Build the best gaming pc for $400

This gaming PC is a tough competition for next-generation consoles. For 400 dollars, you can build a decent PC if you choose the best possible components available right now. This PC is for gaming at 1080p and will give you more than 50 fps on an average on high settings in most of the games easily.

If you are planning to buy a pre-built PC then I recommend you to skip that step and buy components individually, build your own PC and you could be able to play all of your favourite games without any stutter. I update these builds time to time whenever a new opportunity comes in the market so you can get the most out of your system.

I have made this PC upgradable as much as possible and you will be able to replace any of its components easily in the future. I call it “THE MASTER” Build.

If you want to learn how to build a gaming PC from scratch you can get my guide from Here.

Processor

Intel Pentium G4560

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 Intel Boxed Pentium Processor G4500

With a lot of difference in prices, I had to go with the Pentium G4560 which is right now costing under $90 at the time of update. This processor is far better than the Pentium G4400 which I used in my $300 build which you can check right now.

For gaming, a dual-core processor is a minimum you should buy and this one will do the best job because along with 2 cores it has 4 threads just like Core i3. It’s a Kaby lake processor which has 2 cores/4 threads and 3mb of cache memory enough for casual games as well as basic tasks for Windows. It can run any game when combined with a good budget graphics card at 1080p medium-high settings. But in games like GTA V, Witcher 3 and other CPU intensive games, don’t expect to get performance equal to an i5. But it will be still enough for providing you decent frames.

This processor has a core clock of 3.5Ghz and is locked. So you can’t overclock it, unlike the Pentium G3258 which was one of the best Haswell processors but still, it will give similar performance as shown in many benchmarks. Also with 54 watts of TDP, it’s very power efficient and your whole PC won’t require more than 400 watts of reliable power supply to power the whole rig. I consider this processor as one of the best budget processors for the money.

With entry-level graphics cards, this one wins over many processors that come under $100.


Motherboard

Gigabyte Micro ATX H110M-A

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Gigabyte GA-H110M-A motherboard

Getting a decent motherboard for this build is easy right now as a variety of motherboards with LGA 1151 socket are available for a cheap price. There are motherboards from manufacturers like ASRock which also provide fine motherboards, but for just a couple of bucks, Gigabyte will provide you with the most reliable motherboards that are durable and are bought the most by the budget gamers community.

My main focus was to choose a motherboard that will support all the components like GPU, CPU, RAM, HDD etc. and also be able to upgrade to high end builds. This one supports all the Skylake as well as Kaby lake motherboards from Intel Celeron to Intel Core i7s. So in future, you probably do not have to worry about its compatibility with these CPUs. But as for the specs, it has 2x DIMM slots that support up to 32gb of memory clocked at 2133Mhz which is very basic.

There is one PCIEx16 slot for your graphics card, 2xPCIEx1 slots for sound/wifi cards. For storage, you have 4x SATA 3 ports that will support your hard drives as well as SSD’s and for cooling, you have an additional 4 pin power port for classy fan in the middle. For front ports, you will get the basic USB 2.0 header at the bottom and one USB 3.0 header on the right middle side of the motherboard.

This motherboard will be enough for locked processors like i3 7100/6100, i5 6400/7400 etc. but if you ever go with an unlocked processor in the future, you will be limited to overclocking. Well, that’s a totally different story that I am telling you for extra information but currently, this motherboard has everything that you need. If you want to know more about it or any other component in this list, you are always welcomed in the comment section.

Also, see:- Best motherboards under $100


Memory

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8gb DDR4

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Ballistix Sport LT 4GB Single DDR4 2400

I have used a single stick of 8 gigabytes of memory from Crucial Ballistix. 4gb is the minimum and you may suffer some stutter especially in games like Battlefield 4 and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. but with 8gb of Ram, you will not be bottlenecked in any game at 1080p and I increased this capacity from 4gb to make it fully powerful.

This memory is clocked at 2400Mhz which is pretty fast but as the motherboard, we are using in this build is capable of running memory at 2133Mhz, it will be automatically downclocked to 2133Mhz. This one is cheaper than most of the similarly clocked memories and will provide a good experience in all tasks.

