Budget Gaming PC Build

This build is a decent gaming PC on a budget. The goal is to stay under $500, and offer paths to upgrade or add components in the future to improve performance.

This is the build that I purchased (with the intention of adding my old GTX 1070) so my girlfriend can have a dedicated gaming rig capable of streaming. On a tight budget, this build will give you decent performance, and there are a number of paths to upgrade in the future.

Parts List

Newegg Build List: https://secure.newegg.com/wishlist/sd/wc0WHq___IMIPJbu_-_LsZAduQ==

Total Price: $454.83

Motherboard

GIGABYTE B450M DS3H AM4 AMD B450 SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

An AM4 Micro ATX motherboard with two x16 PCIe slots and an NVMe M.2 slot.

CPU

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7 GHz (4.2 GHz Max Boost) Socket AM4 65W YD3400C5FHBOX Desktop Processor

An AMD 2nd gen Ryzen 5 with Vega 11 graphics and a heat sink and fan combo. Having integrated graphics, though not as fast as a dedicated GPU, allows more of the budget to go to better parts. It also provides a path to upgrade for much better performance when your budget allows.

RAM

G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Desktop Memory Model

A pair of 8GB DDR4 3600 sticks. A lot of system configurations only come with 8GB of RAM, and use the savings for a graphics card. If you’re planning on running newer games or especially if you’re going to be live streaming on this machine, going with integrated graphics and having more system RAM will serve you better in the long run.

Storage

Crucial P1 500GB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe Internal SSD, up to 1900 MB/s – CT500P1SSD8

A 500GB NVMe SSD. It should have plenty of space for games, and having everything on one drive makes management easier. There is an opportunity here to substitute this SSD for a smaller SSD for system and games along with a large HDD for additional storage. That setup would give you more storage while still having good performance for loading the system and your games.

Power Supply

EVGA 500 BA 100-BA-0500-K1 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI CrossFire 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Non-Modular

A 500W 80 Plus Bronze PSU. This has plenty of power for the system as configured and even enough to add in a graphics card later.

Case

Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L Micro ATX Tower w/ Magnetic Design Dust Filter, Transparent Acrylic Side

An attractive Micro ATX tower with ok ventilation and a pre-installed system fan. There’s room to add a graphics card and room for a 3.5″ drive, so if you opt for a split SSD/HDD solution, you can still opt for this case. You can get a case in the same price range with better ventilation, but probably not this small.

Upgrade Paths

The biggest upgrade path for this build is adding a dedicated graphics card. The motherboard has two PCIe x16 slots, but only one of them is PCIe 3.0. The top slot is where you want to install your GPU. This will drastically increase the performance of this build.

Next, you can upgrade the CPU. Once you have dedicated graphics, upgrading the CPU to a 3rd gen Ryzen will give you even better performance.

You can add more RAM, or upgrade to RAM with a lower CAS latency. DDR4 3600 is the fastest speed this motherboard supports, though.

Disclaimer

I make no guarantee, expressed or implied, that these parts will work together or work for you.

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