With cryptocurrency craze finally winding down, building an affordable and functional budget PC for home and office use has become much easier. The latest PC components have also become more accessible, and thanks to their lower power consumption, new PCs now consume much less electricity and are much friendlier to your wallet. For a budget of $500 you now can build a pretty decent PC that will satisfy all of your basic needs.
Compared to consoles, computers can be quite expensive, however, they tend to outperform consoles in terms of performance and versatility. Having that in mind, it is necessary to point out that you mustn’t expect from a $500 PC build to smoothly run latest games on ultra settings at 1080p or 1440p resolution. However, if you are looking for an affordable machine that’ll be able to run games at 720p or 1080p on low to medium settings, as well as do some office work, then our $500 PC build should meet these goals.
Part List for $500 PC Build
|Processor||Intel Core i3-10100F, 3.6 GHz, Quad Core||View|
|Motherboard||ASUS Prime B460M-A R2.0||View|
|Memory||Crucial 8GB DDR4 2666 MHz CL19||View|
|Graphics Card||XFX Speedster Radeon RX 6400 SWFT105||View|
|Solid State Drive||SanDisk PLUS 1TB SSD||View|
|Power Supply||Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+ White Certified||View|
|Case||AeroCool Cyclon RGB Mid Tower Case||View|
Grand Total: $490-$520
*The shown grand total price is purely informative and is subject to change.
**The estimated price includes only PC components. Costs of Windows operating system license, and other peripherals are not included.
Building a low budget PC comes with certain compromises. This is why we prioritized functionality over performance. For our PC build we’ve decided to go with 8GB of RAM. This should be enough for playing casual games, as well as having multiple Chrome tabs opened. Our PC build also features a discrete graphics card that is able to provide decent gaming experience on a tight budget. We’ve also decided to include a higher quality motherboard that will be able to support future system upgrades. Down below you can check out the expected gaming performance of our budget $500 PC build.
Expected Gaming Performance
|1080p Gaming @ High Settings||Average Framerate|
|Assassin’s Creed Unity||53 FPS|
|Apex Legends||73 FPS|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||122 FPS|
|Forza Horizon 5||63 FPS|
|Grand Theft Auto V||64 FPS|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||50 FPS|
|Shadow Warrior 3||51 FPS|
As you can see, our $500 PC build can run competitive multiplayer games at high framerate, even at 1080p resolution. For more graphically demanding titles, we strongly suggest switching to 720p resolution, as this will significantly improve your average framerate. Keep in mind that we constructed this build specifically for playing popular free to play games. For playing the latest AAA games, we suggested investing in a more powerful PC build, or getting a more powerful graphics card. All in all, our budget $500 PC build is capable of delivering satisfactory gaming performance, which is great if you don’t have enough money to invest in a more expensive system.
PC COMPONENTS LIST
Processor: Intel Core i3-10100F
Cores/Threads: 4C/8T | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.3 GHz | TDP: 65W | PassMark Score: 8,860
The Intel Core i3-10100F is an affordable processor for users who are building a budget home or office PC. For a price of around $80, the Core i3-10100F is able to offer 4 cores and 8 threads, each running at 4.3 GHz. It should be noted that the Core i3-10100F doesn’t feature an integrated graphics solution, so it is strongly recommended to buy a discrete graphics card if you plan to build a PC with it.
The Core i3-10100F is around 18% faster than the previous-generation Intel Core i3-9100F, and only around 8% slower than the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X. Overall, the Core i3-10100F is an excellent budget CPU for office tasks and web browsing, and it’s even suitable for some gaming. The only major downside to this CPU is that it doesn’t have an integrated graphics solution, and that it requires a high-end Z490 motherboard to run at full speed. Other than that, the Core i3-10100F is a king of budget CPUs.
Motherboard: ASUS Prime B460M-A R2.0
Form Factor: Micro ATX | Socket: LGA1200 | Chipset: Intel H470 | Memory Support: 4 x DDR4-2933 | Features: 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1, 4 x SATA3, 1 x M.2
The ASUS Prime B460M-A R2.0 is a nice budget micro-ATX motherboard that supports 11th and 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs, and comes with two full-sized PCIe x16 slots. The motherboard has four DDR4 slots, and can address up to 128GB of RAM. This model features one M.2 socket for installation of high-speed NVMe SSD drive, and along with that it also comes with four SATA 3 ports.
