Good Cheap Gaming Computers

Good Cheap Gaming Computers 2014 Edition

In this guide we’re going to go over everything you need to know in order to choose the best components for a solid cheap gaming computer. So, if you’re strapped for cash, but you still want to build a solid entry-level system, this guide will help you choose the best components for your budget.

In this day and age of incredible graphics and extremely demanding video games, you, as a PC gamer, must have a capable gaming computer if you want to play your favorite games in the way they they were designed to be played.

Unfortunately, though, the price tag that comes with a solid PC may be keeping you from getting the system that you deserve.

However, if you elect to build your own system–rather than buying it pre-built–you can forego the high costs associated with buying an expensive pre-built setup and you can finally get yourself an affordable gaming computer that will play your favorite games at acceptable levels.

In this guide I’m going to cover all of the different components that you can use in your budget build. I’m going to go over and answer every question that a prospective builder could possible ever have when looking for affordable components that will allow them to build a solid cheap gaming computer.

To start, though, I’m going to give you five different builds that you can use as is, or that you can use as a base to put together your own part list. This will allow you to skip the fine details and get straight to building your awesome gaming PC. If you want a more thorough overview of each component before you make your selection, you can use the full guide.

In the end, you’ll have a plan of action, as well as a number of different components to choose between, and you’ll be well on your way to building a cheap gaming computer that is capable of delivering excellent levels of performance.

i.PRE-MADE PART LISTS

In this section, I’ve taken five different price points ($300, $400, $500, $600, & $700) and I’ve put together builds for each budget.

These builds can either be used as is, or they can serve as a base that you can customize to your liking.

If you have any questions about these builds, please post them below in the comments section!

Navigate This Section

$300 Gaming Computer » $400 Gaming Computer »
$500 Gaming Computer » $600 Gaming Computer »
$700 Gaming Computer »


$300 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

For gamers working with an extremely tight budget, it is possible to throw together a gaming computer (tower only) for around $300.

The downside of putting together such a low-end system is that you’ll be stuck with the integrated graphics on your processor. This isn’t a horrible thing, as integrated graphics have come along way. However, for $300, don’t be expecting to play modern games on settings any higher than medium.

Part List

CPU AMD A10-7850K APU 3.7GHz

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MOBO MSI A58M-E33

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RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB

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HDD Seagate Barracuda 250 GB

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CASE Rosewill Dual Fans

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PSU Antec VP-450W

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ODD Install O.S. from USB drive

Grand Total: $280-$320

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

YES, I WANT THIS PC

$400 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

AMD FX-6300 6-Core ProcessorIf you were looking to buy a decent system from the big computer assemblers, you would expect to pay at least $700. However, you don’t need to spend $1,000 in order to get a gaming computer that will deliver a good experience.

In fact, for right around $400 you can build a system that will allow you to play your favorite games on moderate settings (and some of them on the highest settings).

And, by building it yourself, you can avoid having to deal with the low quality power supplies and motherboards that the big computer companies like to throw in their builds.

The cheap gaming computer listed below is based off of my research of the best parts available for a $400 gaming computer. The build includes the following parts:

Part List

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+

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GPU EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti

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RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB

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HDD Seagate Barracuda 250 GB

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CASE Rosewill Dual Fans

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PSU Antec VP-450

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ODD Install O.S. from USB drive

Grand Total: $380-$420

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

YES, I WANT THIS PC

$500 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

For those of you looking to spend a little bit more money, you can come away with a truly powerful gaming computer at a very affordable price.

At $500 this next gaming computer build will present you with unbelievable performance. These parts are literally capable of producing an experience on par with some of the big manufacturers $1,000+ gaming computers.

Here’s the parts you’ll need to build a $500 gaming computer worth bragging about:

Part List

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+

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GPU ASUS Radeon R9 270

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Rosewill Dual Fans

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PSU Corsair CX600

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ODD Install O.S. from USB drive

Grand Total: $480-$520

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

YES, I WANT THIS PC

$600 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

The great thing about building your own gaming computer is that for a fraction of the cost of a pre-built machine, you can achieve some pretty incredibly results.

In fact, for right around $600 you can throw together a system that will max out any game on the market on a 1080p monitor and will even be able to handle games on 1440p monitors as well. That’s a pretty awesome deal considering the performance you get.

The gaming computer below has a ton of power right out of the gates. The motherboard doesn’t give you a whole lot of overclocking options, but if you’re not looking to do any serious system tuning, then this machine is for you.

Part List

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+

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GPU Sapphire Radeon R9 280

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Corsair Carbide SPEC-01

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PSU Corsair CX600

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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Grand Total: $580-$620

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

YES, I WANT THIS PC

$700 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

A lot of people love to brag about their $3,000 water-cooled systems and the ridiculous frame rates they get while playing their favorite games. If you have the money to go all out on a high-end gaming computer, then by all means do so. (I personally love seeing how far a system can be pushed!)

However, if you’re looking to get a really high-end system that is capable of giving you  a really high-end experience, you could easily achieve that with $700 of quality computer components.

Here’s the part list:

Part List

CPU Intel Core i5-4590

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MOBO ASUS H81M-E

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GPU Sapphire Radeon R9 280

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Corsair Carbide SPEC-01

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PSU Corsair CX600

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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Grand Total: $680-$720

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

YES, I WANT THIS PC

I. HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

This guide has literally everything you need to pick a part list for a solid cheap gaming computer. With so much information, you might get lost. So, it’s important that you know how to navigate and use this guide.

For starters, below you’ll find a Table of Contents. You can use this to easily navigate to the part of the guide you want to read.

The guide is broken down into sections. In the first couple of sections, the guide goes over some important concepts, including knowing your budget and whether or not you should buy now, or save until you can afford a better system. Then, the guide will go all of the components you’ll need in order to build an affordable computer.

Each component section will give you multiple suggestions. And, each component section is broken down to make it easier to navigate through. For instance, the processor and motherboard sections are broken down by the socket type. And, the video card, case and power supply sections are broken down by price range (i.e. Best Video Cards under $100.)

Another important thing to point out is that under each component, you’ll see the suggested “Budget Range” that that component fits into. This number doesn’t tell you how much the component costs, it tells you the kind of budget that component will work well in.

As an example, the AMD A8-5600K processor has a suggested budget range of $300-$400. This means that if you’re building a gaming computer and you have $300-$400 to spend, the A8-5600K will fit nicely in your budget.

Finally, at the end of the guide, I have put together five different builds, ranging from $300 on the low-end to $700 on the high-end. These builds can either be used as is, or they can be customized to your liking.

1.KNOWING YOUR BUDGET

The budget that you set for your gaming computer is going to determine the kind of performance you get out of it. The more you spend, the more games you’ll be able to play on higher settings and the higher the framerates you’ll get.

Setting your budget will give you a price to work with when selecting your components and it will make it easier to make decisions on each part. So, set a budget and stick to it. For this guide, we’ll be looking at systems that come in under $700.

Should You Buy Now, Or Save Up Until You Can Get Better Components?

There are advantages and disadvantages that come with either buying your components now or saving up until you can get better-performing parts. It really all depends on your personal preferences as well as the kind of games you play.

If you don’t want to wait to be able to have to play your favorite games and you don’t mind playing on lower settings, or the games you play aren’t too demanding, then building now is definitely a good option. However, if you’re playing demanding games that are best experienced in full detail on the highest graphics settings, then it is probably a good idea to save up some more money so that you can get a better set of components.

If you want the best of both worlds, you can always build for now and the future. In order to build for now and the future, you must choose components that will give you decent performance now and that will allow you to upgrade in the future. Since this guide is directed towards those gamers who are building on a budget, I have tried to make it as future friendly as possible without sacrificing too much performance now.

Either way you choose, the components listed in this guide will at least allow you to start playing your favorite games. And, the top component options in each category will even allow you to play most games on the highest settings.

Let’s Get Started Choosing Components

In the rest of this guide, we’ll take an individual look at each component category and go over the different options you have if you’re building a solid cheap gaming computer. Each component is going to be broken down into sections.

First up, we’ll look at the best budget gaming processors and then we’ll proceed to look at all of the other components you’ll need.


2.THE BEST BUDGET PROCESSORS

In this part of our Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide, we’re going to take a look at all of the different CPU options you have for your budget gaming PC.

The CPU you choose for your gaming PC is going to play a pivotal role in how well your system performs.

A faster processor is going to be able to handle more games better. A slower processor will give you trouble running more demanding games.

Fortunately, even if you’re building on a budget there are a number of CPU options available on the market that will allow you to play your games at acceptable levels.

In fact, for just under $100 you can get a CPU that is capable of running your gaming computer.

In this guide I will take a look at all of the CPU options you have for your budget gaming PC.

Any of the CPUs listed in this article will at least get your foot in the door.

And, some of the processors–like the AMD FX-6300–are not only budget-friendly, but they are also good enough for a gaming computer that can max any game out.

Budget Gaming Processors for AMD’s Socket FM2

AMD’s FM2 socket is quickly becoming one of the most popular platforms for gamers working with a tight budget. Built around AMD’s APUs (accelerated processing unit), the FM2 socket boasts processors that have powerful integrated graphics.

And, even though integrated graphics aren’t ideal for graphics-intensive games, AMD’s APUs provide enough power through their integrated graphics to play most games on at least the lowest settings. So, while FM2 APUs alone aren’t great solutions for high-end machines, they do work well for entry-level systems and will be good enough to build a solid cheap gaming computer.

Another cool feature of the FM2 APUs is that they can be paired with budget-friendly AMD video cards to give a boost in graphics performance. So, pairing the APUs listed below with an HD 6670 is a solid budget-friendly way to give you more in-game graphics power.

The following are a list of the APUs that I recommend for budget gaming PCs:

Athlon X4 760KAMD Athlon X4 760K 3.8 GHz Processor (~$75)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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While not the greatest processor on the market, the Athlone X4 760K can hold it’s own and will serve well in an entry-level build that includes a standalone video card.

It’s important to note that, unlike other FM2 processors, the Athlon X4 does not come with integrated graphics… so you will need to pair it with a video card.

Ultimately, while the Athlon series of FM2 CPUs have become popular among budget builders, in my opinion the FX-4300 is the better long-term option for just $10 more, as the AM3+ socket has much better  upgrade potential.

Features

  • Quad Core CPU
  • Socket FM2
  • 3.8GHz Operating Frequency
  • 2 x 2MB of L2 Cache
  • Can Hit Decent Overclocks With Proper Cooling

RECOMMENDATION: The Athlon X4 760K serves its purpose as an affordable option for gamers on a budget, but I’d recommend spending $10 to get the FX-4300 and better AM3+ platform.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Athlon X4 760KAMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7 GHz Processor (~$85)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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The Athlon X4 860K is a step up from the X4 760K and costs about $10 more.

Essentially the X4 860K serves the same purpose as the 760K. It’s an affordable budget CPU for anyone who is looking at the FM2 socket and wants to pair a discrete video card with it. Again, this CPU does not have integrated graphics and requires a discrete video card.

Just like with the X4 760K, it would be best if you went with the FX-4300 for the better upgrade options that the AM3+ platform provides.

Features

  • Quad Core CPU
  • Socket FM2
  • 3.7GHz Operating Frequency
  • 4MB of L2 Cache
  • Can Hit Decent Overclocks With Proper Cooling

RECOMMENDATION: The Athlon X4 860K is priced the same as the FX-4300 making it, in my opinion, an obsolete option as  the FX-4300 has more upgrade options.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD A10-5800K APUAMD A10-5800K APU 3.8 GHz Processor (~$110)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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The A10-5800K is a step up from the A8-5600K, with a stock clock rate of 3.8 GHz and a max turbo rate of 4.2 GHz.

The integrated HD 7660D graphics are also a little better on the A10-5800K, giving you more performance.

And, just like the A8-5600K, the A10-5800K can be CrossFireX’ed with an entry-level HD Radeon discrete video card in the future. (Some people have even CrossFireX’ed it with an HD 7750.)

Features

  • Quad Core APU
  • Socket FM2
  • HD 7660D Integrated Graphics Will Allow You to Play Most Games on Low-to-Mid Settings
  • Integrated Graphcis Can Be CrossFireX’ed with Radeon HD 7750 or Lower
  • Integrated Graphics Support Eyefinity Technology

RECOMMENDATION: Use the A10-5800K if you are working with a low budget that won’t allow for a discrete video card, or if you want to CrossFireX it with an HD 6670. Make sure you get an FM2 motherboard to go with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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amd-a10-6800kAMD A10-6800K APU 4.1GHz Processor (~$1420)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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The king of the APU’s the A10-6800K is at the head of AMD’s latest release of accelerated processing units.

The A10-6800K boasts better graphics (Radeon HD 8670D) than its predecessor, the A10-5800K, and brings a little more performance to the table when gaming.

With the best integrated graphics on the market, the A10-6800K is a great affordable option for gamers playing non graphics-intensive games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Diablo III.

Also, while the A10-5800K can technically be CrossFireX’ed with a radeon HD 7750, the A10-6800K definitely can and is optimized to do so. So, if you get this processor and you want to upgrade later on down the road, the HD 7750 would go well with this APU.

Features

  • Quad Core APU
  • HD 86700D Integrated Graphics Will Allow You to Play Non Graphics-Intensive Games on Max Settings
  • Integrated Graphcis Can Be CrossFireX’ed with Radeon HD 7750 for Added Performance
  • Integrated Graphics Support Eyefinity Technology

RECOMMENDATION: Use the A10-6800K if you want good results now and the option to upgrade later. You can also pair this APU with an HD 7750 to maximize your results and to get a solid budget gaming computer. Make sure you get an FM2 motherboard to go with this APU.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Processors for AMD’s Socket AM3+

One of the best CPU solutions for a budget gaming computer is the AMD FX-6300. And, while there are other options for the AM3+ socket, as far as the price-to-performance ratio goes, the FX-6300 is definitely one of the better options.

However, with AMD’s recent price drops, the FX-4300 is a very nice low-budget option and the FX-8320 and FX-8350 gives budget builders a chance to grab a high-end CPU at an affordable price.

Ultimately it comes down to price-to-performance and AMD’s AM3+ CPUs offer some of the best options for gamers who have a budget between $400-$800.

AMD FX-4300AMD FX-4300 AM3+ 3.5GHz Processor (~$85)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: AM3+

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It wasn’t too long ago when the FX-4300 was tipping the scales at right around $100. Now, however, the quad-core CPU has dropped below $90.

This price decrease has made the FX-4300 perhaps one of the low-budget CPUs on the market.

And, while others may rave about the Athlon 760K or the 860K, the truth is that the FX-4300 is not only the better CPU, but it’s also on the better platform for gamers: AM3+. That means better upgrade options in the future.

So, if you’re looking for a good CPU in the $80-$90 range, look no further than AMD’s FX-4300

Features

  • Quad Core CPU
  • Plenty of Processing Power for Gaming
  • AM3+ Has Much Better Upgrade Options than FM2
  • Excellent Price-to-Performance for the Price

RECOMMENDATION: UThe FX-4300 is a good option for systems in the $400-$500 range. The AM3+ platform has much better upgrade potential than FM2 which therefore makes the FX-4300 a much better option for budget builders who want a discrete video card.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD FX-6300 CPUAMD FX-6300 AM3+ 3.5GHz Processor (~$100)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$600

SOCKET: AM3+

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For those gamers who have a little bit higher of a budget, the AMD FX-6300 is your best option.

With six cores, the FX-6300 is the most affordable and future-proofed CPU on the market.

If you don’t want to go with a setup with integrated graphics and you want to utilize a discrete video card for the most performance, then pairing the FX-6300 with a decent video card is the way to go…

…especially if you want to upgrade to a more powerful video card in the future.

In my opinion, the FX-6300 is the best CPU option for budget builders who can afford it because it offers ideal performance for gaming now and with its six cores it will accommodate the games of tomorrow as well.

Features

  • Six Core CPU
  • Plenty of Processing Power for Gaming
  • Extra Cores Make This CPU the Best Mulit-Tasking Processor Under $150
  • Most Future-Proofed CPU in Its Price Range

RECOMMENDATION: Use the FX-6300 if your budget is over $400 and you want to use a discrete video card. Good cards to pair it with are an HD 7770, GTX 650 Ti, and an HD 7850. The FX-6300 is a socket AM3+ CPU, so make sure you choose an AM3+ motherboard to go with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD FX-8320AMD FX-8320 AM3+ 3.5GHz Processor (~$145)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $600-$800

SOCKET: AM3+

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Since AMD has reduced the prices on some of their CPUs, gamers who are looking to build a gaming computer, but who are working with a tight budget, have gained a number of options. This is as especially true with the FX-8320.

At just under $150, the FX-8320 is an eight core monster that can be overclocked to his FX-8350 levels. And, while I don’t include this CPU in any of my pre-made part lists, it will definitely fit well in the $700 build as a replacement for the i5-4460.

