Whether you’re just starting out in the world of gaming or you’re already an advanced gamer, you may be looking to purchase a gaming PC or custom one for your hobby. Before you do so, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of buying a cheap gaming PC over a pricier one. Here are the things you may consider when you’re choosing what to purchase.
In this age of high-capacity processors, part of the appeal of modern PC games is the ultra-realistic graphics. For some gamers, the graphics are as important as the gameplay, as these supplement the level of immersion that’s ignited by the game’s storyline.
A major part of the cost of a gaming PC is the GPU, or the Graphics Processing Unit. Also commonly known as the video card, the GPU is the piece of hardware that carries all the processing load in terms of rendering the scenery and animations in a game. The processing power of the GPU will determine how your movements affect the game environment, from muzzle flashes of the weapons to how the movement of trees respond to player movements.
As a gaming enthusiast, you’d naturally want to have the latest and most advanced GPU available. However, through proper tweaking and setting up, you can also achieve incredible graphics on a cheap gaming PC. The GPUs from one or two generations ago can still handle most of the current games effortlessly, and you won’t feel that much of a difference especially for more common HD resolutions like 1080p. When venturing into ultra-HD levels such as 4K resolution, you may still manage it by throttling the graphics demand to slightly lower environment definition or reduce the size of rendered graphics in the game.
One thing that you may have to sacrifice for budget setups is the latest trends in gaming, such as virtual reality or ultra-wide and curved monitors. Handing the processing for the latest games for these types of display outputs may be too much for lower-tier GPUs, and you may suffer some lags during gameplay.
One common goal for PC builders is future-proofing. They want to get the newest and most advanced components to ensure that these can still handle new technologies coming in the next one or two years.
The newest models of components such as motherboards and CPUs are more versatile in terms of upgrades and modifications to accept newer technologies. Having the latest in industry standards connection points and specs, overclocking the CPU, and connecting newer GPUs on motherboards will be more feasible for updated models.
You may still use lower-tier or older motherboards and CPUs and expect the same performance. However, when it comes to upgrading for future demands, you may have to replace motherboards and CPUs altogether to accommodate modifications and overclocking. One advantage though of cheaper builds is that replacement would be easier due to its lower initial cost.
3. Power supply
Commonly overlooked as a component in PC builds, the power supply can make or break your build. Low-quality power supplies can perform inefficiently, and make the other components underperform as well. Worse, a mediocre power supply may destroy or damage the other PC components altogether.
There are popular brands that manufacture good-quality and reliable power supplies for your high-end components, and these will give the best power delivery to ensure your continuous gaming enjoyment.
Some cheaper gaming PCs tend to install lower-end power supplies, which you should be careful of. There are still low-end power supplies that perform satisfactorily, but always check the specs and reliability of the power supply before purchasing.
Similar to graphics processing, the thousands of calculations being done in real time define the gameplay and environment of a game. As such, the CPU should have the processing power available to handle these calculations and deliver seamless gaming performances. Getting the best processors will ensure this smooth experience. However, cheaper models may also deliver close to the high-end model performance.
Again, it all depends on how the system is tweaked, and on how the in-game settings are defined. You may make some compromises in setting up the game, such as lowering shadow definition but maintaining the items in the immediate field of view as still realistic. It all depends on you as the actual user and on how realistic and smooth you want your gaming experience to be.
Part of the marketing strategy of gaming PC manufacturers is to make their units look as cool and modern as possible. You may already have seen aggressive-looking PC towers with LED lights and cooling water pipes. The big manufacturers exert effort on making these units look cool in addition to performing well.
Cheaper gaming PCs may not always have aesthetics in mind. Manufacturers of more affordable gaming PCs wouldn’t have the necessary marketing power to research on what the average gamer wants their PCs to look like, and the visual appeal of these PCs may not be as cool as the higher-end models.
When it comes to aesthetics, your choice will depend on your personal preferences. Fortunately, the aesthetics of your PC won’t affect your gaming performance. Moreover, you may always customize your setup as you go along, and as your budget allows.
When you’re choosing what gaming PC you should buy, and you want to stick to your budget, purchasing a cheap gaming PC from a reputable brand may work for you. You’ll get a high-quality gaming experience without making your pocket suffer. In the future, you may upgrade your PC or certain parts to enhance your gaming. This may be better than shelling out a lot of money right now.