Looking to build yourself the best possible gaming PC for $500? This one is it! With an AMD Ryzen 3 1200, a GTX 1050, 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, you’ll be able to play your favorite games without an issue.
If you were to go into any store and spend around $500 on a prebuilt desktop, you’re going to walk away with a hunk of junk that struggles to run Minesweeper in 720p, let alone any games that you’re actually planning on playing. But, building your own gaming PC will set you up with something with wayyyy more gaming potential, and plus, you can say “I built that.”
Keep in mind that the price listed below is only for the tower itself, and you will still need a keyboard, mouse, monitor, some kind of audio and an operating system to make it complete.
- A smaller Phillips head screwdriver
- An anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
- Patience, and lots of it
That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. If this is the first gaming computer you’ve ever built, it might seem like a daunting process that only an expert could complete, but you would be wrong. Building your own gaming PC couldn’t be easier, and there are a ton of concise guides out there that will walk you through the process.
If you’re still thinking that it’s a super-difficult process, just click (or tap) below, skim through the video, and then you’ll know for sure.
Here are the basic steps that I follow when building:
-Install the Power Supply into the Case
-Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
-Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
-Mount the CPU cooler
-Place the rear I/O plate
-Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
-Plug your GPU in
-Install any storage
-Plug everything into the appropriate spots
-Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!
Instead of me typing out a ton of words to explain this process, why not watch this video put together by EasyPCbuilder.com? He does a great job of explaining everything in detail, and is going to get you running in 30 minutes.
Or, if you did want a ton of words, I’ve put together somewhat of a crash course to building your gaming PC that you might want to check out, in it I explain what each part’s role is in your PC as well as how to put everything together. There’s also this FAQ which covers some of the most commonly asked questions.
Keep in mind that it’s not the exact same build, but the process is really similar. There’s really only 1 way to do things, and it’s pretty hard to mess anything up if you’re being careful.
Cheap Gaming PC Build for $500
Updated: August 24th, 2017
mATX tower, comes with 2 fans, front USB 3.0 & 3.5mm audio jacks.
MSI B350M Gaming Pro
mATX size, AM4 socket, B350 chipset. 4x SATA3, 6x USB. Supports up to 3600MHz RAM. View
AMD Ryzen 3 1200
3.4GHz quad-core processor. Comes with a great stock cooler.
Gigabyte GTX 1050 2GB
2GB GDDR5, good performance in most esports games. 1x HDMI, 1x DVI-I and 1x DisplayPort.
EVGA 450 B1
450W, 80% efficiency, 3-year warranty.
8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX
1x 8GB 2666Mhz DDR4 RAM, CL16. Adding more RAM is definitely an option!
Seagate 1TB HDD
7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet & reliable!
All games were benchmarked on ultra settings in 1080p. Lower settings and/or a lower resolution would net noticeably better performance.
Add-ons like SSDs and optical drives are by no means necessary, but they may give you a better experience. If you’re planning on installing your OS from a disc instead of a USB flash drive then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.
[Upgrade] 4GB GTX 1050 Ti
If you don’t mind spending a bit more for a lot more GPU power, the 4GB GTX 1050 Ti is the card you want to upgrade to. View
Windows 10 (USB Installer)
Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer. View
120GB PNY CS1311 SSD
Up to 90,000 IOPS read and write. An SSD is the single best upgrade to make your PC feel faster but it won’t increase FPS in games. View
Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW
External optical drives are quickly becoming the standard over their internally mounted counterparts, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better options to consider. View
For right around $500, this budget-level gaming PC is going to get you into modern games and playing them on mid-high settings pushing 60fps or better. Some games are still going to give this build some issues at the highest settings, but it’s still going to outperform next-gen consoles by a lot!
Keep in mind that the price above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don’t currently have.
This budget build will run games like Rust, Fallout 4, ARK, GTA and pretty much anything else on high settings or better while getting great performance! Less graphically intensive games like CS:GO, DOTA, LoL, or anything along those lines, will all run well above 100fps.
VIVO’s V06 case is a very decent mATX-sized case that’ll easily fit everything in this build and then some. It comes with 2 fans but has room to mount a total of 5, not that you would need that many in a build like this. There are no optical drive bays on this tower and to read/write discs you’ll need an external ODD like you’ll see listed under the “Potential Upgrades” section. Keep in mind that there are tons of choices when it comes to cases and you should definitely shop around for one that you really like! Don’t like the blue fans? Why not change them out for some red fans instead?!
