Five-Hundred dollars. The quintessential round-numbered, meandering, ballpark estimate someone tells you when you ask how much they want to spend on a new gaming pc build. It seems like a fair amount, $500 is nothing to sneeze at after all. To some, it’s the savings in the jar after a few weeks pay. To others, it could be an entire summer of mowing lawns or washing cars, which is why it is difficult to tell someone that $500 is still considered “low-budget” in the world of modern computing.
Best Gaming PC Under 500
It’s not all bad news though- building a gaming pc under 500 bucks is absolutely possible, and judging by the ubiquity of affordable components like Nvidia’s Geforce 1050Ti and AMD’s Ryzen 3 2200G, budget builds are extremely popular!
With some entry level components, a little bit of deal-hunting, and a casual readthrough of this build guide, you will be all set to create your perfect Gaming PC Under 500 dollars.
1) AMD Ryzen 3 3100 4-Core
To kick things off in our gaming pc under 500 dollars build, we’re going to select the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 4-Core.
Clocked at a base 3.6Ghz operating frequency and sitting in the LGA1151 socket, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 features 4 cores and 8 threads, with a 18MB Game cache with DDR3 support. This processor i can handle high-level modern games without much effort, clocking with a boost of 3.9 GHz. For the Price, you are sure to get something more out of the AMD Ryzen 3 3100. You also will have greater multi-tasking abilities when it comes to managing loads of tasks. This CPU is surely capable of the job.
2) ASRock B450M-HDV R4.0 AM4
We’re going to take the AS Rock B450M for our motherboard.You’ll notice that there are even cheaper options, however brand-questionability, user reviews, personal experience on my part, and a general tendency to err on the side of caution concerning entry-level motherboards leads me to feel justified in the decision to pick this board.
This board is a MicroATX AMD board, which means it has a smaller footprint than an ATX or even an mATX motherboard. This doesn’t mean, however, that it is lacking any essential features. It’s also not the flashiest board in the market, but it does have a few nice features that may come in handy later down the line if you decide to upgrade.
This board makes use of DDR4 memory. Don’t worry, we’ve included DDR4 memory in this guide, but take note that any old sticks of DDR3 memory you might have lying around are not compatible and you will damage your motherboard and RAM if you attempt to insert DDR3 memory into a DDR4 slot.
The budget-level offerings from motherboards are nearly endless, but I feel that the ASRock B450M strikes the right balance between price, reliability, features, and flexibility.
3) Patriot Viper 4 Series Extreme Performance DDR4 16GB
There isn’t much to say about this RAM in all honesty. We’re getting 16GB of DDR 4 (so we’re at least getting dual-channel) that run at 3200Mhz. This DDR4 SDRAM offers no hassle when it comes to overclocking. Utilizes a heat shield as well to help with heat dissipation ensuring reliable performance when it comes to helping your computer achieve those heavy tasks.
4) Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD
When coming up with the CPU the cost of storage was way cheaper compared to the last time I planned an upgrade. With the pricing in mind, a smaller 500 GB hard drive was the ideal storage capacity to settle for. Such storage capacity is sufficient and gives you enough space to store games and other media you may have. It may fall short of the newer ones on quality but based on the budget it will be sufficient to start with.
Also, within the budget this is one area we can sacrifice.
5) S-Series (S2 & S3) Mid ATX PC Computer Case
We’re going to need a good case to put all of these components in, and there literally hundreds of fantastic options in the entry-level price range. Many of these options come from a company called Zalman, and we’re going to select their S-Series PC Case Tower case for our build.
The Zalman Case has a small, very spartan footprint- perfect for a low-budget gaming pc build. It's well designed front is there to assist with air flow and circulation, with a transparent side for you to be able to take a look inside. You will also be able to manage cables easier because of its design i.e. with the availability of extra space behind the motherboard tray
Finally, the Zalman S-Series PC Case looks like it means business. It’s simple yet elegant design seems to indicate that it knows its purpose: To provide an affordable platform for the budget-conscious gamer and look good doing it.
6) EVGA 500 BA
Cheap and faulty power supplies can easily fry your entire system, so we’re going to go with something reliable. Reliable, however, does not always mean expensive. That is indeed the case with the The Thermaltake Smart, we’re going to to get a steady source of power. The EVGA 500 BA is not modular, but an excellent choice to look out for when considering power supplies. With this product you are sure your power supply is at least efficient at all times. Something cheaper units can’t always maintain. Along with the standard protections, (Over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, etc.)
7) XFX Radeon RX 560
Considering the sky-high prices of GPUs today caused by the cryptocurrency mining craze, I’m happy to say that the graphics cards is one area of this build where we will not have to make any compromises. Topping off this build will be the XFX Radeon RX 560, the current GPU champ of the ultra-low budget market and the perfect choice for our system.
The XFx features 4GB DDR5 memory. Plenty for 1080p, 60 fps. Even demanding games like the Witcher 3 should maintain high, stable frame rates on Medium and High settings. Apart from VR gaming the XFX Radeon has performances higher than gaming consoles, with almost similar performance to the current generation. For the budget this GPU surely is and excellent pick.
This build means business. At $500 we have squeezed every single drop of performance we could out of this budget gaming pc. This machine is going to be your best friend for our 1080p budget gaming pc, and will make your friends on console envious of your superior graphics and framerates. Even better, we’ve left plenty of room for upgrades too. We can also upgrade our storage with Memory SATA SSDs as well as an additional GPU to take it to the next level.
All in all, we’ve got a killer gaming machine in a tidy package, and we didn’t break the bank!
Thanks for reading this build guide! All of the parts mentioned in this article can be found on Amazon and other retailers. Happy building!
Guide Written By Roman De Simone