Build A Gaming PC For Just R10K!
R10 000 can buy you a fairly decent gaming PC, if you know where to shop. I hit up my favourite price-comparison site, Pricecheck.co.za, to see what kind of machine I could put together for just R10k. I did very well, with my final build coming in at quite a bit less. Here’s how I did it.
I started with an attractive yet austere case, CoolerMaster’s Elite 311. It has no power supply, but a nice blue trim that lights up when connected to power. I went for a 550W power supply, as that will supply more than enough juice to the system even with a discrete graphics card installed.
For the motherboard, I chose the Asus P8B75-MLE, an entry-level board that can accommodate the system’s third-generation Core i5 chip. It’s nothing fancy, but it has enough ports to provide decent connectivity and a PCI Express slot fast enough for a decent graphics card. It also has two USB 3.0 ports, an 8-channel onboard sound card and an HDMI output that will be useful for hooking up to an external TV.
The processor itself is Intel’s Core i5-3330, clocked at 3.0GHz. It’s by no means a beast, and there is no k after its name so it’s not an overclocker’s dream, but I felt it offers enough performance for the price.
I had to skimp a bit on the RAM to stay within the R10k budget, going for only 4 gigs of DDR3-1600, but it’s from a very reputable company (Corsair) and thus worthwhile. 4GB is enough for everyday computing and it should even be okay for gaming. More is better, of course.
On the storage side the 500GB Seagate drive and no-name DVD writer aren’t particularly exciting either, but they’re both SATA drives and should suffice for now. Ideally I wanted a bigger hard drive but this is a budget rig so I was limited to just 500GB.
The graphics card on any PC is by far the most important component when it comes to gaming performance, and this one from nVidia is a middle-of-the-road card that will play most games on medium detail settings without much trouble at 1080p. It will struggle a bit on occasion, though, so if you can stretch your budget a little further, I highly recommend choosing the GTX660 that costs R800 more instead, as it will offer smoother frame rates on average.
Surprisingly, I was able to find a 23-inch LCD monitor for less than R2k, and the remaining components – keyboard, mouse and speakers – cost just R435 in total. The last big expense is the Windows license, which in this case is the 64-bit, single-language version of Windows 8 (not Pro) that saves you R800 or so over the multi-language Pro version.
The delivery cost of each part can be taken out of the remaining R608.20; at an average charge of R35 per delivery from eight different online vendors, that’s R280 in delivery fees, leaving you with change of R328.20. If any of them don’t charge for delivery based on the value of your order, put that extra cash towards RAM to boost Windows and general gaming performance.
And voilà, you have a fairly decent budget PC that can play games for a bit less than R10 000.
CoolerMaster Elite Case 311
R324 from Sybaritic
550W ATX PSU Huntkey Green
R495 from PC International
ASUS P8B75-MLE Motherboard
R845 from Rebeltech
Intel Core i5-3330 @ 3.0GHz
Corsair Value Select 4GB DDR3-1600 RAM
R373 from Purple Fly Trading
Seagate 500GB 7200rpm HDD
R609 from PC International
LG DVD Writer 24X +R, SATA Dual Layer
R165 from Sybaritic
GeForce GTX650 2GB
R1526.80 from PCMall
Windows 8 64-bit Single Language DVD Only
R888 from PC Express
MS Wheel Mouse Optical USB
R96 from PC International
MS Wired Comfort Keyboard 3000
R175 from PC Direct
23-inch LG Monitor M2362APT
R1825 from PC Direct
Logitech 2.0 Z120 Speakers
R164 from GigaBuzz
Anything you would do differently? Let us know in the comments below!