Zac’s Game Corner: Building a Solid Gaming PC for Under $650!

You don't need him to build it.

This week I decided I would do an article about building a gaming PC on the cheap. The cost and overwhelming feeling of putting a PC together can scare some people off from becoming PC gamer. Fear Not! Zac here to show you that converting to PC gaming isn’t as expensive or as scary as you might think.


The first thing when considering any new build is what types of games you will run. This will unveil what you will put into your build. For my build I will plan on playing the most current games on medium to high graphic settings. All right lets get started the following is all the parts you will need for the build with links for purchasing.


Motherboard: For this build we will be using a MSI PH61A-P35 (B3) LGA.  The motherboard is really the heart of your system and should be picked out very carefully.  I picked this board for a few reasons: it include support for up to 16gigs of RAM.  It includes 6 SATA connectors for lots of drives, USB 3.0 for external devices and a gigabyte Ethernet port for speedy network connectivity (no need for network lag to steal the winning kill from you!).  The price for the motherboard comes in at only $74.99.


CPU (or processor): Since we went with an Intel motherboard we will be using an Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge @ 3.3GHz. The reason I went with an Intel CPU is better performance: Intel out preforms AMD, plain and simple. For more information about this you can check out this article on Toms Hardware.  Price for our CPU is $129.99.

Next in the build comes RAM (memory): When it comes to RAM the thing you should think of is amount: “do I need 4gig or 8?”.  RAM has gone down a lot in recent years so why not include 8gig. For this build I will be using Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB cost $34.99.


Hell you might need a TB to match Sasha Grey's storage capacity.

We also need a Hard Drive:  You need a good size one to store all those games and Sasha Grey DVDS you have.  Hard drive prices have sky rocketed in the last 6 months due to some flooding in the countries they are manufactured in. I was able to pick up a 500gig Samsung for our build for $79.99 (the same drive six months ago was a mere $39.99!)


Next you will need a Graphics Card (or GPU) to pump out all of those sick graphics:  This is one area you don’t want to skimp on.  I for my build I picked out a GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA Series GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon HD 6850.  This card should handle most anything you throw its way @ 1080P resolution.  For $139.99 it’s also not too bad on your wallet.


Next we’ll toss in a cheap DVD burner.  For this I just went with the cheapest one I could find.  A Samsung 22x burner cost $15.99.


Another area you don’t want to skimp on is the Power Supply (or PSU): this is what provides juice to all of your other components and you don’t want it getting overloaded and blowing up, or shorting out your expensive GPU in the peak of an intense battle.  I went with a trusted brand; Antec and a unit that provides plenty of juice (620W) for future upgrades to GPU or extra harddrives or what-have-you.  $59.99 gets it done.


Last but by no means least, is the Case to hold all our super sweet hardware:  You can really go pretty crazy with cases if you want.  But the main thing is it needs to fit all your hardware and it needs to keep it all cool as well.  Good ventilation is key, so make sure you have enough fans to keep things from over-heating.  For this build I choose the Rosewill Challenger case.  It has plenty of space for all our components, three 120mm fans to keep things cool, and also sweet blue LED lights to impress anyone who comes around.  For $49.99, this case is a great value.


New for the scary part assembling all that newly acquired hardware. For this I have included links to some very good youtube video tutorials.

They should walk you through the build process pretty easily if you still have questions feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to help you.

The last thing you will need to do after assembling all your hardware is install your operating system. I did not include a copy of Windows 7 in the build price. You can download a 90-day trail from Microsoft here. After your trail you can either “hack your trail version” or what I would suggest is just saving some money over those 90 days and buying your own copy. I hope everyone found this article really useful. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below. Happy Gaming Everyone!