For 300-350 dollars you can build a decent pc which can play all the games at 1080p medium-high settings. This is not a high end build and you shouldn’t be expecting to max out at 1080p.
As 2017 is here, the list of components here in the post is still the best you can find.
As many gamers don’t have the budget to buy an expensive gaming system, it doesn’t mean that they cannot play games with just 300-350 dollars in hand. In fact some of the best casual games as well as some graphical intensive games can be run on this pc.
I have selected the best components for this build. If you build it in the right way I am going to explain, they you don’t have to worry about anything. I have made this pc even upgradable to high end and you can upgrade this pc component by component when you have more money.
I have named this PC “THE BEGINNER“.
If you want to learn how to build a gaming pc from scratch you can get my guide from Here.
Intel Pentium G4400
I previously used the pentium g3258 which was the anniversary edition and was unlocked. It’s unfortunate that the processor is not available right now on amazon.com and there are some more processors at the same price which are giving it a good competition. But due to the two facts that the processor isn’t available and the cost of Pentium g3258 is around $75 right now. I chose the pentium g4400 which has a little better performance at the stock frequency and is much cheaper.
This processor only costs $60 and delivers equal performance to the pentium G3258. The only disadvantage of this processor is that it’s locked and cannot be overclocked but I think it’s not a very important thing as far as cost goes. It’s the cheapest amongst all. There are some other pentium’s of sixth and seventh generations but they are much expensive to be included in the parts list and are not worth because for the same price you can get a quad core or hex core processor from AMD.
Now this processor has 2 cores clocked at 3.3Ghz and has 3mb of cache. The processor is based on skylake architecture and has 14nm lithography. It’s more power efficient than the pentium g3258 and will deliver rock solid performance with budget graphics cards especially with the gpu we will be using in this build. It’s one of the best budget gaming processor for under $100.
ASUS LGA 1151 H110M-A/M.2
For 59 dollars, this is a very basic motherboard that has all the basic ports and slots for installing all the components. As we are using Intel pentium 6th generation processor, we have to use LGA 1151 socket motherboard which is from ASUS. Specs wise it’s very similar to any other micro atx motherboard but as it’s cheaper and is also from one of the best motherboards maker brand “ASUS”, you cannot go wrong with this choice.
It will support all the skylake processors like pentium g4400, i3 6100, i5 6600K, i7 6700K and even the latest kabylake processors. So you have possibility of upgrading to a better processor in the future. But for now, this is for just a basic purpose which is gaming and it will support all the components we are going to use in this build.
It has 1x PCIeX16 slot for graphics card, 2x PCIeX1 slot for wifi cards/sound cards and 4 sata 3 ports. The location of the fourth Sata port is different which is perhaps done keeping in the mind for having ease with building your system according to your case. It also has a USB 3.0 front header but as the build is made on a tight budget, the case we are using cannot use it and it will cost around $20 more to get a case with USB 3.0 ports to use this single feature. Nevertheless you will still be able to use the back I/O USB 3.0 ports and it’s a minimal problem.
The motherboard supports upto 32gb of RAM clocked at 2133Mhz which is faster than the ddr3 counterpart. The motherboard also features one M.2 Slot for NVME SSD’s which are blazing fast. It has all the basic display outputs like VGA, DVI and HDMI which is also a good feature. And it also has a yellow LED trace path on the left side which is lit when you switch ON your build. Overall, it’s a good value for the price you pay.
- CPU: Intel Socket 1151 for 6th Generation Core i7/Core i5/Core i3/Pentium/Celeron Processors
- Chipset: Intel H110
- Memory: 2 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR4 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
- Slots: 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 mode), 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
- Storage: x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode), 4 x SATA 6Gb/s port
- Ports: 4x USB 3.0 Ports(2 rear,2 via headers), 4x USB 2.0 Ports (2 rear,2 via headers), 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port, 1x PS/2 Mouse Port, 1x VGA Port, 1x DVI Port, 1xHDMI Port, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks
Ballistix Sport LT 4GB Single DDR4
DDR4 memories are faster and more power efficient. For playing games at least 4gb of ram is required. Therefore I chose the Crucial ballistix 4gb single stick memory clocked at 2400Mhz which is fast enough. Although the motherboard will automatically downclock it to 2133Mhz as the motherboard has capability of supporting upto 2133Mhz ram, it’s still not a problem. The main reason to choose a 2400Mhz memory is cost. All the other Ram modules are costly and this is the cheapest.
It has aluminium heat spreaders for better heat dissipation. As now you are on a tight budget, therefore 4gb of ram will be enough for now. Although some games will suffer a little bottleneck but you can always upgrade to 8gb anytime.
Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC 4GB
$121.01, $111.01 with rebate till 31st Jan
This one is one of the best budget graphics cards today and now at a price of just above $100 with rebate. Previously I used the Sapphire RX 460 4gb which was having cheap price, but now as the Gigabyte is cheaper, you will be getting some few bucks back in your pocket. This card is a good competitor of gtx 950 and r7 370. The card is fully directX 12 compatible and supports vulcan api. These features help in getting more fps in newest titles like Hitman, Rise of the tomb raider and Doom.
When you run those games on directX 12, the fps increase upto 40% which makes the game smoother. As more and more titles coming soon will be using the directX 12, you will benefit with this card. This card also has support for CrossfireX, but as this is a budget build you won’t be going to do that. Otherwise you will have to buy a new motherboard supporting that feature. But it can come in use if you want to.
Rx 460 will allow you to play all the games at 1080p high settings smoothly with more than 50 fps. Yes some games like witcher 3 can give you only 30-40 fps but still that’s the best you can get in a $300 build. The another best thing about this card is that it doesn’t require a six or eight pin power connector as it’s very power efficient and only requires <75 watts max. So don’t need to worry about the PSU.
Western Digital 320gb
As games are becoming huge, you need a good storage size. 320gb is not more than enough but still it can store many of your games. As 500gb hard drive is double the cost therefore you will only increase your expense and still not get enough space. You can store many games in this drive but may face problems storing setup files.
This hard drive runs at a speed of 7200rpm and has cache memory of 8mb. With 7200rpm your loading times and booting times will decrease a lot and you will get faster operations.
EVGA 430 watts 80+
When it comes to power supply, a lot of people buy cheap power supply saying that they don’t have a high end graphics card and it will handle all the components easily. But NO! it is really important to buy a power supply from a trusted and reliable brand. EVGA provides very good power supplies at all budgets and in different wattage.
This one is 430 watts and is enough for this build. You don’t need more than that as it can handle all of your components and a few more components can also be added. Moreover, it is 80+ which means it will give at least 84% of power efficiency at full load and upto 87% at 50% load. This power supply has every power cable that you would need in order to power all the components. With this power supply you will also get 3 years of warranty.
Rosewill Dual Fans MicroATX FBM-01
(I had to replace the Rosewill Ranger-M black because of the cost)
For the build, I chose the Rosewill FBM-01 which is also used in my $250 gaming build. The case is cheaper than all the other micro atx cases and has good quality material. The side panel has honey comb like mesh for better ventilation and an 80mm fan is also pre-installed at the rear and one 120mm at the front. So you will have good air circulation throughout your case for better cooling.
This case is completely white from inside and black from inside. The build is good and it has enough space to install the components without any hassle. It supports Mini ITX as well as Micro ATX motherboards therefore you can use either one in this case. Graphics card is also not an issue as there is a lot of space left below where you will install it. The hard drive bays are above the Case fan and you can install one fan or two fan gpu easily.