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Budget Gaming Build Guide

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Xaltar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Budget Gaming Build Guide
    Posted: 25 Apr 2020 at 1:01am
Youtube is littered with "Budget Build" videos so clearly, there is a lot of
interest in building affordable gaming setups. With that in mind I figured
why not do a simple budget guide here using ASRock components,
ASRock does afterall have some very appealing low cost products on
offer.

The first step is to determine resolution, what resolution is your monitor
and if you don't have one, what will it be?

It seems a lot of people are not aware that modern displays (panels) only
really look good at their native resolution. While something like 720p looks
like hot garbage on a 1080p or higher display, you would be surprised just
how good it looks on a native 720p display. For those of you on a very tight
budget it is an extremely good option. Why? Simply because the lower the
resolution the lower the demand on your system. Where a GPU may
struggle at 1080p and deliver unplayable FPS, even on low settings you
often find it will do far better at 720p. I was able to pick up a used 720p TV
for next to nothing and it makes a fantastic monitor for a budget build.
Bare in mind however, TVs are not good for competetive online titles, you
will have higher latency that will result in slightly slower response times in
your online FPS titles. Nonetheless, on a very tight budget it balances out
when you consider the much higher FPS you will get at 720p and the size
of the panel, a 32" 720p display looks pretty impressive to the non tech savy
and makes your gaming just that little bit more immersive.

1080p tends to be the desired resolution for most people on a budget
and fortunately, there are currently some very good budget GPU options
that will get you 60+ FPS in current titles (as of 2020).

1440p is best avoided on a tight budget.

Once you have your resolution nailed down, it's time to look at the games
you plan to play. Are you just looking at current, popular E-Sports titles or
do you want to play AAA titles in single player too? Building an E-Sports
oriented system is far cheaper than a full blown gaming rig, at least when
all you are looking to do is actually play the games and have an enjoyable
experience.

Lastly, what other tasks would you like the system to be catered to?
Streaming, video editing, photoshop etc, all these things have different
needs and all can be better or worse catered for in a budget system.

I am going to list 3 examples of potential builds:

1. An ultra budget gaming system that can handle basic every day tasks and
gaming at 720p with low/medium settings. (also great as a media box)

2. A gaming setup with a discrete GPU capable of 1080p gaming and decent
FPS in E-Sports titles using competetive settings.

3. An all rounder system capable of handling AAA titles and productivity tasks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2020 at 1:01am
Ultra Budget Build

So you have very little to spend and are not willing to risk buying second hand
parts. You want something that is cheap but can be upgraded as more funds
become available to you. Maybe you already have a TV you can use as a display
@720p or 768p (1280x720 or 1366x768, these are common resolutions for "HD"
TVs).

CPU: Athlon 3000g or 200ge
Whichever is cheapest in your area, they are almost identical in performance when overclocked.

Motherboard:
a) On a very tight budget:

ASRock A320M-HDV - https://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/A320M-HDV%20R4.0/index.asp

b) If you can manage a little more on the board for future upgrades:

ASRock B450M Pro4 - https://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/B450M%20Pro4/index.asp

RAM: An 8gb kit of RAM (2x4gb) rated at least DDR4 3000, if the budget is very tight
and you can find a good deal on slower RAM make sure it is at least 2x4gb, you do
not want to give up dual channel when using integrated graphics.

Power Supply: Any 80+ Bronze or better certified PSU. If it has no certification you
are being too cheap on the PSU and it will come back to haunt you. I cannot stress
enough the importance of a certified PSU. Ideally, you want 450w or better with a single
+12v rating of 30a or better. Do not buy units with multiple +12v ratings that split the
amps into multiple +12v rails. This is fine for higher rated units (650w+) but not sub
600w units, I am referring explicitly to gaming systems here. Also bare in mind
that you will likely need to upgrade to at least a 550w PSU if you upgrade
your GPU to anything more power hungry later.

Case: Anything with decent airflow and at least 1 included fan that will fit your
motherboard (ATX, mATX, ITX etc). If your budget is extremely tight you can
even forgo a case altogether and run the system without a case on your desk
for a while until you can afford something. I don't recommend this but if it means
being able to build a system vs not......

Storage: A 128gb SSD can be had for very little money these days. If you have
the budget you can compliment this with a 1tb or greater mechanical hard disk.
Alternatively, if you can find a decent deal, get a bigger SSD. SATA is fine, you
don't need NVMe or M.2 drives at this price point.


