CPU: Intel Pentium G4560Motherboard: MSI B250MPRO-VD
GPU: MSI GTX 1050 OC
PSU: Antec VP500P 500W power supply
Memory: 8GB HyperX Fury DDR4 RAM
Storage: Samsung 750 EVO 120GB SSD
Case: Bitfenix Comrade windowed gaming case
Total Cost: R7,443 or less
I can already tell that I raised a few eyebrows with my choice of CPU. I know that whenever someone hears the word “Pentium” the first instinct is to run. But there is actually some strong reasoning behind my choice. Although the G4560 bears the Pentium name, it’s actually no joke for budget builds. The main reason is that the G4560 supports hyper-threading, which essentially turns the Pentium into an i3 at a fraction of the cost. And because the Intel family of processors have a clear update path ending with the best i7 processor, it will be much easier to make gradual updates as
you go along.
I went with the MSI B250M PRO-VD, mainly because of the CPU upgrade potential. The B250M supports not only Skylake, but Kabylake as well, so there is a lot of room for CPU upgrades without having to upgrade your MOBO as you go through CPUs. The B250M also features an M.2 slot, for future expansion, as well as an absolutely awesome reinforced steel PCIe slot for extra GPU safety.
The MSI GTX 1050 would never be my first choice for a higher-end PC build, but for our budget machine it’s the perfect fit. You aren’t going to be maxing out your games at above 60fps, but it cruises through games on medium-high settings with better than decent framerates, and certainly
outperforms the PS4 and Xbox One. Especially when paired with the G4560.
For the PC’s RAM requirements, I went with a single stick of 8GB DDR4 2400MHz desktop memory by HyperX. I chose this memory based on the fact that the B250M is a dual channel motherboard, so you will be able to upgrade to 16GB without any issues.
The storage choice is the most interchangeable component in this build. While I decided to go with n SSD, because I personally believe that most modern gaming PCs should have an SSD for faster boot speeds and loading screens, you could easily switch this out for a WD Blue 1TB HDD for roughly the same price. It all depends on your personal needs. If you prefer performance over value, go with the SSD, but if you are in need of raw storage with decent performance, choose the HDD.
The PSU choice was a simple one to make. The Antec VP500P was the cheapest PSU I could find that still boasts an 80+ efficiency rating and a guaranteed continuous 500W power supply. Although it may not be modular, it performs all the tasks it needs to perform quietly. And that’s all we can really ask for in this price range. Note: A 450W power supply will do just fine for this build, but it would be a waste when you want to perform major upgrades to your system.
Admittedly the case was a bit of a snap decision. We wanted something cheap but still functional for the PC we were building. The Bitfenix Comrade is the cheapest case we could find that still offers decent cable management and GPU clearance for future upgrades. The Comrade actually looks pretty awesome, and surprisingly has a windowed side-panel for extra flash. If you want to go the extra mile, the Raidmax Vortex V4 404 chassis is not a bad alternative at only R150 – R250 more.
For this test, we ran both GTA V and Overwatch. We chose these two games to represent the two different types of games that this system would typically run; Big AAA titles, and esports games. GTA V ran smoothly on our budget system, averaging 70-100fps at high settings depending highly on gameplay factors. The system never dipped too low, and certainly outperformed the Xbox One and PS4 at 1080p. The Console Killer also smashed Overwatch at 1080p. With high settings, overwatch averaged between 80 and 100fps at all times. You can definitely up the settings on both titles and still get great performance from our little powerhouse.