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Our $300 gaming PC has been the most popular among all the builds we have here for our readers and we try our best to provide you with the top choices you can afford for less money.
The $300 “Beginner” Gaming PC has fulfilled many gamers needs without breaking the bank and if you are new to this page, then consider bookmarking this before you leave so that when you check out all the other builds on different places of the internet, you can make up your mind before your purchase.
Right now, it’s very difficult to build a $300 gaming PC with a graphics card, but going a little above $300 price tag, you can actually have a decent graphics card without compromising on your CPU power. Below I have listed all the parts you will need to complete your build and start gaming as soon as you are finished with your build.
Caution: The cost of the build can sometimes be way over $300 due to the unavailability of some parts.
$300 PC Parts List
Processor- Intel Core i3 9100F
i3 9100F is one of the best cheap processors which is right now available for only $70 and delivers superb performance in games with its 4 real cores having a base clock of 3.6GHz and boost clock of up to 4.2GHz. Although the new-gen i3 10100F is already available in the market, it costs $40 more than 9100F and provides much lower performance bump as compared to the increase in price.
As tested by many reviewers, when compared to its closest competitor Ryzen 3 3200G with a high-end graphics card like RTX 2080, it gives up to 20% more fps in games like GTA V, Battlefield V, and Project cars while in most of the other games, the performance is around 10-15% faster1)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6gFdKaFukM although 3200G is $30 more expensive. The only drawback of this CPU is that it doesn’t have any integrated graphics2)https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/core_i3/i3-9100f which won’t bother you as you will be going to use a graphics card for gaming.
Motherboard- MSI ProSeries H310M PRO-M2 Plus
Intel Core i3 9100F is compatible with LGA 1151 socket and is supported on various chipsets like H310, H370, B360, B365, Z390 etc3)https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/190886/intel-core-i3-9100f-processor-6m-cache-up-to-4-20-ghz.html . H310 chipset is the cheapest and has the most basic features.
Going with any other chipset may let you upgrade or add some more components but for this $300 gaming PC, you will have all the requirements fulfilled with the MSI H310M Pro-M2 Plus motherboard using the H310 chipset. It has 2x DIMM slots that support up to 32GB of RAM4)https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/H310M-PRO-M2-PLUS/Specification and contains 1x PCI-E x16 slot for graphics card and 2x PCI-E x1 slots for expansions cards such as wifi or sound card.
It is not capable of overclocking as only Z370 and Z390 chipsets are made for that purpose and also it’s waste of money to invest in a Z series motherboard if you are using a locked CPU like i3 9100F.
MSI H310M also has EZ Debug LEDs which are rare to find on other H310 chipset motherboards from other manufacturers and is helpful in providing basic info on malfunction of any of your PC’s components.
Finding an appropriate RAM for a reasonable price is a difficult task and for this build, you can have two options: Either get a 4GB RAM module and save some money or invest $10-$20 more to get double capacity. Right now the cheapest DDR4 module you can find is available for $16 and the TeamGroup Elite 8GB RAM module is available for $26.
This RAM module has timings as CL16-16-16-395)https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/elite-u-dimm-ddr4 which on Amazon is listed as CL19-19-19-43 but that’s for the 2666MHz module and this one is clocked at 2400MHz which is a fair and compatible memory speed for the MSI H310M Pro motherboard.
As 4GB would hold you back from upgrading to a good-sized memory in the future, it’s better to invest $10 more right now than to regret afterwards. 8GB is enough for 1080p gaming and won’t freeze your PC even if you have multiple Chrome tabs opened behind. Multiple reviews have shown that 4GB RAM bottlenecks your whole system in gaming at 1080p6)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vk6MKOMOsVY and won’t let you reach the max potential of your CPU and graphics card.
