The Best $500 Gaming PC Build for 2021

The Best $500 Gaming PC Build for 2021

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Last Updated: March 1st, 2021

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 5 3400G with integrated Radeon RX Graphics
An alternative choice: Ryzen 3 3300X CPU and a GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card (if available)

1 CPU - Best $500 PC Build 2021

1. CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G 4-core, 8-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon RX Graphics

The Ryzen 5 3400G is a great starter CPU with integrated graphics (you don't need a graphics card). With graphics card prices what they are these days you can rest assured you can start gaming with this CPU with the option the add a graphics card at a later date.

Amazon Price: $284.99

*Alternative non-integrated graphics option (if in stock and you can find a graphics card)

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X 4-Core

The 3300X's four cores operate at 3.8 GHz clock rate and boost to 4.3 GHz, providing great gaming performance.

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: Asus Prime B450M-A/CSM AMD AM4 (3rd/2nd/1st Gen Ryzen Micro-ATX commercial motherboard

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

  • AMD AM4 Socket: The perfect pairing for 3rd/2nd/1st Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs
  • Fast Connectivity: 1Gb LAN, HDMI 2.0b, D-Sub, and DVI display outputs
  • ASUS CSM motherboard: ASUS Corporate Stable Model with up to 36-month supply, EOL notice, and ECN control
  • ASUS Control Center Express to make IT endpoint management simpler
  • 5X Protection III: all-round protection with LANGuard, DRAM overcurrent protection, overvoltage protection, SafeSlot Core safeguards and stainless-steel back I/O
  • Please ensure your BIOS is up to date if installing a compatible Ryzen 5000 series CPU. Visit ASUS site search by motherboard model name, click on “Support” tab, Drivers and Tools, then BIOS & Firmware to download the latest BIOS

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

Amazon Price: $77.99

4 Graphics Card - Best $500 PC Build 2021

4. Graphics Card: *Integrated Radeon RX

The Ryzen 5 3400G CPU has integrated graphics, which should be suitable for lower-end gaming. With graphics cards so high in cost right now, this may be the best choice for you to get up and gaming right away with the option to add a graphics card later.

*Alternative 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.

Amazon Price: $169.99 (*Don't overpay for this card)

*Alternative lesser comparable graphics cards if no GTX 1650's are in stock:

5 RAM - Best $500 PC Build 2021

5. RAM: HyperX Fury 8GB 3200MHz DDR4 CL16 DIMM (Kit of 2)

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

Amazon Price: $45.99

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: $29.99

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: Thermaltake Versa H15 Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Chassis

  • Enhanced airflow: Perforated top panel, heightened food stands, and specially designed cable routing gap enhance airflow for better ventilation
  • 1+2 drive bay: 5. 25” x 1 + 2. 5”/3. 5” x 3
  • One 120mm rear fan pre installed
  • Supports Mini ITX, Micro ATX (only when DVD ROM is NOT installed) Motherboard
  • I/O port: USB 3. 0 x 1, USB2. 0 x 1, HD Audio x 1
  • Max CPU cooler height: 155mm/ Max VGA length: 315mm
  • Dimension: 15” x 7. 8” x 16. 2”/ 7. 8 lbs
  • 3 year Warranty

Amazon Price: $49.99

Estimated Price (March 2021): $536.94

The Best 2021 $500 Gaming PC Build Details

The best CPU for the $500 pc build is the Ryzen 5 3400G CPU. This CPU features integrated Radeon RX Graphics, so you don’t need a graphics card to get started gaming – with the option to always add one in the future (which may be great since graphics cards are so hard to come by these days!).

*NOTE: A better option if you can find a decent graphics card for cheap, would be to get a Ryzen 3 3300X CPU and a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card if you can find them in stock. 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 it’s in stock.

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 Asus Prime B450M-A/CSM. 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 Asus.com).

