Do you have a friend named Harold who really wants to friends to play PC games with him? This guide will show you, with no fluff, how to build a gaming PC for under $450.
Step 1 – Select the PC – $150
You want something modern but not overpriced. I recommend going with the Dell OptiPlex 9020; for less than $150 you get a 5th generation i5 process, 8gb of RAM, and a 500gb HDD. Alternatively you can opt for a solid-state drive, but that’ll bring up the price by at least $100. I went with the 500gb because I’m 1) cheap and 2) don’t care about load speed. It also has a built-in speaker that is pretty terrible.
Step 2 – Select a Video Card – $225
The Dell OptiPlex 9020 has a small form factor and will require a low-profile video card. Fortunately, there is a perfect candidate: the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. This is basically the most expensive part of the computer. You can get a used one for less than $150, but used video cards can die on you at any second.
Step 3 – LCD Monitor $55
Buy whatever monitor suits you. I prefer smaller monitors so I can see everything on the screen without moving my eyes around or using my peripherals. A simple 22” LED LCD monitor will get the job done.
Step 4 – Mouse and Keyboard – $20
A cheap wired mouse and keyboard set will get the job done. Wireless devices can sometimes have latency problems which will cause you to lose. You don’t want to lose.
That’s it. Put the computer together and start playing PC games. I get a steady 60fps on Call of Duty with medium graphics settings and easily a steady 60fps in League of Legends. Other games I’ve tried that run smoothly are Starcraft II and Apex Legends. If you want me to test a game to make sure it works, leave a comment.