UPDATE – This article has been replaced by this one (link), with a newer, faster A10 APU!

A few days ago an article posted on the so called consumer tech blog Cnet.co.uk (link) seriously annoyed me; they claimed that for a little less than £350 you could build a gaming PC.

The things that got me about their article were

  • Use of a seriously underpowered CPU – Gaming isn’t just using the GPU, you need a CPU to match – the Intel Pentium G840 is at the low end of the Intels CPUs, a much better option (if you want to stick with Intel would be a i3/i5)
  • Not factoring in postage – The article states ‘£294.05 plus postage’ – well that postage pushes your PC over the £350 mark, what makes it worse is the title of the article is ‘How to build a budget gaming PC for under £350′.
  • Saying that you can get a copy of Windows 7 for £50 – The link to Windows 7 they provide is for a UPGRADE copy, you would not be able to use this to install a fresh copy of Windows on your PC
  • An inaccuracy about RAM – ‘but doubling up to 8GB will help out with general computing tasks when you’re not tackling the latest shooters.’ come on! General computing tasks requiring more RAM than a PC game? I think not!

So then here ends the rant :) here also begins a proper gaming PC that you could build for less than £350 (£330.91 including postage at time of posting).

First a few little mentions – true gaming PCs use the latest in high performance components, if you are looking for something to show off to your friends then you need to consider spending a minimum of £600 on any gaming PC. Further to this the PC below runs Windows 7 which will soon be replaced by Windows 8 so you might just want to hold off and wait for that ;).
Last but not least, you may well be able to find these parts cheaper elsewhere I’m just using Novatech as an example because I like them.

Anywhos here is my part list-

APU – AMD A8-3870K - £89.99
APUs combine high performance graphics and processing on one chip. This particular chip is quad core clocked at 3.0ghz per core and comes with 400 graphics processing cores clocked at a total of 600mhz. If all of that was mumbo jumbo to you take a look at this review of the AMD A8-3870k.

Motherboard – MSI A55M-P33 – £39.98
A pretty simple motherboard which has the option to install a even more powerful graphics card than the one on the APU later on if you ever need.

RAM – Corsair Vengeance 8GB – £37.99
RAM is as cheap as chips (nothing to do with it being made out of chips) so why not have more (than the 4GB of the Cnet machine)!

Case – Novatech Corona Micro ATX – £25.98
Pretty basic case that I have used in the past, as the APU uses power quite efficiently don’t worry about overloading the 450W PSU which comes included with the system.

Hard Drive – Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB – £56.99
A easy part to save some extra money on if you need to (just go for a lower capacity hard drive).

OS – Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit – £79.98
One sec! Crave said I could have Windows 7 for £50 so why am I forking out nearly £80! That is because this isn’t a UPGRADE copy – you can use this version of Windows to install onto new machines.

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