This budget beast is a powerhouse and will beat consoles when it comes to AAA games for right around $400. It's packing a lot of power for a small price and also gives you lots of room for future upgrades!
In this budget build you get an AMD R3 2200G, a 4GB RX 570, 8GB of RAM, and 240GB of SSD storage. There's a ton of room for expansion in almost every way. You could add more storage, more RAM, a better CPU, stronger GPU. I think you get the picture.
Games like DOTA2 or CS:GO and any other popular esports or indie game will run great on this build. When it comes to graphically intensive and AAA games this build won't do max settings but it will put out good performance on low-mid settings - comparable to the Xbox One and PS4 consoles (not necessarily the One X or PS4 Pro).
Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!
Best Budget Gaming PC Build for $400
REQUIRED TOOLSThe tools you need:
- A small Phillips screwdriver
Size #2 works well as a general rule.
- An anti-static wristband
Optional but recommended.
- Patience And lots of it.
That’s really all you need to assemble your new desktop. All of the mounting hardware and cables will come with the parts listed above. The only time you might need something extra is if you’re modifying the build on this page.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR PC...
Super Simplified Build Steps:
- Install the power supply into the case
- Install the processor (CPU)
- Seat RAM in the motherboard
- Mount the CPU cooler (don’t forget thermal paste if you're not using a stock cooler!)
- Insert the motherboard’s rear I/O plate into the case's rear I/O slot
- Mount the motherboard in the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your graphics card into the motherboard
- Install storage drives
- Plug all power and data cables in where they're required (storage, case, motherboard, graphics card, etc)
- Turn your PC on
- Install your OS
- Install and update ALL drivers
If you’ve never built a computer before, then you probably want to take some time to learn the basics before getting ahead of yourself. To do that you have a couple of options you can choose from.
The first, and probably the easiest way for most people to learn is finding a walkthrough on YouTube from a reputable tech channel. Here’s one by BitWit as an example.
Alternatively, I’ve put together an in-depth guide on how to build a PC as well as a FAQ to address the most common questions and problems. I've also put together a short post covering 10 of the most common mistakes people make when building.
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.
Building the best budget gaming PC for $400 and under is a really challenging thing to do, to do it right that is. You have to balance power with price, and it has to be done well. This build is a good example of positive balance.
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.
Case: This ultra-budget gaming PC build is running a fairly standard case from Thermaltake. It has enough room for everything and even comes with a single 120mm fan.
Motherboard: The MSI B450M Pro-M2 is a good mATX-sized motherboard that delivers all of the features you'll need for an AM4 socket build like this; including the ability to support processor overclocking.
With it, you're getting integrated audio, a built-in ethernet controller, plus 4x SATA headers and 1x M.2 ports for storage, basic 2.1-channel audio, a total of 6 USB ports, and enough fan headers to support this build.
Processor: AMD's 2nd generation Ryzen 3 2200G is a powerhouse when it comes to sheer performance for the price you're paying. It's a 3.7GHz quad-core beast and one of the few AMD processors to include an iGPU. It's capable of keeping up with all 1080p-grade graphics cards and is quite comparable to Intel's i3 lineup.
The R3 2200G comes with a pretty good Wraith Stealth CPU cooler from AMD, but if you're going to be overclocking it would be wise to upgrade. If that's you, check out the best CPU coolers!
Graphics Card: The 4GB RX 570 is a great 1080p-grade graphics card. It's definitely on the lower-end, but can readily deliver above console performance. PowerColor's RX 570 Red Dragon is no exception and offers one of the best price vs performance ratios on the market today. It gives you great cooling options, a good ability for overclocking and a low-profile low-noise design.
RAM: When it comes to RAM, 8GB is the baseline for any gaming PC build in 2019. With that in mind, this build is running 8GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM in a dual channel configuration of 2x 4GB sticks.
If you want to add more RAM, you should know that the motherboard will support 2 more sticks; ideally, they should be the same speed.
Power Supply: There are a lot of high-performance parts in this build, so its fair if you're assuming its going to need a gigantic power supply, but luckily it won't! At most this build will only use a few hundred watts of power, so an 80% efficiency 500W supply will do the trick just fine. I've picked Thermaltake's Smart 500W 80+ Bronze PSU which is a good budget option offering more than enough connections for everything you need, it also comes with a decent 5-year warranty just-in-case the worst were to happen.
Storage: For storage, I opted to load this build with a 240GB SSD. For one, SSDs are significantly faster than HDDs - the difference is mind blowing if you haven't used one. For two, 240GB is often more than enough space to get a build up and running and install a handful of games.
Luckily, storage is the easiest part of a gaming PC to "upgrade". It's simply a process of plugging a new drive in and voila, you have more space.
I didn't pull any punches when it came to squeezing every ounce of power from your $400 budget, and this build will not disappoint! When it comes to building your own gaming computer for $400, this is undeniably your best option.
The operating system you choose is going to depend on how much you have to spend, or how much you want a legitimate copy of Windows.
Windows is the most common choice, and because this build is running a Skylake processor, you're going to want to look at Windows 10. It's going to give you access to the widest range of compatible games & programs while running really smoothly. It's come a long way since launch, and it's definitely worth checking out. But, it's your build, so you can pick whichever version you're most comfortable with.
Ubuntu is a great option for a lot of people for the main reason that it’s entirely free. It's a Linux-based operating system that will allow you to play quite a few games, but not everything that Windows would.
When it comes to actually installing your operating system, you have pretty much 2 options. You'll have to either install it from an optical drive or create your own bootable flash drive with a Windows installer.
The first option is obviously a lot easier, and doesn't require any additional time, but you're going to have to make sure you grab the DVD drive linked above. If you want to make your own bootable flash drive, you can find instructions here.
If you don't already have the basic peripherals to go with your new PC, you're definitely going to want them. You're going to need a mouse, keyboard and a monitor - at least. Headphones or some kind of speakers would also be a good idea.
If this is the scenario that you're in, then we have some really awesome suggestions for you to consider. The keyboard and mouse we've featured might be from a brand you haven't heard of, but Redragon makes some really awesome peripherals that retail for way less than you would expect.
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.
If you came here looking to build yourself a kickass and cheap gaming PC for $400, I hope you found what you were looking for. The power this build puts out is nothing to scoff at, and it's definitely going to outperform your PS4 or Xbone.
This is definitely a console competitor and it's going to give you quite a bit of power in a nice space-saving package. I set it up so you can easily upgrade components as they go on sale or get cheap - better yet would be to wait until you have the $ saved for a slightly higher priced build.
All-in-all, you will be hard pressed to build a better gaming PC build for around $400. It's cheap, it's compact, and it's relatively powerful.
Don't forget to leave a comment below, and share this with your friends!
|Case||Rosewill SRM 01|
|Motherboard||MSI B450M Pro-M2|
|Processor||AMD R3 2200G|
|Graphics||PowerColor RX 570 Red Dragon 4GB|
|Power Supp.||Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+ Bronze|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 (2666MHz)|
|SSD||Kingston A400 240GB|
|CPU Cooler||Wraith Stealth (Stock)|