Sure, the world is in quarantine and social distancing is the norm now, but with the rise of online shopping in the past few years we can still do a little window shopping. Of course, deliveries are on hold, so you’ll have to wait out the lockdown before you’ll receive the gear but at least we can take a look at our options.
Before we begin, just letting you know that we’re going to be shopping on Lazada since it’s the most accessible online platform. On top of that, I strictly stuck to a single store on Lazada so that all the components are coming from a single location and you can get some pretty good discount vouchers if you spend a lot in some stores such as in IT World. With that in mind, however, the prices shown here can easily vary with the changing times. Especially when quarantine is lifted, you may find better options elsewhere.
The Gaming PC Core
The heart and soul of any PC build lie in two major components that basically dictate the rest of the build. IT World has some interesting bundle offers on CPU with the motherboard so we’ll pick from those.
But first off, we’re going with the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor. Not just because Team Red has been pounding it into Team Blue lately, but they’re shockingly efficient in the productivity workload benchmarks as well. Yes, I know you can argue that most games rely on single-core threading where the Intel is still king, but for a value build you’ll want it to be useful for gaming and for productivity.
There are a few choices for the motherboard bundle but we’ll go for a gaming brand model that’s still conservative. The Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite fits in terms of value and potential upgrades in the future. Unlike other boards this does not have a built-in WiFi chip, but why are you gaming via WiFi on a desktop in the first place?
Since the purpose is a gaming PC, I’d recommend getting a better cooling solution. The provided cooler is good for basic stuff but even if you have no plans of over-clocking the temperatures and humidity of our region demand better cooling. You don’t want it conking out after a few months. Noctua is basically a household name, so we’ll go with that.
Icing On The Cake
Now the RAM. It’s shocking to say but 16GB is now the minimum for a decent gaming PC, 8GB is so yesterday. The Corsair Vengeance line up is pretty awesome, although I personally prefer non-RGB they are sadly not available at the time. So we’ll settle with the RGB sticks, no need to turn them on anyway. One thing to remember is always to buy RAM sticks by the pack, they work so much better that way for Dual-Channel boards.
When you start thinking of graphics cards, you know you are going to be gaming. That’s what they were made to do after all, even though there are now “productivity spec” GPUs being marketed the point of a GPU is to display those sweet in-game graphics gloriously on your monitor. We’re not oozing money in this build so let’s try keeping it under 10K, that’ll leave us with the GeForce GTX 1650 Super OC, which is admittedly not the best but pretty good.
For storage, we’ll go for two drives. That’s one reason we went for the Aorus as well since it has an M.2 slot for some quick boot ups. There are some “gaming spec” NVME’s but honestly speaking the minuscule difference does not really make up for the exaggerated pricing. We can start off with a 256GB SSD for a boot drive and your primary games, the Adata XPG is a decent choice.
So we have an SSD boot drive, but for the long-term storage items like documents and lesser played games, a Western Digital Blue will do nicely. You can settle with a 2TB to get the price down, but since the 4TB is the only one available at the time, we’ll get that for now.
One component that is regularly overlooked is the PSU. As the power supply unit, this is actually a critical part of any build but sadly many pre-made computers skimp out on this part with some dire consequences. Corsair is a trustworthy brand and the CX650 is a good partially-modular PSU to keep your cable management clean and reliable. It’s also important to note that you need to give yourself some headroom in the wattage, so getting 100-150 extra watts is always a good idea.
And finally, what brings it all together is the desktop casing itself. IT World has pricey options, but since we’re being strict about the single store thing, we’ll go for the relatively cheap Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 since it has a couple of case fans pre-installed.
Now we have come to the moment where our wallets will start sweating. I never mentioned anything about it being cheap but the good thing is since we chose all the components from IT World, they have a voucher that’ll knockoff that shipping fee and let you save about P500. At least that’s something.
Gaming PC On A Budget
I’d like to point out that you can do without a few components in this gaming PC build to get the price lowered a bit more. But you’ll have to take into consideration a few things in doing so.
The first is to swap out the Ryzen 5 3600 to a Ryzen 3400G. What this does is give you onboard Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics so you can hold off on the GPU for when you have some extra cash and get an even better card like a GeForce GTX 1660 or even the RTX line up. That’ll save you about 12K for the initial build, considering the price differences of the CPU swap.
You can knock off another 4.5K by dropping the Noctua cooling fan. The Wraith Spire coolers that come with the Ryzen 5 are already good, but it’s still a good idea to make sure your desktop is in a well-ventilated room.
Another thing you can drop is the M.2 SSD at least for the moment. Just split the Western Digital Blue with a boot partition so you can easily clone it onto an SSD when you upgrade. It’ll add some seconds to the Windows boot up and game load times, but that’s still 3.5K savings for the meantime. It all depends on what’s more important to you.
And lastly, the casing is something you can definitely skimp out on. Rakk PH has some pretty cool looking designs in the 2K mark and there are many other options out there that are even less. However, I’d caution against getting tempered glass cases for cheap because that could be a hazard just waiting to happen. Also, make sure to check the airflow on the cheaper cases, otherwise, you’ll be cooking eggs on your gaming PC.
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