Graphics card- PowerColor AMD Radeon RX 550 4GB
RX 550 has two memory variants: 2GB and 4GB. The 4GB VRAM variant is roughly faster than the 2GB variant even when used with a weaker CPU like Pentium G45608)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwfDJDhCwGk . This card is able to provide 40+ fps in most titles at 1080p using medium settings. Going above that isn’t recommended but lesser graphical intensive games such as Fortnite, CSGO, Rocket League and older titles can run with higher fps on high settings.
i3 9100F even though can handle much faster graphics cards than RX 550 but RX 550 still manages to provide good value for money with the user spending $4.4 per frame9)https://www.cpuagent.com/cpu/intel-core-i3-9100f/summary/nvidia-geforce-rtx-2080-ti . It has 3x output display connectors that include 1x HDMI, 1x DVI and 1x DP and comes with AMD CrossfireX support.
Storage- Silicon Power 256GB SSD
For storage, you can either have a traditional hard drive or an SSD. Currently, SSDs are cheaper but there is no doubt that hard drives still come with more storage capacity. The Silicon Power 256GB SSD comes for less than $30 while the Western Digital 1TB Green hard drive comes for a little above $30.
A SATA SSD is roughly around 3-5 times faster in transferring/copying files and provides around 500MB/s of transfer speed as compared to 50-150MB/s of the hard drive10)https://www.avast.com/c-ssd-vs-hdd . Also, Windows booting speed increases dramatically and you will see your desktop icons in a couple of seconds just after turning On your PC whereas, with a hard drive, it can take easily from 1-2 minutes.
The only drawback will be the lack of enough storage. With a 256GB of capacity, you can carry a couple of games but you will need an additional storage device for storing more games if you like to store a dozen games at the same time and don’t like to install/uninstall games frequently.
Power Supply- Thermaltake Smart 430W
Currently, a lot of budget power supplies that are in the range of 400-500W are not available and some are more expensive than they used to be. While Apevia power supplies are cheap, mostly under $30 if you buy a 400-500W PSU but they aren’t reliable and heat up very quickly.
Thermaltake’s 430W Smart power supply will cost you $40 and will increase the builds overall cost but it’s much more reliable11)https://www.overclockers.com/thermaltake-smart-series-430w-review/ and provides all the connectors for powering up your components. While the Powercolor RX 550 4GB doesn’t have any external power connector, if you ever upgrade to something like GTX 1660 or RX 5600 XT, you won’t have to change your power supply, as this PSU has 2x PCI-E 8-pin connectors to provide sufficient power o graphics cards like these12)https://www.thermaltake.com/smart-430w.html .
It is rated at 80 Plus which means more than 80% of power efficiency most of the times and comes with 5 years of warranty.
Chassis- Thermaltake S100
Again, there is an acute shortage of budget micro-ATX towers. Rosewill used to produce some very cheap micro-ATX towers which costed less than $30 but there is no good chassis available now for this price. $10 more, and you can get the Thermaltake S100 which is absolutely fantastic for not only a budget build like this but even for any high-end gaming system with a Micro-ATX motherboard.
It has a side tempered glass panel to show off the components. A full length-PSU shroud to host the power supply, additional cables and hard drives. A pre-installed 120mm fan at the rear, a big cutout in the motherboard tray for easy CPU cooler installation, and a lot of routing holes for cable management.
In the front, you can fit 2x 120mm/140mm fans while at the top you can also add a single 200mm fan instead of 2x 120mm/140mm fans. It also supports radiators for AIO cooling which is a great additional feature for future upgrades.
In case you want to save some bucks, you can go with the Antec VSK3000E or Micro CA-HX300 both of which are available for $5 less.
Why you should build your PC by Yourself?
This is the most important question for you and it’s because if you waste $300 on a crap pre-built computer or on terrible parts without knowing, then you are gonna regret it for a long time. $300 is a low budget for building a Gaming PC, yet it’s still your hard-earned money which you will lose forever. As not everyone is a millionaire on the planet, it’s best to use this money logically and with reason.
There are several benefits of building your own PC. 7 of them are very obvious and must to know:-
- The first one is that you get to know more about computers and stuff.
- You know what components you are using on your PC.
- You don’t waste money on parts that are although expensive, yet they perform poorly.
- You learn how to build your own computer that helps you to save money by not going to a PC shop.
- You can build PC of your family members and friends or you can at least install a part or two without anyone else help.
- You get the most value out of your money by investing in only those things which are good.
- You become up to date with the latest components and can compare different parts.
(Caution:- These will increase the overall cost of your gaming setup)
Monitor- AOC G2490VX
For a smoother gaming experience and for fast-paced games like CSGO, I recommend going with a 144Hz monitor. A 60-75Hz monitor usually costs around $100 and the AOC G2490VX costs $140 but features 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync support which you will be going to enjoy as this build is using an AMD graphics card.
Keyboard & Mouse- Havit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo
For this build, you most probably are going to use a cheap gaming mouse keyboard combo and most likely you are going to spend around $30 if not more. In this budget, most probably you will end up going with a membrane keyboard but Havit provides a spectacular combo for $35 that has a mechanical keyboard with custom blue switches and an ideal fps mouse.
Both the keyboard and mouse are using RGB LED backlighting and their effects can be changed from the buttons provided on them. These are more reliable than any $30 combo that contains keyboard, mouse, mousepad and headset.
Mousepad- GGLTECK Large Gaming Mouse Pad
If you would like to invest in a good gaming mouse pad, then you should get a larger mousepad for good mouse mobility otherwise you can also get a cheap one if you are short on cash. This one is priced at $16 and lets you put both your keyboard and mouse on it and provides a better look to the overall gaming setup.
Headset- NUBWO Gaming N7
I have used a few gaming headsets from Nubwo personally and they are fine for gaming. They don’t beat the branded headsets like Corsair HS60 Pro or HyperX Cloud II but for almost half their price, the sound quality is 70-80% similar.
Nubwo Gaming N7 features comfortable earcups and a noise cancellation microphone to interact with your friends or teammates. It can be used with PC, PS4, Xbox One or even with Mac devices.
FAQ (Most Asked Questions Answered)
How can I make a 300 dollar gaming PC?
To build a gaming PC you just need to know where each component is plugged in. I am listing down below where each part will go:-
- CPU– It goes into the motherboard socket that is present at the middle of the board
- RAM– Memory modules are to be inserted in the DIMM slots which are at the right side
- CPU Cooler– This cooler is directly installed on to the CPU and each cooler has a different way of the installation which will be present in the CPU cooler manual itself
- Graphics card– Graphics card uses the PCI-e x16 slot of your motherboard which is present below the CPU socket and is the widest slot you can have on a motherboard
- Hard drive or SSD– These are not installed directly on to the motherboard but are connected via a cable. The ports are generally located on the right side of the board
- Power Supply– This component has the cables which supply power to the motherboard and there are several connectors that you have to connect.
– 24 pin ATX power cord- This connector is inserted on to the 24 pin port on the motherboard
– 4 or 8 pin EPS power cord- This connector is for supplying power to the CPU and is inserted in the top CPU port which is present at the top left side of the PCB
– 6 or 8 pin PCI power cord- This connector is for powering up the graphics cards. A GPU may or may not have a port for using external power. If it does, then usually it ranges from a single 6 pin port up to 2x 8 pin ports.
If you want a complete guide on how to connect these, then download our guide for easiness in the building.
Can I upgrade to a better processor like Intel Core i7 9700K in the future?
Definitely. As the motherboard used in this build has an LGA 1151 socket which supports both 8th and 9th gen Intel processors, you will be able to put any 8th or 9th gen processor on it.
Will the Power Supply used in it be sufficient for upgrades?
Most of the times a 400-500W PSU is used in this build which is fine for a few upgrades like some more fans, CPU cooler, a storage device or a mid-tier GPU but if you want to upgrade to a better motherboard, processor, high-end GPU, cooling solution and storage devices altogether, then you should definitely upgrade your power supply.
Is it cheaper to build or buy a gaming PC?
Generally, it’s much cheaper to build a gaming PC than to build it. The companies that build a complete system include so many additional charges that the original cost of the build can easily go higher than 40% or at least up to 20% in general.
Let me Know!
I don’t think there will be any better option for components or peripherals that I recommended for this build which will give you the best value for your money. Yes, there are some alternatives you can go for, but overall this is the best possible build for $300-$350. If you face any difficulty in building your PC or if you are confused about anything, you can put your comment in the comments section below.