The Thrifter is an entry-level gaming PC, capable of good 1080p performance in current e-sport games and decent performance in other games, at some level of detail (even though you might have to drop the resolution in some cases). The build is almost entirely made of parametric filters, allowing one to have the lowest available component at any given time.
There are a few rules I followed while putting this build together:
- Only new parts
- Allow a path of upgrade (this means no old AMD builds)
- Allow good performance at 1080p for e-sport games
- No OS, peripherals or accessories
The core of this build is the Kaby-Lake Intel Pentium G4560 – widely considered as the best low budget CPU of this moment. This is also the one part that is not coming from a filter. This component comes with a stock cooler so there is no need for a 3rd party one.
The filter for this component is making the selection out of the boards featuring H270 chipsets. I have avoided going to the previous generation boards (powered by H110 or H170) to avoid any issues related to the update of BIOS – an operation that the vast majority of people can’t really perform as they might lack a compatible CPU.
This setup also opens the path for upgrading to a locked i5 or even a locked i7 CPU at a later time for true quad core performance.
8GB of memory is the lowest acceptable level today. The filter picks the cheapest 1x8GB or 2x4GB kit available at the moment. Speed doesn’t really matter at this level.
While not always the cheapest option available the WD Caviar Blue 1TB is a very reliable HDD and most of the time it is the first choice of many system builders.
The lowest level of “true” gaming cards includes the RX 460, the RX 560 and the GTX 1050. They are fairly close to one anotherin terms of price for performance. The RX 460 is usually about 10% cheaper than the GTX 1050 while also being about 10% less powerful. I am filtering for the lowest priced option at any given time.
Case / PSU
I’m going for the cheapest possible case having a rating of at least 4 stars, however at this level any case will do. The PSU filter searches for at least 400W and 80+ efficiency. I rely on the compatibility filter to make sure all components fit inside the case.
This is a list of possible upgrades down the road and the order I think it will bring the most benefit: