gaming pc under 500 dollars

Best Budget Gaming PC Under $500 In 2017, This Cheap Build Is On Steroids

 

 

I am excited to show you guys how to make the best budget gaming PC build under $500 In 2017. I also know how it is when you are on a tight budget so we will be looking into some cheap parts making sure to stay on target. If you are just into buying good pre-built gaming computers I will show you some of my top picks within our price point for that as well.

However, I highly recommend you build your own console killer PC because it is a blast! This machine is going to smash through high settings with great FPS and you are going to absolutely love it.

Either way we are going to have fun today because computer building and gaming are both awesome activities. I always love talking about computer hardware as well so follow along and learn how to build your own gaming PC 🙂


 

Updated: 3/4/2017

Best Intel Budget Gaming PC Build Under $500

 

Case – Rosewill Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case FBM-01

 

CPU / Processor – Intel Pentium Processor G3258 4 BX80646G3258

 

Motherboard – MSI Intel H81 LGA 1150 DDR3 USB 3.1 Micro ATX Motherboard (H81M-E33)

 

RAM – Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Single DDR3 1600 MT/s PC3-12800 CL9 1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory (BLS8G3D1609DS1S00)


best budget gaming pc under $500 dollars

 

Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

 

Hard Drive – WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive – 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch

 

Power Supply – EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply

 

Total Cost: $475-$525  Current Price: $483.15 (under budget)


 

Build Explanation

 

The above Intel build is my top pick right now for the $500 budget range. It is based on min / maxing every single piece of hardware to completely optimize the machine for gaming specifically. Sure it will be awesome for other functions but gaming is our #1 priority here. A couple other builds to check out if you have the budget would be my $600 and $700 options.

The heart of the build is a powerful GeForce GTX 1060 3GB card that is pretty much the best right now for its price point. Paired with it is an Intel Pentium Processor G3258 dual-core chip. It is an inexpensive chip that runs cool and is overclockable with factory cooling.

The G3258 is actually very powerful for the money and as you may know a graphics card is WAY more important to a GAMING build then the CPU. We want one that holds great bang for buck value.

Another important thing to note is that there are very few games that fully utilize 4 or more cores out of the processor so the best thing to have is a CPU with a lot of performance per core which the G3258 certainly does. It also has a great upgrade path in that down the road you can throw in a Intel i5 or i7. In short its a flippin’ awesome chip for ~65 bucks.

To fit the expensive price tag of an GeForce GTX 1060 3GB in this build we did have to go with a smaller case and omit an optical drive. If you like for an extra $15 or so you can go with a little fancier case such as the Corsair Carbide Series Mid Tower and add in an ASUS DVD-RW for another $20 but it is up to you. Below will be my recommended optional parts such as these.

I feel at this point most people will install their OS off a USB drive and download everything else. If you are really hardcore about sticking to the $500 budget just go with the smaller case and no optical drive. WE NEED THE POWER!!! 🙂


 

Updated: 3/4/2017

Best AMD Budget Gaming PC Build Under $500 Option #1

 

Case – Rosewill Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case FBM-01

 

CPU / Processor – AMD Athlon X4 860K Black Edition CPU Quad Core

 

Motherboard – Gigabyte AMD FM2+ A68H SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 mATX DDR3 2133 NA Motherboards GA-F2A68HM-H

 

RAM – Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Single DDR3 1600 MT/s PC3-12800 CL9 1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory (BLS8G3D1609DS1S00)Best AMD pc build under $500 dollars

 

Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

 

Hard Drive – WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive – 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch

 

Power Supply – EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply

 

Total Cost: $450-$550  Current Price: $519.62


 

Build Explanation

 

This AMD build features the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB once again but this time with an Athlon X4 860K Quad-Core processor. Other then the motherboard and CPU it is virtually identical to the 1st one in both build and concept. We save money for the best graphics card possible while still building an awesome overall gaming rig.

As I said earlier in the article very few games are properly utilizing extra cores in a CPU. Those games do exist and so building a machine with the 860k will give you piece of mind going forward. It is also fairly overclockable. However the “per core” performance will be lacking compared to any Intel chip basically.

The other important thing to note is that the FM2+ chipset has hit its peak and your not left with much of an upgrade path with the 860k CPU.

To sum this one up: This is still a great build out of the gate for playing PC games. Build this one if you are #1 an AMD fan and #2 looking for a more set it and leave it experience.


 

Updated: 3/4/2017

Best AMD Budget Gaming PC Build Under $500 Option #2

 

Case – Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 Mid Tower Gaming Casebest gaming PC under $500

 

CPU / Processor – AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor Black Edition

 

Motherboard – Gigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard GA-78LMT-USB3

 

RAM – Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Single DDR3 1600 MT/s PC3-12800 CL9 1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory (BLS8G3D1609DS1S00)

 

Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

 

Hard Drive – WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive – 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch

 

Power Supply – EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply

 

Total Cost: $500-$600  Current Price: $541.94


 

Build Explanation

 

Lastly I thought I would add in what I think to be a well rounded cheap gaming pc build that is great for gaming and excels more in versatility and multitasking. It is going to cost a little more but you may see the value here. Honestly you may lose a few FPS over the Intel build above but this is a really great choice.

It costs a bit more because we get to utilize the 6-core AMD FX-6300 processor and Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 Mid Tower giving you a truly complete package overall.

When you are working with a 500 dollar budget it is sometimes hard to stay within the lines! There is so much cool gear out there for gaming computers but I did my best to compile the best hardware possible for this build.

Keep in mind that part prices will go up and down from time to time as well. So we all know that time moves quickly in the tech world. Due to this fact my parts list is also subject to change as things get outdated.

It won’t likely change very often but no matter what the same principals for how I design a gaming PC will ring true.

 

Computer Case

 

When I am looking into a case for a gaming computer at this price range I am just looking for something that looks decent, is functional and compatible with the rest of our parts. As with everything else it must be inexpensive to fit the running theme. I know everyone’s taste in style is different so feel free to pick out whatever case you wish or use the one I recommend. No wrong answers here.

 

What Processor to Use?

 

I decide next whether I am using an AMD or Intel processor for the system and usually for a tighter budget AMD has great bang for buck options. Because of this AMD is what I will typically use up until that higher price bracket comes into play. Lately Intel has been doing pretty awesome in the budget CPU scene as well hence the multiple build options above.

good gaming pc under 500            versusgood gaming pc

The Rest of the Machine

 

For the rest of the parts for this inexpensive gaming computer we are looking mainly for great performance and compatibility at a reasonable price. I like to get the most memory/storage per dollar. As far as the power supply goes you really don’t want to completely skimp here because PSU’s are known to die from time to time and as you know there is no gaming if there is nothing to power your gaming machine. It needs to be of high enough quality and watts for the other parts we are using.

 

Graphics Card – Most Important Part Of A Cheap Gaming PC

 

LASTLY we save the lions share of the budget to spend on our graphics card. Since our focus here is on a gaming rig we need to make sure we have a capable graphics processor behind it. After all we won’t be only using this for Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong ALL of the other parts inside the PC are important too.

It is just that trying to save money on this portion of the build is not the place to look for it. You can really bottle neck your gaming performance. I recommend spending roughly $150-$200 on the GPU alone out of our $500 allowance.

 

Additional Items of Interest

 

Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit

 

WiFi – Wireless USB Adapter

 

SSD Drive Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

 

Optical Drive  Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA OEM DRW-24B1ST

 

Monitor – Acer G226HQL Bbd 21.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Display

 

Keyboard & Mouse Combo – Redragon S101 VAJRA USB Gaming Keyboard + Mouse

 

Headset – Etekcity HIFI H7PX+ Gaming Headset

 

Speakers – Creative A250 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System

 

Extras Explanation Extravoganza

 

Above are some completely awesome yet inexpensive computer peripherals. These would make great options for you if you don’t have all the equipment needed for gaming.

