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Best Custom Gaming PC Under $500 of 2022

We scour the web to find only the best gaming PCs  for a silky-smooth 1080p gaming experience
Adnan Rasheed

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Last Updated October 30, 2022

The selection procedure was fairly straightforward: we looked for the best gaming PC under $500, analyzed their parts and specifications to determine which one was the best and provided the best value for the money, and then we chose that one.

Anything with specs greater than these while remaining affordable would be a winner. According to our research, the average PC in the sub-$500 price range has 8GB of RAM, at least 256GB of SSD storage, and a stand-alone GPU and CPU.

A dependable, competent, and performance-driven gaming PC can be had for a reasonable price. Although you won’t be able to play games at 240 frames per second on high or ultra settings, you will still be able to play a wide variety of games at a respectable frame rate and quality.

But we really wanted to push the envelope in our search for an affordable gaming computer.  So we went on a hunt to find the best gaming PC under $500.

$500 GAMING PC BUILD!

What do you get for a $500 gaming pc?

As you might expect, it wasn’t easy to put together the best custom PC build for under $500. To get the most performance out of this build, several sacrifices had to be made along the way. Prior to the GPU shortages, it could have been possible to find a decent dedicated card in this price bracket, but today we must make do with integrated graphics for beginner builders. Although there isn’t much of a speed difference between the $400 and $500 builds, the $500 build features better RAM and a more robust storage solution.

Another area of compromise was the case. Although the case may not be the best, it is still a reasonable price for the components, and we wanted to pick one that would be user-friendly for beginners to build with.

Gaming Performance

The $500 AMD-based solution should be able to play a few AAA games at 1080p/60FPS on lower settings. There are several entry-level possibilities available to you due to this APU’s ability to play many well-known esports games.

The 16GB of RAM, which is a good quantity for gaming, and the SSD storage device have improved performance. You can anticipate quick Windows and game startup speeds as well as some RAM future-proofing.

AMD Vs Intel

The AMD APU is used in the gaming PC under $500 design. The APU provides performance in most games when playing at 1080p or lower because it is essentially a CPU and GPU combined. Some games may require you to reduce the graphics settings to play them, but esports games did well in our tests.

When it comes to integrated graphics, AMD is far superior to Intel, making them the better option for PC designs at the lower end of the scaler.

How We Select and Examine

We have a great deal of experience from years of building computers and guiding friends, family, and readers. All of our build suggestions are based on extensive research, use builds that we have made for work or personal use, and most importantly, are built with value and performance in mind. We put in a lot of effort to make sure our builds are updated, and effective, and provide the lucky reader who is going to build it with good performance.

To ensure that all the components we suggest fit into the selected case, work well together, and deliver the highest performance for the price range, we assemble each of our selected PCs from the scratch.

We compared the performance of our AMD setups to that of their Intel equivalents and discovered that these CPUs offered greater overall performance at a lower cost. For this reason, we only suggest an AMD version.

We made sure to test it out as well because we know how much some of our readers like overclocking their PCs. You can therefore be assured knowing that this equipment can be pushed past its fundamental limits. But before attempting to over-task your builds, please make sure you are familiar with overclocking.

Buying a Prebuilt gaming PC vs Building your own gaming PC under $500

While purchasing a prebuilt PC as opposed to making one yourself is undoubtedly more convenient. The truth is that you won’t pay a lot for the best components. This is so that you don’t only pay for the brand; you also pay for assembly.

Best Prebuilt Gaming PC under $500

Now that you’ve read thus far, you might be wondering whether it wouldn’t be simpler to purchase a prebuilt gaming PC under $500 instead of undertaking all this PC-building crap. And the short answer is probably yes.

The problem with a prebuilt is that, as many people are already aware, you pay a premium for the convenience of not having to put the parts together yourself. Therefore, in an ideal world, you would want to create your budget gaming computer to save money (or get better value for your hard-earned cash). Here are our best prebuilt options for gaming PC under $500 for individuals who are uncomfortable even trying to make their own.

