The Best $500 Gaming PC Build for 2021

The Best $500 Gaming PC Build for 2021

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Last Updated: December 29th, 2020

Build Overview

If you are in the market for the best 2021 under $500 gaming pc build, then you have come to the right place. If this is the case, you will get the most affordable gaming PC that simply gets you up and running with your favorite pc games at half decent settings and with smooth gameplay.

The best possible $500 gaming PC build will get you up and playing at standard HD 1080P resolutions with game settings scaled back for optimal FPS gameplay. So if you are looking for the best bang for your buck $500 builds, the following are updated every month here at Newb Computer Build.

This gaming PC build is a back to the basics type build that focuses solely on getting as much performance as we can out of each dollar spent. That means no bells and whistles, only pure performance and focusing on the necessities of our build.

Best of luck when planning your next gaming PC build and should you have any questions feel free to comment below.

If you are in the market for another PC budget you can also check out the BEST 2021 GAMING PC BUILDS page.

The Best $500 Gaming PC Build 2021

Capability: Game at Smoothly with medium to high settings with smooth FPS at 1920X1080 resolutions in most games.

Powered by the Ryzen 3 3300X CPU and a GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card

1 CPU - Best $500 PC Build 2021

1. CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3300X 4-Core

We've finally switched the CPU in the best $500 Gaming PC Build with a new budget Ryzen CPU - the newer Ryzen 3 3300X 4 Core CPU. The 3300X's four cores operate at 3.8 GHz clock rate and boost to 4.3 GHz, providing great gaming performance.

This replaces the previous Ryzen 2600, however, the 2600 is now way too expensive for older hardware and underperforms in comparison.

MSRP Price (*Stock is currently low): $130.00

2 Cooler - Best $500 PC Build 2021

2. Cooler: AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler (Included)

This cooler is included with the AMD Ryzen3 3300X and is more than enough to cool this $500 gaming pc build.

3 Motherboard - Best $500 PC Build 2021

3. Motherboard: GIGABYTE B450M DS3H V2

This motherboard is a quality budget Micro ATX sized board, that features everything you'd need in a $500 PC, including:

  • Supports AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen/ 2nd Gen Ryzen/ 1st Gen Ryzen/ 2nd Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics/ 1st Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics/ Athlon with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Feature Digital VRM Solution with Low RDS(on) MOSFETs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • 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
  • GIGABYTE Exclusive 8118 Gaming LAN with Bandwidth Management

To see the full specifications, please visit gigabyte.com.

Amazon Price: $64.99

4 Graphics Card - Best $500 PC Build 2021

4. Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1650

The 1650 Super is a great 1080p gaming GPU and is capable of being able to run any game out there.

*If in stock, consider an ASUS AMD Dual Radeon RX 5500 XT

Amazon Price: $169.99

5 RAM - Best $500 PC Build 2021

5. RAM: Patriot Signature Premium DDR4 8GB (2x4GB) 2666MHz

8GB for any gaming pc out there and should be all you need -- however there is always room to upgrade!

Amazon Price: $39.99

6 SSD - Best $500 PC Build 2021

6. SSD: PNY CS900 240GB 3D NAND

The $500 pc build starts at 240GB and it's plenty for those with the $500 budget pc build and there is always room for growth.

Amazon Price: $27.99

7 Power Supply - Best $500 PC Build 2021

7. Power Supply Unit: Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+ White Certified PSU

500W is plenty for this pc build and the Thermaltake Smart 500W does the trick perfectly.

Amazon Price: $47.99

8 PC Case - Best $500 PC Build 2021

8. PC Case: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L

The Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L is a staple Micro ATX case with everything you need at the budget you need, all while looking great in a compact form factor case.

Amazon Price: $48.99

Estimated Price (January 2021): $530

The Best 2021 $500 Gaming PC Build Details

The best CPU for the $500 pc build is the Ryzen 3 3300X CPU. This CPU replaces the Ryzen 5 2600 that held this spot previously as it’s newer, cheaper and faster. The 3300X features 4 CPU cores with a max boost clock up to 4.3GHz and 8 Threads.

The graphics card included is a GeForce GTX 1650, which is very capable of playing any game out there at 1080p and is priced right. If you have a tiny bit more to spend and if its in stock, you could also consider an ASUS AMD Dual Radeon RX 5500 XT for higher frame rates.

The motherboard chosen is a budget board that does everything you need in this $500 budget PC build — it’s a Micro ATX smaller form factor motherboard – the GIGABYTE B450M DS3H V2. This motherboard is a quality budget Micro ATX sized board, that features everything you’d need in a $500 PC, including (to read the full specifications on this board, please visit Gigabyte.com):

  • Supports AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen/ 2nd Gen Ryzen/ 1st Gen Ryzen/ 2nd Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics/ 1st Gen Ryzen with Radeon Vega Graphics/ Athlon with Radeon Vega Graphics Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Feature Digital VRM Solution with Low RDS(on) MOSFETs
  • HDMI, DVI-D Ports for Multiple Display
  • 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
  • GIGABYTE Exclusive 8118 Gaming LAN with Bandwidth Management

    The RAM included is all you’ll need for this build, which is 8GB of DDR4 RAM with a kit of Patriot Signature Premium DDR4 8GB (2x4GB) 2666MHz memory.

