Building a gaming PC doesn't have to be an expensive endeavour – in fact, because you can pick and choose the components and shop around for the best deals, building your own PC can often be a lot cheaper than buying a ready-made machine.
When a game is released, the minimum system requirements are also published – this outlines the lowest-powered components you need to run the game. When building a budget PC, what we want to ensure is that we get low-price components, but nothing that drops below the Battlefront 2 minimum requirements.
For reference, the minimum specifications for Star Wars: Battlefront 2 are:
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
- Processor (AMD): AMD FX-6350
- Processor (Intel): Intel Core i5 6600K
- Memory: 8GB RAM
- Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
- Graphics card (NVIDIA): NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB
- DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
- Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection
- Hard-drive space: 15GB
Bear in mind that while this hardware will enable you to run the game, it won't necessarily provide a great experience. With our budget build we'll aim for something that offers smooth gameplay without breaking the bank.
So what do you need to buy? The first consideration is what processor to use, as this will determine which motherboard you'll be able to go for, due to the socket type it'll use.
Check out our how to overclock your CPU guide to see how you can give your processor a power boost.
Of course, with the low price there are some compromises to be made, but our choice, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X, means you don't have to make too many. It's currently our top choice for the best entry level CPU in our best processor list, and features four cores and a base clock of 3.5GHz, all for an excellent price.
With a few tweaks to Battlefront 2's graphics settings, it's a fine processor for the game.
The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X uses the AM4 socket, which means you'll need a motherboard that supports it. The good news is that this is a modern socket from AMD, and many of its more powerful processors, such as the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7, also use it, so if you want to upgrade your processor in the future, it should be relatively easy to do so.
To keep costs low we'll go for the MSI A320M Pro-VD Plus, which does everything you need it to for an excellent price. As it's a micro-ATX motherboard it's pretty small. – this means it might feel a little cramped when you're installing the components, but it also means you can fit it into a compact case – perfect if you want your PC in the living room.
For the vast majority of PC users, 4GB of RAM will be plenty for day-to-day tasks. However, 8GB of RAM is rapidly becoming the norm for new computers, and you'll start to see an increasing number of games (such as Star Wars: Battlefront) asking for 8GB of RAM.
One of the biggest arguments for going with 8GB of RAM rather than 4GB is that 8GB will ensure your PC isn't going to go out of date any time soon, whereas with 4GB of RAM you may find yourself wanting to upgrade after a while.
For this build we're going to go for the G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 8GB kit, which again is pretty cheap but is also nice and speedy and comes in two 4GB sticks.
We'll also need a hard drive. You can save cash by using one you already own, or buy a new hard drive. The MSI A320M Pro-VD Plus supports SATA III 6Gb/s, which means compatible hard drives will perform faster. The Toshiba P300 500GB is a good choice here AS the capacity is adequate, and it has the standard disk speed of 7,200rpm.
If you want a faster hard drive to reduce the time it takes to load games or boot up Windows then look for a hard drive with a higher rpm (revolutions per minute). For the best results you'll want an SSD (solid state drive), but while prices are dropping these are still more expensive than standard hard drives.
Finally we need a graphics card, and here we need to strike a balance between low price and decent performance. We don't want to sacrifice too much power, otherwise we might end up with a cheap graphics card that struggles to run Star Wars: Battlefront 2 smoothly.
We're going to aim for a graphics card that can show off Star Wars: Battlefront 2 at close to 60 frames per second at full 1080p resolution. You'll need to lower a few of the settings in the game itself to achieve this high frame rate, but it'll still look amazing.
While there are graphics cards priced well below £100 (or $150), if you want a budget PC that can still play the latest games we recommend spending a bit more – it'll be worth it. NVidia's GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is an excellent proposition for the price.
When it comes to the PC case, we've chosen the Corsair Carbide Spec-04, an excellent budget case that provides plenty of space and features, and comes in a eye catching black design that would make the Galactic Empire (or First Order) proud.
We'll also need a power supply unit (PSU), so we've gone for the EVGA 500 B1, our choice of the best budget power supply in our best power supply list.
Note that this cost may change as prices rise and fall, so shop around. It doesn't include a monitor, mouse, keyboard or Windows licence, which you'll also need – but you may already have these lying around.
We've also not included an optical drive – most of the time you don't really need one thanks to services such as Steam, where you download your games. It's also easy (and faster) to install Windows from a USB drive.
We also didn't include a cooler for the CPU, as the processor we've chosen comes with a heat sink and fan, which will be fine if you're not looking to overclock the CPU.