In the end, the FX-8320 is a great CPU and it’s powerful enough to not create a bottleneck on pretty much any system.

Features

  • Eight Core CPU
  • Optimal Processing Power for Gaming
  • Extra Cores Make This CPU the Best Mulit-Tasking Processor Under $150
  • Most Future-Proofed CPU Under $150

RECOMMENDATION: Use the FX-8320 if you’re looking for a low-cost CPU that will deliver high-end performance. The FX-8320 can be used in systems from $600 and up, though the higher your budget the more I’d recommend going with a more efficient Intel CPU.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD FX-8320AMD FX-8350 AM3+ 4.0GHz Processor (~$180)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $600+

SOCKET: AM3+

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The debate will always wage on… which CPU manufacturer is better, Intel or AMD? For certain diehards, there’s only one CPU manufacturer they’ll buy from, and that’s fine.

In the case of the FX-8350, it’s a very capable processor for gaming, with the ability to match the in-game performance the top Intel processors are able to produce.

Where the FX-8350 lacks (at least compared to its Intel counterparts) is in efficiency, single-core performance, affordable motherboard options, and heat produced. For those reasons, I typically recommend new builders to go with an Intel Core i5 CPU in this price range.

However, for AMD diehards, and people who want to overclock their CPU, the FX-8350 will give you the performance you need, but you just need to make sure you get a motherboard that will accommodate it.

Features

  • Eight Core CPU
  • Optimal Processing Power for Gaming
  • Extra Cores Make This CPU a Great Option Under $200
  • Can Be Overclocked to Hit Even Higher Levels of Performance

RECOMMENDATION: Use the FX-8350 if you’re looking for a strong overclocking CPU under $200. And, be sure to pair it with a 990FX chipset motherboard to handle the demands of the FX-8350.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Processors for Intel’s Socket LGA 1150

There is no doubt that Intel is the king of gaming processors. And, there isn’t a question that they produce the fastest CPUs on the market.

However, for extreme budget gaming PCs, the only CPU options that Intel really has are the Intel Core i3 line of processors. And, while these CPUs have great single-threaded performance, the fact that they are only dual core processors means that they are a little more limited in multi-threaded applications.

If your budget creeps closer to the $700-$800 range, choosing an Intel Core i5 CPU becomes more and more plausible. In fact, in the builds listed at the top of this page, we use an Intel Core i5 CPU in our $700 build. So, if you have a moderate budget of $700 or more, then I would definitely recommend going with on of the Intel Core i5 CPUs listed below.

Intel Core i3-4160 LGA 1150 Processor (~$120)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $450-$600

SOCKET: LGA 1150

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Out of all of the processors available in this price range, the Intel Core CPUs offer the most single core performance.

And, despite the fact that the i3-4160 is only a dual-core processor, it still performs very well for gaming purposes.

However, in my opinion, for about $20 less, the FX-6300 is the better option because it is more “future-proofed.”

Although, if you’re playing games that don’t utilize more than two cores, the i3-4160 will perform better.

And, if you want to upgrade to a higher end LGA 1150 Intel Core processor in the future, then it would be best to go with this CPU.

Features

  • Dual-Core CPU
  • Better Single-Core Performance than AMD Alternative
  • Can Easily Be Upgraded to an LGA 1150 Intel Core i5 or i7 In the Future
  • Extremely Power Efficient When Compared to Similarly Priced AMD CPUs

RECOMMENDATION: The Intel Core i3-4160 is the perfect CPU for gamers looking to build a solid cheap gaming computer. I recommend going with the i3-4160 if you’re planning on upgrading to a higher end Intel Core LGA 1150 CPU in the future, or if you are only planning on playing games that only utilize two or less cores. If you do choose this CPU, make sure you get an LGA 1150 motherboard to go with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Intel Core i5-4590 LGA 1150 Processor (~$190)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $700+

SOCKET: LGA 1150

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If you’re looking for the best all-around CPU for under $200, then the Intel Core i5-4590 is it.

It combines all of the efficiency and high-performance we’ve come to expect from an Intel CPU for an affordable price.

Ultimately, the i5-4590 is the perfect option for anyone who isn’t planning on overclocking, who has a decent-sized budget (at least $700) and wants ideal in-game performance (assuming you choose a formidable video card to go with it.)

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Better Single-Core Performance than AMD Alternative
  • Can Easily Be Upgraded to an LGA 1150 Intel Core i7 In the Future
  • Extremely Power Efficient When Compared to Similarly Priced AMD CPUs

RECOMMENDATION: If your budget is around $700 or higher, the i5-4590 is probably the best CPU option for you. However, if you want to be able to overclock, you’ll want to either look at AMD’s FX-8320, or 8350.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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3.THE BEST BUDGET MOTHERBOARDS

In this section of the Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide I’m going to list all of the viable motherboard options you have if you’re building on a budget. These motherboards are good enough to get your budget gaming PC up, running, and performing well.

Your gaming computer will not work without a motherboard.

And, one mistake that first-time builders and those working with a tight budget make is to choose a cheap low-quality motherboard.

However, choosing a cheap motherboard can cause a lot of problems for you and your system down the road.

Therefore, you need to make sure you get a decent motherboard for your money.

Since you’re working with a tight budget, getting a high-end motherboard is out of the question….

…but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a capable motherboard to go with your gaming PC.

There are plenty of solid motherboards under $100 that are perfect for budget gaming computers.

In this section of the guide, I will cover the different motherboard options you have for your build.

Budget Gaming Motherboards for AMD’s Socket FM2

AMD’s socket FM2 is the perfect option for gamers working with an extremely tight budget, or for gamers who are playing less demanding games (like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Dota 2, Minecraft, etc.).

There are a ton of viable budget gaming motherboard options for the FM2 socket. Below are listed all of the FM2 motherboards that will work in a solid cheap gaming computer.

fm2-a55m-e33MSI FM2-A55M-E33 Motherboard (~$35)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400

SOCKET: FM2

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At the low end of the FM2 motherboard spectrum, the MSI FM2-A55M-E33 is the perfect board for gamers who are on an extreme budget.

The FM2-A55M-E33 has everything you need to get your computer up and running.

And, while it’s not the most ideal board for gamers, it’s definitely good enough to get the job done.

So, if you’re working with a minimal budget and you just want to throw something together quickly so that you can start gaming as soon as possible, then pairing this motherboard with an FM2 processor will allow you to build a solid cheap gaming computer.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Comes With an HDMI and VGA Port So that You Can Take Advantage of the Integrated Graphics on Your AMD APU
  • Supports Up to 32GB of Memory
  • Is AMD Radeon Dual Graphics Capable

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend using the MSI FM2-A55M-E33 if your budget is under $400. It will pair well with the A8-5600K for the price. This setup isn’t ideal, but it will allow you to start playing most games on at least low settings. If your budget is $400 or more, look at a processor/motherboard combo that offers more features.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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asrock fm2a55m-dgsASRock FM2A55M-DGS Motherboard (~$50)
Budget Range: $300-$400
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

SOCKET: FM2

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If you’re looking for an alternative to the MSI FM2-A55M-E33, the ASRock FM2A55M-DGS is essentially the same board. The only real difference is in the software and BIOS that comes with each motherboard.

In my opinion, you’ll be fine with either the MSI or ASRock board, but some people prefer one brand to the other. Either board are good options for gamers working with an extremely tight budget (under $400).

Ultimately, both of these motherboards are capable of producing identical in-game results. And, while they aren’t the best options on the market, they are good enough to allow you to start gaming.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Comes With DVI-D and VGA Ports So You Can Utilize the Integrated Graphics on Your AMD APU
  • Supports Up to 32GB of Memory
  • Is AMD Dual Graphics Capable

RECOMMENDATION: My recommendation for the ASRock FM2A55M-DGS is the same as my recommendation for the MSI FM2-A55M-E33… use this board if your budget is under $400 and pair it with an A8-5600K.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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fm2-a75ma-e35MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 Motherboard (~$55)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $350-$450

SOCKET: FM2

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The main upgrades that the A75 chipset has over the A55 chipset, is that the A75 chipset brings 6GB/S SATA capabilities and USB 3.0 into the picture.

For just $5-$10 more than the the MSI FM2-A55M-E33, you can can the MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 and the faster SATA connection as well as four USB 3.0 ports.

Ultimately, this motherboard will work well with any of the AMD APUs and can even be used as an affordable solution for gamers who want the A10-6800K.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable motherboard to pair with your AMD A-Series APU, then the MSI FM2-A55M-E35 is definitely a solid option.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Comes With VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics
  • Has 3 x USB 3.0 Connections

RECOMMENDATION: The MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 is an excellent option for gamers who want to get the most out of their AMD-APU-Based gaming computer. I recommend using this motherboard if you want an affordable option to pair with your A10-5800K or A10-6800K and you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a high-end motherboard.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Asrock-FM2A75-PRO4-MASRock FM2A75 PRO4-M Motherboard (~$70)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $350-$450
SOCKET: FM2

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For $5 more, the ASRock FM2A75 PRO4-M is virtually the same board as the MSI FM2-A75M-E35. However, the extra $5 gives you a little bit more stability when overclocking.

It also comes with SATA 6GB/S capabilities and USB 3.0. And, if you’re looking to run AMD Radeon Dual Graphics this board (like the MSI one) will allow you to do so.

This board is also a decent option if you want to experiment with some mild-to-moderate overclocking. Ultimately, though, the only reason why you’d get this board over the MSI board is if you prefer ASRock’s software/BIOS or if you want to do some more system-tuning.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Decent Overclocking Board
  • Has VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI Ports
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics
  • Has 3 x USB 3.0 Connections

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend choosing the ASRock FM2A75 PRO4-M if you’re looking for an affordable motherboard that will allow you to overclock your AMD A-Series APU and/or your memory. This motherboard will work well paired with any A-Series FM2 APU, but I recommend using it with either the A10-5800K or the A10-6800K.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ga-f2a85x-d3hGigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H (~$85)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: FM2

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For the enthusiasts, the A85X chipset brings a couple more SATA 6GB/S connections and the ability to run dual video cards in X8 CrossFireX configuration. For the extra price, though, the minor additional options probably aren’t worth it for gamers on a serious budget.

However, the ability to run dual video cards in CrossFireX does make the A85X chipset the perfect option for gamers who want to upgrade their rig in the future.

And, of the A85X motherboards out there, the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H is one of the most affordable. So, if you’re looking to give your solid cheap gaming computer some serious upgrade possibilities, then consider the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Decent Overclocking Board
  • Comes With VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI Ports
  • Can Accommodate Dual Video Cards in X8 CrossFireX Configuration
  • Has 4 x USB 3.0 Connections
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics

RECOMMENDATION: The Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H is a solid option for gamers who want an moderately priced board that will allow them to get the most out of their APU and will give them the option of running dual video cards in CrossFireX configuration in the future. I would recommend pairing this motherboard with an A10-5800K or A10-6800K and I would only recommend getting it if you are considering adding dual video cards in the future. If not, go with one of the A75 motherboards.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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FM2A85X Extreme4ASRock FM2A85X EXTREME4 (~$90)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500
SOCKET: FM2

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Another FM2 A85X option is the ASROCK FM2A85X EXTREME4 motherboard. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between the FM2A85X EXTREME4 and the GA-F2A85X-D3H, so the determining factor may come down to price and brand preference.

In any case, the board is a decent option for overclockers and it comes with four USB 3.0 connections and eight SATA 6GB/S connections.

Its A85X chipset gives it the ability to run dual video cards in CrossFireX configuration at X8 in both PCIe lanes.

As mentioned with the GA-F2A85X, I only recommend this board if you want the option to run dual video cards in the future, as there isn’t too much of a difference between the A85X and A75 chipset. And, you can save a decent amount of money if you stick with the A75 chipset–something that is incredibly important for cheap gaming computer builds.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Decent Overclocking Board
  • Comes With VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI Ports
  • Can Accommodate Dual Video Cards in X8 CrossFireX Configuration
  • Has 4 x USB 3.0 Connections
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics

RECOMMENDATION: The ASRock FM2A85X EXTREME4 motherboard is a good option for gamers who want the ability to run dual video cards in the future. It will be best utilized when paired with an A10-5800K or A10-6800K. It’s also a decent option for anyone who wants to overclock. However, if you don’t plan on running dual video cards in the future, stick with an A75 motherboard.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Motherboards for AMD’s Socket AM3+

If you’re going with the AMD FX-6300 CPU, you’ll need an AM3+ motherboard to pair with it. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable AM3+ motherboards available.

Listed below are all of the AM3+ motherboards that I recommend for budget gaming computers.

asus m5a78l-m lx plusASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS Motherboard (~$55)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: AM3+

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For AM3+ budget gaming computer builds, the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS is a solid entry level motherboard to get your build started.

The M5A78L-M LX PLUS is by no means an enthusiast board and doesn’t have all the high-end features that the more expensive AM3+ boards do, but it is good enough to run your CPU and a single discrete video card…

…and for most gamers, with the right CPU/video card combo and a decent amount of RAM, that’s all you’ll need to get ideal in-game performance.

So, if you’re looking into building an entry level gaming computer that features an AM3+ CPU and a discrete video card, the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS is the perfect option for gamers with a tight budget.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Supports Mild Overclocking and System Tuning
  • The “Core Unlocker” Feature Allows You to Easily Unlock All of Your CPU’s Extra Cores
  • Supports Up to 16GB of DDR3 Memory That Can Be Overclocked to 1866MHz

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend choosing the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS if you are building an AM3+ budget gaming PC. This board works well with an AMD FX-6300 and any of the video cards recommended in this guide. It isn’t the best motherboard option, but if funds are limited and you want to get your system up and running, this board will definitely allow you to do so.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ga-78lmt-usb3Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Motherboard (~$65)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: AM3+

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For approximately $10 more you can go a step up from the M5A78L-M LX PLUS and get Gigabyte’s GA-78LMT-USB3 motherboard. The main difference?

The GA-78LMT-USB3 brings USB 3.0 capabilities to the table and supports up to 32 GB of memory. Is that worth the extra cost?

Well, that’s up to the individual.

For the most part, this Gigabyte board is still a standard entry level AM3+ motherboard with no really exciting features. However, it does support USB 3.0 and it will give you the foundation of a solid budget gaming computer.

So, if you’re looking for a decent entry-level motherboard that supports USB 3.0, then the GA-78LMT-USB3 is a good bet.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Allows for Mild Overclocking and System Tuning
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory
  • Advanced Protection Against the Elements With Humidity, Electrostatic, Power Failure, and High Temperature Protection
  • Supports USB 3.0

RECOMMENDATION: The Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 is a nice entry-level board that will work well with an AMD FX-6300 CPU. I recommend choosing this board if you’re looking for an affordable AM3+ motherboard and you utilize USB 3.0-compatible peripherals. If you don’t need the USB 3.0 support, then for $10 less, the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS is the better option. 

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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970A-G46MSI 970A-G46 Motherboard (~$80)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $500-$600

SOCKET: AM3+

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If you’re working with a decent sized budget and you want a quality motherboard to pair with your AM3+ CPU, then the MSI 970A-G46 is an affordable option that will give you plenty of features.

With support for up to 32GB of DDR3 memory that can be overclocked to up to 2133MHz, you’ll have a board that can easily be upgraded to meet the future demands of gaming.

While this board isn’t ideal for overclocking, it does have all of the other features you could ever want or need (USB 3.0, SATA III, 7.1 Surround Sound Capabilities,Dual Video Card Support etc.)

So, if you’re looking to spend a little more on your system and you want to get a decent motherboard, the MSI 970A-G46 is perfect for you.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Mild Overclocking/System Tuning Can Be Achieved on This Board
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDr3 Memory, Which Can Be Overclocked to a Maximum of 2133MHz
  • Supports USB 3.0
  • OC Genie II Makes Overclocking Simple and Easy
  • Dual Video Card Support
  • Well-Designed Graphical User Interface Makes the BIOS on this Board Very Easy to Use

RECOMMENDATION: The MSI 970A-G46 is by no means an enthusiast board. If you’re looking for high overclocks, you’ll have to look elsewhere. However, if you want a decent-priced motherboard that has all of the latest technology built into it, then I recommend getting this MSI board. It’s perfect with the FX-6300 and it will give you everything you need to build a solid single video card setup.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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AM3 GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 Motherboard (~$100)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $500-$600

SOCKET: AM3+

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If you’re looking for optimal performance and you’ve got a little bit more to spend on your budget gaming computer, then you may want to consider the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3.

With an advanced 8+2 power phase, the GA-970A-UD3 is one of the best AM3+ motherboards for overclocking ~$100.

Not only is the Ga-970A-UD3 one of the only solid options for performance enthusiasts who are working with a budget, but it also has all of the other features you could want out of a motherboard: USB 3.0, SATA III with 6GB/S link speed, Dual Video Card Support, etc.

