Nowadays, gaming PCs no longer come with hefty price tags. Fortunately, excellent gaming PCs can be found at more budget-friendly prices. With that in mind, we’ll look at the key elements to consider and the best affordable gaming PCs on the market.
When it comes to gaming, the rule of thumb is: the more power, the better. That said, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. When shopping for affordable gaming PCs, you should look for crucial elements that promote gaming success like a good graphics card, powerful processor, enough memory and storage space, a fast display, and a reliable connection.
First, the processor is what runs the games. CPUs are either Intel or AMD, and while you can save money by getting an AMD, Intel’s processors are generally more efficient. An Intel Core i3 or i5 CPU paired with a standard RAM of 8-16 GB is enough to get decent gaming performance. As for graphics cards, pick one from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX or RTX line.
Second, when looking for a gaming PC, the amount of memory and storage space matters. RAM allows players to multitask better and keeps the game running smoothly. Try to get 8GB of RAM (at least), and if your budget can stretch, consider 16GB for a more powerful performance.
Third, a display monitor is essential in gaming. You’ll need a display monitor with fast response times so that images are as sharp and clear as possible. Look for monitors with a refresh rate of 75Hz – 144Hz and resolution 720p, 1080p or 2K.
Fourth, connectivity is important. You don’t want a laggy connection while gaming, so search for a stable connection of at least 5Mbps. Take into consideration if you would need extra outlets on the gaming PC, such as USB 3.0, HDMI, or Ethernet.
Now that we know the key elements for affordable gaming PCs, let’s look at the best PCs on the market. One that stands out is the Acer Nitro 50, featuring 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8400 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB of HDD storage.
VR Ready Gaming PCs
Virtual reality gaming has become increasingly popular in the gaming industry, and there are some great affordable gaming PCs with this combination of immersive gaming. Budget models, like the ASUS VivoPC X, come with Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and a 128GB SSD, providing gamers with a great VR experience.
The Razer Blade Pro is also a great affordable VR-ready gaming PC. Armed with Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 2TB HDD, it is well-suited for the most intensive of gaming adventures.
If you’re looking for a top of the line PC with futuristic style, consider the HP Omen 25L or 30L. It carries 8th Gen Intel Core i7-9700 processor, RTX 2060 graphics card, 8GB RAM, and 1TB HDD. Perfect for immersive gaming.
For more budget gamers, ASUS’s ROG STRIX GL12CM offers great VR-prepared specs. It has an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, and 16GB RAM.
Portable Gaming PCs
Gamers who are always on the go need only the best portable gaming PCs. The Alienware M15 is a great gaming laptop and stands out as one of the most lightweight gaming laptops on the market. With a Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and delivery of up to RTX 2060 graphics, it packs a huge punch.
The MSI GV62 Performance is also a great option. With a Core i5-8300H processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, and an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, it is a great, portable gaming solution.
Another great gaming laptop is the Huawei MateBook 13. It comes with a 13.3-inch full HD display, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U processor, Intel UHD 620 graphics, and 8GB of RAM.
For an even more affordable option, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is it. With Core i7-8750H processor, 8GB of RAM, and GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, you can enjoy smooth gaming even on the go.
Built The Gaming PC Yourself
An alternative to buying a pre-built budget-friendly gaming PC, is to build your own. While more tech-savvy gamers prefer to build their own machines, it can be daunting for those who lack experience in computers. Nonetheless, it is possible and is actually the most cost-effective way to get an exquisite gaming PC.
When building your own gaming PC, first decide on the processor, RAM, graphics card, and power supply. When selecting the processor, consider one from Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 lineup. AMD also offers reasonable performance – look to the Ryzen 5 and 7 series.
For the RAM, opt for 8GB as a minimum, and a maximum up to 32GB. Graphics card is the most crucial component – the more powerful the graphics card, the better the gaming experience. NVIDIA GeForce or RTX line and AMD Radeon are recommended. Finally, choose a good quality power supply as this is the component that powers all other components. Make sure to buy a power supply that’s approximately 20-30% higher than your maximum rated power draw.
Mixing components opens a wide range of choices for the user to create their perfect gaming PC. When mixing components, first decide on the power source. Then the case needs to be chosen, the motherboard compatibility needs to match, and the processor and RAM should be from the same family. Some brands within the same family are compatible with each other.
Finally, the graphics card should be from either AMD or NVIDIA. To receive the best performance, pick only components with the same brand. When building your own gaming PC, double-check the compatibility of each component to match before you start building.
Getting The Best Deals On Components
Lastly, to build an affordable gaming PC, you need to know where to get the best deal. Shopping around at both physical stores and online retailers is a good option. Getting components when they’re on sale can save you money. Comparison sites like PriceGrabber make it easy to compare prices, and sites like Newegg offer good deals for refurbished products.
Just keep an eye out for quality. Refurbished components are pre-owned, so check their condition and buy from a trusted source. Alternatively, buy from eBay but check rack if the seller is reputable and check that the product is great condition.
Lastly, ask around. If you have friends or family who are tech-savvy and can give advice, that’s a great way to get the best deals. Keeping an eye out on tech news and deals can also help you save money on components.