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Budget cost for a gaming pc

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duckfam

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
My son is looking for his first gaming pc but he wants something that will be suitable for running steam games without any lag. He is saving up and is reluctant to spend more than about 300 - 350 for a desktop pc. He also wants to record gameplay to upload to youtube etc. He would prefer to buy one but I think he'd get better value if we built one as I can do this for him. Would he get a better machine off the shelf or if we built one ourselves. If self build is the way to go, please could you give us some advice on the best pc components that we'd need.

What is the best pc he can get for this amount of money?:)
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
$350 isn't going to cut it for a 'lag free gaming pc, im afraid.

If you need all the parts (including monitor, windows, etc) it may be best to buy a pre-made unit. But you're looking at least in the $500+ range for a decent gaming machine (which will still lag in some titles).
 

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
First thing, welcome to the forums.

Building will definitely be cheaper and much more fun. For $350 you will be severely limited though. For example my son uses the blue pc in my signature which has fairly old parts and will still run you more than $350. On ebay the 970 GTX can be around $100, the motherboard was purchased in the classifieds for somewhere around $100 (I think) and similar ram will run around $75+. I would get a better CPU because that one struggles at times so plan on around $100 for that. Already over the $350 and that doesn't include the monitor, PSU, case, keyboard, mouse, CPU cooler, Windows and random other parts. I would suggest waiting a bit more for more savings or buy it piece by piece as he can afford each.
 

Tír na nÓg

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
I agree for used parts being the way.

A 6 cores first gen Ryzen, with entry level mobo, 500w quality PSU, cheap 512gb ssd, 8gb of ddr4 and cheap case should end up between 250 and 300 bucks. Used parts. Anything below that is too weak IMO.

Then you need the GPU... A $100/150 extra for decent 1080p gaming, used as well like, like a nvidia 1060 or an amd Rx 570.

Hard to fit in the $350.
 
OP
D

duckfam

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Thanks for your reply,
If it makes it any easier, I should have been clearer, He already has a monitor with VGA connector so not HDMI, and keyboard and mouse to get started. So 300-350 for the pc box is what we meant.
Thanks
 

Tír na nÓg

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
^see my post.

You might found something in the $400 range on the used market if you're patient. Maybe 350 if you are patient... and lucky!
 

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Thanks for your reply,
If it makes it any easier, I should have been clearer, He already has a monitor with VGA connector so not HDMI, and keyboard and mouse to get started. So 300-350 for the pc box is what we meant.
Thanks

In that case I agree with above. Used parts is your best bet and piecing it together over time will allow for better parts depending on income.
 

Daleon

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Have to encourage building, even if its maybe a little cheaper to buy built. I don't know how old your son is, but would definitely tell him to watch some build videos. Also try and find any kind of local PC builders groups on FB, etc. Your likely to find people with tons of used parts nearby that they would likely be happy to donate to a new builder. If you happen to be near Atl, GA I'd happily donate you a case and even a psu.

Here is a basic super cheap new build.
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/c9XTyk

With tax and shipping your likely hitting $400 and that is finding a case locally and getting a cheap windows license online. Problem with this build is it doesn't have much life using a cpu with built in graphics. Getting a better cpu without graphics and a dedicated gpu is what you need as it's something that will last a few years and be able to upgrade without replacing to much. Finding good\used parts can be tricky. Problem is if something is bad\goes bad you can waste alot of money. Definitely recommend trying to build on a $500 budget. Gluck.