So, if you’ve got the extra money and you’re looking for a decent overclocking board, then the GA-970A-UD3 is your best option.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Best Overclocking Option at or Under $100
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory Which Can be Overclocked to 2000MHz
  • Supports AMD CrossFireX

RECOMMENDATION: The Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 is the best option for budget builders who want to overclock. The board can be paired with the FX-6300 to achieve moderate overclock levels. And, if you’re looking to spend ~$600 you can fit this board into your budget nicely even if you pair it with an HD 7850 or GTX 660. This setup will give you all-around ideal in-game performance.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Motherboards for Intel’s Socket LGA 1155

For those of you who are looking to go with a solid cheap Intel-based gaming computer, your best bet for a processor is the Intel Core i3-3220, as its really the only affordable Intel CPU for budget systems.

And, if you are going with an i3-3220, you’ll need a decent motherboard to pair it with. I’ve listed two options that will work well for an Intel-based budget gaming PC below.

H77MA-G43MSI H77MA-G43 Motherboard (~$85)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $450-$600
SOCKET: LGA 1155

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If you’re looking to go with an Intel gaming computer, your only plausible CPU option is the Intel Core i3-3220.

And, since that’s a locked processor, it’s not worth it to get an unlocked motherboard to pair with it.

The MSI H77MA-G43 is the perfect entry-level motherboard for a solid cheap gaming computer based on an Intel CPU.

The H77MA-G43 has USB 3.0 support, can hold up to 32GB of memory, and it’s micro-ATX form factor makes it a great option for LAN-party builds.

So, if you’re looking for a decent motherboard that will support your Intel system, the MSI H77MA-G43 is definitely a good option.

Features

  • Socket LGA 1155
  • Supports 2nd and 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory Which Can be Overclocked to 2400MHz
  • Will Support CrossFireX Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: For those of you who want to go with an Intel-based gaming computer, the MSI H77MA-G43 is a solid entry-level motherboard. I recommend pairing this motherboard with an Intel Core i3-3220. It’s not a setup that will blow you away, but it’s definitely good enough to get you started.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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H77 Pro4-MASRock  H77 Pro4-M Motherboard (~$90)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $450-$600

SOCKET: LGA 1155

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Another good H77 motherboard that you can use with your Intel Core i3-3220 is the ASRock H77 PRO4-M.

The H77 PRO4-M basically has all of the same features as the MSI H77MA-G43. It also has USB 3.0 support, can hold up to 32GB of memory, and is great for LAN-party builds.

The only real difference between the two boards is that the ASRock board will not allow you to overclock your memory to as high of speeds. However, this isn’t a huge deal, as there is no significant in-game advantage to overclocking your memory.

So, whether you prefer ASRock or MSI, either of these boards will get the job done.

Features

  • Socket LGA 1155
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • Supports CrossFireX Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: The ASRock H77 PRO4-M Motherboard is another solid H77 motherboard that you can choose to go with an Intel Core i3-3220. There’s really not a whole lot of differences between the two boards. Both are good options for the price.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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4.THE BEST BUDGET VIDEO CARDS

Next up in the Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide is video cards. In today’s article I’m going to take a look at all of the budget video card options that you have for your budget gaming PC.

There is no component that dictates your overall in-game performance like your video card does.

The video card you choose is incredibly important and it’s essential that you take your time to ensure that you get the best one possible for your budget.

Fortunately, there are a ton of different affordable video card options you have. And, each one brings its own benefits.

One question that most first-time builders will ask is whether they should go with an AMD or NVIDIA. For a detailed answer on that question, check out this post.

Ultimately, though, for cards under $200, the two manufacturers are so close on performance that it doesn’t make sense to say that one company is better than the other.

However, NVIDIA cards and AMD cards perform differently in different games. So, before you choose your video card, you should check relative benchmarks and make sure that the card you choose is the better option.

Budget Video Cards Under $100

Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 (~$70)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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At $70, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 is probably the lowest you want to go on a discrete video card. Any less, and you might as well just utilize the integrated graphics on an AMD APU.

The Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 isn’t going to blow you away performance-wise and you won’t be able to play the more demanding games on mid-to-high settings, but it will allow you a solid entry point. And, if you’re playing games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Dota 2, Starcraft II, etc. then this card will max those games out with no problems.

The good thing about this Gigabyte version of the HD 6670, is that, unlike other 6670 models, this one comes with a fan.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to build a solid cheap gaming PC and you want to use a discrete video card, the HD 6670 gives you plenty of power for non-demanding games and will at least have you playing the more demanding games on low settings.

Features

  • Extremely budget friendly
  • Will max out most non-demanding games
  • Good entry-level video card that will at least play the more demanding games on low settings

RECOMMENDATION: The HD 6670 is a good video card to use if you’re working with a budget of around $400 and especially if you don’t plan on playing graphics-intensive games. It’s powerful enough to max out non-demanding games and will at least allow you to play the more demanding ones.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750 (~$100)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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If you’ve got a little bit more to spend on your system, then the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750 is another good affordable video card option.

The HD 7750 is a step up from the HD 6670 and will allow you to play the more demanding games on mediumish graphics settings. And, just like the HD 6670, the HD 7750 will allow you to max out the less demanding games.

So, if you’re looking for a solid video card under $100, the HD 7750 will give you pretty good performance for the price.

Features

  • Budget friendly
  • Will max out games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft II, World of Warcraft, etc.
  • Will also allow you to play some of the more demanding games on medium settings

RECOMMENDATION: If your budget for your system is between $400 and $450, then the HD 7750 is a solid option. At the very least it will have you playing any game on low settings, and you’ll definitely be able to max out some of the less demanding games with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Video Cards Between $100-$150

evga gtx 650EVGA GeForce GTX 650 (~$105)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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For right around $100, you can get the EVGA GeForce GTX 650. The GTX 650 is by no means a high-end card. However, it is capable of delivering some pretty good results for the price.

This card will be able to run the more demanding games like Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and Far Cry 3 on medium settings and it will easily max out the less demanding games.

In fact, if you want a thorough look at what the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 can do, read Trent’s Review on the video card.

Ultimately, the GTX 650 is a great card for the price… especially if you’re working with a tight budget and you want something that will allow you to play most games on at least moderate settings.

Features

  • Budget friendly
  • Will easily max out less demanding games (MOBA’s, MMO’s, RTS’, etc.)
  • Is capable of playing the more demanding games on mid-to-high settings

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re working with a tight budget, but you can find room for the GTX 650, definitely do so. It’s a great card for the price and it will have you playing even the most demanding games on ‘mediumish’ settings.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 (~$110)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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The AMD alternative to the GTX 650 is the Radeon HD 7770. And, honestly, for the price, I’d recommend getting whichever of the two cards is at the better price.

The HD 7770 will max most games out and for the more demanding games it will allow you to play on at least medium settings. And, for about $110 that’s a pretty good deal for a budget gaming computer.

Another thing that the HD 7770 has going for it is the fact that it is a part of AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program, so when you get the HD 7770, you also get Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.

So, if you can find the HD 7770 for a better deal than the GTX 650 (or if you really want the two Far Cry games), then this card is the perfect option for your budget PC. It will give you a solid graphics processing solution that will enable you to play any game on at least moderate settings.

Features

  • Budget friendly
  • Will max out less demanding games easily and will play most demanding games on at least moderate settings
  • Through AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program you’ll get Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon for free with the purchase of the HD 7770

RECOMMENDATION: Either the GTX 650 or the HD 7770 are going to be good solutions at this price range. However, video card manufacturers often have sales, so if you see either of these cards at a good price, definitely jump on that one… and if you want the Far Cry games, then that definitely gives the edge to the HD 7770.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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MSI Radeon HD 7790 OCMSI Radeon HD 7790 OC (~$130)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $500-$600

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The HD 7790 is a fairly new addition to AMD’s Southern Island family of video cards. And, at $130 it’s definitely a solid option for a cheap gaming computer build.

The MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC is by no means a high-end video card, but for the price it will allow you to max the less demanding games out and it can even play some of the more demanding games on higher settings (although not with any kind of startling framerate numbers…)

Just like the battle between the GTX 650 and the HD 7770, the GTX 650 Ti and the HD 7790 are equally as close. And, the main selling point of the HD 7790 over the GTX 650 Ti may once again be the fact that it overclocks better and that it comes with two free games from AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program. For the HD 7790, you’ll get BioShock Infinite and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.

If it were me personally, I’d choose the HD 7790 OC over the GTX 650 Ti OC because it provides just as much performance at the same price, it overclocks better, and it comes with two free games.

Features

  • Excellent Price-Performance ratio
  • Decent overclocking card
  • Will max out most games and will perform well in even the more demanding games
  • Through AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded Program, the HD 7790 comes with two free games: BioShock Infinite and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

RECOMMENDATION: At the $130 price range the HD 7790 OC, in my opinion, is the best video card option. While the GTX 650 Ti OC provides almost identical performance at the same price, the two free games that the HD 7790 OC comes with and the better overclocking support gives the AMD card the edge. So, if you’re looking for the most value possible, the HD 7790 is definitely it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OCGigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC (~$130)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $500-$600

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As mentioned previously, the GTX 650 Ti OC is not my first pick in the $130 range. However, there’s no reason to not consider it.

The GTX 650 Ti is just as good as the HD 7790 OC and the main reason why I chose the HD 7790 OC over it is because of the two free games that the 7790 comes with. For some gamers, the two games that come with the HD 7790 OC may not be as appealing and in that case there is no real significant different between the two cards.

Ultimately, the GTX 650 Ti is going to give good performance for its price and it will play most games on max settings. And, on the more demanding games it is still a decent option.

Features

  • Excellent Price-Performance ratio
  • Will max out most games and can hang quite well with some of the more demanding games

RECOMMENDATION: My first choice at this price range is the HD 7790 OC solely for the reason that it comes with two free games. If you’re not interested in Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon and BioShock Infinite, then the GTX 650 Ti OC is just as good of an option.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Video Cards Over $150

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SCEVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SC (~$170)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $550-$600

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There are three cards over $150 that can be had if your budget is between $550 and $600. The most affordable of those cards is the GTX 650 Ti Boost.

The GTX 650 Ti Boost is a souped-up version of the regular GTX 650 Ti and it definitely brings a noticeable performance difference to the table.

In games like Battlefield 3, the Boost edition of the GTX 650 Ti actually puts up almost 10 FPS more than the non-Boost version. And, for a little less money, at stock speeds the 650 Ti Boost competes with the HD 7850 in most games and even beats it in others.

So, if you’re looking for a powerful video card at an affordable price, the GTX 650 Ti Boost definitely fits the bill.

Features

  • Excellent Price-Performance ratio
  • There’s only a few games on the market that will stress the GTX 650 Ti Boost
  • Perfect option for budget gamers who want ideal performance

RECOMMENDATION: The GTX 650 Ti Boost is perhaps the best option when considering the price/performance ratio you’ll get at stock speeds. So, if you don’t plan on overclocking your video card, then the GTX 650 Ti is definitely worth the money.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 (~$180)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $550-$600

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As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7850 has more potential than any other card under $200. (That’s why we recommended it in our Top Video Cards article.)

At stock speeds the GTX 660 is the better card and the GTX 650 Ti Boost even gives the HD 7850 a run for the money.

However, when you bring overclocking potential into play, the HD 7850 blows the similarly priced NVIDIA cards out of the water.

There is a 90+ page thread one overclockers.co that shows that the HD 7850 has the potential to surpass stock  HD 7950 speeds when overclocked. That’s pretty amazing from a sub $200 card.

Ultimately, you’ll need a good motherboard and PSU if you want to take the HD 7850 to its true potential, but if you do go that route you will be heavily rewarded.

So, if you’re planning on overclocking your GPU, the HD 7850 is the only choice sub $200. If you’re just going with stock speeds, it’s still a good choice (especially since it comes with three free games), but the GTX 650 Ti Boost and the GTX 660 will perform just as well, if not better.

Features

  • Monster overclocking potential
  • Will run most games on max settings at stock speeds
  • Comes with Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, BioShock Infinite, and Tomb Raider as part of AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program

RECOMMENDATION: If you want the most potential as is possible and you don’t mind overclocking your video card, then the HD 7850 is the only choice you should consider. However, if you’re just planning on sticking to the stock settings, you should definitely consider the GTX 650 Ti Boost and the GTX 660 as well.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SCEVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC (~$200)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $550-$600

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As the most expensive video card I’d recommend for a budget gaming computer, the GTX 660 SC is definitely an excellent option.

For about $200, the GTX 660 SC will give you near ideal in-game performance. With it you can expect to max out pretty much any game on a 1080p monitor. That’s pretty good for a budget gaming PC.

In the end, each of the three video cards over $150 that I’d recommend for a budget system bring their own advantage to the table. The 650 Ti Boost is the best price-to-performance option of the three, the HD 7850 is the card with the most performance potential (and it comes with three free games), and the GTX 660 SC has the best stock speed performance.

So, you need to decide which of those advantages you prefer. Whichever one you choose of those three, you will not be disappointed.

Features

  • Great performance for the price
  • Highest performing budget video card at stock speeds
  • Will max out just about any game you throw at it

RECOMMENDATION: The GTX 660 SC is the best option for gamers who have a budget of between $550-$600 and who want the most performance right out of the box. For overclockers, the HD 7850 is the better choice, and for those looking to save a little bit more money, the GTX 650 Ti Boost is the better option.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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5.THE BEST BUDGET MEMORY

Today we’re going to talk about the options you have for choosing memory if you’re working with a tight budget. The budget gaming memory options in this article are all capable of doing their part to help you secure an ideal in-game experience.

Corsair Vengeance Low Profile MemoryMemory, or RAM, is an important part of your computer. It gives the processor a place to carry out calculations and it helps it grab information and data quickly.

In modern gaming, there aren’t a whole lot of games that fully utilize more than 4GB of RAM. So, if you’re working with a tight budget, 4GB is a good place to start.

However, due to the fact that RAM is the one of the most affordable components out there, and because the next generation of games are right around the corner, it’s not a bad idea to go with 8GB of memory.

Of course, whether you do go with 4GB or 8GB is all going to depend on your budget. For bigger budgets, 8GB is easy to fit in. For extremely tight budgets, 4GB is the better option.

In this article I’m going to take a look at the different budget gaming memory options you have. Unlike the other posts in this series, I’m going to break down memory by the manufacturer, rather than the model.

Budget Memory Options

kingston hyperx bluKingston HyperX Blu Memory
1600MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Kingston has been around and producing memory since 1987. And, they are definitely one of the top names in memory among gamers and system builders.

Their HyperX Blu line of memory is the perfect balance between speed and affordability and it will definitely do its part to bring you an ideal in-game experience without bottlenecking your other components.

As far as comparing it to the other brands listed in this article, the HyperX Blu has the most affordable set of 8GB of memory at around ~$55. And, since the speeds are similar, there’s no reason not to go with it.

And, with a lifetime warranty and superb customer support, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you will be covered in the rare occasion that something goes wrong.

In the end, the HyperX Blu is a solid option for gaming memory and you won’t be disappointed by choosing it.

Features

  • 1600MHz
  • Lifetime Warranty and Customer Support
  • HyperX module gives it faster latency timing

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend getting 4GB if you’re working with a tight budget (less than ~$450) and 8GB if you’ve got a little bigger budget (over ~$450). Ultimately, the memory listed in this article are so similar in terms of performance, that you’ll probably want to go with whichever one costs less. At the time of writing this article, the Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB memory kit is the most affordable.

 

ADATA XPG Gaming SeriesADATA XPG Gaming Series Memory
1600MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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ADATA is a relatively new face in the industry (founded in 2001), but they have quickly made a name for themselves as a leading memory manufacturer.

ADATA’s DDR3 1600MHz XPG Gaming Series memory is cost effective and will perform at an ideal level.

In fact, in most games and scenarios, going over 1600MHz really provides no significant performance increase.

So, this set of memory (as well as the other 1600MHz sets listed in this article) are plenty fast enough to play any game out there.

So, if you’re looking for a solid and affordable set of gaming memory, then ADATA’s XPG Gaming Series is definitely a worthy choice.

Features

  • 1600MHz
  • 9-9-9-24 Timing
  • Highest Standard for Stability and Efficiency

RECOMMENDATION: When deciding between the different memory options in this article, I’d honestly go with whichever one cost less at the time. The difference in in-game performance between the four options listed in this article are so slim, that none carry any noticeable advantage. So, if the ADATA memory is the most affordable, then go with it.

Corsair Vengeance MemoryCorsair Vengeance Memory
1600MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Of the four memory modules listed in this article, none are more recognized than Corsair’s Vengeance line of memory.

Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of the Corsair Vengeance line is their tall heat spreaders (which not everyone is crazy about). However, performance is not a question with Corsairs most established memory modules (which we have included in out article on the best gaming memory.)

