Best $400 Dollar Gaming PC Build, An Optimal Budget Build For 2017

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If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck on a $400 dollar gaming pc build then you should definitely check this build out. This build is the most optimal when it comes to building a PC on a tight budget.

Next-gen PC gaming is going to take quite a bit of GPU and CPU power to run for the long term. Although you’d get much more future proof power out of a $500 build, this build will do just fine for some of the games coming out this year. Just don’t expect to be able to run them on the higher graphics settings.

 

Best Build For A Tight Budget


This build is actually very similar to my current build as far as power goes. I’m able to run games such as Skyrim on the highest graphic settings and Elder Scrolls Online on medium settings. If you’re looking for a PC build just to get your feet wet in the PC gaming industry then this is definitely the build for you. This build is 100% upgradeable so you don’t really need to worry about compatibility issues when it comes to upgrading down the road.

You probably won’t need to upgrade until we get close to the middle of 2017, if you’re at all interested in VR then you’ll definitely need to upgrade if you’re wanting to run some of the high-end games with VR. There are also games that don’t need a bunch of power to run but I’m assuming that you’ll need to upgrade in order to run a game like Skyrim with virtual reality. Though this is just a guess, we’ll know for sure once it actually comes out.

If you’ve never actually built a computer before then you’re going to have to do a little research. I have included a video below by NeweggTV, it’s the same video that I went through step by step when I went to build my first gaming PC. It’s very detailed and you should be able to know exactly how it all comes together after you watch it and during the actual building process.

 

How To Build A Computer


Be sure to go through the video while you wait for your parts to come in the mail and be sure to watch it as you actually build it. It’s good to have a visual of what it is you’re doing when you’re actually going through the process of bringing your PC to life!

With that, let’s get to the build.

 

Optimal Hardware On A $400 Budget


 

Last Updated: January 17th, 2017

 

caseCase – Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower SRM-01

moboMotherboard  – Gigabyte AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX GA-78LMT-USB3

 cpu Processor – AMD FX 4-Core Black Edition FX-4300

gpu Video Card – EVGA GeForce 2GB GTX 1050 SC

 ramRAM – Patriot Signature Single 4GB DDR3 (8GB of ram is HIGHLY recommended.)

hdHard Drive – Seagate 1TB

powerPower Supply – EVGA 400W

cdCD Drive – Asus 24x DVD-RW

 

Final Price: $422.32

 

Details


This build is pretty well put together and you’re going to LOVE this build once you bring it to life! 😀

The computer case is entirely up to you because I know there are some people who want to have a really cool looking case to go with their build. If you want to browse compatible cases with these parts then Click Here!

I’d suggest going with the case that I have listed through because it’s the cheapest case you could get on Amazon and it’s 100% compatible with all of the parts you’ll need. Everything will fit just fine and you’re getting the most bang for your buck!

The combination of the AMD FX-4300 and the GTX 1050 2GB card is a match made in heaven.

These parts aren’t completely high-end and new but they aren’t crappy either. You’ll be able to run games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, Grand Theft Auto V, The Elder Scrolls Online and Dying Light with this build. One thing you shouldn’t expect is being able to run all games on ultra settings with 60 FPS, that comes with upgrading down the road.

The FX-4300 may be a somewhat lower end CPU but it’s able to be overclocked which is a very valuable asset to the CPU. Overclocking requires an aftermarket cooler and a good tutorial on doing it right but with a slight overclock the 4300 can easily perform just as well as some of the higher end i3 Intel CPUs.

Now I have 4GB of RAM listed for the memory for this build.

I HIGHLY recommend going with a 8GB stick instead because it’ll give you more speed and power when it comes to running a bunch of the games in 2017 and beyond.

8GB of RAM is slowly becoming industry standard. If you just cannot afford a single 8GB stick right now then just buy the same 4GB stick down the road and add it to your build. This will ensure more future proofness and you’ll be able to also run a bunch of programs simultaneously with 8GB of RAM.

The 400W EVGA power supply is great and EVGA has always delivered high quality power products. If you’re going to upgrade this build down the road then make sure you up the wattage as well that way you can be sure you have enough power to run the high end hardware when you actually do decide to upgrade.

1TB of hard drive space is almost crucial in order to have a good PC gaming experience. The Elder Scrolls Online alone is a 57GB game, it’s good to make sure you have enough space for everything that you’ll be downloading into your PC!

This build would be more than capable of gaming decently at 1080p resolution. If you’re in need of a good 1080p monitor then I’d highly suggest taking a look at this one by Asus!

