Thanks to the price drop that many components have experienced in recent weeks, and also to some offers that can be found at this time, it is possible to assemble a PC for gaming and eSports quite a lot powerful, balanced and complete with a budget less than 500 euros,Â and without having to resort to a dedicated graphics card.
To the experienced eye, choosing the right components to fit into such a rig is not complicated, but we are aware that for others this is not so easy. That’s why today I want to share with you a guide of components to shape a PC for gaming and eSports that will allow you to to play many games with guarantees, and that it will be able to maintain a high frame rate per second in many of the most popular titles in the eSports world.
It is obvious that, lacking a dedicated graphics card, we will have to reduce the quality level in the most demanding titles, although in many cases we will have the possibility to resort to the FSR 1.0 to gain a few frames per second. Do not underestimate this technology, because when we move in very tight levels can make the difference between an unplayable experience and an acceptable one.
Platform: AMD AM4
The first decision we have to make before we start is to choose the platform we are going to use to configure this equipment. It is a very simple decision, because the AM4 platform platform is inexpensive, it is full of possibilitiesit leaves us plenty of room for future expansion and allows us to mount APUs with integrated Radeon Vega GPUs, which are much more powerful than the Intel Iris Xe.
That is precisely the key that will allow us to do without a dedicated graphics card, although if in the future we want to expand the team and mount a dedicated graphics card we will not have any kind of problem, since we will be sure to choose all the components carefully in order to ensure a good degree of upgradability in this equipmentand this includes both the processor, to avoid bottlenecks, and the power supply, so that we have the power and connectors we will need.
We should also remember that the AM4 platform is compatible with Ryzen 1000, 2000, 3000 and 5000 processors, which means that we have a lot of room for upgradesand in its more advanced versions it is also compatible with the pCIe Gen4 standard. The latter is important because it means that we will be able to use low-end and mid-range graphics cards, limited to PCIe Gen4 standard in x4 or x8 configurations, without any bottlenecks.
Motherboard GIGABYTE B550M DS3H
This motherboard is reduced from 100.09 euros to only 69.99 euros, and it is a excellent choice for the equipment we want to assembleit has a good build quality, uses the AMD B550 chipset, has four slots for RAM, has a pretty decent VRM (5+3 phases), incorporates two M.2 connectors for NVMe SSDs (PCIe Gen4 and Gen3) and has a wide range of connectors.
We will also be able to use it to upgrade in the future to a higher processor if we decide to change the configuration completely, as this model supports without problem chips as powerful as the Ryzen 7 5800X or Ryzen 9 5900X.
Why did we choose this component? Well, because it is an inexpensive but very complete motherboard, well finished and full of possibilities that has literally everything we will need, both now and in the future. It also offers, a very solid value for what it costs.
Processor and graphics: APU Ryzen 5 5600G
This APU integrates CPU and GPU in a single package, is manufactured on TSMC’s 7 nm node and is able to offer a good level of performance. On the CPU side we find a monolithic core design that totals 6 cores and 12 threads at 3.9 GHz-4.4 GHz and has 16 MB of L2 cache.
The integrated GPU is a Radeon Vega 7 based on the Vega architecture that totals 448 shaders, can reach 1.9 GHz in turbo mode and has full support for DirectX 12 at level 12_1. It is able to deliver excellent performance in resolutions below FullHD (it handles especially well in 720p), and moves well in 1080p if we adjust the graphics quality level in the most demanding titles.
Why did we choose this component? Well, because it offers very good CPU performance, and because its integrated GPU has enough power to run many games, especially those less demanding and the most popular titles in the world of eSports. Its price is also very good, since we can buy it for only 178.36 euros. It also includes a cooling system that complies without problems, so we do not have to make an extra expense in this regard.
RAM memory: Kingston FURY Beast DDR4
We are going to use an integrated GPU, so we have to comply with three major keys for optimal computer performance in games:
- 16 GB of RAM is a mustbecause part of it will be used by the integrated GPU as graphics memory. If we mount 8 GB, we will have problems.
- It is also essential that the memory is configured in dual channelthis ensures that the integrated GPU communicates with it via a 128-bit bus, i.e., doubling the bandwidth compared to single-channel mode.
- It is important that the memory has a high working speedthis will also maximize bandwidth, which will result in higher performance from the GPU.
If we do not comply with all these keys, the integrated GPU can lose a lot of performance, and this will make the difference between a playable or unplayable experience in many games. In this case, we opted for the Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 kit that includes two 8GB modules to enable dual-channel (16GB total), and runs at a speed of 3,600 MHz.
Why did we choose this component?Â It is very simple, because it meets those three points that we have indicated above, and also because it has a very economical price, 79.99 euros.