While you will have to pay a premium for the brand, you do get a little tighter timings and that will lead to a small performance increase.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with a set of Corsair Vengeance. They offer everything you could ever want out of a kit of memory. And, since they make their modules in Low Profile (as seen in the image above) you can easily fit this set in a system with a bigger heatsink.

Features

  • 1600MHz
  • 9-9-9-24 Timing
  • Good Overclocking Modules

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re going with 4GB of Corsair Vengeance, then it’s actually more affordable to get the version with the heat spreader. If you can fit the heat spreader into your build, go with that one. For the 8GB kit, the low profile version and the heat spreader version cost the same. So, get whichever one suits your needs.

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport XTCrucial Ballistix Sport XT
1866MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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One of the main benefits of the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3 1866MHz memory over the others listed in this article, is that for AMD APU builds, the higher frequency actually comes into play.

In non-APU builds, going with faster memory doesn’t yield a significant increase in performance and it’s not really necessary.

However, going with faster memory in an AMD APU-based build does provide a decent performance boost and it’s actually recommended.

So, if you’re planning on going with an AMD APU for your budget gaming computer, it’s definitely a good idea to get faster memory to get the most out of your system. And, the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3 1866MHz will definitely allow you to do so.

Features

  • 1866MHz
  • Will give a boost to AMD APU-based builds
  • 10-10-10-30 Timing

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend going with the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT if you’re building an AMD APU-based system, as the faster memory frequency will come into play. Also, the heat spreader on the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT is pretty large, so if you’re going to go with this memory, make sure you have enough clearance with your heatsink.

 

6.THE BEST BUDGET HARD DRIVES

Next up in our Good Cheap Gaming Computer guide we’re going to discuss the hard drive. For tighter budgets it’s best to stick with a 500 GB hard drive in order to allocate more of your funds to more important components. And, there are really only a couple of options (based on manufacturer) of budget gaming hard drives that make sense in an economical build.

Western Digital 500GB HDDThe hard drive in your computer is important because it will give you a place to store your games, files, programs, and operating system.

However, your hard drive will not have a significant impact on your in-game experience. It will not affect the quality of your picture, what settings you run your games on, or your framerate.

About the only thing in gaming that a hard drive will have an effect on is load times. And, once you’re in-game those don’t usually matter anyways.

With that being said, you still need a hard drive in order to store everything. So, it’s important that you choose one that is big enough to hold all of your games and that doesn’t cost a fortune. Luckily, 500 GB hard drives are pretty affordable and they will give you plenty of storage space.

In this article I will go over the two options that you have for budget gaming hard drives.

Budget Gaming Hard Drive Options

500GB Seagate BarracudaSeagate Barracuda Hard Drive
7200 RPM
500GB
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Seagate has been making hard drives since 1979. That’s a long history of producing PC storage devices.

And, with that history comes dependability.

The bottom line, though, when choosing between Seagate and Western Digital is price.

You really can’t go wrong with either manufacturer.

So, the best way to make your decision on your hard drive is just to choose which one is cheaper at the time of purchase.

I personally use Seagate hard drives because they have never failed me. However, there are just as many people who say the same thing about Western Digital.

If you have a preference between the two manufacturers, then stick with it. If not, choose the one that is more cost effective.

Features

  • 500GB
  • 7200 RPM
  • 16MB Cache
  • SATA 6 GB/s Interface

RECOMMENDATION: Choose your hard drive based on current prices or on the manufacturer you feel most comfortable with based on previous experiences. So, go with the Seagate 500GB HDD if it’s cheaper than the Western Digital drive, or if you’ve had a good history with Seagate.

500 GB Western Digital Caviar BlueWestern Digital Caviar Blue Hard Drive
7200 RPM
500GB
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Western Digital has been around even longer than Seagate. However, despite the fact that they were founded in 1970, they didn’t start making storage devices until 1980.

Still, though, that’s a long time in the game.

Basically, you’re going to get the same performance out of a Western Digital drive as you will out of a Seagate drive.

So, as mentioned above, the real determining factor is going to be price and possibly your previous experience with either of the companies.

If you’re just looking for a hard drive to get the job done, then go with the cheaper option between the two. Although, if you prefer Western Digital over Seagate, there’s definitely nothing wrong with choosing the WD drive.

Anyway you choose you will be fine.

Features

  • 500GB
  • 7200 RPM
  • 16MB Cache
  • SATA 6 GB/s Interface

RECOMMENDATION: Choose whichever budget gaming hard drive is the least expensive at the time, or choose from the manufacturer that you feel most comfortable with.


7.THE BEST BUDGET GAMING CASES

Your case is an incredibly important part of your gaming computer as it houses your components and plays a big role in the cooling process. So, today we’re going to look at all of the budget gaming case options you have. That way you can come away with a solid case for your solid cheap gaming computer.

As mentioned above, not only does a case protect your components, but it also plays a huge role in the cooling process of your components.

Air flow is crucial to keeping your components at an appropriate temperature level and therefore it’s vital that you choose a case that offers good air flow.

Also, for some gamers, the style of a case is very important. I often recommend going with the NZXT GAMMA Classic case due to its solid air flow for the price and option to add a bunch of different fans.

However, many prospective builders have written me to ask about alternatives because they don’t like the GAMMA Classic’s design. And, that’s completely understandable.

So, in this list I have tried to incorporate many different budget gaming case options, including stylish cases, and cases that provide good air flow.

Ultimately, you should pick a case that you like, as it is the one component that will be visible at all times.

Budget Gaming Cases Under $40

Rosewill Dual FansRosewill Dual Fans FBM-01 (~$25)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Micro-ATX Computer Case

Budget Range: $300-$500

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At the very extreme low-end of the budget gaming case options you have is the Rosewill Dual Fans Micro-ATX Mini Tower Computer case.

It’s not the best case on the market, but since its price often drops to below $30, it is definitely budget friendly. And, since micro-ATX motherboards are your only option with a budget of under $400, this case will work perfectly.

So, if you need a really affordable budget gaming case, then the Rosewill Dual Fans is definitely a case that you should consider. It’s not the prettiest case or the best built tower, but it will be good enough to hold the components of your budget system.

Features

  • Micro-ATX Case
  • Comes With Two Fans: 1 x 80mm/1 x 120mm
  • 2 x 5.25″ External Bays/1 x 3.5″ External Bays/2 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Four Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Rosewill Dual Fans case is a good option for gamers who are working with an extremely tight budget. Since it’s often priced under $30 it’s incredibly affordable. It’s definitely not the most well-built case on the market, but it is good enough for entry-level systems.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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SilverStone Tek PS08BSilverStone Tek PS08B (~$35)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Micro-ATX Computer Case

Budget Range: $300-$500

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If size is a concern, and you want a case that is both affordable and compact, then the SilverStone Tek PS08B is a solid option.

Surprisingly, for roughly $35 the SilverStone Tek PS08B is fairly well built when compared to other similarly priced cases.

And, despite its small size, it will accommodate your components very well.

Also, this case does have USB 3.0 slots on the front panel, which is pretty awesome given its price. Ultimately, though, if you’re looking for a compact tower, this budget gaming case is a great option for your next cheap gaming computer build.

Features

  • Micro-ATX Case
  • Comes With 2 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Comes With One Fan: 1 x 120mm Front Fan
  • 2 x 5.25″ External Bays/4 x 3.5″ Internal Bays/1 x 2.5″ Internal Drive Bay
  • Four Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The SilverStone Tek PS08B is the perfect budget gaming case for gamers who want a well-built, affordable, and compact case for their solid cheap gaming computer build.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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NZXT GAMMA Classic SeriesNZXT GAMMA Classic Series (~$35)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $300-$500

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The NZXT GAMMA Classic Series case has been used a bunch on the lower-priced systems on EGC’s Gaming PCs page. The reason why I like this case so much is that for the price, it comes with the option to have up to seven different fans.

And, while it does only come with one 120mm fan in the rear of the case, the ability to add six other fans makes it a great option for anyone seeking maximum air flow.

The one downside of this case, though, is that not many people like how its styled. If you’re one of those people, then there are definitely other options out there.

However, if you don’t mind what your case looks like, or if you don’t think the GAMMA Classic Series case is that bad-looking, then it’s definitely one of the best options on this list.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Micro-ATX & Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Seven Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 4 x 5.25″ External Bays/7 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: In my opinion, the NZXT GAMMA Classic Series Mid Tower Case is one of the best budget gaming cases available due to how affordable it is (it periodically goes on sale for under $30) and how many fan options it presents. Definitely get this case if you don’t mind how its styled.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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NZXT Source 210NZXT Source 210 in White/Black (~$35-$40)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $400-$600

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The Source 210 is another great NZXT case for budget builders. In fact, I used this case when building a computer for a relative and I was very happy with its durability and cable management.

Style-wise it’s not going to blow you away (but for some people, that’s a good thing). It comes in either black or white and it gives you plenty of options for storage and drives.

One thing that really stood out to me was the when using a micro-ATX motherboard in this case, there was a ton of room to play with. This is good as more room means better airflow and cooling.

Ultimately, there’s a reason why I am currently recommending the NZXT Source 210 in four out of the nine EGC Budget Builds. So, if you’re looking for an affordable, quality, and reliable case, then you can’t go wrong with the NZXT Source 210.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Micro-ATX & Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Seven Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 3 x 5.25″ External Bays/8 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t like the look of the NZXT GAMMA Classic Series case, then for a $5-$10 more you can get the NZXT Source 210, which has nearly identical features, but comes with a more simple design. 

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Cases between $40-$50

SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITESilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE (~$40)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mini-ITX Computer Case

Budget Range: $400-$600

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If you’re looking for a decent-priced compact mini-ITX box, then the SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE is a good starting point.

This cases compact size makes it a great option for LAN gamers or for people who just don’t want their system taking up a ton of room.

However, while this cases small size does offer convenience, getting components that will fit inside of it will take a little work on your part.

For starters, it can only house a mini-ITX motherboard. Also, if you’re planning on adding a discrete video card, you’ll have to find one that is under 10″ long. And, finally, a tall heatsink is out of the question with this case, although you could probably get a liquid cooler in there with some modifications.

In the end, the SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE is a good option if you’re looking for a LAN box and/or you’re willing to work with the smaller amount of space and it is the most affordable mini-ITX case on the market.

Features

  • Mini-ITX Computer Case
  • Small and Lightweight — Perfect for LAN Parties
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Will House Mini-ITX Motherboards Only
  • Can Accommodate Seven Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 1 x 3.5″ Internal Bays/1 x 2.5″ Internal Drive Bays
  • Two Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE is a good option for gamers who want to build a mini-ITX system that they can take to LAN parties. Just remember, though, that this case will only accommodate a mini-ITX motherboard (which rules out an AM3+ build since there are no AM3+ mini-ITX motherboards) and it should only be chosen by gamers who want to build a small and compact system.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Thermaltake CommanderThermaltake Commander (~$40-$50)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $400-$600

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The Thermaltake Commander is another solid budget gaming case that gives you a lot of options.

There are a few different versions and editions of the Commander.

There is the regular edition (black), the MS-I Snow Edition (black/white), the MS-I Epic Edition (black/red), and the White Commander MS-I Snow Edition (white).

Despite all of the different editions you can choose from, the case is also roomy, provides a side window to show off your components, and has an excellent design for air flow.

So, if you’re looking for a moderately-priced budget gaming case that has a nice look to it and has plenty of features, then the Thermaltake Commander is definitely a good place to start.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Four Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Thermaltake Commander is one of many solid options for a budget gaming case between $40-$50. There are many different editions of this case so you have more than just the black case to choose from. If you like the look, then this case is definitely a good choice, because it has everything else a decent case should have.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Cooler Master Elite 430Cooler Master Elite 430 (~$45)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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Another budget gaming case that has been featured a lot on Elite Gaming Computers is the Cooler Master Elite 430. In fact, I believe in it so much that I gave it away as a prize back in June and it is listed as our best case under $50 in our article “The Best Gaming Cases in 2013,” which can be read here.

You can check out the winner’s unboxing YouTube video review of it here.

Basically, the Cooler Master Elite 430 is moderately priced and comes with a lot of features.

For under $50 (and sometimes even under $40) you get the option to add up to six fans for maximum air flow and cooling.

The case also comes with tool-less drive bays and a side-window, two features that are usually found on more expensive cases. The bottom line is that this case kicks ass and it’s a great option if you can stretch the budget to get it.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Comes With One 120mm Front Fan
  • Can Accommodate up to Six Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Cooler Master Elite 430 is a great budget gaming case that brings some high-end feature and excellent air flow to the table. If you’ve got the budget for it, it’s definitely a case that you should consider, especially if you plan on utilizing the extra fan slots.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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nzxt tempest 210NZXT Tempest 210 (~$45)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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NZXT has a knack for making good gaming cases.

The Tempest 210 is no exception.

With the option to house up to six fans, and the fact that this case comes with two of those fans already installed, the Tempest 210 has huge air flow and cooling potential.

Not to mention, the case already comes with filters pre-installed on the front intake fans, which is nice as most budget gaming cases don’t offer that.

Aside front the superior air flow and filters, the Tempest 210 also has good cable management features, a USB 3.0 port on the front panel, and it comes with tool-less drive bays for easy installation.

So, if you’re looking for a solid case for your budget gaming computer, the NZXT Tempest 210 is feature-rich and ready to go.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • One USB 3.0 Port on Front Panel
  • Comes With One 120mm Rear Fan and One 140mm Front Fan
  • Can Accommodate up to Six Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The NZXT Tempest 210 is another excellent budget gaming case option. When choosing between the cases listed in this article, I’d almost say to go with the one that you feel looks the best since they all have similar features.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Cases Over $50

Antec OneAntec One (~$50)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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Antec is known for making high-quality products and their main budget gaming case, called the “One,” is definitely well-built and feature-rich.

This nice sleek-looking case has USB 3.0 front panel support, the option to hold up to five fans, tool-less drive bays, and a bunch of drive/storage bays.

With plenty of room for all of your components, the Antec One is an excellent option for a budget gaming case. So, if you’re looking for a solid case that looks good and will give you ideal cooling, then the One should definitely be considered.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Comes With Two 120mm Fans (Top and Rear Exhaust)
  • Can Accommodate up to Five Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Antec One is Antec’s most affordable case. However, that doesn’t mean it lacks quality. It has all the bells and whistles of a high-end case and it offers good air flow. And, with it’s attractive style, it would be hard to pass over this case.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Cooler Master Elite 130 AdvancedCooler Master Elite 130 Advanced (~$50)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mini-ITX Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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As you can see by the fact that this is the second mini-ITX case listed in this article, LAN systems are possible at low budgets.

The Cooler Master Elite 130 Advanced is a new case from CM and it definitely has some pretty awesome features. For a mini-ITX case it offers superb air flow, plenty of space for storage devices, and can hold even the biggest video cards.

Not only that, but the case is big enough to house a water cooling system for even better cooling.

The case also has USB 3.0 front panel support, comes with two fans, and is compact enough to place it anywhere you want it to go. So, if you’re looking to build a mini-ITX system for LAN parties and you’re working with a budget, then the Cooler Master Elite 430 Advanced is definitely a case you need to look at.

Features

  • Mini-ITX Computer Case
  • Will Only House Mini-ITX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Comes With Two Fans Pre-Installed
  • Can Accommodate a Water Cooling System and the Largest Video Cards on the Market
  • Plenty of Storage Space
  • Two Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Cooler Master Elite 130 Advanced offers incredible features for a budget mini-ITX case. The fact that it can fit the largest video cards on the market and a water cooling system is impressive. And, the bottom line is that if you’re looking to build a powerful but affordable LAN gaming computer, then this case is definitely what you need.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Rosewill ChallengerRosewill Challenger (~$50)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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The Rosewill Challenger is another solid budget gaming case for you to consider. Coming in at right around $50, the Challenger offers plenty of storage space, three pre-installed fans, and the option to add two more fans.

The case also features a blue LED light on the front of the case, as well as the option for USB 3.0 front panel support. (There’s an option for USB 2.0 only, which costs less, and the option for USB 3.0, which is more expensive.)

The case also has good cable management options and tool-less drive bays for easy installation and setup. Ultimately, it’s a very solid case for its price and it’s definitely worth your consideration if you’re building a cheap gaming computer.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Comes With Three Fans Pre-Installed (1 x 120mm Front Fan, 1 x 120mm Rear Fan, 1 x 140mm Top Fan)
  • Can Accommodate up to Five Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Rosewill Challenger is yet another excellent budget gaming case. Its blue LED light might win over some gamers, but ultimately the Challenger is an all-around well-built and feature-rich case that is worthy of your consideration.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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NZXT M59 Classic SeriesNZXT M59 Classic Series (~$50)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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In my opinion, the NZXT M59 has a really cool look to it and is tailored perfectly to gamers. With its unique design and its large window in the side-panel, the M59 will definitely make a statement through its appearance alone.