Your monitor size will be up to your preference but typically the larger you go the more expensive. You really just want a decent 1080p monitor with a good response time.

A gaming keyboard and mouse are usually of higher performance and precision then standard counterparts.

Headsets, or speakers with a mic, is needed when playing online multiplayer games. It is also good for social reasons whether you use it to talk to team mates or online dating (hey I don’t know you!) 🙂 haha.

This site has a lot of gaming gear reviews so even if you are looking into a mid range monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset or speakers you will want to check those out as well. Take a look at those and if you are ever looking for them again you can access it from the header bar of the website.

 

The Operating System Dilemma

 

Yes. You can utilize a version of Linux for your gaming PC and you will have a perfectly functional rig. Linux is a pretty cool open source platform with many versions. One of the popular ones being Ubuntu.

Linux OS is free to use, which is totally awesome, but there is one major flaw for the average gamer.

Well besides the fact that the “average gamer” is already familiar with Microsoft’s Windows. There is also the glaring dilemma that many of your favorite titles will not support being used on a Linux OS.

So let me be completely honest here. Unless you are a complete Windows hater and a Linux hipster (which is totally cool I can accept that)… Then you will be using Windows. A fun thing to do is to have both of them installed so you can play around with Linux as well.

Listen. I know a lot of you guys will be using various methods of obtaining the most current Windows operating system because you do not want to spend the extra +/- $100 on software but listen to my advice please.

It is best to just straight up buy your OS. In the long run it is worth it to just bite the bullet so that you can easily get your updates and play by the rules. If you are one of those rebels without a cause well then so be it. I won’t ask you ’bout your business so you won’t have to tell me no lies. 🙂

 

How to Build a Budget Gaming PC Under 500 Dollars

 

If you are all excited to build a gaming PC but need a bit of help doing it you can check out that link. It goes to my page where there are some good resources and extra information on the topic.

For your first time building a PC I suggest you learn as much as possible about it but don’t let all the information scare you one bit. Anyone can do it really and this can end up developing into one of your favorite hobbies.

 

This video shows you how to build a PC. Check out my “build a gaming PC page” to see other videos as well as more specific advice on this sort of project.

 

Building a Gaming PC vs Buying a Pre-Built

 

Ahh the age old question. Should I build or buy my cheap gaming PC? You will find the internet flooded with opinions but lets try and think of this more objectively. One of the things you will hear from a lot of old school builders like myself is, you HAVE to build your own! Another smaller group of people will flame that mentality saying it is a waste of time and a newbie should just buy a pre-built machine and progress slowly into building their own.

That 2nd thought process is right in some aspects so let me tell you why you should buy a pre-built and after that I will go into why you should build your own.

Buying a gaming PC that is already made and ready to go out of the box can certainly be a viable option. Nothing wrong with it at all actually. The pro’s are you can get going immediately after you receive your machine. Another being that if you aren’t ready to jump strait into building a PC you can buy one and later on, by upgrading / replacing parts you will get your feet wet before jumping strait into it.

Most importantly I want to make sure you know that no, you DON’T have to build your own computer. There is a reason people are saying that you do but it is not always exactly why you think they are. You see PC building becomes an awesome hobby and many people get as much enjoyment out of it as they do gaming. Well maybe almost as much.

So here is what I think. If it seems fun and interesting to you then I would urge you to give it a shot. I am one of those people who love putting gaming PC’s together and other then it being a fun side hobby you also tend to get more value for your dollar spent. Along with this comes more time commitment on the flip side.

Whatever you decide to do is completely cool and I will back you 100%. I mean the main thing is, we are doing all of this because we love it. Not because it is a chore. Next I will show you my top picks for pre-made cheap gaming PC’s under $500 (and close to) if this is the route you choose to go.

 

My Top Picks for Pre-Built Gaming Rigs

 

Right now there aren’t a ton of great options available in the realm of cheap gaming computers. For under $500 I have found 3 options that I will list below but bear in mind these are just my top picks for now and not set in stone forever. Like with hardware, prices vary so expect that to happen.

 

#3 Budget Gaming PC Under $500 – CybertronPC Patriot (Red) TGM1293D Gaming PC

 

 

  • Processor: AMD A4-5300 3.40GHz Dual-Core
  • RAM: 8GB SDRAM DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 1TB SATA III
  • Onboard Graphics: Radeon HD 7480D GPU
  • Disc Drive: 24X DVD±RW Dual-Layer Drive
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 64-Bit – Eligible for Windows 10 Free Upgrade After Purchase
  • Extras: Keyboard and Mouse Included, WiFi Built in

 

CybertronPC Patriot GM1293D Review

Price: $400-$450

 

This CybertronPC is fairly inexpensive and at times can be seen as low as $400 or so on Amazon. As-is, the machine would be fine for playing games that are less demanding on graphics out of the box. Stuff such as League of Legends or some of your steam games would be alright.

Even so I would recommend you go out and get a dedicated graphics card because the on board GPU is really bottle necking this system.

Everything else is pretty much on par with what you would be looking for other then possibly the processor. It is an A4 Dual-Core chip. You may well want a machine with more performance and cores. As you will see with my later picks you can find options out there that are more beastly but at a little bit more cost.

At the end of the day this option could be good for some of you depending on what you will use it for but be on the look out for a graphics card to pair with it.

 

#2 Budget Gaming PC Under $500 – Alienware Alpha ASM100-1580 Consolegaming pc under 500

 

 

 

  • Processor: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i3
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 1600mhz
  • Hard Drive: 500 GB SATA 5400RPM
  • Graphics Card: Custom Nvidia Maxwell GTX CPU
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1, Free Upgrade to Windows 10
  • Size: 7.87 x 7.87 x 2.17 inches

 

Price: $379-$499

 

The Alpha is an interesting twist in the plot here. The unique thing about this tiny rig is that it is a PC / Steam machine hybrid.

Although at the base price without any upgrades we are a little lower end then our number one pick. However, this can be upgraded fairly easy.

A couple of the upgrades you can do fairly reasonably is to up the amount of RAM and add a solid state drive. These two things will help add longevity to the life of the machine and up performance a bit. Take a look at my Alienware Alpha review to read more about it.

I think if Steam is something you are into then this is really the way to go. I love that you can jump inbetween the Steam interface and Windows as you wish. You can play a lot of games on medium and high settings with this PC. Alienware has done a great job at making their console alternative product.

 

#1 Budget Gaming PC Under $500 – CybertronPC Borg-Q (Blue) TGM4213A Gaming PC

 

 

  • Processor: AMD FX-4130 3.8GHz Quad Core
  • RAM: 8GB SDRAM DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 1TB 7200RPM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT610 1GB Video Card
  • Disc Drive: 24X DVD±RW Dual-Layer Drive
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 or 10 Home 64-Bit
  • Extras: Keyboard and Mouse Included

 

cheap gaming computers

 

Price: $450-$550

 

CybertronPC has brought us once again another cheap gaming computer in their Borg-Q. Out of the comparable machines here this one comes equipped with the higher performing hardware. This should be expected because we are at the full budget price.

This PC comes equipped with nice quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD, a GeForce GT610 Graphics Card and keyboard/mouse included.

The only thing you may feel the need to upgrade a ways down the road will be possibly the graphics card but I think that and the other hardware should last you quite a good while.

This is my top pick for pre-built PC’s under $500. I believe you will have to do the least work getting it up and going (instant) and will have the most time before you feel the need to upgrade. It should definitely suit your gaming needs.

 

Click Here to Check Out More Gaming PC’s on Amazon!

