‘Parasite’ Ultra-budget 20K Build Guide [Q1 2020]
It’s a big enough challenge to build a PhP 25,000 gaming PC. You really have to get very creative to get a decent gaming experience. But we do still get inquiries for Ultra-low budget boxes under 20K.
If, like the characters of the Oscar Award-Winning film “Parasite”, you’re down to consuming jjapaguri for sustenance but would still very much like to feel like part of the PC Master Race, there is hope. We took the challenge and picked out parts for an under 20K build that has satisfactory, mid-to-high, 1080p gaming performance and snappy over-all response with regular computing tasks like web browsing, video playback, and word processing.
Here we have one build each for Team Red and Team Blue. Please be reminded that these include only the system unit and not the monitors or any other peripherals.
20K AMD Gaming PC Build – Total: Php 19,970
20K Intel Gaming PC Build – Total: Php 19,980
LAST UPDATED: February 25, 2020
Prices are based on PC HUB Online PL (Bought with PC)
AMD has been killing it with some great offerings that afford us amazing value, and their latest AMD Athlon 3000G (PhP 2,630) is keeping up with that value proposition. This 3.5Ghz dual-core, four-thread CPU packs more than enough power to provide a playable experience.
On the other side of the fence, the Intel Pentium Gold G5400 Gold (PhP 2,200) also gives us just what we need. It’s a little bit weaker than its AMD counterpart because it’s a dual-core with only two threads, but it kind of makes up for it by being 200Mhz faster at 3.7Ghz. We also have to remember that the G5400 is the successor to the beloved Intel Pentium G4560, which ruled the budget gaming realm with an iron fist in its heyday.
We have always shied away from the A320 chipset as it really hampers an AMD system’s upgradeability (or at the very least, the “free performance” to be had from overclocking AMD’s unlocked processors). But for this build, at this budget, the Asrock A320M HDV R4.0 (PhP 2,390) is all we could fit. Swapping this out for a B450 would cost upwards of an extra PhP 1,400. That would actually be a worthwhile consideration, but for the sake of really squeezing everything into 20K, the A320 will do. It does have a redeeming feature, though: an M.2 PCIe 3.0×4/SATA III slot.
The Intel side is a bit more forgiving. The H310 chipset is not the best, but it offers a much better upgrade path. The MSI H310M PRO-D PLUS (PHP 2,840) offers the most basic just-right features for our current processor and other locked 8th- and 9th-generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processors that you may upgrade to in the future.
The motherboards for both builds only have two slots for RAM, so upgrading will be a bit more limited but still possible.
For each build, we’ll be using an 8GB DDR4 3000Mhz ADATA XPG D30 (PhP 1,850). The Athlon 3000G doesn’t take advantage of fast RAM likes its big brother Ryzen does, but it still will at least get 2667Mhz out of the 3000Mhz that the stick is capable of. The G5400 will be maximizing that speed a bit less as it only supports up to 2400Mhz.
As it is a single stick, we won’t be taking advantage of that dual-channel boost. But because RAM is one of the easiest components to upgrade (just add another identical stick), waiting and saving up to get more RAM and the dual-channel capability won’t be too much of a chore.
Both builds will definitely be under-clocking the RAM, but it’s better to be over than under, especially if you’re looking to upgrade your processor in the future.
In our previous under 20K builds, we’ve always loosely and begrudgingly recommended the Nvidia GT 1030 DDR5. Thank heavens we don’t have to anymore because the GTX 1050 Ti is now more affordable, specifically the Galax GTX 1050 Ti 1-Click OC (PhP 6,490).
Some may ask: Why not get a Radeon RX 570? Well, ever since the RX 570 soared in popularity, it has since increased in price, helping the 1050 Ti edge it out in terms of price-to-performance value. So, yeah, it all boiled down to price as the cheapest RX 570 available will add another PhP 300 to our builds, which is something that we can’t afford at such a tight budget.
The AMD build has a motherboard that supports PCIe NVMe so we can slap in a 128gb Lexar NM500 SSD M.2 NVMe (PhP 1,170) as our boot drive. The Intel build does not have such a luxury so we can only use a Patriot Burst 120GB 2.5″ SATA (PhP 1,200). Each build will be supplemented by a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue (PhP 2,070).
In previous build guides, the SSD was one of the components that we usually take out to save money. Now, however, we feel that it is a necessary part of the build. It does not really add more frames to your games, but it will make your general computing experience exponentially better.
A 500-watt PSU may be a little higher than what our components need, but we do want a bit of room for upgrades. The “best” 500-watt PSU we can get is the Raidmax Vortex 500W 80+ Bronze (PhP 1,820).
Unlike the Corsairs, ThermalTakes, and Seasonics of the world, Raidmax is not exactly a known brand. But we are counting on the 80 Plus Bronze certification to assure us of a bit of quality, performance, longevity down the line.
Housing the components of the AMD build will be Bistek.PH’s favorite case, the Tecware Nexus M TG (PhP 1,550). It’s just a great value case that comes with three 120mm case fans, tempered glass, you know the rest.
For the Intel build, we had to save a few pesos to make it fit within the 20K budget, so we went with the Tecware M2 TG (PhP 1,510). Still within the Tecware family because, again, three fans, tempered glass, et cetera.
We actually don’t completely understand yet why the M2 is cheaper than the Nexus M despite the former being able to support a larger 160mm tower cooler. Apart from that, the cases are almost identical.
This build capable of playing popular esports games such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, DOTA 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, PUBG and CS:GO at 1080p at around 60 FPS at high settings. It can also play mainstream games like NBA 2K and GTA:V at medium to high settings at 1080p at 60FPS.
Unfortunately, streaming may not be a viable activity for this system. While the 1050 Ti is viewed as a capable streaming card thanks to NVENC, the CPUs that are paired with it just can’t spare any more cores to help with the load.
If you have any questions about this build or need recommendations, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.