Building a £400 Gaming PC

Written by Tim Smalley

June 11, 2008 | 08:22

Tags: #9600-gt #dual-core #e2160 #enthusiast #evaluation #guide #overclocking #pentium #rig

Companies: #test

Is PC Gaming Expensive?

Ever since the launch of the next-generation consoles, the life of the PC as a gaming platform has been under threat – many game developers say piracy is the cause, while others cite the fact that consoles are cheaper and PC gaming is too expensive. It's something we've been discussing internally for a while now, but as a part of The PC Gaming Master Race we wanted to put one of these claims to the test.

Before I go any further though, I want to make it clear that what we're doing here is not pooh-poohing consoles – we're gamers and we'll play the best games regardless of what platform they reside on. In fact, all of us at bit-tech don't just game on PCs, but also on consoles as well.

There are games that are designed to be played on consoles, while other games simply deliver a more immersive experience on the PC. We're not here to tackle that part of the console versus PC battle – no, we set ourselves a challenge. A challenge that we hope proves that PC gaming doesn't have to be expensive—even despite popular belief that PC gaming is, in fact, an incredibly expensive hobby.

Building a £400 Gaming PC Is PC gaming expensive?

Over the course of this article, we're going to be putting this claim to the test with the hope of building a PC that delivers great gaming experiences in a variety of today's top titles while sticking to a pretty tight budget.

In order to make this article possible, we teamed up with Scan, who gave us free rein to order what we wanted to order from its online store. The components we ordered were delivered off the shelf in much the same way that any paying customer would have experienced. We challenged ourselves to build a complete PC designed with the gamer in mind for about £400 (including VAT) and it would include our choice of operating system, but excluded the keyboard, mouse and monitor.

The reason for this is that they're generally considered to be very personal items and we could go on forever finding the right mix of keyboard, mouse and monitor for everyone – and truth be told, there isn't an all-encompassing answer for the best of these components on a budget. It's something we felt we should reserve for another article, at the very least.

With this in mind, off we went to Scan's site and found what we could do with just £400 in our pockets...
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