01

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3100

GPU: AMD Radeon RX550 2GB

RAM: 8GB DDR4

Storage: 240GB SSD

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Build Benchmark: What Games Can This PC Run?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
1080p
240 FPS

High settings

The Witcher 3
1080p
68 FPS

High settings

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
1080p
191 FPS

High settings

Fortnite
1080p
103 FPS

High settings

Total War: Warhammer II
1080p
91 FPS

High settings

GTA V
1080p
97 FPS

High settings

Details of Best Custom Gaming PC Under $500 of 2022 Components Detail

Last Updated : October 30, 2022

I didn’t just choose components based on their price only. I made sure to choose only reliable products that could provide excellent performance. I’ll review each option in this section so you can see why I think they’re the best.

  • 6 Cores/12 Threads
  • AM4 Socket
  • Base Clock Speed: 3.4 GHz
  • Boost Clock Speed: 3.9 GHz
  • TDP: 65W

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Pros

➕ fast and powerful, especially considering the price

➕ Overclocking automatically

➕ Comes packaged with a cooler

Cons

➖ needs a better cooling system for prolonged, intense gaming sessions

The Ryzen 5 2600 is an excellent processor in many ways. It has six cores and twelve threads. The actual processing parts of the CPU are called cores. The CPU can do more tasks simultaneously the more cores it has.

With 6 cores, you have more than enough computing capacity to operate video editing software and other demanding apps.

But what are threads? Modern CPUs like the Ryzen 5 2600 use a technology called hyper-threading, which divides each core into two virtual cores called “threads”. As a result, the processor’s capacity to handle more tasks at once is increased. One of the primary factors in my decision to go with AMD was the lack of hyper-threading in Intel processors at this price point.

AMD SenseMI technology, found in the Ryzen 5 2600, automatically increases the processor’s clock speed. This means that to get the processor to operate at its maximum speed, you do not need to manually overclock it. Although you’ll have to adjust the resolution, this processor’s boost clock speed of 3.9 GHz is more than enough for some of the latest Triple-A games, like Doom Eternal.

You won’t have to waste time looking for a cheap aftermarket cooler because the Ryzen 5 2600 already has AMD’s Wraith Stealth Cooler. However, if you intend to play video games for extended periods, you might want to invest in a better cooling system.

  • B450 Chip
  • AM4 Socket
  • 2 PCIe 3.0 x16
  • Up to 64GB RAM

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Pros

➕ has a lot of features that are specific to gaming.

➕ solid build

➕ fantastic cooling

Cons

➖ You’ll probably need to update this motherboard if you intend to switch to a 3rd generation Ryzen processor in the future.

With features that can give you an edge in competitive games, as its name suggests, this motherboard is designed with gaming in mind. For instance, the MSI Gaming Plus includes a dedicated gaming port where you can plug in any high-end gaming peripheral and instantly adjust its settings. Additionally, you receive software called “Mouse Master” that enables you to change options like the polling rate and DPI and create hotkeys for frequently performed tasks.

The MSI App Player, voice boost, and one-second overclocking features are also included with this motherboard, which should work well with the Ryzen’s SenseMI.

Steel-reinforced PCIe slots, which are where you put your graphics card, are among the features the Gaming Plus is fitted with. Because of how strong these stool slots are, your card won’t sag over time.

This motherboard has a very good cooling system, with 6 fans that you can control in the BIOS. The temperature is constantly monitored and fan speeds are adjusted in real-time by the included “Hysteresis” software.

Many component slots are included with the MSI Gaming Plus, including 4 DIMM slots that can accommodate up to 64GB of RAM, 2 PCIe x16 slots (so you can add another graphics card and an M.2 SSD), and 6 SATA storage slots.

  • AMD Radeon R7 240 Chip
  • 2GB DDR3 of Virtual RAM
  • 730 MHz GPU Clock Speed
  • 900 MHz Memory Clock Speed
  • HDMI / SL-DVI-D Connections
  • PCIe 2.0 x8 socket

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Pros

➕ Overclock friendlyOverclock friendly

➕ Low-profile design

➕ Does require an additional power supply

Cons

➖ 4K not supported

The MSI R7 240 is best suited for mid-tier games because it contains 2GB of GDDR3 V-RAM. I advise you to check at the XFX RX 570 if you have a little additional cash to spend and want a 4GB graphics card.

The MSI Afterburner, a simple-to-use interface for overclocking, is compatible with the R7 240. Both the voltage and the GPU’s clock frequency can be adjusted using the Afterburner. Additionally, you can maintain ideal fan speeds to prevent overheating and excessive noise from the fans.

The R7 240 is rather low-profile in terms of size, requiring only a PCIe x8 socket (with x16 being the largest size). As a result, it won’t interfere with other motherboard components.

  • 8GB DDR4
  • 8-layer PCB
  • Aluminium heat spreader

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Pros

➕ Small form factor

➕ fantastic cooling

➕ automated speed optimization

    Cons

    ➖ For some larger games, 8 GB might not be enough

    First of all, due to the Vengeance LPX’s compact form factor, I had no issue installing it alongside the other components on the B450M motherboard.

    XMP 2.0 software is included with this RAM module. Without going into great detail, it basically consists of a technique that will set the RAM module to the fastest, safest speed. By doing this, you can prevent the module from overheating and stuttering. Additionally, the Vengeance LPX is equipped with an aluminium heat spreader that dissipates heat quickly. In this manner, the heat produced is swiftly removed from the inside parts.

    An 8-layer PCB is present in the Corsair Vengeance LPX. A RAM’s quality often increases with the number of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) layers it has. The green boards with memory chips on them are called PCBs. A PCB has traces and circuitry on each layer that enable data to flow back and forth. There is more space between the traces the more layers there are. Less signal interference as the data is transmitted follows from this.

    Overall, the Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB is a very dependable RAM module that can easily handle demanding applications like video games.

    • 240 GB
    • 520 MB/s and 450 MB/s in read and write speeds
    • SLC Caching
    • LDPC error debugging
    • SSD Toolbox and Migration Utility tool

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    Pros

    ➕ Suitable Read/Write

    ➕ reputable hardware piece

    Cons

    ➖ If you intend to install multiple games at once, 240GB might not be enough

    One of the greatest solid-state drives I’ve found for gaming PC under $500 is the ADATA SU635 model. That was pretty quick. It can read data at up to 520 MB/s and write data at up to 450 MB/s. As a result, games and other data-intensive software can load very quickly.

    The SU635 uses a protocol known as Single Level Cell (SLC) caching while reading or writing data. SLC caching includes storing one bit of data per cell inside the memory chip, but I won’t bore you with the specifics. This enables the SSD to write data quickly while utilizing little power.

    Low-Density Parity-Check, a technology that fixes coding flaws, is included with the ADATA SU635. It examines the code in your data, finds any inconsistencies, and then fixes them. By doing this, you can prevent data corruption.

    Last but not least, ADATA’s SSD Toolbox and Migration Utility are included with the SU635. This software facilitates the transition from HDD to SDD and aids in monitoring the drive’s health. It enables you to transfer your operating system and a safe backup of your data to an SSD.

    • 2 pounds
    • 7 x 16.8 x 18.6 inches
    • 0 x 2, USB2.0 x 2, Mic x 1, Audio x 1
    • 7 PCI slots
    • Radiator Support

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    Pros

    ➕ All motherboard form factors are compatible

    ➕ sufficient spaces for future additions

    ➕ Large graphics cards are supported

    ➕ Mesh ventilation.

    Cons

    ➖ I/O is a bit limited

    For gamers, the Cougar MX330 is perfect. First off, it has 7 PCI slots, so you can install all of your necessary components and then some. It can accommodate graphics cards up to 350mm in length, so I could even place a really huge one like my NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2080 in there. Therefore, it has enough space for the MSI AMD Radeon R7240.

    The transparent glass window on the side of the MX330 makes it simple to reach in and rearrange items once everything is set up inside. Additionally, you may now flaunt your fancy equipment and cable management skills.

    The MX330 allows you to update for greater thermals in the future by supporting up to five fans and a radiator. For now, the AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler with the MX330’s front face wire mesh ventilation should be sufficient for casual gaming.

    Four USB ports—two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0—along with a microphone and an audio jack are included in this case, which also has respectable I/O. I’d advise getting a good USB hub if you want to connect a lot of gaming accessories. However, that will increase the final cost over $500.

    • 500-watt continuous output
    • 80% efficiency on average
    • Industry-Grade protection
    • Built-in 120mm fan
    • 5-year warranty

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    Pros

    ➕ solid design

    ➕ Fairly decent effectiveness

    ➕ Protection against shortages and surges

    ➕ Quiet fan.

