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At the beginning of the new year, stock up on a gaming PC or upgrade your old one to try out upcoming releases. Although the video card market has not yet recovered, I was able to pick up balanced builds in different price categories. All the hardware was selected taking into account compatibility with Windows 11 – it will come in handy at least for future games.

Budget gaming PC – 53,680 rubles

Suitable for modern games in FHD resolution and at medium settings, projects from five years ago will be launched at high settings.

In the base assembly, the processor is a quad-core Intel Core i3-10100F in OEM version. The choice fell on him, since all the “six-core” have risen in price, as well as a fellow in the segment, Ryzen 3 1200. In 2022, 4 cores and 8 threads are already enough “back to back” for fresh games, but so far tolerable. In older releases, the processor even more shows itself worthy. The declared heat dissipation of the Intel Core i3-10100F is low – 65 watts.  In addition, the processor is listed as supported by Windows 11, so installing a new OS will be easy.

This time, Deepcool ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0 is the cooler in the most budget assembly – a little savings will not hurt here. It is quite enough for such a processor. Cooling is provided by two copper heat pipes and an 80mm fan to dissipate up to 100W. In addition, the cooler is compact (height – 119 mm), so it will fit into most cases.

It is best to assemble a budget PC based on the MSI H510M PRO motherboard. This is one of the cheapest boards for the desired processor, which at the same time has 7 power phases and an M.2 SSD slot. There are, as expected, limitations here – you can put only two RAM sticks. Yes, and upgrade the assembly without replacing the motherboard will be up to a maximum of a six-core processor. You should not count on the installation of a flagship in the future.

Now several models of NVIDIA GTX 1650 from ASUS have appeared on the market at the prices of 1050 Ti. Why not choose a more powerful option as a video card? The difference in performance, though small, is still there. You should not pay attention to just one fan – for an entry-level GPU, this is not critical. In terms of performance, the GTX 1650 performs well in popular games from 3-5 years ago at medium graphics settings. More recent projects will go to the minimum settings.

To install the OS and store games, the Kingston SA400S37 / 480G 480 GB SSD is suitable. Although it is connected via the SATA interface, its speed is still higher than that of the HDD. This is quite important in modern games, where an SSD is already a minimum system requirement. A volume of 480 GB is enough not only for the system and a set of programs, but also for 5-10 average games.

A comfortable minimum of RAM even for a budget build is 16 GB. The more expensive Crucial Ballistix was replaced by two Patriot Memory Viper Steel PVS416G320C6K dies of 8 GB each. The choice fell on them because of the low price and adequate characteristics (do not forget about the frequency limit to 2666 MHz due to the processor and motherboard).

The standard assembly consumes no more than 220 watts at peak (which is almost impossible to achieve in everyday life). Therefore, an inexpensive FSP Group ATX-500PNR 500W power supply is sufficient. It puts out 408 watts on the 12-volt line, which is plenty for the selected components. There is also room for upgrades. Due to the low cost of the unit, there is no network cable in the kit – you will have to buy it separately. The Europlug-C13 power cable costs no more than 200 rubles.

You can assemble this particular PC in the cheapest case, without worrying about thoughtfulness and ventilation. Even models from AeroCool cost more than 2 thousand, so Ginzzu B180 is an option. You can choose something more expensive, but nicer. Then you need to pay attention to the height of the cooler, the length of the video card, as well as the dimensions of the motherboard.

Optimal gaming PC – 113,000 rubles

Designed for playing new games at maximum graphics settings in Full HD or at medium settings with 2K resolution.

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X was replaced by the Intel Core i5-11400F, but only so that the owner of this assembly could save money and take a more powerful video card. The CPU from the blue ones, although weaker than the more expensive competitor, looks suitable for an average configuration.  Of the minuses – the impossibility of manual overclocking, only automatic raising of frequencies from the base 2600 MHz to the maximum 4400 MHz. I advise you to take the OEM version of the processor, since it is usually cheaper, and the cooler in the BOX version will still have to be changed.

Productive processor – efficient cooling. The Deepcool GAMMAXX 300 cooler dissipates up to 130W thanks to three heatpipes and a 120mm fan. The non-illuminated model is cheaper and more attractive, so it is preferable. For lovers of silence, I can recommend the more efficient Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 EX with two fans included.

The ASUS PRIME B560M-K motherboard based on the B560 chipset has eight power phases and a heatsink on the VRM, so you can hope for stable operation and no overheating. The pluses include support for PCIe 4.0 and a slot for an M.2 drive. Only 2 slots for RAM can upset, but this does not interfere with the current assembly.

For the sake of which it was necessary to save on the processor – the video card. If in previous builds I recommended the GTX 1660, this time I find the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2060 D6 the most adequate solution. It’s a bit more expensive than the 1660, but it has support for RTX technologies and, more importantly, DLSS. The latter has seen widespread adoption in many of today’s games and delivers a significant performance boost that will ensure that the RTX 2060 will last longer than 16-series cards in the long run.