How to get a £2,000 gaming PC for £178

CPU - Pentium III 933MHz Slot 1

It's a matter of choice whether you go for an Athlon or a Pentium III platform. It's also down to the availability of the requisite parts though - we've gone for an Intel CPU simply because there are more of them still around. There's not much in it performance wise whichever side you favour.

Price: £12.99 on eBay

Pentium 3

Motherboard - Gigabyte Slot 1 440BX motherboard

There were a few more manufacturers around at the start of the millennium, but for a quality board you'd still want to look at the likes of Asus, MSI and Gigabyte. You'll need to up the bus speed in the BIOS to 133MHz to get the most out of your Pentium III though. And weren't printer ports big back then...

Price: £14.99 on eBay

Gigabyte motherboard

Case - Antec Sonata III

We've cheated a little here, because a) finding a case that's exactly from 2000 isn't exactly easy and b) if you did find one, it'd be full of someone else's dust and cat hair. And instead of going for a cheap and nasty beige case, we've gone for something that a modern gamer would want. The 500W power supply will be fine for our ancient gaming rig, too.

Price: £94.86 on

Antec sona case

Graphics card - Nvidia Riva TNT2

Graphics cards were already proving themselves to be vital for gamers, and Nvidia's Riva TNT2 was a cut above everything else that was available when it was released. The GeForce 256 was available in 2000 as well, but that card doesn't quiet capture the gaming Zeitgeist the way that the TNT2 did.

Price: £7.48 on eBay

Nvidia riva tnt2

Memory - 128MB Samsung SDRAM 133MHz

In theory you wouldn't have had a whole 128MB of memory in one stick like this, but there's no disadvantage to doing so, and it's a cheaper way of getting your hands on the same capacity. If you do want to recreate the machine of yore properly, then try and find four 32MB sticks.

Price: £11.80 on

128MB samsung sdram

Hard drive - Maxtor Fireball 30GB

Your average non-gaming machine may have struggled along with anything as little as 10GB, but gamers instinctively knew that games were going to need more space than that, and so went for bigger models. At the time it was possible to get 40GB drives too, but they were incredibly expensive - the sweet spot was around this Fireball's capacity.

Price: £19.49 on eBay

Maxtor fireball 30gb

[Image credit: Upgrade IT Ltd]

Screen - Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 19-inch

More than any other component, it was the screen that differentiated gamers for normal PC owners. The bigger the better. It wasn't just about hitting silly resolutions either, as CRTs were (and still are) great for running at a range of resolutions, unlike modern TFTs. If you want one of these really cheap, we'd recommend popping down your local tip - there's loads of them down there.

Price: £4.80 on eBay

Mitsubishi diamond plus

Optical drive - LG DVD-ROM Drive

Not quite as boring back then as they are now, DVD-ROM drives were only just making it into PCs on a regular basis, and writers weren't going to be available for a little while yet. The classic combo was to have one DVD-ROM drive for the few titles that needed it, and a CD-RW for backing up . We've gone for a new drive here as they're so cheap anyway.

Price: £11.49 on

LG dvd-rom drive

Total cost: £177.90