with the option of upgrading to 16GB if you also want to edit or render videos. 4GB should be considered the bare minimum.
The 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM stick is overclockeable and comes with a built-in aluminium heat spreader for dissipation. It also comes in a variety of colors to match the other components of your PC.
If you are a PC aficionado you probably want an SSD due to faster boot times and transfer speed but for this budget build we have decided to go with a 1TB Western Digital Blue simply down to price. You can add an SSD in the future should you wish, or up your budget at this stage.
The WD blue is a reliable Hard Drive that gives you plenty of space for a cheap price, although optionally you can get a 120GB SSD to use as the bootable drive to get those fast boots and put that M.2 slot in the motherboard to use.
There are some incredible options on the market when it comes to graphics card. For this budget build we’re going for the GTX 1050 from EVGA for a little more than $100.
This cheap graphics card packs a punch, boasting the power to run games like Overwatch, GTA V and Battlefield 1 at 1080p at High settings at more than 60 frames per second. It has 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM and, if you’re just going stick to 1080p gaming for a while, this card is going to work wonders.
Power Supply Unit
EVGA promises a quality product and for less than $30, you can’t go wrong. This PSU is reliable and is more than enough to power our budget build. If you’re thinking about overclocking you should bump up to a 500W PSU, and invest in a better cooling system than the stock option.
Finally, the case. We wanted something that looks pretty cool but not obnoxious. With that in mind, we’re suggesting this Rosewill option.
Rosewill make great cases for the price, and this mid tower case does not disappoint. It comes with 2 LED fans in the front and a fan in the rear, all pre-installed, which offers great value for those who are building their first gaming PC and looking to save a few dollars.
So, how did we do?
What do you think? Does our build pack enough of a punch to be a viable entry to the PC master race? Would you look to have a better graphics card and a weaker processor? Let us know!