So you've made the choice to buy a cheap gaming PC, over a gaming console, and why not. It makes perfect sense. they are more powerful and are more easily upgradable too. But there is also a load of different ones to choose from. Getting a gaming console doesn't leave you with too much choice. Xbox or PS4 are pretty much it. Cheap gaming computers on the other hand are everywhere and all offering different pluses and minuses. So it pays to do a little research to make sure you're getting the best one for you and in doing so, get the best value for money out of your low priced gaming PC.
So let's take a look at the things you'll want to be getting from your gaming PC and what's best to leave on the shelf.
The Processor There's pretty much no better place to start you search for a cheap gaming PC than the processor. It will be the first thing listed on the spec and for good reason. First in you selection is a dual, or a quad core processor. Unless you budget is super tight, then a quad core processor is the only way to go. Modern games now can be ruined by having a dual core processor and we see not advantages in settling for one when buying a new gaming PC.
Intel now have hexa core and onto core processor. Unless money is of absolutely no concern, then there is no point at all in getting these as they make no improvements in gaming experience whatsoever.
An Intel quad core processor is better than the AMD ones, but they are a little more. We would recommend the Intel quad over the AMD, but if you're after making a small saving, then an AMD processor isn't the worst choice.
Video Card Only slightly less important as a good powerful processor is a video card. AS the name suggest, the job of the video card is getting the graphics to the screen. The faster and powerful the video card, the smoother and better the graphics. From a gaming computer, you'll want the best that your budget can afford you. So aim at no less than a mid range video card. These can handle almost any game in 1080p with full detail. If you want to make sure that games run well, or you want to play at an even higher resolution, like 2,560 x 1,440 or 4K, you should move up to an even more powerful card. When comparing two video cards that offer similar specs, but one has more memory, remember that video card memory does not enhance the gaming experience that much and this is a place where you can save some money on it. If you're on a 1080p monitor, then 2GB is perfect. For a monitor that is 4K, then look for a 3GB to avoid any chocking.
Both AMD and Nvidia are good places to start your search for a good quality video card, with Nivida having a slight advantage is our eyes.
RAM There's no need at all to go for a load of RAM. RAM in itself is fairly cheap so PC manufactors can put plenty in to make a gaming PC appear more powerful. If you see 32GB of RAM then this is a good example of this. Nearly every game sold today will run perfectly with 8GB of RAM, so even with a bit of future proofing, only go for 16GB at the most. Any more is just a waste of money.
Any money that you save on RAM is better spent on either SSD or HDD space. Choosing between the two however can be a little tricky.
SSD, HDD Capacity When it comes to drive space more is better. But if you are sure you won't need it, then don't buy it. Most gaming PC's will come with 500GB, to 1TB. This is more than enough and any more will just be a waste of space and money.
If SSD is what you are looking for over HDD, then it is more expensive, and the only place it has an advantage is in load times. SSD drives do load quicker than HDD so an in game level will only take a fraction of a second instead of up to 30 seconds with HDD.
One thing to note is that if you do choose a solid-state drive, make sure it’s also the drive that contains the operating system. You’ll gain the benefit of quick boot times and fast operation in day-to-day use. This is also why we don’t recommend an SSD with less than 200GB of space. With Windows installed, a small drive can only contain a handful of games.
These are the main things to look out for and what the bulk of your budget should be spend on. There are other things that are worth knowing about though. These include sound cards, ethernet adapters, additional USB ports, and more.
Most motherboards come with all these so unless you're after them for a specific reason, we think giving them a miss is money well saved.
So with this in mind, when choosing the components for your gaming PC, at every stage you should ask yourself, will this make my gaming experience better. If not, don't get it.
Below are 3 of the best cheap gaming PC's and mid range PC's and also gaming computers at the highest end that we think are the ones to look at for 3 different budgets.
Cheap gaming computer from Argos For a low price gaming PC that will still kick the ass of the latest gaming console, we feel Argos have the best one to buy. The StormForce Glacier Intel Core i5 16GB 1TB GTX 1070 Gaming PC is under £1000, and for a gaming PC this is classed as lower priced. It has all the basic recommendations and will be more than enough for the foreseeable future in PC gaming.
Mid range gaming computer from Currys For a mid range gaming PC that you want SSD from, we think the PC SPECIALIST Vortex Fusion III Gaming PC from Currys offers all you need for a great price. It's under £1500. And for this you'll be getting 240GB SSD, so your load times of games will be rapid fast and this is a gaming computer that will not disappoint.
High end gaming computer from Currys For this gaming PC, it really is loads of choice and the one we have chosen ticks all the boxes of a high end gaming PC. The CYBERPOWER Battlebox 1080 Gaming PC has the best processor around, and no money is wasted on pointless extra RAM. It's £3400, but all the money is going were it needs to be spent.
So for these 3 budgets, these are our recommendations. Both Argos and Currys are great places to buy a gaming PC from and get them for some good money saving deals too.