  • Fan Xpert 2+: Flexible controls for ultimate cooling and silence.
  • Ultrafast connectivity: Supreme flexibility with USB 3.1 Gen 2 and native M.2
  • ASUS Aura Sync header: Onboard connector for RGB LED strips, easily synced with an ever-growing portfolio of Aura Sync-capable hardware
  • 5X Protection III: Multiple hardware safeguards for all-around system protection

    The RAM included is all you’ll need for this build, which is 8GB of DDR4 RAM with a kit of HyperX Fury 8GB 3200MHz DDR4. 

    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 $500 gaming pc build is the Thermtaltake Versa H15 Micro ATX case. This is a great small form factor case that has decent airflow for the cost.

    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.

    Amazon Price: $279.99

    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: $84.99

    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: $59.99

    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 budget pc build 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.

    Best of luck building your best possible $500 gaming pc build this 2021. If you have any questions be sure to leave a comment or simply join our Facebook Group to help grow a great gaming pc build community: Gaming PC Builders Facebook Group.

    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 47

    1. Thank you for the more detailed informative instructions! Most of the tutorials I find say beginner but they still put everything together seeming to assume everyone can figure out the details by themselves, making it annoyingly slightly more difficult. It is much appreciated!

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        Author

        I would say get the 1060ti if you can as it will perform significantly better than just the 1050. However you could probably expect something like 10-20fps less in games going with the 1050, so completely up to you. Games will still definitely be playable.

    2. hi i got a few questions if I get the exact parts you put on the $500 pc build except for the ryzen instead I’ll get a AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and playing on 1080p how much fps will fortnite run on high settings, medium settings, and low settings and if its on high settings will fortnite be playable also there’s this setting in fortnite only on pc where you can put the game on alpha it will automatically put everything low how much fps can that give you on fortnite and for streaming on twitch with handcam only how much fps will i get with high settings, low settings, medium settings, and alpha settings. Can this pc build also run Rogue company? let me know on my email:edwardgonzalezj07@gmail.com

      1. the part where i said ” and for streaming on twitch with handcam only how much fps will i get with high settings, low settings, medium settings, and alpha settings.” i meant to type “on twitch with handcam only how much fps will i get with high settings, low settings, medium settings, and alpha settings while streaming”

      2. Post
        Author

        Hi Edward, I appreciate the enthusiasm, however I can’t tell you with 100% certainty, because I have not used Fortnite in all of those individual settings plus for streaming etc. with the CPU you’ve chosen to go with. However, I can speculate that using the Ryzen 5 1600 and the GTX 1650, you can expect pretty good FPS at all settings. For example, check this benchmark video out using roughly the same specs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78riZC-DRPY

        Now for the streaming to twitch, this will vary a lot more. But if you’re going to do this, I would scale settings back in fortnite and stream starting at lower resolutions (perhaps 720p), and seeing if you are able. It may take a fit of finagling with your stream settings and game settings.

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            Author

            Hi Jordan, great question. Within the same sort of cost, you could consider something like a Antec VSK10 or Thermaltake Versa H18. Both are MicroATX sized cases (so small form factor). You could also go for a standard ATX case, and adding a bit more to the budget go with something like a Phanteks Eclipse P300A or with even more a NZXT H510 (if you take a look at the other builds posted this month any would work, just a tad more expensive, but all under $100).

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        Hi Elijah, I would reframe and think about what the cheapest graphics card you could get would be. See my response below. The build list above has the capability of 60fps in specific games but not in higher end titles, but you could scale graphics setting back in that case.

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        Hi Elijah, the intel i5 9600k is a greta processor and is has the capability, assuming you also pair it with a capable graphics card. This would be considering you are gaming at 1080p and would depend on the game. Your best bet would be to make a list of the games you play, and google “benchmarks for X game” using the intel 5 9600k or whichever cpu you have in mind.

    3. 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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    4. 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.

    5. 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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    6. 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.

    7. 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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            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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