Video games are undoubtedly one of the most easily shared passions around the world. Europeans, Asians, Americans, Africans, everyone plays, everyone creates games, everyone likes it. But to play, you necessarily need equipment and it is not always very accessible. To help you in the quest for a cheap gaming PC, we have concocted a guide on the components to choose so as not to break the bank too much . If you still have the budget, you can always get gaming glasses, an armchair, a keyboard, etc. If you're ready, it's time to discover your future gaming PC!
In this article :
- Why a cheap gaming PC
- What do you need ? Ultimate Checklist
- Accessories to complete your setup
Why get a cheap gaming PC?
The reasons that can push you to create your cheap gamer config are necessarily varied and specific to your life; but in general, several advantages are to be mentioned for this type of purchase. For one thing, if you're not a big master race PC gamer, you don't need a big machine . It's not worth putting several thousand dollars into this PC if you only plan to play PS4 / Xbox One generation games at 1080p and 60 FPS.
Low-priced configurations can do this, not necessarily on all games, but it will work. On the other hand, the main argument will simply remain the budget, in general. If you don't want to spend too much on this PC, it's your right, you have your reasons and it's possible.
What does it take to get your gaming PC at a low price?
First of all, what is considered a low-cost gaming PC? We don't want to lie to you, we will still have to put our hands in our pockets a little. In our guide, we'll try to hover around $1000 all-in , even factoring in the exorbitant prices of graphics cards right now. A gaming PC cheaper than that means preventing yourself from playing games from the previous generation, that of the PS4 and Xbox One. The idea is not to offer you a GameCube, but a gaming PC.
The most expensive components
The graphics card, when the stock is there
Well, we will start directly with the element that annoys. At the time of this writing, the graphics card breaks have not yet been resolved . It's better than 2020, but it's not quite there yet. We are therefore not going to rush to the latest generations of RTX, but rather to look at the side of the most recent GTX. Again, the stock is abysmal and the price is bound to skyrocket.
So we'll give you the price of the component "at the moment" and its normal price, when all is well. We therefore advise you to go with an EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 SC ULTRA GAMING . Its current price varies around 380€, but it was available in the 250€ before the ruptures.
The processor, a little too many choices
There are a very large number of processors on the market with Intel and AMD Ryzen, but one range in particular is interesting for low-priced configurations. Our choice is therefore oriented towards the Intel i5-X400F. It remains to know the generation that interests us, we have the choice between the 9400F, the 10400F or the 11400F. The price varies fairly little, but we remain here in a config whose price must avoid going up too much. We are therefore going to go with the intermediate generation, the Intel i5-10400F : its price varies around 170€.
Storage, old-school or SSD?
It's very difficult to advise you to go on an "HDD" hard drive in 2021. The price could be lowered, but the idea is still to have a machine to play. You're probably not planning to launch only DOOM 1996, are you? We agree. In this case, we offer you a small compromise: you go on an SSD and an HDD. The first will be used to install Windows and large games, the second to have large storage for files or small games.
The Crucial P2 M.2 PCIe NVMe 500 GB can be found for around €60 on the net. For the classic hard drive, we recommend the Seagate BarraCuda 1 TB at around €40. For 100€, you have 1.5TB of storage, a third of which is SSD. But you can absolutely opt only for the 500 GB SSD if you think you have enough.
RAM, to avoid rowing (logic)
We're going to be brief on RAM: you need 16 GB. Even for a humble cheap machine, 8 GB of RAM is no longer viable for gaming. You could get away with it of course, but you will be much too limited on certain games, which are very greedy. We therefore advise you to go with two Crucial Ballistix 8GB bars , for a total of around 80€.
A motherboard compatible with all that
Yes, we must obviously not forget the one without which nothing is possible: the motherboard. You may have the best components in the world, but if your motherboard is obsolete, you won't be able to do anything with it. Here, you need one compatible with the 10th generation Intel i5, DDR4 RAM but above all the M.2 SSD, a particular format.
You can opt for the ASRock B560 Pro4 which is sold for around 120€. It's not the best or even the one that will allow you the biggest changes in terms of hardware, but it works with everything we mentioned above and that's what we ask of it today.
