What’s the Ideal Budget Setup for Valorant?
Valorant is, slowly but surely, becoming one of the biggest esports titles out there. Riot Games’ esports masterpiece still has a long way to go. Still, if we’re to judge by its current popularity (and the fact that it’ll only keep on growing), we can rest assured it’ll reach extraordinary numbers sooner rather than later.
With such massive popularity comes an equally massive demand for gaming rigs! Everyone wants to test Valorant but, even though the game isn’t all that demanding, many can’t run it on their somewhat dated or low-end rigs. If you’re among them and are looking to upgrade, our Valorant budget setups guide should be an informative read!
Valorant Budget Setup | Everything You Need to Know
We’re going to show off two Valorant budget setups here, which bring forth excellent value for money at their respective price points. Even though they’re both considered as budget options, they offer a different gaming experience. But, enough beating around the bush. Let’s dig right into them!
Valorant Gaming Rig No. 1 | Absolute Budget Setup
First, we’ll be taking a look at some of the cheapest brand-new Valorant budget setups. All parts combined (not counting peripherals), you should be able to get this puppy for roughly $300, which isn’t half bad considering that you’re buying brand-new parts with warranty.
Starting with the CPU, we warmly recommend going with AMD. Intel isn’t worth it in the budget gaming spectrum these days. AMD’s Ryzen lineup has superior single-core performance that does amazing in gaming-related tasks, Valorant included. However, several Reddit threads point out Valorant optimization issues with older Ryzen processors.
That said, grabbing something like the Ryzen 3 3200G will set you back for roughly $100. Make that $180 if you’re going with the ASUS TUF B450M Plus motherboard. If you’re looking for a dedicated GPU setup (which you should if you want to game above 720p), then opting for a slightly more expensive Ryzen 3 3300X will be a better fit. It doesn’t have an integrated GPU but is somewhat faster than the 3200G at just $20-$30 extra bucks, and that extra bit of raw power won’t be a bottleneck even if you couple if with a beefy GPU.
As far as the most basic of Valorant budget setups goes, finish it off by coupling your 3200G with 16GB of RAM (roughly $50), a simple 256GB SSD ($25), cheap PSU, and one of those dirt-cheap cases. Of course, you’ll need a few extra stuff to round things off, including a few fans, mouse and keyboard, and a monitor.
No need to go with anything beyond 720p, since this Valorant budget setup won’t be able to handle it. Talking about handling, believe it or not, this cheap-ass build can theoretically provide 120fps on 720p low settings. Thank you, Vega-san!
Valorant Gaming Rig No. 2 | 120FPS on the Cheap
Next up on our Valorant budget setups guide, we’ll be slapping together a slightly beefier rig that can handle constant 120FPS at 1080p. This setup delivers the standard Valorant gaming experience. More precisely, 1080p is like the gold standard used by most gamers across the globe. There should be no random stuttering here either, which could often be the case with an integrated GPU setup such as the above-featured one.
So, what are we going to place in this one? We could start with a powerful Ryzen CPU. Instead of going with a lowly 3200G, we’re going with the Ryzen 3 3300X. We’re still borderline low-end, but the rest of the system will be a different tale. Plus, it would be ridiculous going with the 3200G and pairing up with a GPU.
Ryzen 3 3300X, at roughly $130, is our CPU. There’s no need to go with a different motherboard – the good old ASUS TUF B450M will do the task just fine. We won’t be overclocking it, so it’s all good! As for the most important part of this Valorant budget setup, the GPU, we’ll be going with a GTX 1660 Super. I’m going with a $200 6GB version by Gigabyte, but feel free to pick the manufacturer on your own. We’re talking about one of the best bang for the buck GPUs out there. It’s more than capable of running every esports title out there at above 120fps.
Talking about high FPS, if you want all the benefits you can get from this rig, you’ll need a 144hz monitor. AOC G2460PF brings forth the best value for money out there. It sports a super-fast TN panel with 144hz and 1ms gray to gray response time. If that doesn’t give you a competitive edge, then I don’t know what will. There are many other 144hz monitors out there, but if you’re buying brand-new, you can’t go wrong with one of AOC’s budget-friendly options. For $250ish, they’re more than worth it!
On top of all that, you need to count in roughly $70 for a 550W 80+ Bronze power supply unit, $50ish on a case, and $100ish on 16GB of RAM and other minor stuff like fans and cable management thingies. That’s assuming you have some basic stuff like a chair, a desk, mouse and keyboard, and all that sort of stuff. Everything combined amounts to roughly $700(ish), which isn’t that bad considering it’s not just the rig but also a fully-fledged 24-inch 144hz monitor. The overall price ought to jump to $800 if you’re going for gaming peripherals too.
Old vs. New Gaming Rig
All the above-listed prices are for brand-new, store-bought parts. If you buy brand-new PC components from online shops like Amazon, you’ll get an extra layer of security through the parts’ warranty. Depending on the components and the company behind them, the warranty will vary between 12 and 36 months. You can opt for extended warranty too, but I won’t be going into the whole it’s worth it/it’s not worth it. After all, we’re focusing on the ultimate Valorant budget setup, not warranty shenanigans!
What about buying second-hand PC components? Or better yet, what about buying a whole gaming rig on the second-hand PC market? Is it that dangerous? Could you get ripped off? Well, it all depends on how tech-savvy you are. If you know what’s what in a PC case and know the basics behind stress testing, then you shouldn’t worry about buying your Valorant budget setup on the second-hand market.
If you’re buying your first-ever PC without any prior PCMR experience or knowledge, you’re best off buying a brand-new rig. It might be more expensive; you might not get the best value for your money, but it will save you a ton of hassle, that we can say with certainty!
The Basics of Buying Second-Hand Gaming Rigs
When buying a second-hand gaming rig, insist on stress testing it, preferably on a neutral location because you can’t expect to spend a few hours at the seller’s place. Here are some of the essential benchmark/stress programs you should bring with you on a USB stick:
- CrystalDiskMark for benchmarking disks
- AIDA64 for stress testing the CPU, RAM, and VGA
- HWMonitor for temperature and clock monitoring
You’ll save a ton of money by buying second-hand equipment! You’ll be able to buy a 120fps rig for roughly $300, not including peripherals like a mouse, keyboard, and a headset. There’s no warranty, though, so you better stress that puppy to reveal any hidden flaws the seller might have forgotten to tell you about. If something goes bad after your purchase, you’ll have to splash more money for a replacement, which makes buying second-hand PC components a double-edge sword.
That about wraps up our Valorant budget setups journey! Remember: Never buy second-hand gaming equipment if the seller won’t let you properly stress test it! Don’t underestimate the power of glorious 120FPS, especially in high-tick-rate FPS titles such as Valorant. Those extra frames can sometimes be the difference between a win and a loss!