The increasing popularity of eSports and new PC hardware means that more gamers can now build a PC for competitive gaming.
Most popular competitive PC games are not super-demanding on hardware, with titles like CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, and Overwatch running decently on “low-end” graphics cards.
However, for gamers who want to play competitively, you will need more graphics power in order to deliver smooth framerates and responsive gameplay.
Below is a list of components for a budget PC which can handle popular eSports titles at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and produce high frame rates.
Pentium G4560 and Radeon RX 550
Intel’s latest processor range includes the Pentium G4560, which offers two physical cores, 3MB of L3 cache, and a clock speed of 3.5GHz – all at almost half the price of an Intel Core i3-7100.
The specifications make it perfect for a budget gaming rig, as it can run most lightweight gaming titles.
AnandTech’s benchmark data shows that this chip can maintain good frame rates in most titles and does not limit GPU performance enough to notably affect gameplay at 1,920 x 1,080.
The CPU can be paired with AMD’s new Polaris graphics cards, which offer a good price-performance ratio.
The modestly-powerful but inexpensive Radeon RX 550 is a top candidate, and is more than capable of running many eSports titles.
Users may have to lower graphics settings to “Medium” for more demanding games, but the RX 550’s price point is great for those on a budget.
We compared prices from numerous South African online stores to find the cheapest pricing on components for our budget gaming PC.
The component list focuses on the price of an eSports-ready PC, and does not include unnecessary hardware or peripherals.
|Pentium G4560 3.50GHz||R1,048|
|AsRock H110M-DVS R3 Micro-ATX motherboard||R713|
|Cooler Master Elite 343 Case||R513|
|Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 2GB||R1,542|
|Corsair 8GB DDR4 ValueRAM 2,133MHz||R936|
|WD Blue 1TB 7,200RPM HDD||R798|
|Corsair VS 450W PSU||R545|
If users are willing to spend more than the amount above, there are several performance upgrades which can be made to the system.
Every gaming PC should include an SSD as a boot drive and storage for most-played games, which is more expensive than an HDD.
If you are interested in playing performance-heavy games, you may need to upgrade to a quad-core chip, such as an Intel Core i5-7400.
A graphics card upgrade may also be in order if you wish to play the latest high-end titles. Both the Radeon RX 580 and GeForce GTX 1060 are powerful cards which can handle gaming at 1080p.
More RAM can be added to the board if the user is multi-tasking and requires more memory, as the 8GB listed in the build only occupies a single slot on the motherboard.