Looking to build yourself the best budget gaming PC for $500? This one is it! Packing 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 budget desktop, you’re going to walk away with a paperweight that struggles to run Minesweeper in 720p, let alone any games that you actually want to play. But, building your own budget gaming PC will set you up with a desktop with way more gaming potential. 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.
Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!
This budget gaming PC build is perfectly suited for 1080p 60fps gaming in competitive shooters, eSports titles and indie games. In more demanding AAA games, this build can pull off mid-high settings with very enjoyable frame rates across the vast majority of games.
|MOBO||MSI B350M Pro-VDH Plus|
|CPU||AMD R3 1200|
|GPU||Gigabyte GTX 1050 (2GB)|
|PSU||EVGA 450 B1 80+ Bronze|
|RAM||8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM|
|HDD||WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM|
- 1080p 60fps gaming
- Can be overclocked
- 10x USB ports total
- Integrated 2.1 audio (Realtek ALC892)
- Easy to upgrade
Best Budget Gaming PC Build for $500
Updated: March 12th, 2018
mATX tower, comes with 2 fans, front USB 3.0 & 3.5mm audio jacks.
MSI B350M Pro-VDH Plus
mATX size, AM4 socket, B350 chipset. 4x SATA3, 6x USB. View
AMD Ryzen 3 1200
3.4GHz quad-core processor. Comes with a great stock cooler.
Gigabyte GTX 1050
2GB GDDR5, good performance in most esports games. 1x HDMI, 1x DVI-I and 1x DisplayPort.
EVGA 500W B1
500W, 80% efficiency, 3-year warranty.
8GB Kingston HyperX Fury
2x 4GB 2666Mhz DDR4 RAM, CL16.
Running 2 sticks of RAM is more pricey, but Ryzen processors perform much better this way.
Adding more RAM is definitely an option!
WD Blue 1TB HDD
1TB, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet & reliable!
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.
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
Warning: GPU Shortage
Due to a recent and major GPU shortage, almost all graphics cards from the GTX 1050 Ti and up have become all but impossible to buy – including the GTX 1060 required for this build.
That being said, building a gaming PC is going to be difficult right now if you can’t buy the graphics card you need. So, you have 2 options, maybe 3.
Option 1 is waiting until the shortage ends, whenever that might be. It could be a couple of weeks or it could be a couple of months, there’s no way of knowing.
Option 2 would be buying a used card, either locally or from a site like eBay. Sometimes you can get a good deal, sometimes you might risk getting ripped off, just be careful if you pick this option.
Option 3 is buying a prebuilt gaming PC – this is your best option right now. There are some great prebuilt options that offer really decent value. It won’t be of the exact same as if you built it yourself, but it’ll come with everything installed and ready to fire up right out of the box.
Below you’ll find a list of alternative prebuilt gaming desktops that I’ve hand-picked based on their specs and price. They’ll range from $600-$1000 in price and are ordered from cheapest to most expensive.
Be careful if you’re picking your own prebuilt gaming desktop as there are A LOT of potatoes that offer no value at all. I’ve put together a post on why you should buy a prebuilt gaming PC right now, and in it you’ll find a list of the specs to look for at various price points.
For right around $500, this budget gaming PC is going to get you into modern games and playing them on mid-high settings pushing 60fps or better in 1080p. Some games are still going to give this build some issues at the highest settings, but it’s still going to outperform (or at least keep up with) next-gen consoles!
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 PUBG, Fallout 4, GTA:V and pretty much anything else on mid 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 (Check out the best mATX cases here) 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!
The MSI B350M Pro-VDH 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, 4 SATA 6GBs ports and room for 4 DIMMs of RAM.
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 in 1080p. 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 basically the standard when it comes to a gaming PC. Some games do require more, but as a general rule 8GB is enough. Since Ryzen processors perform the best with at least a speed of 2666MHz and even better when it’s a dual-channel pair, I’ve included 2x4GB sticks of Kingston’s awesome HyperX Fury DDR4 RAM.
This 500 dollar budget gaming PC will definitely outperform nextgen 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 budget beast is the very first gaming PC you’ve owned, chances are 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, I’ve hand picked some awesome budget-minded peripherals matched to this build’s budget level to cover each of these basic needs, check them out below!
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
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 unless you want to spend way more.
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 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 way more versatile.
This budget gaming beast is going to outpace the nextgen consoles by giving you noticeably higher frame rates and better graphics (usually). Upgrading your graphics card from the GTX 1050 to the GTX 1050 Ti is only going to give you an even bigger advantage and even higher frame rates!
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!