Best $300 Gaming PC

For a lot of people, the concept for a brand new $300 gaming PC is absolutely absurd — and they’re right.

With mid-range graphics cards costing more than $300, it’s not possible to build a usable $300 gaming PC with a CPU and a dedicated graphics cards.

However, the release of AMD‘s APUs have made $300 pseudo gaming rigs possible. The AMD APU we are using, the Ryzen 3 2200G, has a pretty decent integrated GPU so we are able to save the money that would be otherwise spent on a dedicated graphics card.


What Do We Look For in a PC?

This is a budget build, so we didn’t have the privilege of being able to pick and choose our favorite parts while disregarding price.

Maximum Performance

At this price range, optimizing the build for the highest possible in game FPS is our most important task as performance is much more of a problem for budget PCs than mid-range of high-end PCs.

Value

We filtered out dozens of individual components for every category in order to find those with the best price to performance ratios, while at the same time leaving out specific models that have bad reliability records.

Upgradability

A lot of people build a totally new PC every few years, but many others will incrementally upgrade their PC with new parts to keep away obsolesce without burning a massive hole in their wallet. This is why we always make our builds upgradable.

You can also save some by buying a used graphics card.


Our Gaming PC for Under $300

PRICE
$300 - $320
No set price as pricing of components changes day to day *

CPU
Ryzen 3 2200G
A powerful budget AMD APU with a good integrated Vega 8 GPU
Motherboard
MSI Bazooka B450M
A good AM4 motherboard that can overclock!
Memory
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 8GB
8 GB of RAM should be enough for a $300 AMD APU build


SSD
Kingston A400 240 GB
A speedy SSD that actually costs less than a 1 TB hard drive
PSU
EVGA 450 BT 80+ Bronze
A cheap but still reliable 80+ Bronze rated EVGA power supply
Case
ROSEWILL Micro ATX Mini Tower
An ultra-budget case fitting for a ultra-budget PC build!

 Parts List


 CPU

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

The AMD Ryzen 3 2200G APU will serve as both your CPU and GPU for this build, as we can’t afford to use a discrete graphics card for this build.

The AMD Vega 8 graphics that the 2200G has is much better than integrated Intel graphics, but it still has nothing on an actual discrete graphics card.

The Vega 8 GPU is around 20% weaker than the Nvidia GT 1030, a long end graphics card that costs around $70-$90.

Now what is an APU? An APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) is a processor with both a GPU and CPU. Most modern Intel consumer “CPUs” have an integrated GPU but Intel still calls them CPUs even though they technically have more than just a CPU.

If you plan on overclocking, be sure to know the optimal GPU and CPU temps so you don’t go overboard.


 Memory

Corsair Vengeance LPX 8 GB

Because this build doesn’t have a graphics card with it’s own VRAM, your motherboard RAM will also double as your video RAM. As a result,  your RAM will be under heavier loads as both the CPU and GPU in the Ryzen 3 2200G are using the same memory.

8 GB of DDR4 RAM from Corsair Vengeance LPX


 Motherboard

MSI Arsenal Gaming B450M Bazooka

While we can find cheap compatible A320M motherboard for around $50, having a pricier B450M chipset motherboard allows you to overclock the Ryzen 3 2200G.

Because this is a fairly decent mid-range motherboard, it also comes with perks such as four RAM slots and a M.2 slot for super fast SSDs.

If you don’t want to overclock, just go ahead an pick up a cheap motherboard like the MSI ProSeries A320.


 SSD

Kingston A400 240GB

For this budget build, we will be choosing this SSD over a standard 1TB hard drive as it is actually a bit cheaper than the standard 1TB WD or Seagate hard drive.

With 240GB of storage, you have enough storage for Windows and a pretty decent amount of games.

If you’re looking for a gaming PC at $300, we


 Hard Drive

WD Blue 1TB 7200 RPM 3.5″ HDD

Because of budget constraints, we were only able to include a single 1TB WD Blue drive in this under $500 PC build.

It’s a fairly reliable hard drive for it’s price, and it’s our favorite budget hard drive.


 PSU

EVGA 450 BT, 80+ Bronze 450W

Budget 450W 80+ Bronze rated PSU. Nothing special other than it’s really low price.

Don’t expect elite tier PSU performance out of this guy, but the 450 BT is a pretty reliable PSU especially if you’re running such a low TDP build like this one.


 CASE

ROSEWILL Micro ATX Mini Tower FBM-X1

We use the ROSEWILL FBM-X1 case on a lot of our extremely low budget PC builds because it’s very low price allows us to allocate more resources to other components.

It’s a really nice little case that has 3 USB ports (2 USB 3.0) and even an acrylic window for you to see the inside of your PC.

Upgrade Options for this Build

Although we don’t like saying this, it’s pretty much impossible to build a true gaming PC with new parts for just $300. These upgrades will help this build become more of a “true” gaming PC.

 CPU

See Options

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

To get a pretty big bump on both CPU and GPU performance, upgrading to to the Ryzen 5 2400G APU is a great decision.

The 2400G has twice as many threads as the 2200G (8 vs. 4), resulting in much stronger multi-core performance.

The Vega 11 graphocs on the 5 2400G is also approximately 50% faster than the Vega 8 GPU in the 2200G APU.

 GPU

See Options

PowerColor Red Dragon RX 570 4GB

While AMD APUs are a massive improvement over Intel integrated graphics, which are hilariously garbage for gaming, the integrated GPU in the AMD APUs still can’t be compared to discrete graphics cards.

The Vega 8 graphics on the Ryzen 3 2200G aren’t bad for integrated graphics, but adding a mid-range GPU like the RX 570 will increase your graphics performance by up to 300%!

Learn also how SLI works in-case you decide to upgrade via that route either in the future.

