How to build a cheap gaming PC that doesn’t suck

PC gaming has a reputation for being really expensive to get into. It’s easy to scrounge the internet, finding examples of extremely high-end systems that can cost thousands of dollars to build. But, there’s more to the best gaming PCs than what the 1% can afford. 

To prove that point, we’ll show you how to build a cheap gaming PC that doesn’t, well, suck. The system we’ll walk you through here won’t be able to play Control at 4K with ray tracing maxed out, but 1080p at high settings? Easy. 

If you’re building a system out of new parts, you’re not going to be able to beat the Xbox One X at the same price point. 4K gaming is pretty much out of the question until you get to the mid-range. You can get around this by picking up used parts, but that’s not something we’d recommend if you’re afraid of your PC components spontaneously combusting.

But, the other benefits that a gaming PC can offer more than make up for the higher price tag. And, even if PC gaming has a higher entry price, you’ll still save a ton of money over time on PC games.

So, if you’re ready to build a cheap gaming PC that can still handle modern AAA games at 1080p, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve picked out the best PC components that you can get for cheap, and we’ve already got a guide to building a PC that is still totally valid – PC building really hasn’t changed much in a few years. We’ve been building PCs for years, so you can be sure you won’t run into any compatibility issues with our suggested builds.

What you’ll need

Despite what you may have thought, you don’t need too much in the way of tools to build a cheap gaming PC. A phillips head screwdriver is the only absolutely necessary tool. However, there are a couple things that can help  you out. Because you’ll be dealing with a lot of screws, having a parts tray helps a lot. If you don’t have one of those lying around (who can blame you), you can just use a couple bowls to keep things sorted. 

Also, you have to be on the lookout for static electricity. An anti-static wristband is a godsend if you have one, but if you don’t, just make sure you’re not standing on carpet when building, and discharge any latent static electricity by touching some metal, like your power supply or PC case. 

Most importantly, however, you need a clean space to build. If you can clear off the dining room table for a couple hours, that’s perfect. You just need enough space to hold all of your PC components. 

 The parts 

There are so many PC components out there these days that you could theoretically build dozens of PCs without having the same parts list. Luckily, we follow PC components literally every day, so we used our expertise to pick out the best bang-for-your-buck PC components for this cheap gaming PC, and why those parts are the best choices for a budget PC build in 2019. And, once you’ve gathered up all the best PC components that don’t suck we’ll show you how to build a PC

(Image credit: AMD)

Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

Getting a quad-core for cheap


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