When Looking for the best cheap gaming PC build under $500 dollars in 2016, I had to research for hours coming up with all manner of different cheap builds that would make awesome PC’s.
There are so many different builds out there, that it can seriously feel overwhelming at times, but I knew that I had to make an awesome build for you, so I stuck it out and kept on researching and testing builds. In the end, due to the popularity of $500 dollar PC’s I have decided to make two builds in this post. One will be a compact build that has an awesome form factor and the other one will be a PC that can be upgraded easily in the future. If you would like to check out an even cheaper build that still has awesome value check out $400 build
Each of these builds will be fully functional, produce awesome results, and have amazing value. These builds will blow any pre-built gaming PC’s in the price range out of the water. I’m very excited to share this information, so without further ado, let’s jump right in…
Cheap Gaming PC BUILD #1: THE UNDER $500 CONSOLE KILLER GAMING PC BUILD
This is the cheapest build out of the two, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this build is bad or something because that is the furthest thing from the truth. If you love small compact PC’s that you can put on your desk or live in a dorm with a small amount of space then this is the build I would recommend for you.
This build is a Micro-Atx build, which means that it will be small and compact, so it is also a very portable PC, but will still pack a punch.
With this build, you will easily be playing on high settings on most modern games and even with graphically demanding games such as fallout 4 or the witcher 3 should play on a mix of medium and high settings.
This build will blow any Xbox, or PS4 out of the water and really lets you experience the fun that is PC gaming.
Now that I’ve told you what this build is capable of, let’s show you what components you nee
Last Updated: August 23rd, 2017
Premium Micro ATX Case, Great Airflow
Great Stable Power Supply For An Affordable Price
2GB Video Card, Great Budget Card
Dual-Core Hyperthreading Processor, Very Affordable
Great Affordable MATX Motherboard For An 7th Generation Intel Processor
Two 4GB Sticks Of DDR4 RAM, Very Affordable
A Very Reliable Hard Drive, 7200RPM
The Thermaltake Core V21 is an excellent cheap micro-atx case. This case is probably one of the most portable cases around, and if you are looking for the most mobile case you can find, then this is it. It also has a nice looking design with a slick black finish making it, even more, appealing. In addition it has clear sides to show your build in all its glory! Not to mention this case also comes with a fan already installed which will make your PC even cooler It’s especially useful with this build due to the Video Card pretty demanding which is the reason why I chose it.
That being said, I understand if you would rather have another case other than the Thermaltake Core V21, due to personal preferences, so below is a link that will allow you to search for other case designs, that work with this build.
Evga is a brand respected by many and is known to make the most high-quality power supplies around. There isn’t much to say about the power supply except that it’s awesome and has enough power for anything this build can throw at it and then some left over if you wish to upgrade. Just know that with this 500w power supply you are getting power and quality all in one.
In the past getting any decent gaming rig on a budget of $500 was almost impossible, However, due to prices falling you now have the opportunity to game at even higher levels at an amazingly affordable price.
The ZOTAC 1050 is one of the best entry level 1080p graphics card on the market and is the component that makes or breaks this build. So we want to be anything but cheap here! Video cards are super important and at this price point, even more so. Your video card choice can make or break your build, so I made sure to choose a powerful GPU that I know can run most games on high settings, but still not break your budget. With this in the back of my head, I chose to pick the ZOTAC 1050.
The Zotac 1050 has many different variables, but the one I picked for you has silent fans and is also super clocked. When playing your games, you will hardly hear your PC, and it will be very silent. With the 1050, you are looking to play most newer games on high settings and older games at ultra settings!
If something as cutting edge as the Zotac 1050, doesn’t excite you, with the performance per price ratio, I don’t know what will.
For the price point, the Intel Pentium 4600 really impresses. If the Video Card is the heart of the PC, then the Processor is the brain. Without an awesome processor it doesn’t matter how good your PC is, it will still struggle to process things and that’s where the 4600 comes in. This coupled with the 1050 will allow you to run most modern games on high settings.