 CPU Cooler

See Options

The stock AMD cooler is pretty good.

 Motherboard

See Options

The MSI B450M Bazooka is already a pretty good motherboard, costing almost as much as our Ryzen 3 2200G. There’s no need to spend more money on a better motherboard as the B450M can already overclock pretty well.

 Storage

See Options

Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5″ SSD

A better SSD with higher speeds and more storage. Samsungs 860 Evo line are the most popular SSDs in the world right now, for good reason.

 PSU

See Options

Corsair CX Series 550 Watt 80 Plus Bronze

Getting a decent PSU right off the bat is good idea if you plan on upgrading you PC in the future. This way, you don’t have to buy a new PSU.

The Corsair CX 550 has got 550W of power output, which is enough for basically any sub ~$1200 PC build today and will probably be even more viable in the future as processors and graphics cards become more power efficient.

 Case

See Options

CORSAIR Carbide SPEC-04 ATX Case | Tempered Glass

A nice looking full sized ATX case with a full tempered glass side panel for a surprisingly low price.

Options to Reduce the Cost of Build

This is a freaking $300 build. The only component that can realistically be cheaper is the motherboard if you don't need a motherboard with overclocking functionality.

 CPU

See Options

AMD doesn’t have any APUs cheaper than the Ryzen 3 2200G that are viable for gaming.

 GPU

See Options

This build doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, so there’s nothing to downgrade.

 Motherboard

See Options

MSI ProSeries A320

Though all Ryzen CPUs are unlocked and ready to be overclocked, there’s nothing wrong if you got no interest in overclocking. If so, there’s paying for a pricey B450M motherboard that supports overclocking if you aren’t going to use it for that purpose. Just get a cheap A320 chipset motherboard and you’ll be just fine — unless you like the M.2 port and extra RAM slots on the MSI Arsenal B450M.

 Storage

See Options

You can go with a 120GB SSD if you want, but we wouldn’t recommend that. You’ll only be saving 15 bucks and you’ll lose so much storage.

 PSU

See Options

The EVGA BT 450 is basically the cheapest reliable PSU in the world at just 30 dollars. Unless you are buying a used PSU, you won’t find anything for cheaper.

 Case

See Options

The Rosewill FBM-X1 is a pretty decent mATX case, but it’s so affordable that nothing is more than $3-4 cheaper.

Peripherals

Though the components inside your PC are by far the most important for your gaming experience, you still have to put some though into what your peripherals are, even for an ultra low-budget PC like this one.

Here are some recommended peripheral options that we tailored just for this $500 build.


Monitor

If you want to get into PCs, it's important to actually get a computer monitor instead of using your TV. TVs are not designed for computer or gaming and their response times are very bad.

Here are so very good budget 1080P monitors that will work well together with our build.

Be sure to know how to change and find out your PC's refresh rate.

Acer SB220Q bi
1080 x 1920 | FreeSync | 75 Hz | 21.5" | 4ms | HDMI | VGA
The best all-around budget 1080P gaming monitor. Does not have a built-in speaker.
Sceptre E248W-19203R
1080 x 1920 | 75 Hz | 23.8" | 4ms | HDMI | Display Port
Another monitor for under $100. This one is slightly larger at 23.8". But this one doesn't have FreeSync. Has speakers.

Keyboard

Get a proper gaming keyboard to add some character to you PC. For under $30 you can get a pretty good mechanical keyboard.


Redragon K552 RED LED Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical | Blue Switches | 87 Switches | Red LED | Splashproof
A very affordable compact mechanical gaming keyboard, though its features are pretty basic.
Redragon K557 RGB Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical | Blue Switches | 104 Switches | RGB | Waterproof | Anti-ghosting
An RGB gaming keyboard with 104 keys, water resistance, and Cherry MX Blue equivalent mechanical switches.

Mouse

Having a decent gaming mouse can be really helpful especially if you are playing FPS games. Once you start using a good gaming mouse and get used to its precision, it's hard to go back to some random $10 mouse.

You should also know how to turn off mouse acceleration especially for gaming.


Logitech G203 Prodigy RGB
RGB | 6000 DPI | 2 Custom Buttons | Optical
A great budget Logitech gaming mouse with some cool RGB functionality
Razer DeathAdder Elite
RGB | 16000 DPI | 7 Custom Buttons | 5G Optical Sensor
The Razer Deathadder is one of the most iconic gaming mice. Great performance and great ergonomics.

 Audio

Here are some very affordable audio options specifically chosen for this gaming build.

Logitech G430
20-20,000 Hz | Dolby 7.1 Surround
A budget Logitech headset with good sound quality
HyperX Cloud Stinger
18-23,000 Hz | Memory Foam
One of the most popular budget gaming headsets

Operating System - Windows 10

Buying a Windows 10 key the proper way is pretty expensive, but there's ways you can save a lot of money and achieve the same result.

You can go on reseller sites, the most well known of which is Kinguin, and snatch a key for around $30, 1/3 of what an official key would cost.

Or you can just literally just not use a key, since Microsoft actually allows you to install Windows 10 without a key. You will just have a permanent watermark on the bottom right of your screen and limited ability to customize colors and backgrounds in Windows.

Building Your PC - Putting it All Together

This PC is a pretty easy build as it's a small form factor build with few components and not even a graphics card. Though this PC is "easy" to build compared to most gaming builds, you still have to learn how to build a PC. It's not like plugging in a XBox or Playstation.

You'll have to be especially careful with your delicate components. Be sure know the correct ways to mount your processor and memory chips especially as forcing them in the wrong way could brick these pricey components.

Here is a detailed and easy to follow build guide that will give you a lot of useful information if you're a new PC builder.

Our Other Build Guides

Icons made by itim2101 from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

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