Welcome to this guide from Best Gaming PCs where we show you the best budget gaming PC build under $500 bucks. In this article, we aim to deliver a high performance computer capable of running modern games at medium-high settings with an average frame rate of 35+FPS at 1080p resolution (assuming no monitor). The price point for this system is set between $400 – $500 dollars depending on the current market prices. We will be aiming for around $450 bucks as our budget for this machine.What exactly makes a good cheap PC? Here are the seven things you need to consider when buying one:
1) Operating System
For this build, we are going to be using Windows 10 Pro. The main reason for using the pro version is that it allows you to join a domain which will benefit us in the long run as it can help with some security related issues. If you really don’t want to use windows due to some reasons, then feel free to substitute it with any other OS of your choice. Keep in mind though that most newer games are starting to require Windows 10 due to its DirectX 12 support.
2) Processor (CPU)
When choosing your processor, you need at least an Intel Pentium or AM about equal with 3GHz clock frequency and 2 cores/4 threads if possible. For this computer build under 500 dollars, we are going with the Intel Pentium G4400 (3.3GHz). The G4400 is a 3M cache processor and comes with integrated HD 510 graphics built onto the CPU die itself which means it’s basically like having an iGPU in your processor.
For the purpose of this build, you don’t really need to get anything more than that unless you plan on using your PC for other purposes such as photo editing, video editing etc. If so, then I would suggest getting at least an Intel Core i5 6500 or even better get an Intel Core i5 7500 which is currently available at around $200 dollars only! It would be great if you decide to go with either one of these processors though.
For this build, using the Gigabyte B250M-DS3H which is compatible with the Intel Pentium G4400. This motherboard features 2 x DIMM slots which can hold up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and support up to 2400MHz memory frequency. It also has 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, 4x SATA III ports and many other features such as Realtek ALC887 audio codec and Realtek RTL8111G gigabit LAN controller (10/100/1000Mbps). Memory modules used in this cheap gaming pc are 8GB (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400MHz high dual channel memory kit.
4) Graphics Card (GPU)
For this build, we are going to be using the GTX 1050 from Gigabyte. The main advantage of using a 2GB DDR5 graphics card at this price point is that it has amazing performance for its value and comes with a lower power requirement so you don’t have to worry about having a high wattage PSU or a high-end motherboard with certain features removed due to the wattage being too high. Of course there are other options available such as the Yeston GeForce GT 1030 which will perform slightly better than this one but not by much. I would say it’s worth spending an extra $15 bucks on the GTX 1050 as it has more VRAM and higher clock speeds which can make a big difference in your gaming experience.
5) Memory (RAM)
We are using 8GB (2 x 4GB) high performance Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400MHz dual channel memory kit for this build which is enough to run most modern games at medium-high settings on 1080p resolution with an average of 35+FPS which is more than playable. If you want to use this computer for other purposes such as video editing, music production etc., then I would suggest getting at least 16GB if not 32GB of RAM.
6) Storage HDD/SSD
For the storage drive used in this cheap gaming PC build, we have a 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM hard drive for storing most of your data. For those who are wondering why I didn’t include an SSD, well there’s a reason for that and it has to do with the price per GB ratio. If you want to use an SSD as your boot drive, then feel free to do so but I would suggest getting at least 240GB+ capacity if not 480GB+. Keep in mind that the speed increase will be massive though if you go with an SSD or even consider using both (HDD + SSD) like I did in my main rig.
7) Power Supply (PSU)
This build uses Corsair CX Series, CX500M power supply which is enough to run this setup without any problems whatsoever. The wattage currently available for this power supply is 500 watts which may be a bit overkill for this build but it’s always better to have some headroom just in case you want to upgrade your graphics card or CPU cooler at a later date. The 80+ Bronze rating and the modular design make it the perfect choice for cheap gaming pc builds like this one.