However, the NZXT M59 also has all of the features you would expect out of a high-end mid tower case. It comes with two fans with the option to go up to five total, and it comes with two filters to help prevent dust from getting inside.

It also has a ton of options for storage devices and its build quality is excellent. In the end, the M59 is stylish, has a ton of features, and is affordable. So, if you’re looking for those three things, then the M59 is definitely a good option.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX, Micro-ATX, and Baby AT Motherboards
  • Comes With Two Fans Pre-Installed (1 x 120mm LED Side Fan, 1 x 120mm Rear Fan)
  • Comes With Two Filters
  • Can Accommodate up to Five Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The NZXT M59 is definitely a cool-looking case. In fact, it’s unique style might be its main selling point. However, that’s not all the case is capable of. It has all of the features you should expect out of a high-end mid tower case. So, if you’re looking for a cool-looking case that brings a lot to the table, then the M59 is right up your alley.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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8.THE BEST BUDGET POWER SUPPLIES

In this section of EGC’s Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide, we will take a look at the different options you have for your power supply. There are really only four budget gaming power supplies that I recommend, as I believe they are the four that offer the most value relative to their price.

Most first-time builders mess up when choosing a power supply. They think that a higher wattage rating means quality.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Quality power supplies are not determined by their wattage rating (which may or may not be misleading). They are determined by their build quality, their efficiency, and their ability to provide stable power for your system.

In fact, label wattage is not the number you want to look at when choosing your PSU. Instead, you should be looking at the amps available on the +12V rail(s). That is a much better indicator of what a power supply is capable of handling.

Listed below are four power supplies that will handle any combination of components that have been listed throughout this series. They are my choices for the best performance/price power supplies for system’s that cost under $600.

So, if you’re looking for a solid budget gaming power supply, these PSU options are your best bet.

Antec VP-450Antec VP-450 (~$40)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $300-$600

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I have a thing for the Antec VP-450… That’s why it’s consistently been used in EGC’s Builds and why we consider it the best power supply under $50.

For under $40, you can have one of the most efficient budget gaming power supplies on the market.

Sure, 450 watts seems low, but this PSU runs more like a 500-600W PSU than it does a 450W.

The main advantage of the Antec VP-450 is its dual +12v 18 amp rails. That’s a combined 36A on the two +12v rails, which will provide enough power to run an HD 7970… That’s insane for the price…

Ultimately, this PSU might be the best budget gaming power supply available, simply for the amount of power it will produce relative to its cost.

Features

  • 450W PSU
  • 36A Spread Across Dual +12V Rails
  • Can Handle Any Video Cards on This Page

RECOMMENDATION: The Antec VP-450 is my number one recommendation for building a solid cheap gaming computer. Its price is incredible when compared to the performance it delivers. Don’t focus on the 450w label it has on it, this one plays more like a 550w unit.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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SilverStone Strider 500W ST50F-ESSilverStone Strider 500W ST50F-ES (~$50)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $400-$600

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The SilverStone Strider ST50F-ES is a decent budget gaming power supply.

With 34A on the +12V rail this budget gaming power supply can definitely handle any of the video cards recommended in this guide.

However, when compared to the Antec VP-450, it has less amps on the +12V rail, doesn’t come with dual rails, and costs almost $15 more. (Although it does come with a $10 rebate.)

The only reason why I use the ST50F-ES over the VP-450 in my $700 and $850 builds on the EGC Budget Builds section is because the ST50F-ES comes with the two 6-pin PCI power connectors necessary to run those video cards.

The Antec VP-450 will still run those systems fine and it would just need a molex-to-6-pin-connector to power those video cards, however, to minimize confusion, I use the ST50F-ES since it already has the connections needed.

The bottom line is that the ST50F-ES is a serviceable budget gaming power supply. However, unless you can find the ST50F-ES for a really good deal, then I’d recommend sticking with the Antec VP-450.

Features

  • 500W
  • 34A Single +12V Rail
  • Will Easily Handle Any of the Video Cards Listed Recommended in This Series

RECOMMENDATION: The SilverStone Strider ST50F-ES is a good option for a tight budget build. However, for less money, the Antec VP-450 is more enticing. I recommend going with the ST50F-ES only if it’s on sale and priced lower than the VP-450.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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Rosewill Capstone-450Rosewill Capstone-450 (~$60)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $500-$600

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If it’s high quality that you seek, then Rosewill’s Capstone-450 is your best bet.

At ~$60 it’s a little pricey for a budget gaming computer (especially when compared to the Antec VP-450), but it is definitely a well-built unit.

With 37A on the +12V rail, this Capstone power supply has plenty of power to accommodate any of the video cards in this series.

And, as an AnandTech Editor’s Choice Award winner, you can bet that it will deliver quality power to your system for a long time. So, if you’re looking for the best quality possible and you don’t mind spending a little more, then the Capstone -450 is definitely a good option.

Features

  • 450W
  • 37A Single +12V Rail
  • Will Accommodate Any Combination of Parts in This Series

RECOMMENDATION: The Rosewill Capstone-450 is a very well-built unit. However, it’s price to performance ratio is not nearly as good as Antec’s VP-450. If it’s the best possible quality that you seek, then this unit is a good choice. If you’re looking for the best deal and for a PSU that will power your solid cheap gaming computer, then the VP-450 is still the way to go.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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XFX Core Edition PRO 550WXFX Core Edition PRO 550W (~$60)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $500-$600

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With a 550W rating and 44A on the +12V rail, the XFX Core Edition PRO 550W is definitely the biggest PSU on this list.

It will definitely give you enough headroom for moderate overclocks and it will allow you to install a high-end video card. (This unit can handle an HD 7970, and even a new GTX 780…)

However, as mentioned numerous times in this article, if you’re just looking to put together a combination of components listed in this series, the Antec VP-450 at ~$25 less is the better option since both PSUs will handle a budget gaming computer just fine.

Although, for overclockers, this XFX unit is the best option on this list as it offers plenty of power. So, if you’re looking to do some system tuning, then you might want to consider this power supply.

Features

  • 550W
  • 44A Single +12V Rail
  • Best PSU on this List for Overclocking
  • Will Handle Any Component Combination in This Series and Then Some

RECOMMENDATION: The XFX Core Edition Pro 550W power supply is a great option for gamers who are looking to overclock on a budget. I recommend getting this unit if you plan on overclocking. If not, the VP-450 is still my recommended choice.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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9.OPTICAL DRIVES

Optical drives are slowly becoming more and more obsolete. In fact, with the rise of digital downloads, an optical drive isn’t even necessary. It is entirely possible to build your system without one.

With that being said, I still include an optical drive in the majority of my builds, simply because it makes installing your operating system much easier.  If you don’t choose an optical drive for your build, you’ll have to install your operating system from a USB drive. This actually isn’t that difficult of a process and you can read a guide on how to do it here.

The good thing about foregoing an optical drive if you’re building a budget gaming computer, is that it will give you an extra $20 to put to better components. Though if you have a lot of older games on discs that you want to put onto your computer, you’ll want to get an optical drive. And, if you want to use your computer as a home theater as well, you’ll probably be interested in a Blu-ray player.

If you want an optical drive for your new build, here are some options to consider:

DVD/RW

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive

LG Electronics 24X SATA Super-Multi DVD Internal Rewriter

Samsung Optical Drive SH-224DB/BEBE

BD-ROM (Blu-ray)

ASUS Black 12X SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive

LG Electronics 14X SATA Blu-ray Internal Rewriter

There’s really nothing fancy you need to look for when choosing an optical drive. The only thing you might want to consider is the color of the front plate of the optical drive. If you’re going for style points, you’ll want to match the optical drive to your case.

If you’re choosing a Blu-ray drive just remember that you’ll need software to go along with it. In some cases the BD-ROM will come with the necessary software. However, in other scenarios (like with both of the BD-ROMs above) the software is not included. You can always download and install VLC for free. Or, if you don’t get the software with the BD-ROM you buy software like Cyberlink PowerDVD.


10.OPERATING SYSTEMS

You have to have an operating system if you want to actually use your gaming computer. Currently there are really only a couple of viable options for operating systems if you’re building a gaming computer: Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Both options are suitable for gaming, but both also have a couple of aspects that you might want to consider before buying…

Windows 8.1 (~$95)

Windows 8 launched to quite a bit of criticism. It had a ton of bugs, it completely changed its interface (which confused people), and it had upset Valve (who owns Steam) by releasing some restrictive licensing rules.

Now that the smoke has cleared a little bit and Microsoft’s new operating system has been out for over a year, there’s a couple reasons why you might want to choose Windows 8 for your next gaming computer.

First, off, with the 8.1 update a lot (not all) of the nuisances of Windows 8 have been fixed. 8.1 fully supports DirectX 11.1, while Windows 7 does not (at least not fully). And, in games like Battlefield 4, there is actually a noticeable performance increase when using Windows 8.1

Microsoft’s reluctance to provide updated support for Windows 7 is another sign for concern. It’s clear Microsoft wants everyone to be using Windows 8. This isn’t good news for Windows 7, as it is likely that in the future, Microsoft will stop updating it to support the latest advancements.

Ultimately, despite it’s many annoying problems, I’m now recommending Windows 8.1 for all new gaming computer builds, simply because I believe Windows 7 is going to be left behind in future updates. However, Windows 7 is still not a bad choice, and if it gets to the point to where your performance is being limited, you can always upgrade.

Windows 7 (~$90)

Windows 7 is definitely the more popular decision for operating systems among enthusiasts. It’s stable and much more familiar than the new Windows 8. And, in terms of performance, there aren’t many (but there are some, see above…)  instances where Windows 8 clearly pulls ahead. At least not as of yet.

As of right now, Windows 7 is still, perhaps, the best choice for an operating system. Though, that’s likely to change in the future, as it looks like Microsoft is going to stop releasing important updates for Windows 7 in an effort to get more people to switch to Windows 8.

In the end, the decision comes down to you. Do you prefer an easier-to-use and more comfortable operating system? Or, are you concerned about the future and want to make sure you have the best OS (performance-wise) going forward?


HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? POST THEM BELOW!

Comments

  1. Jake says

    Hello Brent . Well I was going to save up the ash for a build around $500 but I ended up getting laid off. so now I only have a budget of 200$ to do something with. I have this older Hp Pavilion p6000 series desktop that I was wondering if I could do anything with so I can mess around on games like Rift without my frame rates being horrid for around my budget.

  2. Jack says

    Hey Brent,
    Its me again, I have successfully installed my CPU onto my motherboard. Now, I didn’t realize until now that I didn’t have to apply thermal paste onto the CPU before I installed the fan, because apparently the fan has thermal paste pre applied to it. Will it matter that I applied extra thermal paste onto the Possessor or is this perfectly fine?
    Thanks a lot!
    – Jack

  3. James says

    Hello Brent on the $500 dollar gaming PC would it be ok to get the ASUS R9270X instead of the ASUS R9270 because at the moment it’s only $10 more for it and as for the power supply it just went from $59.99 to $80 is there another power supply I could get?

  4. JackieM says

    Hi Brent,

    I am in the process of ordering the pieces for the $700 build. Prices have gone up a bit over the past few weeks on Amazon (as I twiddled my thumbs) so I am trying to order some parts at my local Microcenter. Questions so far:

    Can I replace the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 RED LED Black ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case with the SPEC-02 which I found cheaper? And if so, would anything need to change in the rest of the list?

    Also can I replace the Intel Core i5-4460 LGA 1150 CPU – BX80646I54460 with the Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz LGA 1150 Boxed Processor 6MB level 3 cache, integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600, which I found cheaper, and again, would anything need to change in the rest of the list?

    Thank you!! You’ve given me the courage to try to build for the first time!

  5. Jay says

    Hey I bought the $600 build and I’m having some issues. One of the things on there was the Seagate Barracuda 500 GB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 16MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST500DM002. When I put everything together I tried to install Windows 8 on it but I got this message, “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.”
    Does this mean I have to buy a new drive, if so which one will work?

  6. Max says

    Hey Brent!

    I just put together my first custom desktop, and found this guide really helpful. I’m using the panda wireless USB thing you recommended in one of these other comments, but I’m finding that though it recognizes and connects to my wireless network, the internet connection itself is sporadic at best. Chrome often shows a: “the website cannot be displayed” page and if it does succeed in loading, it’s often after long delay. I think I’ve updated the drivers properly– used the disk the USB came with & then checked their website for an update. Not sure what to do!! Any ideas?

    Troubled,
    Max

    • says

      Hey Max, how close is the computer to the router? And, how many bars does it say you’re getting?

      Networking issues can be caused by a variety of things, so it could be that the wireless adapter isn’t powerful enough, or a number of other factors could be causing you problems.

    • Jack says

      Yeah, I would also go to this website http://www.speedtest.net

      Check how fast of an internet speed you are actually getting and either move you pc and router closer together or upgrade your wifi speed. These are the best ways to get the fastest speeds. Hope this helps
      – Jack

  7. Kyle H says

    Hi Brent,

    My PC just died today, I have an older PC with a pretty old card (NVidia 9800GTX) and I know my Gateway GT5200 that it’s in had a inboard card which was awful, but I got the PC back in 2006.

    Just curious, for the $300 build, would I be able to add a graphics card if I wanted or would I be stuck with the inboard graphics?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Kyle, how’s it going? Sorry to hear about your PC dying.

      Yes, if you go with the $300 build you can add a video card to it down the road. The integrated graphics on the A10-7850K should be good enough to get you by on most games (on medium/low settings) for now.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  8. KOSTAS says

    Hi Brent ,

    I am a fan of the game Company of heroes 2006 , my motherboard crashed so i am thinking to build a new pc .

    i am thinking to buy a 4k tv , so i would like to build a pc to play 4k & 23 inch monitor tv .
    i like nvidia graphic cards .

    Appreciate your reply and your suggestion .

    • says

      Hey Kostas, how’s it going?

      It really depends on what your total budget is and what games you play. You need a pretty high-end machine in order to max games out the more demanding games at 4K resolutions.

      Company of Heroes isn’t too demanding, though, so you may be able to get by (assuming the game supports 4K).

      As for AMD versus NVIDIA, there isn’t a huge performance difference at most price ranges, so I typically make my choices by price. So if you want to go with an NVIDIA card, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.

      Let me know what your budget is and I’ll be able to help you a little better.

  9. Natalie says

    Hey Brent!
    Since Christmas is coming around, I was thinking of purchasing the $500 build. I have two main things I would use it for: Photoshop and Minecraft! I was wondering if it would be able to run Minecraft on high settings, and run Photoshop smoothly.
    Also, are there any monitors you recommend for this build? I’m trying to keep the budget under 700!
    Thanks!

  10. Henry Clark says

    Brent et al,

    Thanks so much for all the information thus far, you all have been a wealth of information leading up to this, my first crack at a system build from the “ground up” so to speak.
    Well, my progress so far (purchase-wise anyway) and of course from links on your website are:

    CPU — AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition
    GPU — Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP Dual-X with Boost and OC Version PCI-Express Graphics Card 11217-01-20G
    RAM — Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB 1866MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM – Black (HX318C10FB/8)
    PSU — XFX TS 550w Full Wired 80+ Bronze Power Supply – P1550SXXB9
    CASE — CASE FRACTAL DESIGN|FD-CA-DEF-R4-BL (Fractal Design Define R4)

    Initially, and as we’ve been communicating periodically back-and-forth my only goal for this systems has been to play World of Warcraft Warlords of Dreanor at high to Ultra quality with good frame rates allowing me to raid without the machine holding back my performance or personal pleasure. I think with the list of component I may have gone a bit more than initially intended (bit more than just a bare bones budget job). With this in mind, my question now would be what would you consider to be an ideal mother board to fit this system and would i benefit from not only having a hard disk drive but possibly a 120GB SSD. I did save a considerable amount of money on these pieces this past week with discounts and rebates, enough to purchase a mother board that will be reasonably future proof and maybe allow me to tinker with OC’ing this PSU (I read that it is relatively easy to do with this one and is advisable since WoW is more CPU dependent than it is GPU.) Also, with your indepth knowledge of gaming and building systems, what do you think the best OS will be for me to go with — WIN 7, 8, 8.1 etc.? And lastly, do you think I made a wise choice with my purchasing desisions so far?
    Thanks again for your much needed and appreciated assistance.

    • says

      Hey Henry, how’s it going?

      Everything looks great so far! As for a motherboard, if you want to OC in the future, I’d look at one of the 990FX AM3+ motherboards. This one is not bad after the $20 MIR:

      ASUS M5A99X EVO R2.0 AM3+

      If you don’t want to spend that much you could go with one of the better 970 boards, like this one:

      Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3P

      That board will allow you to mildly overclock your FX-8320.

      If you can afford to put an SSD in your build, definitely do so. It won’t give you an in-game performance boost, but you’ll load instances faster and your system will run faster.

