In a world that loves to talk about flagships and monster gaming rigs, those of us who have a budget to keep in mind often get left in the dust. I’ve often said that when you go to a typical computer store in the mall, you’re going to be offered two ends of the PC build spectrum: Gaming or Garbage. That’s probably because of mall stores only carry PC components that will contribute to their bottom line.
In other words, to really squeeze out all the value from your budget you need to know what you’re looking for and try finding it in a specialty store. Luckily, there are a lot of specialty computer stores out there where you can even place an order for a component they may not have on-hand.
Unfortunately, since the world is in quarantine that may be easier said than done. So instead let’s take a look at the budget gaming PC options from the most accessible online store at the moment.
The Budget Gaming PC Philosophy
Before we dive into Lazada, let’s take into consideration what we want to look for. First of all, let’s be clear that “budget’ by definition does not mean “cheap”. Those are two different things. The budget refers to the fact that you actually have a little something set aside. If you’re looking for cheap then there are lots of pre-made builds you can find online – we’ll get into that another time.
Secondly, even though we are on a budget that doesn’t mean we’re just going to pick the low-end options. We still have to consider the room for improvement which is the whole point of budget gaming PC builds anyway. In essence, we’re picking the minimum components needed to get a PC up and running, but with the option to add-on new upgrades in stages.
The budget gaming PC build I came up with will cost a little over the P20,000 mark. It may sound a bit more expensive than other options, but it’s a build where we take into consideration what we are going to add on in the future.
The PC Build Basics
To start off, we need to decide on the platform. And it’s really tempting to get a 2nd Gen Ryzen 5 since those are pretty cheap, but there is the Ryzen 3 series for a reason. So for this budget gaming PC build, we’re going with the Ryzen 3 3200G since it comes with onboard RX Vega 11 graphics.
Like in our Gaming PC build article, there are also bundles options on Lazada for CPU and the motherboard. So, again I went with that and chose the pairing of the Gigabyte B450M DS3H.
Now you may be wondering, why not get an Aorus or another “gaming” motherboard since we’re upgrading anyway? Well honestly, gaming boards are not really all that special. Yes, they have some advantages. But in the end, you really won’t notice the difference all that much and we’re focusing on value-for-money here.
Next for memory, it’s really better to get a RAM kit so that you can be sure of dual-channel compatibility. But for the sake of saving a few bucks, we can overlook that with the HyperX Fury 8GB DDR4 single stick. We’ll take two of those for a good 16GB of RAM.
Then for storage, we’re going with a Western Digital Blue 1TB hard disk drive. We’re not going to jump onto the SSD bandwagon just yet. So that we can at least save some school or work stuff and get some productivity value from our budget gaming PC as well.
Putting It All Together
The last two components for this PC build is the power supply and desktop casing. Never skimp out on the PSU because that’s a critical component that often gets overlooked. So for this budget gaming PC, we’re going with a conservative Corsair CV550. If you can get a 650w all the better, but since this is the only one available at the time of writing, it’ll do.
Desktop casings are hard to come by in quarantine, most are out of stock at the moment. I would love to get a Rakk PH casing that’s sleek and affordable, but since it seems they’re not restocking at this time we’ll go with the DeepCool Frame since it’s good value and doesn’t look tacky.
Budget gaming PC Upgrade
So now at least we’re able to boot up and play some basic games. Don’t get me wrong, the RX Vega 11 may be onboard graphics but it’s still a capable little guy. In the long run, of course, you’d rather get a dedicated GPU.
That’s why we picked a 3rd Gen Ryzen 3 because even though it may not be a 5 or 7, it can still be paired to the best GPUs out there including the GeForce RTX series. Although you may have some sort of CPU bottleneck when gaming at top-end resolutions and framerates. In any case, if you can afford an RTX, then why are you building a “budget” gaming PC? Might as well go for the GTX 1660 Ti and save the money for a rainy day.
You can put the money into more worthwhile upgrades like an NVME SSD boot drive, cooling solutions like a Noctua CPU cooler, and better peripherals. After all, the purpose of a budget gaming PC is to get you into the gameplay. 4K gaming, 240 FPS, and all that marketing jazz are really just unnecessary extras because in the end being a better gamer all boils down to you the player and not the hardware.
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