 

Epic Conclusion Time

 

It is indeed a rockin’ quest to find the best budget gaming PC build under $500 in 2017. Whether creating a gaming PC build or buying a pre-made it is hard to work with a small budget but I think I provided some awesome options here for you!

I am not going to try and bash you for whatever decision you make because dude (or dudette) your getting a del… I mean custom gamer-centric PC! When that happens it is a great day for sure. The choir sings and the clouds open up to the sunny sky.

My last thought will be this. If you DO want to put the time in because building your own computer seems like an awesome idea then go ahead and go for it! It will be amazing to gaming on a PC that you built yourself.

Also know you will end up with a better overall product with higher performance right out of the gate. The choice is yours and if you need anything just let me know and I’ll be here for you!


 

Are you completely stoked to build or buy a new gaming rig? You gotta tell me your upcoming plans :). Was I able to help you in some way with my article? I’d love to share in your experiences so let me know! If you are interested in another build of mine please check out my gaming PC build under $400 or even $800 if you’re feelin’ frisky. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me one anytime at the bottom of this page. Likes, shares, tweets and +1’s are greatly appreciated as well.

Thank you,

Anthony

Founder of Level Up Your Gear

 


 

132 comments

  • Vlad

    As someone with a 5-6 years old PC, this article was highly informative!
    I do need a new computer, and I need a cheap one – being young mean you have lots of time and energy, but no so much in the money department.
    These two options seem to be very solid to me, so I’ll be sure to look into them!

    Cheers, Vlad!

  • Joshua Thomas

    Good one Anthony. I am with you on your selections, with the exception of the Pentium processor in your first rig. I would much rather go with at least a 6th generation Core i5 minimum, since it’s very unlikely I’d dedicate a PC to gaming anyhow. But I tend to mix business with pleasure so naturally flexibility is important to me. 🙂

    And also, build over buy any day. I think it allows you more of an intimate knowledge of the machine and you’re also more likely to vet the parts you’ve chosen for specific attributes. And let’s not forget the fun factor.

    Cheers!

    • Anthony

      Thanks for the comment Joshua!

      It would be hard to fit an i5 into a build like this but if you downgrade the GPU you can probably go with a more expensive processor.

  • Patrick

    Hey Anthony, Excellent choices here my friend.

    I currently have a beast of a PC i built myself but am looking to buy a secondary tower to run my streaming software on.

    I enjoy the AMD variants you propose and the price points are in my range of acceptance.

    I find that MSI has many many great Mobos, at times great vid cards as well. Obviously, I won’t be using a top of the line card on this new project so may go for one of your 500-600 dollar options.

    Thanks for the post!

  • Jeanette

    Hello Anthony!

    Awesome info here. I’m definitely going to be back to reference this in the future. My ex bought me a pre-built computer that didn’t turn out to be very great. The graphics card glitches out on me while I’m playing WoW all the time, been doing that since I got it when Swtor first came out. Lesson learned, I’m definitely going to build my own computer when I’m ready to make my purchase. It’s probably time to upgrade or think about buying and building a newer one. I will be back very soon! Thank you so much!

    Take care,
    Jeanette

  • Simon

    Hi, Anthony!

    Thanks for great sets! Do I need to buy every piece one by one? What do you think about ready-made sets that are possible to buy from Amazon or other computer websites? Do you overpay for them because they are “ready” or it’s a good idea if you don’t want to order 5-7 different parts and then pay someone to build it? What is your opinion about it?

    • Anthony

      Hi Simon,

      Yes the parts lists included are designed to help you buy all the parts and then build your own gaming PC. If you have a friend that can help you build it I think that is a great idea but if none of this sounds like your cup of tea then there is nothing wrong with buying a pre-built gaming PC. It is all up to your preference. I myself love building computers so it’s a no-brainer in that department :).

      Take care,

      Anthony

  • Cherilyn

    This just shows how gaming PC’s don’t need to be overly expensive, my gaming PC only cost around $400 and honestly, it’s deadly! lol

    I see people always bragging about how they spent thousands and have the top of the range machines and how you must spend thousands to have a good gaming PC when it isn’t true at all.

    If you know what you are doing and know what you are looking for you can build an awesome machine for next to nothing.

    I have always been into PC’s since I was a little girl because of my dad so having the knowledge really helps but it sucks for people who aren’t too clued up and are being tricked into spending money they barely have to be honest!

    • Anthony

      Hello Cherilyn,

      I appreciate the comment and agree with you completely. PC’s come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. That is the great part. I am glad to see you and your dad sharing this as a common interest as well.

      Thanks again,

      Anthony

  • Vincent

    Wow that is actually so cool! I’m always impressed when people tell me they’ve build their own pc, but this guide makes it look easy. Very detailed info and for such low price, I just have to try it myself. If I end up having any questions in the process, can I ask them here? I mean I plan on trying this in half a year or so, but I guess some parts might already have been replaced with better parts. Not sure though. Thanks for great guide dude.

    • Anthony

      Hello Vincent,

      I appreciate you taking the time to write me a comment. Building a PC can seem a bit overwhelming at first but it can be a really fulfilling experience. If you have further questions certainly ask them here that is no problem at all. I will be updating the parts lists here for the $500 build and on the rest of the site fairly regularly going forward.

      Thanks again,

      Anthony

  • DIAB

    Very useful! Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. To build a gaming computer is very useful especially when you have a teenager in your house. The prices are awesome and the possibilities well explained. If I would like to have a gaming computer I know that I found the perfect site to help me build it.

  • Anh Nguyen

    I am always under impression gaming computers must be expensive. But $500 is relatively affordable to me.

    The question about whether you should build your own gaming PC or just buy it out-of-the-box is an interesting one. Of course, if you build your own, you can do more customizations right? But does that change a lot of things from building your own from the parts?

    Thanks in advance!

    Cheers,
    Anh

    • Anthony

      Hi there Anh Nguyen!

      That is correct you can certainly build a decent 1080p gaming rig for under a $500 budget. Building your own does make it more custom and I feel you end up with better quality parts and upgrade options for the future. Hope I was able to help and feel free to hit me up anytime!

      Thanks,

      Anthony

  • Marcus

    I notice that the Intel and AMD gaming PCs under $500 that you list here have very similar specifications and the main difference is really the processor type. They have 6GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Is there much difference in performance between an Intel CPU and an AMD one? Or is it really just that many people prefer to go with Intel because they are considered the number 1 brand of processor?

    • Anthony

      You are right the main big difference is in the processors. While you will do fine with either the Intel chip actually does better with single core process performance which tends to be more important for gaming purposes. I traditionally like to use AMD in my builds over the years but Intel is definitely king right now.

      Thanks,

      Anthony

  • Henry

    Greetings,

    Well, these offers are over the top. Very nice effort by putting these together!
    Couple of months ago I was pretty sure it can’t be done under 700$ if you want nice enough gaming PC for low budget.
    Thanks for sharing information!

    The only thing I’d personally do differently on each example: I’d throw another 34$ on top of those deals & swap out Hard Disk Drive for Solid State Drive.
    There’s currently an amazing offer for Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (exactly the same SSD you have in your ‘Additional Items of Interest’ list). It’s a massive deal for such piece of equipment.
    What do you think of it?

    Because at the end of the day only one question remains – How much storage do you need for your stuff. HDD is good for stationary files like pictures/text files or old games, other than that SSD is infinitely better in any situation, it’s simply the next generation.
    It’s amazing especially for OS, gets our systems boot up in no time, literally before you could even sneeze.
    In my opinion, in most cases 250GB is already more than enough.
    This is one of the problems I encountered recently – HDD is slower & once it gets partitions.. well GG, it may become unreadable – It may become the bottleneck that holds back the entire system to deliver the best possible performance. This is where SSD steps in & the whole systems speed skyrockets.