    Cons

    ➖ Fits only ATX cases

    Many low-cost power sources in the 400-500W range are currently unavailable, and some are more expensive than they once were. Although Apevia power supplies are inexpensive, if you get a 400-500W PSU, they are unreliable and quickly become hot. The TT Smart 430W is certified at 80 Plus, which translates to greater than 80% power efficiency, and it comes with a 5-year warranty.

    It will cost you $30 and raise the overall cost of the construction, but Thermaltake’s 430W Smart Power Supply is considerably more dependable and comes with all the connectors needed to power up your components. You won’t need any PCI-E connectors because this construction won’t employ a dedicated graphics card. But since this PSU has two PCI-E 8-pin connectors, you can add a discrete GPU in the future to offer enough power for a budget to the midrange graphics card.

    Things To Consider

    On a small budget finding the best gaming PC is possible. Just finding the ideal one that meets your demands will require much more effort. These gaming PC under $500 will definitely struggle to run the latest AAA games. However, if all you want to do is play some lighter games, these are the perfect gaming PCs for you.

    CPU and GPU

    The best gaming chips will not be found in cheap gaming PCs. Although it is still feasible to play games on them. Simply match the specs to the game performance you desire.

    AMD Ryzen or Athlon processors are great choices for this. Additionally, Intel Core i3 and i5 processors perform admirably. Therefore, you may get a gaming PC for less money. Choose one with integrated graphics since you can always improve later.

    Nvidia GeForce GTX cards are great for improving the visual capabilities of your PC. You might also take into account some affordable AMD Radeons.

    RAM and Storage

    Secondly, a key element in gaming desktops is memory. While less than ideal, 8 gigabytes of RAM should be adequate for the majority of games. With this much RAM, you should be able to achieve a good experience on a gaming PC under $500. However, if you can find one with 16 gigabytes or more, it will be faster when you’re managing multiple workloads.

    You’ll consider yourself lucky if you can get an SSD and an HDD combination when looking for storage options for cheap gaming PCs. However, the majority of these gaming desktops allow you to add an SSD, which will speed up how rapidly your operating system and games load.

    Power Supply and Fan

    The best gaming desktop will accommodate your gadgets with several ports and connectors. Make sure you are getting the connectivity characteristics in particular that you require. This comprises HDMI output displays connected directly into slots next to them, as well as external monitors connected through the GPU (graphics processing unit) connector on the back of the computer or DisplayPort from the front if accessible.

    Gaming PCs don’t usually have the same ports and connectivity options available. Before making any purchases, take a moment to review your specifications and make sure they can support all the devices you intend to connect.

    Make sure the cooling is modern if you want to assemble a productive and potent PC. To keep things going smoothly and without issues down the road, you’ll need both fans and liquid-cooled CPUs for any overclocking purposes or simply want one more option on hand when building out your system design! Your computer can be cooled using fans or liquid-cooled solutions. If you desire greater clock speeds on your CPUs in your initial build, you will need either a fan-based solution or an AIO cooler.

    Performance and Upgradability

    Performance is closely related to the hardware configuration people choose when creating their custom setups; some will require more horsepower than others depending on how demanding particular games might get (particularly when graphics card processing speeds come into play).

    There will undoubtedly be a good upgrade path for the best gaming pc under $500. The majority of these are packaged in ATX cases, giving you plenty of space for upgrades.

    Space for a dedicated graphics card is the first thing you should search for because it will improve your gaming performance right away. Then you should look into additional storage slots so you may add a large-capacity HDD and store all of your games and stuff.

    Conclusion

    So, finally, you’ve arrived at the section in this article that hosts a whole bunch of helpful building tips if you’re a beginner builder.

    We created a tutorial to help beginners avoid the many mistakes they frequently make when creating a PC (it’s just a natural part of learning). You need to find the perfect instructions to construct your gaming PC under $500 effectively so that you can do it quickly and accurately.

    You now have access to our in-depth guide to the best gaming PC under $500. There is no need to go any further if you want a PC that is optimized for 1080p gaming and provides an immersive experience; this PC does it all. Even though tradeoffs had to be made along the way, we believe you’ll be pleased with this console killer’s performance power.

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