If you have been looking around to build your very first gaming pc for the cheapest possible, or if you are looking to simply build a cheap gaming pc, then you may find that pc builds are generally priced using only the internal hardware. What you may not have budgeted for is a pc monitor, keyboard and mouse before you can even use your gaming pc.
How can you build the cheapest possible gaming pc?
This article is going to assume you are purchasing all of your hardware components brand new, that’s because I don’t know what is available to you or what you already own. That being said, to get the cheapest possible gaming pc I would recommend trying to either re-use any hardware you already own, or searching your local classifieds, asking friends and so on.
An easy example could include re-using old pc cases as these have been relatively standard for quite some time and you really don’t need anything fancy. Just double check that it will fit the motherboard you’re purchasing, which affordability wise will most likely be a MicroAX (9.6″ X 9.6″) to ATX sized (5.12″ X 9.6″) – just make sure which.
Also, you can search for cheap keyboards, mice and monitors literally everywhere. Just because you are building a gaming pc doesn’t mean you need the flashiest mouse or keyboard that screams GAMING. If you’re starting out fresh, grab what you can get. You can also find old cheap monitors quite easily using classified sections, just search for used HD/1080p LCD monitors and you can probably snag one for less than $50 (just make sure it has an HDMI or DVI connector and as a last resort, VGA).
First some assumptions:
If you are even planning on building the cheapest possible gaming pc, then you should at least try to aim for standard HD performance capabilities, as you’d want to at least feel you are building something worthwhile and able to play standard pc games at 1080p resolutions with well over 30 frames per second at low to medium settings (minimally). Otherwise, you could just opt for a gaming console of some sorts.
That moved us into a second point — why would you even consider building a pc before simply purchasing a console? I’m only going to briefly touch on this and it will wholeheartedly be some of personal judgement, but there are plenty of factual reasons. By going with a PC, whether more expensive or similarly priced as a console, is simply a much more versatile machine that you can virtually do anything from gaming, using any software you want, you can learn how to program any software you want, or you could write a crappy college essay on that Shakespeare play you just read.
It really isn’t hard to build your own pc (basically just plugging a bunch of pieces of hardware together and following some instructions). And once you ‘ve built your PC you can upgrade it in the future or re-use old hardware pieces again in a future build. Trust me, it’s way more worth it than purchasing a gaming console — and if you’re simply gaming on console because that’s where your buds are, then simply send this article and get them building as well.
Where to Start Building that Cheap Gaming PC?
So now you’re wondering, so now what? Well, it really comes down to finding the cheapest possible hardware that is compatible, the best value for what you spend and what’s easiest to come by.
The easiest way, in my opinion, is to simply start with trying to find the hardware that can minimally accomplish our goal of having a capable gaming PC that actually plays games. That is a gaming pc that is capable of very minimally 30+FPS at 1080p on low to medium settings in most of all games on the market.
You could do some benchmark research and find that there is still hardware that isn’t currently available new, but you could buy used and this is a viable strategy (eBay is a good source of used CPUs, GPUs and other hardware), however, in this case, we are going to be looking at only new hardware.
Cheap Gaming PC Build for Under $500 (Includes Mouse, Monitor & Keyboard)
Performance: Game at 1080p resolutions with low-medium presets
This extremely affordable gaming pc build comes in well under $500 and includes all the hardware you need to get up and running with PC gaming at standard HD resolutions, with plenty of upgrade room to make this into an even better gaming pc when you can afford to.
*This PC Build is powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G APU
Overview | Yes it’s possible to build a cheap under $500 Gaming PC with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor
The above build features all the hardware you need to get up and running in an affordable, cheap gaming pc build. The processor is an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G, which is a light and nimble APU that is a “good option for a budget gaming pc build” – pcgamer
What’s an “APU”? — aka the “AMD Accelerated Processing Unit is a processor designed to act as a central processing unit (CPU) as well as a graphics accelerator (GPU). You get a combined piece of hardware. In this build, we get to save on purchasing a discrete or separate graphics card as we technically don’t need one. One advantage of this is that we save some cash, and when you save for a better graphics card in the future you still have the option of adding one! I double any console is capable of such things?
The motherboard being used is a MicroATX GIGABYTE GA-AB350M-Gaming 3, an affordable B350 chipset motherboard that supports the APU in this build. Yes this is a MicroATX sized motherboard, so it is more compact in size, so we will have a case to fit. The GIGABYTE GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 is a budget, nimble board that most likely does everything you need and has the following specifications (see full specifications at gigabyte.com):
- Supports AMD Ryzen™ & 7th Generation A-series/ Athlon™ Processors
- Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
- Fast 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-A
- Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support
- High-Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
- Realtek® Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
- Smart Fan 5 features 5 Temperature Sensors and 3 Hybrid Fan Headers
- GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
- APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
This cheap pc build comes with a standard kit of 8Gb of RAM — a package of two 4GB sticks of 8GB Kingston Technology HyperX Fury to be exact. 8Gb is plenty for most of what this builds will do, so there really is no reason to upgrade this unless you find you need to later on.
Did you know that you can overclock the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G APU? Here’s a guide to do so with the included motherboard by Gigabyte.
There is 120Gb of included storage with the Kingston A400 SSD — 120GB not enough you say? Well for under $30 it sure is! And if you need more either add another later or simply choose a larger size.
The EVGA – BT 450W 80+ Bronze Certified is nothing too special, but it is a decent budget box that will do the job for cheap and is a reputable PSU.
For a pc case, we have to choose a MicroATX compatible case since the motherboard we chose is that size (you could purchase a larger case, but no reason to in my opinion). The case chosen is a Rosewill – SRM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case. This is a super compact, very basic pc case that is a mini tower — taking up only as much space as it needs too.
The Peripherals included in the under $500 cheap gaming pc build
Yes, that’s right, this whole article boasts that it is possible to get ALL THE HARDWARE you need for that gaming pc build for under $500. This includes:
A very affordable Gaming Mouse, a Griffin by Redragon that has everything you need to get gaming with a mouse. Including programmable buttons, 7200 dpi and a colourful gamer look. You can get slightly cheaper, but do try to aim for around 7200dpi or higher.
The keyboard is a simple “AmazonBasics Gaming Keyboard” — yes an Amazon Basics piece of hardware. This is an affordable gaming keyboard that actually looks great Now this is a mechanical like keyboard, so it isn’t legitimately mechanical, but feels like it and is a little quieter. This Amazon Basics gaming keyboard has versatile lighting, anti-ghosting, and even programmable macros — not too shabby for a budget gaming keyboard.
And finally, we have a budget 1080p monitor for well under $100 — the BenQ GW2270, a 21.5″ monitor at standard HD resolutions, it’s all you need to get up and running. Looking to save on a monitor or get something larger? You could also connect to a TV, or look in local classified for individuals getting rid of their old monitors, but this really is all you need.
An Under $500 Gaming PC With Keyboard, Mouse & Monitor is Possible!
There you have, it all of the hardware on needs to get up and running with a gaming pc build for under $500. By going this route you get the ability to further upgrade your pc in the future (this the addition of a separate graphics card, more RAM etc) — beats purchasing a console in my opinion.
Have any questions? Feel free to ask away in the comments section below and best of luck building your cheapest possible gaming pc. Feel free to also share any cheap pc builds you’ve done recently and how you accomplished getting it the cheapest possible!