Gaming is an expensive hobby. Every gamer will tell you that. But there are ways you can save up when starting your first gaming rig. In this article, we will be exploring gaming rigs you can build with a small budget.
Average gaming rigs cost about $800 to $1,200. That’s pretty expensive, but gaming rigs built under such a budget can play games in 720p resolution or even higher. But if you’re new to gaming, you won’t notice the difference unless you’re playing on a high-resolution monitor. So before we start discussing budget gaming rigs, let’s first talk about an alternative: consoles.
With the newly released PS5 and Xbox Series X out on the market, it’s undeniable that high-resolution gaming is now available for people with a budget. Both cost well under the average cost of a gaming PC ($449). In addition, these consoles sport some of the best VRAM with higher processing power when compared to the consoles that came before them.
Moreover, consoles have the support of big companies like Sony and Microsoft. They have game exclusives that aren’t accessible to PC players until they’ve been ported. But sadly, they don’t have the flexibility and programs that gaming rigs have. However, if you’re only in it for the games, then consider purchasing a console instead.
Let’s get started on the cheapest gaming rig builds out there. First on this list are no video card builds.
No Video Card Builds
Many hardcore rig builders might shun you for doing this, complaining that it’s not a gaming rig. But trust us, no GPU builds are becoming popular, especially for those new to gaming. In addition, no GPU builds can cost well under $400, meaning they’re cheaper than consoles. But don’t expect to play games in maximum settings. You might also experience frame rate drops from time to time, but you can play even the most modern games with this build.
No GPU builds rely heavily on your processor. For this, we suggest the Ryzen 5 3400G to run your machine. This processor comes in with integrated RX Vega 11 graphics, meaning that you won’t need a GPU to run games with it. It costs less than $400, and considering that the remaining parts can be at a discounted price, this build is a steal. But make sure to keep your expectations checked. You’re not going to run games at 1440p resolution with this build.
Cheapest Build on the Market
No GPU builds have their own set of problems, but a well-balanced budget gaming PC can outperform it easily. This build utilizes the old but reliable Ryzen 3 3300X, the powerhouse Nvidea Geforce GTX 1660 Super (swappable with MSI Radeon RX 5700), and an entry-level motherboard, the Asrock B550M-HDV.
This is a reliable build for 1080p gaming that costs less than $1,000. If you want to go much cheaper, swap the GTX 1660 Super with the RX5700, and you should be well below the $800 mark for this build.
The Best Gaming Rig for Under $1,000: HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop
HP hasn’t been the best when it comes to its out-of-the-box gaming rigs. But the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop has left us surprised.
First, we’ll be honest here and say that the rig doesn’t look that amazing. It looks cheap. But in this case, beauty truly runs under the skin. It costs $824 on the market, and it sports the all-powerful AMD RX 580 and a Ryzen 5 processor to boot. Sure, our build above can outperform it in gaming, but for its price, it’s well worth buying if you’re new to the gaming hobby and don’t want to go through the hassle of finding each part.
The Portable Powerhouse: MSI Bravo 15
We’ve added an addition to this list, and that is a gaming rig you can bring everywhere: the MSI Bravo 15. It costs around $900, but with its neatly built specs, it’s certainly worth buying if you want a rig you can bring anywhere.
The MSI Bravo 15 can outperform many gaming rigs out there at its price point, and that’s pretty surprising because it’s a laptop. You can play games at a comfortable frame rate and 1080p resolution with it. It’s also not too bulky or heavy when compared to other gaming laptops on the market.
One thing we want to change on this laptop is its RAM and add more SDD space to it. We might also upgrade the Ryzen 4000 processor to the Ryzen 5000 series. You can make these changes possible by visiting a customized-laptop-building website. They offer customizable laptops at a much lower price. So you might get these changes for under $1,200. Trust us; the improvements are worth the price.
These are some reliable gaming rig options for anyone who wants to get started in the hobby. But it primarily depends on your expectations and budget. Ultimately, they should be performing the best in their given price points and excel other gaming rigs out there inside their price bracket.