Best Cheap Gaming PC Desktop Under $400 Dollars, Build A Console Killer in 2016
In this article I will be putting together the best gaming PC build for under $400 dollars! This build has a budget spot on with current gaming consoles so lets dub it the official Level Up Your Gear console killer.
Trying to stay as close to the price range as possible while maximizing the parts list for gaming will be the goal here. After a clear cut parts list I will summarize why I am using certain hardware in the build and then later on go into further detail.
It is hard to find good lower budget builds out there which is why I decided to do one at $400 and I believe you will love building this gaming PC! 🙂
Best Gaming PC Build Under $400
CPU / Processor – Intel G3258 Pentium 3.20 GHz 3M Cache 2 Core Processor (BX80646G3258)
Motherboard – MSI Computer Corp. LGA1150 MicroATX Motherboard H81M-P33
Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 SC GAMING 2GB GDDR5
Total Cost: $375-$425 Current Price: $374.91
To start it all off we are using the Intel G3258 CPU and MSI’s LGA1150 Motherboard. This inexpensive combination will be plenty of power to keep up with the rest of the machine and offers a nice upgrade path to an i5 or i7 down the road should you choose. The G3258 is really a great chip for the money. You can see it being used in even my $500 gaming PC build as well.
Next up on the list is 8GB of DDR3 1600 RAM, 1TB Hard Drive and a 400 watt power supply. Everything is pretty strait forward here and I would say plenty for the budget with one caveat. I’d recommend getting 8GB of RAM. This is a decent amount to have at this builds price point.
Last up is the center piece of the build in the form of a graphics card. We are going with a very powerful GeForce GTX 1050 2GB GPU. As usual the largest portion of the budget is going towards the graphics card in this build because, after all, it is a gaming PC. The GTX 1050 is ample power to be able to run your top modern PC games on decent settings and games like WOW or League of Legends maxed out. At the end of the day you will fly past the limitations of a gaming console with this $400 PC.
Additional Items of Interest
Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
WiFi – Wireless USB Adapter
Optical Drive – Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA OEM DRW-24B1ST
Keyboard & Mouse Combo – CM Storm Devastator Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
Headset – Sentey Gs-4730 Gaming Headset
Speakers – Creative A250 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System
Additional Items Explanation
In the next section I will get more into operating systems but for now lets talk about a couple items that may or may not interest you.
For me there is nothing better then a hard wired ethernet connection. It is typically faster, more stable and solid than a wireless connection. If this isn’t an option for you then you may want to solve that problem with either a USB (as linked above) or a PCI wireless adapter. No it’s not the end of the world going WiFi but my preference is to be wired in if possible.
The other obvious addition would be an optical drive. I do not include them in a typical gaming build because it is not a necessity for most people anymore. A lot of times you can salvage one from an old build or get around using one completely. Almost any program, app or game can be downloaded these days and even Windows can be loaded off a USB drive. However, if you just flat out prefer to have an optical drive on your PC and don’t have an old one to use then I suggest the ASUS 24x DVD-RW listed above.
In a $400 build a solid state drive just doesn’t make the cut. They are too expensive and your money is better spent pushing for the best possible video card possible. It would be something to look into down the road as an upgrade however and is a great quality of life piece.
Last but not least are all the rest of the peripherals that aid you in your gaming endeavors. If you are looking for a new gaming monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset or speaker system take a look at those options above or navigate up to the header bar of this website to check out other great picks.
What to do about the Operating System?
There are a lot of awesome free operating systems to utilize at this point such as Linux Ubuntu or Steam OS. A lot of people prefer to use these for various reasons. Mainly just as an alternative to Windows.
At this time Windows is the best option over all for a gaming PC. The problem with the aforementioned OS’s is that they currently do not support all the games available on PC like Windows does. In other words you could end up not being able to play some of your favorite titles.
Because of this I suggest going out and picking up Windows 7 or 10 for your new build. Remember if you have previously purchased a retail copy of Windows for an old build then you can transfer it over to your new computer saving give or take 100 bucks.
How to Build a Gaming PC Under 400 Dollars
If you are now ready to start building a new gaming PC then I recommend taking a look at a page where I have complied a few videos that will help you along the way here: How to Build a Gaming PC
Whether this is your very first PC build or you have done a few already but it has been a while, it is always a good idea to get studied up before you take the plunge. Even now I like to do this to get my brain back into build mode. It really will help you a ton in the long run.
Below is also a good primer video on just how to build a gaming PC.
Building a Gaming PC vs Buying a Pre-Built vs Buying a Gaming Console
This topic stirs some great controversy (gaming PC vs console) over the years and I am not going to tempt fate right here and now with that nonsense. Rather I would like to encourage you.
I know that building a brand new gaming PC can seem daunting. It can seem overwhelming. But you can do it. If I can do it then you can do it, trust me.
All of us enjoy playing video games immensely. It is rapidly becoming one of the worlds greatest past times. A hobby. Building your own PC is also a hobby and a really fun one at that! For a lot of us it becomes even more fun then actual gaming due to the fact that it is not something you do everyday.
I am not saying necessarily that building a gaming PC is better then a pre-built PC or console for everyone but there are two main advantages. The first being that for the money you get a lot more power and performance out of the machine. Bang for buck if you will. The second reason is flexibility. You get to pick individually the parts and components going into the computer and know the quality of them. You know whose hands put those parts together and that they did a great job.
At the end of the day a pre-built PC or console is easier and will get you gaming right away. For me building my own gaming PC comes with a certain level or satisfaction and pride that I don’t get with the other two options.
So I have taken you through the parts list for what I believe to be the best gaming PC build under $400. Yes we are working with a cheaper tight budget but I think you have seen that you can still get a good gaming rig for this price range.
Then I pointed out some extras you may want to include such as an optical drive, wireless adapter and operating system. All of the extras are optional but if you need any of them there are some great choices there.
Lastly I went into how and why to build your own gaming PC. I will say this.
It is not for everyone, but everyone can do it!
I think why it’s interesting for gamers to build their own computers is because we are do-ers. I know a lot of people think we are lazy but I see it differently. I see us spending our downtime from school and work consuming active media where everyone else is watching TV consuming passive media. We like to be involved on a deeper level and because of this we develop a do it yourself mentality whether we know it or not.
Thanks for reading I really appreciate it and hope I was able to help in some way, shape or form. Please share, like and +1 if you enjoyed the article and if there is anything I can help you with just let me know.
Until next time,