    For storage, this build includes a modest 240GB PNY CS900 SSD – which is a good starting amount of storage for the $500 gaming pc build, but you could upgrade for not much more.

    The power supply we have this month is an affordable Thermaltake Smart 500W – a budget PSU that offers just the right amount of juice for this $500 pc build.

    The PC Case included in the best $700 gaming pc build is the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L. I would consider the staple budget MicroATX case on the market – which offers a budget-friendly, high-quality option. Learn more about the finite details at coolermaster.com.

    Upgrades for the Best 2021 $500 PC Build

    The following are some of the best upgrades for the $500 gaming pc build — these are for those that have a tad more than a $500 budget for their build or for those who want future upgrade ideas.

    CPU Upgrade - Best $500 Gaming PC Build 2021
    CPU Upgrade

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler

    A CPU upgrade may be worth it if you have more to spend, and the Ryzen 5 3600 is a perfect choice.

    Cost: $199.99

    GPU Upgrade - Best $500 Gaming PC Build 2021
    Graphics Card Upgrade

    MSI Gaming Radeon RX 5600 XT Boost Clock

    The 5600 XT is a great card and would be a worthy upgrade for the $500 gaming pc build, being able to play games at well over 60FPS.

    *The only catch, it may not be in stock at the moment.

    MSRP Price: $259.99

    RAM Upgrade - Best $500 Gaming PC Build 2021
    Memory Upgrade

    Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4 3600

    If you think you will need more memory, then 16GB would be a worthy upgrade and probably more than you need.

    Cost: $86.99

    Storage Upgrade - Best $500 Gaming PC Build 2021
    Storage Upgrade

    Crucial P1 500GB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe Internal SSD

    You could consider bumping up your storage capacity and read/write speeds with a Crucial P1 500GB NVMe SSD.

    Cost: $59.91

    The above are options should you have a greater budget than $500, or if you want future upgrade ideas when you eventually feel the need.

    The CPU upgrade suggested is a Ryzen 5 3600, which is a nice bump, so if you have the funds to do so, this may be a worthy upgrade for you!

    If you simply want the biggest bump in gaming performance, then you could consider upgrading the graphics card to an RX 5600 XT graphics card, which is a fantastic card that will guarantee higher settings in PC games at 1080p.

    If you feel a bump in memory is for you, then you could easily bump it to 16Gb with a kit of Corsair Vengeance 3600Mhz Gaming Memory.

    Or possibly you are looking for more storage space, then bump it up to 500GB with the 500GB Version of a Crucial P1 NVMe SSD.

    The under $500 gaming PC build for 2021 is the perfect budge for those who just want to get a cheap gaming PC and to just get up and playing their favorite PC games. The beauty of building your own PC, is that you can always swap hardware in the future to upgrade or get specific hardware that matches your style and tastes. If you are interested in learning more about what other budgets can get you, then check out the other builds here at Newb Computer Build or simply leave a comment below if you have any questions.

    Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them below!

    Looking for a Different Build Budget?

    Then check out the best gaming pc builds for 2021:

    Comments 31

    1. why is the graphics card never correct or correctly priced? I’m trying to budget and its really hard with that. please help!

      1. Post
        Author

        Hi Donovan, try searching for other GTX 1650’s there should be some available. The trouble at the moment is that graphics cards have been selling out quickly, so supply levels have been wonky.

      1. Post
        Author

        Hi Ulises, it seems that there has been a ton of demand for pc hardware over the last couple of week, driving some costs up. I would probably wait until the cost subsides to be honest, as any viable alternatives are also a tad more expensive. Unless you do go intel, in which case I do see an i5 9600K for $198, which is way below it’s value and would perform even better.

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    2. first off, great build man. I have been working on convincing my boss at work to replace the old ddr3 motherboards and other outdated hardware components at work. I have successfully convinced him after giving him the price list from you. I ended up going with a gigabyte rx 5500 xt 8gb as they are currently on sale at best buy for $184 and teamgroup elite 32 gb RAM for $102. obviously this puts the build a bit over $500 but the overall performance increase for the graphic designers will be great.

      1. Post
        Author

        Cody, amazing to hear and I’m so glad you were able to practically apply the build to your office. Those additions make perfect sense and I hope your graphics designers are appreciative! Thanks for stopping by to send a note.

