Affordable PC for 4K gaming with warranties

You want to assemble an inexpensive PC for play in 4K with guaranteesbut you think it is impossible and that you will be forced to spend a lot of money. If you find yourself in this situation and have not yet decided to take the easy step, in this guide you will find all the information you need to set up the equipment you need, and for less than a thousand euros.

As we have been telling you over the last few weeks, the price of graphics cards has dropped significantlyand thanks to this we have reached a point where it is now possible to find some models with a price very close to the recommended level given by AMD and NVIDIA. Not all graphics cards have come down in the same way, and some are still very high priced, but others have become very interesting alternatives.

Taking advantage of this improvement in prices that the sector has experienced we decided to share with you recently this guide, where we saw the components needed to assemble a PC capable of moving games with active ray tracing for just over 800 euros, and today we are going to focus on the configuration of a budget PC to play in 4K without sacrifices, or what is the same, with guarantees. This means that we are talking about 4K gaming with a high level of qualitywithout sacrificing good fluidity.

Please note that this configuration that we are going to see is not optimized for running games with active ray tracingbecause at such a high resolution the impact of this technology is too great. However, it can run 4K games under rasterization with very high or even maximum qualities, depending on the requirements of each title, and maintaining a good level of performance even without rescaling or image reconstruction technologies.

In general terms, this configuration offers a very solid valueas we will see, and if we decide to use it to play at lower resolutions, such as 1440p or even 1080p, we will be able to activate ray tracing and enjoy a very good experience in most cases.

Cheap PC Guide for 4K Gaming

Affordable 4K gaming PC: Pre-considerations and objectives

The main objective has already been made clear, we want to choose the necessary components to shape an affordable PC for 4K gaming. Yes, I know that combining 4K and economic seems almost a contradiction, but the truth is that thanks to the slow evolution of the video game industry, a direct consequence of the stagnation brought about by Xbox One and PS4, and the arrival of interesting technologies such as DLSS and FSR, today it is possible to achieve this goal, we just have to know how to choose.

We want to play in 4K with a good level of quality, although it is not essential that it is always maximum quality, and maintaining a good level of performance At that resolution the graphics card is the one that assumes the heaviest workloadit is the key component, so we should use most of the budget to buy a powerful model. However, we can not fall into excesses that cause a serious imbalance, because in that case we will find ourselves with a user experience that, in the end, can end up being very poor.

For example, if we invest too much in the graphics card but mount a low-capacity SSD we will have little room for maneuver, and we will be forced to install and uninstall games too often. We must not neglect the processor either, as we must reach a minimum optimal level both in number of cores and threads as well as IPC, and we must also reach that minimum optimal level in other key components such as RAM or power supply.

In the end, in this guide we are going to try to shape a budget PC for 4K gaming with guarantees, but at the same time offering a balanced user experienceand that is prepared to withstand smoothly the transition that will mark the current generation of consoles at all levels. Following the approach of other guides, I am going to give you alternatives in some components so that you have more options to balance the configuration according to your budget. If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments.

Motherboard and platform: GIGABYTE B660M DS3H DDR4, LGA1700

Affordable PC guide for 4K gaming

I have repeated the same choice that I made in the previous guide because, in the end, it is the best motherboard we can find in its price range. Its cost-performance value is fantastic, as it comes with everything we will need to assemble a very capable computer, and has a very good build quality (always considering its price). This quality can be seen in details such as the passive cooling located in the VRM and chipset, and also in the first M.2 SSD slot.

This motherboard supports PCIE Gen4, has two M.2 connectors for SSD drives and comes with four RAM slots, which means we can easily expand it when our equipment starts to run short. On the other hand, its power supply system is 6+2+1 phasemore than enough to move up to a Core i5 12600 no problem. However, if you want to be able to upgrade in the future to a more powerful processor without problems, such as a Core i7-12700 for example, it is recommended that you get a MSI B660M BAZOOKA DDR4.

With memory we will not have problems either, since the MSI B660M BAZOOKA DDR4 supports dDR4 memory at a maximum of 4,800 MHzand allows us to overclock using XMP profiles in a simple and safe way. Undoubtedly a very complete option that fits perfectly with the objective of this guide, to shape a budget PC for 4K gaming.

Price:Â €123.50.

Alternative: MSI B660M BAZOOKA DDR4 for 159,90 euros (temporary offer).

Processor: Intel Core i3-12100F

Affordable 4K Gaming PC Guide

This chip has been one of the biggest surprises that Intel has given us with the launch of Alder Lake-S. This is a processor with an IPC so high that it is capable of outperforming in games even processors configured with 6 cores and 12 threadsquite an achievement considering that the Core i3-12100F has only 4 cores and 8 threads. I have already explained on previous occasions how important IPC is in games, and recently we saw that this type of processors were not dead, far from it.

