Trying to build a gaming PC on a budget

By Tyrion · 14 replies
Oct 30, 2012
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  1. Hi guys! as a general novice to computers, I jumped in at the deep end, and will try to build a gaming pc (or at least be shown to by my dad!). but as a novice, I would like some suggestion on what bits of kit to buy, with a few requirements:
    EVERYTHING must play nice with each other
    it must be capable to run diablo 3, guild wars, minecraft/tekkit, gnomoria, and TF2
    the maximum budget would be around £300.

    Any and all suggestion will be appreciated, and thanks in advance
    Tyrion :cool:

    PS: sorry if this is in the wrong place, rather noobish to this site
  2. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 231   +17

    Hey mate.

    First thing's first, £300 is a pretty damn tight budget for any computer, let alone a gaming pc, so don't be expecting anything too mind-blowing.
    to get you started, I'm gonna assume you live in the UK so we'll be using for your purchases.

    Before we go any further, could you tell us a few things:
    - Do you already own peripherals? (monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers)
    - Do you have a copy of windows, or will we need to buy one?
    - Do you have any parts you can re-use from elsewhere? (HDD, Optical drive, etc.)
    - Is there any way you can raise your budget? like I said before, £300 is pretty darn tight.

    Try to give us as much information as possible - help us help you :)
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    If all you need is the core components then £300 is doable because those games aren't really that demanding, but if that budget is including a copy of Windows and a monitor and peripherals then you'd struggle to put any sort of decent computer together.
  4. Tyrion

    Tyrion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Peripherals I have: mouse, I plan to use my headphones if I need to do something, just keep the price down
    I will need a copy of windows
    I don't think I have any parts, as we've not had a PC build for yonks
    as to concern with raising budget, I'm looking at dipping into my savings for another 100, but that's not definite at the moment, so if we could work with 300 that'd be great, cheers for the reply as well :)
  5. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Windows 7 is £70, add a monitor and that's half your budget gone already.

    Your best bet is to look for some deals on ebay in that case.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    You could get a preview copy of Windows 8, and then 'upgrade' it with the cheap(er) upgrade version of 8.*

    Don't install an optical drive and that will save you $15-30.

    You can get a small motherboard with onboard graphics and then buy a better graphics card later.

    Onboard will play everything you want right now, but it won't do them well at high resolution/settings. But while you are on such a tight budget you may just have to live with gaming at lower resolution/detail settings.

    Cheap cases are cheap, should be able to get one for $10-15, it will suck, but it will hold your components, airflow won't be excellent, but you don't need it to be that great with such a budget system anyway.

    Buy a small hard drive, you'll get screwed on the price per gigabyte, but in your case, I think thats just something you'll have to accept. I'd look for something in the 500gb to 1tb range.

    So just offhand, lets see.
    $50 for motherboard
    $100 for processor
    $30 for RAM
    $40 for kb/mouse
    $40 for Windows
    $60 for hd
    $10 case

    That turns out around $330, which is just over £200 right? That would give you around 100 for a graphics card or monitor.

    These were very loose numbers based on what I think stuff costs, but its been a while since I've done any shopping so I could be off. That is also why I didn't look up specifics. I think what you want is do-able, but you are going to have to concede some things like a nice case, big hard drive, quality kb/mouse, and an optical drive.

    *There is an artificial limitation that Windows 8 previews won't upgrade to the real version, this is fixable by editing a file in notepad on the installation media.
  7. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Booster Posts: 208

  8. Tyrion

    Tyrion TS Rookie Topic Starter

  9. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 231   +17

    It means you'll be relying on intel's onboard graphics, until you whack in a dedicated GPU:)
  10. Tyrion

    Tyrion TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Another nooby question again ;) so will this mean I'll need to buy a new motherboard when I want to ramp up the graphics?
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Nope, the motherboard has a PCIe slot to add in your own graphics when you see fit.
  12. xcylent

    xcylent TS Booster Posts: 231   +17

    In layman's terms:

    Your CPU can serve as a graphics (video) output. This it called 'onboard' or 'integrated' graphics.
    However, when you see fit, you can purchase a graphics card (known as 'dedicated' graphics), and then insert into a vacant PCI-e slot on your motherboard, and then be using that instead of relying on the CPU. This pretty much means anything you see on your screen is now being handled by a dedicated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). This takes the strain off your CPU, and gives you far better graphics performance.
  13. Tyrion

    Tyrion TS Rookie Topic Starter

  14. steelth

    steelth TS Booster Posts: 130

    Not trying to sound like a jerk but good luck having a gaming computer with 'integrated' graphics.I'm not positive but I don't think most games like GW2 or Swotor will play to well with it or at all.You could alway's cut cost bye buying a harddrive or other parts from Ebay .Keep in mind you could buy a smaller hardrive and just add a slave drive later for storage . I have a small hard drive with windows and a big 1 "slave drive "with my games on it.
  15. Mavrickx888

    Mavrickx888 TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +9

    If you're looking for budget performance, you may want to try an APU (Integrated graphics) solution from AMD. The A10 5800k will run you the same price as the i3 3220 mentioned earlier, but the graphics performance from the A10 will leave the i3 in the dust.
    (Quote from Techspot's A10 5800k review:

    You could also upgrade to a discrete video card later if you wanted, but unless you're going for games on their highest settings, you probably wouldn't have to ever worry about it.

    Check out Techspot's PC buying guide Budget box for some more info:

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