    But that’s just a personal preference.
    Excellent post, I like your choices very much as they scale accordingly & fit together very well!
    I’d definitely recommend these for any casual user to get the best performing PC for exceptionally low cost.

    Regards,

    • Anthony

      Hello Henry,

      You make a lot of good points on a SDD vs HDD. I agree with you it will make the system perform quicker and over all faster. For gaming you will see some boosts in loading screen times but it won’t affect FPS much if any. So for me running with a 1TB HDD at this $500 budget range and then later down the road when there is some freed up cash i’d purchase a Solid state drive as well. On the other hand you could do what you are suggesting and then if you need more storage down the road purchase a hard drive for more storage. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. Thank you for commenting I really appreciate it!

      Take care,

      Anthony

  • Dan R.

    All of this info is fantastic. I’m looking to eventually upgrade to a desktop that would be good for gaming, especially since I’m currently using a 4 year old laptop for steam. My main issue was that I have no experience building computers, so this helps me out a lot!

    • Anthony

      Dan!

      Very good to see you making the leap to desktop. You will see a huge improvement over what you are currently using for sure. I’m glad I was able to help. That is the main goal. 🙂

      Thanks,

      Anthony

  • JJ

    That is a very helpful article! My younger brother is planning to try building his own Gaming PC. He is on tight budget so your recommendation on PC Build would really help him a lot. Especially the Graphic Card section, I have been trying to convince him to invest on better graphic card and hope he would consider doing that after reading your article.

    • Anthony

      Hi JJ!

      Appreciate you forwarding this to your brother. You are right in telling him not to skimp in the graphics card department. After all if you are gaming that is the most important thing. Great graphics card + system that can keep up = awesome gaming experience!

      Take care,

      Anthony

  • s a h

    Hi there what a great site, I find it interesting to know how to build your own gaming PC system. Might I add you have all the relevant content and a fantastic amount of links for people to choose from so great stuff. I will be sure to pass this website on to a few of my friends.

    • Anthony

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on my $500 builds article! I hope I was able to help in some way as that is my goal here. If you have any questions going forward please feel free to let me know. I’m glad to be of service.

      Anthony

  • Ross

    My step-son is a computer enthusiast, and, as we learned while making his, it’s very hard and time-consuming to make a good PC build. You need to make sure that the parts will be compatible, and that they’ll work well for whatever you’re doing. It’s good to know that you can have a good rig, with a 4GB Graphics Card, and 8GB of RAM, all under $500. Props to you, for letting people know that they can make a decent Gaming PC for any budget. Best of Luck ~ Ross

    • Anthony

      His Ross!

      You are right sometimes it can be difficult to make a good cheap gaming PC on a budget. This guide was put together in hopes of making that process a little bit easier for sone. Take care and thanks for commenting.

      Anthony

  • Anne

    Super helpful article. I was looking at this just last month. I’ve had my monster PC for like 10 years now, just updated the graphics card as and when its needed (I’m an NVidia gal). But believe it or not I’ve recently just realised I’ve been coping on 2GB of RAM that whole time and the games are just not looking too good anymore.
    This is my perfect budget too so I’ll definitely be taking a closer look at these! Thanks again

    • Anthony

      Hi Anne,

      If possible with your system you should try to upgrade that RAM to 8GB. However depending on how out of date everything is you may be ahead just building a new one entirely. At a certain point upgrading becomes less of an option. Keep in mind that with gaming your graphics card is really important and at this price point I think the r9 380 is the best card for the job but if you are nvidia then a GTX 960 does the trick too 🙂 Please let me know if you need anything at all in the future.

      Thanks,

      Anthony

  • Marika

    This is very helpful. My boyfriend and I have been looking into getting a gaming pc. Now, we have options on how to build it. Great article.

    I’ve been looking into building a pc that I can make games on. Do you have any suggestions on where to start? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Anthony

      Hi Marika!

      If you are just getting into gaming and PC building this $500 budget option would suit your needs really well. Any of those 3 top builds will work but for gaming specifically I recommend the top one of course. If you are looking for something that can game but excels a bit more for multi tasking go for that 2nd AMD build and you will love it. Let me know if you have any further questions!

      Thanks again,

      Anthony

  • Daniel

    This is much better for me than the $1000 build because I like to do things on the cheap. Although im obviously not getting as much for my money as the bigger build – i dont overly use it that much. Very detailed article, laid out very nicely. Your website is actually very perfected and I’ll definitely be visiting often.

    • Anthony

      Hello again Daniel and thanks for commenting I really appreciate getting feedback. When you build this $500 PC I think you will be very happy with the performance for the money. My reccomendation is to go with the first build because you get the most bang for your buck. Let me know of you have any questions or need any help.

  • Danni

    Wow, I love gaming. But I always had trouble pick up a computer that wouldn’t be too crapy and I would be able to play on decent graphics. Your computer picks are really nice,thanks for selection! it is nice to find everything in one place 🙂 do you have any picks for cheap and good headphones?

    • Anthony

      Hi Danni,

      It’s much appreciated that you took the time to reach out to me here and i’m glad I could help. For an inexpnsive set of headphones that would go well with one of these $500 gaming PC builds take a look at the Sentey Gaming Headset. Let me know if I can answer any other questions,

      Thanks again!

      Anthony

  • Paul

    Hey Anthony, this is in response to your comment on December 20th. I let my gamer friends know about your page so they could check it out — most of them told me they really like your site! One of them who used your info here as a starting point is still researching pre-builts. One thing I will say is: PCs in this price range are awesome alternatives to consoles!

    • Anthony

      Paul thanks for your referrals!

      I have seen a great response from this $500 build and the other ones on the site as well. You are right you get a lot more machine for your money even at this range which a lot of people don’t know. A PC is just more customizable and open to mods which is when the fun really begins! Thank you for taking the time to leave a response and let me know if I can further assist in any way!

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Sharon May

    lol I love it when I come across reviews how to build your own PC. I’m currently using a PC that was built by my son. I personally hate going into a shop to buy a ready made PC, it’s criminal lol. Anyone can build their own PC these days and you get more for your money. My PC ended up costing me 2k including 8 fans, radion 9, monitor and speakers etc, but it’s mega super fast, though a little bit out of most people price range I know lol. Even after 3 years it’s still going strong. But, you have shown others that it can be done on a budget and get a better product than buying from a shop.

    • Anthony

      Hi Sharon,

      You are totally right! Thanks for stopping by, reaching out, and if you need any help in the future just let me know.

      -Anthony

  • Michael

    This is some great info here. I wish I could have found your post here about 2 months ago when my computer crashed and I had to get another one and I paid about $600+ for mine. Just looking at the parts i can tell that this would make a great computer for gaming. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Anthony

      Hello Michael,

      I’m glad you enjoyed my article here. Next time you should build your own PC if you get a chance. It’s a blast but no pressure some people prefer to game and not mess around with PC hardware and that’s OK. This first build that I listed is actually really a good gaming rig for $500. I had about 7000 other eye balls check it for me on one of the forums I frequent and they backed it up. The biggest thing with a cheaper build like this is to get inexpensive parts and throw most of the budget at your graphics card. You are most welcome here anytime bud and please if I can help with anything just let me know.

      Thank you,

      -Anthony

  • Adam

    And here I am! Great article, thank you for our support and advices!

    We refunded the CybertronPC and got one based on your writing about Best Gaming PC build under 500 dollars. We went for the Alianware Alpha. I had an Alien couple of years ago, the quality is not to beat!

    I wonder if there’s anyone out there putting Linux on a gaming-pc haha! 🙂

    Thanks again, keep on the good work!