The motherboard in this build is relatively basic, but it still gives you everything you’ll need for this build and will still have room left for future upgrades. It supports the AM4 socket type which AMD’s Ryzen CPUs requires, making it compatible with not only the Ryzen 3 1200, but with stronger CPUs like the R5 1600. This board comes with integrated audio, a built-in ethernet controller, 6 USB ports and 4 SATA ports.
Running AMD’s brand new Ryzen 3 1200 is a great starting point for a build with massive potential to grow. Not only is it a very strong entry-level CPU, but it also uses the same “socket type” as other Ryzen CPUs like the R5 1600, meaning you can upgrade to a stronger CPU any time you want.
The 2GB GTX 1050 is a complete budget beast when you take into consideration it’s super-low power requirements and very reasonable price point. Gigabyte’s GTX 1050 is definitely no exception! That being said, don’t expect this card to play AAA games on anything higher than low-mid settings if you want 60fps or better. If that’s what you want, definitely upgrade to the 4GB GTX 1050 Ti!
When it comes to power, this build doesn’t require a whole lot and a 450W supply like EVGA’s 450 B1 is going to work great while giving you all the power you need. It’s a solid 80+ bronze power supply which means it’ll be at least 80% efficient, it also comes with a nice 3-year warranty if anything were to ever happen.
8GB of RAM is pretty standard when it comes to a gaming PC, but having more is always good. For this reason, I went with a single 8GB stick to leave you the option to easily add more. Running a dual-channel pair would get you a very small (4% or so, basically unnoticeable outside of benchmarks) performance boost, but it’s really not necessary to do and you will be fine with a single stick. If you want to add more make sure it’s at least the same speed, but a matching pair from the same company is even better.
This $500 budget-level gaming PC will definitely outperform next-gen consoles by a long shot, and when you consider how much power you’re getting, $500 is pretty cheap for a gaming PC. You’ll be able to run most modern games like GTA:V at 60fps and you’ll be laughing at your console counterparts still stuck at 30fps (if they’re lucky!)
Windows is currently the best option when it comes to having access to a wide-array of compatible programs, but, it’s also the most expensive option. Picking what version has become somewhat limited recently, and since the newest version of DirectX requires Windows 10, that’s basically our option to keep up with the tech advances.
However, there is also a free alternative, and that’s Ubuntu or another Linux-based OS like SteamOS (I wouldn’t really suggest SteamOS at this point). As Linux is becoming more and more popular, more dev studios are extending their support out to Linux-based operating systems as well, so you can expect more AAA games to support Linux as we move forward.
Keep in mind that to installing Ubuntu on your new PC will require you to create your own installation disc / flash drive. It’s not really a difficult process by any means, but it’s just another step to take into consideration. If you wanted to create your own bootable flash drive for either OS, you can find good instructions here.
If this is the absolute first gaming PC you’ve ever owned, then chances are high that you don’t have a very good keyboard + mouse combo, or that your monitor is sub-par to really enjoy your experience. Or maybe you don’t have any kind of speakers / headset?
If you don’t have these basic peripherals, you’re definitely going to want them. At the very least you’re going to need a keyboard, a mouse, some kind of audio, and a monitor. Luckily for you, we’ve featured some awesome budget-minded products to cover each of these basic needs, just check them out!
23″, 1080p 60Hz, 2ms response time – Great for gaming View
CM Storm Devastator II KB+M Combo
An awesome keyboard + mouse combo from Cooler Master for around $30! Available with red, green, or blue backlighting. View
Creative Sound BlasterX H5
Easily one of the best gaming headset you can get, in my opinion. View
Reflex Lab Mouse Pad
Super smooth, very accurate, and extremely comfortable to use! Reflex Lab mouse pads are available in 4 sizes from your basic 9″ x 8″ right up to a whopping 36″ x 18″! View
If you plan on using a WiFi connection, then you’re also going to need some kind of WiFi adapter as very few motherboards come with it built-in.
You have a couple of options, either a USB-based WiFi adapter, or one that mounts internally, but you only need one. USB is more convenient and much cheaper in most cases, but they’re often less reliable than an internally mounted unit.
All-in-all, this cheap budget build is absolutely over-the-top when it comes to spending $500 on your own custom gaming PC. It’s a little more pricey than your average next-gen console, but it’s also a lot more powerful and you can do a lot more with it.
This build will completely dominate next-gen consoles by offering higher frames per second, and just overall better performance (and entertainment) per dollar spent. Sure consoles can do quite a bit now, but they still can’t compete with PCs when it comes to sheer versatility!
You really couldn’t ask for a better build on a $500 budget, and this one will completely blow your mind when you start loading up your favorite games!
If you have any questions ask me the comment section and I would be happy to help!