Best $400 Dollar Gaming PC Build, An Optimal Budget Build For 2018

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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.

 

$400 Dollar Gaming PC Build

 

Best Build For A Tight 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 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: November 24th, 2017

 

caseCase – Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower SRM-01

Motherboard  – ASUS H110M-A/M.2 LGA 1151 MicroATX Motherboard

  Processor – Intel Pentium G4400

Video Card – Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 2GB OC

 RAM – Corsair 8GB Single DDR4

Hard Drive – Seagate 1TB

powerPower Supply – EVGA 400W

cdCD Drive – Asus 24x DVD-RW

 

Final Price: $444.96 (High price due to overpriced RAM)

 

Build 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 Pentium G4400 and the GTX 1050 2GB card is a match made in heaven.

When it comes to entry level CPU power and staying within the $400 range, the Pentium G4400 CPU is a great starting point!

These parts aren’t completely high-end and new but they aren’t crappy either. You’ll be able to run games like Overwatch, Grand Theft Auto V, The Elder Scrolls Online and Rainbow Six: Siege 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 Pentium G4400 may be a somewhat lower end CPU but it’s able to be upgraded down the road to other CPUs using the LGA 1151 socket.

This includes processors such as an i5-6500 or even an i7-6700. If you wanted to go with an upgrade in the future that would be able to be overclocked then you’d also have to change the motherboard since the one in this list is not compatible with overclocking.

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.

A 2GB GTX 1050 is the ideal card right now when you’re looking at spending ~$400 on your build.

Now with nVidia’s new 1000 series cards it’s easy to have a 2GB VRAM card that packs a punch.

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 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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1,061 Responses to Best $400 Dollar Gaming PC Build, An Optimal Budget Build For 2018

  1. Nathan says:

    Hey, I have bought all the parts and had my computer since April and I want to upgrade my to an i7 processer but dont know which one to get off of amazon can you please help me

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Nathan,

      How come you want to upgrade to the i7? Are you planning on doing a lot of rendering of sorts?

      Just trying to save you some money, let me know! What processor do you have installed right now?

  2. Darren Vu says:

    is there another processor better than the g4400 that is also cheap

    • Colton P says:

      Not for around the same price to performance, no. Next best up would be to go into the next family of processors that are compatible which also cost more.

  3. Landon says:

    But does it run Black Ops 3 on High settings at 60 frames per second? I want to play modded zombies. Also, does it handle other tasks well besides gaming? I’m not building it JUST for gaming.

  4. Elliot B says:

    I built this pc about a year ago, it has worked great but I have $300 and would like to upgrade, i have upgraded the power supply to 500w and added 8 more gb of ram so I am at 16gb my motherboard is Gigabyte AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX, my processor is AMD FX 4-Core Black Edition FX-4300, my video card is ASUS GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB, my hard drive is Seagate 1TB, what should I upgrade with $300 dollars. Thanks Elliot

  5. Elliot B says:

    If I got the CPU and graphics card, would that be to intense on my current motherboard or would you reccomend a better motherboard and CPU and then get a better graphics card latter down the line? Thanks

    • Colton P says:

      With the parts I mentioned you’d be fine using them. It wouldn’t limit the use of the new CPU and GPU.

      A new motherboard would mean a different family of processors to be able to be used for further upgrades, the FX-8350 is the max upgrade in the FX series that actually makes sense. Any higher and you’re just wasting power per dollar spent. Though the 8350 is a pretty decent CPU overall

  6. Would you recommend this card?

  7. Josh says:

    Hey Colton!
    Last year I was here and followed your recommendations and built a $400. Purely awesome. I wanted to go ahead and upgrade it so it’s a little faster and so I went ahead and slapped in a 2nd 8mb stick of ram. Haven’t noticed a performance difference at all even though Speccy does recognize it. Mainly built the computer for gaming. Aside from the memory upgrade, would upgrading the CPU be the next step?

    I’m running with an Intel Core i5 6600 @ 3.30GHz.

    Thanks.

    • Colton P says:

      What video card are you using and what are you noticing with the performance? Is it with a specific game?

      Simply adding in more RAM doesn’t increase game performance really. It’ll help with having a lot of mods added into a game and things of that nature but when it comes to raw performance the memory doesn’t do a whole lot. At least now you won’t have to add any RAM for many, many years to come!

      I think you’re set with the CPU which is why I ask which video card you’re currently using?

  8. Eric Mercado says:

    Hmmm If i want to change the 1050 to ti version. do i also need to change other parts?

  9. Thomas says:

    Hey, im completely new to this gaming pc thing haha, how would this fare with GTA5 and rainbow six siege, say on medium settings?

    • Colton P says:

      At a tweaked medium setting you should be able to play both titles just fine man, those games are pretty well optimized.

      Always here for any questions that you might have as you’re moving forward with the build, let me know.

  10. Jeremy says:

    Hi, How fast can this run Gta V, Fallout 4, and Cuphead?