    Adam

    • Anthony

      Hey Adam!

      Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my article. Pretty cool that you ended up the an Alpha it’s a pretty good pre-built option for less intensive games graphically speaking. A lot of people put Linux on their gaming PC’s either as a dual boot system or just to use as a main OS. Yes there are less games that support Linux but some people would rather roll that way. Once again let me know if you need anything going forward.

      -Anthony

  • Ron Alderman

    Great blog. I like that you have provided links to the components for several different configurations of machines to build. This helps those of us who might not know where to go to get these parts.

    Your breakdown of systems that you can buy rather than build is also very helpful. If you are not a techie, you can skip the greif and worrying about building your own and purchase a machine pre-build for you.

    I thought your video of how to build a machine was clean and helpful. I think a non-techie might even feel comfortable giving it a try with the video.

    Great information. I look forward to more information in the future!

    • Anthony

      Hey Ron thanks for commenting!

      I hope it was of some help to you and whatever PC you decide to buy or build let me know and if you need any help along the road just give me a shout.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Dara

    I just came to this article from your $800 gaming computer build article. I like that you’re doing more of these comparison posts at different price points! The PC I’d build would definitely feature a great graphics card, nothing worse than a lagging game. Except maybe slow internet.
    Alienware has the coolest looking cases!

    • Anthony

      Hi again Dara,

      Really appreciate you taking the time to read multiple of my build articles here. Lag has always been the bane of the online gamer… it is so annoying. I remember back in the day just upgrading your graphics card could make you run faster then your buddy in an online game haha. Alienware does have some sick looking computer cases and laptops for that matter. BUT unfortunately they are one of the guys where you are really overpaying for the name. Good to talk with you again and let me know if you have any further questions down the road.

      Take care,

      -Anthony

  • Mapboy (Bryan)

    Well, it’s certainly a great lineup. You and I have somewhat similar interests, as I am reviewing various parts and accessories. I think that it’s great to have a lineup of cheap parts that you get your best bang for buck.

    I’ll certainly have to look into investing into some (if not all) of these parts!

    • Anthony

      Hello Bryan,

      That is cool it is always nice to connect with another person with similar interests. I appreciate you checking out this PC build that I have curated and hey when you go to build your next one let me know if I can help or even just share what’s going on. I would be interested to share in your experience for sure.

      Talk to you soon,

      -Anthony

  • Von

    We have a similar niche here. I am currently looking into building my own gaming rig. But this pre built computers under budget is good enough for me. I will be saving a lot of money by purchasing this instead. Thanks for all the information you have for us and I wish you all the best.

    • Anthony

      Hello Von,

      Glad to have connected with you. You are welcome and I am glad I was able to help guide your decision. Let me know if you have any questions going forward and happy gaming!

      -Anthony

  • Brandon

    Hey there,

    I’ve always toyed around with the idea of building a gaming PC because I’ve felt limited on my consoles after seeing the graphic updates and mods available for almost every title. But I haven’t had the time to look into how to even begin to build a decent rig for myself. Your post will be really useful in sorting out the good from the bad, however, how do you feel building a decent gaming computer is in terms of difficulty?

    Cheers!

    • Anthony

      Hi Brandon,

      You highlighted a couple of great reasons to build your own $500 gaming PC. The mods are especially cool. One legendary example is what they did with Skyrim on the PC. There was so many mods it was glorious. I am glad you found the post helpful and as far as difficulty goes I would say there is a degree of difficulty to it but anyone can pull it off with a little effort. I built my first machine as a teenager with zero previous experience and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Let me know if you need anything.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Alex

    I read your website before and checked it out again. It got me wondering how more can we improve our computers. There’s not really a limit to it. When will PC games look good enough for us? Haha. We will always say the graphics could be better. I don’t know. I’m just happy I’m living in this digital era. Sorry if I went a bit off the point of the post. Great post by the way.

    • Anthony

      Alex,

      Thanks for coming back man that’s really appreciated! I think we are just scratching the surface with computer technology so the sky is the limit my friend. That’s the funny thing, the graphics and performance is never good enough haha. So we will keep upgrading and upgrading as new tech is released into the world.

      Take care buddy,

      -Anthony

  • Heather Grace

    Great review! My brother is really into gaming and even went to school for a degree in game design. You really know your stuff!

    I can completely understand the want to build your own especially if it is a hobby/interest of yours but other than that are there any benefits to building it yourself? I am sure there are add on options and customization as with any tech product but is there any benefit to performance of the PC if you build it yourself?

    • Anthony

      Hi Heather,

      Your brother sounds like a great guy, send him my way! Like you said building a PC is a great hobby to get into that is loved and shared by many. The benefits of building one yourself in short would be #1 Better performance for the money #2 Higher quality parts #3 Greater knowledge about the machine you are using. Let me know if I can further assist.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Stephanie

    Hi Anthony:

    I stumbled across your article before and I see that you have updated the content to include more detailed and current information. I would love to see an explanation of the differences between graphic cards, like an article that explains exactly what is meant by a graphics card that has AMD R9 380 256 Bit GDDR5 4GB. For instance, what do the acronyms mean and what do they do?

    Thank you again for helping people to learn how to build their own systems.

    • Anthony

      Hi again Stephanie,

      Yep I keep updating it as the days go on. The world moves fast with tech. Great idea for an article I can break down the meaning of everything and maybe how to pick a graphics card? Appreciate the input.

      -Anthony

  • G.C.Horton

    I was intrigued by your recommended best gaming PC under $500. Why do the prices go up and down? Seems like they would just go one way or the other.

    I’m not a techie sort of guy and the idea of building my own gaming PC is more than a little intimidating.

    • Anthony

      Hey glad to see ya,

      The prices go up and down simply because of the vendors reacting to supply and demand. Overall in the long run the prices typically go down. But in the short run they will bounce up and down. Don’t let building a PC intimidate you I promise anyone can do it of you are willing to give it a try. It’s not for everyone but it is a blast to me.

      -Anthony

  • Admin

    Your review about the Best Gaming PC Under $500 is just marvellous. It is a very clear explanation and this is great because it is easy for me to understand. I always thought that to build systems like that you needed to be an expert. And the best of all is that you can build it yourself and it is cheaper. Thanks for the great information! Cheers!

    • Anthony

      Howdy,

      I am glad to have been able to help you. Setting up a new gaming rig is always fun and like you said you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to build your own personal computer. Although I must admit good ole Steve did have a knack for the job 🙂

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Holly

    Hi Anthony,

    Brilliant – your post has convinced me to build my own gaming PC! I am ready for the challenge! Oh yes bring it on…I am a complete newbie but this type of DIY has always intrigued me so I am going to give it a go. Just have a few questions though… how long did it take the first time you tried and also what is the average life expectancy? If something goes wrong is it easy to resolve yourself? Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated! Thanks 🙂

    • Anthony

      Hello Holly,

      I am glad you are now inspired to take on the challenge. It is nice to be able to build a gaming pc for a small budget of $500 and know that it will do great with todays games still. To answer your questions the first time I built my own PC it took me maybe 4-5 hours not including software installation. It depends on the person but it is a painless experience if you are into it. The life expectancy is also dependent on you but it should be relevant for years and when you feel the need to upgrade this build offers a good path for that. Just make sure you buy your parts from a reputable source such as Amazon or Newegg and if anything goes wrong they will work with you. Let me know if I can be of further assistance!

      -Anthony

  • Alex

    There is some mean hardware in that machine man. Talking about Intel one, because I use Intel. But Amd seems cool as well. I’m sure you can run Fallout 4 on max on that, correct? What do you prefer then, AMD or Intel?

