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Building a budget Intel Gaming PC in 2015
Starting a new build
Now that we’re into 2015, it could be the case that you’re looking to build a new gaming PC. However, given that we’ve just gotten Christmas out of the way it could be that money is a bit on the short side. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the best components that you can buy in order to build a budget Intel gaming PC. Just because it’s dubbed as budget it doesn’t mean that it won’t be able to play the latest games. Of course, you won’t be able to ramp the settings all the way up to Ultra, but this is true of many builds unless you are prepared to spend several thousands on your system.
As an aside the only tool you should really need when you’re building your PC using the components below is a multibit screwdriver but you’d be surprised about the number of people that actually overlook this part when they’ve bought the equipment. A multibit screwdriver will come handy all around the house and not just when you’re building your PC.
The CPU is the brain of your PC and it does all the calculations to make the system tick. These days, CPU’s have multiple cores in them, so it can carry out more tasks at once at a much more efficient rate. The Intel G3258 Pentium K Anniversary Editiion is a 3.2 GHz CPU that is a great dual core option.
Whilst it doesn’t have the option of hyperthreading seen in more expensive models from Intel such as the Core i5 and i7, it is unlocked. This means that you can boost the power of it by overclocking it, which in recent tests it has been shown to be able to go up to 4.7 GHz, making it just as powerful (in single thread comparisons) to a Core i7. Since most games don’t really take advantage of hyperthreading, nor do they take advantage of more than 2 cores, the Pentium is a great, budget choice. It also comes with an easy to install stock cooler to ensure that your PC is kept running cool.
The motherboard is the part whereby everything else connects to each other. A key brand in this is Asus who are known for their exceptional motherboard designs, and ability to overclock processors. A great, budget friendly motherboard is the Asus Z97-C. It has enough connectors so you could theoretically install two graphics cards into your system along with It looking great. You don’t need to spend a fortune on motherboards since they don’t actually have any impact on the speed of your system; rather when you spend more on one, you’re paying for extra features.
The Storage Device and RAM
For any system, you’ll need a drive whereby you can store your data. Whilst this is classed as a budget gaming build, due to the lowering prices of Solid State Drives (SSD), it’s recommended that you spend that wee bit extra and get one over a conventional hard drive. They’re more reliable and you will have a faster boot time into Windows as well as faster day to day activity. The Intel 530 Series offers a wealth of different capacities for your needs and price point. Kingston also offer similar priced SSD’s at the same performance level in terms of read and right speed.
RAM is a crucial component of any PC, since it’s where it stores the temporary data when you’ve programs opened. It is also used extensively in games so for this reason, we’d recommend that you opt for at least 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Corsair do great budget friendly RAM in their Vengance line up, plus you’ve got great peace of mind with their warranty.
The Power Supply
Of course, you’ll also be needing a power supply to actually run your budget friendly gaming PC. Much like the RAM above, our recommendation would be to go with Corsair on this one. Their CX series provides excellent value for money and allows you to upgrade the components in your PC without worrying about if your power supply will be strong enough to power the equipment.
The GPU is the second most important part of a gaming PC after the CPU. In terms of raw performance, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, we’d highly recommend the Nvidia GTX 750 Ti. Not only will it give you great visuals for a lot of games, it actually draws power straight from the motherboard instead of needing an additional power connection that most other graphics cards to need.
The 750 Ti has one numerous awards for its ability to achieve amazing benchmarks for such modest hardware and its small size means that you’ll be able to fit it into smaller cases if you prefer to choose a space saving option over a larger tower case. It also has an HDMI output on it, so if you have an HD TV then you’ll be able to use this as a monitor for your gaming PC and save money on buying a standalone one. This handily brings us onto the issue of having a PC case.
The case is pretty much essential unless you want an extremely dirty computer setup. Whilst there’s many out there, anything from BitFenix of Corsair would be of benefit to you. In particular, the Corsair Carbide SPEC -01 is a great option for budget builds. It has a USB 3.0 port on the front as well as 2.0 and the option to install an optical drive into the system if you want to do down the optical route.
If you’re on a budget and wanting to play games then this build is a great starting option for you. You should even be able to play games like Crysis 3 on it on medium settings which will still give you a great level of detail with great frame rates. This will ensure that you get the smoothest gameplay at this price point.