Many avid gamers prefer to use gaming PCs instead of consoles for a whole host of reasons. Some of those reasons include the fact that PCs can get upgraded – whereas consoles cannot. If you are a gamer, you might be wondering how you could build an awesome gaming rig on a budget.
The thing about today’s high-spec CPUs, GPUs and SSDs is that they cost money. A lot of money in fact. That’s why today’s blog post is here to help you build the best machine for your money. I’m here today to tell you that you don’t need to spend silly amounts of money on PC hardware!
How far do you want to go?
The world’s your oyster as far as building a gaming rig is concerned. As with most things in life, there is going to be a limit to the spec you can build for your gaming PC. The limit isn’t to do with the parts you can use as such. It’s more to do with how much you’ve got to spend.
Before you start buying parts to create a gaming rig, you need to decide how far you want to go with your project. If you have high ambitions, it’s likely you will need to save up some cash before you can buy the parts you need.
New build or upgrade?
Do you need to build a new gaming PC from scratch or do you have an existing rig that you want to upgrade? As you can guess, building your dream rig will be cheaper if you have an existing PC base that you can use.
In some cases, it might be cheaper to buy a basic-spec system (new or used) and then use that to build your gaming PC. Some places call such PCs “barebones systems.” Computers for gamers are different to “standard” PCs in that they have better specifications.
But at a low level, they are still PCs and can still do the same things that all PCs do like go online or run software. If you are not sure what parts you should be choosing, it’s best to do some research first.
New or used parts?
It’s always nice to use brand new parts when you build a PC. But if you have to stick to a budget, you might not have any choice but to buy used parts. There isn’t any shame in using secondhand computer parts, by the way.
Ask any computer enthusiast, and I can guarantee you that they will all have used secondhand parts at some stage. Sometimes you might not have any choice. Such as when you are working with an obsolete motherboard architecture.
The beauty about buying used parts is that you can save a fortune. Especially on high-ticket items like CPUs and graphics cards!
Should you use the latest technology?
Hardcore PC gamers will tell you that they upgrade their gaming rigs every year or so when new technology gets released. Doing that is fine if you have money burning a hole in your pocket. But when you’re restricted by the money you can spend, such an idea is not likely to become reality.
There is nothing wrong with using older technology for your gaming rig. For instance, I built my gaming PC just under two years ago, and it’s still going strong. It can run most graphics-intensive games at high detail without any delayed reactions or crashes.
In fact, if you want to stick with brand new parts, you will find that older technology is a cheaper buy than newer technology. So no, you don’t have to use the latest technology. If other games have an issue with your rig’s spec, you can always ask them to buy you the parts to upgrade it!
How easy is it to upgrade a gaming PC?
Assuming you are working with a standard ATX form factor, you shouldn’t have any issues upgrading your gaming PC in the future. The only thing to note is that some full-size graphics cards might need a few case modifications before they can get fitted.
PC cases often come with plenty of hard drive bays that you can remove. So unless you are planning to install ten hard drives in your gaming rig, full-length graphics cards won’t be a problem.
The only issues you might have are if you use a non-standard case. For example, a lot of folks repurpose old Apple Powermac computers, gut them and install PC components inside of them.
Using non-standard PC cases can present “challenges” for future upgrades. So it’s worth bearing that fact in mind.
What games will you play?
The thing about today’s PC games is that many of them are resource-hungry. They can usually only run on PCs that have a lot of graphic processing power and a fairly-modern CPU.
RAM isn’t so much of an issue, although it does help to have at least 8GB RAM in a gaming rig. The games you want to play will often determine what spec of PC you need to build. Before you go out and buy any parts to build your gaming rig, I recommend learning what specs your favorite games need.
Are there any other tips I should be aware of?
Your gaming rig needs to be unique to your needs. Don’t build a system with a spec identical to your buddy’s computer. Doing that is a waste of time and money, especially if other people’s specs don’t work too well.
If you are playing today’s hottest games, you will need to factor in disk space. What most gamers do these days is run an SSD for their main Windows drive, and a 2TB or more hard drive to store game data.
The SSD ensures quick boot times and game loading times. You can usually configure games to install application files on the SSD, and put saved game data on the hard drive.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. Good luck!