Given that the goal is to design an inexpensive PC for 4K gaming, and that at that resolution the impact of the processor is much smaller than in 1080p resolution, the Core i3-1200F becomes the best choice if we want to keep the cost as low as possible. On the other hand, we should also remember that this processor comes with a cooling system, so we don’t have to spend money on buying a separate fan.

The Core i-31200F is a rounded choice, as it meets the 4-core, 8-thread minimum we need, has a higher IPC than the Zen 3 architecture, and offers excellent value for what it costs. However, if we want to have something more powerful and with a longer lifespan, we can opt for the Intel Core i5-12400Fwhich maintains a very high IPC and has 6 cores and 12 threads. Its price is obviously higher, but with it we would not have to upgrade until the next generation of consoles.

Price:Â 113.26 euros.

Alternative: Intel Core i5-12400F for €174.89.

Graphics card: GeForce RTX 3060 with 12 GB of memory

Affordable PC guide for 4K gaming

We are looking at a graphics card that, frankly, was valued in a very unfair way when it hit the market. In rasterization, it easily outperforms a GeForce RTX 2070, and has the advantage of 12 GB of GDDR6, something that can make a substantial difference in memory-intensive titles like DOOM Eternal, and is especially important at higher resolutions.

However, if we look at its performance with active ray tracing we realize that it is capable of outperforming the RTX 2070 Super in some cases. I know ray tracing is not the focus of this guide, but it is an important detail worth keeping in mind. Also to keep in mind all that DLSS implies when we are going to play in 4Kthanks to this image reconstruction and rescaling technology, we can double the FPS rate without having to make important sacrifices in image quality.

Ray tracing and rescaling aside, the GeForce RTX 3060 has proven itself as a graphics card very capable at 4K resolutions even without resorting to DLSS, and right now is one of the best price-performance options we can find in the market. If we prefer an AMD solution we can opt for the Radeon RX 6600 XT, which offers higher raw raster performance, although it comes with 4 GB less graphics memory, and lacks the value that DLSS brings in 4K resolutions.

RTX 3060 Specifications

  • GA106 GPU in 8 nm.
  • 3.584 shaders at 1,320-1,777 MHz.
  • 112 texturing units.
  • 48 raster units.
  • 28 RT cores.
  • 112 tensor cores.
  • 192-bit bus.
  • 12 GB of GDDR6 at 15 GHz.
  • Power at FP32: 12.74 TFLOPs.
  • PCIE Gen4 x16 interface.
  • 170 watt TGP, requires additional 8-pin power connector.

RX 6600 XT Specifications

  • Navi 23 XT core.
  • RDNA 2 architecture.
  • 2.048 shaders at 2,428 MHz-2,607 MHz.
  • 32 units for accelerating ray tracing.
  • 128 texturing units.
  • 64 raster units.
  • Power at FP32: 10.60 TFLOPs.
  • 128-bit bus.
  • 32 MB infinite cache.
  • PCIE Gen4 x8 interface.
  • 8 GB of GDDR6 at 16 GHz.
  • 160 watt TBP, uses an additional 8-pin power connector.

Price: €459.90.

Alternate:Â Radeon RX 6600 XT 8 GB for 439,90 euros.

RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) @ 3,200 MHz CL16

Affordable PC guide for 4K gaming

The differences between using a Core i3-12100F and a Core i5-12400F with DDR5 enhancement would not be too great, and yet we would have to make a huge investment to use this type of memory, so obviously it is not worth going head first for this standard, especially if we consider that our goal is still to build an affordable PC for 4K gaming.

That is why we have chosen a motherboard that uses DDR4 memory. It has a total of four slots, which means that we can assemble a kit of two 8 GB modules to reach the recommended level of 16 GB in games, and that in the future if we need to expand the memory we will only have to add two more modules, we can continue to take advantage of the kit that we have already installed.

We already know that we need at least 16 GB of RAM configured in dual channel, but how fast should it work? The recommended minimum is 3.200 MHz and CL16 latencies or 3600 MHz and CL17 latencies. In this case, I have opted for a Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) kit at 3200 MHz CL16 because was available at a really good price. These modules have full compatibility and first class build quality despite their low price The best I have been able to find in their range.

Price: €67.99.

Alternate: none that is really worth the cost-performance ratio.