One of the biggest problems people seem to have with dual core processors is the fact that more and more games are requiring more than two processors. Intel combats this by utilizing hyperthreading which just means that a dual-core processor such as the Pentium 4600 can efficiently play games that require multiple cores.
This motherboard may not expensive, but don’t let the price fool you, this MSI B250 Micro ATX motherboard is amazing. Asus is a renowned motherboard maker for high quality at low prices, and this motherboard doesn’t disappoint.
The motherboard is like a vital hub, that runs everything and having a good motherboard is borderline essential.You also get MSI’s amazing BIOS which makes finetuning your gaming experience very accessible. With this MSI B250 motherboard, you are getting an easy to install motherboard that exceeds expectations.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is vital to any PC and having 8gb’s is now vital to PC gaming. As games become bigger they need more memory to be able to run, and even though this is a budget build I had to include 8gb’s of RAM.
The RAM I chose for this build was the Crucial Ballistix Sport 8gb kit. This ram is made by Crucial and has to be the best bang for your buck RAM around. There isn’t much to say about ram except that you need it, and crucial’s ram has stood the test of time to become one of the best ram manufacturers you can buy from.
With this build, I have decided to include the 1TB of Hard drive, by western digital. 1tb of space makes this gaming PC build all the better as it can store even the biggest games simultaneously such as GTA 5, and Fallout 4 and still have space to spare.
You can always get less hard drive space, but if you intend to build a PC that is going to last you for years, then I would recommend 1TB unless you are a fan of deleting games right after you play them.
I picked Western Digital because of their amazing quality hard drives, that I’ve used over the years. Not one have I had an issue with these hard drives, and even if I did they offer returns and quickly rectify customer issues.
(optional) CD Drive:
The CD drive is optional and I did not include it in my total because you do not need a CD drive anymore as most things are digital nowadays. The one reason most people seem to think they need a CD drive is because they use it to install their operating system, but they could also just use a USB drive.
I did include it if you would like to get it, but personally if you are just going to use it for installing an OS then I would choose the USB route.
Either way, the Asus CD drive is cheap and gets the job done. it’s not the best CD Drive out there, but it is the one of the most affordable and I’ve used it in many of my builds.
Gaming PC Build #1 Conclusion
The build above is the cheapest out of the two, but honestly, it is an awesome build, that I would have loved to have when I first started PC gaming. This build is very future-proof and will last you for a good amount of time before you even have to think of upgrading.
If you love small compact builds that don’t take up a lot of space, but will still play most 2017 games at high settings, this is the build for you. The price may be cheap, but I can assure you that the performance isn’t.
I hope this build has helped you out and just want you to know that if you have any questions about this build you can ask me below.
Cheap Gaming PC build #2 – The Upgradeable Gaming PC
The first build that I did for this post was a Micro-ATX build, that was very small and compact. While that build was small it still packs a huge punch, and is definitely worth every penny, its major strength is its amazing compact design perfect for someone who lives in small areas and someone who is on a budget, under 500 dollars.
This PC, on the other hand, will be a little more expensive, but very upgradeable in the future. What I mean by upgradeable is that when you want to upgrade this PC, to the next level you will be able to do it with ease. The whole thought process with this build is that you are planning to upgrade, so unlike the other builds, this PC will be bigger and more spacious to allow for more powerful graphics cards in the future.
I know you are excited to get into this build and I hope it helps you a great deal, so let’s get right into it…
Last Updated: August 23rd, 2017
Great Case With A Lot Of Space For Upgrades
A Great Cheap Power Supply For Those On A Budget
Great 4GB 1080 Video Card For The Price!
One of the Best Budget Processors At The Moment
Great LGA 1151 DDR4 Micro ATX Motherboard
Cheap, Efficient DDR4 RAM
A Very Reliable Hard Drive, 7200RPM
Since the theme of this build is having a very upgradeable PC, I decided to go with a larger case that could easily house any of the bigger graphics cards if you upgraded in the future. This case not only looks awesome but meets all the requirements for a case that I had set.