Food, otherwise you won't get far
Even worse than the motherboard, if you don't have a power supply, you won't even be able to send the energy necessary for the PC to turn on. Logic you tell me. But here, fortunately, we don't need a neutron star in your room, rather humble and honest food. We will therefore be able to turn to the Corsair CX550M offered at around 70€. There are cheaper ones, but Corsair is a reputable brand in the field, and this model is modular. This means that you will only need to plug in useful cables, to improve your cable management.
The other components
We've told you about the most expensive components of your future gaming PC, but obviously don't forget the rest. For a computer of this range, there won't be much to add, but it's important to do it all the same.
Cooling, it has to be ventilated
With all these greedy components, you are going to need to chill everything. But since we are not on RTX with an Intel i9, it will not be useful to get into water-cooling. The Noctua NH-L9x65 , available at around €50 depending on the retailer, will do just fine for your i5-10400F. But don't forget to add fans to your case.
With the model we are going to talk to you about right after, we advise you to add two ARCTIC P14 PWM (8€ each, i.e. 16€). They are very inexpensive and quite quiet. You will have to place them on top of the case in the direction so that they blow the air outwards, since two front and one back are already included.
A box to hold everything
If in many other areas there is no real reference, it is different for PC cases. In this price range and this type of inexpensive gaming PC, we recommend the MSI Mag Force 100M with your eyes closed. You will find it for around 55€ and it corresponds to all the expectations that one can have for the config.
In summary, how much does this cheap gaming PC cost?
- Graphics card : 380€ (250€ without stock worries)
- Processor : 170€
- Storage : 100€ (60€ without HDD)
- RAM : 80€
- Motherboard : 120€
- Food : 70€
- CPU cooler : €50
- Fans : 16€
- Box : 55€
- TOTAL : €871 to €1041 depending on the stock of graphics cards and your choice of storage.
Do you still have budget? Compose your setup!
With all that, we honestly think you can make yourself the best cheap gaming PC. If after having spent the money necessary for the purchase of your PC you estimate to have still budget, you can always get other elements which will revolve around your PC. This is called the gaming setup , including the PC, the screen, the peripherals and certain comfort elements such as the gaming chair or the headset.
A screen if you don't already have one
It is quite expensive for a good model, but it is necessarily essential. Without a screen, you don't play. For the game, we advise you to go for a screen of at least 22 inches clocked at 60 Hz minimum, with a response time of 4ms at the maximum. Brands like Iiyama offer well-made screens that aren't too expensive, but they won't be completely gaming-focused hardware.
Gaming glasses to protect your eyes
Play for hours you say? It's very bad for your eyes, you know that. We are completely concerned by the problem and that is why we offer you inexpensive gaming glasses . Don't hesitate to take a look at our shop, but don't forget that having unprotected eyes in front of a screen all day means risking damaging them , having a headache or even encountering concentration problems.
An office chair you say?
You don't have to be the Queen or King of Westeros to get a good seat (especially since the Iron Throne doesn't look comfortable at all), but you still deserve to sit. comfortably your buttocks on your chair to show your skill to the whole world.
As a rule, gaming chairs are quite expensive, even at classic retailers like IKEA for example. But you can always get a classic "office chair" that will do just fine. You won't have 4D armrests or a headrest, but you'll look better than on a stool.
The gaming keyboard / mouse combo
Yes, the Logitech combo available at FNAC for 20€ can do the trick, it's true. But it's not very pretty and it's not designed for gaming. If you want to get equipment that's not too expensive (a bit anyway, it's gamer gear), you can opt for certain market references such as the Logitech G502 Hero mouse and the SteelSeries Apex 3 keyboard . These references are only ideas, you can find a lot of different products.
A headset to politely chat with your friends
If you're going to play online with your friends, avoid being the one using iPhone headphones and breaking everyone's ears. Saturation of the microphone, interrupted words, you would be the one we hesitate to invite. You won't have to invest a lot to have good equipment, you can also go to our comparison of the best headsets for gaming to find out more.
You have your cheap gaming PC, your setup, is it good?
What would make us really happy is that our guide has helped you in the purchase of your cheap gaming PC. We always spend time trying to advise you as best we can. Our goal is not to throw references on the fly, but to draw on our experience to aim as accurately as possible. So if this guide has helped you, don't hesitate to let us know in the comments or even on our social networks!