The term budget gaming PC build gets thrown around a lot without much explanation. What does it even mean? Does it mean a cheap gaming PC? Does it mean a bad gaming PC? What’s the answer?!
In this post, I aim to give you my definition of what a budget gaming PC build is. I can get started right now by telling you it’s neither a cheap gaming PC nor a bad one, it’s a gaming PC where price vs performance takes precedence over everything else.
Price vs Performance, or PvP as I like to call it, is the number 1 thing you should be keeping in mind when constructing your budget build. The best builds are always strong in PvP.
A Budget Build – Price vs Performance
When building a new PC, there are a couple of different paths you can take. You can either go big with the most expensive parts at whichever level you’re aiming for, or you can maximize your price-performance ratio. Then, of course, you also have the middle ground where you save on one part to spend more on another.
In my opinion, the 2nd option is often your best one. Maximizing your price-performance ratio is going to ensure you get the absolute best PC you can for the money you’re spending… And in 2021, this is important to a lot of us.
In its most basic form, a budget gaming PC build is one where price vs performance hasn’t just been taken into consideration but guides your decisions throughout the entire buying process.
A budget PC build definitely isn’t cheap either. You can spend $2k on a top-end budget build, or you can spend significantly more – well over $3k – on flashier hardware with more LEDs that ultimately won’t perform any better. Budget-oriented builds are exactly what you’ll find here if you couldn’t tell by the name already.
How to Build the Best Budget Gaming PC
Building the best budget gaming PC boils down to a couple of pretty basic considerations that are often overlooked.
First and foremost is the point we just covered – price vs performance. This is absolutely crucial when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck when building a new PC. You can EASILY blow way more than you needed to without getting any more performance.
Secondly, you have to be willing to compromise. Maybe you don’t need an expensive motherboard just for extra RGBs? Maybe you could run a less expensive RAM setup? That $150 AIO liquid cooler is nice, but you could save $100 going with air. There are many more ways you can cut costs when putting together a budget build, these are just a couple of examples.
Lastly, with the current shortages, you might want to consider going back a generation or two for your graphics card. Or, opt for your local used market on a newer card. It all depends on what your build’s budget looks like.
If you’re building something for less than $1000, going back a gen or two might ultimately get you more performance for less money. Case in point, you can often find GTX 1080 for $400-$500 on eBay, or, you can pay an inflated price of around $800 for an RTX 3060 (as of writing this) and end up with slightly less performance (but no raytracing).
At the end of the day, building a good budget gaming PC is something a lot of us have been looking to do lately. But, without actually defining what a “budget build” is, it can be hard to know what you’re even aiming for. Most people are under the impression that it’s any cheap build, but that’s simply not the case as we’ve laid out above.
A budget build can easily come packing top-level hardware. It’s all about gauging price vs performance and basing your decisions on that. As the last example, let’s pretend that the RTX 3080 was selling for its MSRP of $699. If you had 2 options to pick from, one costing $699 and the other $899 because it has more RGB lighting and a “factory overclock” that the cheaper card could easily achieve, which one are you picking? Exactly, the least expensive. So, although you went cheap, you ultimately ended up with the same amount of performance.
I hope you found this post informative, if nothing else I hope it helped to spark your curiosity towards building your own budget gaming PC! It’s not impossible, it’s just difficult.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask below!