    • Colton P says:

      They’re all going to run fine. GTA and Fallout 4 would run best at a tweaked medium/high setting whereas Cuphead will run fine at higher settings since it’s less of a demanding title.

  11. Pavel Kashkan says:

    i tried to put in the cd drive and the power supply and they wouldnt fit so do i buy a new case or something else please help

    • Colton P says:

      What do you mean it won’t fit, Pavel? I’ve personally used this same case with a CD drive and similar PSU with no issues. What’s conflicting?

      Let me know!

  12. Monqesas says:

    Is it okay to upgrade my CPU to the Fx-8350

    • Colton P says:

      Hey Monqesas,

      Not with this motherboard, you’d have to go with a entirely different board. I’d recommend going with the i5-6500 if you plan to keep the current motherboard. If you already have this build put together then let me know, there is a better alternative!

  13. Gio says:

    Will this system run csgo and overwatch well? Thanks

    • Colton P says:

      For sure Gio, these specs surpass the requirements for both titles. I wouldn’t expect running them at 60+ FPS on maximum possible settings but by tweaking the settings a bit on high you should be able to have a high frame rate.

      Always here for whatever else you need regarding your build!

  14. Vic says:

    I am building for my youth gamer Christmas present and he has a request for a case that glows a color. Can you recommend one that fits and is cheapest?

    also,

    Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8GB DDR4-3000 PC4-24000 CL15 Quad Channel Desktop Memory Module

    Would I have any issue using this instead of recommended DDR4?
    This item is $90 at my local PC Store

    • Colton P says:

      Hey there Vic! I’m happy to help!

      Which color? Is he wanting it to glow multiple colors? If there is a specific color I can pick an ideal one out for you.

      You should be able to use that RAM instead with no issues. Let me know!!

  15. Peter Hungerford says:

    Hey Colton, it’s me again. I want to thank you for the amazing support you’ve given me getting into this whole PC building thing. My RX580 8gb is on the way and I’ve still got the FX-6300. I know that this will bottle neck a little bit and was curious to see if you had any new processor recommendations. I’m pretty set on Ryzen and I’ve been looking at a Ryzen 5 1600X and was wondering if an aftermarket cooler should be something that I should look at. I would just have the FX stock cooler still. Some reviews say it runs a bit hot plus I have the micro ATX case and with all the cables I’m sure that can’t be great for airflow. A budget is not really something I’m worrying about so I’d better be safe than sorry. Any cooler recommendations?

    • Colton P says:

      Hey man!

      If you’re wanting to go with Ryzen then you’ll need to go with a new motherboard. If you do plan to do that then I’d recommend sticking with the stock cooler since it’s still able to overclock and it’ll keep it nice and cool.

      If you’re still wanting an aftermarket cooler and/or if you’re going with a new motherboard for Ryzen do let me know, I’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

      • Peter Hungerford says:

        With the amount of work and money that a new motherboard and everything will take I think I’ll stick with my 6300 for now but I’ve heard that it might bottleneck a bit with the card I’m getting. If I plan to overclock the CPU a bit to catch up with my card will the stock cooler still be good? I don’t really want to take any chances. I was just thinking about a fairly inexpensive air cooler like the H7 or the Hyper 212

        • Colton P says:

          Gotcha, are you using the above case then? It’ll help to know which case you’re using. Not every cooler is going to fit. Let me know that way I can point you in the right direction!

          • Peter Hungerford says:

            Yeah that’s the case. The temps on my new RX 580 are pretty high and I think that it’s because of the minimal airflow of the case because the 580 is a rather large card. Ideas?

          • Colton P says:

            So as far as the temp problem, you were asking about using a different CPU cooler. Still wanting a CPU cooler as well?

            As for GPU temps, is the room that you’re using the PC in relatively warm? Have you considered mounting a fan to the side? I think that’d help quite a bit with the GPU, granted that there is enough room for the fan.

          • Peter Hungerford says:

            Like 75+ (C) just running Overwatch which I know isn’t an extremely demanding game.

  16. Peter Hungerford says:

    Oh shoot, I just realized the motherboard socket is different for the Ryzen vs the Fx series. Hate when companies do that. Looks like I would need a new motherboard then too. Recommendations?

  17. Ramzi says:

    Hey Colten do you think it will run Rocket League at decent settings and not lag???

    • Colton P says:

      Hey there Ramzi,

      I wouldn’t expect to be able to run it smoothly at maximum settings but at a tweaked med/high setting you would be able to get a nice frame rate!

  18. Ramzi says:

    And One more thing, If I buy these pieces is all I need to build it in there other then a screw driver, of course. And Is the video at the top of the page explain how to build this exact model????

    • Colton P says:

      Right, all of the cables and what not that you’d need will come with all of the different parts. The video above isn’t for this exact PC but the process is basically the same, I’d recommend watching it before and during the actual process of putting it together. It’s the same video I used when I put my first PC together and trust me, I knew nothing when I started!

      Always here for whatever else!

