Build a Cheap Gaming PC – 12 Tips to Save Money on Your Build

The following handy tips and tricks to cut down the overall cost of your custom build are worth taking into consideration if you have limited funds to put together a cheap gaming PC.

Building a gaming computer can be an expensive affair, especially if your wish is to play the very latest games in all their glory, so finding small tweaks here and there to save a bit of money is key if you don’t want to break the bank.

1. Pick the Right Parts

To avoid overspending on your custom PC build you will want to be clear about the exact purpose of your build and what sort of performance you want, and intelligently pick the right parts to accomplish this.

There’s no point forking out for top of the range components if your aim is to play older games or if you don’t mind playing recent titles with some of the visual settings turned down. For example, say you build a $700 PC. Perhaps if you had done some better research you would have been able to get away with the exact same or very similar overall gaming performance for only $500.

2. Plan for the Future

It’s a smart idea to plan ahead and take into account any upgrades you may wish to make on your build in the near future. If you know you’ll want to add in something later such as a SSD, extra RAM, or a second graphics card, make sure that the motherboard you choose will support this to save you having to buy a new motherboard when the time comes to upgrade.

Also, get a power supply that provides enough power to cover any upgrades you wish to make. Forking out extra money to replace your power supply for just a simple upgrade is no fun.

3. Buy Online

If you want to find the best prices on computer hardware, the internet is your friend. Online companies don’t have the overheads that physical stores have and can therefore usually offer products at lower prices.

These days buying online is totally safe and your parts get delivered right to your door. The best places to buy your parts online in my opinion are Amazon, NewEgg, and TigerDirect to name 3 of the best and most reliable.

4. Shop Around and Be Patient

This may seem obvious but most people don’t do this. Be a patient consumer, not an impulsive one. Take your time and compare prices from various sources, and if you can, try to compare prices over days, weeks, or even months as prices change quite frequently, especially online. This will help you to weed out and spot bargains on the parts you want.

5. Choose an AMD Processor

When it comes to high-end processors, Intel may still hold the crown, but for the low-end range you can’t go past AMD. More often than not they are the best bang for your buck choice to maximize performance when building a cheap gaming PC.

6. 4GB of RAM Will Suffice

Having 4GB of memory will go a long way and is all you really need for gaming right now. Having a ton of RAM such as 8, 12 or even 16GB of RAM won’t have much of a noticeable performance increase over 4GB when it comes to your games so you’re better off putting that extra money towards your CPU and video card.

7. Pick a Smaller Hard Drive

If you’re adamant that you won’t need a ton of storage space it’s worth considering a smaller hard drive such as 500GB or even 320GB and below. You can do regular clean ups and uninstall games and programs you no longer use to save space. If you do manage to totally run out of space you can always easily add a secondary storage drive later, either internal or external.

8. Skip the DVD Burner

Most gamers don’t really use their DVD burner so a standard DVD read-only drive may be the better option for you if it saves you some coin. To be honest, the way gaming is right now you could actually get away without a DVD drive altogether if you purchase all of your games digitally which is a growing trend.

9. Leave Out the Fancy Case

When picking a case to house the components of a cheap gaming PC, functionality and reliability should be your main consideration. Spending more on a flashy looking design with cool aesthetically-pleasing features may not be the smartest move when you could spend that money on more important things such as your CPU and video card and settling for a more affordable case that gets the job done.

10. Buy Cheap Peripherals

If you’re building a cheap gaming build there’s no need for that expensive $150 gaming keyboard with the flashy lights and LED screen. Sure, it would be nice but if your budget is tight choose basic, low-cost peripherals as it’s obviously better to go cheap on these parts than on your actual hardware.

Choose a cheap no-frills keyboard, mouse, speakers/headphones, and monitor that get the job done. Or if it’s at all possible, reuse your old peripherals from a previous computer.

11. Look out for Bundles and Barebone Kits

Retailers sometimes offer bundles of two or more components at a lower price which can be worth a look. CPU and motherboard combos are quite common. But be careful and do your research on the actual parts and make sure that they are what you need and of good enough quality.

You will also come across “barebone kits” which is a bundle of all the required components to build a PC at a discount price. Again, be wary of these as they usually contain some subpar quality parts, but sometimes they can be decent deals. Do your research.

12. Don’t Forget the Rebates

You’d be surprised how many people can’t be bothered actually mailing their rebates in and waiting for their free money to arrive back. If a component has a rebate offer on it, it’s a no-brainer to send it in even if you’re only getting back a few dollars. It all adds up. It will only take a few minutes to fill out the paperwork and send it in.

Conclusion

With these various tips and tricks in your arsenal you now have plenty of ways to save some cash and build a cheap gaming PC. Just remember to always do your research and don’t make the mistake of simply buying the cheapest ones you can get your hands on as this will most likely come back to haunt you.

Saving a few dollars doesn’t justify buying crappy no-name-brand products. I highly recommend sticking to respected manufacturers at all times. Good luck with your gaming build!

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