The stick has aluminium heat spreader on it which eliminates heat when you do heavy gaming or multi-tasking. You will also get a limited lifetime warranty with this ram and you will be able to add another 8gb stick in another DIMM slot as the motherboard we chose has 2 DIMM slots.


Graphics card

EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 GAMING

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EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 GAMING

This is the graphics card which you need to play all the games at 1080p on high settings. It’s almost equivalent to the previous generation graphics card which was Gtx 950. This graphics card doesn’t need any external power connector and draws the power from the PCI-E slot of the motherboard which makes your rig more power efficient and eliminates the condition of buying an expensive 500w or a 600w power supply.

The EVGA Gaming Edition is clocked at 1354Mhz and has a boost clock of 1455Mhz. This card is better than the Zotax Mini version and has higher clock speeds and you can also overclock it. The reason to choose this over other GTX 1050 is the price. The MSI, EVGA or Gigabyte are right now not available or are priced much more. But the difference in performance is very minimal. This will not break the bank and will not exceed our budget.

This card has 2gb of Gddr5 memory enough to play games such as GTA V or The Witcher 3 with medium textures. Previously I used the EVGA GTX 1050 Ti 4gb because of which the total budget of this build rose more than $450 which will eliminate our main motive of keeping the total cost around $400.

Now, GTX 1050 will be able to provide you 50-60fps in almost every game at 1080p medium-high settings. Some of the older games like Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite will have no problem running on 1080p ultra with 60 fps. But newer games will require you to play on high settings if you want buttery smooth gameplay.

This card is faster than the AMD’s RX 560 4gb edition and falls between the RX 560 and RX 570. When combined with the Pentium G4560, it’s a great match for any entry level build and will be not be bottlenecked by the processor.


 Storage

Western Digital 320GB

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320GB WD hard drive

The WD 320GB is the storage I used for this build although the games are huge nowadays, but as we are limited to the budget, we should not spend a lot of money on the hard drive. It will be enough for storing a couple of big games along with your OS and drivers and you can upgrade your storage easily again whenever you need because the motherboard I chose for this build supports up to 4 HDD/SSDs at the same time.


Power supply

EVGA 430 watts 80+

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EVGA 430 W1 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 up to 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.

This rig will never exceed 300 watts even if you overclock your graphics card. The graphics card which I have used doesn’t require any external power cable, it will draw the power from the PCI slot of the motherboard itself. This makes it a very power efficient rig.


Case

MasterBox Lite 3.1

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MasterBox Lite 3.1

This is a damn good case for $40. There are several cases for this price but they look horrible. At least, this case beats every other case in aesthetics and looks. Even the quality of this case is good. The side panel is not a tempered glass but it looks like. The design is unique and is perfect for this build.

As in this build, we are using a micro-ATX motherboard, this case supports that completely. This case is specially made for Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX form factor motherboards and will support long graphics cards too. There are two drive bays at the bottom for installing hard drives and it comes with 3x 120mm pre-installed LED fans which is hard to find in a cheap case like this.

Cable management of this case is also good as there are a lot of routeing holes there are the cutout on the motherboard tray is very large to provide ease in installing aftermarket CPU coolers if you want to. It’s one of the best launches from Cooler Master for budget builds.


TOTAL~$430(Prices Fluctuate)


Recommended Peripherals for this build:-

Monitor: ViewSonic VA2446M 

ViewSonic VA2446M: Check on Amazon

  • 24-Inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080p) 16:9 LED Computer Monitor with DVI-D, and VGA Inputs. 
  • 10M:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio; Two Built-In Speakers; Compatible with Mac, and Windows; ideal for both laptops and desktops; VESA mountable
  • 3-year Limited Warranty

