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 G3258
Due to the unavailability of Pentium G4560, I have again replaced the G4560 with Pentium G3258. Also many of the motherboards with H110 chipset don’t support the Kabylake processor without bios update, so it can be painful if you buy one which isn’t updated and to fix that problem you have to buy the B250 chipset motherboard which will easily take the whole budget to $400. But this processor is as always one of the best budget processors for the money.
The Pentium g3258 anniversary edition is the badass budget gaming processor for 70 dollars. It’s made on the same Haswell architecture on which higher end core i5’s and i7’s are based. It is totally unlocked and can be overclocked upto 4.8Ghz with a custom cooler. I have also use it in my $400 gaming build because it’s cheap and provides the best gaming experience at tight budget.
It beats the fx 4300, 4350 and even the fx 6300 in most of the games and has the ability to deliver great performance when overclocked. Although in some games it bottlenecks the graphics card which require 4 cores like Far cry 4 and the witcher 3, but as it is only a budget processor, you are not going to make it work with a gtx 970 or gtx 1070. With entry level graphics cards, this one wins over all the processors which come under $100.
It has two cores and it’s base clock is 3.2Ghz out of the box. It gives equal performance to i5 in many games when overclocked to full potential. It does not even bottleneck some of the best mid end graphics cards like gtx 960. At a budget of 300 dollars, this is the best choice for Intel Gaming pc’s.
MSI Intel LGA 1150 H81M-E33
For 50 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 4th generation processor, we are using LGA 1150 socket motherboard from MSI. It has H81M chipset which is locked but you can still overclock your processor upto 4.2Ghz easily as g3258 is unlocked with the help of any either of these two: software or bios.
This motherboard is good even for further upgrades. In future if you want to change your processor to higher end like i5 4690k or i7 4790k, you will be able to do so. This motherboard also has one PCIX1 slot for using either a sound card or wifi card as you wish which makes it useful for some other facilities as well. Although there are only 1-1 slots for graphics cards and wifi/sound cards, with a budget build like this you can’t expect for more.
With 2 Dimm Slots you can increase your memory upto 16gb clocked at 1600Mhz. Now a days 16gb is more than enough and you only need at least a 4gb ram stick.
- CPU: LGA1150 Supports 4th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron Processors/FSB 100MHz
- Chipset: Intel H81 Express
- Memory: 2x DDR3-1600/1333/1066 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Max Capacity of 16GB
- Slots: 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot, 1x PCI-Express x1 Slot
- SATA: 2x SATA3 Ports, 2x SATA2 Ports
- Ports: 2x USB 3.0 Ports, 8x USB 2.0 Ports (4 rear,4 via headers), 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port, 1x PS/2 Mouse Port, 1x VGA Port, 1xHDMI Port, 1x RJ45 LAN Port, Audio I/O Jacks
Kingston HyperX fury 8gb
I have used a single stick of 4 gigabyte of memory from Kingston HyperX. 4gb is minimum and you will still suffer some stutter especially in games like battlefield 4 and Middle Earth: shadow of mordor. but still in most of the games 4gb of ram is enough for running any casual game at any resolution.
This memory is clocked at 1600Mhz which is considered to be the fastest clock speed when value to price is compared. The stick has aluminium heat spreader on it which eliminates heat when you do overclocking or heavy gaming. You will also get lifetime warranty with this ram and you will be able to add another 4gb stick in other DIMM slot as the motherboard we chose has 2 DIMM slots.
Gigabyte Radeon Rx 460 Windforce OC 4GB
$119.99, $109.99 with rebate till 28th Feb
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.