A gaming PC doesn't have to be expensive...
Well, the details are a bit more complicated and they can be very expensive depending on what games are wanting to be played and at what settings. But it is still true that a gaming PC doesn't have to cost as much as you might think.
The son of one of my customers was all smiles after getting a PC for playing Minecraft. That PC was in the $450 range, but they also wanted to use the computer for video editing so got additional upgrades. That's one of the great things about a "gaming PC" is that it is just a PC that you play some games on. It can also be used for most other types of tasks that you'd want to use a computer for, so it can serve more than one purpose with about the same cost.
For a Minecraft gaming PC that's affordable, here's what I recommend:
A refurbished desktop computer with Intel i5, third generation processor, 8GB memory (RAM), 256GB SSD and a Radeon HD 8490 or similar graphics card.
I would sell a computer with those specs for $325 with 1 year hardware warranty (monitor, keyboard and mouse sold separately as many people already have these and don't need to buy again).
Of course, you can get a computer with more powerful specs to play Minecraft... but you wouldn't need to! This may be a good fit if you know a teenager who would love to play that creative block building game but doesn't have a huge budget for a high powered gaming rig.
Minecraft is commercial software, but there's a great free open source alternative called Minetest. My children have enjoyed playing it for years. Minetest can run on even less powerful hardware than Minecraft, so it's a good option to know about. Free download available at minetest.net
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