The Best Budget PC Build for Upcoming AAA Games
We may be hurtling towards 2020, but the year of incredible gaming isn’t over yet. Some of the most highly anticipated games of 2019 are yet to be released! To be prepared, you’ll want a rig that can keep up the pace that leaves enough in your bank account to buy your favorite titles. Fortunately, our recommendations below will cost you around $1000 for everything you need to get started.
We’ve compiled a short guide to help you choose the best parts that can handle the upcoming new releases. Never built a PC before? Check out our comprehensive guide to building a gaming PC for step-step-step instructions.
It’s worth noting that not all PC components are compatible with each other. If you’re new to building your own gaming rig, we have a handy guide on choosing the right components so that you’re fully informed on what parts fit together seamlessly.
With that said, let’s explore the best budget PC options so you’re equipped for the upcoming AAA games you’re dying to play!
An important factor in building a PC that makes light work of running games smoothly is choosing your processor wisely. Luckily, there are several options from AMD and Intel that won’t break the bank, yet offer smooth performance and squeeze as much FPS as you need from games like Doom Eternal and the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Processors like the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X give you the best bang for buck, but there are still some equally powerful Intel processors to consider that still fall within a reasonable price range, like the Intel Core i5 8600k 3.6GHz. These processors are capable of comfortably running most new games on medium settings without breaking a sweat.
Your graphics card teams up with your processor to form a duo that when done right, helps your favorite games run like a dream. You don’t need a god-tier graphics card like the RTX 2080 Ti, which is the price of a decent PC all on its own, to have a fantastic gaming experience.
You can’t afford to skimp on the amount of RAM you choose for your build - most AAA games coming out this year will need at least 6-8GB of RAM to run at a minimum, and memory-hungry titles like Borderlands 3 require 16GB - that’s before you pile other system processes on top of that.
Factor in the speed of your RAM, too, if you’ll be multitasking while you game (streamers, take note), If you opted for an AMD processor, you’ll need to buy RAM with a speed of at least 3200MHz.
We’d recommend opting for 16GB as most games can run smoothly with no issues. A solid choice in RAM would be the Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200MHz 16GB.
Your choice in MOBO is fairly important, as it makes sure that all of your components slot together and work as they should, with some offering overclocking if that’s your thing. While the motherboard doesn’t directly affect game performance, it’s critical that it gives you enough RAM slots, is the right size for your case, and is manufactured by a reputable brand like ASUS or MSI to avoid problems later on down the line.
A reliable choice for your budget build is the MSI B450 Gaming Plus motherboard - you’ll need to update your BIOS so that the Ryzen processor works with it, but this is as simple as copying the updated BIOS onto a flash drive and using the BIOS flashback button on the motherboard to prepare it for your CPU installation.
Read our guide on choosing the best motherboard for your setup as this will really depend on which parts you select!
Supplying power to your new gaming PC is pretty simple as long as you remember to buy a unit that delivers enough juice to your components to operate properly. If you choose to overclock your CPU, that also uses more power.
We’d recommend going for a well-known brand like Corsair or CoolerMaster so you know it’s reliable. You can figure out how big a PSU you need by using this handy calculator, but we’d suggest the EVGA SuperNOVA 650 which should give you more than enough power for the build options we’ve suggested.
There are two kinds of storage you can buy - SSD and HDD. For the sake of loading your favorite titles quickly and avoiding the frustration of loading screens that take forever, we’d suggest getting both.
SSDs are quicker and therefore load faster, and HDDs are slower, yet less expensive. You could get a 1TB Intel 660p NVME SSD drive which will offer enough storage for several games and your operating system, then lean on something like the Seagate 500GB Barracuda HDD to store everything else.
You could go for an SSD on its own, but because they’re much pricer, splitting the work between two will save you money without a noticeable performance difference.
Case & Fans
No doubt you’ve been drooling over some dreamy cases in your quest to build your next PC, and happily, there are some beautiful options that come with a modest price tag! Whether you want something minimal or showstopping, it’s important to measure up and make sure it fits your motherboard and components, with room left for intake and exhaust fans.
Unless you’re stepping into extreme build territory (which on a budget, you’re most likely not), then a mid-sized tower should suit you just fine.
We love the Thermaltake Versa H22 and the Phanteks P300 for form and function.
For a cool, quiet gaming PC setup, invest in fans that will provide enough air intake and exhaust so your parts don’t overheat - we break down airflow and static pressure fans in our guide, but don’t get too caught up on this! There are some great budget-friendly options that help your rig keep its cool as you tear through the impressive environments in Control or Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
VA, TN, or IPS panel? Curved or flat? The world of monitors can seem confusing, so let’s break it down.
For a start, on a budget build, you won’t need to concern yourself too much with higher resolutions like 1440p and 2160p because your graphics card may not be able to handle it. Opt for a full HD (1080p) instead, at around 24” for optimal comfort.
Looking forward to fast-paced games like Ghost Recon: Breakpoint? For the smoothest experience, try to aim for a monitor with a higher refresh rate like the Acer 24.5 Inch FHD or the ASUS VG278Q with a TN panel. If you’re more invested in slower, graphic-intensive games, then an IPS panel monitor like the AOC i2481Fxh 23.8" Widescreen offers better color quality. If you’re looking forward to playing a bit of everything, go with a VA panel - they’re a more affordable all-rounder.
As for whether you should choose a curved or flat monitor? Curved screens are more immersive, but tend to be pricier.
You’ll need to get your own copy of whichever operating system you decide on, as it needs to be installed separately. We’d strongly recommend Windows 10 as most of the AAA titles coming out this year are made for it. Thankfully, it’s super simple to install once you’ve built your PC!
Now you know which parts to choose for your next budget build, there’s only one more thing to decide; which game are you going to install first?