How to Build a Gaming PC on a Budget


It’s no secret that being a gamer can be very expensive, especially when it comes to the hardware needed to run the latest games. For example, CNet’s collection of best gaming laptops like the Asus Zephyrus GX701, Alienware Area-51m, and Acer Predator Triton 900 show that these high-end computers can cost up to $3,000.

One way to get quality gaming equipment like this on a budget is to simply build your own PC.

Of course, while building your own PC is cheaper, you’ll still be spending a lot. Fortunately, there are ways for you to trim the build price until it’s at a level that you’re comfortable paying for.

Here’s what you need to remember when building a gaming PC on a budget.

Wood deck with mechnical keyboard, speakers and a gaming monitor for gaming

Check all your options

Even the cheapest gaming components can be expensive, especially when you’re choosing key parts that will power up your PC, like its CPU, GPU, and RAM. In fact, budget choices (which are usually low/mid-ranged components) like the AMD Ryzen 3 2200 CPU and Radeon RX 570 GPU can still cost you a good $300 each.

Fortunately, you can get discounted esports quality gear by looking into second-hand options. Adorama’s list of computer accessories includes used RAM, fans, and power supplies that are more affordable options.

For example, they’re offering an ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2060 GPU—one of the best mid/high-ranged GPUs on the market—for a little under $370.

Moreover, if you have a PC or gaming laptop that’s no longer in use, you can tear it down and salvage some of its parts.

You don’t need an IPS monitor

There are two common monitor types on the market: TN and IPS. Between the two, IPS monitors have a more accurate colour display. This also means that they’re twice as expensive as their TN counterparts.

But unless you’re really looking for it, it’s difficult to spot the display differences between a TN and IPS monitor.

Besides, TN monitors tend to be with better refresh rates and response times. The Asus VP228HE, one of the most recommended budget monitors on the market, is available for under $100. VP228HE is already equipped with the company’s flicker-free tech and built with a 1ms response time, granting gamers the best experience possible.

Cosmetics should be a low priority

We get it; you want your cooling fans to flash purple and your keyboard to look like Corsair’s handsome platinum design. However, the sleeker the equipment looks, the more expensive they are.

For instance, that Corsair K95 that you’ve been eying comes in at around $200. You can get similar specs in STOGA’s or HyperX’s lines for a little under $70. They’re made out of plastic and don’t have wrist pads, but they get the job done with their clicky switches and media keys.

Remember this rule whenever you’re choosing a PC body and other components with “nicer-looking” alternatives. You can always upgrade those when you have the extra coin.

Building a great gaming PC doesn’t have to be expensive. As long as you’re smart about your purchases, you can have a perfectly good build under $800 – and even a really powerful one at $1,000.

Stuart

I love gaming and spending time on the computer, I even competed in esports in the early 00s. But I'm also obsessed with fixing the damage heavy computer use can cause, and this is the place where I share these two passions.

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