The Vivo ATX mid tower case is not only stylish but also a very affordable case. You also get USB 3.0’s which are awesome as they charge faster than 2.0s. Honestly what more can you want from a case other than style, function, and affordability? The Vivo ATX mid tower meets all of these points, so that would be my pick for you.
I understand that some people may not want this case and instead would rather get another case, so I have included this link for you so you can click on it to find another case that would fit your preferences (remember PC building is all about choice!)
Again, I’ve chosen the EVGA 500 watts power supply, simply because of them making some of the best power supply’s that money can buy and also some of the most affordable. 500 watts is more than enough for this build and you can easily upgrade to more when the time comes.
Now we’ve come to the MVP of the gaming build, the EVGA Geforce 1050 TI. This card is not only beautiful but also (like the name entails) silent. This card by itself can play most games on high settings… yep even at this price point, you can play most modern games on high settings with this card. That’s not to say that there are some games that will be on high due to their graphically intense nature, but overall this card is amazing for the price.
The 1050 ti is also a pretty beautiful piece when it comes to overclocking, which pushes the performance even more especially in open world games such as Skyrim or Fallout 4 making your experience that much better.
The 1050 TI is also super clocked which means it already comes running at max performance so you get just every ounce of performance. For someone on a $500 budget, this is the only GPU I would recommend at the moment!
This is an awesome CPU that meets every requirement while still remaining on a budget. The Intel Pentium G4600 is dual core, so it is easy to have some reservations, but its amazing hyperthreading makes it more than able to handle anything a game could throw at it.
The upgrade path would be to go with the i5 after a few years with this build as that provides more cores which might be needed in the future, but for now, this will do the job just fine.
The MSI does what it needs to do without any issues, and that’s all you really need out of a motherboard at this price range. The manufacturer is from MSI as they make some of the best motherboards you can get when you are a gamer. This motherboard is completely compatible with Intel’s 7th generation processors right out of the box. You also get MSI’s great BIOS which makes customizing your gaming experience a breeze.
With so much going for it, the MSI Bazooka is easily one of my favorite motherboards for someone on a budget.
This build has 2 sticks of 4gbs or ram which makes 8gbs. I’ve stressed the important of just getting 8gbs of ram due to the rising demand that games are starting to have. One example of this is famed GTA 5. GTA 5 on high/ultra setting can use around 3 GBs of RAM on high settings which would mean that in order to play GTA 5 you would have to close everything out and remain on lower settings than your system can handle. Instead of having you do that to save a few bucks, I just decided to include Crucial’s DDR4 8gbs of RAM.
The reason why I got two 4gs sticks of ram instead of one 8gb stick is simple. It manages memory much more efficiently when you use different panels instead of just using one channel. an example would be like having one well vs two wells, even if they both have the same amount of water the two wells will get water faster due to the different channels.
The hard drive I chose was western digital, due to them having awesome hard drives that barely ever have any issues and also because of the awesome speed this hard drive provides. Not to mention, have a very affordable price for what you are getting.
(Optional) CD Drive:
Now, this CD isn’t included in the build because most people only use it to install the OS and I decided that it seemed to be just another cost that you could really just ignore, but there are many ways to get the OS so there really is no point. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get it however if you like to watch blue-ray disc movies or other things then by all means its up to you. That’s why I love building PC’s we all have to make our own choices when building them, but that doesn’t mean I’ll leave you to drown.
Gaming PC BUILD # 2 CONCLUSION
All in all, this is an awesome build, that will really push out some amazing performance and I doubt that you will need to upgrade for a good deal of time. When you do upgrade, however, there will be plenty of space to use and you can slowly build this up to an amazing PC that run’s all games on ultra 1080p 60fps with no issues. As the build is now it can run most games on high- ultra settings, but as time goes on it will need to be upgraded.
I hope this build helped you out and if you have any questions about this build ask in the comments below and I will help you out as soon as I can.
