I have a computer that was built around 6-7 years ago. By today's standards, it's shit. There's nothing particularly redeeming about it at all cause the RAM is DDR2 and is ridiculously small at about 1GB or so and the CPU is some 1.8GHz AMD whatever. With stats that bad, I had already written it off as junk and put it in a corner. Last night, I decided to pop it open one more time and take a look at the motherboard's part number. After looking it up, I found out that it has an AM2 socket and there's actually a 2.5GHz quad-core processor for about $30 that would fit it. I found 8GB of RAM for about $15 and that's all I need to have a computer that's almost as good as my laptop. Almost. Granted my laptop has an 860M built into it so the desktop hasn't fully caught up yet. 16GB DDR3 also helps the laptop be better in a lot of ways, but for what I want to make, I don't need much. Now I'm looking into getting a GTX 1050 soon, but first I want to get the rest of it up and running before committing to a graphics card.
Specs of desktop:
2.5GHz AMD Phenom X4
8GB (2x4GB) DDR2 PC2-5300 667MHz RAM
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 2GB GDDR5 (potentially)
Specs of laptop
2.5GHz Intel i7-4710MQ
16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz
Geforce GTX 860M 4GB GDDR5
Of course, it's obvious that my laptop still beats it, but the purpose of having 2 computers is to use one to stream and one to play. I'm still contemplating on which I'm going to do what on, but I would assume that streaming is gonna be done on the laptop since I don't have an external camera atm so my laptop cam will have to do. Also, the stream is already set up with it so I won't have to mess with it (again). I'm hoping the bottleneck won't be my RAM cause it's actually kind of expensive to get the 800MHz, relatively speaking. But the overall computer should be able to handle games from today. I didn't start out with a point for this other than to write it down, but I guess I can say the moral of the story is that budget PC gaming is actually possible for the same price as a console. Steam Machines aside, that is. Find something with stats similar to either build I have, drop in a 1050, and there you have it. A gaming PC on the cheap. I've seen some computers on walmart and amazon that are about $120-150 that have 2.5-3GHz quad core processors and 4GB of RAM built in. I know for a fact that they can be upgraded to 8GB as well. Get one of those, (maybe a bigger case too), potentially some RAM, a GTX 1050 or a Radeon 560, and you'll have a PC that can run just about any game that's out right now. I'm hoping it all works out and I have 2 really good computers. But if for some reason the desktop is a tad slower (that graphics card will make it great, but my laptop may still come out on top), at least I'll have something that can stream what I play on the other computer.
PS, if you actually read all that, props to you. I have no idea why I wrote any of it other than saying it for the sake of saying it.