Storage unit: Kioxia Exceria G2 of 1 TB
Since we are going to set up a PC for gaming and eSports we need a fast storage unit, and this must have a capacity of at least 1 TBotherwise we will have problems of lack of space sooner than we would like, and in the end we will have to delete things too often.
As we want to keep the budget under 500 euros, we have chosen the Kioxia Exceria G2 SSDan M.2 NVMe storage drive that uses NAND Flash TLC memory, achieves sequential read and write speeds of 2.1 TB/s and 1.7 TB/s and has a storage capacity of 1 TB. It is priced at a very good €84.99.
Why did we choose this component?Â Because it has the storage capacity we need, it uses NAND Flash TLC memory, it offers a high level of performance and it has a very tight price tag. It is a great value for money choice.
Power supply: Aerocool Lux 550W 80 Plus Bronze
We have a computer with very modest power requirements, but if we want it to provide enough power to meet our needs, we need a very modest power supply expansion possibilities without having to change any components, it is essential to accompany it with a minimally acceptable power supply.
This forces us to spend a little more money on the power supply, but it has a positive side, and that is that we will also enjoy the advantages of a more efficient and reliable power supply. In this case, we have chosen the Aerocool Lux 550W 80 Plus Bronze because it is economical and reliable, and because with it we can expand in the future to a dedicated graphic without any problem.
Why did we choose this component? It is easy, because this power supply has more than enough power to maintain the equipment we are assembling, it is reliable, economical (it is reduced to 30 euros) and also allow us to mount a dedicated graphics card without problems, as long as we focus on the mid-range, obviously. Thus, for example, we could mount up to a RTX 3060.
Chassis: Mars Gaming MCDUO Black Acrylic Glass
It is a box that offers a very interesting value in price-performance ratioand also offers good build quality. It also has a very compact design with sharply angular shades that allows it to look good on any desk, and it is very easy to use has more than enough space for the configuration that we want to mount. Nor will we have problems if in the future we want to put a dedicated graphics.
Little more we can ask for the 28.99 euros it costs, since also includes two 120mm front fans with fixed RGB illumination. It would not be necessary, but if we want we can add a third fan at the rear.
Why did we choose this component? Because it is a chassis that has the three “b, good, nice and cheap”. It is one of the best options we can find within its price range, and as we said includes two front fans with RGB lighting.
Final notes: Total cost, performance and user experience
The total price of the configuration is, at the time of the guide and with all current offers, of 472,95 euros. For that money we have a PC capable of making Windows 10 and Windows 11 Â “flyÂ”, offers instant response when opening files and navigating through the different options of both operating systems, and can open files and applications with tremendous speed.
In gaming, the SSD makes a huge difference and minimizes load times, and the CPU is guaranteed to have a long lifespan thanks to its Zen 3 architecture and its 6 cores and 12 threads. Needless to say, 16GB of 3,600MHz RAM in dual-channel configuration is also a guarantee of longevity, and allows both the CPU and GPU to to realize their full potential.
With the integrated GPU of the Ryzen 5 5600G we can play all PS3 and Xbox 360 generation games without problems, and we can also enjoy almost all Xbox One and PS4 generation titles without problems. If we use 900p or 720p resolutions we can move even demanding games with a more than acceptable level of qualitywhile in 1080p it will be necessary to reduce the quality to a low level to maintain good fluidity.
To give you an idea of what this equipment can give you in games, I leave you one complete performance comparison in several titles:
- Dota 2 (DirectX11), 1080p and maximum quality: stable averages over 60 FPS.
- CS: GO in 1080p and medium quality: stable averages of over 100 FPS.
- Valorant in 1080p and high quality: stable averages of more than 130 FPS.
- GTA V in 1080p at medium quality: stable averages over 70 FPS.
- DOOM Eternal in 1080p with low quality: stable averages of more than 40 FPS.
- The Witcher III in 1080p with medium-low quality: stable averages of over 30 FPS.
- Metro Exodus in 1080p with medium-low quality: stable averages of more than 30 FPS.
- Cyberpunk 2077 in 1080p with low quality and FSR in quality mode: stable averages over 30 FPS.
- Resident Evil 2 RemakeÂ (DirectX 11) in 1080p with low quality and textures on high: averages over 40 FPS.
- League of Legends in 1080p at maximum quality: very variable rate, between 100 and 150 FPS.
If in the future you need to expand the equipment you can do it without any problem. With the base configuration you will have everything you need to mount, for example, a GeForce RTX 3060, a Radeon RX 6600 or a Radeon RX 6600 XT. You won’t have to touch anything, as the processor is powerful enough to ensure you won’t have any bottlenecks, the board uses the PCIe Gen4 x16 standard in the dedicated graphics slot, so you won’t have a problem with the x8 or x4 limited models, and the power supply has enough power to run all three graphics cards, and also has the necessary connector (see below)one 8-pin).