Build a Gaming PC Under $500

Build a Gaming PC Under $500

I see you have come here to build a gaming PC, it could be your first or maybe you have build numerous PC’s before either way this article will show you how you can build a gaming PC under 500 dollars.

Building your very first gaming PC is quite a daunting task if you are not familiar with what you are doing, if you are reading this chances are you’re a somebody that wants to check things out before actually building the PC itself.

Building a PC, gaming or not requires a lot of parts and ample work to make sure that all parts will function and compatible with one another.

Naturally you will have questions, many one at that, it could range from budget, what Processor to use, quad or dual core processors, single videocard setup or in SLi configuration.

If you have know idea what I just said, don’t worry we will address it all later.

So with that being said let us dive into the parts necessary to build a gaming pc under 500 dollars.

A gaming Behemoth under $500!

Sounds like fun!

First up the CPU

The CPU is the central processing unit of your gaming pc build, it is the brain, It is mainly responsible for processing instructions of a computer program and carrying out computer operations.

Think of it this way, the CPU gets instructions on how to run certain programs, in turn the CPU will carry out the set of instructions needed to properly run an operation, basically the higher the clock and more cores a CPU has the faster it can perform any given operation and can multi task between task.

Often times the CPU makes the bulk of a budget in creating the best gaming computer for you.

Intel 3.70 GHz Core i3-6100 3M Cache Processor (BX80662I36100)
303 Reviews
Intel 3.70 GHz Core i3-6100 3M Cache Processor (BX80662I36100)
  • Dual-Core with Hyper-Threading Technology. Processor Base Frequency: 3.70 GHz. Cache: 3 MB SmartCache. Bus Speed: 8 GT/s DMI3. TDP: 51 W.
  • Intel HD Graphics 530 with 4k support (at 60 hz)
  • DDR4/DDR3L memory supported

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Clocking at 3.70 Ghz, this CPU provides ample power for a budget gaming pc build, it is a dual core enabled processor along with Hyper-Threading Technology.

This is just a Dual Core Processor and this will do since there are budget restrains in this 500 Dollar gaming pc build.

It has a built in Intel HD Graphics 530 with 4k Support, but I doubt it will be sufficient enough for 4k gaming duh!

It supports DDR4/DDR3l Memories and rocking a Socket FCLGA-1151

I could also put an AMD alternative CPU in there but in this $500 gaming PC build I will focus solely on Intel systems, I will put another one for AMD based machines.

Now that you have Selected a CPU to use in our $500 gaming pc build we will move to the next part in this awesome guide.

That is the Motherboard

In creating this guide for the best gaming pc under $500, part selection is a tad bit challenging considering the amount restriction.

Along with the CPU the Motherboard is also one if not the most important part in any PC build, it will be hotly debated what is the most important CPU vs Motherboard but without it you can’t plug your CPU anywhere.

Selecting a proper motherboard is also integral with your CPU as both their sockets should be compatible with each other, hence they won’t fit into each other.

You don’t want two expensive computer parts that are not compatible with each other so address caution in purchasing both CPU and Motherboard.

A motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard or colloquially called Mobo.

Mobo for those somewhat techie chaps!

For this build I chose the ASUS Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 

ASUS Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 Motherboards H110M-K
80 Reviews
ASUS Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 Motherboards H110M-K
  • DDR4 memory compatibility
  • 5X Protection II - Advanced hardware safeguards for all-round protection
  • Media-acclaimed UEFI BIOS with EZ Flash 3 ; Operating System Support:Windows 10 64bit, Windows 8.1 64bit,Windows 7 32bit/64bit

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With DDR4 memory compatibility and our CPU is DDR4 compliant too, so far so good.

It has a 5X Protection II hardware safeguards ASUS is known for, it has enhanced ESD protection, precise power control for long lasting stability.

UEFI BIOS or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, if you are familiar with computers and have played with it’s BIOS before you might be surprised that traditional BIOS is slowly been replaced with UEFI BIOS.

But why should you care about this simply because UEFI is much more easy to use vs the traditional BIOS before.

UEFI can be enable easily within your operating system has has actual interface you can also use your mouse to navigate thru it.

Before UEFI was created we are stuck with a boring BIOS interface see image below.

Boring sight ain’t it?Compare it to UEFI BIOS now.

Compared with the previous without a doubt you would pick this one up vs the traditional BIOS, not only because it looked good but because of how easy it is to navigate.

The screenshot above is the UEFI BIOS of Asus.

If you are planning of tinkering the configuration of your PC I would rather much have this interface to play around with atleast I’m looking at something pretty and easy to use versus the all blue and white text interface of the traditional BIOS.

Ok enough of my rambling about this.

Stainless steel back I/O plate, a very under appreciated part of a motherboard simply because it is located in the back but a very convenient feature to have nonetheless.

Fan Xpert advanced fan controls for balanced cooling and silent performance, another famous feature of this motherboard, you can individually control each fans connected to your motherboard, know the actual temp of each, run a fan slightly higher or shut if off completely.

Ah, technology has come so far!

