As Cheap As Possible: Old-School FPS PC

Hello all,

I wanted a build for playing really Old, classic games (Quake 3, Unreal tournament, Halo Combat Evolved, TF2) in a LAN Party. The most graphically Demanding game that we will be playing is probably CS:Go. I need to build a couple, so I would like it to be as affordable as I can get it. Oh, and getting it to be ITX would also be nice, Since I'm gonna be the one that's hauling this around.



You might want to start your build around an APU-A10 7850k, if you can get a good deal on a few of these, you can build a PC that will run CS:GO at 60 FPS at 1080p. You could throw in Corsair Vengeance Pro 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 RAM, a cheap 7200 HDD Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB 2.5" 7200RPM, and a nice MB Asus A78M-E Micro ATX FM2+ from ASUS.

The other direction I would go would be an i3 or a Intel G3258 and then pop a nice video card in there, with the cheapest budget motherboard and RAM you can handle. A GTX 770 or AMD R9 if the 770 is out of reach.


Just my two-cents, I'm sure there are a lot of directions you could go in to achieve this goal. My advice would be to head over to pcpartspicker and see what promotions newegg/amazon have right now!

Sorry. When I mean cheap, I mean REALLY cheap. I don't need to all the games on 1080p. 720 will be just fine, and a 7850k is just not at a price point where I can build a multiple number of these.

you might actually be fine picking up some media computers from a big store (walmart size) i've seen crappy i3 / 4GB ram machines go for as low as €300 (pretty sure the us does better) i've done the math, and those are actually cheaper than building it yourself with the same parts

Here's what I would do, go on your local craigslist and find some old non-working computers. You may only find one at a time or one per week, but you'll be getting them dirt cheap. 

On the computer section search for following terms "has a virus" "not working" "cpu brain" "virus-enfected" "virus infected" "infected"

It's kinda messed up, but you can get some good quad cores for the cheap like $10-$60 since having these repaired at best buy ends up costing too much..

Look on ebay ... tons of used PCs dirt cheap ... check out Craig's list or your local pawn shops ... you can buy used and get a better machine than it would cost to build one.

Also check if there are any PC recyclers  in your area.

If you want it to play CS GO it will have to meet these specs ...

CS: GO Minimum Requirements:

  • Intel CPU: Dual-Core Pentium D @ 2.4GHz
  • AMD CPU: Dual-Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 @ 2.0GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • NVidia GPU: NVidia GTX 200 or greater
  • AMD GPU: AMD HD4000 or greater
  • OS: Windows XP 32-bit (SP3)
  • DirectX: DirectX 9
  • HDD Space: 4GB
  • FPS Verdict: 60 - 100.

CS: GO Reccomended Requirements:

  • Intel CPU: Quad-Core Intel Core i5 @ 2.66GHz
  • AMD CPU: Quad-Core AMD Phenom II @ 2.5GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • NVidia GPU: NVidia GTX 500 or greater
  • AMD GPU: AMD HD6000 or greater
  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit (SP1)
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • HDD Space: 4GB
  • FPS Verdict: 120 - 200+

the cheapest gaming pc I would buy

cheapest useable gaming rig for 720p  that i can think of.

edit  you can change out the apu for a newer a10 and possibly leave out the graphics card. but over all if you are not looking for 1080p and not going to use it for current games then an older apu with hybrid crossfire should be fine.

hit up ebay i got a fx 4300 and 6570HD for 32 bucks 

Can you give us an idea of what price you'd be willing to pay for each computer? And as for games like CS:GO, what video settings and FPS do you expect from these machines?

Sorry for being so Vague. Overall, maybe like $250-$350 per machine, and would like to play these games at probably something along the lines of 720P @ 30-45 FPS. Thanks for the input guys! Much appreciated.

As a benchmark, my MacBook Pro from late 2008 can play at those settings. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.53 Ghz, a Nvidia m9600GT graphics card and 8GB of 1066 DDR3 RAM.

So i guess anything that would beat that would suit you. Assuming Windows would run it as well as Mac OSX does.

Seems like an AMD A8-6600K APU ($90) would do the trick. Or if you want to go even cheaper, a A6-5400K APU ($60) would probably do the job, on lower settings of course. Then get the cheapest motherboard, ram, case, etc you can find.

Disclaimer: I don't own either of these APUs.

Heres your cheapest option for new stuff:

150 for a full rig! 

It could be slimmed to about $135 but the 2 extra cores and quality of psu will pay off

If you dont like waiting 2 months for mail in rebates:

Dont worry about the psu because contrary to what pc part pickers bullshit is, the system will use less than 50w on a maximum load.