Finally, it is that time of the year where our wallets are fat and our imaginations run wild on what we will be wasting our hard earned 13th month pay on. If you are somebody who was saving for a PC but is on a budget, well let me guide you to a solid gaming PC build that is under PHP 30,000. Chances are if you are reading this, you just receive or will receive you extra 13th month moolah!
A year ago, I wrote a similar article with a target budget of PHP 35,000 (which I found out is what most people are willing to spend), but since technology advanced so much since then and there are more choices than ever before, it seems PHP 30,000 is now a healthy budget in spending for a budget gaming PC.
Then why get a gaming PC again? Once again, aside from being more versatile compared to gaming consoles like the popular PlayStations and the X-Boxes, a properly setup personal computer will just run smoother and look better than consoles. Plus you can’t play DotA2 on a PlayStation or an X-box!
Unlike last year, we’ll dig deeper inside the rabbit hole on why we came to this build. The Intel Core i3-6100 3.7ghz “Skylake“ is still a solid and excellent choice for a budget gaming system. Even if it only has 2 “physical-cores”, Intel has this interesting technology called “Hyperthreading” where the processor will also run additional “virtual cores” thus making the Intel i3-6100 simulate in a way how a true quadcore processor runs. So how does this benefit you? See, a lot of modern games not just only depend on how fast the processor is, but also runs better on how many threads the processor runs! So, basically, dependent on the game, the humble i3-6100 will perform around 70~100% of what an i5 can do at similar clock speeds! Not bad for a processor well under PHP 6,000!
When the Intel Skylake platform came out, MSI, one of the big brands out there, came out with a bang and churned out affordable but solid motherboards. One that I recommend is the MSI Night Elf B150M. Unlike other motherboards in its price range, the Night Elf boasts of having 4x RAM slots, huge VRM heat sinks to keep your VRM temperature in check, a gaming LAN port, upgraded audio components, but most importantly, a reinforced PCI-Express slot for those huge gaming video cards. There is no other motherboard out there in our market that matches what the MSI Night Elf offers for the same price.
But if the MSI Night Elf is out of reach, an excellent alternative is the Asrock H110M HDV. Just remove all the sexy and flashy bits from the Night Elf, remove 2x RAM slots and what you have is a basic but solid motherboard.
For the RAM (Random Access Memory), even for Windows 10, 4GB of system RAM is okay but ideally it should be 8GB or above. Since the RAM clock speed for non-Z Intel based motherboards are locked to DDR4 2133 MHz (with very few exceptions), any brand of RAM with those speeds will do. Some of my favorite RAM brands are from GSkill, Corsair, and Kingston. If budget is tight, get a 4GB for now and just get another stick of the exact same model in the near future.
For our storage, the 1 terabyte Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EZEX 7200 RPM is another great choice. It offers more value per peso compared to faster SSD or solid state drives. Of course since mechanical hard disk drives are slower than SSD, what you get is up to 4x the capacity of decent SSD at half the price.
Now, the PSU or Power Supply Unit–the most important part and literally the heart of the build–not only does it dictate which parts you can install, but it also helps reduce electricity consumption while protecting your investment compared to no name generic PSU that can be found for free with a case. Sticking with a generic PSU is one of the common mistakes people make when buying a PC. I’ve seen so many nightmare builds with high-end parts but skimping out for the most important of all.
But is buying a budget PSU bad? Well there are cheap PSU that are also cheaply made, but every now and then there are PSUs that perform so well you’d hardly believe they even exist. The Corsair VS450 is one of those PSUs. Not only has it all the basic protection your system will ever need, but it is one of those affordable PSUs that will provide clean power with its PSU rating. Yes, this humble PSU will really provide up to 450W of juice! A true rated, efficient, and affordable power supply unit for the masses indeed.