You didn't read this wrong. We’ve put together an ultra-budget “Cheap Bastard’s” gaming PC build for just over $400. At around the same price of a current gen console, you can build a quality entry-level gaming PC. Featuring an Intel G3258, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and an MSI R7 260, you get a great gaming PC for games like LoL, DOTA2, WoW, GRID, Titanfall and TOR.

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This budget gaming PC build takes the DIY approach to building a custom computer for games like Titanfall, priced far below our usual $500 budget target.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

GRID: Autosport (benchmarked) is sure to get the juices flowing for any car lover. Doubly so with the graphics enhancements that benefit from Haswell chips from Intel. But what happens when you want performance that matches a 500-horsepower car and only have a 100-horsepower Saturn budget? Simple, grab this build, add a touch of overclocking, grab a copy of GRID: Autosport, and enjoy the drive.

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The focus of this build was to feature the overclockable Intel Pentium G3258, offer solid mid-to-high level graphics for gaming, and allow for easy upgrades in the future. Our last few extreme budget gaming PC builds were mostly AMD and, based on some great comments both in the forums and article comments, I felt it was time to give Intel a chance to make its mark in this price range.

For those looking to build a cheap gaming PC with the ability to run games on high / ultra graphics -- all for just around $500 -- this is where the buck stops.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

The delay of Valve's Steam Machine (or Steam Box) has forced the hand of systems manufacturers. Alienware, Gigabyte with the Brix, and now Zotac have all begun shipping their would-have-been Steam Machines as DIY mini-PCs. Steam has disallowed the shipment of officially branded Steam Machines until the completion of its haptic controller, leaving system manufacturers scrambling to untie the resources dedicated to machines that were originally slated for a 2014 launch.

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In an official capacity, Gigabyte's BRIX Pro and Zotac's EN760 are not "Steam Machines" -- at least, not by branding -- but they might as well be. The EN760 (Newegg page) ships in two models: The EN760 and EN760 Plus. The base model ships without RAM or permanent storage at $540; the Plus edition includes a single 8GB stick of 1600MHz RAM and 1x1TB 5400RPM HDD. Both units are outfitted with an 860M mobile GPU, i5-4200U mobile CPU, and custom board design to fit in a 7.4" x 7.4" x 2" (188 x 188 x 51mm) shell. 

Published in Hardware

Larian Studios managed to release an amazing RPG gem just a few days ago. The company behind the Divinity Series has spent the entirety of last week atop Steam's best-selling games list, and that's out of the company's full catalog. We originally wrote about Divinity: Original Sin here, giving an overview of the game's tabletop-like RPG elements. To celebrate Divinity: Original Sin, we decided to do an ultra-budget "Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build" for right around $400.

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With a minimalistic build like this, it obviously won't be able to play everything on max settings; however, it will be able to play most games on min-med graphics -- including LoL, DOTA2, Skyrim, Divinity, Banished, StarCraft 2, and others. You won't even need to wear a bucket on your head... but feel free to. We won't judge.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

With prices and components constantly changing, it’s hard for our previous PC builds to stay up-to-date. For instance at the time of this build, AMD GPU prices were through the roof due to the cryptocurrency mining craze. By now, prices have stabilized and new products have been released, meaning it is once again time for a high-end gaming PC build.

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In this $1200 mid-to-high-end gaming & streaming PC, we will be building a computer that maxes-out games at resolutions up to 1440p, has versatility in its uses, and allows for easy upgrades. Oh -- and it’ll be quiet, too. We will also mention some other small improvements or different expansions depending on individual needs.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

Last year's fly-by over North Carolina's Maker Faire featured 3D printing company Fusion3 Designs, and it looks like the 3D printing crowd has returned again for 2014's Faire. The NC Maker Faire is an extension of the "Maker Faire" franchise, which hosts its largest event annually in the Bay area. Mythbuster Adam Savage is often sighted at the Bay event, usually speaking in front of panel audiences or providing key notes.

maker-faire-1I don't know what it is, but it has lots of red wires and is driving straight at me...

The NC Maker Faire is, understandably, much smaller than what's offered in the Bay area -- but it is growing. This year's NC Maker Faire saw expansion into a larger exhibition space at the NC Fairgrounds, with the event reportedly surpassing previous attendance in presales alone.

Published in Hardware

After our interview with Dave Georgeson of the EverQuest franchise (including Landmark) and follow-up on the beta's availability, we've started the process of playing Landmark for content purposes.

The first bit of related content, as is usually the case for us, is a mid-range gaming PC build that's spec'd for EverQuest Next: Landmark at near-max (high) settings. You could certainly build a cheaper AMD system (keep eyes open for that), but this one will get you running EQNL at high (or thereabouts) settings and still provide room for high graphics output with more demanding titles. If you're interested in Titanfall, you'll be happy to hear that this machine will also easily run Titanfall on max settings, as we benchmarked over here.

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This budget gaming PC isn't meant to be overclocked. The parts were selected specifically to reduce initial cost and get users playing games quickly with minimal tweaking; if you're more enthusiastic in your hardware endeavors and would like overclocking as an option, check out our overclocking primer and other PC builds. Jumping to the DIY PC parts list after EverQuest Next: Landmark's system requirements!

 

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

With the new year, it's time for a new low-budget gaming PC build. With our coverage of CES 2014 in the books, it's time to reflect on what we discovered there and move on to provide you with the best builds available for your budget.

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This sub-$500 Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build attempts to demonstrate how little you have to spend to get a quality gaming PC -- now featuring a Kaveri APU. My initial purpose was to do a Steam Machine-style build, but seeing how the new SteamOS is still in beta, and the Steam Controller is not readily available, I decided to temporarily cut those two pieces. This is a great starter build for anyone looking to enter the world of PC gaming and offers plenty room for future upgrades.

We decided to go with a Kaveri gaming PC build list for this one, implementing fast RAM and a very stylish case from Corsair. Here's the list:

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

This reference guide is aimed to get you up-and-running swiftly with building your own computer. We've posted several articles about the general process, even pre-configured PC build lists for your ease, but this will be the first step-by-step "build a PC" guide (including a video PC building tutorial).

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We've got a 15-minute video guide that gives a brief-but-comprehensive walkthrough of the system installation process. That's embedded immediately below. If you need further tips & advice or would like to check out our other pre- and post-build resources, those are also in the written part of the guide.

In this "how to build a gaming PC" tutorial, we'll walk through the process of grounding yourself (ESD-free), installing the CPU, RAM, power supply, storage, video card, and all the cabling (and other components), as well as basic testing options.

This guide is split into pre-build, assembly, and post-build sections. Keep in mind that we have already written articles on many of these topics, so the sections may be truncated and linked elsewhere for full depth.

Published in Hardware Guides

Christmas is right around the corner, so we've decided to do a budget build that you could ask Santa to build for you. This build is a step up from the recent $508 Cheap Bastard's Xmas Gaming build we did for those of you on an ultra-strict budget, and at $727, you get a lot more power for a bit more cash. This build is powered by an eight-core CPU and an AMD R9 270 GPU; it's a great combo for gamers who play games more demanding on the video card than what was offered with the above mentioned build. You should have no problem playing most (if not all) games out there at mid to highest settings.

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This $727 budget gaming PC build offers a DIY option for high-end gaming at a mid-range price. Let's get to the goodies you hope to find under your Xmas tree this year.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit
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