71r1E7x7PlL._SL1500_MonitorASUS VS228H

Also, if you need to grab a keyboard and a mouse then this combo by Cooler Master is going to probably be the one for you. For its price point it is an absolute steal and the mouse is perfect for gaming at 1080p.

cm-storm-devastator-ii-reviewKeyboard/MouseCM Storm Devastator II

 

Operating System And Internet Connection


Now as far as operating system go, that would be a decision that is entirely up to you. You could always go with Windows and then you’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 10 when it releases later on this year.

If you do go with Windows then make sure that you go with a 64bit version that way you’ll be able to use 8GB of RAM in the future if you don’t have it already. I highly suggest that you do just get the 8GB of RAM anyway, you’ll need it going forward.

You could also go with the free, open source operating system known as Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a linux-based operating system that you can download and add to your PC build 100% for free. The only downside is that not all PC games are completely compatible with Linux. There are work arounds but it includes downloading certain programs and emulating the experience.

If you have Windows then you won’t have any problems with PC games for the most part. You could always pirate Windows as well but this is really frowned upon and NO I will not show you how to get Windows for free. It’s better to pay for the legit version anyway that way you won’t have any bugs in your system and then you’ll also be able to upgrade to Windows 10 which is actually supposed to cater to PC gamers, with DirectX 12 and such. I’m pretty excited for it myself!

If you’re looking for optimal internet connection then I highly suggest that you go with broadband. Check out the wireless network adapter that I’ve linked below if you’d like, it plugs right into a USB slot and then an antenna sticks out of the USB to find connectivity with your wifi connection. Based on the reviews over on Amazon for it, it keeps a good, reliable connection!

windows 10 64bit Windows 10 64bit – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64bit

81CsUmlJ+iL._SL1500_ USB Wireless Network Adapter – Panda 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter

Also, if you’re looking for a cheaper mouse and keyboard combination then you should definitely check these out! They are high quality for the price point and you’ll be able to have an awesome gaming experience with these peripherals!

 

To Conclude


All in all, a $400 gaming PC build is definitely a way to go. Upgrading down the road will be easy and you’ll be able to have an entry-level PC gaming experience with this build.

So what do you guys think of this build?

Pretty great hardware right?

Let me know in the comments below! 😀

If you ever have any questions about how to go about building it or just in general then feel free to ask me in the comments area! 🙂

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806 Responses to Best $400 Dollar Gaming PC Build, An Optimal Budget Build For 2017

  1. caleb says:

    and i would also like to play arma 3 on this pc

  2. Ethan says:

    Is there any way I can buy this build all together or do I have to buy it piece by piece?

    • Colton P says:

      You’ll have to go piece by piece Ethan. Building it is actually easier than you’d think, that’s why I included the above embedded video. It goes step by step exactly what you’d need to do to put the build together.

      It makes a lot more sense to build your own rather than getting a pre-built PC. You get the best bang for your buck when it comes to performance per dollar spent!

  3. Brandon Trippe says:

    So with the motherboard it has an option to get just the motherboard or with the fan as well, so which one should I buy?
    http://amzn.to/29isIrw

    Also, will this case work with this build?
    http://amzn.to/29e3yLU

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Brandon,

      Go with the option to get the motherboard only – the CPU is going to come with a stock cooler.

      Yes, that case would work just fine. It’s a great choice for a case!

  4. Jack says:

    Hey Colton, thanks a lot for making these parts lists, i plan on doing this $400 rig but I have a more flexible budget, would you recommend putting the 6 core amd from the $500 build in here or no? (I already planned on upgrading to 8 gig ram stick)

  5. Josh T says:

    Hey I was wondering if you can tell me how this PC will run the following games if it wont be any trouble for you: Overwatch,TF2, Fallout 4, Ark Survival, and CS:GO. Thanks!

    • Colton P says:

      Josh,

      You can always look up on YouTube different specs for different games – that’ll give you a better feel for how different games will run on these specs.

      All of those games would be playable on a tweaked high/med setting, Ark will probably have to be on a tweaked medium setting to get decent frames since it’s a very high demanding game. Still looks great on med though.

  6. Rudi Morgus says:

    What kind of grafics card does the Alienware X51 use and is the grafics card compadable with this build?

  7. Jack says:

    Yes,the fx 6300 will definitely be in my setup then, thanks for the advice, also I was wondering what a good budget blu Ray drive would be for this setup also I considered going with the vivo mid tower smart case with 2 LED lit fans in the front instead of the rose will

    • Colton P says:

      No problem man,

      All of the Vivo cases will work with this build for sure so go with whichever one suits you best. If you wanted to use a Blu Ray drive instead then I’d suggest this one by Pioneer because I’ve only heard good things about it!