The Athlon 3000g and 200ge can both be overclocked, I would recommend 3.8ghz.
That should be achievable with the included cooling solution. With this setup you
will be relying on the iGPU portion of the CPU. It will perform decently well
at 720p/768p with low settings in most games and at least let you actually play
games. Later you can add a discrete GPU, a better CPU (GPU first) and more RAM
etc. The beauty of this is that you will have a solid, usable base to build from
component by component as funds become available. More so if you managed
to get the B450 board.

Edited by Xaltar - 28 Apr 2020 at 10:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2020 at 1:02am
E-Sports Gaming setup

Again, assuming a small budget but a bit more than the build above:

CPU: Ryzen 3 1200
Where I live at least these cost only a fraction more than the Athlons, they have 4
logical cores instead of 2 cores and 4 threads on the Athlons. As we will be going
with a discrete GPU here, there is also no need for the iGPU portion of the Athlons.

Motherboard: ASRock B450M Pro4 - https://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/B450M%20Pro4/index.asp

GPU: ASRock Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX570 4G OC:
https://www.asrock.com/Graphics-Card/AMD/Phantom%20Gaming%20X%20Radeon%20RX570%204G%20OC/

Other components: As in the Ultra Budget build except you will absolutely want a 550w
or better PSU with at least 35a on a single +12v rail.

With the prices of the RX 570s so low, there is absolutely no point in purchasing
anything less. If you can not afford a new one, get a used one. You will regret
getting lower tier cards when you could have had RX 570 performance for near
enough the same price. Currently on newegg, the RX 550 is only $30 cheaper than
the ASRock RX 570. Used prices are even lower and this is one of the few occasions
I would recommend a used GPU over a new, lower tier one. For the price of a used
RX 570 you can barely manage an RX 550 or Geforce 1030gt, the performance is
not even remotely comparable.

This system will handle E-Sports titles well at 1080p with competetive settings.
You will be able to be competitive (hardware wise at least) and enjoy the experience.


Edited by Xaltar - 28 Apr 2020 at 10:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2020 at 1:03am
All rounder build:

This is for people looking to extract the maximum value from their limited budget.
For those of you with a bit more to spend that want a solid, all round, decent system.

CPU: Ryzen 5 1600
AF or AE, whichever is cheaper where you live though the AF is actually a lower
clocked R5 2600 so try and get one of these if you can manage it, it will be faster
and have slightly better RAM support. Most sellers list the AF as (AF) in the listing
but if not, it is simply the last 2 letters of the part number.
AE = First gen Ryzen
AF = Second gen

RAM: 16gb (2x8gb or 4x4gb, whichever is cheaper for you)

All other components as with the E-Sports build.

These two deviations from the E-Sports build will give you 6 cores/12 threads
and enough RAM to handle just about anything you would want to throw at the
system. Add more storage if the budget allows.



Naturally you can keep scalling up, but with these 3 examples I think I have illustrated
how to scale. Never cheap out on the PSU or important components to cram a
slightly better GPU into your system. Better to get an APU and a decent PSU then
buy a decent discrete GPU later when you have the money than risk frying the entire
system, including your marginally better GPU because you cheaped out on the PSU.

I also would not recommend an A320 board unless the budget is exceedingly tight.

Important notes:

CPU compatibility: ALWAYS check to make sure the motherboard you are getting
will support the CPU you are getting. If you get an a320 board, make sure it supports
the Athlon 3000g or 200ge you plan to get with it. It needs to be Ryzen 2000 ready for
the 200ge and Ryzen 3000 ready for the 3000g. There should be a sticker on the box
indicating this. The Ryzen 1600 (AF) will also need a recent (3000 ready) BIOS version.
You can also inquire with the retailer.

RAM: Ever a problem with AM4, on a tight budget, picking and choosing RAM may be
a luxury you can't afford. As a general rule, most RAM manufacturers have RAM
designed for AMD systems, make sure you get RAM certified for Ryzen, even if it
costs a bit more. For example; Gskill has Fortis on the budget end for AMD, you
do NOT want Aegis, that is for intel and frequently either won't work at all on AM4 or is
unstable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2020 at 1:05am
I have not recommended any intel setups here, not because intel is bad but
simply because intel will typically cost more for similar performance at this
time (April 2020).

AMD offers the best value on the low end for gaming systems at this time and
this is a budget guide.
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