How to build a cheap gaming PC 2017
How to build a cheap gaming PC 2017. Image: TheUSBport.

Gaming is probably the most popular hobby nowadays, but keeping up the pace with technology is not possible for most people. This article will explain how to build a robust upgradeable computer with $700.

Building a budget PC is not only putting together the cheapest computer parts you see. Money is an important factor, of course, but you should take into account what games you want to play.

Moreover, the elements you choose will determine if you are throwing away a couple of hundred bucks or are making an intelligent investment that will pass the test of time.

With that in mind, I will list a series of computer parts and explain why they are better than most options in the current market. I took the prices from Amazon, but they don’t discounts. So, the cost might vary but not by much.

AMD FX-8370 ($180)

I will not address the AMD vs. Intel discussion here, but if you are building on a budget, AMD is the best option. This processor released in 2014, and it sells with a wraith cooler which is nice because the FX chips tend to heat and are noisy.

It has 8 (4 physical) cores that go at 4.0 GHZ (4.3GHZ with Turbo speed), and it fits on motherboards with the AM3+ socket. It can run any game out there, and it rarely reports errors.

The FX-8320 is cheaper than the 8370, but it does not come with the wraith cooler and is too noisy. The FX-6300 is much less expensive (It costs $90), but it is considerably less powerful than the other two.

Asus 970 PRO GAMING/AURA ($106)

It can hold four DIMM Ram memories for a total of 32GB. It supports DDR3, from 1066 MHZ to 2133(O.C), and dual channel. With the 970 Pro, you can use up to four graphic cards working together as it is compatible with both SLI and CrossFireX.
I don’t think there is a better option out there because this motherboard is very upgradable and is worth every penny. However, the 970 Pro series is not exclusive to Asus. So, you can look around for the MSI or EVGA models.

GTX 1050 Ti ($150)

A GTX 1050 Ti will be the perfect complement for the FX-8370. It has a 1366MHZ core and 4GB GDDR5. It supports 128-bit memory and requires a six pin connector, so the power supply has to have that option.
The memory clock maxes at 7008 MHz, and it supports Ultra-HD with 7680×4320 resolutions. There is a cheaper version, the GTX 1050, but it only has 2Gb RAM. It will save you $30, but it is not worth it.

Seagate 2TB BarraCuda SATA 6Gb/s ($70) and RAM memory ($75)

Now, a lot of guides suggest using solid state disk in gaming rigs, but it is not that necessary. A data 6 hard drive disk will do the job just fine and will be much cheaper than the SSD option.

If money is not a problem, and you can spend a couple of hundred dollars on a storage unit, go ahead. If that is not the case, I’d suggest using those resources on a better graphic card, like the AMD R 470 or the NVIDIA GTX 1060.

There are many ram memory models out there with cool dissipators and neat designs. However, you can get your hands on a 32GB DDR3 1333 memory kit for $75 whereas a Kingstone HyperX Fury  16GB kit will cost you $100.

Power supply, case, and DVD unit ($137 total)

The power supply should be a certified 600W unit, minimum, and you have to pay attention to the number of connectors it has. Spending big in one of these is not the smart move. However, if you want to use SLI or CrossFireX, you will need to upgrade.

The same goes for the case. FX processors are infamous for generating a lot of heat, so you should choose a box with many slots for fan coolers, 3 – 4 should be enough. Regarding the DVD Unit, you will probably use it just once, so use a cheap or old one.


If you put this all together, your machine will have a 4.0GHz octa-core processor, 2TB storage, 32GB RAM, and a GTX 1050 Ti graphic card for a little more than $700. If you use the cheap options (FX-6300 processor, GTX 1050 graphic card, less RAM and storage memory), you could save between $100 – $150. But, the performance/save ratio is bad.