Last month the GameSessions Team was set a challenge; to build the cheapest possible gaming PC rigs as part of the Cheapest Gaming PC Challenge. Now, finally, all the builds are done, running and tested. We’re ready to reveal the final result. Which machine is both the cheapest and runs our trials the best?
Just to re-cap the rules for the builds…
– Must have wifi.
– Build cost will be calculated as what the team spent on all components in the build, including VAT.
– All components must be purchased new.
– No keyboard, mouse or controller need be included.
– No allowance is needed for the cost of Windows.
– Must include a power supply.
– If a tiebreaker is required, the PC that weighs the least (including power supply) will be the winner.
The games we’ll be running to test each machine are the most demanding GameSessions trials:
Our competition is all about the frames per second performance, but obviously that’s not the only thing people look for when building a PC. So let’s have a look at all aspects of the different builds (including FPS!) so you can get a better idea of the breakdown of each rig.
You can check the exact build specs below:
Team Guinea Pig
Team Awesome’s build is certainly impressive, it’s the cheapest out of all the builds put forward for the competition. But only spending just over £100 on your CPU and GPU sounds great in theory, but it won’t be great for Team Awesome if their machine can’t run the games.
The main problem I see with the build is that there’s no real potential for an upgrade; once you’ve built it, you’ll be stuck with it. But for only £249 it’s certainly a console killer and looks the build killer in it’s silver Cooltek case.
Team Anubis came a close second on cost with their build costing £297. The build’s really centred around the idea that it’s a flexible starting point. Because of the use of an AMD A10 7700K CPU, unlike many other builds, there’s room to upgrade from a solid base build as and when the user needs, or can afford them. For example, upgrading to a R7 260X or a GT 750 GPU. Or you might not want to overclock the CPU, and therefore can save money by not purchasing an aftermarket cooler.
That said, 60GB is not a practically sized storage device for any system, even if it is an SSD. The case is also pretty plasticy and gross. But still, the price for performance is solid.
Team Guinea Pig was a bit of an odd one; it got the most sneers around the office because it’s not an actual “build”. Instead of buying the separate components, Team Guinea Pig brought a pre-built PC and then upgraded it with a GT 740 GPU. A simple enough upgrade to undertake, but a great one for performance. This PC is definitely the PC for the layman.
However, unless it’s a manufacturer you trust, cheap pre-built PCs can sometimes be risky. In Team Guinea Pig’s case their PSU wasn’t branded, which can be a serious problem. And although this doesn’t count in the competition, the fact that for £309 they got a decent low end gaming rig with a keyboard, mouse and OS(!) is actually pretty impressive.
Team Humongous’ Nerf Gun PC is the stand out build of the competition, but almost certainly not the winner. With a £444 price tag it’s the most expensive build in the competition, with no noticeable improvements in performance. But my o my, what a build.
Because it’s in a Nerf gun the physical build space is the main restriction and this made component shopping about size first and price second. That Nerf gun wasn’t cheap either. For around £60 you can get a good case with a built-in, reliable, PSU. So why would you buy a Nerf gun?
Team Humongous’ PC is certainly a monster build, but that wasn’t the point of the CHEAPEST Gaming PC Challenge.
Cheapest Gaming PC Challenge: The Results
|Team Awesome||Frames Per Second|
|Ryse: Son of Rome||44|
|Sniper Elite III||60|
|Team Anubis||Frames Per Second|
|Ryse: Son of Rome||52|
|Sniper Elite III||64|
|Team Guinea Pig||Frames Per Second|
|Ryse: Son of Rome||20-24|
|Sniper Elite III||40|
|Team Humongous||Frames Per Second|
|Ryse: Son of Rome||n/a|
|Sniper Elite III||63|
If you’ve been paying attention, we have a pretty obvious winner!
Team Awesome’s build was, well, awesome. With a price tag of only £249, and some crackin’ FPS performance, they’re the clear winners.
PC components are getting cheaper every year, and easier to assemble with a wealth of knowledge about choosing your components and the physical build of your PC available for free on the internet. I hope this showed you that you don’t have to be made of money, or a computer genius, to build your own gaming PC.
If you’d like to see how your build compares to ours you can test how Sniper Elite 3 runs on your machine by getting a free trial from gamesessions.com right now! For more PC and gaming content, be sure to check out the GameSessions blog regularly!
Test your machine with our most demanding free trials: