“Console-killer” computers do not break the bank. Even a US$500 [AU$719] budget gaming PC build can be enough for an immersive gaming experience.
However, a gaming PC offers more versatility than a dedicated console. It can be used for productivity, media consumption, and a lot more.
Without further ado, here’s the best $500 budget gaming PC build. This build may also be used for streaming light games.
There will be variations on the price as it fluctuates often. The total price might be a little higher or lower depending on the location.
1. Processor – Ryzen 5 2600
The Ryzen platform has been the go-to processor for budget builds. It provides excellent value for its price.
The Ryzen 5 2600 is a six-core processor with 12 threads. The stock speed runs at 3.4GHz with a turbo boost to 3.9GHZ. The stock AMD Wraith Stealth cooler is capable of adding a little speed boost when overclocking.
One advantage of the six-core processor is multi-threaded processing. There are games that only utilize two or four cores when running. The extra two cores help in processing other apps such as streaming.
Photo and video editing are also doable with this processor.
The newer Ryzen 5 3600 is a great option if budget permits. If the budget is lower then Ryzen 3 3300x is alright as well.
2. GPU – Radeon RX570 4GB
There is no specific brand or model for this one. The majority of the Radeon RX570 available on the market perform the same.
However, the Sapphire Nitro+ RX570 4GB is clocked higher. The thermals are better as well. But it is pricier compared to other brands.
But for budget options, the XFX RX570 4GB RSXXX edition is the clear winner. It has dual-fans for better heat dissipation. The performance is top-notch and can easily reach more than 60fps on 1080p.
It is easily comparable to the performance of the regular PlayStation 4 and close to the PlayStation 4 Pro.
Nonetheless, do not expect this graphics card to play 4k games at max. It is clearly not up to it.
3. Motherboard – ASUS TUF B450M-Plus
The ASUS TUF B450M-Plus is the perfect board at this price point. It is not as premium as the MSI Mortar series, but it has great features at an affordable price.
This motherboard has four ram slots with up to 64GB DDR4 memory. It also has M.2 slots for PCIe NVMe drives. This supports second-gen chipsets out of the box so there is no need to update the BIOS.
However, it does not have built-in WiFi.
It is currently available on Amazon for around $80, but Pcpartpicker lists it for $120. It is better to double-check which retailers have this in stock at a lower price.
4. Memory – Team T-Force Vulcan Z 16GB DDR4 (2x8GB)
Ryzen processors take advantage of faster memory. The Vulcan Z runs at 3000Mhz. It is not that fast but is more than enough for gaming.
16GB is more than enough for gaming. However, it is the sweet spot for multitasking. Chrome tabs, for example, are memory hoggers and 8GB will be maximized immediately.
This comes in two sticks to take advantage of the dual-channel configuration. The ASUS has four memory slots. It makes it easier to upgrade to 32GB in the future.
The 16GB of memory is also a future-proof solution for the next three years.
5. Storage – ADATA Ultimate SU800 256GB
The storage is the sacrificial lamb in terms of specs. This solid-state drive only has 256GB of storage. But it is faster than traditional hard drives with an average of 500MB/s read and writes speed.
Using a mechanical drive is also fine for larger storage. But, the load times will be slower.
If storage space is the priority, then the 500GB Western Digital Blue drive is the perfect substitute.
6. Power Supply – Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+
The power supply is the heart of a computer. Do not skimp out on the PSU and buy no-name brands.
The Thermaltake Smart 500W has an 80+ rating. It is short of reaching the 80+ bronze efficiency rating. But Thermaltake is a known brand when it comes to PC parts.
It does come with the “ketchup-mustard” cables though making it far from ideal if the case has a side-panel.
If there is an 80+ bronze power supply from a trusted brand at the same price, then that is a better buy. For now, this will work with all the components listed.
7. Case – Aerocool MicroATX case
This mATX case fits all the components perfectly. It has a side panel for aesthetics plus the RGB lighting makes it look great.
There is no PSU shroud to cover the power supply thus the mustard cables will show. But the tinted side panels will hide it a little bit.
It only includes one fan though. Adding extra fans is well recommended for better airflow.