Most consumers buy ready-made PCs, choosing a computer from several dozen ready-made configurations. Not so with gaming machines, and although there are models on the market that are positioned as gaming, seasoned gamers prefer self-assembly, based on their own ideas about what it should consist of.
Immediately, we note that the selection of components, and even for such a specialized device, is not a simple matter, but it allows you to save a little. We will try to tell you about the features of this process.
Determine the budget
To be honest, the issues of economy in this case are often in the first place. But, striving to reduce the budget, I still want to get a fairly powerful car, designed for the future. After all, the gaming industry does not stand still, trying to release products adapted to the rapidly developing hardware.
Considering the above, it can be argued that today the minimum threshold that provides a comfortable entry into a gaming club is about 35-40 thousand rubles. For this money, you can buy a “constructor” consisting of good hardware with a 1080p monitor.
If the requirements for the filling are very serious, you need to rely on a budget of 1.5–2 times more.
On the contrary, when you have an amount of less than 30,000 rubles, isn’t it better to pay attention to a game console, and not the newest one? In this case, you will have at your disposal a huge number of great games, real bestsellers. But, again, if you have a TV with a good resolution.
And although today we will consider only the main components, since they must be compatible with each other, do not forget about the additional ones – a mouse, keyboard, headphones, microphone – they also cost money. And now let’s move on directly to the question of how to inexpensively assemble a sufficiently powerful gaming computer yourself.
Selection of components
Quality and cost are antagonistic concepts, it is an axiom. With regard to a gaming computer, the issue of quality can be safely replaced by performance. You will not find “garage” processors on sale. Winchesters are also unlikely, as well as monitors or graphics adapters. But the more powerful the components you are targeting, the higher the price tags, and the progression here is by no means arithmetic. So the question of how to assemble an inexpensive but powerful enough computer must be taken seriously, taking into account the component compatibility factor.
The basis of any computer is its processor and motherboard, so the selection must begin with this platform. Historically, only two companies compete among CPU manufacturers – Intel and AMD. But this does not mean that you will have little choice. Rather, on the contrary, both tech giants have a huge assortment. For a long time, brands have been competing in performance, replacing each other at the top of the rankings. But generally speaking, Intel products are stability and good compatibility, and AMD processors are cheaper and at the same time no less productive.
So, want a powerful CPU? Pay attention to Intel Core i5, and if finances do not sing romances, then it is better to buy a Core i7 right away. These products are fine with performance. Otherwise, you need to look towards Intel Core i3, but we cannot recommend such a choice. Unless your gaming ambitions are frankly low, you are just a big fan of the gameplay. Otherwise, why waste money if you still have to change the CPU in a year …
If you have decided on the processor, go to the choice of MotherBoard. That’s right, and not vice versa, although there are those who select a processor for the motherboard. You can understand them: the CPU is presented in the singular with very specific characteristics. A motherboard is a complex structure made up of many parts. We are primarily interested in Socket, which is a processor footprint. If Socket and CPU are incompatible, further assembly is out of the question.
Intel offers three chipsets for motherboards, depending on the needs. If budget minimization is in the first place for you, then the most budgetary set of logic will be suitable for Core i3. For i5 / i7, it will be a weak link, so you need to take a set of logic in the middle price range. If the main thing for you is power and performance, buy the motherboard with the most expensive chipset. Of course, one should not forget about the functionality, the presence of the necessary ports and connectors, bus speed and other little things, which in fact turn out to be not at all trifles, determining the speed of data exchange between the processor, disk subsystem and RAM. Unlike processors, motherboards are manufactured by many companies, the most famous of which are the time-tested brands Asus, Gigabyte, MSI.
Building a truly powerful gaming PC will not work without an equally powerful graphics adapter. Forget about the option with integrated graphics – this is the lot of office computers and devices for ordinary people, for whom a PC is a tool for communication in social networks.
Note that a video card is the same set of chipsets and a processor, only on a smaller scale. But the processor is just as powerful here, although it is designed to perform quite specific operations. The general rule here is this: if you want good compatibility in terms of interaction speed, choose a graphics accelerator, the cost of which is about 30% higher than the price of the CPU.
This ensures that both the video card and the CPU will be about the same level, so that collisions should not arise when they work together, and for this reason, the potential of the graphics adapter will be fully revealed.
Now let’s get down to specifics. If you want to save on a video card, with excellent processor performance, you can study the characteristics of the GeForce GTX1050 Ti. It will cost you about 13 thousand rubles. Despite the budget, the card has a high frequency and overclocking capability. Cooling is at a level here, support for most modern games is declared.
