Budget gaming PC spec
This is the first post in a (hopefully) weekly feature where I’ll use the excellent PCPartPicker website and spec a PC.
This week it’s the turn of the budget gaming PC…
You don’t need to spend shed-loads to get a decent gaming computer, but it will cost more than an Xbox One/PS4. On the plus side you can use the PC for practically anything; internet browsing, office applications, watching movies, video conferencing etc. Yes, you can do some of those things on Xbox One/PS4, but you have so many more choices on PC.
So, on with the spec…
|CPU||Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core||£49.14|
|This is a good bet for a budget gaming computer. It’s a dual-core variant, but it has a high clock speed (when overclocked). Most games are happier with higher clock speeds than multiple cores.|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z97M Anniversary Micro ATX LGA1150||£66.83|
| I’ve chosen the cheapest motherboard with a couple of features:
1. 4 x RAM slots (for excellent expandability)
2. Intel Z97 chipset (to allow overclocking)
Everything else on the board is good. Front USB 3.0 ports, 6 x SATA3 ports, gigabit ethernet, etc.
|Memory||G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3-2133 Memory||£71.10|
|Basically it’s the cheapest form of 2 x 4GB DIMMS to give you 8GB in dual channel mode. You’ll also have 2 spare slots for more RAM in the future.|
|Storage||Sandisk Solid State Drive 128GB 2.5″ SSD||£43.98|
|Toshiba 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM||£52.94|
|In my opinion, anyone who buys a computer these days without an SSD is a bit daft. They’re cheap enough to add one onto the build and fast enough to warrant it being there. Here we’ve got a 128GB SSD for booting and program installs. There’s also a 2TB 7200RPM mechanical hard drive to store stuff and have your game installs on.|
|Video Card||Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 2GB||£164.98|
|Loving the performance that the 960 gives at this price point. It will comfortably run nearly all games at 1920×1080. This could be swapped out for an AMD R9 280 for about the same price, if you’d rather.|
|Case||Fractal Design Core 1300 MicroATX Mini Tower||£32.98|
|Love Fractal Design cases. This is one of the cheapest, but surprisingly a lot of the others don’t have any ventilation at the top of the case. This one does. It’s basic ,but it has a front USB 3.0 port which a lot of the others don’t.|
|Power Supply||Corsair 500W ATX12V||£46.07|
|Good, solid PSU form a reputable brand. Promise me you’ll never buy a no-name PSU brand – it can literally blow your computer up.|
|Keyboard and mouse||Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator Gaming Bundle Wired Gaming Keyboard w/Optical Mouse||£26.34|
|Just a cheap keyboard/mouse bundle to help you game.|
Then you’ll need to add an operating system onto it. Really, as this is a gaming build, Windows is your only viable option. Yes, Steam is on Linux, but Windows is where the gaming action is. You can pick up a copy and key of either Windows 7 or 8.1 (you’ll get the upgrade to Windows 10 with either) off ebay for about £40. You’ll also need a monitor of some kind – if you’ll be using it like an Xbox One/PS4 then you’ll probably hook it up to your TV.
That’s the build for this week. If you’d like to see something specific (I’ve got a few ideas lined up) then please let me know below.