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Many gamers are after a good gaming PC build for under $500, which is a reasonable budget that can get you a very decent gaming machine.
In this article we’ll provide you with the parts list that will construct a formidable gaming PC which has been custom-optimized for the $500 price range in late 2020.
Every part has been selected to get you the optimal bang-for-buck in terms of graphics quality and chug-free processing.
If you’re interested in this gaming build, be sure to read our commentary on the individual parts and why we think each of these is a good fit in this build.
We’ll touch on optional extras and also give a run-down on the upgradability of the recommended hardware, so you’re all set for now as well as the future. Being a budget build, this one is not capable of advanced features like overclocking, but with this level of performance, you won’t feel the need to for many years to come.
We really feel this particular build beats most gaming PC builds under $500, which often tend to sacrifice a good processor for graphics card (at the loss of game speed) but judge for yourself – without any further ado, here is our $500 gaming PC build:
Last Updated: July 2020
|CPU||Intel Core i3-9100F||Buy on Amazon|
|RAM||OLOy DDR4 RAM 16GB (2x8GB) 3000 MHz||Buy on Amazon|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE B365M DS3H||Buy on Amazon|
|Case||Cooler Master MCB-Q300L-KANN-S00 MasterBox Matx Tower||Buy on Amazon|
|Power Supply||EVGA 500 WATT 80PLUS Power Supply||Buy on Amazon|
|Storage||Kingston 480GB A400 SSD||Buy on Amazon|
|Graphics Card||XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition 8GB||Buy on Amazon|
In our budget builds we typically don’t include optical drives – e.g. DVD / BluRay drives. These days, many people install their operating system (usually Windows) via a USB drive and games via digital download (e.g. Steam). If this is what you’ll be doing, check out our blog post on how to install Windows 10 from a bootable USB. If you’d rather use an optical drive or just find them handy to have we’ve included an option below which will suit most builds.
Blu-Ray – LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner
DVD – Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive
Case Fans – Cooler Master SickleFlow 120
You may also want to add some extra airflow to your case, especially if you live in a hot area. These Cooler Master fans are a good balance between airflow, noise and price. They also come in a choice of several colors so you can try to match any other lighting you may want to add to your case if you like.
A $500 custom gaming PC can be a tight budget to work to, but the build that we’ve put together here definitely optimizes every dollar that you spend. When choosing computer parts, it’s important to have the right kind of cost allocation to each piece of hardware.
With a gaming build, you want to max out your graphics card performance as much as you can, without compromising on processor power or system memory. It can be a difficult balance, but the parts list we’ve compiled is an excellent template (or starting point, if you want to customize it further).
If this is your first gaming PC you’ll definitely get an awesome experience out of it, particularly if you haven’t been playing on a customized gaming build before. We have reviewed pre-built ‘gaming’ computers (the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA883 comes to mind) with a similar overall price and when we looked at the hardware performance it was lacking due to a poor choice of graphics card. In many cases, building your own computer will own any similarly priced pre-built system in terms of performance, especially since it gives you the flexibility to customize your hardware.
Let’s Talk Game Titles
This build exceeds the recommended minimum hardware for most popular titles like Battlefield, Skyrim, GTA V, Counterstrike GO, Witcher 3, World of Warcraft, Black Ops 3, Starwars Battlefront, Fallout 4, etc., so you’ll be able to play pretty much most of the games you’d ever want to without chugging or lag. For some of the more intensive games, don’t expect to be able to max out settings at 1080p or higher resolutions and still get super-smooth play though – you may need something more highly specced like our $800 gaming build or higher (depends how much you want to spend).
That being said, if you are coming from a pre-built system or older hardware, this build will be a very nice upgrade. The parts we’ve chosen should be good for at least a few years, but if you ever do find the need to upgrade individual components, it’s easy enough to do so due to our choice of a very versatile motherboard and CPU socket.