The Ultra-Cheap PC Build – Less than $350!

In Custom Builds by Branton5 Comments

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This ultra-cheap Ryzen-ready PC build is going to surprise you! For less than $350, you can put together a PC capable of 720p/900p gaming without an issue.

As long as you don’t expect 1080p 60fps performance from this super-budget PC, it’s not going to let you down, especially when you consider it’s only a $350 build. It’ll easily support an upgrade to a stronger Ryzen CPU (3, 5 or 7) and it also has plenty of room to add a dedicated graphics card – GPU should be your first upgrade.

Without wasting any more time on this intro, let’s jump into the build! Check the tabs below for a list of the basic items you’ll need as well as the steps required to build this PC. If you need a more detailed explanation, check out this build FAQ and this guide.

Have a question? Ask me in the comment section!

Summary

This ultra-cheap PC build is a perfect starting point for gamers on a tight budget. It won't get you into the best games on the highest settings, but it'll get you into games nonetheless. However, this is an easy dilemma to fix by adding a dedicated graphics card like the GTX 1050

The Hardware

CaseThermaltake Versa H15
MOBOMSI B350M Pro-VDH
CPUAMD A10 9700 APU
GPUIntegrated R7 graphics
PSUEVGA 450 B1 80+ Bronze
RAM2x4GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM
HDDWD Blue 320GB 
SSDOptional

Features

  • Great entry-level build
  • Lots of room to expand and grow
  • Can handle 720p or 900p gaming
  • Good for games that aren’t graphically demanding
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Ultra-Cheap Budget PC Build

Updated: October 17th, 2017

  • Thermaltake Versa H15

    MicroATX case, great layout and cable management. Comes with 1x 120mm fan.
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  • MSI B350M PRO-VDH

    AM4 socket mATX motherboard, B350 chipset. Comes with 4x USB 2.0 and 4x USB 3.0, built in audio and integrated ethernet.
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  • AMD A10 9700

    3.5GHz APU, AM4 socket, 4-cores 4-threads. Integrated R7 graphics. Comes with a CPU cooler.
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  • EVGA 450 B1

    450W power supply, 80% efficiency, 3-year warranty.
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  • 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    2x4GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, CL16.
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  • WD Blue 320GB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
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-A small Phillips screwdrivers
-Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
-Patience

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. Building a PC is a pretty simple process that requires your time more than anything else. But, watching a video walkthrough or reading a guide always helps, so I’ve added both of those in the next tab! There’s also this checklist which you can download and use to make sure that you have everything you need 🙂

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!

In-depth Walkthrough

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.

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.

Upgrades/Add-ons

Below you’ll find some suggested add-ons for this build, some I’ll mention more in-depth further down this page, but some are pretty self-explanatory like optical (DVD/CD) drives. Although not entirely necessary, optical drives can sometimes come in handy and I strongly recommended having one; if you have an old PC kicking around, it’s optical drive will more than likely work for you and you won’t need to buy a new one.

  • Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
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  • Gigabyte GTX 1050

    A 2GB GTX 1050 is going to give you way more gaming potential, but it’s also going to run you another $120 or so.
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  • WD Blue 1TB HDD

    For a bit more than the 320GB HDD, you can upgrade your build to 1TB. If you can, I would strongly suggest this over the 320GB HDD.
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  • Crucial MX300 275GB SSD

    For about triple the price of the HDD in this build, you can have an SSD with less space. But, your load times will be really fast!
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  • Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW

    A lot of people are moving away from internally mounted optical drives, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better external optical drives to consider.
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  • TP-Link TL-WN722N

    A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
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Details

This little budget build is everything you need if you’re trying to get into PC gaming for as cheap as possible. There are ways to go even cheaper, like downgrading the APU to something less powerful, but then you’re sacrificing very important (and much needed) gaming potential.

Keep in mind that the price listed above is only for the core components – you will still need to add an operating system and any peripherals you don’t already have (mouse, keyboard, audio, etc). 

cheap gaming pc buildThe Thermaltake Versa H15 is a great microATX case that gives you all of the features you’ll need now, as well as some you won’t use until later. That being said, in a build like this it’s better to get a good case with enough room to “grow” into. Buying a cheaper, smaller case only limits your ability to add graphics cards, aftermarket CPU coolers, etc. That being said, your case is what you see every time you look at your PC, so you should make sure you’re building inside of one that you like!

MSI’s B350-Pro-VDH motherboard is a solid motherboard for the price and gives you plenty of room for future upgrades. Like with the case, there are cheaper options that would save you $10 or so, but you’d be limiting your future performance potential by doing so.

