IntroductionIn this episode of Builder's Digest, our ongoing series of what parts we would choose to build gaming PCs for specific budgets, we'll try our hand at a gaming PC on a shoestring budget. This build will make our case for PC gaming over console gaming in general, so the weight on our shoulders is immense.
Last week, we put together a high-performance 1440p build with the latest Core "Skylake" quad-core processor, GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics, and 250 GB SSD storage, at a strategic $1,700 price-point (this includes stuff outside the case, such as a monitor and all gaming peripherals). We were still working on the format of our presentation, so forgive us for a crude albeit positive start. We set $1,700 rather than an even-sounding $2,000 as our budget because adding taxes, logistics, and software takes that figure to $2,000. Piling up pre-tax MSRPs of up to $2,000 would have been a dishonest approach. Check out our $1,700 A10-Warthog of a build.
Back to our $800 build. Our goal is to comprehensively beat the Sony PlayStation 4 - the most powerful game console - in visuals. The PS4 renders most games at 1080p, but some games with heavy visuals can make the console render at 900p, or have it upscale back to 1080p with some clever re-sampling. The PS4 may boast an intuitive controller and a decent library of games, but our build beats that by supporting every PC game ever made (including pre-Windows NT games using DOSBox) and including the precision of a keyboard and mouse. You can also do your taxes and write your mom.