    This was a great read. I really enjoyed it. 🙂

    • Anthony

      Alex,

      All 3 builds are pretty good setups for the money for sure. Much better then spending slightly less money on a console. 😛 Although I admit I do have a PS4 and game on that too from time to time. You should be able to run Fallout 4 at 1080p on high settings. However the top build will definitely blow a console out of the water in terms of graphics. The battle between Intel and AMD is as old as time. Well maybe not quite that old. I am partial to AMD but this is mainly because I like to root for the under dog and see a little competition in the marketplace. Either can be great but at this time Intel is a little better across the board in single thread processes which is really important for gaming. All in all the GPU is way more important for actual gaming so I would go with whatever brand you prefer and make sure the graphics card is good like the ones suggested in my article.

      Thanks for commenting!

      -Anthony

  • Tim

    This is an awesome explanation on building the best gaming PC fro under 500 bucks. You really know your stuff dude!

    I have to admit I’m pretty noob at this so I’d be a little worried I’d stuff something up. Like is it really possible for someone that has never done this before to build their own PC?

    Also, how much extra would it cost for a general keyboard, mouse and LCD screen? Thanks

    • Anthony

      Hello Tim!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Don’t worry if you are new to all of this you will be able to get the hang of it in no time. Just put a little effort towards learning and you will be in good shape. The cost for some good inexpensive monitor/keyboard/mouse would run you less then $120 depending on what you want. Let me know if you ever need any help in the future!

      -Anthony

  • Aziz Sattar

    Thanks for the great info on building a fantastic gaming machine for under $500. Nothing I have seen already built comes anywhere close to that price.

    I don’t need a new gaming computer right now but could certainly use that amount of power in a low cost business machine. These would work just as well for business and personal use wouldn’t they? Also could a guy whose never assembled one, do it with your instructions?

    • Anthony

      Hello Aziz,

      I’m happy to see that you enjoyed the article. The difference I would make for a personal or business machine (unless you plan to also do some gaming on it) would be to downplay the graphics card this would save you even more money. Depending on what your exactly using the machine for we could tweak a few other areas. I think that a person who has never assembled a PC can certainly do it. We all start somewhere and it’s a lit easier then it may seem at first glance. Let me know if I can help at all going forward.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Juan

    Your review about the Best Gaming PC Under $500 is amazing. My cousin loves computer building and gaming and that is all he talks about, so you and him probably will get along. I am definitely advising to stop by your website since he has been trying to build his own PC.

    I just felt like I had to left you a review since you have done such a great job here. Thank you for sharing!

    • Anthony

      Hey Juan,

      Thank you kindly for stopping by and sharing your viewpoint. I have done me best to make a good guide here for a $500 gaming PC. Let me know if I can be of assistance when building you or your cousins PC. I love connecting with other enthusiasts.

      Anthony

  • Cephas

    Wow, it’s unbelievable. I had always thought building complex systems like this was reserved for the Tech gurus but clearly you have proved me wrong. It is even more awesome to me how you specified every single item that one may need to get it done. The sweetest part is by building it yourself, you get it for cheap. You are really offering more for less and this site is really awesome and a dream come true for anyone who’s computer is not good enough to accommodate their huge desires for games. It is a dream come true for me too

    • Anthony

      Hello Cephas,

      Hah you are right you don’t have to be a tech guru to get into PC building. I did my best to put together a build that was optimized as well as possible for gaming. Other parts may be used to substitute such as motherboards or cases to your hearts desire but this is a good overview. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Billy Hunter

    Hey, this setup seems bombin. I use my Macbook right now.. and I have used it for MMOPRG gaming on Runescape.. it runs pretty darn well.. but games like LOL and WOW are actually pretty slow on my mac… what makes a gaming pc so much better than a mac? I mean a mac is great but there is somthing about a gaming pc that makes me a certain way man.

    • Anthony

      Billy,

      Thanks for the comment! Mac’s are good overall package deals but you end up paying a lot for brand name and they aren’t optimized for gaming. When you build your own gaming PC the emphasis will be in your graphics card resulting in a much more powerful gaming experience.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Cohen

    Hey, Anthony! Awesome post, man. I’ve personally used some of these parts in the past, but one thing I was curious about was SSDs. If I wanted to make the switch from a hard drive to an SSD, for example, but still try to keep it to a low budget (Say, under $600? $650?), what one would you recommend? I was looking at Sony’s basic 500gb one, but if you know of a better one, I would love to get your input!
    Thanks in advance!

    • Anthony

      Hey Cohen!

      Thanks I appreciate it immensely. SSD’s are totally usable in your build. I simply go with the standard hard drive at this point because you get a lot more gigabytes per dollar. Like WAY more. And the performance boost from a SSD in gaming isn’t really noticeable. A few things may load faster in game but when on a tight budget i’d rather just go with a regular HDD. I think the best cheap option for a 500G SSD is Samsung’s 850 EVO SDD (500GB). As you can see it is pretty expensive and will eat deep into your budget. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • jCamden

    Before reading this I definitely wouldn’t consider building my own system but you have a knack for getting people fired up and excited! I love that you have so many options and list out everything required to build each system. I think it’d add alot if you added approximate prices to every single item as well as links to where your readers can purchase each one. If I were going to consider building one I wouldn’t trust myself to find the right types of each item that are compatible with each other. If you had links to each one I’m much more likely to move ahead and try it 🙂

    • Anthony

      Hows it going?

      I am glad to have inspired you to build a PC! I will get on it to add in individual pricing and links here soon 🙂 You are right that will make it even easier for my reader. I appreciate the comment and advice. Take care and let me know how the build goes!

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Barry

    Wow. I didn’t know there was so much for gaming out there. It looks like you have hit just about every base in the ball park. Is it really that easy to build your own PC dedicated to gaming? I wonder how many gamers are able to build their own PC’s. I know a lot of people that play almost continually, but they all buy their stuff pre-built.You have an awful lot of info on your site that is just way out of my league. You must have been gaming and building for a very long time to gather so much experience. My hat’s off to you.
    Barry

    • Anthony

      Hello Berry,

      There I do try to make a good argument to encourage people to build their own PC’s but whatever works best for the individual is good. It is pretty easy to put one together if you decide to do it. It will take some research but totally do-able. I have been building my own for over 12 years but like everyone I started with 0 experience as a kid and with way less information and videos around on how to accomplish the task. Thanks for the acknowledgement your words are welcomed indeed.

      -Anthony

  • Andrew

    Your article is very interesting. I have considered the idea of building my own computer.
    I love the idea that is possible to build a high quality gaming computer for much cheaper than the prices we often see in stores.
    How difficult would you say it is to actually put all the pieces together?
    Is it something that anyone can do?
    Thanks again!

    • Anthony

      Hi Andrew,

      You should definitely consider building your own PC. It is not really hard at all. I put my first one together at the age of 17 with no previous experience and wasn’t particularly gifted or talented. Back then there wasn’t nearly the resources online to help me figure it ou either. Don’t let all the parts and pieces intimidate you. I appreciate the kind words and let me know if I can further assist.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Jessica

    Hi Anthony,

    I love this idea of highlighting PCs for gamers in this price range. I know when I look at PCs, especially the ones for games, most of what I see starts in the $1200 range and I don’t think that includes a lot of the “extras”. It is great to know that there are PCs out there that serious gamers can have if they are on a budget. I also saw you mentioned Linux for the operating system. Do you think it is better than Windows? I have had a lot of problems with games and Windows so I was wondering if Linux works better.