  8. Kyle says:

    i just got building this rig and i cant seem to take advantage of the 1920X1080 screen you recommended. the only thing i really changed from above is that i bought a single stick of 8GB. how to i take advantage of the screen

  9. Sara says:

    I’m interested in this build. Do you think it would fit in this case? http://amzn.to/29sBQu6

    I’m also curious about upgrading the video card from 2GB to 4GB. I’ve seen some 4GB video cards that are even cheaper than that one. Is there something I’m missing that the card you listed has that, say, this one doesn’t? http://amzn.to/29o2m4l. I’m having a hard time telling what the difference is between all the various options – what stats do you look at to decide which video card is best?

    Thanks!

    • Colton P says:

      Hi Sara,

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by asking whether that would fit in the case, that actually is a case. I think you meant whether or not the parts above would fit in that cube case? It’s not compatible with the motherboard at all…

      Now as far as video cards go, VRAM is not the only factor as to whether or not it’s a good card. There are a huge amount of differences that I don’t really even want to go into but you need to take a look at how many shader processing units a card has, its core speed, the architecture etc… The card that you linked there is very outdated and wouldn’t be able to run really any of the newer games that have come out.

      You can use YouTube as well to see how different cards perform with different games.

  10. Rudi Morgus says:

    Are you sure the version of windows 7 you recommended is legitimate?

  11. Rudi Morgus says:

    Sorry for all of the comments on the website, but I wanted to know if the Power supply will be able to support the X51 graphics card

  12. Darren Vu says:

    how can i ugrade your build so i can play ark survival in epic

    • Colton P says:

      By going with a different build as a whole…

      Darren, you need to keep in mind that the epic setting for Ark was made specifically for the highest of the highest end PCs. We’re talking PCs that cost upwards of $1,500+.

      The build as is should still be able to play Ark, just not at the epic setting.

  13. Bob Hamilton says:

    I want to build this PC and I was wondering if the case came with fans or if I need to get more.

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Bob,

      It comes with an 80mm fan installed in the back of the case. You wouldn’t need to get any extra fans to run it at stock settings.

  14. Dxp01 says:

    what if I get the EVGA 500 instead of the 400?

  15. Jerry says:

    I have heard people say that sdd is better than hdd. Is it worth it to get an sdd instead?

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Jerry,

      That really depends on what you want.

      If you don’t have many games/programs to install then a SSD might be a better choice to start off since it’ll make everything load faster. If you’re going to be installing recent titles, it might be better to have a hard drive since most games now take up a lot more space.

      I have a post here all about SSDs vs HDDs, you’ll probably want to check it out!

  16. Aaron Anderson says:

    Hello! I am clueless when it comes to computers. The only game I play is rust on steam. I’m not sure where I’d start with what parts but could you help me out haha. Thanks!!

    • Colton P says:

      Aaron,

      The above build would run Rust “OKish”. It’d be able to run, just not on higher settings optimally.

      If you’re looking for a more solid experience then I’d recommend stepping it up one step higher to the $500 build since it’ll have more optimal hardware for Rust. Let me know what you decide to do!

  17. Kevin says:

    Should I go with a gtx 960 over the 750ti? Would it fit in the case?

  18. chandler says:

    hey colton i only play cs go and i was just wondering around what fps i should expect on low settings

    • Colton P says:

      Hey there Chandler,

      You should expect to get more than 60 FPS rate at low settings for sure, you’ll be able to bump up the graphics a bit more as well if you wanted to. You should still be able to hit a solid 60 FPS rate with a tweaked high setting.

  19. Emperor_Waffle says:

    Is the CD drive required

    • Colton P says:

      If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to installing drivers then yes, it’s required.

      If you know what you’re doing and where to download the correct drivers for the motherboard, video card etc then you won’t need the CD drive.

  20. Cory S. says:

    I’m looking to build a PC that will play Overwatch and WOW. Literally the only two games I’m looking to play right now. I’m new to the gaming PC world. Right now I play WOW on a crappy HP laptop. What is the $ build I should look at if I want to build a PC specifically for those two games? Thanks in advance.

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Cory,

      The above build would work decently with those games in mind. WoW is not a demanding game at all so you’ll max it out with 60 FPS for sure. Since Overwatch is a lot newer than WoW it needs higher specs but the above specs are enough to run it. You’ll just have to tweak the graphics settings until you are happy with the FPS.

      The $500 build would give you further performance, you’ll be able to run games on higher settings etc.

  21. rom says:

    Colton, thanks so much! This will be my first build (although I think I’ll swap the CPU out for a FX-6300, would you recommend or is there something more efficient for the price?)

