$450 “Console Killer” Rig
PC gaming has never been as affordable as it is these days. You can actually get a decent PC that can play games for a relatively low price, and when the current gen consoles came out, the Xbox One and PS4, the term console killer was thrown around quite a bit. So that’s what we’ll be looking at today. A PC that could play games at the console level for as little money as possible. We’re trying to get as much power while keeping the cost low while allowing us to play games.
CPU: AMD A10-7850k (Newegg | Amazon)
This is an APU. An APU is an Advanced Processing Unit, and what that means is that it has CPU and GPU cores on a single processor. This means that you can play games just with a single processor, and can save a lot of money. You won’t be playing games maxed out at 1080p or anything, but you will be able to play games on medium at 720p, which is about what the consoles play at, and you could even play at 1080p in some games. This APU can also use AMD’s Mantle, giving a further boost in performance.
GPU: None, for now
You don’t need a GPU right off the bat with the A10-7850k. You’ll be able to play most games with this APU, so you will be fine with saving some money while still being able to play a ton of games.
This is a nice little motherboard that, while not the best, will allow us to get some overclocking on the APU while still being affordable. It also looks pretty good, which might sway you towards it. It’s got the second best chipset you can get with the FM2 socket, so you’re in good hands with this motherboard. Sadly, only 2 RAM slots, so not too much upgradeability.
Now, since this is an APU, we’re going to use RAM clocked at 1866Mhz. APUs can benefit a lot from faster RAM, and if you’re smart and careful, you could get this RAM up to 2133Mhz, giving more performance to the computer. The difference between RAM speeds is actually crazy while using an APU, as the guys as TekSyndicate have shown us.
This Hybrid drive will be perfect for this build, and will actually save a ton of money while giving us really good performance. You mix speeds of SSDs with the capacity and cost of HDDs, giving us fast load times and tons of space to put… things. I won’t tell if you won’t.
This PSU is actually overkill for this build, since this full computer pulls less than 200W from the wall. However, this build is all about upgradeability while being able to play now, and this PSU is more than enough for a good graphics card in the future, which you can buy because of all the money you’ll be saving from having to buy Xbox Live every year. Yea, I’ll take the cheap shot.
I really like Cougar cases, mainly because they look very “gamer-y” while still being inaffordable. However, you can always get something that you want, as the case is the most subjective part of any computer build. I do recommend a few things when looking for a case, mainly USB3.0 on the front IO, front intake for fans, and good airflow. But it’s all up to you.
This is a really good build if you’re looking to get into PC gaming. It’s affordable, has tons of space to upgrade, and will get you going. Plus, unlike the consoles, it’s backwards compatible, so if you’ve got a few games on a Steam account or something, you’ll be able to play them right away. You also get the opportunity to get involved in the Steam sales, with one happening very shortly.
The total price of this build is $433.94 USD before Windows OS.