Last Updated on October 9, 2019
If you’re looking for the best $400 dollar gaming pc build for the money 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 $400 Budget
This build is actually very similar to my past build as far as power goes. I was 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 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 2018, 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 videos while you wait for your parts to come in the mail and be sure to watch them 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: October 9th, 2019
* = Optional, read below.
Final price DOES NOT include optional part.
This case from Rosewill is one of the lowest priced cases on the market that have a USB 3.0 port in the front. It also has two USB 2.0 ports in the front as well giving you three USB ports in total on the case.
It has two external 5.25″ drive bays, one external 3.5″ drive bays and two internal 3.5″ drive bays. You’ll still be able to use 2.5″ solid state drives with this case but you’ll need an adapter to mount them to the 3.5″ drive bays.
There are also two case fans pre-installed to provide cooling. There is a 120mm fan in the front and an 80mm fan in the back. The maximum card length this case will be able to fit is 300mm. Be sure to know the card length when you go to upgrade this build in the future.
Motherboard – GIGABYTE B450M DS3H
This B450M motherboard from Gigabyte will allow you to very slightly overclock the 2400G processor and it’ll be compatible with future AM4 socket processors that you might upgrade to.
Supporting up to 64GB DDR4 memory, two PCIe x16 slots, one PCIe x1 slot, four SATA ports and a M.2 connector… It has what you’d need out of a board that is ready for any upgrades down the road.
It also has RGB lighting and a BIOS that is easy to use. There are a couple of other cheaper B450 boards on the market but this one is the #1 pick when you think of the inevitable upgrading you’ll have to do down the road.
Processor – AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
AMD’s Ryzen 5 2400G is a 4-core processor that is clocked starting at 3.6GHz speed which can be boosted up to 3.9 GHz. It can be overclocked easily and surprisingly holds its own in higher demanding games.
When you’re looking for a CPU that will handle higher quality, 1080p gaming that is on the cheaper side of things then this is it. The 2400G is the perfect processor in a budget build for starting out.
Video Card – XFX Radeon RX 560 4GB
I’ve seen other builds sharing to use integrated graphics starting out which is great… if you want to run all of your PC games on the lowest settings and have frame stutters in your “gaming” PC.
That’s why it’s better to start out with an entry-level card that’s at a low price and can still handle most higher demanding games at a tweaked medium/high setting. That’s exactly what the RX 560 is able to do!
A $400 budget gaming PC build should still included a dedicated video card and a RX 560 is the sweet spot when it comes to entry-level, 1080p gaming.
The motherboard we’re using with this build is capable of up to 64GB total RAM so we might as well have a single 8GB stick for having an optimal amount of space for whenever you’d want to add more RAM.
Just be sure that you aren’t mixing and matching different brands of sticks!
Hard Drive – Seagate Barracuda 500GB
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to fit in any extra storage space with a $400 budget point but 500GB of hard drive space should still last you long enough, at least until you’re able to add in more storage options such as a SSD or a M.2 drive.
Seagate makes reliable HDDs and their 500GB drive is one of the best cheap hard drives that are available right now.
Power supply – EVGA 500W W1 80+
EVGA seems to always have the better choice for different wattage amounts on a PSU that doesn’t cost too much.
This 80+ certified 500 watt power supply will be more than enough for the build and it’ll still be enough for the first upgrade… assuming that your first upgrade isn’t straight to a 2080 Ti with an overclocked Ryzen 7 3700X.
* CD Drive (Optional) – Asus 24x DVD-RW
A CD drive is optional because you also have options of installing your preferred operating system via USB. However, if you like to install Windows traditionally then this Asus drive will work great for that and it’ll last you forever.
Final Price: $452.09
$400 PC Build Hardware 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. Some may want lighting, extra fans or more room for future upgrades using bigger cards. Whatever the reasoning, you’ll want to make sure you pick the case that suits you best.
