It has been almost two years since we published our latest guides dedicated to mount gaming PC’s with different budgets, and many of our readers have asked us for a thorough renewal of these guides.
Since AMD has already shown its cards with the new R300 and there is no major release coming up in the medium term, we believe this is a good moment to start updating each one of these guides, where we will keep the structure that you’ve liked so much.
Today we will start by choosing the best components to mount a gaming PC for under 400 euros. A very common budget with which we would be able in fact to buy a new generation console, but which at the same time allows us to put our hands on a quite capable desktop PC.
[toc]What can we get of this project? Well, to play at 1080p smoothly, with a good quality level and a guaranteed flow, even with the latest games in the market.
Without any further, let’s get hands down to work and as usual, we invite you to leave your opinions and questions in the comments section.
Our budget is quite limited and that’s why we crossed Intel off our list, because if not, it would limit us to just two options: to mount a PC without a real quad core processor or to mount a PC with a real quad core processor, but sacrificing quality in other vital components such as the graphics card.
This, coupled to the tight budget, the excellent quality-price ratio that AMD offers and the confirmed multi core trend that the industry will continue to use leads us to opt for the AM3+ platform from the red giant.
With this decision we have access to multi core processors capable of offering good performance without taking a big chunk of your budget, so that we won’t have to sacrifice quality in other components.
We opted for a GIGABYTE GA-970A-DS3P ($79), because it has an excellent build quality and overall is quite complete, but still at an affordable price.
Among its main features:
- Ultra Durable 4 Construction
- CrossFire X support (two graphic cards), although with a second x4 slot.
- Up to 32 GB of DDR3 at 2000MHz.
As we can see, it complies with everything with could possibly need today and tomorrow. Its quality-price ratio is therefore excellent.
It has certainly been one of the toughest picks ever, despite the fact we already knew we were looking for something within the limits of AM3+’s socket from AMD.
The two major candidates from which we had to choose were the FX-8320 and the FX-6300, the first one sporting full four integrated modules and eight cores, while the second one sports three full modules and six cores.
The difference between the two of them is almost 30 dollars, but gaming performance-wise, the difference is almost zero, except in very specific cases, so we finally opted for the FX-6300 (Price: $100).
This processor has a working frequency of 3.5 GHz-4.1GHz in normal and turbo mode and is capable of shinning in demanding games such as Crysis 3 and Metro Last Light, just to give some well-known examples.
After we had settle two of the most difficult points, and had to choose another important component, the RAM. Again, we were looking for a reasonable balance between price and features, and based on that we chose the 8 GB HyperX savage module from Kingston. (Price: $53)
With this we, sacrificed the double channel mode, but this doesn’t make a difference in games, and still brings us important benefits, such as easing the expansion to 8GB in the future for instance.
Its latencies are CL9 and it has a working frequency of 1600 MHz, in addition to a high quality dissipation body.
Given the limited budget we ruled out the use of an SSD and opted for a conventional 1 TB HDD, size that will be more than enough for any average user.
This point is perhaps one of the simplest, since among all the current offer, the most balanced option is the WD Blue 1 TB SATA III. (Price: $48)
With this HDD we will have access to a good level of performance and high capacity without spending too much money since it has a rotational speed of 7200 RPM and 64 MB of cache.
The budget is running out and we have to choose between our possibilities, making this point – one of the most important depending on the objective of the PC – one of the most complicated.
After much deliberation, we opted for the GTX 750, model GIGABYTE GV-N75TOC-2GI, that offers great performance and has a very affordable price. (Price: $146)
This particular model has the following specs:
- 640 shaders based on Maxwell.
- 40 Texture Mapping Units.
- 16 ROPs.
- 1,033 MHz-1,111 MHz frequency in the GPU, normal and turbo mode.
With it we can accomplish our goal of playing at 1080p without any problems.
Case and power supply
Keeping in mind that what we have left of our budget is really low now and that our PC’s power demands that thanks to the GTX 750 are extremely low, we have opted for a case with an integrated generic power supply.
We specifically opted for the Cooler Master Elite 350 that has a nice design and has a 500W power supply that will allows us to enjoy our PC smoothly.
With this components we have a final price of 414.45 euros, a little over the budget we had set but not that much more.
For this price we assemble a PC that will allow us to play at 1080p and middle and high quality depending on the game, going up to even ultra in less demanding games.
We left behind the optical DVD unit because its use has declined dramatically, so we preferred to leave it as something optional. In case you want to include one, you’ll have to add 15 euros to your final price.
We leave you with a list of some real tests for you to see can this modest PC is capable of.
- Metro Last Light on high settings and 1080p: 32 FPS on average
- Bioshock Infinite on ultra settings and 1080P: 51 FPS on average
- Battlefield 4 on high settings and 1080p: 42 FPS on average
- Crysis 3 in average quality, with FXAA and 1080p: 45 FPS on average.
- Hitman Absolution on ultra settings and 1080p 38 FPS on average.