The 3.5GHz A10 9700 is what AMD likes to refer to as an APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), but it’s no different than Intels CPUs that have integrated graphics processing units. This is what will be handling ALL of your graphical and processing needs until you add a dedicated graphics card.

Thanks to a small YouTube channel named TechEpiphany who went ahead and tested a whopping 25 games on the A10 9700, because now you have this benchmark video to use as a baseline for how this build will perform.

Since most of (not all) the games tested in the benchmark video above are relatively demanding, it’s worth noting that this build will perform great in older titles, games that aren’t too graphically demanding, and 2d/isometric games like Stardew Valley or Starbound.

EVGA’s 450 B1 is the power supply I chose to run this rig, and that’s because it’s a solid performer for the price. Not only that, but it gives you enough juice to not only add a dedicated graphics card, but to also upgrade your CPU if you feel it’s necessary after your GPU.

8GB of RAM gives you enough that you don’t have to worry about adding more for the foreseeable future and it also ensures that you’re not running into RAM limitation issues. 2400MHz is a little low for a Ryzen-based APU (Ryzen likes fast RAM) but it will do for this ultra-budget build; that being said, if you want to add faster (or more) RAM, please feel free to do so!

Last up is storage. For this build, I picked a 7200RPM 320GB HDD from WD’s Blue lineup. It’s not a huge amount of space, but it’s enough to get the basics installed and then some games as well. Another option is to start with an SSD and then add an HDD later on, but that will cost you more $ for less space – see the Upgrades/Add-ons section above for my recommendation.

All-in-all, this build serves as a great foundation to start with for any aspiring (and frugal) PC gamer. For less than $500 (with everything considered) this build will get you gaming in 720p without many issues. Albeit on low-mid settings in most cases, but it’s still better than not gaming at all!

Operating System

When it comes to picking an operating system, you have quite a few options laid out before you. But, the best / easiest two are either Windows or something Linux-based.

If you’re really strapped for cash, or you really just don’t like Windows, Ubuntu is a great option because it’s entirely free, and it’s really solid/secure. It’s a Linux-based OS and can play any game that supports Linux. More and more games are adding Linux support, but it definitely sucks when a game you’ve been waiting forever for ends up being Windows only…

windows-10-homeThe more expensive option is buying a copy of Windows. With DirectX 12 becoming more common and it being a Windows 10 exclusive, you might want to consider jumping on that right away, but it’s ultimately your call.

Installing your operating system can be done in a couple of different ways, either by DVD or a USB flash drive that you either create yourself or buy. Either will get the job done, but going for Windows & using the retail DVD (or USB flash drive) is going to be the easiest – any cheap DVD drive will work for this.

If you want to create your own USB flash drive to install something like Ubuntu from, you can find some decent instructions here.

Extras

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.

If this is the scenario that you’re in, then we have some really awesome suggestions for you to consider. Each peripheral was hand-picked for this build and they’re all guaranteed high quality.

  • ASUS VS228H-P 21.5" monitor

    21.5″ 1080p 60Hz monitor, 5ms response time – Inexpensive and great for gaming!
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  • 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.
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  • Creative Sound BlasterX Blaze

    A very affordable headset with a better-than-average mic and good sound quality.
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WiFi

Since the motherboard in this build does not have built-in WiFi (most don’t) you will need a WiFi adapter if you plan on using a wireless internet connection. That said, if you have the option to run a wired connection, do that instead because it will be faster & more reliable.

You have a couple options, you could get a decent USB-based WiFi adapter for about $20 that would work alright. Or you can get an internally mounted WiFi adapter that costs roughly $35, and will be more reliable than the USB option.

  • TP-Link TL-WN722N

    A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
    View

Conclusion

This build isn’t guaranteed to max games out in 1080p at 60fps, let alone in 720p. But, what it will do is give you a good foundation to build upon as well as get you into games on low-mid settings – in my opinion, gaming with low graphics is better than not gaming at all!

It will support various upgrades like adding a dedicated graphics card (recommended you do that sooner than later), upgrading to a stronger Ryzen-based processor on the AM4 socket, adding more RAM, adding more storage, and a whole slew of other upgrades.

At the end of the day, you’re not here because you have tons of cash to blow on the best PC out there, you’re here because you just want to enjoy PC gaming whatever way possible – that’s exactly what this build allows.

If you have any questions about this build, feel free to ask me in the comment section!

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Author
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Branton

Hi! I’m the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I’ve been hooked on every facet of PC gaming! Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

5 Comments on "The Ultra-Cheap PC Build – Less than $350!"

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idk
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im new i was wondering if i could switch out the amd a10 with an intel i3 550?

Anon
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Can It Run OverWatch

JakobforPrez
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can it run GTAV with all low settings

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