Keyboard/Mouse: Redragon S101 Gaming Keyboard, M601 Mouse

Redragon S101 gaming Keyboard/M601 Mouse: Check on Amazon

  • Keyboard: RGB Illuminated Redragon Gaming Keyboard: 
  • Mouse: Ergonomic Redragon M601 Centrophorus Backlit Gaming Mouse 3200 DPI (1000/1600/2400/3200 4 level DPI adjustment)
  • 6 buttons, and an 8-piece weight tuning set (2.4g x 8). Durable smooth TEFLON feet and contoured body for ultimate gaming control. Quality ABS construction and two programmable side buttons

Wifi:TP-Link N300 TL-WN881ND

TP-Link TL-WN881ND wifi card: Check on Amazon

  • Easily setup a highly secured wireless link with WPS
  • Hassle-free installation
  • Seamlessly compatible with 802.11n/b/g products
  • Industry-leading 2-year warranty 

Have any doubts? Ask in the comments below

Sarfraz

I am an engineer and a certified Hitech computer technician who loves to play Tekken(Left CSGO). But this is not what else I love. I love to dive into the computer hardware and same goes for you. That’s why you are here! AND YES IGNORE MY BAD ENGLISH:)

  • The Comodian

    Could I use a gtx 950 in place of the R7 370? Similar price and according to the reviews I read/watched. The gtx 950 is the winner.

  • Jeffrey

    Hey Sarfraz, i been looking into this build for a while, comparing it with the $300 & the $400. I want to get decent fps on my pc with high settings, but silly problem is I really like the look of the $300 case. Is it possible that I can get the $300 case, while having all the $400 components? Sorry for English

    • Yes you can use the case from $300 build without any problem but you will only face difficulty in that. This which is VIVO mid tower is bigger and has more space. It’s quality is also better. don’t go only on the looks. With mini towers many people face the problems like upgradability and space.

  • Steve

    hey Sarfraz, ive been looking at this build and can i use the gtx 950 on this build?

  • Jennah Ann Colberg

    Hi I am new at building a pc I was just wondering with all the components can the power supply power them and 3 120mms and 1 80 mms fans ?
    And the cpu fan

    • No problem. 500 watts is even enough for further upgrades. 3-4 fans are no big issue.

      • Jennah Ann Colberg

        What about 5 max

        • Add 10 if you can, and there is still no problem. Well I am bad at making videos. I tried once. Therefore I prepared the 100+ pages computer building guide with no step skipped with hd photos. It’s not expensive and several people have bought it.

  • Jennah Ann Colberg

    Can I do a double monitor with this build?

    • You can power two monitors with this graphics card but gaming isnt possible on both simultaneously.

  • Jennah Ann Colberg

    Why did you change the grafics card from the xfx to the gtx. Everthing is still compadible right I have all parts but the hdd and grafics card

    • Gtx 950 is faster than r7 370 and also cheaper now a days. Its fully compatible.

      • Jennah Ann Colberg

        Ty

      • Jennah Ann Colberg

        Ty

    • Gtx 950 is faster than r7 370 and also cheaper now a days. Its fully compatible.

  • Jennah Ann Colberg

    Why did you change the grafics card from the xfx to the gtx. Everthing is still compadible right I have all parts but the hdd and grafics card

  • Jennah Ann Colberg

    Ok so I don’t won’t the overclocking. Can I use the EVGA GeForce GTX 950 2GB FTW GAMING, Silent Cooling Graphics Card 02G-P4-2958-KR. Same card just not overclocked. I looked it up on a site said everything is compatible

    • Sure. But I think prices are same.

      • Jennah Ann Colberg

        Ok I am right the gtx 950 ftw is not overclocked right

      • Jennah Ann Colberg

        Ok I am right the gtx 950 ftw is not overclocked right

        • Its also factory overclocked. But dont overclock it if you dont want to.

          • Jennah Ann Colberg

            Yeah. like what they normally do to then right and the other one was factory overclocked right

          • Jennah Ann Colberg

            Yeah. like what they normally do to then right and the other one was factory overclocked right

        • Its also factory overclocked. But dont overclock it if you dont want to.

    • Sure. But I think prices are same.

