Its a commonly held misconception that playing modern PC games is an expensive proposition, full of $500 video cards and $900 dual-core processors. Sure, you can have an amazing gaming experience if you want to blow thousands of dollars putting together our Killer Gaming Rig, but it doesnt have to be that way. You can enjoy the latest PC games with a sub-$1000 PC.
As youll see, that doesnt mean you have to miss out on all the “good stuff,” either. You dont need to turn all the detail levels down, or play at a resolution of 640×480.
With the PC we built for around $800, were able to play even demanding games at HD resolutions (1280×1024) quite well. Granted, thats without anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, but its still a great gaming experience.
So if your computer is getting too old to play all the hot games, or if youre looking to build a second computer on the cheap, our suggestions for an $800 gaming PC may be a good place to start.
Rule #1 for Build It systems is this: The stuff we recommend has to be readily available, in stock, at online vendors we would trust with our own money.
We dont just go with the lowest price we can find anywhere in the wild land of online commerce. Prices tend to fluctuate and were sure that you can find a better deal if you dig around enough—wed rather err on the side of “you can actually find these prices” than promise a less expensive system you could never build yourself.
Its been our experience that do-it-yourselfers looking to build a computer under $1,000 are recycling monitors and speakers from other machines, so you dont see them on that list. Obviously, you can spend anywhere from $100 to well over $500 on each of those components, depending on just how high-end you want to go.