How to Build a Budget Gaming PC

It’s no secret that gaming PCs can be expensive to build. After all, between the processor, graphics card, and other components, one could easily cost you Rs 50,000 or more. Higher-end PCs are even worth up to Rs 120,000. Of course, that’s not to say a gaming PC can’t be affordable — in fact, with the right components, you could easily build a 1080p 60FPS one for a little under Rs 30,000.

And here’s how you can do just that.

Don’t buy the latest processor

While it may be tempting to use the latest processor for your build, these aren’t exactly the most affordable. For example, an i5 Intel 10th gen processor (2020) is around Rs 28,000. Even though they’re a year or two old, last-gen processors can be equally high-performing at a lower price. An AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (2018) already has a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and four threads, which is more than enough to run PUBG with no frame drops. You can get this processor for Rs 8,000 today.

You don’t need a graphics card that’s a “2” or above

Graphics cards go through huge leaps in performance with the slightest change, so every additional number to their model number is an indication that they’re a better chip. However, for budget purposes, a 1660 model is more than enough to run a 60FPS gameplay. Let’s compare an Nvidia GTX 1660 and RTX 2060, for instance. While the RTX 2060 has 135MHz more core clock power than the GTX 1660, they both have the same speed (12Gbps) and memory model (GDDR6). This means that as long as you keep your game below 1440p, the GTX 1660 can be nearly as high performing as the other.

Of course, if you’re up to spending a little more, your extra budget should always go to this component for better graphics. In this case, the RTX 2060 will definitely be a worthwhile purchase.

Get a gaming motherboard

One way to save up on your other components is to maximize the ones you do end up purchasing. You can do this by getting a gaming-specific motherboard, like the ASRock A520M. Gaming motherboards have better capacitors and thicker sockets, allowing them to provide extra power to your processor and graphics card. Just make sure that your motherboard model is compatible with the former. Motherboards are created with PCB stackup impedance calculations already in place, so their power levels are pre-determined. If you choose a processor whose signal layers don’t match your motherboard’s, it’s either your system lags or your PC doesn’t function at all.

The easiest way to check is to visit a compatibility checker like pcpartpicker.com and put the two components side-by-side.

Lights should be your last priority

RGB gaming equipment and components can be very costly. Just think about the difference between a Corsair LL120 RGB cooling fan (Rs 9,400) and a Noctua NF-S12B redux-1200 (Rs 3,890). They nearly have the same RPM range (the Noctua being 200 lower), but one is more expensive because of the extra lights. If you’re on a budget and had to choose between utility and RGB, your answer should always be the former.

In any case, if you want to “gamify” your room, you can do so in other ways, like decorating your walls with posters, ordering a custom mouse pad, or replacing your lamps with warm-colored LED lights.

As long as you know what parts to prioritize and how to optimize your equipment, a gaming PC is not an impossible feat — even with a tight budget. Plus, once you finally have the means to upgrade it, you can do so at any time. After all, unlike laptops, PC parts are replaceable.

I'm passionate about technology, apps, and gadgets. I started Rogtechs as a Tech guide site in 2018 to share my experience and knowledge to help people.

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