Integrated DVI & VGA ports for dual monitor environments, good to have but we are not going to be using this one as we are purchasing a separate video card for this 500 Dollar gaming PC build.

We’ll talk about video cards later.

Supporting 6th Gen Intel Processors with DDR4 memory and a host of Easy DIY & 5X Protection features at a cost-effective price point, H110M-K is a no-fuss motherboard perfect for everything from first-time builds to large-scale corporate deployments. H110M-K proudly exemplifies ASUS BEST: Breakthrough, Easy Setup, Stable, Trusted.

On to the next Part.

Memory

With the recent demand of high resolution games as well as desktop application one might wonder what would be a sufficient amount of Memory needed.

I cannot stress this enough but the higher the memory the better for this gaming pc under $500 will be.

But what exactly is a memory and why it is important?

Computer memory is any physical device capable of storing information temporarily or permanently.

There is a volatile and nonvolatile memory, each functions differently.

Volatile memory is computer memory that requires power to maintain the stored information and Non-volatile memory is computer memory that can retain the stored information even when not powered.

The memory we’re going to use in this $500 dollar gaming pc will be;

Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz C16 Memory Kit, Black
15 Reviews
Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz C16 Memory Kit, Black
  • Each Vengeance LPX module is built with a pure aluminum heat spreader for faster heat dissipation and cooler operation; and the eight-layer PCB helps manage heat and provides superior overclocking headroom.
  • Available in multiple colors to match your motherboard, your components, or just your style
  • Vengeance LPX is optimized and compatibility tested for the latest Intel X99 and 100 Series motherboards and offers higher frequencies, greater bandwidth, and lower power consumption.

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If I can have my way I would like to have 16GB’s of RAM but that would stretch our budget maybe in the near future we can upgrade our memory and add another stick of RAM but for now we will work with our budget.

The end goal in here is to assemble the best gaming PC under $500 budget.

On with the tech Specs;

Each Vengeance LPX module is built with a pure aluminum heatspreader for faster heat dissipation and cooler operation; and the eight-layer PCB helps manage heat and provides superior overclocking headroom.

So yeah, not only can you overclock CPU but memory as well.

Depending on stocks you can select different colors to match the color motif of your build and components.

We will deal with aesthetics later once we have assembled our gaming PC.

I cannot stress this enough apart from the CPU the memory is always better when it’s higher and faster as it will mostly be dedicated to application and task management running behind your computer.

I’m sure apart from gaming you will be running applications like Photoshop or word processing not to mention browsing the internet.

Having huge memory surplus will be beneficial in any computer builds.

So let us moved on to the next part of our gaming desktop under $500 build.

Next stop in our part list for the budget gaming pc under $500 is the Graphics Card.

You may have heard the terms GPU and video card but what exactly are those two and are they the same?

While the graphics card is a discrete hardware module in your PC that consists of a daughterboard their memory chips and various other components needed to allow the card to function.

I could clearly remember way back before that getting a decent gaming pc under $500 is very challenging especially in part selection.

But just like any other commodity prices drops not to mention the selection of video cards are as abundant now as ever before.

So for this build I am choosing the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB OC

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC 4GB GDDR5 128 Bit PCI-E Graphic Card (GV-N105TOC-4GD)
93 Reviews
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti OC 4GB GDDR5 128 Bit PCI-E Graphic Card (GV-N105TOC-4GD)
  • New NVIDIA pascal architecture delivers improved performance and power efficiency
  • Classic and modern games at 1080P @ 60 FPS
  • Fast, smooth, power-efficient gaming experiences

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Personally I have good experience with Gigabyte, I am currently using the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming though it is old by standards it can still perform well under 1080p or 1440p gaming.

Compare to the other cards on the segment The Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti is the most budget friendly and considering we don’t have that much head room to play around we will take this part and incorporate into our budget gaming pc build.

The tech specs for the GTX 1050 Ti;

It uses the latest NVIDIA pascal architecture to improve performance and power efficiency, modern games run at 60FPS, it also supports the latest DirectX 12.

In Depth tech specs

With a native resolution of 7680 x 4320, Processor clocked at 1342 Ghz, Memory Speed of 7008 Mhz and Ram size of 4GB.

Hard Drive

Now that we have gotten 4 parts in our gaming pc build under $500 we will now be selecting a storage device, a hard drive to store our operating system, applications and games.

For this I am going to select a more traditional Hardrive.

And that is the Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 

(Old Model) Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003)
7962 Reviews
(Old Model) Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003)
  • Ideal for everyday desktop and computing storage
  • 1TB capacity stores 120 HD video, or 200,000 photos, or 250,000 songs
  • 7200 RPM

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ideal for everyday desktop and computing storage, read speeds of 7200 RPM, Store data faster with SATA 6GB/s interface 2 year warranty and has 64MB cache.

Seagate Desktop HDDs with 1TB-per-disk have advanced power modes to save more energy while in idle states—without sacrificing performance.

I picked Seagate hard drives because of their amazing quality, I have one that was left out from my last build during 2011 so you can imagine how durable this drives are.

We can always get lower storage hard drives and would eventually drill down the cost of this build but we are looking for a PC that will last you a couple of years but eventually once you saved enough you can always upgrade or add another storage to your PC.

