Basic budget guide for PC hardware with Gaming in mind


Pinoy Techie
Basic budget guide for PC hardware with Gaming in mind. This won’t cover advanced topics, just a basic guide to help new pc builders with their budget gaming rigs. Also if you guys find mistakes or lacking information please do comment below so I can update this post

PC is composed of the following
  • Motherboard - will refer to it as Mobo in this guide.
  • GPU - Graphics Processing Unit (commonly known as Video Card)
  • CPU - Central Processing unit (commonly known as Processor)
  • -RAM - Random-access memory
  • PSU - Power Supply Unit
  • HDD - Hard Disk Drive
  • SSD - Solid State Drive
  • Case
Top trusted brands are: (in no specific order):
  • Asus
  • Gigabyte
  • MSI
  • ASRock
  • EVGA
Sizes: Choose the size that fits you best, if you want a small or big pc.CPU socket:
  • Mobo sockets is where the CPU is placed
  • Will decide on what CPU you can use.
Different Intel sockets (not including older models)
  • LGA1151 – 6th gen i3/5/7
  • LGA1150 - 4th gen i3/5/7
  • LGA1155 – 2nd 3rd gen i3/5/7
Chipsets: a very simple definition would be: it’s what classifies motherboards by having different features, and is usually included in the motherboards model name. If you want to know the different features of each Chipset, google is your friend.

Performance - Generally have support for Overclocking, RAID and SLI/Crossfire. Usually comes with the best I/O compared to other chipsets as well as better support for future technologies.

Mainstream - Upper H series support RAID, Crossfire in some boards. Lower H series are generally not worth it and must be avoided unless budget dictates the choice.

Business - Add Q150, Q170.
Workstation - Add C232 (a.k.a. X150/X170). Supports Skylake Xeons. NO ONBOARD VIDEO I/O

Note: in Gaming specifically, the major difference between chipsets is you can only overclock on the more expensive/higher end chipsets models. Though I heard some manufacturers released updates to enable Business class chipsets to overclock.

So if you have no plans in overclocking then get the business or mainstream:
  • Performance Z170 X99 Z97 Z87
  • Mainstream H170 H97 H87
  • Business B150 B85 Choosing your Nvidia GPU
2 General Model Types of GPU

Reference Card
The advantage of this is it exhausts the hot air outside to the back of your case. So it depends on your hardware layout if you’re using multiple cards or other cases that take advantage of blower style GPU coolers.

Non-Reference Card
This is what most people would get, the custom ones designed by different brands/manufacturers. Usually considered better cards because of more features like metal backplate, better aestheticsMost importantly, better cooler = cooler temp = better overclock = higher FPS. (cooler circulates air inside the case unlike the reference card)

Brands: (in no specific order)
  • Asus
  • Gigabyte
  • Msi
  • EVGA
  • Zotac (I heard this brand is best for us in the PH in regards to warranty duration and price to performance) Palit
  • GalaxyNvidia
GPU models ranked from highest to lowest in regards to performance released cards as of 10/20/2016)
  • Titan X Pascal
  • GTX 1080 -GTX 1070
  • Titan X Maxwell, 980Ti
  • GTX 1060, 980, 690, Titan Black
  • GTX 780, 780Ti, 970, Titan
  • GTX 590, GTX 680, GTX 770
  • GTX 580, GTX 670, GTX 960
  • GTX 660Ti, GTX 760, GTX 950
  • GTX 295, GTX 480, GTX 570

My personal advice: 1080p max settings

– GTX 1060 or Higher Lower than 1080p mid-max settings
– wait for GTX 1050/1050Ti

Note: Higher-End GPU’s needs direct power from the PSU, example 970’s need 8pin wire from PSU to GPU directly. So make sure you research before upgrading your GPU If you have a compatible PSU

Choosing your CPU for Gaming: We won't dive deep into this topic

Get an i5 or higher main difference of an i5 and i7 “FOR GAMING” is that i7 series has a feature called “hyperthreading” meaning if the CPU has 4 physical/real cores, it also has 4 threads/virtual cores which is why windows will detect it as an 8 core CPU but it’s not a real 8 core CPU. i7’s with real 8-10 physical cores can be found in the Extreme Edition CPUs.

That is why i5’s with 4 physical cores (no hyperthreading) is highly suggested for Value/budget gaming setups since almost all games only utilize 4 cores.

Note: there are a very small number of games that benefit a lot from hyperthreading. Google if you want to do more research on what games utilizes more than 4 cores.

Other kinds of Intel CPU’s for budget builds aside from the i3/4/5 series are Pentiums.

Choosing RAM

8gb since a lot of new generation games now require 8gb or more. 6th gen i3/5/7 only supports DDR4 4th/5th gen i3/5/7 only supports DDR3

As for brands, any brand will do lol, even my generic Kingston lasted for a few years

Choosing a PSU

Trusted brands: (in no specific order)
  • XFX
  • EVGA
  • Corsair
  • SeaSonic
  • Cooler Master
  • Antec
  • Be quiet!
  • Rosewill
  • Silverstone
Sizes: Like the motherboard, PSU’s have different form factors/sizes, so choose one that will fit your case.

Modular - all cables are detachable, meaning if you’re not using some of the cables, you can take them off
Semi-Modular - Essential cables are permanently attached to the PSU itself while non-essential are detachable.
Non-Modular - all cables are permanently attached

Watts: At least 500w for a mid-tier GPU setup- 600w is pretty much compatible with any single GPU setup

Rating: IMPORTANT - 80+ Bronze or better
The basic 80 Plus rating means that the PSU is rated for at least 80% efficiency at 20% load, 50% load, and 100% load.
  • The 80 Plus Bronze rating means that the PSU is rated for at least 82% efficiency at 20% load, 85% at 50% load, and 82% at 100% load.
  • The 80 Plus Silver rating means that the PSU is rated for at least 85% efficiency at 20% load, 88% at 50% load, and 85% at 100% load.
  • The 80 Plus Gold rating meas that the PSU is rated for at least 87% efficiency at 20% load, 90% at 50% load, and 87% at 100% load.
  • The 80 Plus Platinum rating means that the PSU is rated for at least 90% efficiency at 20% load, 92% at 50% load, and 89% at 100% load.

Choosing HDD over SSD

no moving objects inside meaning less prone to mechanical failure -Higher read and write speed -More expensive HDD = cheaper

The basic concept is, install the Operating System (Windows) on the SSD because it’s faster which will make Windows snappier while you save your files on your HDD, Like pictures, movies, music.

Saving games on your SSD is not known to increase FPS but will definitely decrease load times in games.
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