PC gaming doesn't have to be expensive, as long as you know what you are looking for. For those that aren't tech savvy, the endless combinations of components can be quite daunting. Trying to figure out which components will work with which, as well as making sure the end result will give you a decent gaming experience can prove a little too much for some.
Which is why I have put together a list of compatible components together for you, that will tackle some of the latest games at 45/60 frames per second at 1080p! Even on some of the most demanding games available today on their higher settings. There are lots of combinations I could use for this, although on this occasion I have chosen to go with a PC based around an AMD FX6300 CPU, it’s well equipped for gaming and comes in at a very affordable price point.
I have designed this particular PC to be fast and have enough storage to keep hold of all of those lovely Steam deals you’ll want to snap up! The SSD drive can be used as a boot device to hold your chosen operating system, as well as a select few programs. You can direct game installs to the hefty 2TB HDD by altering your settings in Steam, Origin and Uplay etc...
As you will see below, there is a complete list of everything you will need to start building. There are various components that can be chopped and changed to suit your needs, this list is just an example of what can be done at a lower price point. Everything I have listed currently has free delivery too, which is always a bonus!
- CPU - AMD FX 6300 - £79.29
- Motherboard - Gigabyte 970A-DS3P - Via Ebuyer - £58.95
- Ram - Corsair vengeance 1600mhz Via Amazon - £52.98
- SSD - Kingston Technology 120GB - Via Amazon - £42.39
- HDD - 2tb Seagate Barracuda - Via Ebuyer -£59.84
- GPU - Nvidia MSI 960 Via Ebuyer - £164.15
- Case - Zalman z3 plus mid Via Amazon - £26.99
- Power supply - 500w EVGA Bronze 500B Via Amazon - £39.81
- DVD drive - Samsung SATA DVD drive - Via Amazon - £12.99
Total Price: £537.39 Delivered
Prices are correct as of 8am 19 March 2015
As far as PC cases go the Zalman z3 seems a great choice at this price point, offering great cooling options as well as some neat places to tuck those cables away. When it comes to case aesthetics, everyone will have a different opinion on what looks good or bad. Most Mid ATX cases will be just fine, so if you’re not keen on Zalman z3 plus, you can always have a browse to see what takes your fancy.
When it comes to graphics cards, the GTX 960 couples well with the FX 6300 and will deliver a smooth gaming experience even when using the higher settings on some of the demanding games available today. The Twin FrozrV cooler is up there with the best of them, it comes with it's own Gaming App software that allows you to easily take control of overclocking modes, fan speeds and even colour temperature presets. All in all, MSI have added a lot of really cool features that don't require a masters in computer science to figure out! The 8GB of RAM is the sweet spot for PC gaming, offering great performance for a very long time indeed.
You may want to add a third party CPU cooler, although unless you are planning to overclock the CPU the stock cooler should be just fine. I always say "Stock coolers for stock speeds" Although it is always nice to get those temperatures down as low as possible.
Do you need a optical drive? Some people feel that they are no longer needed due to the vast amount of games and software available to download. I have however included one in the list, as many still have a use for them. It's just my luck that the internet would go down when I need to install those LAN drivers! If you really feel that you won't require one, you can drop £12.99 from the total!
When choosing an operating system, it's important to get something you are comfortable with. Most would likely go down the Windows route, although this does add more cost to your build. There are free operating systems available that you may want to try first, who knows?, you may like it! The most popular free alternative is Linux, which is an open source system that offers a lot of potential for many users. Linux has great driver support as well as security from the get go. The community support for Linux is brilliant, there are forums full of helpful people all offering tips and advice. Also free is fairly cheap, right?
If you are planning on gaming via your TV, great news! You can hook up your new PC to your television via an HDMI cable. For the best experience, i would look for a monitor that has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 and that runs at 60hz. Although 120hz/144hz monitors are available they are aimed towards PCs that can output a matching frame rate. In this case, we're aiming for around 60fps so 60hz is just dandy. The HannsG HS221HPB 21.5" LED IPS Monitor is £94.98 delivered from Ebuyer would be a nice place to start from.
Personally i like gaming on a monitor that is at least 23", although everyone will have different needs and wants regarding this. If you prefer to play on your TV, it's worth noting that you can indeed use an Xbox 360 controller in any of the USB ports on your PC and sit back and play from the comfort of your sofa. There are lots of games which support controller use.
Keyboards and Mice:
When it comes to keyboards and mice, it can be difficult to determine what is "Best" The packaging says "Gaming" so it must be better for gaming, right? Not always! Most keyboards are just fine for gaming, although i would consider trying some out at your local computer shop to see what suits you and the way you type and move around. Don't get me wrong, there are some great keyboards out there that come equipped with extra buttons for assigning commands to, back light profiles and even some that pick up RSS feeds!
With mice, it's another one of those subjective things, there are different ways to hold a mouse so getting a comfortable shape might just help you out a little. Thankfully there are lots to choose from, and you don't need to spend a fortune to find something suitable. Take a look at the Redragon Centrophorus bundle, which nets you a mouse and keyboard for £19.97 delivered from Amazon.
Putting it all together
Now you have all of your parts you will want to start building, and if you have never done this before then it may seem like a scary prospect. Don't worry! We have you covered with a handy guide found over at Digital Trends. The only difference you will find is the way the CPU connects to the motherboard. Never fear! your motherboard manual will cover this for you, so take your time and things should work out just fine. Once you have finished you will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. Well... after a few hours of gaming, that is.
Now all you need are some games! Make sure to bookmark our cheap PC games deals stream for the latest bargains.