Recommended Monitor: Acer 21.5 Inch 1080p Monitor
This is really the best entry level 1080 monitor out there. You’re getting brand quality with Acer, but also some amazing value for the price. I have one of these monitors myself and I can attest to the deep color contrasts and beautiful visuals this thing puts out. You also get a great deal of, customizable features so that you can find what works for you. Really if you’re looking for a budget monitor, there really aren’t any others that can compete with this.
Recommended Keyboard and Mouse: CM Storm Devastator II Combo
The CM storm devastator II combo has to be one of my favorite gaming keyboard and mouse combo sets on a budget. this keyboard and mouse were made specifically for gamers which allow for more customization features to get that competitive edge when playing games. The keyboard and mouse are LED lit which is awesome as it allows you to see your keys even in the dark. I mean at this price-point this is a steal and that’s one of the reasons why I included it in this list. This combo also comes in different colors which makes it even cooler!
Recommended Headset: XIBERIA Gaming Headset
I mean the looks of this headphone by itself really is awesome, but that’s not even the best apart about this set. Not only are you going to be getting some headphones with an amazing design, but they also sound great as well. With noise cancellation, awesome mic braided cord, and stunning surround sounds I don’t know what else a gamer could want out of this headset. If you are a gamer looking to get an awesome pair of headphones on a budget there is simply no reason not to give a look at these. They seriously met my expectations and then some.
Recommended Wifi: EDUP 600MPS Wifi Adapter
While I recommend getting an ethernet cable and connecting directly to the router for gaming, if you’re looking for a wifi USB adapter, the EDUP AC600 is a good choice. You’re getting a great connection that will allow you to competitively game and keep low latency (anyone who games online knows that this is essential!).
Operating System Options
Okay, it’s now time to talk a little about Operating systems. It’s very easy to overlook them when building a PC, but they are really important because these are what your PC operates on. There are many operating systems out there, but being realistic most people are only going to use a few, so I’m going to talk about the two biggest operating systems out there and give you my thoughts on them.
With Linux, the majority of you might not have even heard about this, but it is a popular free software that can be downloaded for free. Linux is used for many reasons, but the main reason most people use Linux is because they want more freedom on their PC’s. You see, most of the big operating systems are owned by big corporations and are mainstream so they are designed to be very simple and easy to use, Linux on the other hand, was designed for the more tech savvy crowd. I would recommend Linux if you want to try something different and also don’t want to pay anything for an IOS. (you can always just switch to windows whenever you’ve saved up the funds or not your choice)
I’m pretty sure most of you know what windows is and are more than comfortable with using it, but you may not know that the windows OS costs money, well, at least, the official copy does. You see there is a huge controversy over whether or not you should pay for it due to their being many ways to get a copy for free. I won’t tell you on this post (google is your friend…) and their really isn’t a right or a wrong, but that’s all I’m going to stay about it.
Other than that Windows is an awesome OS that has withstood the test of time and to be honest, is probably going to be the main choice for anyone who wants to PC game due to most triple-A games not even supporting Linux at the moment. (although this is slowly changing due to the steam OS)
What Version Of Windows?
If you’re looking to get the most out of your gaming PC, then get Windows 10. Windows 10 is what all PC game developers are optimizing for, which means you’ll get the most optimized experience when gaming. This means getting more out of your gaming PC and ultimately leads to more enjoyment. With Windows 10’s recent updates, the OS is starting to rival and even outshine Windows 7 in a low of ways!
Windows 7 will always hold a special place in my heart for being such a great OS, but games will perform better on Windows 10, making this a no-brainier at this point.
Windows 10 USB Version
If you want to install Windows 10 with a USB and forgo getting an optical drive, go with this option Check The Current Price
Windows 10 Disk Version
If you have an internal or external optical drive and want the disk version Check The Current Price
I really hope one of these two builds has helped you out. Both of these builds are capable of running most games on High settings at 1080p 60 fps and should be able to dominate most titles that come out in 2017. I know that anyone who gets this build will be pleased and I can’t wait to hear the results from those who do build one of these two PC’s.
If you need any help don’t be afraid to leave a comment below I will answer it promptly, also what do you plan on naming your PC? Tell me below.