      As for Windows, I’d say just go with Windows 8.1. It’s newer and there’s been too many instances where Microsoft has hinted at not supporting DirectX updates for Windows 7. Fortunately they haven’t yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they do in the future.

      If you can’t stand Windows 8, though, 7 will still be fine.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  11. Marcus Good says

    Hi Brent,
    Just wondering on the 500$ build are their any monitors in particular that do good with that computer? Also could you include any of the monitors that have good prices?
    Thanks,
    Marcus

  12. Michael says

    Hey Brent,

    I am trying to buy computer parts that I can combine together for a decent amount of money now but I can upgrade and make it excellent later. What computer parts would you recommend to start with then upgrade to later. My budget right now is 250 to 420 dollars.

    • says

      Hey Michael, how’s it going?

      It really depends on how much performance you want to get right now and if you can live with playing on lower settings for awhile.

      If you can’t live with playing on lower settings, I’d say look at the $400 build (it would stretch to about $490 when you add an Operating System).

      That build will give you medium to high settings on most games at 1920×1080 resolution and the video card can be upgraded in the future if you wanted more performance.

      If you can live with playing on lower settings, I would go with an Intel-based build and forego the video card for now.

      So, something like the $400 or $500 build, but get rid of the CPU and motherboard and replace them with an Intel Core i3 (or i5 if you can afford it) and a solid H97 motherboard.

      That route will allow you to easily add a high-end video card down the road and if you start with an i3 CPU you can always upgrade to an i5/i7 later.

      Going with the $400 build above, in my opinion, is the better option as you’ll be able to play on higher settings now and still be able to upgrade a little later.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  13. Dave says

    Brent,
    Hi. Great information. I just want to verify a few things:
    (1) For the Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB, is that supposed to be one 8GB stick or two 4GB sticks?
    (2) For the ASRock H97M PRO4, that’s a micro ATX, so do we want that one or the H97 PRO4 (without the M)?
    (3) In general, will things still be compatible if I bump a component up 1 level (for example, using a Radeon R9 290 instead of a Radeon R9 280).

    Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Dave, how’s it going?

      1. It’s supposed to be one stick. One stick typically costs less than a 2X4GB kit and there isn’t too much of a difference performance-wise.

      2. Even though it’s an H97M it is in fact a regular ATX motherboard. But if you want to save some money and get a micro-ATX board you can. You’ll just have less PCIe slots.

      3. Yes, that build can handle an R9 290, so if you want to jump up you definitely can.

  14. Marien says

    Could I replace the Sapphire Radeon R9 270X with the XFX Radeon R9 280 in the $500 build? Would it still be compatible with the motherboard?

    Thanks in advance

  15. Nicholas D. says

    Would the 700$ build be able to run games like Arma 3, FarCry 4, Battlefield 4, and The Dayz mod (Not stand alone), on max settings? Thanks for your time.

  16. Ben Spaulding says

    Hello Brent,

    I’m an almost exclusively single player gamer, primarily strategy and rpg titles, and I’ve been looking to get something that could run the recent Total War titles (Rome II, Shogun II, maybe Attilla) and also Skyrim. How would the $500 dollar build perform for these games? Also could you suggest any improvements that might boost the performance without blowing the price up?

  17. Sean says

    I am thinking of building your $700 dollar computer and while looking through your other builds I noticed the graphics card on the $500 computer is cheaper and is better. Should I get that graphics card instead? Also with black friday and cyber monday coming up will it be better to buy on black friday or cyber monday. Also will you update the site for black friday and cyber monday?

  18. Anthony says

    Hi!

    First I’d like to thank you for this article, it was incredibly useful. Basically, I’m running on a really tight budget. I enjoy playing games such as league of legends and TF2, and I enjoy recording videos of those games. Would the $400 computer be able to handle those things? It’s really my only option at this point considering I would still need the monitor, keyboard, wireless adaptor, and operating system.

  19. Sam says

    Hey Brent,
    Will the $700 build be able able to run games like Arma III, Dayz, Farcry 4 and games like that at High settings? i am going to build pc over time as i get the money for different parts, so may have a few extra bucks lying around, would you reccomend any extras or slightly higher grade components to improve performance and such?
    Thanks, Sam

  20. Dylan says

    Hi Brent,

    I’d just like to say that the 500 dollar package motherboard does not come with a heatsink or fan so that needs to get added to the list of parts on Amazon. I’m learning this now as all my parts arrive and I am unable to start my build! Please spread the word or add to the parts list! Thanks.

    Dylan

  21. Rodrigo Amaral says

    Hi Brent,

    I just want to ask if the 700 computer will handle recording and streaming most of the games. If not, what should I change?
    Sorry for my bad english im portuguese.

    • says

      Hey Rodrigo, how’s it going?

      Yes, the $700 build will handle recording/streaming most games on a 1920×1080 monitor. Though, you might want to look into getting a GTX 760 instead of the R9 280, as the GTX 760 comes with Shadowplay and will help take the load off of your system when recording.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  22. Sean says

    Hi i am just a beginner and I was looking at your $700 dollar build computer and I was wondering when building it do I have to get an extra Cpu cooler, wireless network adapter and sound card. Also with the sound card what does it actually do? Would there be no sound at all from the computer or anything like that?
    Thanks

    • says

      Hey Sean, how’s it going?

      You won’t need to get an extra CPU cooler as that will come with the processor. And, most motherboards have good enough onboard sound, so you don’t really need an aftermarket sound card either.

      As for the wireless network adapter, yes, you will need one. Something like this will be easy to use and it will get the job done:

      Panda 300Mbps Wireless-N USB Adapter

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  23. Casey says

    Hey I was wondering, since I’m getting the $400 com., will i be able to run games like Arkham Origins or Skyrim? And if not, what can I change in the com. to play games like those? Are parts interchangeable? Thank you!

    • says

      Hey Casey, how’s it going?

      Yes, you should be able to play both of those games on higher (though probably not max) settings with that setup as long as you’re playing on a 1920×1080 monitor, or a lower resolution monitor.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  24. Wesley Joubert says

    Hey Brent! I’m new to the whole gaming computer scene. I’ve been a big gamer, and I’ve been thinking about moving from consoles to pc. However, I would like to play modern games, as well as ones coming out in the future with $400. Will you update the list for Black Friday/Cyber Monday? I know it’d be a huge job, but if you do, I’d love to see the post! Thanks for all your help!

    • says

      Hey Wesley, how’s it going?

      Right now I have a Deal Tracker page up that is tracking all the top deals through Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

      http://elitegamingcomputers.com/deal-tracker/

      I’ll probably look to update the builds on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it will be tough, since a lot of those deals go quickly due to people buying them up fast.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  25. Jack says

    Hey Brent! Its me again! I have all my parts now for the $700 build. I’m going to start building soon. I have a problem/question though. I want to be able to play my PC wireless. I was just wondering if you know how what the best part to buy for this.

  26. Barry says

    Hi Brent,

    Great article you have there! I was a technician for quite sometime and currently working in IT industry for the last 5 years, however, I think I still need some expert advise in building a new gaming PC at the same time my wife’s working station since she has decided to work at home, at a very low cost possible that matches my gaming needs(I play a lot of heavy games and am a heavy player too).

    Here’s my Build similar to your $700 build but I’ve changed some parts.

    Raidmax Viper GX (Optional-I can get any for a lower price as long as it has good air flow)
    HEC 550W 80+
    Asus B85 pro gamer
    intel i5 – 4460
    Adata 4GB 1600 (for now, will upgrade by adding 3 more in the future).
    1TB WD
    Powercolor R7 260x 2GB D5 (for now, I’m planning to do crossfire in the future, which is the part i’m not sure. Been doing a lot of research but just got info overload with millions of options available.) Will get my build in 2 weeks from now.

    Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Barry, how’s it going?

      I would stay away from the HEC power supply as HEC units can be pretty hit or miss on quality.

      Other than that, if you’re set on the Intel CPU, it looks good. However, the FX-6300 is a good option that will allow you to get a better video card. But that depends on what kind of games you’re playing and how demanding they are.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  27. Dylan says

    Hello,

    I’m looking to buy the $500 package but had a few questions real fast. I have an NVIDIA GTX 650 card in the box that I got a while back. Will all the parts in the package work fine with this card until I get a newer better card in the future? Thanks!

  28. Henry says

    Brent,

    Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to post the ever changing components available at discount as we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When I asked for it I was in hopes you would actually “build” a system with the discounted parts to see if your readers could save some money on your say 500 dollar build. Now, that I think more about it, the task would be rather daunting with the constantly fluxuating sales. Something that may be much easier would be possibly to add in the verabage what part in which budget build that particualar component could be substituted for. For example, could the XFX Core Edition 550W PSU be a suitable substitute for the Corsair CX series in the $500 build. I know that would help me out tremendously as I’m buying components for the build in the next week or so. I hope that it would help many other readers as well. Thanks again for all your valuable knowledge and I’m going to definitely buy the components though this website to support your company any way I can. Have the happiest of holidays.

  29. Ralph Gordon says

    Hello Brent!

    I stumbled onto your site by accident, it was the best accident I’ve ever had! You provide the best do-it yourself PC advice available! Thank You!

    I am looking to build my own PC. I do not want to compromise with a ready made Tower. I want to build good, powerful PC as I do a lot of photo editing, some video editing and want to get back into some gaming for fun. (Haven’t done any gaming other than flight simulator since the original HALO! My current tower is an old Vista OS box! I am a user of Windows 8.1 64 bit on my laptops however.

    I have some parts on hand and would like to utilize them in my build. I have the following on hand: Rosewill Patriot Full Tower, Rosewill Photon 550 watt power supply, Kingston Hyper X Genesis RAM 8GB X2 – 1600. LG DVD multi-drive. Various keyboards and mice. and a great sounding Boston Acoustics sub-woofer/satellite speaker system.

    I plan on using a Crucial 240GB SDD and a Seagate 3TB HDD. I am considering AMD FX-6300 or 8350 as my starting CPU, and either an ASUS Sabretooth or Crossblade MoBO and I am not sure what GPU to use as I’ve always had on-board GPU’s before. Any advice?
    Thanks again!

  30. Logan says

    Hey Brent awesome web page for cheap computer builds!

    I also had a question. I already have a list on the computer i want to build, but the price for it is very steep and I believe that its not the computer i want. Yet straight to the question. I was thinking that the 500 – 600 $ build would be great for me, and i don’t play to many graphically demanding games, but in the future i might play some high graphic and fps shooting games like battle field. Would this be a good build range for me? Also the only thing I’m looking in a computer build is being able to play most games on high graphic settings without fps dropping like crazy and just wondering if the 500 – 600$ is good because it will literally cut my price for the previous computer build in half.

    Thanks again !

    • says

      Hey Logan, how’s it going?

      The $500-$600 builds will definitely play non-demanding games on max settings. The only problem you may run into with those setups is on games that are demanding on the CPU, typically in situations where there are a lot of online players in one area.

      However, for the most part, both of those builds will max out games like BF4 fairly easily. If you do play graphics-intensive online games where there are a lot of online players in the same area (like DayZ in populated areas, or large BF4 matches) you might want to consider the $700 build to get the stronger Intel CPU.

      If you don’t mind turning down the settings a bit in those situations, then either of those builds will be fine.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Logan says

        Thanks Brent!

        One more question if you don’t mind. Are the prices for the parts of these pc builds are gonna be on cyber Monday? Because if most parts will be on cyber Monday I would be able to get the 700 or 600$ cheaper which would be great and easy to fit in for my parent’s christmas budget and allow me to fit in the screen, keyboard, etc

        Thanks Again!

  31. Samuel says

    Hello,

    Had some questions about the 400 dollar budget game pc. If I put a 8 gb single ddr3 1600 instead of the 4 gb version, and a Seagate Barracuda 7200 500 gb harddrive instead a 250 gb version, do I need to change the other parts too? Or could I just use the same motherboard, power supply and mini tower?

    Look forward to the answer!

    Thanks in advance.

    Samuel

  32. says

    great artical by the way,but i have a couple of questions .

    1 Does the $400 build cpu come with a heat sink and if not is one needed?

    2 Is the $400 build compatible with the SilverStone Tek PS08B case?

    3 I was looking at the $400 builds gpu on you tube which could play battle field 4 on ultra settings but would the rest of the computer be able to ?

    4 What good wifi card could you recommend thats compatible with the $400 build

    Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hey Oscar, how’s it going?

      1. All CPUs will come with a stock CPU cooler. You can add an aftermarket heatsink/CPU cooler if you want, but it’s not necessary unless you’re planning on overclocking. But since the $400 build doesn’t come with an overclocking-friendly motherboard, I’d say you’re fine without an aftermarket heatsink.

      2. Yes, you can put the $400 build in the Tek PS08B case.

      3. The $400 build could probably run BF4 on high in certain situations, but my guess is that medium settings would be the more stable settings to run that game at. It also depends on your monitor resolution. The $500-$700 builds would be the better bet if you’re looking to run BF4 on Ultra on a 1920×1080 monitor.

      4. I would go with something simple like this:

      Panda 300Mbps Wireless-N USB Adapter

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  33. Richard says

    Say i wanted to be able to run World of Warcraft. I use my computer on a daily basis and use about 5-6 programs downloaded. How can i build a computer that will maximize the smoothness in game with out Internet windows like youtube suffering ? (etc. wow head)

    • says

      Hey Richard, how’s it going?

      It depends on what your budget for a new computer is. World of Warcraft isn’t super demanding as long as you’re not running in a big raid.

      However, anytime you’re running a bunch of programs at once, you’re going to see a loss in performance. Typically the stronger your CPU is, the better able it will be to handle multiple programs at once (depending on those programs.)

      My suggestion would be to look at the $700 build listed above as it has the stronger and more efficient Intel CPU.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  34. says

    I was concerned about getting a CPU Fan(not case) + Heatsink with the AMD CPU. No worries though, It comes with the CPU package that Brent links to.

    Also, Mr. Hale.. I notice you have a list of operating systems for gaming on this great article. Something I don’t see though is GNU/Linux (e.g., Ubuntu) – which is absolutely free to download/use/redistribute/game with.

    And since Gabe Newell (co-founder of Valve software – bringing us such great titles as Half Life, Left for Dead, Portal, Team Fortress, DOTA, and many more) has personally endorsed using Linux for gaming, and are using Debian GNU/Linux (what Ubuntu is based on) for SteamOS.. Do you think you could add Ubuntu to the section for OS on the article to spread the word please Sir?

    Also, Gabe and his team have been to Linuxcon and other Open Source conventions to give speeches on how they’ve actually contributed Linux graphics driver tests and actually submitted fixes to improve Intel/AMD/NVIDIA graphics drivers, and how they’ve created some serious development tools to build games for Linux and OpenGL.

    Plus, Steam library of games available for Linux recently topped 700 (I absolutely believe Half Life 3 will be released on Linux on release day) , Humble Bundle has ported over 100 games to Linux, Sid Meyer’s Civilization V (and future releases) are on Linux, Epic Games Reveals Release of Demos For Unreal Engine 4’s WebGL, The Witcher 2, and so many more both available and on the way!!

    I just wanted to mention it since GNU/Linux has been reported by Valve to actually have better performance than Windows for L4D.. See http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/faster-zombies/ and the most awesome thing about Linux is that it’s so customizable.

    What do you think? Either way, if anybody wants to learn more.. checkout Google+ with the terms: #Linux #Gaming

    Thanks again for this awesome article!

      • says

        Hey Race, how’s it going?

        With the $300 build you’ll be able to play most games on lower settings. It doesn’t come with a stand-alone video card, so you will struggle to run the more demanding games on a 1920×1080 monitor, but if you have a lower monitor resolution it will be a good fit.

        Games like BF4 will see around 20 FPS on low settings on a 1920×1080 monitor with the 6800K. If you’re looking to play games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, or other similar games, then the $300 build will allow you to play on low settings without any problems.

        Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  35. says

    Wow – with these great prices, and no OS.. These computers are perfect for building your first SteamOS – Debian GNU/Linux compatible PC!! I’m going to get one of these and load up Ubuntu GNU/Linux 14/10 on it, after that – I’ll load up Steam for Linux. Read more about Steam for Linux on Valve’s website (h/t Gabe Newell for loving Linux!):
    http://store.steampowered.com/about/

  36. says

    Nice post! The only think that could make it better for me, would be to have a Linux compatibility rating for the said PC builds. This gets me wondering how easy it would be to check this kind of thing. None the less, thanks for the great article! Posting on G+

  37. John says

    Thank you for the great guide! I am looking at the $700 and this will be my first self-built project. I was hoping you could incorporate the sales this month (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) into the 700 cost tier. To make it easier, is it possible to list the next step upgrades per part? If there are deals on these upgrades it could bring it into the 700 cost window. Thanks so much!