  19. Ramzi says:

    And ur sure that everything here is completely compatible

  20. Ramzi says:

    This is my first time building my own PC. So this is why I’m absolutely clueless. Just to get things straight: These parts are all completely compatible with one another and from the parts you listed. If I got all the parts and put them together, bought a monitor, keyboard, mouse, Software (Windows 10) And wifi USB thing. Should it work completely? And I saw the reviews on the Windows 10 and tons of people said that the key given to them is already used so I don’t want to use that, just because of risk. I heard that you can download windows 10 from this website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO on to a USB then put it into your new computer to install. Is that true?

    • Colton P says:

      Exactly, everything listed will be everything you’d need to get the build up and running. You could download that ISO and watch videos on how to format the USB for booting from it when it comes time to install the OS, you’d want a key eventually if you wanted the full version of Windows 10.

  21. Dave says:

    What would be a better processor that would work with this pic?

  22. Adriel M says:

    Hello, am planning to build this setup , just have one quesiton, would it be able to run PUBG ? thank you in advance

    • Colton P says:

      Hey there Adriel,

      You’ll be able to run PUBG at a tweaked med setting. It’s an extremely high demanding title that doesn’t have much in terms of optimization but you should be able to run it fine, just not on higher settings.

  23. Dave says:

    Also do we need the USB network adapter

  24. Micah McClure says:

    howlyld this pc run fortnite and pubg and some c.s. go

    • Colton P says:

      Fortnite and CSGO will run very well, they’re well optimized games and I’d expect to run both smoothly at a tweaked high setting. As far as PUBG, it isn’t well optimized. I’d go for more of a tweaked med setting if you’re wanting a smoother frame rate.

  25. Hey Colton, I’m considering a new case. Something with more room and airflow. I’ve heard the micro ATX is compatible with regular ATX cases. Something flashy would be cool but not more than like $150
    Something like this maybe?

    • Colton P says:

      Everything would fit fine, just have to keep in mind that there isn’t a slot for the CD drive. You’ll have to either install your OS via USB or use an external CD drive if you’re sticking with the CD route of installing it.

      • Peter Hungerford says:

        Yeah I saw that. I haven’t used my CD drive at all though so I figured it would be okay.

      • Peter Hungerford says:

        I installed everything into the Rosewell Cullinan and wow the case looks so beautiful. The 4 fans help my airflow so much and my GPU temps dropped by nearly 10 degrees under load. Now that I have this new case my question is what Cooler should I get for my CPU? In the future Im planning on upgrading to Ryzen so something that works with AM4 would be good. (currently running AM3+ board) The case supports up to a 180mm cooler so what would you reccomend?

        • Colton P says:

          Awesome, glad that you’re digging the case! It’s a nice one that’s for sure 🙂

          With that case you can actually use a variety of different coolers. I’d recommend using something like the Corsair H60 liquid cooler if I were you, otherwise there are plenty of air cooler to use as well.

          Can always come back whenever you’re ready to get your Ryzen CPU and aftermarket cooler, I’ll be happy to help.

  26. Jackson says:

    Hey Colton,

    First off, I just wanted to say thank you. I built the 500 dollar build last year and have had loads of fun with friends running all my games on high/ultra. I was brand new to the PC world, and this helped me figure out what was going on and made me more comfortable about making the switch from console. So, thank you!

    (If anyone is wondering if these things are legit, they are. Believe me.)

    I had a question for a friend that was also building his own PC. How does this build you created compare to the one he made?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Colton P says:

      Hey there Jackson,

      Glad that you’ve been digging the build, you’re welcome! I like the idea of using Ryzen with the $400 build. Though I’d make one change to make it even better, I’d go with this motherboard from MSI because then you’d be able to overclock the Ryzen CPU for even further performance.

  27. noah says:

    Hey Colton,

    I was just wonder if the Rosewill cullin and the i5 would work for this build?
    just wanna know if I need to change anything

  28. Peter Hungerford says:

    Hey Colton, My plans for the future are an MSI B350 Gaming plus MOBO and a Ryzen 5 1600. I’ve heard reviews that it B350 and Ryzen are only compatible with certain types of DDR4. I’m looking for 16 gbs (Even though price has practically doubled since last year) What should I use that would work? Preferably something red or black to match the rest of my setup. Thanks

    • Colton P says:

      Sounds like this kit from G.Skill would be the best bet for you. Bookmark the link to it for future reference! Also I’d go with a different case other than the above one if you plan on using the stock cooler that comes with the Ryzen 5 1600. I don’t think the cooler is going to fit with that case.

      I hope RAM gets cheaper in the near future…

  29. Marcus1405 says:

    Hi,
    I am League of Legends player and i dont need geforce 1050 so can you suggest me cheaper gpu but i want to buy better cpu

  30. Katsura Aoi says:

    Hi! Would this case work with this build?

    http://amzn.to/2jUcHML

  31. Katsura Aoi says:

    Awesome! Just what I needed to know. Thank you so much 😀

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