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This extremely budget-conscious build is no easy task. With a $300 limit, we’ve had to cut some corners but also keep the quality of the components as high as possible. Thankfully, we’ve managed it. Now, this PC is not going to be able to run all the AAA games at glorious graphical settings and fantastic FPS levels, but what you are getting is an entry-level gaming PC that suits the casual gamer looking to get accustomed to mouse and keyboard on less graphically intensive games like Fortnite and League of Legends. Unfortunately, due to various factors, the prices of the hardware listed fluctuate daily. We aim to update all of our builds as much as we can to ensure they are as close to the specified build price as possible.
The Ryzen 3 3200G that we’ve chosen is not just a CPU, it’s an APU, with AMD’s Radeon Vega 8 graphics integrated onto the chip. This is great for us, and the main reason why we’re able to keep the cost of this gaming PC down, due to not having to go out and buy an external graphics card. It also comes packaged with a fan so buying an external CPU cooler isn’t necessary.
This ASRock motherboard is the cheapest of the B450M range and provides 3rd generation Ryzen CPU support straight out the box, which is essential for this build. It features a next-generation Hybrid Digi Power design which enables an efficient and clean power delivery to the CPU. Additionally, ASRock has incorporated full spike protection for your components so no damage when those unexpected power surges occur.
OLOy as a brand isn’t the one that springs to mind when searching for high-quality RAM, but it’s definitely one you should consider. The reason we’ve gone for their DDR4 RAM in this build as it had 3000MHz memory speeds but at a price that doesn’t make your eyes water. Even though this is a budget build we think going that little bit further for that all-important 16GB RAM is essential. It’ll not only help you in terms of multi-tasking but improve the system’s overall performance.
An SSD is almost essential in today’s PC world due to faster read and writes times over the more traditional HDDs. They might cost more but it is well worth it for the vast difference in performance. The Sandisk Plus 240GB SSD is perfect for this build, it’s exceptional value for money providing a decent amount of storage and read/write speeds of up to 530/s/440/s.
Some of you reading this might never have heard of Rosewill, but they make a line of very affordable PC cases without all the fancy trimmings. Their Ranger-M case is no different. It is extremely functional, compact, while also having fantastic ventilation through a honeycomb mesh design. This one also comes with blue LED dual fans which is a welcomed addition to any gaming PC.
Thermaltake has created a smart series of power supplies that have an efficiency of up to 86% coupled with an intelligent, low noise cooling fan. We think that this 500W supply is of great quality and immensely cost-effective and that’s why it makes the list for this budget build. In addition to the product features, the PSU itself uses high-quality components, enabling non-stop usage with stable and reliable performance.
With any gaming PC, you’ll want to know what games it can run and what FPS you’re likely to be expecting. The list below shows off some of the more graphically intensive games as well as some popular ones for you to get an idea of how this $400 rig is performing.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – 1920×1080 Low 115FPS average
- Dota 2 – 1920×1080 Low 85FPS average
- Fortnite – 1600×900 Low 80FPS average
- Rocket League – 1920×1080 Quality 80FPS average
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – 1600×900 Low 65FPS average
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – 1600×900 Very Low 50FPS average
- Overwatch – 1600×900 Low 70FPS average
- Warframe – 1920×1080 Medium(75% resolution scale) 60FPS average
- GTA V – 1600×900 Normal 80FPS average
- Forza Horizon 4 – 1920×1080 Very Low 50FPS average
- Monster Hunter: World – 1600×900 Low 50FPS average
- Hitman 2 – 1600×900 Low 35FPS average
- The Witcher 3 – 1600×900 Low 35FPS average
- Total War: Warhammer II – 1600×900 Low 30FPS average
With this being an entry-level budget build, you may be new to the whole PC building scene so we’ve detailed a few tips and tricks to help you succeed. If you’re a more experienced builder you can skip this section or potentially brush up on some techniques you might not have heard of.
Use Anti-static Equipment
Electrical components are fragile at the best of times so taking care when building is essential. However, what many don’t consider is the effect static electricity can have. If a static discharge occurs, it can damage your components beyond repair, which then means a whole lot of wasted money. You can avoid any potential component damage in a couple of ways, with the most common being; using an anti-static mat for your components and wearing an anti-static wristband when assembling.
Prepare your toolkit in advance
You’re going to want to get your tools ready because you don’t want to start to assemble your rig and not be able to due to not having the correct equipment. There aren’t masses of tools you need to successfully assemble a PC but what is essential, is a screwdriver with multiple bits. There are a few screws that are needed to secure both the components and assembling the case itself. These can usually be fitted using the same Phillips bit, with the most common being #2. However, make sure you have a #1 and #3 just in case.
Now you have your fresh new build, you need some operating software to actually use the machine. There is no disk drive in this one so you may be wondering ‘how am I going to install my operating system?’ well, it can actually be installed via USB. Whether you go with Windows or Linux, you will have to download the respective files onto a spare USB and plug it in when booting.
Graphics Card Drivers
You want to be looking at the highest resolution possible and that means ensuring you have the latest graphics card drivers installed. This is vital in your new build as you could be stuck with stock drivers that are not only out of date but give you a sub-optimal resolution. Go to the maker of your graphics card website which in this case is Nvidia, and find the correct drivers.
You’re going to want to protect your PC from any attacks, so installing antivirus software is a must-have. There are a variety of providers with different levels of protection but if you’re just wanting a piece of free software, we recommend Avast. Avast’s antivirus protection is the most basic you can get, but for free, there’s no complaining from us.
Choosing the web browser that caters to all your surfing needs is always down to personal preference. We would recommend either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as these are the fastest browsers out there, and the most widely used across the world. Some argue that while Chrome is the fastest browser out there, it does utilize a lot of memory, so choosing Firefox could be the way to go if you feel the same.
A $300 gaming PC is quite a struggle when you take into consideration the amount each individual component costs. However, with the components we’ve been able to source, it’s just about possible, with this rig being able to play some AAA games at relatively decent FPS levels. Alternatively, if you’re able to expand your budget just slightly, you could get some increasingly powerful kit that can handle more graphically intensive games. All in all, if budget is your main focus then this gaming rig does the job, but if you want to run the latest AAA games you’re going to have to invest a lot more. If you did end up building this rig, enjoy your new PC! Be sure to check out our other articles if you have any issues or want to explore different options!