With all those peripherals selected above now we’re going to look for a power supply unit that will power our build altogether.

Power Supply

By and large selecting the best power supply is almost as important as selecting all components in our budget gaming PC under $500.

Take into consideration that let’s say this gaming pc will last you about 3-5 years you can be sure that if a top of the line power supply unit is selected it will be incorporated into your new gaming pc build.

It will certainly be one of the parts that gets used on a new PC build.

But what criteria do we look for in terms of select a good power supply, also within our budget of $500 dollars.

You might be asking this question when selecting a proper power supply unit and that is how much wattage is enough?

To tell you the truth I could only offer you one single answer and this is for me and your opinion might differ.

So how much wattage is enough? Certain PC builds are built differently, there is an online calculator that will allow you to compute base on your build the proper amount of wattage needed for your particular build.

Depending on the number returned by the calculator just round it off to the nearest PSU.

But if we are to think about the future, down the road you might add another stick or RAM to make it a 16GB Memory in total or throw in an SSD drive to make it into your main boot drive the possibilities are endless.

So better we address that future with a power supply unit that can cater to our needs in the future.

So for this build I am going to select this PSU;

Corsair CX Series, CX500, 500 Watt 80+ Bronze Certified 

Sale
Corsair CX Series 500 Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Non-Modular Power Supply (CP-9020047-US)
4244 Reviews
Corsair CX Series 500 Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Non-Modular Power Supply (CP-9020047-US)
  • Supports the latest ATX12V v2.2 standard and is backwards compatible with ATX12V 2.01 systems
  • Rated up to 500W of continuous power output at 40ºC
  • Extra long fully sleeved cables to support full tower chassis and assist with flexible cable routing

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Corsair is been a well respected brand in the PC peripheral community for as long as I can remember, personally I have a Corsair PSU and a Corsair Vengeance Memory installed in my own gaming PC.

With superb quality along with it’s impeccable design no wonder Corsair is famous among enthusiasts and entry level gamers alike.

Another important factor in choosing a PSU is its efficiency Therefore, an 80% efficiency indicates it’s able to convert 80% of the AC power to DC while 50% efficiency indicates it converts 50% of the AC power to DC. In even simpler terms: a higher efficiency percentage is better and will require less power from the outlet.

Do not make the power supply unit the cheapest purchase in your current build you might regret this later and I mean regret it.

So now we make our way into the last component for our gaming PC and that is the computer case built to house our very own gaming pc build.

Computer Case

We need something to house our computer parts and selecting a proper computer case to do so might be more of a challenge that you know.

For me selecting a system case revolves around how cool or stylish you may want your computer to be, for instance you can opt to choose a case with a side window panel to be able to view the hardware inside in all it’s glory.

Or you can be more stealthy and close that panel altogether keeping your friends and family guessing what is inside that gaming chassis.

Gaming chassis right now are a plenty and for good reasons companies like Corsair, Cooler Master and NXT makes the most stylish of cases in the market to date.

You need to be specific with your goals in here, you have to ask yourself some questions and this will impact the case selection you will have to make.

Are you going to be adding new components in the future, a stick of RAM maybe, a dedicated SSD as a booth drive or perhaps you will run a multiple card setup SLI perhaps?

The major factor in selecting a computer for me would have to be the size, personally I have a Cooler Master HAF 932 I just like a tall full tower case plus it has plenty of fan configuration, HAF stands for High air flow and that is the basics of it, the case is optimized to let air pass thru without too much hassle, also a plus if you’re planning on running a water cooled build in the future.

But we will talk about it in the next post.

But for this build we’re going to choose the Corsair Carbide Series 100R Mid Tower Case 

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Corsair Carbide Series 100R Mid Tower Case
883 Reviews
Corsair Carbide Series 100R Mid Tower Case
  • Elegant, Modern Design: With a mesh-free front panel, the 100R is both professional enough for the office and customizable enough for any home PC build
  • USB 3.0 Compatible: Dual USB 3.0 front panel ports offer the best in connectivity.
  • SSD Support: All four hard drive trays provide solid-state drive support

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Elegant, Modern Design: With a mesh-free front panel, the 100R is both professional enough for the office and customizable enough for any home PC build

USB 3.0 Compatible: Dual USB 3.0 front panel ports offer the best in connectivity.

SSD Support: All four hard drive trays provide solid-state drive support

Direct Airflow to Top GPU: Direct airflow gives your GPU added cooling for intense gaming sessions

Up To Five Fan Mounts Plus One Included 120mm Fan: A 120mm fan gets your cooling off the ground, and extra mounts provide added expandability

Tool-free 3.5″ and 5.25″ Drive Installation: Builds are made easier with tool-free drive installation

Thumbscrew Side Panels: No tools are needed to easily access the inside of your case

Flush-Mounted Side Panel Window: The side panel window showcases the powerful components inside.

There you go the complete budget gaming PC under $500, if you have questions or suggestion for a better component than the one I have chosen above feel free to chime in.

Parts rundown;

Last update on 2017-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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