    • Anthony

      Hello Jessica,

      It is pretty remarkable what you can actually get for $500. This machine can handle it self that is for sure. Linux’s concept and the fact that it is open source is what’s better then Windows. BUT like I said there is less support for a lot of the titles people would want to play and the other thing being a lot of people building their first gaming machine will already be used to using Windows. Probably best to stick with it at first.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Alex

    This is very thorough and detailed. A very helpful article on building a gaming PCs under $500. It is just well below my budget and am thinking to get myself one piece of nice machine. I have just bookmarked this page for my reference. It is time to get myself a Christmas gift and not getting nagged by my wife. Thanks for this!

    • Anthony

      Alex how are ya?

      Thanks for the comment I appreciate it greatly. This is a great starter build but if your budget is more then $500 you could design and even more powerful PC. Have a Merry Christmas!

      -Anthony

  • andrejs

    An interesting and relatively inexpensive solution for good gaming computer. I do not play anymore those state of art complex games. Maybe sometimes remember how to race on Need for Speed or Colin McRae rally, but for my son it will be interesting. Although if I will show him that I will be forced to spend another $ 500.

    • Anthony

      Hey Andrejs,

      You should get back into pc gaming it’s an absolute blast. I’d also recommend it as a hobby to build pc’s. Your son would probably love it. I know a lot of us have through the years. Let me know of ya need any help at all with it!

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Stephanie

    Hi Anthony:

    Thank you for your review of pre-built and non pre-built gaming PCs under $500. As a school teacher who provides technology instruction, I think these inexpensive gaming systems might be a great way for students to learn about electronics while building something that they will love. Students could be shown the joy and thrill of building gaming systems and might spark some possible future career interests as well. Thank you for writing a great article on ways to engage kids and adults alike on how they can acquire great pride by building their own gaming system while staying within a budget.

    • Anthony

      Stephanie,

      I hadn’t thought of my article in terms of classroom use. I think you’re right it would be a pretty cool class. I would have taken it!

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Paul

    Very helpful article of pre-built and non pre-built gaming PCs under $500. I’m not currently in the market for a new PC, but this would definitely be golden for someone on a tight budget who wants to maximize the bang for their buck. I’ll share this with some friends who I think would be interested. A great Christmas gift idea, by the way!

    • Anthony

      Hey there Paul!

      Send everyone over my way I’d be happy to help them if they are looking to build a new machine. If you give a new PC as a Christmas present that would be a good xmas for someone for sure. Happy to have inspired you this holiday season. Take it easy man.

      Thanks,

      Anthony

  • Martin

    Awesome! Really need to upgrade my gaming rig atm. I build it 4 years ago, and it was pretty good back then. But I can’t play games at maximum settings anymore haha and that’s a shame. Got a gtx 670 OC, 8Gig ram and i5 OC to 4GHZ. May need to upgrade my graphic card. Thinking about buying a GTX 970, but maybe it’s smarter to wait until the new ones come out?

    • Anthony

      Hey Martin,

      This is a really tough one because in 2016 the new cards are supposed to come out and look to be awesome. The GTX 970 is a great card and if theres some AAA games thay you want to play maxed right now then uograde. But I think for the price you want to spend on just your card you should wait (if you can) and get a new gen model. The only problem is that you may be waiting till half way through the year until you can get one. Good luck to ya and if you wanna chat just drop me a comment anytime. I always try to answer them asap.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Stephen

    Whoa! I was searching the web on how to build a gaming pc thinking I’d come across a lot of good information, but for someone like me, information overload.

    I’ve always had the desire to build a gaming pc but felt it was a task I’d regret after the enormous cost and energy (smarts) it would take to do so.

    But low and behold! I found your site. You make it seem reasonably priced and also like something I could actually accomplish.

    This article is extremely thorough, yet laid out in very clear term. I appreciate folks like you taking the time to present such great material. All the best to you!

    • Anthony

      Hello there Stephen,

      You hit it on the head! I was trying to explain things so everyone can understand and not be intimidated to try and get into the hobby of building a gaming computer. Thanks for the compliments and I appreciate you taking the time to read my article.

      Thanks man,

      -Anthony

  • Brandy

    Great information. I am a big gamer, but, in all honesty, I have always been intimated about building my own computer. I end up shelling out money for pre-built gaming PCs. My most recent one is an Alienware that cost me almost $2k.
    One of my best friends always tells me to just build my own. I almost have on a couple occasions. In reality, I’m just scared that when I get it all together it won’t work, that I did something wrong. So thats why I always just went the pre-built route.
    You’re information really helped me. I think I am going to take the step and build my own next time, and save money by doing so.

    Thank you so much!

    • Anthony

      Hello Brandy,

      Glad to hear that my article may have inspired you! I think at the price range you are in you could save a lot of money building your own. I will be adding some higher budget guides here soon so keep an eye out for those as well.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Seany

    ahhhh I think i found your website too late! I wanted to build a computer myself for cheap, but then scraped the idea totally and ended up spending my money on a laptop. Oh well. Maybe after new years I’ll see if I can set aside any extra money for that. Right now, gameing aside and just talking about computers alone, I’m trying to figure out whether a Google Chromebook is value for my money? I would like to ask your thoughts on that.
    Thank you!

    • Anthony

      Hey Seany,

      Laptops are cool too. It would be awesome if you build a gaming PC to go along with it. I think a chrome book would work for some people but for me personally my light is done on my phone and my main computing is done on my PC. You just have to find out what works best for what you will be using the machine to do.

      -Anthony

  • roamy

    Hello there
    great post, although i like gaming in my pc from time to time, always thought they were impossible to build and if so, then was sure the price will be totally out of my reach.
    But as you have proved in your post, building a game on a PC can be cheap too, that being said,$500 is not exactly cheap,but im sure it is worth it compared to how much some games cost and the find and adventure it will be to build my own game.
    Thanks so much,you really got me fired up to give it a try.

    • Anthony

      Hello Roamy!

      🙂 I am glad you liked the post and found it helpful. I know a lot of people think PC building is magic and don’t think they could build their own but it’s totally do-able and fun! $500 is a lot of money still but for a gaming rig it’s actually down towards the bottom. People will do whatever they have to to save the money for one though. I know from personal experience! Good on ya for looking to build your own gaming PC soon. Let me know if I can help along the way.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Linda

    Hi Anthony
    Talk about the right information at the right time.
    We were looking at upgrading our son’s PC for next year. He is big into gaming and he is also going to create his own website and games, so his computer is way too small.
    With the processor, if one does not look at using the cheapest one, would it be better to go for Intel?
    Thank you
    Linda

    • Anthony

      Hello Linda,

      Glad we have another gamer on our hands that is good news. You should definitely go with an Intel processor if your budget is bigger then $500 to maximize performance. Which one depends on your exact budget. Even at this price point you could go with the i3 Intel CPU. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

      • Thank you Anthony, I thought so too, but wasn’t completely sure.

        To me a computer is just the box I switch on to start working, but there are so many things going on inside that are a lot more important. We are going to look at upgrading early next year, just after the holidays and everything is over, thank you so much for your advice, I’ll definitely look at the i3 Intel CPU then.

        Personally, I think going for the cheaper option might cost one in the end. My computer had to be upgraded twice in about 4 years. Had I initially gone for the biggest and best, I think in total it would have cost less. But then there’s also the thing with computers, what is new today is old tomorrow. So maybe the upgrades were the best for that stage and time it was done in. I don’t know, I’m one of those people who just hand them in at a computer shop and they have to do what they think is best. I must say, I think they will be impressed when I tell them I want the i3 Intel CPU for my son’s computer.
        Thank you so much for your advice
        Linda

        • Hi again Linda,

          I think it’s cool that you want to get your son a new computer. I guess if your not on a budget then you may want to go with an Intel i5. It will be a little more money but will last him a good while. What could be fun for him is to give PC building a shot. But do whatever fits the bill for you guys. Thanks again for commenting.

