Being a gamer in 2021 has become a hobby – or passion – that has severely been hindered by the global shortage of hardware components. The impacts of the pandemic on companies that provide semiconductors have been extreme, to say the least, coupled with the rising demand on electronics for home-office, new consoles, and hardware releases, and even car manufacturers relying on the same semiconductors, has made finding the right hardware an adventure in itself.
With consoles such as the new Xbox Series X, and the Playstation 5 showing no sign of ramping up production to supply the demand due to the shortage mentioned above, and companies live NVIDIA, or AMD also having some trouble, not only supply chain, but with the extensive number of products being instantly poached by bots to mine cryptocurrency, regular customers (i.e gamers) have fewer options.
Very high-end builds are extremely hard to build since they are the most sought pieces of hardware, but not everyone has nearly unlimited budgets to buy a $2,000 graphics card, or a $5,500 AMD Ryzen Threadripper. With that in mind here are some suitable gaming options, that are budget-friendly and cost-efficient. Notably, they won’t deliver the 8K, VR Ready, 240fps with max settings for every game, but these builds will run and let you enjoy the recent titles.
And even after building a PC, there’s ways to save up on video games itself. Gamecamp is what you need to find the cheapest prices for your wanted game, ranging from Cyberpunk key to Minecraft key and many other games that you desire.
Gaming At Its Most Basic
This very low-budget build should be seen as an entry-level, gaming enabling build. Since it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU, we will rely on the integrated graphic unit inside the CPU themselves. While this might not ensure amazing gameplay at anything higher than low-medium settings, it will suffice to run most games.
Chipset – Ryzen 3300X
This is probably the most cost-effective and reliable GPU at the moment, it has the foundations needed for performance as well as PCIe 4.0 support, its high operating clocks as well as the opportunity to have a next-gen SSD work with it in the future.
Motherboard – GIGABYTE B460M DS3H V2 or ASRock B550M
Both are very solid choices and here almost any budget board should deliver enough for this build with enough PCIe slots, USB Ports, RAM slots which will be important since we’ll use our integrated CPU graphic unit, plus if it supports SSD it should be perfect.
Memory – Oloy 2×8 DDR4 2666 Grey or Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
While the Oloy is a solid choice for a gaming computer and the cheapest option at $72, if you can muster a couple of extra bucks the Corsair Vengeance LPX Series are a staple in the industry and deliver great performance at a very affordable price.
SSD – Intel 660p 1TB or WD Blue SN550
Both are very reliable storage units while the WD Blue has 500GB of storage, the Intel one has 1TB at $116 which is a great bang for your buck, it has a tendency of having slower transferring speed once its near capacity but at 1TB you can install and manage storage easily.
Power Supply – GIGABYTE GP-P450B or EVGA GD 500W 80+ Gold
At only $30 it will be hard to find a better power supply at this price. Gigabyte is a trusted brand in the gaming community. The 450W of power alongside the dual PCIe power cables will not only suffice to power this gaming PC, but it will also allow for any high-end GPU upgrades you might have in mind for the future.
The EVGA option also has a lot of power and more than enough for the pieces we’ve recommended here, the brand is also one of the most prominent suppliers in the industry and you just can’t go wrong with them. It will also have room for a more potent CPU if you choose to upgrade in the near future. While it is a bit more expensive it’s a very solid option.
Case – Thermaltake Versa H18 and CoolerMaster Master Box Lite 3.1 TG
The Thermaltake Versa H18 is meant for a micro ATX motherboard such as the ones listed previously, so it is a choice meant for those who want a small unit and don’t plan on upgrading its motherboard so soon. With Coolermaster, you will probably have more aesthetic options, but it is important to ensure whatever you choose is compatible with micro ATX motherboards.
GPU – GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G
While the build mentioned above will suit you and run most games at 720p, in low and medium settings, eventually, or fortunately you are able to afford a dedicated GPU to improve your gameplay. In all honesty, gaming without one is very different and vastly inferior to gaming without one, so if you can afford a GPU the GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G will do its job and allow for improved fun. The original price was $210, but with the pandemic, markups have been around two or three times on GPUs, again if you can get one, this is the GPU to get.
Gaming has become a challenge as decent hardware has hit an all-time high due to the effects of an abrupt rise in demand, shortage of semiconductors, and cryptocurrency mining rigs, that exploit bots to acquire the few pieces of hardware to hit the market. If you plan on upgrading your rig in a short period of time, please consider swapping some of the components for their ATX equivalent, so you’ll have an easier time upgrading when needed. Specially motherboards, and cases.
This is one of the cheapest, yet most reliable versions of a gaming PC you can build nowadays, yes there are pre-built options that might be similar, or slightly over, the price you’ll hit here, which will be around $600 dollars without a GPU or $800 with the GTX 1660 OC. This will get you into the games you love, not necessarily at their best, but enough so you can enjoy them while you save up for small and consistent upgrades to your rig. Also, building your own computer is always a cheaper option, so if you’re able of assembling it yourself I recommend you do it.