  38. Curtis says

    Hello again Brent I have the 700 dollar build in my wish list and i had this graphics card in my list:
    HIS R9 280 IceQ OC 3GB Graphics Cards H280QC3G2M
    I am not sure what happened, but was there a switch in cards on the 700 dollar build because i am confused how I got that card and not the one i see now which is this:
    XFX Double D R9 280 933MHz 3GB DDR5 2XmDP HDMI 2XDVI Graphics Card R9280ATDFD

    Should I replace the first one I showed you and get the one that is in the build? I want everything running good and compatible!!!

    • Curtis says

      Its weird because I know I clicked i want this build and i have been buying my parts and i seen that the piece had a sale so i went back to the build you had posted and I seen a different graphics card!

      • says

        Hey Curtis, how’s it going?

        I update the builds on a weekly basis, so the reason the switch to the XFX card was made from the HIS card was because it jumped up a bunch in price. Both cards will perform similarly, though, so either one you get you will be fine.

        However, I recommend going with whichever one is more affordable.

        Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  39. Benben says

    Hi Brent!
    Could you please give me some advice about a computer build below for a mild gaming pc ?

    Mobo : Gigabyte 85M -D3H
    CPU : Pentium Dual G3258 (3.2GHz) or AMD Fx 6300
    Memory : G.Skill 2×4 Gb (1600)
    HDD : 1TB WD ( Balck)
    GPU : VGA Asus 2Gb Strix Gtx 750Ti-OC-2Gb D5 – or anything else ?
    Corsair Cx 500 Power supply

    Thank you!

    • Marlon says

      Hey there

      Those specs are fine, but I would prefer to get the FX-6300 then pair it with a decent AM3+ motherboard because your motherboard has an LGA 1150 socket.

    • says

      Hey Benben, how’s it going?

      It really depends on what you want to do and what games you’re planning on playing. If you’re playing games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, or other non-demanding games, then you could get by with that system.

      If you are playing more demanding games, you’ll want to up your budget.

      As the build sits right now, I’d probably go with an FX-4300 or 6300, an ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS, an Antec VP-450 and this GTX 750Ti:

      EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti

      That 750Ti is $119 after a $10 mail-in rebate. So, that will save you some money as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  40. Henry says

    Hi Brent,

    I had asked a question before concerning World of Warcraft and what build you would recommend. Thank you for your reply. Now that I have the extra money to do either the $400 or $500 build, it’s coinciding with Black Friday and Cyber Monday time of year. So, my follow-up question, may be a simple one for you or maybe quite in-depth. With either of the two builds, what should I look for in motherboards, graphic cards, ram etc. since what may be killer deals may well not be the exact items you have laid out for us. For example, since I know so little about components, I’ll use the case — what size case would I be looking for, how should I go about finding if it has good air flow, how many fans does it need, should it be plastic, metal or aluminum, how will I know if the motherboard and/or graphic card will even fit? I don’t think the case you have chosen would be in question mind you, but was just using it as an example to help guide as to what “specs” I’m seeking for all the other components. Any information you could provide would be very appreciated for me and hopefully many of your other readers. This way if, say, a graphics card is on super sale we could hypothetically build a system similar to your $500 build for $400 or less. Some of the deals on these two upcoming days are often ridiculously low priced.

    • says

      Hey Henry, how’s it going?

      Yes, you can definitely find good deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can also find good deals leading up to Black Friday (starting now, even.) If you’re looking to build your system based on these deals, you should be looking for savings anywhere you can find it and you should put those savings in either your video card, CPU, RAM, or motherboard (in that order) and then modify the power supply to fit your system.

      I will be be putting up a Black Friday/Cyber Monday “Deal Tracker” page hopefully by the end of this week. And, on it, I’ll track most (if not all) of the good BF and CM deals.

      As for the case, as long as it has a couple of fans in it and it fits your video card and other components, it’s pretty much just personal preference. So, it depends on if you like a smaller form factor or a bigger form factor. With your budget you’re looking at standard ATX size build or a micro-ATX size build.

      Some people like aluminum cases because they’re light, but those cases can get dinted a lot easier. Most cases in your budget range are going to be a mix of metal and plastic, with the frame being metal and the front panel/trim being plastic. And, that’s good enough to get the job done.

      Hope this helps get you started in the right direction! Let us know if you have any other questions!

      • Natalie says

        Hey Brent, I was wondering what the best monitors are for the Jackal build would be! I’m trying to keep the budget under 800 dollars. Also, is the Jackal good for running games like Minecraft on high settings? (sorry if that’s a noobish question!) Thanks, any input is much appreciated!

  41. Peter says

    I’m planning to buy the 400$ gaming pc and since its my first time building one is there anything i need to know about the build? Any help is appreciated.

  42. Erich says

    Just wanted to say thank you for this great and informative list ! Was juggling lots of pre-made computer options before, but was disenchanted with how expensive they are. I will definitely be building either a $400 or $500 machine according to your guide. Thank you so much !

  43. says

    Hello, I’m considering purchasing the $700 build. I want to upgrade the video card because my son plays games like call of duty and battle field. What would you suggest? Or would I be better off purchasing the grizzly build?

    • says

      Hi Denise, how’s it going?

      The R9 2870 in the $700 build will be able to handle Battlefield and Call of Duty just fine on a 1920×1080 monitor (and even on a 2560×1440 monitor as well.)

      So, I would say that you’d be fine sticking with the $700 build.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  44. Rook says

    Hi Brent, So I’ve been researching a good PC build for some upcoming games such as “Elite Dangerous”. I was pretty much on track with your $600 build. How do you feel about about that system holding up for the 2015 titles coming up? Is the AMD 6300 cpu going to be able to deal with the next generation gpu if I want to upgrade in a couple years? And I’m seeing a lot of bitcoin miners dumping their Radeon R9 series Graphic cards on Ebay , How do you feel about buying one of these used cards if your really tight on money? Thanks, Rook

    • says

      Hey Rook, how’s it going?

      The $600 build should hold up well for the next couple of years. And, if the FX-6300 starts slacking, it will be an easy upgrade to an FX-8350 or 8370..

      As for buying a video card on eBay, I’m not really sure how eBay handles seller guarantees, but I’d be a little wary. If you feel comfortable, though, with a particular seller, then by all means jump on it. Just know that you may not have the same protection and 30-day guarantee that most online retailers provide (as well as the manufacturer’s warranty.)

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  45. Matt says

    Hello I recently built your $600 build and I’m having an issue where the graphics card won’t show a display when in the first PCI-E slot. I switched the card to the second slot and it worked. I was just curious is there anything I can do to make the first slot work? If not is it going to really effect my performance with using the 2nd PCI-e slot? Thank you for your guide!

    • says

      Hey Matt, sorry for the trouble you’re having.

      First off, just to be clear, are your components the same that are listed in the current $600 build? Or was it from a different set of components from a past update? If so, list those components here so I can see what you’re working with.

      • Matt says

        Thank you for your response, the build was the same other then the video card, when I had ordered the card that was listed was the MSI AMD Radeon R9 270X Gaming 2GB GDDR5 2DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card.

        • says

          It’s tough to say what the problem is without being able to play with the computer. It works when you plug it into the black PCIe port, right?

          My initial feeling is that there’s some setting in your BIOS that needs to be changed. The other possibility could be your RAM. If you haven’t already, try reseating your RAM. It’s possible that you have a defective motherboard, or memory, as well.

          This thread on Tom’s Hardware shows other people are having similar issues:

          http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320888-30-asus-m5a97-boot

          My best advice would be to call ASUS support and see if they have an easy solution since it seems to be a common problem.

          • Matt says

            Yes it works in the black port, but wont in the other. Do you have any idea what I can check in the Bios to see if there is a way to switch? Also how much will my performance suffer by leaving it plugged into the other slot? I tried out a game called space engineers which I can’t imagine is to demanding on the system, but it seemed to play perfectly fine. Thanks again for all your help.

  46. Lockharte9 says

    Hello, before this site’s last update, I remember there being a section with recommended hardware such as a screen, mouse, headset, keyboard, etc. I was wondering if you could put that back on the page or simply reply to this comment with the items used. Thank you.

  47. Curtis says

    Hello I posted comments yesterday, but i still don’t see them! I am new to building PC’s and I took the parts from your list to try and build a good gaming PC that i don’t have to overclock because I am not to sure of the process! I changed the motherboard from my last 2 posts because i seen that you recommended something else for a person who did not want to overclock!

    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)

    MSI ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards H97 GAMING 3

    Samsung SATA 1.5 Gb-s Optical Drive, Black SH-224DB/BEBE

    Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply

    Rosewill Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case CHALLENGER

    Seagate Barracuda 500 GB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 16MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST500DM002

    Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 at 1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory Modules BLS2C4G3D169DS3

    EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SUPERCLOCKED 2048MB GDDR5 DVI HDMI DP Graphics Card 02G-P4-2662-KR

    AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black Edition

    • says

      Hey Curtis, how’s it going?

      Everything looks great, except for your motherboard/CPU combo. You have chosen an Intel motherboard (socket LGA 1150) and an AMD processor (FX-6300).

      Unfortunately, Intel motherboards and AMD CPUs aren’t compatible with each other. So, you have two options…

      1. Change your motherboard to an AMD AM3+ motferboard.
      2. Change your CPU to an Intel Core LGA 1150 CPU

      If you don’t mind increasing your budget, your best bet would be to go with option #2 and upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i5-4590.

      If you don’t want to increase your budget, then stick with the FX-6300 and get a motherboard like this:

      Gigabyte GA-970A-D3P AM3+ Motherboard

      Also, I would say depending on the price that you’re getting the GTX 660 for, maybe look at a GTX 760, R9 280, or R9 270x. If you can get those for a cheaper or comparable price to the GTX 660, I’d get those video cards instead. And, if you do get one of those video cards, you’ll have to upgrade your power supply to something like the XFX Core Edition PRO550W.

      Ultimately, though, your build will be fine once you swap either the motherboard or processor out.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Curtis says

        Thank you for the reply! since this is my first build I just went with your 700 dollar build! I just really want to play games like Titanfall , elder scrolls online and dc universe!! Thank you again, this website has helped me out a lot and i already signed up for the guide!!!!!

  48. death.feast says

    Hey, thanks for the guide. I will be going for the 400-500 price tag. 10 out of 10 for the guide. I will be thanking you when my cpu is done!

  49. David says

    Hi Brent I really enjoyed your guide!

    This will be the first time building a PC. I have watched several guides so I don’t think the assembling will be to big of a problem ;) but some advice on the parts would be great.

    I live in Sweden so I don’t have access to all of the components in your list so I have made my own list on the uk amazon.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/ABW03VISNEIG/ref=cm_sw_r_ip_wl_o_Wsuvub09R5PV5

    I have gone for a 500-700 build and I’d like to be able to upgrade it later on.

    If you have the time to check it out and give me some advice i’d appreciate it!

    • says

      Hey David, thanks for reading and posting your question!

      I’m not sure if it’s a problem on my end, or if you’ve updated it since you’ve posted it, but when I click on that link all I see are two items (Kingstom RAM, and an XFX R9 270).

      Those two items look good, of course! If you’ve updated it recently and you still want my opinion, send it back with the full list and I’ll check it out.

    • says

      Hey Johnny, how’s it going?

      The specs of that computer don’t look bad (would like to see a little bigger power supply, though), but my main concern is buying it through eBay.

      It looks like there’s some sort of guarantee they’re giving, but I can’t tell what it is. In my opinion your better bet would be either to build the system yourself, or if you absolutely have to buy it pre-built, get it from a more reputable manufacturer.

      Hope this helps! let me know if you have any other questions.

  50. Dave says

    So I’m a complete noob at everything that has to do with building a computer. Is there a video or another article that could inform me about how to build a pc?

    • Rick says

      If there aint one here then theres over a million you can find by just typing these keywords in google “building pc guide”. Ohh and BTW dont try to build a pc without looking at one, if your truly new. Chances are you might fry your components with a simple electric shock by handling it lol that would realy suck. So find one of the video guides and follow them step by step and remember to discharge any electricity running through your body by grounding yourself.

      (You can ground yourself by touching a metal material ex your computers metal casing should do the trick, also recommend not moving around much so perpare beforehand)

      GL mate

    • says

      Hey Dave, how’s it going?

      As Rick said there are quite a few guides out there that will take you through the step-by-step process of building your own system.

      You can get the EGC guide for free here:

      http://elitegamingcomputers.com/how-to-build-a-gaming-computer/

      This is also a really good video tutorial:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls

      And, again, there are plenty more free guides out there at your disposal as well.

      Another good tip is to make sure you have internet access (preferably with a laptop, but a smartphone will work, too) so that you can get on some help/troubleshooting forums if something goes wrong during your build.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  51. Rick says

    Im building a heavy gaming PC, for playing games on high to ultra high graphics and want to know if this build would satisfy my needs?
    BTW i emm in france so i cant get some of the stuff you guys got in usa (all being bought from amazon.fr).

    CPU: Intel Haswell Processor Core i5-4430 / 3.00 GHz 4 core Socket-LGA1150 6 Mo Cache box version

    Graphic card: ASUS GTX760-DC2OC-2GD5 graphic card NVIDIA Active

    Hard drive: Western Digital Blue Desktop WD10EZEX – internal hard drive 3.5” SATA III 7200 rev/min Memory cache 64 Mo 1 To

    RAM: G.Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

    Motherboard: MSI 970 Gaming Carte mère AMD ATX Socket AM3+

    Power supply: Corsair Alimentation PC CX Series CX500 – 80 PLUS Bronze ATX 500W (CP-9020047-EU)

    Casing: Advance 8102B0 X11 case PC Gamer in plastic ATX black
    Dimensions(LxHxP): 445 x 200 x 473 mm

    Price for this Rig is 697 euros with possible shipping and handling fees (they all said free shipping but this is amazon were talking about lol).

    • says

      Hey Rick, how’s it going?

      The only problem I see is the motherboard. You have and AMD AM3+ motherboard in your list, but you need an Intel LGA 1150 motherboard.

      And, since you’re not overclocking, an H87 or H97 LGA 1150 motherboard would be your best bet. Something like this would work:

      MSI H97 Gaming 3 Carte mère Intel ATX Socket LGA1150

      And, I’d also recommend upgrading to the newer i5-4460 for only a few bucks more:

      Intel i5-4460 Processeur 4 coeurs

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Rick says

        Doing pretty good Brent and feel even better now that you’ve saved me 30 euros. That Intel core I5 4460 is actually 5 euros less then the intel I5 4430, if you can believe it lol. Nice save on that mother board BTW i’d be devestated if one of my parts was non compatible with it, plus the one you recommended was 25 euros less!!
        So i’d like to say thanks Brent your a “life saver” or money saver which ever you perfer and I like the response time too, unlike some sites where you wait years for a response.

        • says

          No problem, Rick! Glad to help out. Let me know if you need anymore help and best of luck with your build. (And, don’t forget to post pictures of your new setup in the forums once it’s up and running!)

  52. Sam Froggy says

    I was wondering if you have made videos or will make videos to demenstrate the performance of these computer parts lists you have compiled.

    • says

      Hey Sam, how’s it going?

      Unfortunately, I don’t have benchmark videos for each of the builds. The reason for this is that I update the components on a weekly basis (at least I try to) to accommodate for the constantly changing prices of computer components and therefore it would be impossible to buy all the new components and make a new video every week.

      However, as Marlon noted, there are many websites that have benchmarks for the different video cards in a variety of games. Those will give you a good idea of kind of performance you can expect from each build.

      If you have a specific game in mind, I can let you know how each of the builds listed above will perform in that game. Just let me know!

      And, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

    • Marlon says

      Hey there,

      I think it’s fine enough. With a variety of features and some built-in fans, it would be a good option.

    • says

      Hey Alex, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yep, the Sentey will fit the $700 build just fine as the case allows for a video card up to 340mm in length, and the R9 280 is about 295mm.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  53. Tony says

    Hi, Brent,

    Great site. Thanks for all the great info.

    I’d like to build a capable system for the X-Plane flight SIM. Starting with one monitor, maybe adding two more at a later date. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hey Tony, how’s it going?

      I’m not familiar with X-Plane, but looking at the requirements (found here) I’d say you could run it with most of the builds listed above.

      However, the requirements seem kind of vague. Game debates requirements suggest that you don’t need too high-end of a video card… but those requirements aren’t always spot on.

      My gut feeling says you’d be fine with the $500, $600, and $700 builds. And, you can definitely add more monitors to those later on.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  54. Katie C. says

    Ok so I have followed your choices kinda. Let me see if you agree these pieces would work efficiently. This is my first build and im kind of excited to be trying this.

    Rosewill case with 3 fans included its a mid tower with options of micro atx as well as atx
    motherboard asus 5m78l-m lx plu
    cpu amd fx-6300
    gpu GeForce 750 gtx
    psu kentek 600w
    hdd western digital 1tb picked this one up for $39
    odd Samsung 24xsata
    ram 2x4gb crucial ballistix sport

    Tbh my laptop just isn’t getting the action and fps that I need to play world of warcraft. I have almost rebuilt my son’s computer but I had the old components to kind of show me the map of the way. I plan on building mine from scratch.
    Does this build look viable to you?
    Thank you very much for putting the help list up on this site.

