If you’ve always wanted to join the ‘PC Master Race’ but assumed you’d need to take out a second mortgage on your home in order to make out happen then worry not.
Whilst going for a top tier graphics card and updating your processor on a regular basis will indeed probably set you back about as much as three modern games consoles, it’s possible to build a powerful and flexible rig for less than the cost of a brand new Nintendo Switch.
As long as you know where to look and what you’re looking for, of course.
The most obvious place to look is the GPU (or graphics card) that governs how much processing power the visual clarity, definition and depth of your games can have. Whilst you could comfortably spend up to a grand on a GeForce 2080, which would comfortably allow you to max out settings on most games and run them at a 4K resolution far beyond 60 frames per second (fps), for all but the most avid of gamers – it would be overkill.
For a fraction of the price, you could pick up a GeForce 1050, which would give you access to the vast majority of modern games at resolutions beyond 1080p at a steady frame rate. Far beyond even the power offered by the PS4 or Xbox One.
Whilst the GPU is indeed the most important factor when building a gaming PC, you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to everything else. Indeed, perhaps one of the cheapest ways to gain a quick boost in power is to invest in extra RAM, which is often cheap and plentiful as long as you know where to look online. Boosting your RAM from a standard 8GB to 16GB or even 32GB will give your GPU a little more breathing room.
It’s also worth noting that, if you’re building a rig from scratch, you might want to consider the cheapest possible case. It will just be sitting under your desk anyway. Finally, invest in an SSD hard drive if you want your games to load that much faster and remember you can always use a typical LED TV as a monitor if you don’t want to fork out on an expensive ‘bespoke’ screen.
Ultimately, as long as your components have quality RS Components with quality microprocessors that are designed to do what you actually need, rather than what you think you need, then you should be able to find that perfect middle ground between cost and power.
Just remember to shop around, do your research and think about the kind of games you’re going to play. Because if you’re just going to be spending 100 hours playing Civilisation, you probably won’t need the latest flagship GeForce card to run it at max!