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        Hi Jade,

        You are welcome. Are you asking how we could get the build a tad cheaper? Without losing performance this could prove a tad difficult. But you could try and look for Micro ATX sized PC cases that are a tad bit cheaper. Or you could try and go with a 120GB SSD rather than a 240GB. Otherwise, if you really want to go cheaper you could opt for an APU that has graphics built into the CPU – like the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X – which then you wouldn’t need a graphics card, but gaming performance would be limited to lower setting gameplay at 720p to 1080p.

        I hope this helps!

          1. Post
            Author

            Hi Mark, that’s a bit hard from my end to predict, however at the moment if we are talking dollar equivalencies, I would assume something like 400 pounds? And since black friday isn’t until November, also very hard to predict! But what typically goes on sale would be things like SSD storage, RAM, power supplies and pc cases – so I would eye those in terms of deals.

    3. Hi! This is going to be my first PC build, would this PC run games like stardew valley, terraria, and story of seasons okay? I don’t want to play AAA games or anything, so would this PC run well on those types of games? (even though I’ve been researching for months, I still can’t get a feel for what PC would suit me best :))

      1. Post
        Author

        Hi Veronica, this PC would be able to run those types of games,not a problem once so ever. the beauty of Indie type game titles, is that there is a low entrance in terms of hardware requirements. So yes, this would be perfect. Please do let me know if you have any questions and best of luck!

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    4. Hi Corey I am a 15 year old and have a very tight budget of 300$ to build a gaming pc from scratch. If you have any suggestions for me on what case,components,fans,etc i would need pls email me .Thanks King

      1. Post
        Author

        Hi King – $300 is a tight budget, but if I were started there I would probably get a CPU with integrated graphics, that way you can save on a graphics card for now.

        What I would do first though, is see if you can get your hand on some used components around your area (searching some where like Facebook Marketplace or Ebay) and you can use the list above for reference and see how close you can get to your budget.

        Then, what I would do is if you are still over budget, I would consider looking for cheaper components, starting with the build above, you could swap the CPU for a AMD Ryzen 5 3400G OR AMD Ryzen 3 3200G and then skip the graphics card for now as those are affordable CPUS with built in graphics.

        That should get you much closer to $300. Let me know where you end up and we could perhaps explore a bit more to get that budget down.

    5. Hi, I could use some advice on the compatibility of alternative components for a new build.

      Basically, i’m trying to stick to the items listed in the $500 build (but in GBP so there are very different prices sometimes), some products are unavailable and so I have swapped some things for the upgrades you recommend. My issue is with the items that I cannot find an alternative for from your site (for example the graphics card upgrade is over budget,and there are no upgrade/alternate suggestions for a PC case and power supply unit).

      Don’t know if it really matters if I bought a different make/model in regards to the case and power supply – wouldn’t think so, but I don’t want to guess being a complete ‘newb’ and general moron. So yeah, can I trust the compatibility of similar brands/models found on amazon? would really appreciate your input with ones i’m looking into getting instead if you can.

      Thanks

      1. Post
        Author

        Hi Helen, for sure and great questions. If the graphics card upgrade is over budget, you can search for alternative “GTX 1660 Super” brands as that should help and most should be ok. If not, let me know roughly what you have to spend and I can see if I can maximize performance from one at your particular amazon.

        As for the pc case, what I would search for is any case that is a “Mid Tower ATX” sized pc case, that way you can be sure it fits the motherboard. Then, you just need to check whether the graphics card length is compatible for that case – which in most cases it is. (For example, just search GPU length and maximum length the case supports).

        For the power supply, I would search for a power supply with a minimum of 500W of power – but from a reputable company, as this is very important to the overall sustainably of your PC. Some great power supplies are from companies like EVGA, Seasonic or Corsair (few examples).

        I hope this helps and please check back if you want to confirm what you’ve chosen.

        Best of luck building! Planning to play anything particular?

        1. Hey! Thanks so much for getting back to me, you’ve been really helpful there.

          All of the GTX 1660 supers i seem to find are still pushing £220, which i would go for if my budget hadn’t already been stretched by other things that weren’t in stock so had to go for the more expensive. I’ve looked at an XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition so its slightly different from the one in your list, would that work?

          Found a decent case (i think – its a Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-05 Mid-Tower ATX) and power supply sorted now so nice one thanks! The games i go for are like Subnautica, Ori and the blind forest, but also other stuff like Grow home, minecraft, and general adventure RPGs… bit random.

          Anyway let me know about the graphics card when you get a chance 🙂

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            Author

            HI Helen, all of that sounds good. The XFX RX 570 is a solid choice and will work perfectly, and I love the Corsair SPEC series. And that is a random assortment of games – that’s awesome! I hope everything turns out, I look forward to hearing how your build goes!

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          Hi Milind, the build currently uses a 1650 super graphics card, which is more than capable of playing Valorant on high settings and in warzone perform near the same quality – on a standard 1080- monitor at 60hz. So perhaps maybe not maxed settings with the highest FPS, but for sure great gameplay.

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