    I really enjoyed you evaluating and looking through the parts at the bottom to help us who havn’t got as much experience as others.

  22. Tom Corbett says:

    Hi
    At what settings do you think this could manage rust assuming I got 8gb of ram rather than 4?

  23. Jeff says:

    would this be able to run dark souls 3 at all

  24. Sám says:

    Will this build be able to run fifa 17 smoothly ?

  25. Zander says:

    So Not all of the parts came yet but I started watching the video on how to build it, and in the video it mentions screws, do I have to buy those screws separately?

  26. MEH. says:

    Can you recormend a video that shows you how to install windows 10 onto this build?

  27. Alexander says:

    Do I need the usb internet thing to connect to the Internet?

  28. Carl says:

    does the optical drive in the list come with sata cables or does something else come with them?

  29. Brody says:

    Are there any extras that i need to buy like cooling units or wires?

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Brody,

      For cables/wires no – they will come with the different parts. No worries there.

      If you plan on overclocking right away then you’ll want to think about different cooling options. If you’re not overclocking then the cooling as is will work just fine.

  30. Lane says:

    Hey man. First time PC builder switching over from a Mac here. I basically want to do end game content in world of warcraft on high settings with a static and smooth fps. I wouldn’t mind if I could play some current PC games for the time being, but I do plan on upgrading in the future. Could this build suit my current needs?

  31. Ng'hwagi Barchuyioneyiuope says:

    The problem I am having is that the graphics card will not fit in the case. Any suggestions about what I can do?

    • Colton P says:

      Hmm…. I’m 100% certain that it can fit. Many others have put the same exact build together.

      Are you sure you’re putting enough pressure into the slot on the motherboard? Also, did you go through the above video for graphics card installation? There are little slots on the motherboard that you’ll need to pop off and to work with in order to get the card to slide in properly.

      • Ng'hwagi Barchuyioneyiuope says:

        Thanks. I figured it out just minutes after posting though. I had it in the wrong position just a little bit.

  32. jason says:

    What about the radiator thing that they used it it needed?( i am new to this and hope it isnt a dumb question)

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Jason,

      Are you talking about in the video? You’ll have a stock cooler rather than the type of cooler they used. You’ll also want to take a look at the AMD CPU cooler installation portion of the video.

  33. Jack says:

    I saw your pc build, and it looks really nice. I’m planning on building my first pc soon, but i was wondering if I should use the FX-4300 or should I use a X4-860K or a X4-880K. I also have about $50 left and i was wondering if i should use that on some small upgrades or could I better put that towards a monitor?
    Great pc build!

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Jack,

      That’s really up to you. Look at this build as a “template” for what you’d really want to go for. The X4 CPUs would lead you down a path for better upgrades when you need them but the FX series processors have better overclocking capabilities – in my opinion.

      If you’re going to go for an upgrade, then replace the 4300 with the 6300 instead with that extra bit of cash. It’d definitely be worth doing!

  34. Mohamed says:

    hi, im trying to build this $400 pc, i found all the parts in uk amazon except the power supply and the cd driver. will this power supply fit with this build EVGA 600W 80 Plus Bronze Power Supply Unit

    and is there any other cd driver which i can find in uk which will fit with this build. thanks for all the builds and infos

  35. Mohamed says:

    hi, will the supply power for the $500 build work and fit well with this 400 dollar build.

    http://amzn.to/2awj8mn

    thanks

  36. Austin B says:

    dude really? its a 24 pin motherboard and a 20 pin power supply

    • Colton P says:

      Dude really? It’s a 24 pin power supply and many have put this exact build together. Go ahead and read the product page for the power supply again let me know what you find…

  37. Ben says:

    This would all work together with a 2TB Hard drive, right?

    I’m looking to move the drive from my old pre-built to this new one. So I don’t have to re-purchase Windows or anything.

  38. Tyson says:

    Could this potentially run call of duty black ops 2 or three or the upcoming infinite warfare release? P.S. I would only buy infinite warfare for the remastered c.o.d 4

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Tyson,

      Given that they are decently optimized – yes it should be able to. Definitely don’t expect to be able to run them on higher settings though, you’ll be looking at a tweaked medium setting to run it with good frame rates.

  39. Miller Bonds says:

    Hey Colton, one last question for now. If I use these parts from the $400 build but incorporate the 6300 processor and gtx 950 video card from the $500 build, will everything work out alright? In other words, can I add the video card and processor from the $500 build to $400 build parts? Will they match up correctly?

