By Stewart Moore - June 10, 2018

PC gaming seems to be experiencing a rise in popularity in recent times. Be that due to the fact that everyone is growing sick of consoles being replaced and outdated after just a few years of whether the people have become aware of the benefits that come with PC gaming. Unfortunately, when something experiences a rise in popularity it is often met with a rise in price and, recently, we've seen just that with PC components.

That being said, would it be possible to build a PC that will match the performance met on a console for the same price, if not less?

I'm a tinkerer. Head into my loft and you'll find many dismantled electronics. Only this time last year did my girlfriend insist I threw out at least half of the laptops that were sat up there - I got rid of 6. I can't walk past a computer at a car boot sale without having a look to see if I can salvage any parts out of it or what condition the case is in etc etc. That's how this project started really. I bought an old computer from a car boot sale for just £10 which happened to have a little bit of RAM in it and an old useless GPU which I sold for approx. £25 and purchased an old AMD Phenom and a cheap GPU. A few weeks later and I had an okay-ish system. Not great, but OK.

Fast forward several months and I started a fresh (for no reason other than the fact someone offered me an i7-920 completely free of charge which, of course, sparked the necessity to build a new computer!). After digging about for a while and making a few purchases I came up with a solution similar to the one below.

Example PC specification and price list:

CPU: i7 920 2.6Ghz - £8 @ CeX (
Motherboard: Any X58 LGA1366 - £50 @ eBay
RAM: 8GB DDR3 (2x4GB) - £20 @ CeX (
CASE: Cooler Master MasterBox - £40 @ Amazon UK
GPU: R7 250 2GB GDDR5 - £65 @ Amazon UK
PSU: Scan FX500W - £13.99 @

Total: £196.99

This is a very similar set up to what I'm using right now - the only difference being the case. I picked an old case up from my mother-in-laws attic whilst helping clean up - this also came with a fairly decent PSU. If you have an existing PC lying around at home you may find many of the parts are reusable. Despite the processors age, the i7 920, with a little overclock, will keep up quite happily with many modern GPU's and is often found paired with a GTX 1060 or equivalent.

See benchmark below.

For some reason, Bandicam didn't record the FPS counter. Which is frustrating.However, this game averaged a very playable 38FPS when not recording, in medium settings. Quite impressed given the budget and, to be honest, if I had another £50 to throw at this project I'm sure we could have easily broken the 60FPS target with a better GPU!

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