$285 BUDGETBUSTING BUILD
Combining modern hardware with a tight budget, how low can you go?
What would life be without a little challenge along the way, eh? Whatever your passion or your hobby, finding new ways of testing yourself, and pushing the limits of what you can do, is key to achieving fulfillment for us human beings. Whether that’s in sport, in gaming, with PCs, or in your work, there’s no arguing that it’s part of the human condition, and something we’re all secretly obsessed with.
The reality is, we’re masochists. All torturing ourselves to become better at what we do, constantly striving for more. At least, we are here in the office. Not literal masochists, of course, although that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with that. Far be it from little ol’
MaximumPC to tell you how to conduct your love life. It’s more to do with the fact that we just love pushing the boat out as far as it’ll go. Whether that’s expanding our technical knowledge, building even crazier high-end systems, or getting the absolute maximum out of a budget part, it all helps to enhance our experience as journalists, and bring you better content and coverage in turn.
Wait, where were we? Oh yes, of course: system building. So, that big cheese from the front of the mag, or “el editor de la muerte,” as we like to call him in the office, set us a challenge. With the launch of AMD’s latest Athlon processor (an anniversary edition, which is secretly a supercheap Ryzen part with integrated graphics), he wanted to see just how little we could spend on a relatively fast rig that would be capable of doing light PC work. We say “wanted,” but he essentially delegated this to the smaller cheese, and here we are.
The rules were simple: Spend no more than $300, use a single stick of DDR4 (again, masochism, right?), and install Linux. Oh, and try to get it playing a game of some description.
So, join us on a journey into the wonderful world of super-budget builds, as we struggle with BIOS updates, argue over finding the perfect parts, and pull out what little hair we have left between us while we benchmark it to hell and back.