    • says

      Hi Katie, how’s it going?

      Everything looks good except for the power supply. Kentek is on the bottom of the barrel when it comes to power supplies. That’s while you’ll find that they’re able to sell 600W PSUs for ridiculously low prices.

      If you want an affordable quality power supply that will power your setup, go with the Antec VP-450 listed in the $400 build.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Eddy brady says

        Hi Brent, great article, I’m going to purchase the 400$ computer which is already built that is near the start of the article, I believe it’s called the hornet. Anyways this is my first gaming of and I want to know will it be hard to build once delivered? And would my local computer shop build it for me if I cant? Thanks, keep up the great work.

        • Marlon says

          Hey there,

          As far as I’m concern, as long that you know how to use a screwdriver and know how to ready, you can assemble that build by yourself, seriously. If you’re really are unsure about it, you can use a secondary computer or mobile phone to download a video on how to fully assemble a whole PC setup. As based on my experience, I never trust anyone except those who are honest, that would build MY rig in the first place…

          I hope that this would be helpful. Best of luck for you..

          • Eddy says

            Thanks a bunch Marlon, do you think the the $400 pc is good? I just want it to play day z on mainly..

          • Marlon says

            Hmmm, Day Z is a quite demanding game. You can play it though, but on lower settings with reduced resolutions. If you want to enjoy it on ultra settings, better go for the $500 or $600 build; those 2 builds are more than powerful enough to play Day Z

      • Katie c says

        Is there a significant difference between the fx-6300 and the fx-6100. I purchased a “new” opened box cpu and the box says fx-6300 but the product model number is for a fx-6100 yea sad this was.
        Im afraid they are going to try and put it back on me so I may be stuck with it.

        Also, on my case where u pull the front off to place the dvd-rom and other things there are 2 metal pieces in front of the expansion bays. Am I suppose to pull these off if im putting more into it?

        Thank you very much again for your time and patience.
        Katie

        • says

          Hi Katie, how’s it going?

          Most people probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the 6100 and the 6300. However, the 6300 is built on better architecture and therefore provides better performance per clock cycle.

          In my opinion, if you paid for the 6300, you should do everything you can to try and get them to fulfill their end of the deal. If they won’t budge, then the 6100 will be fine.

          Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  55. Jakub says

    Hello. Nice guide.
    I want to build gaming pc with cca 750 E budget (950$) but unfornatelly not all parts I want are available to be shipped to my country by amazon, so I needed to change them a bit.

    Can u please give me an advice, because this is my first time building PC.

    Here are parts I am sure that can be good in that range:

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K

    Motherboard: ASUS Z97-A

    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX760 SuperClocked w/EVGA ACX Cooler 2GB GDDR5 256bit, Dual-Link

    HDD: WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache – WD10EZEX

    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00

    Price: 600 Euro

    Here are parts I am not sure and I need to ship them from another store than amazon.

    Case and power supply for this setup.

    I choose

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Advanced Black
    Power supply : Cooler Master 550W GM

    Wanted XFX supply but I cant find it in my country.

    Price: 150 E

    Overall price is 750 E

    Will it work with that case and power supply?
    Or are there any better in this range?

    Will be happy for answer.
    Wish a good day
    Jakub

    • Marlon says

      Hey there,

      Your whole build is fine. It is powerful enough for demanding games. Although I would like to have some suggestions:

      About the CPU, if your not planning to overclock, you can always get the non-K version (i5-4690) for a slightly lower price. And if ever you’re stickin’ with that GPU, you can also step down a bit on your CPU: on the i5-4460, and the having instead of the asus z97-a with a good motherboard with a h97 intel chipset. BUT, if you’re planning to have upgrades in the future, then stick with that build buddy, and probably buy an aftermarket cooler, such as one of the example on the guides.

      I think that would be all. I hope this could be helpful. And I’m always open to suggestions.

        • Marlon says

          And wait, their is one last thing; if you’re gonna overclock, then get at least a 600~800 watt PSU with a 80 PLUS certification, so that you will not encounter problems…

          • Jakub says

            Hi. Thanks for your advice.

            I do not plan overclocking.

            Main reason I want that PC is for playing and streaming League of Legends on stable high FPS and maximum quality. So streaming is the main reason of buying new PC.

            For sure I would like to play new games but dont require ultra max details :)

            If u have any suggestions when u know my main goal with this computer I would be happy.

            Jakub

          • says

            Hey Jakub, how’s it going?

            Yes everything you’ve chosen is compatible and all looks good. Like Marlon said, if you don’t want to overclock, you should drop to an i5-4460 or 4590, and a quality H97 motherboard. That might give you enough to stretch your budget to go up to a GTX 970.

            Other than that, though, everything looks great! And, whether you stick with the GTX 760 or try and stretch your budget to get a better video card (like the GTX 970) you’ll be able to max out pretty much any game on a 1920×1080 monitor.

            Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Jakub says

        Hello again.

        So I decided to go for lower motherboard as H97 as u told me.

        Whitch one do you recomend to this computer build?
        I also decided to drop CPU as advised

  56. arnaud says

    Hi Brent,

    Nice guide!
    Just one question.

    Shoul i buy one CPU COOLER ? i don’t see it clearly in your component choice.

    I have this configuration:
    EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Superclocked – 2 Go
    AMD FX 6300 – Black Editio
    MSI 970A-G46
    NZXT Source 210 Elite

    THX :)

    Arnaud

    • says

      Hey arnaud, thanks for reading and commenting!

      The CPU will come with a stock cooler that will work fine as long as you’re not overclocking. If you plan on overclocking then you could get something like this:

      Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

      Though, you’d probably want to look at a 990FX AM3+ motherboard if you’re planning on overclocking the FX-6300.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

    • says

      Hey Aaron,

      You could put the FX-6300 in the $300 build, but you’d have to switch to an AM3+ motherboard that has onboard integrated graphics.

      The downside of doing this, though, is that the integrated graphics are not very good. Ultimately, while the $300 build does serve a purpose, I’d hold off until you can save enough to at least get the $400 build.

      If you absolutely can’t spend anymore than $300 on the tower itself, then I’d stay stick with the A10-6800K.

      Hope this gives you a better idea of what to do! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  57. JSDarbey says

    Hiya Brent,
    Thanks so much for posting these builds. My son is about to build his first gaming pc and was every excited when he found your website.

    He wants something that will play the upcoming Dragon age release. http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=1883&game=Dragon%20Age%203:%20Inquisition
    and I think the $500 system should be fine. However, we’re a bit nervous that he won’t be able to max out the settings.

    I think he would really appreciate hearing from you on this.

    Thanks again for taking the time to organize all this info!

    Cheers

    • says

      Hi JSDarbey, how’s it going?

      Sometimes it’s difficult to go off of those pre-released requirements, but in this case I think the $500 build should run it fine on max settings on a 1920×1080 monitor.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  58. Richard says

    Hi, I have a quick question I’m looking for a good PC to play league of legends on the highest setting with around 80 fps while running smoothly. In addition to having multiple tabs up and possibly stream on twitch tv. Which PC build will be the best for me?

    • says

      Hi Richard, thanks for reading and commenting.

      The $700 build would be your best bet as far as maintaining higher FPS when streaming, but you could probably hit your targeted FPS (or close to it) with the $500 and $600 builds as well.

      If you have the budget for it, I’d go with the $700 build. However, if you’re working with a tighter budget, even the $500 build should give you good results as LOL isn’t too demanding of a game.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  59. AceAmir says

    I’ve been thinking about building my own gaming pc for a while now. Last week I did some random Googling for “cheap gaming pc” and came across these builds. My budget for the parts, if I were to build one, was about $800, so when I saw the $700 build and its components I said to myself “Hey, that looks like a pretty good build.”

    Some Amazon shopping, waiting, and painful assembly of everything later (it was my very first builld, hush) I am now typing this message to you on my brand new pc. And it is AWESOME. If I had a complaint, it’s that the DVD drive does not fit the case properly. Other than that, thus far everything works very well. Thank you for putting this list out there. :)

    • says

      Hey Ace, glad you got your first build up and running and glad we were able to help!

      Just out of curiosity and for future updates to this guide, which optical drive and case do you have?

      Enjoy your new system!

      • AceAmir says

        Sorry for such a late reply. I followed you build exactly, so I have the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 Mid Tower Gaming and the Samsung SATA 1.5 Gb-s Optical Drive.

  60. Pat says

    Hello there!

    I’m looking for a computer that would be able to play league of legends flawlessly (highest settings) while having other programs running in the background such as spotify and multiple tabs of google chrome. Which computer do you recommend for my needs?

    Also out of all the computers you have built which do you think generally is the biggest bang for the buck?

    thank you

    • says

      Hey Pat, how’s it going?

      League isn’t too demanding of a game so you should be able to handle it as well as your other programs pretty easily with the $500 build and up. Even the $400 build should be able to handle that fairly well.

      Right now the $500 build is ridiculously good value with the HIS R9 280 only costing $180. The R9 280 can handle any game on a 1920×1080 monitor easily and will even serve you well if you want to go with a 2560×1440 monitor, too.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Brady says

        Hey Brent,

        I’m looking to play the new World of Warcraft expansion next month and need to build a computer for it, since my laptop is primarily for work and a bit outdated. Will the $700 build run smoothly without lag on ultra settings or would I need to upgrade a few things on it to make that happen?

        Appreciate your feedback and great article!

        • says

          Hey Brady, how’s it going? Yes the $700 build will handle WoW fairly easily on ultra settings. The one case, though, where you’ll see a dip in performance is if you do any heavy raiding. Though, big raids on WoW can tax even the most powerful of machines.

          Ultimately, though, the $700 build will give you plenty of performance for World of Warcraft.

          Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  61. Zach says

    Hi Brent,
    I’m looking for a neat budget gaming PC that can play some high quality games such as dayz, GTAV (when it comes out), planetside 2, and more on max settings with fraps recording. I might have a budget from 700 to 900? Please reply I need your help.

    • says

      Hey Eric, it really depends on how much you want to spend. Though, I would say that if you’re willing to spend more, you’d get a better in-game performance boost by putting the extra money into your video card.

      If you must have an SSD, I’d say go with an 128GB SSD like this one:

      Crucial MX100 128GB SSD

      That will give you enough space to hold your operating system and a handful of games as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have anymore questions.

  62. Nora says

    Hiya, I’m hopefully gonna use the $500 sometime soon but I know next to nothing about computer innards. Besides a monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers is there any stuff I will need that isn’t on the list? And will I need any extra cooling?

    • says

      Hey Nora, how’s it going?

      The only other thing you’ll need is a copy of Windows… either Windows 7 or 8.1 will do. And, you can add extra cooling if you want, but it’s not necessary unless you’re going to be overclocking your CPU.

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  63. HazelNut says

    Dear Brent, I’ve posted on this thread a while back, and I accidentally checked

    Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
    Notify me of new posts by email.

    And I just wanna know how to get rid of it, because these new posts are constantly blowing my email, and I would have to manually go back and deleted every notices.

  64. Aaron Gaeta says

    Hello,

    I purchased the 500$ build and when installing the last component the HIS graphics card I realized that it requires two 6 pin pci-e connections however the antec vp450p power supply only has one 6 pin.
    Is there a workaround ?

    Thank you.
    -aaron

  65. Jack says

    Hey Brent,
    Im looking at buying the $700 PC build that you have on this amazing website. I do have a question though. The Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 280 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI/HDMI/2Mini Display Port PCI-Express Video Card GV-R928WF3OC-3GD that you have listed needs 600W, but the XFX ATX 550 Power Supply – P1550SXXB9 only give 550W. Will this be able to actually power it with only 550W?

    Thanks

    • says

      Hi Jack, how’s it going?

      The manufacturer overestimates the power supply wattage in order to protect themselves from people who buy cheap power supplies. The XFX 550W unit is a high quality PSU and will easily provide enough power to handle the $700 build.

      You can use this power supply calculator to get a good idea of how much power that system will use:

      http://www.extreme.outervision.com/secure/psucalculatorpro.jsp

      And, if you still don’t feel comfortable you can always go with this unit:

      Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Watt

      It’s not as highly rated as the XFX unit, but it will do the job as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  66. says

    I am wondering on the 700.00 build.. My son wants to stream, make videos and play games like call of duty and battle field. We will b running it on a 1080p monitor. Will this build work for us?

    • says

      Hi Denise, how’s it going?

      He”’ probably have to turn down the settings a little bit in order to get a good stream but he should still be able to maintain higher settings on 1080p monitor while doing so.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Denise says

        The video card that comes with the $700 build is it enough graphics for my son to play games like call of duty, battlefield and diablo without it lagging? Or should I upgrade the card? Thank u!!

        • Marlon says

          Yes maam, the R9 280 is a powerful card, thus it is capable enough of playing those games fluently, but like sir Brent said, if your son is streaming, better reduce the settings..

  67. Exit0010 says

    Hello Brent,

    I purchased the $500 system. It seems the antec vp 450 power supply only has one pci-6 pin connector and the HIS iceqx2 Radeon r9 270 requires two 6 pin. Do you have a work around if not what power supply should be used?

    Thank you,

    e

  68. Shay says

    Hi Brent,
    Thank you for this guide, I don’t know anything about building my own computer so i was very happy to find this. I don’t really play new PC games, although I may use it to play Skyrim. Mostly I will use it for emulating arcade games and consoles up to PS2 and Gamecube/Wii. Do you know how well the $400 build would be able to run the PCSX2 and Dolphin emulator?
    Thank you!

  69. Dahlandre says

    i was looking for a rather cheap build that could run lego games minecraft with modsdisney infinity and skylanders both if i can find a way to get the figures cheaply as well as classic 8-Bit emulators on high to medium graphics pre-build if possible and if not just a list of part or you telling me which pc on the list is best for me

  70. Jason says

    I just wanted to inform you that your Power Supply link for the $500 build is incorrect..

    I check back here every week hoping I have enough money :)

    Thanks!

  71. Mikolaj says

    What kinds of games will the 700 dollar pc handle?

    P.S.
    I feel like this is a stupid question with an obvious answer but forgive me, I’m a noob with these kinds of things.

  72. Marlon says

    Hey Brent,
    I have a question, about the Radeon HD 7850, will it be compatible w/ all the CPUs listed in this guide, coz I’m planning to buy one soon.

    I’ll be expecting your reply! Thanks in advance.

  73. Variable.variables says

    Here is my current (possible) build.

    AMD FX-6350 3.9GHz 6-Core (CPU)
    ASRock 980DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ (Motherboard)
    A-Data 8GB (2*4GB) DDR3-1333 (RAM Sticks)
    Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM (Storage)
    Asus GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB (Vid. Card)
    Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower (Case)
    Antec 550W ATX12V (Power Supply)
    Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)
    Asus PCE-N10 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 (Wireless Adapter)

    Is this a good, compatable, price effective build? (Coming in at around 850 dollars w/rebates and shipping.)
    Will it play games such as Skyrim, Planetside 2, and other FPS, MMOs, and RPGs on high-ultra settings?
    What is overclocking/is my CPU allowed to overclock?
    Do I need an aftermarket heat fan?
    Can I install Win. 8 with the Disk drive?
    Will I need more RAM or storage?

    Sorry for all of the questions… I am actually getting serious about the PC building thing.

    Thanks!!
    Variables

  74. Lockharte9 says

    Hello Brent I was just wondering what settings the 300$ computer could run Minecraft and GTA 5 on (if any one GTA). Thank you for your time.

  75. Allen S. says

    Hey Brent!

    First I want to say that I am quite pleased that I found your site, you’ve done a great job showing the way for first timers like myself.

    I’m looking at the $700 build and want to make it a bit more future proof (as in it will be technologically relevant for longer). I was looking to upgrade to:

    Gigabyte H97 SATA Express M.2 SSD UEFI DualBIOS DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard GA-H97-D3H

    Intel Core i7-2600K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 Ghz 8 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80623I72600K

    Would the above work well for that build? would I need to upgrade the power supply as well? and of course are there other options you’d recommend more?

    I appreciate your expertise and look forward to building my first PC!

    • Marlon says

      Hey there,

      Your upgrades are not compatible with each other, as the CPU has a LGA 1155 socket while your given motherboard has a LGA 1150, which aren’t compatible. If I were to get a motherboard for that CPU I would go for motherboards with Intel chipsets such as h77, b75, or z77. Sorry for a late reply. Hope this is helpful and I may not be too late..

      Best,
      Marlon

  76. zach says

    hey Brent I just had a quick question regarding the os recommended for the 500 dollar build. Will I need to download drivers and update the BIOS to run it? IF so could you possibly post where I could find the updates at, thank you