Storage: Kioxia Exceria G2 1TB

Affordable 4K gaming PC guide

To achieve an optimal storage configuration in a gaming PC it is clear that we need an SSD. However, not just any SSD will dowe should look for a unit that is capable of working at more than 2,000 MB/s, that has a capacity of at least 1 TB so that we do not have space problems in the short term, and that is equipped with TLC memory, since this has a longer useful life and loses less performance depending on the total space occupied.

I also needed to find a solution with an affordable price, and in the end I have opted for the Kioxia Exceria G2 SSD because it meets all these requirements. It is one of the best SSDs we can find in its price range, and also one of the most reliable. With it we won’t have any performance problems, and we won’t have any space problems either.

It is important to remember that the motherboard that we have chosen comes with a passive cooling system that we can attach to the Kioxia Exceria G2and that will allow us to reduce its maximum working temperatures. This means that it will be able to work at full performance without heat being a problem, even in hot climates and in intensive use scenarios.

Price: €85.40.

Alternate: PNY XLR8 CS3030 2TB for 211.83 euros.

Power Supply: EVGA BQ 650W 80 Plus Bronze Semi Modular

Cheap PC Guide for 4K Gaming

It is a source that includes everything we’re going to needand that will leave us plenty of room for future upgrades. Its price is also very good for what it offers, both in power and construction quality. This model also has a semi-modular design, which will facilitate assembly and cable management.

The EVGA BQ 650W 80 Plus Bronze Semi Modular has an output of 650 watts and 54 amps on the 12V railthis means that we have more than enough to run either of the two graphics cards we have chosen, and that we could also mount higher-end models such as the Radeon RX 6800 and RTX 3070 without any problems. It also comes with all the connectors we will need, including the additional 8-pin power connector for the graphics card.

This power supply has the classic protection systems that help ensure a long lifespan, such as overvoltage protection, undervoltage protection, overcurrent protection, overcurrent protection, overcurrent protection and short circuit protection, and is 80 Plus Bronze certified.

Price: €53.79.

Alternate: none that are really worthwhile, since you won’t need more power.

Tower Mars Gaming MCONE RGB

Affordable PC guide for 4K gaming

This is an “optional” component. I always make it clear from the beginning because, in the end, it will depend on the taste of each user. So, you may not like the tower we have listed, and you prefer to buy another more discreet model or the opposite, you want something even more striking, and with a more marked gaming character. No problem, but make sure that the tower you have chosen to accompany this budget PC for 4K gaming meets the following keys:

  • It is compatible with the motherboard format (micro ATX).
  • It has enough space to house the graphics card (at least 27 cm if you choose the Radeon RX 6600 XT, and 23.5 cm in the case of the RTX 3060).
  • It comes with at least a couple of fans included to generate airflow inside.

The Mars Gaming MCONE RGB has an attractive design, allows for easy mounting and good cable management, includes two fans, one on the front and one on the back, and has two dust filters that will help us keep dirt out of the chassis. It is a good choice for what it costs.

Price: 40,73 euros.

Alternate: the one you want as long as it meets the points we have seen.

Total cost and performance: A budget PC for real 4K gaming

Affordable 4K Gaming PC Guide

The cost of the base configuration with the GeForce RTX 3060 is 944.57. We have been maintained without problems below 1,000 eurosso we would have a little room to improve some components. In this particular case, i would go for the Intel Core i5-12400F even if we go a little over the 1,000 euros, since with that CPU we will have equipment for a few years.

We have met the goal of assembling an affordable PC for 4K gaming, but is it really capable of meeting that goal? Well, yes, even without resorting to DLSS, as long as we set the quality to high levels in very demanding games. This does not usually represent a major change, since going down from maximum quality to high quality the difference is very small in most cases. It goes without saying that if we resort to DLSS it gets much better, and much better.

For example, Red Dead Redemption 2 runs smoothly at maximum quality maintaining an average of between 30 and 35 FPS, but if we activate the DLSS in performance mode we can reach an average of 46 FPS. In DOOM Eternal we have enough power even to play the game in 4K with ray tracing maintaining an average of 40 FPS without DLSS, and with DLSS in performance mode we can exceed 70 FPS.

In Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most demanding games of this generation, we can enjoy quite stable averages of 30 FPS in 4K with ultra quality and DLSS in quality mode. If we use DLSS in performance mode the average would go up to 45 FPS. Without DLSS we could play any current title without any problem, although tuning the quality level, as we have already said. For example, in control we can reach a stable 30 FPS without DLSS reducing a little the graphic quality, and in DOOM Eternal we will move without problem between 70 and 80 FPS Other older games, such as Battlefield V, run smoothly at over 60 FPS.

Note: This selection contains some links from our affiliates, but none of the products included have been proposed or recommended by them or their manufacturers, but chosen at our own discretion.

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