Finding the Best Entry-Level Gaming PC & What to Consider

Finding the Best Entry-Level Gaming PC & What to Consider

Over the years, PC gaming has become more accessible over multiple price points and performance metrics that see playable frame rates on most triple-A games released in the past five years and presumably the next five. It is often difficult to find today's best entry-level gaming PC when the rising graphic requirements that define the industry are constantly coming around the corner. 

The best entry-level system is not down to a specific set of components but a range with a range of resources like VRAM, RAM, CPU Clock Speed, and, most notably, storage. The minimum for triple-A games nowadays is a CPU with 3.8GHz, 16GB of 3600MHz DDR4 RAM, 6GB GDDR6 VRAM, and at least 1 TB of storage if you intend to play over five of the most popular triple-A games this year.

The following guide will review how to get an entry-level system and what to consider regarding budget and components.

Best Starter Gaming PCs

To examine the best gaming PCs on the market, we must first consider what entry means in 2024 and how the prebuilt and self-built offers compare to those primarily playing triple-A games and productivity programs. 


In the past five years, getting triple-A games to run on 1080p monitors has never been more accessible. AMD has over three generations of affordable CPUs and APUs that can handle anything from conventional esports titles to triple-A games, depending on the settings.

For the people looking to get their foot in the door when it comes to entry-level gaming, this is  AMDs latest Ryzen 5 8700G and the following components:

CPU Cooler: 120mm Air Cooler
Motherboard: B650 Motherboard 

RAM: DDR5 16GB-5200MHz(One Stick)

Storage: 512GB NVMe

Power Supply: 750W 80+ Gold Standard

From the list above, these components make for a comparable 45 FPS+ experience in most games, enough to commit later to a dedicated GPU for more performance.

Recommended Specs

For the best performance on 1080p monitors or moderate performance on 1440p monitors, get a middle-of-the-road build based on your budget and the game settings you want to experience. 

CPU: Intel Core i5-13600KF

CPU Cooler: 240mm AIO (All in One)
Motherboard: B660 Motherboard 

RAM: DDR4 16GB-5200MHz(Two Sticks)

GPU: RX 6600

Storage: 1TB NVMe
Power Supply: 750W 80+ Gold Standard

With this setup, you can expect over 60 FPS on most titles, with room to upgrade and optimize.

High End, High Performance

For the best performance, look no further than the highest core count and VRAM, memory, and storage capacity leagues above any entry or mid-level system currently on the market. Here is our recommendation for those looking for the bleeding edge of game performance. 

CPU: Intel Core i5-14900K

CPU Cooler: 360mm AIO (All in One)
Motherboard: Z790 Motherboard 

RAM: DDR5 64GB-6400MHz(One Stick)

GPU: RTX 4090

Storage: 1TB NVMe
Power Supply: 1000W 80+ Gold Standard 

What to Look For in a Basic, Entry-Level Gaming PC

The entry-level gaming PC market offers compelling systems at discounts across multiple generations of hardware. In some cases, you can save over $100 to $150 by going with an older generation CPU and more modern GPU to bridge the performance gap. Let's look at what goes into a modern entry-level gaming PC.

Graphics Card (GPU)

The graphics card is arguably one of the most important aspects of a gaming PC due to its reliance on games that need high refresh rates to actively see what is going on in a game with more detail. 

In Apex Gaming PC's opinion, the best entry-level graphics card in the 2024 market is an AMD Radeon RX 6500 for under $200 new. It can play most triple-A games at 1080p resolution and was released relatively. 

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

While centric on the operation of a gaming PC, the CPU plays a significant supporting role for those looking to game or multitask. Depending on your workload, a four-core or six-core CPU is excellent for an entry-level system. CPUs with eight, ten, or twelve cores are mid to high-end.

Unlike the recent AMD or Intel hardware releases, no single CPU is best for gaming and multitasking at an entry level—developments between the ending of DDR4 and transitioning to DDR5. AMD’s latest entry-level CPUs, like the Ryzen 5 8600G or the Ryzen 5 7600x, offer more sustained performance but are initially more expensive than the Intel i5 14400F counterpart.

Memory (RAM)

The memory market for gaming PCs is in a transition period between DDR4 and DDR5. DDR4 remains the most affordable option as it gets phased out in favor of DDR5. As new generations of motherboards become cheaper, like AMD's B650 options, entry-level systems spend slightly more on the jump to DDR5 than DDR4. 

A great size and speed for DDR4 RAM would be 16GB-3600Mhz(8GB X 2) in a dual-channel configuration. For DDR5, you can opt for one 16GB-5200MHz, due to dual-channel architecture changes, or two sticks of 8GB-5200Mhz, which is slightly more costly overall. 

Storage (HDD / SSD)

SSD over hard disc drives is the best and most affordable storage for gaming PCs. The speed for writing and reading on non-volatile memory express(NVMes) greatly outweighs their mechanical counterparts in almost every capacity. 

Depending on how many games you intend to play, you can get by with 500GB or 1TB of SSD storage for gaming. Understanding how many games you have in rotation is one of the first considerations when spacing out a gaming PC.

Cooling System

AIO(All-in-One) cooling systems for CPUs have become more prevalent in the last ten years due to efficient engineering and consumer scalability. While primarily used on CPUs, high-end GPUs are AIO water-cooled and reserved for the most spacious cases with radiator support. However, for entry—and mid-level components, using air-cooled heatsinks is also a viable option.

A standard cooling system for entry-level hardware is a 120mm AIO or air-cooled heatsink in a push-pull airflow configuration.


Peripherals are one of the most subjective purchases attributed to different PC configurations. The requirements are relatively straightforward, depending on the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and other accessories. Using a keyboard as an example, “gaming” branded peripherals like an MX brown switch $20 gaming keyboard contrast to the $200 for laser keypress detection technology on major sites like Amazon; ultimately, your spending is up to your needs.

If you play many simulation-oriented games, getting a full-sized keyboard with a Numpad will benefit any additional keybinds. You can also opt for a mouse with side buttons to quickly access crucial actions in competitive games.

Other Considerations for Entry-Level Gaming PCs

The suggestions above should be followed more as a guide and less like a rulebook. Other considerations like duration of use, intended workload, and future upgradability should also be considered. When finalizing how much of each spec is needed for the hardware, here are some questions to consider.

What Kinds of Games Do You Want to Play?

Depending on the games you intend to play, more stress may be assigned to the CPU or the GPU—most CPU-intensive games like Valorant, CSGO, Fortnite, and other competitive esports games. 

For other GPU-intensive games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Halo Infinite, and others, having a higher-spec GPU is vital to their overall performance.

Do You Plan to Use Your PC for Other Tasks?

Besides gaming, productivity work is also a core aspect of any system. The ability to multitask and use the CPU to the fullest extent is critical when doing other tasks, such as streaming or editing software.

Entry-level CPUs, such as four—or six-core options released in recent years, will do a great job at video editing and rendering due to architecture changes brought on by Intel and AMD; however, depending on the time needed to render, going with a more performant eight, ten, or 12-core CPU may be warranted.

Summary of Entry-Level Gaming PCs

Overall, the entry market for a gaming PC is alive and well, with many offers from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia for hardware components that make up most of the gaming PCs in today's market. 

At Apex Gaming PCs, getting an entry-level gaming PC has always been challenging by looking at our custom line of gaming PCs that come preconfigured for your ease to upgrade or order stock. Whatever your pc requirements are, we hope to be of service at Apex!

Written By Will Wilson

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