How to Build a Cheap Gaming Computer

Written by alexandra romanov
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How to Build a Cheap Gaming Computer
Choose your parts wisely. (computer image by peter Hires Images from

Building an inexpensive gaming computer is easier than you might think. With the proliferation of plug-and-play components, even a novice can create a great gaming rig. In terms of budget, spend most of your funds on the motherboard, RAM and graphics cards to get the best gaming performance.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Make a list of components to purchase. For a general idea, check the recommended system specifications of the games that you want to play. Do not purchase just the bare minimum of what is required to play the games, because expansion packs and future games will likely raise the bar.

  2. 2

    Choose a reliable retailer for purchasing your computer components. (See Resources.) When choosing components, read the consumer reviews to see what experiences others have had with the components.

  3. 3

    Choose a case. Unless you have a specific motherboard in mind, you need a case that will house all of your computer components. To save money, opt for a generic case. It should be large enough to hold everything you want to install and still allow for good air flow.

  4. 4

    Select a motherboard. The motherboard must fit securely into the case you have chosen. The motherboard should have plenty of upgrade slots, not just for what you currently plan to install but also for any future expansion you may decide to complete.

  5. 5

    Buy the CPU. The CPU, or Central Processing Unit, is the brain of the computer. It can be purchased already installed on the motherboard or you can purchase and install it separately. If you are considering a future upgrade, make sure that the motherboard can handle a more powerful CPU.

  6. 6

    Purchase the RAM. Follow the instructions that come with the motherboard as to what type of RAM to purchase. If possible, max out the RAM by buying as much as the motherboard can handle.

  7. 7

    Select your hard drive. Buy the largest that you can afford, but at minimum it should have 250 GB.

  8. 8

    Buy your graphics card. This is where you will want to spend the bulk of your money. Buy a card that will fit into the expansion slot on your motherboard, either a PCI or AGP card. Buy the best that you can afford because this is the card that will dictate the graphics rendered on your screen. Two top brands are nVidia and ATI.

  9. 9

    Purchase your audio card. Look at both user recommendations on the retail sites as well as the documentation on the games you want to play. If you play games with 3D sound then you will want to go for a higher-end sound card capable of meeting this specification.

  10. 10

    Install components according to manufacturer directions.

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