I’d suggest going with the case that I have listed above because it’s one of the cheapest cases 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 only downfall is that I don’t think there is enough room for upgrading to a bigger card, you’ll have to stick with the mini versions that are available.
There are plenty of other choices as well, if you plan on using more than one hard drive now or in the near future then you’ll want to go with a case that has more slots for more hard drives. Take a look at other mid-tower cases on Amazon and ask away if one you find would work or not, I’ll let you know!
The combination of the Ryzen 2400G and the RX 560 4GB card is a match made in heaven for a $400 budget build built for entry-level gaming. This build gets your foot in the door, this is ideal for those of you that just need a gaming PC ASAP for under $500 with upgrades down the road in mind.
1080p at a tweaked medium setting is what you should expect from most of today’s titles.
These parts aren’t the absolute newest technology that’s out but they are also not low quality. You’ll be able to run games like Overwatch, Grand Theft Auto V, The Elder Scrolls Online and Rainbow Six: Siege with ease using 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 Ryzen 2400G may be a somewhat lower end CPU but it’s able to be upgraded down the road to other CPUs that use the AM4 socket.
This includes processors such as the new Ryzen 3000 series if that’s what you wanted to end up doing. Overclocking can also be done right from the get go but understand that with this motherboard, your overclocking capabilities are not going to be that high.
You can’t have a nice gaming rig without a graphics card combined with your processing power though. Overall video card power has come a long way in recent years. Just a few years back a $400 build meant that you’d be having a video card just barely at the 1GB VRAM point.
I’m seeing that most build websites are sharing to use the integrated graphics that comes with the 2400G processor.
This isn’t going to be ideal if you’re trying to play some of the newer titles because the performance difference between a dedicated card – such as the 4GB RX 560 – and integrated graphics is about 150% of a performance difference.
Again, I wouldn’t expect this build to run the newest games at ultra and giving you smooth frame rate but if you’re looking for an entry level PC experience for the lower price point, this is it.
8GB of RAM is the industry standard if you want to have a high quality gaming experience. In the past I was sharing using a 4GB stick to start off but that isn’t going to cut it anymore. Sure, this increases the price a decent bit but paying that extra bit is 100% worth putting into the build.
Without having 8GB of RAM you wouldn’t be meeting with the minimum requirement of almost every high end game that has released in the past year and it’s definitely going to be required for many years to come. Besides, having 8GB of RAM also helps with multi-tasking and using other high demanding programs which makes it that much more worth getting.
The 500W 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.
500GB of hard drive space isn’t the most ideal amount of storage when you think about some of the bigger titles that you could throw onto it such as The Elder Scrolls Online – it’s over 50GB for that one title. But, the motherboard is able to have multiple hard drives which allows you to, down the road, upgrade and/or add in another hard drive for more storage.
* Having a CD drive included with your build isn’t entirely essential, though for new builders it might streamline the process a bit which is why I include it into the build. You can save some money on the build by not including the CD drive as long as you know what you’re doing when it comes to installing your operating system and drivers without using the CDs that come with the different pieces of hardware.
You aren’t limited to these peripheral recommendations but they’re the ones I believe are the best starting choices if this is your first build. You don’t need anything crazy or anything that’s going to break the bank further.
Down the road, you’ll want to upgrade these to fit with the types of upgrades that you’ll be able to get done with a build like this.
This build is completely 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!
Monitor – ASUS VS228H
It’s a great starting monitor for 1080p since it is usually available for right around $100 and it lasts forever. Be sure to read through our full review on it if you’re interested in getting it for your build.
Keyboard/Mouse – CM Storm Devastator 3
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.
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 – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64bit
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!
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! 🙂
Hey there! 👋 I’m Colton, founder of PC Builds On A Budget.
Whether you need help putting your PC together, finding a great pre-built rig, or want some help finding awesome peripherals – I’ve got you covered!
I share my experiences of anything and everything related to gaming PCs with you here. 👍