    Again, thank you so much

  40. Miller Bonds says:

    So sorry, one last question just to be certain. I am planning on using a 1080p TV as a monitor which would be connected through an HDMI cord. Would that be compatible with this build?

    • Colton P says:

      No need to apologize for the questions Miller, that’s what the comments area and I are here for 😉

      Yes, it’d work because the graphics card does have a HDMI port! You’d be good to go!

  41. Tom Chung says:

    Hello, first of all thanks for the PC build.

    I have a question regarding the RAM. The link you have for that specific 8gb ram is out of stock.

    Would Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2133 MT/s (PC4-17000) DIMM 288-Pin Memory – CT8G4DFS8213 (http://amzn.to/2b2tHuj)

    work? Thanks again.

  42. Caleb Thurman says:

    Is the processor listed as good as an intel i3?

  43. Kyle says:

    Am I going to need any glue or anything besides a screwdriver for this build?

  44. Andrew says:

    Hi, i have two question for you. 1. do you think this build could handle battledield 1 on medium settings. 2. i was wondering if you could use the NZXT H440 razer edition case for this build. Thanks

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Andrew,

      It should be able to run Battlefield 1, probably tweaked medium settings for good frames at 1080p. That’s this case, right? If so then yes you could use that case but keep in mind that there are no slots for a CD drive and that extra $100 you’re spending on a mid tower could be spent on better hardware such as the FX-6300 and a better graphics card – better to spend your money there, especially if you’re wanting to play a new game like Battlefield 1.

  45. Jesse says:

    Hey great pc builds, looked at the 500$ and now 400$ builds. I only want it to play rust and paragon, what would be a good build for the money for just these two games? And im assuming plus windows 10 it adds another 100$ or so to the build?

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Jesse, glad that you’re digging the site!

      You’re going to want to go with the $500 build if you want a higher quality experience. The performance difference between the two makes it well worth it.

      Windows 10, like listed above from Amazon will cost around $90 yeah – but there are other sites you can use as well where it is cheaper such as key sites. You’ll want to make sure that it’s all legit though.

  46. Quez says:

    Hey Colton, love the builds bro. Im a first time builder (PC noob) so excuse me if Im a bit inferior to this.I was just curious, if I use the 6300 processor and gtx 950 from the $500 build, is it worth the extra $? & And how well will this build run a game like GTA V? Again, great builds bro.

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Quez, no need to feel weird about it we all start as a noob so no worries!

      Yes, it’d definitely be worth investing the extra bit for those parts when looking at power per dollar spent. GTA V will run at a tweaked high setting, 40+ avg FPS for sure with those specs in mind!

      Glad that you’re digging the site 🙂 let me know if I can help more as you move forward with your build!

  47. caleb says:

    What do you think about the AMD Radeon R7 265 graphics card?

  48. Jay says:

    I’m looking to get a mid tower instead of the mini is there one that you would recommend

  49. jackson lachapelle says:

    will this case work

    http://amzn.to/2cRoY0J

  50. Ng'hwagi says:

    It’s the same Ng’hwagi as last time! I got it all put together and came across a huge problem I haven’t been able to fix no matter how much I search online about it.
    I had Windows 7 on a Hard Drive just like the one you listed (but 750 GB) so I tried to boot into it. It gave me a Windors error which I do not remember, something about Windows being corrupted.
    I was in luck, though. I had a USB drive with Ubuntu on it. I tried to boot with it but it hung at a screen saying Verifying DMI Pool. I put a different OS onto the USB Drive so that I could make sure that wasn’t the problem, but another type of Linux didn’t work either. The only solution I could find on the internet was that I needed to flash the BIOS, so I tried. The computer couldn’t find the files on my USB Drive.
    I bought a new USB drive since that was the only thing I could think of for that problem. It allowed me to flash the BIOS, and I got very excited to think that it would finally work, after nearly a month of trying everything I could think of. It didn’t work. Same problem as before.
    My next idea was to take off all nonessential parts, so I removed the Hard Drive, Graphics Card, and one RAM stick. Same problem.

    tl;dr: It hangs at Verifying DMI Pool and I have no clue what to do besides throw it away.

    I have run out of ideas to fix this! Please help!

    • Colton P says:

      Have you seen this forum post yet? They found a solution and it sounds like the same problem that you’re having…

      Do you hear any beeps while doing all of this, from the motherboard speaker?

      • ng'hwagi says:

        I tried it, doesn’t work. No beeps.

        • Colton P says:

          Hmm… At this point your best bet is going to be to bring it into a computer shop. I would not recommend Best Buy since they charge and arm and a leg to do something like that but if you don’t have a local computer store/repair shop then Best Buy would be where you have to go. Never heard of that problem before…

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