Nik is a competitive overclocker at He has been messing with PC's since age 12. Currently living in Minnesota, USA. He loves all technology and loves teaching others how to use it. Whether that is overclocking, getting the most bang for your buck, or solving isssues.

Typically the words overclocking and budget don’t fit in the same sentence. With the release of the Pentium G3258 and also AMD’s price slashes across the board for now at least, that has all changed. Due to Intel’s recent releases of the i7 5960x and i7 4790k processors, Intel became so far ahead of AMD in performance that the AMD Fx 9590 could no longer be priced at even $350.

So, for all of us overclockers, the overclocking game has gotten much less expensive to enter. With the introduction of a lower price overclocking ready hardware, now we have the ability to overclock on a budget.

In this guide, I will outline what I feel the current best two budget PC builds for overclockers are. One will be based on Intel’s Pentium G3258, the other will be based on AMD’s FX 4350 series processor.

Let’s get started!

Technical Specifications

Intel rig:

The total cost of the above system is around $478.

AMD rig

The total cost of the AMD rig is around $520

Subtituting Hardware

If your budget is even lower than that above, you can substitute parts that are less expensive to bring the cost down further. For example, you could opt for the older FX 4130 CPU for only around $50, instead of the $100 FX 4350. By no means are these two overclocking machines 100% perfect, but given a budget of $500, they are very impressive overclocking options.

There are many similarities between the two systems, and in fact they are almost identical apart for the CPUs and Motherboards.

With the Intel PC, you get a dual core Pentium clocked at 3.2 GHz by default. The motherboard to match it is a decent, MSI PC Mate LGA 1150 motherboard and has been proven an excellent overclocker. It should allow you to achieve 4 GHz or higher easily with the CPU at reasonable temperatures.

The major downside to the Pentium build is that it’s a pretty big one: It only has two cores and no hyperthreading.

While two cores is still acceptable for most gaming, some games will barely run at all. If you plan to do any type of video rendering, having only two cores will be particularly annoying. But since the Pentium has such good single and dual threaded performance, most gamers should be good to go. And most importantly to overclockers, the Pentium is the only inexpensive CPU from Intel in quite a long time that is capable of reaching high core clock speeds.

With a good amount of RAM, a solid hard drive, and a well-performing GPU. If you are planning to play games at 1080p, the GTX 750 Ti will be more than enough for all games on high or at the least medium settings.

On the other hand, the AMD build is similar to the Intel rig in all but CPU and motherboard. The pros of having a quad-core CPU are fairly self-explanatory, as you can render images much faster, and games like Far Cry 4 will actually run. On the other hand, AMD CPU’s do not have nearly as good single or double threaded performance resulting in somewhat reduced performance in certain applications. So while gaming performance may take a slight hit, rendering will have a huge improvement over the Pentium CPU.

As with the readily overclockable Pentium, the AMD FX 4350 is a splendid overclocker. The stock speed of the FX 4350 is 4.2 GHz, and it will easily hit 4.8 or 5 Ghz if you have proper cooling. With the Hyper 212 Evo, you should be able to get 4.5 or 4.6 Ghz, but it depends on which CPU you get and what kinds of temperatures you are getting. If you get a well-binned CPU, you may even be able to hit 5 Ghz, but that depends on if you win the silicon lottery.


Both of these systems are excellent choices for overclocking on a budget. They both have pros and cons, and they are both exceptional opportunities for overclocking! The Intel system is much better at single-threaded performance- while the AMD rig has four cores that perform worse in single threaded applications. This means that while the AMD PC will likely perform marginally worse in videogames like Battlefield or Tomb Raider, it will be much better for rendering and multi-threaded use. Otherwise, the two overclocking rigs are much the same and will be good for 1080p gaming and productivity, on top of being awesome overclockers.

What are your thoughts? Is there a better rig that you can think of? Or are these two good options for getting into overclocking? Let us know in the comments below!

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