  • Jennah Ann Colberg

    Ok so I don’t won’t the overclocking. Can I use the EVGA GeForce GTX 950 2GB FTW GAMING, Silent Cooling Graphics Card 02G-P4-2958-KR. Same card just not overclocked. I looked it up on a site said everything is compatible

  • Edy García

    Can I change the Pentium G3258 for the Fx6300? or does affect it in any negative way?

    • yes you can change. But also change the motherboard also. As fx 6300 will run on AMD am3 motherboards.

      • Edy García

        So instead of ”MSI Intel LGA 1150 H81M-P33” , Should I purchase ”ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+”?

    • yes you can change. But also change the motherboard also. As fx 6300 will run on AMD am3 motherboards.

  • Edy García

    Can I change the Pentium G3258 for the Fx6300? or does affect it in any negative way?

  • Killakobes390

    Should i get a couple cooler for this build?

    • You mean CPU cooler? Yes if you can buy one then it will be good for overclocking.

      • Killakobes390

        Yeah that’s what I meant it autocorrected it

    • You mean CPU cooler? Yes if you can buy one then it will be good for overclocking.

  • Killakobes390

    I meant fan

  • Killakobes390

    This auto correct is terrible

  • FlashFrost

    I was thinking of buying the Pentium processor u mentioned here and overclocking it to 4.5 GHz, but i am not so sure anymore now when u mentioned how some newer games prefere 4+ cores. Would dual core drag performance too much when paired with a GTX 950?

    • Yes its true that some games prefer 4 cores but with dual core like g3258 you will still get reasonable fps in those games. The only con is that there will be some fps drops in gameplay. If you think you can afford an i3 6100 and a gtx 960 then you will get best performance but g3258 is best matched with gtx 950 and i3 can handle even more. I generally dont recommend amd processors even some are at $80 like fx 4350 and have four cores as you will get less fps in every game. But for people who do multi tasking plus gaming fx 6300 and fx 4350 are good choice.

    • Yes its true that some games prefer 4 cores but with dual core like g3258 you will still get reasonable fps in those games. The only con is that there will be some fps drops in gameplay. If you think you can afford an i3 6100 and a gtx 960 then you will get best performance but g3258 is best matched with gtx 950 and i3 can handle even more. I generally dont recommend amd processors even some are at $80 like fx 4350 and have four cores as you will get less fps in every game. But for people who do multi tasking plus gaming fx 6300 and fx 4350 are good choice.

      • FlashFrost

        Forgot to ask if overclocking on this MB is possible since its kinda cheap and you usually need a better MB for overclocking. Also would i need a new cpu cooler or is the stock enough to pull it off? Thank you for quick response 🙂

        • You will be able to overclock it to 4.3ghz in bios and your cpu temperature will go upto 80 degrees with the stock cooler which is fine. But I like temperatures below 70. That’s why I myself bought a custom cooler for my i3 without overclocking.

          • FlashFrost

            Just found the new RX 460, checked out the benchmarks and it is almost the same as GTX 950, but in my country a fair bit cheaper. What do you think about the 460? It doesnt preform all that well but its cheap and decent for low budget.

          • Yes. Its better for futureproofing and can be used for crossfireX. Rx 460 will be great for dx12 gaming

          • FlashFrost

            Just found the new RX 460, checked out the benchmarks and it is almost the same as GTX 950, but in my country a fair bit cheaper. What do you think about the 460? It doesnt preform all that well but its cheap and decent for low budget.

        • You will be able to overclock it to 4.3ghz in bios and your cpu temperature will go upto 80 degrees with the stock cooler which is fine. But I like temperatures below 70. That’s why I myself bought a custom cooler for my i3 without overclocking.

      • FlashFrost

        Forgot to ask if overclocking on this MB is possible since its kinda cheap and you usually need a better MB for overclocking. Also would i need a new cpu cooler or is the stock enough to pull it off? Thank you for quick response 🙂

  • FlashFrost

    I was thinking of buying the Pentium processor u mentioned here and overclocking it to 4.5 GHz, but i am not so sure anymore now when u mentioned how some newer games prefere 4+ cores. Would dual core drag performance too much when paired with a GTX 950?