Building a Budget-Friendly Gaming PC in 2024

Amelia
9 Min Read

Living in a world where the pinnacle of gaming revolves around graphics, the speed of experience, and immersion, a high-performance PC is not a luxury anymore but a bare necessity. Unfortunately, the cost of buying a pre-built gaming rig may halt many aspiring enthusiasts from discovering the endless possibilities of the PC gaming universe. But fear not; armed with the proper guidance and your own do-it-yourself attitude, you have the power to build a budget-friendly gaming workstation that is not only affordable but also unbelievably functional.

Understanding Your Needs

The components you will need will directly depend on what your requirements are in terms of performance and efficiency:

1. Resolution

Resolution is the number of pixels displayed on your monitor and is directly reflected in the level of image sharpness. Common resolutions include 1080p, 1440p, or 4K. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image. However, it requires more processing power. Frame rate is the number of images displayed per second and determines the smoothness of the gameplay. Higher FPS means the picture will be smoother and more responsive. Most games require a minimum of 60 FPS; higher indicators are better suited to dynamic and fast games. Frame rate, measured in frames per second (FPS), is a key factor in determining the smoothness and responsiveness of your gaming experience. A higher frame rate can make your games feel more fluid and responsive.

2. Types of Games

Varying game types require varying hardware specifications. Strategy games and MMOs, for example, heavily use the central processing unit as they require thousands of complex calculations and operations every millisecond. FPS and open-world games, on the other hand, rely more on the graphics processing unit (GPU) for rendering intricate environments and character models. And if you are looking to play simple casino games at 1$ deposit casinos here, you can go with a simple PC without any hardware considerations. 

Minimum Requirements Breakdown

Now, let’s break down the core elements necessary for a budget-friendly gaming PC in 2024, noting their expected prices regarding May 2024:

 

Requirement Minimum Recommendation
Central Processing Unit (CPU): The processor is the system’s workhorse, calculating all the tasks. A 6-core, 12-thread CPU priced at around $180 would be good enough on something like a Core i5-12400 or a Ryzen 5 5600X priced at $200 for basic 1080p 60 FPS gaming. These processors perform well in most games, especially when coupled with mid-range GPUs. Nevertheless, spending a little more money on the CPU will maximize your performance and make you futureproof with something like an Intel Core i5-13600K for about $300 or an AMD Ryzen 5 7600X for about $330. This is useful for CPU-intensive games like grand strategy games or high-modded games. This is especially beneficial for CPU-intensive games like strategy titles or heavily modded games.
Graphics Processing Unit: The GPU renders all graphics on your screen and, hence, directly impacts the visual quality and frame rates you can experience in games. To start, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 ($150) or AMD Radeon RX 6600 ($220) are sufficient for low to medium settings at 1080p 60 FPS. Nvidia GPUs are known for their superior performance and power efficiency, while AMD GPUs offer better value for money and are often more affordable. Note that the graphics settings might need to be reduced for newer or more demanding games to keep them running smoothly. For better visuals and frame rates, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 ($370) or AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT ($490) are recommended. Both of these GPUs are fine for 1080p high settings in most modern games, and they can even be stretched to support 1440p with some adjustments.
Memory (RAM): It serves as your computer’s short-term memory. It is essential not only for multitasking but also for game performance. RAM stores data that your computer is actively using, allowing for faster access and improved performance. The more RAM you have, the more data your computer can store for quick access, which can significantly enhance your gaming experience. Lust for less: although 8GB is acceptable for simple workloads, it will be good enough for modern games like GTA V. Invest $80 in a minimum of 16GB of DDR4 RAM for a pleasant gaming experience. For $105, you can get 16GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, which will improve your system’s overall performance, particularly when playing games or conducting other tasks. Or you can also go with 2x, 16GB of DDR4 RAM to get the best performance and speed out of your CPU and GPU.
Storage for your gaming PC boils down entirely to speed and quantity.  The bare minimum for a modern gaming PC is a 500GB solid-state drive SSD ($60). A significant difference between HDDs and SSDs is loading times and system responsiveness. HDDs load significantly slower than SSDs for most applications, and an SSD translates to better overall system responsiveness. This is translated into smoother overall gaming, as you have faster loading times for games and levels. You will also notice an improvement in the boot time of your operating system. 500GB may fill up relatively quickly with more modern games’ file sizes, especially AAA titles. If your budget allows, a 1TB SSD, about $100, would be better. You will have sufficient room for your games, operating system, and a few more files. Besides, it will perform more efficiently and enhance your system’s overall performance. Therefore, while a 500GB SSD would serve a simple setup, one with double the space will be even more efficient, especially with the game sizes becoming massive.
Power Supply Unit (PSU): The PSU is the component that powers everything on your PC. It does not directly affect your gaming performance, but getting a cheap one might directly lead to instability or even damage your hardware. A 500W bronze-rated PSU costs around $40 and can power a budget CPU and GPU combination at minimum requirements. However, this leaves very little room to upgrade in the future. For a few extra dollars on your PSU and a slightly higher wattage of 650W with a bronze or gold rating, you will get more headroom for future upgrades for about 50 dollars. Gold and bronze imply that you are buying a more efficient PSU model. This means that you will spend less money on your electricity bills in the end. And going with a 650W PSU frees you from worrying about whether you have the power to accommodate a new graphics card or other components in the future, giving you peace of mind about the longevity of your investment.

To Sum Up

In conclusion, despite the fact that prices are on the rise, building a powerful, budget-friendly gaming PC is still within your reach in 2024 if you have the information and the desire to do so. With a clear understanding of your gaming needs and the right components, you can assemble a gaming computer that provides smooth and enjoyable gameplay for $1,000 or even less, opening up a world of gaming possibilities without breaking the bank.

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