If you need something more serious, you can take a closer look at the GeForce 1660/2060, and if you are too demanding, we advise you to pay attention to the GeForce with indices 1070 / 1070Ti or 2070. The maximum level of performance is the graphics adapters GeForce 1080 / 1080Ti, 2080 / 2080Ti. The latest video card is a flagship worth about 100 thousand rubles – for this money you can build a decent computer.
There shouldn’t be any special problems with the choice of RAM. The main thing is that the bracket is compatible with the connector on the MotherBoard. If you have chosen Intel’s processor and chipset, then DDR4 memory is an acceptable option.
Of course, a lot in the operation of a computer depends on the size of the RAM, and the rule here is very simple: there is never a lot of memory. But there is a small nuance here – having decided on the volume, it is worth purchasing two strips instead of one: firstly, in a pair they will work a little faster, and secondly, it is more reliable this way. The whole bar will fly in a monovariant – you will have to spend money on a new one, and so you can save half. Well, or almost half, since two planks will cost more than one of the same volume. Pay attention to timing, the smaller this memory characteristic, the better.
Remember that building a powerful, inexpensive gaming computer requires a lot of tradeoffs. Including at the choice of OP manufacturers – here we can highlight Kingston, Samsung and Hynix. The latest brand offers more affordable memory.
How to Build a Powerful Yet Budget Gaming PC? You can save money, for example, on a storage device. Newfangled SSD drives are still quite expensive and not reliable enough, despite the lack of rotating parts.
A classic HDD is cheaper, but noisy and slower. Not the cheapest option is to put Windows to boot, that is, as a system disk, SSD (and here you have a choice – an expensive terabyte Toshiba DT01ACA100 or ADATA Ultimate SU650 with a capacity of 240 GB), and for user data, that is, for games, an HDD on 2-4 TB. The compromise solution is a single large-capacity hard drive.
A gaming computer, by definition, cannot consume little power, so the requirements for a power supply will be quite high. Only one video card is a powerful consumer, which releases so much thermal energy as a result of heating that it requires separate cooling. It can be assumed that for a 120 W video card, the minimum power supply requirements are 400 W, but it is always desirable to have a margin, so a 500-watt unit would be the best choice.
It is nonsense to assemble a powerful gaming computer with a low-power power supply unit. Unless you have a good air conditioner operating at full capacity in your room, then you also have to work with earflaps and mittens. Decent brands that produce high-quality PSUs – Zalman, Corsair, Aerocool. You can add FSP to them. The Aerocool Kcas 500W model is powerful, high-quality and inexpensive, its cost is about 3 thousand rubles.
Processor manufacturers equip their products with a cooler, but for a gaming PC, this cooling will obviously not be enough – after all, the processor is forced to work for a long time in extreme conditions, performing millions of calculations per second. And overheating with standard cooling is unlikely to be avoided.
It is better to immediately buy a good quality fan with heat sinks, with a power of about 90 W, focusing on well-known brands – it will be able to cope with CPU cooling. A good budget option is the Deepcool Gammaxx 200T cooler. This model costs about 800 rubles. Looking for something more powerful but not noisy? The Cooler Master Hyper H412R fan perfectly suits such requirements, but you will have to pay 1600-2000 rubles for it, depending on the configuration. Finally, a Thermalright Macho Rev.B cooler is suitable for top-end processors, or even better, use a more efficient but difficult-to-implement water cooling.
The system unit seems to be a secondary element to many, but this is far from the case, especially when it comes to a powerful gaming PC. Firstly, many modern video cards are so oversized that the standard case width will not be enough for them. Add to this the bulky fans, and also the place to install the disks – in short, here the rule “the more the better” also works. But there are other factors to take into account as well, such as having enough ventilation openings to ensure good ventilation for the interior contents. The shape and color are a matter of taste, but the convenience of the location of frequently used connectors is important, regardless of user preferences. Finally, the dimensions of the system unit may not fit into your playing place …
Among the budget solutions, we pay attention to the Zalman ZM-T4 case – you will pay about 1,700 rubles for it. Medium price model. Very popular among gamers – ATX Miditower Deluxe DW600 (3000 rubles), but there is already a powerful power supply here, and this reduces the cost of the system unit.
The Fractal Design Define R5 can be recommended for those who have a hard time restraining themselves during the gameplay – this case is made of thick metal.
Instead of a conclusion
You ask, where are the recommendations for a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and so on? The answer is simple: these components have nothing to do with PC performance, they are for comfort in the gaming process . Here, every successful gamer has his own preferences, which he will not change after replacing the iron. For the rest, we believe that we gave good recommendations on how to build a powerful gaming computer cheaply.