If stealing cars, wreaking havoc on the streets and running over cops qualify as great ways of spending free time, you’re either a complete psychopath or a big fan of the Grand Theft Auto series. Although we can’t do much in the case of the former scenario (except maybe keeping our fingers crossed that you don’t live in the same city as us) we do have some good news for those that fall in the latter category: the long-awaited PC version of GTA V is almost here. Coming out a year and a half after it hit the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and several months after becoming available on last-gen consoles, the PC version of GTA V bears some nice visual improvements to make up for it.
While the system requirements of GTA V are not all that surprising, considering the complexity of the game, you’ll still need a pretty powerful PC to run the game, and a real beast to run it at its finest. Luckily, we’re here to help, so whether you’re looking for a budget solution that will deliver decent gameplay, or a monster PC that can run GTA V (and everything else you might throw at it) all maxed out, we have just what you’re looking for. Check out our low cost build below, with the medium cost, and the high cost builds on the following pages.
Putting a great emphasis on cost, this configuration is designed to provide you with the bare minimum requirements you need to run GTA V (and will set you back around $400 all up). Forget about cutting-edge graphics effects and smooth textures – this is all about raw gameplay on the lowest quality settings and minimized costs.
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Rockstar’s minimum system requirements indicate that in order to run GTA V you’ll need an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor (Phenom 9850, if you’re an AMD fan) or an equivalent, 4GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA 9800 GT or AMD HD 4870 with 1GB of video memory. A 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista is also required, as well as 65 GB of free hard disk space. Overall, these are not the most outrageous system requirements out there, except maybe for the hard drive space requirement.
Our recommendation for a budget configuration is as follows:
The cheapest processor to meet the quad-core requirement and not belong to a museum (such as the indicated Intel Q6600) is the AMD A8-6500, priced at roughly $100. There’s no Intel alternative to go with in this price range, the cheapest quad-core Intel processor coming with a price tag in the ballpark of $200. However, there’s a catch: some games that supposedly require a quad-core processor (such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) run perfectly fine on an entry-level Intel G3220 dual-core that’s priced below $60 , assuming the quad-core requirement is not enforced in a way that it actually prevents the game from starting. Since there’s no guarantee that GTA V will fit this bill or not, going with the AMD should be the safer option.
Along with the AMD A8-6500, you’ll need a socket FM2 or FM2+ motherboard. You can get some decent models under $50, such as this Asrock, which features the A58 chipset, or a slightly more powerful A68-based Gigabyte motherboard. The main advantage of the A68 chipset is that it comes with SATA 3 support – quite useful if you plan to go with a solid state drive or a fast hard drive. If you opted for the Intel G3220, or even a powerful i5, the MSI H81M-E33 is a budget 1150 motherboard you can opt for.
When it comes to RAM, the amount is what counts the most, especially when you’re on a tight budget. You can find a 4GB RAM stick for less than $30.
The PC version of GTA V prides itself on being able to run at 4K; however, the terms “4K” and “budget” don’t go well hand in hand, so we’ll leave the 4K (and even 1080p) for the next sections. In fact, if you’re on a tight budget, you can skip over buying a discrete GPU altogether, as both the AMD A8-6500, as well as the Intel G3220 or i5, come with integrated GPUs that should do a fairly good job at running GTA V with all the video details set to low.
A 500GB hard drive is enough for the needs of a casual user, and will offer plenty of space to accommodate the 65GB-requirement of GTA V. This Western Digital Blue 500GB SATA 3 hard drive is spacious, fast and affordable – triple win.
Even when talking about budget builds, a decent power supply from a reputable brand is a must-have. It’s not only about the power output and efficiency, but also about the integrated protection systems, which are totally absent in no-name unit. At roughly $40, this 430W EVGA power supply is a killer deal, packing in all sorts of protections, 80+ efficiency and a decent power output to support some future upgrades.
When on a tight budget, the PC case is not all that important – it’s not like you’ll need space for several hard drives, ginormous video cards or water cooling systems, so this $23 Xion Performance computer case will provide a decent home for your components. It’s small, stylish, and comes with an included 120-mm front fan.
The AOC e2070Swn is among the best options to go with when money is a critical factor. Coming with a 19.5” LED display and a maximum resolution of 1600 by 900 pixels (which is above the 1366 by 768 pixels standard resolution for low-end monitors), the AOC e2070Swn offers a good value for the money.
Keyboard and Mouse
For less than $15, this keyboard and mouse kit will do a good job for a non-pretentious user. Bump up the budget a bit and you can get a wireless kit for roughly $20.
Summing it up, you can get a complete budget PC capable of running GTA V for roughly $400, which is a fair price. As highlighted earlier, though, this configuration will just run the game at its lowest settings; if that’s not enough for you, and your budget is not that tight, you might want to consider the medium-cost configuration on the following page.