          -Anthony

  • bioelectrobot

    This really is a good system for $500. In my experience, Acer produces the best monitors. I’ve owned lots of different monitors from different manufacturers, and nothing has matched the quality of an Acer monitor. Excellent choice. Linux is a great system, however, it’s not really geared to the gaming market. Windows clearly holds the largest market share for PC game developers to code to. Linux is awesome, it’s just not the best option for end user gaming systems. In the PC gaming world, Linux is better poised to host gaming servers. AMD is usually my choice of processor. The only significant difference, in my view, between Intel and AMD is the price. AMD processors can to every Intel processors can do and Intel processors can do everything AMD processors can do. It’s just a matter of price for me. Thanks for this article. Very practical and interesting information.

    • Anthony

      Hey man glad you liked the article!

      will be upkeeping it when there are more optimal parts to add in from time to time. I have owned Acer, ASUS and Samsung monitors and I have actually liked them all. My current 24″ Samsung S24D300H has been great so far. Next time I get one i’ll probably look at Ben-Q but I’m not sure because I always like to try new brands out. I agree with what you said about Linux. As far as the differences between AMD and Intel I would say for the price range of a build under $500 Intel might have a slight lead for specifically gaming where as a chip like the AMD FX-6300 will do better for multitasking and still be awesome for gaming.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Sa may kanto lang po

    The biggest question to myself when reading this build are,

    * “Will the FX Processor be able to play a newer version of Triple A games?”
    * “Will this build be able to last long for more than 3-5 years?”
    * “Will it play modern games in high settings?”

    • Hello,

      This system will be able to play modern games no problem on high settings at 1080p. I designed it with that in mind. You should be able to get 3-5 years out of it but at some point down the road you may be looking to do some upgrading.

      -Anthony

  • Big Reez

    I don’t usually comment on random articles I read but I do have to say that this is informative. Good to know there are under 500 prebuilt options out there! All the prebuilts I’ve seen fall above the $1000 range.

    My question: You say graphics cards can be a bottleneck to a system. If you buy a cheap prebuilt and then throw a $300 graphics card in it, are these any restrictions (CPU wise, motherboard wise or power wise) to consider before choosing a card? I know case/space wise is another issue… some cards might not fit.

    • Hey Reez,

      Like you said size can be an issue if you have a smaller brand name computer such as a dell or something. Fortunately graphics cards are made in a variety of sizes so you would still be able to get one to fit.

      Another thing to mention is that depending on the card it may need additional power. This could be a problem if your PSU doesn’t provide enough power to run the extra hardware.

      It might also not have the proper power connections to plug into the graphics card. There is also a work around for this being some of the cards out there wont require extra power.

      I would say to only go for this option if you already own one of those computers and are just looking to upgrade it to play some games on. Now as far as buying a lower budget pre-built gaming PC and upgrading it.

      To me this is the next bump up. You would have to check for all the things I have mentioned already but it should come more equipped to handle a good video card upgrade.

      Specifically answering your question: If you buy a $500 pre-built gaming PC the hardware should be able to handle a card in the range of $150-200 but you may be looking into a PSU upgrade.

      I still recommend building your own PC fully but if you already have purchased one then you can upgrade it with the best graphics card it can handle.

      At a certain point the lower end CPU could become a bottleneck for a real expensive graphics card. Let me know if I can help you any more and if you have a specific machine and card in mind let me know.

      Thanks again,
      -Anthony

    • Matt

      IF you want to throw a GPU into a prebuilt without thinking about power consumption too much throw in a 750ti. Still a relevant graphics card and it outperforms PS4 and XbOne. Draws all the power it needs from the PCI-E slot.

      -Matt

  • Lee Zhi Wei

    Is your $500 USD or? I built mine for $1200 SGD previously & its working great AF. Prebuilt pcs are definitely weaker than custom-made ones.I’m a gamer myself & i cannot stand if the system lags or causes one of my death in game. Would be great if I can invite you here in Singapore to build 1 for me!

    • Anthony

      Hey Lee,

      Ya man it’s USD. Glad to hear your loving your PC build! On your next build i’d love to help you and talk shop about the best hardware to use at that time! Let me know if you need anything and I appreciate the comment.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Matt

    Computer Case:

    At this budget, you don’t want to pay for looks in a case. You want to squeeze that dollar as far as you can go. NZXT Source 210 saves over $10 to put towards something later.

    CPU
    You could have done much better. The intel G3258 is much more suited for gaming than the 6300, which does better in applications that utilize all six cores, like rendering for instance. Overclock that G3258 on the stock cooler to over 4Ghz. The G3258 will perform much better in almost every game and will shave about $35 off the build to save for something later in the build.

    The H81 micro ATX motherboard that pairs with the G3258 saves another $15 compared to the AMD chipset board.

    RAM
    Nothing wrong with G.Skill. You can get 4GBX2 for $30. Save $7 for later in the build.

    Hard Drive
    You can go Seagate and save $5

    Optical Drive
    Not going to compare prices here as difference is minimal

    GPU
    Here’s where that $70 in savings is going to get us some extra frames per second. You have two options here. You can get a R9 380 (even found one with a higher core clock) or a GTX 960 if you’re an nvidia fan.

    All of this, at much better gaming performance, comes out right at $500.

    PSU
    For the sake of this build I’ll use the same power supply. It’s not the best but its about as cheap as you can get disregarding sales.

    -Matt

    • Hey Matt hows it going man?

      I appreciate the feedback here on the build a ton. Constructive criticism is always a great thing! I am going to tweak the AMD build for sure and make sure to update it regularly. Working on adding in an optional Intel build or making it the main with AMD as the option. For those AMD fans 🙂 not a lot of us left but some! As far as the graphics card right now I am considering the R9 380 over the GTX960. A lot of love out there for that card. Everything moves fast and is subject to change. 🙂 Thanks again I will take your advice into consideration. Hit me up anytime.

      -Anthony

  • Tyler Redlev

    Good article! I was planning for a while to build a gaming pc and i really didn’t have any idea how to. I was looking for something cheap but which was also quality. I’m really into gaming hardware but i’m not a professional.
    would like to ask you, is it better to build your own pc or to buy a pre-build?

    • Anthony

      Hey there again Tyler!

      I appreciate the kinds words you have about my article. I tried to put it together the best I could to help people out. The short answer is that I think your should build your own pc. Because getting into that hobby has been an awesome thing for me. This specific build really is a good one too for a $500 budget.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Michael Angelo

    Hi there, Your post is very nice. It gives a complete and thorough informations. I am also a gamer, was… Now I don’t have much time to play games. But having a desktop PC under $500 with those specs is really worth. I will recommend this also to my friends, they should never buy a pre-built desktop PC. Many accessories and components are actually unnecessary and waste of money. Thanks!!
    Best Regards,
    Michael Angelo

    • Anthony

      Hello Michael,

      That’s too bad you havent had much time to game lately. Life happens I guess 🙂 I appreciate the comment here and referal to your friends. Hopefully we can help a few people along their PC building journey.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

  • Milagro W

    This site is like my fantasy site, I’m like a gamer girl and I’m always trying to play games either on my game system or my PC. but when I try to play big games my PC cant handle it or it shuts down or overheat. I always wanted to build my own so I could play any game I wanted small or large and I wouldn’t have any comlplications. and this just being under $500 dollars is a deal. I didn’t know what parts I needed until now. So I will be getting started on it and will keep visiting this website for my needs.

    Great Website!!

    • Anthony

      Hello Milagro,

      I am glad you are enjoying my posts on gaming gear. It’s cool you are into playing games on multiple platforms top! Very exciting you are planning to build your own PC and if you need any help just let me know anytime I’ll be glad to assist.

      Thanks again,

      -Anthony

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