The motherboard is also equipped with 1 GbE LAN, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and one DVI and one HDMI port. If you decide to install some additional PCI cards, there are also two free PCIe 2.0 x1 slots which can be used. The board also comes equipped with integrated 7.1-channel audio, and has premium Japanese capacitors, as well as multiple overvoltage protections. Overall, this is a good budget motherboard that offers plenty of useful features.
Speed: DDR4 2666 MHz | CAS Latency: 19 | Operating Voltage: 1.20 V | Capacity: 1 x 8GB
Crucial is known for producing budget and reliable memory sticks, and its 8GB DDR4-2666 modules are no exception in that regard. This budget memory stick is perfect for building a simple and functional PC. It features a pretty decent CAS 19 latency, and an operating voltage of 1.2 V. Crucial memory sticks are also recommended by HP compatibility, meaning that they are trusted even by big PC brands. The only downside of this budget stick is that it doesn’t feature RGB lighting, but this is no surprise given its low price.
Graphics Card: XFX Speedster Radeon RX 6400 SWFT105
Boost Clock: 2,321 MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR6 | Power Connectors: None | Outputs: 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI
Despite mediocre reviews, the new Radeon RX 6400 is a pretty decent graphics card for gaming on a very tight budget. It features 4GB of GDDR6 memory, and is roughly 17% faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650. The RX 6400 is capable of delivering 50-60 fps at 1080p resolution on low to medium settings in most games, and thanks to its support for FSR, you can expect even better performance when you enable it.
Probably the best thing about this card is its extremely low power consumption of only 55 watts. The card doesn’t require any additional power supply connectors, meaning that it draws all the necessary power from the motherboard itself. Another pretty amazing thing is that this card supports ray-tracing, although its performance is quite underwhelming. If you are looking for something more powerful, then we strongly recommend checking out Radeon RX 6500 XT or GeForce RTX 3050.
Solid State Drive: SanDisk PLUS 1TB SSD
Capacity: 1TB | Interface: SATA3 | Max. Read Speed: Up to 535 MB/s | Max. Write Speed: Up to 350 MB/s
The SanDisk PLUS is a reliable and affordable solid state drive that offers plenty of storage space and can boast with very good performance. It is not as fast as M.2 drives, due to the fact that it uses slower SATA3 interface, but it’s fast enough to deliver smooth and snappy system performance. With maximum read speed of 535 MB/s, and write speed of 350 MB/s, the SanDisk PLUS is able to provide fast Windows boot-ups, and more responsive application times. This SSD also features a durable shock-proof design, as it’s able to withstand shocks of up to 1500G, and vibrations of up to 800 Hz.
Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+ White Certified
Form Factor: ATX | Capacity: 500 W | Efficiency rating: 80 PLUS White Certified | Modularity: Non-modular
Even though having a 500 W power supply for our budget $500 gaming PC is a bit of an overkill, it is never too bad to have more power at your disposal than you actually need. In case you want to upgrade your PC in the future, that extra power will easily cover the power requirements of all new components, so you don’t have to worry about whether your PC will be able to support future system upgrades.
The Thermaltake Smart Series PSU is a very reliable and decent power supply unit which features 80+ White certification, and is able to sustain non-stop usage for long periods of time. Featuring 120 mm cooling fan, this PSU produces exceptionally low amount of noise, and its multiple connectors are able to power up different types of system components. Overall, this a great PSU for building an entry-level gaming PC on a tight budget.
Form Factor: Mid Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 198 × 459 × 413 mm | Radiator Support: 1 x 120 mm | I/O Ports: USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.0 x 1, HD Audio x 1, Mic x 1, SD Card Reader | Drive Bays: 2 x 3.5″, 2+3 x 2.5″
All gaming PCs should feature stylish and attractive PC cases. That’s why we decided to choose the AeroCool Cyclon RGB to house our $500 PC build. Despite the fact that this case looks quite premium, it is very cheap and DIY-friendly, which is why it is a perfect choice for building a budget gaming PC. Featuring transparent acrylic side window panel and elegantly design RGB LED front panel display with over 13 different modes, this case offers enough customization options for creating a neat and stylish PC build.
The AeroCool Cyclon RGB supports installation of high-end graphics cards that measure up to 371 mm in length, and offers CPU cooler clearance of up to 155 mm. Inside the case there is enough room to install an AIO liquid cooler, two 3.5″ HDDs, and up to five 2.5″ SSDs. On its front panel you can also find a USB 3.0 port, HD audio and microphone jacks, as well as an integrated SD and microSD card reader.
And that’s it! This is our best budget $500 gaming PC build for 2022. We hope our buying guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice about buying, feel free to post a comment below. We will try to help you.
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