PC gaming can be a pricey endeavor to get started.
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If you have pals who own gaming PCs, you may have heard about their new “cheap” liquid cooling solution.
Isn’t it ridiculously expensive to construct a gaming PC at these prices? For those who want to create a cutting-edge computer that can run games at their highest settings for a long time, this is true.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on high-end components, you can construct a decent PC for under $400!
See what this system looks like if you stick around!
The Best Cheap $400 Gaming PC Build For 2022
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
Compared to the Ryzen 3 APU, AMD’s mid-range processor is a big leap forward. Ryzen 5 3400G is the best APU at this price point because of its faster clock speeds and superior graphics.
Wraith Spire Cooler
Ryzen 5 3400G performs admirably with the Wraith Spire, one of AMD’s finest stock coolers.
Radeon RX Vega 11
Radeon RX Vega 11 is the current king of integrated graphics and can run most modern games at medium to low settings on the Ryzen 5 3400G.
Patriot Viper 4 Blackout 8GB
The 8GB Patriot Viper 4 Blackout Blackout is the best option for RAM if you want to get the most out of your integrated graphics without going over budget.
ASRock B450M PRO4
In addition to its many connectivity possibilities, the ASRock B450M PRO4 gives plenty of opportunity for future upgrades.
Western Digital Blue SN550 500GB
The Western Digital Blue SN550 isn’t the fastest NVMe SSD on the market, but it’s still a big improvement over any 2.5-inch SSD or HDD.
Thermaltake Smart 500W
In terms of value for money, the Thermaltake Smart 500W is a standout.
Cooler Master Q300L
As a cheap case, the Cooler Master Q300L offers an attractive and simple design that is easy to assemble and provides adequate airflow.
$400 Gaming PC Build Overview
For this design, we went with an Intel Core i3-10100f processor and a 4GB RX 550 4GB graphics card instead of the AMD Ryzen APU that we used for our $300 gaming machine.
The RX 550 has dropped in price, and while an AMD Ryzen 5 2400G or 3400G APU would work (and we did in previous iterations of this design), we felt that the 10100f/RX 550 combination would deliver greater performance.
In addition to the 8GB of DDR4 2666MHz memory, a 240GB SSD, and a 500W power supply, this system may be upgraded in the future to a mid-range graphics card with ease. For this build’s casing, we choose the COUGAR MG130-G. In terms of price, it’s a great micro-ATX chassis with a good airflow, tempered glass side panel, and room for future upgrades.
*NOTE: If you don’t want to construct your own computer, you can get a comparable pre-built gaming machine by clicking the “Shop Pre-Builts” option.
$400 Gaming PC System Breakdown
To create the best $400 gaming PC, we recommend using the parts listed above (make sure you check for fluctuating prices, though.) With this build, though, there are a number of different paths you can choose. You can anticipate a lot of performance from this $400 gaming PC, and we’ll go over some of those other options below, as well as how to upgrade it to become a mid-range 1080P-killing gaming machine.
How Will This $400 PC Build Perform?
You may expect to be able to run less-demanding games on a 1080P panel at higher settings on this $400 gaming PC, and more-demanding games on a 1080P monitor at lower settings depending on the game. However, following is a list of some of today’s most popular games’ framerates, which you can use as an example:
- If you’re looking for a computer that’s powerful enough to play games like Rocket League, League of Legends, Minecraft, and more on high settings, this is the one.
- AAA titles requiring higher frame rates will be able to run smoothly at 30+ frames per second on this release.
If you can get it for less than $400, that’s very impressive. On a 1080P monitor, you’ll be able to play any game. Although you will have to lower the settings for more demanding games, at least you will be able to play them. In addition, the CPU/GPU combination will be able to easily handle popular eSports/competitive titles that aren’t overly demanding.
How You Can Cut the Price Further
You may be able to reduce the cost of this setup even further by excluding some of the extras. Here are a few other strategies to reduce the cost of this system even further:
- You might save $10 by going with a less expensive carrying case. Cases costing slightly more than $20 are available and will work just fine with this approach.
- You could save $20 by switching to a less expensive power supply. In the long run, you’ll be unable to upgrade the system if your power supply is too low-end.
- Just 4GB of RAM will save you about $30. But if I were to construct one for myself, I’d absolutely attempt and fit 8GB of RAM into it.
Those are the last few questions I have for you. You could also try to save money by purchasing old components. These two solutions, on the other hand, may be the best method to lower the cost of a new system.
Why Does Windows 10 Cost So Much?
In order to get this build up and running, you’ll need an operating system. This build will cost an additional $100 if you also purchase a copy of Windows 10; for some of you, this will be prohibitively expensive.
But there are a couple methods to avoid the $100 fee:
Free Linux-based operating systems are also available. There are some games that won’t work on Linux, but you can save $100.
As a second option, you might purchase a Windows 11 key from a third-party marketplace for around $30 However, there is a certain amount of danger associated with acquiring a Windows license from a third-party source like Kinguin.net or G2A.com.
Finally, if you don’t want to activate Windows 11, you can download and install it for free. This, in my opinion, is the best course of action. For the most part, Microsoft lets anyone to download and install Windows on their computer without having to activate it. When Windows isn’t enabled, you’ll still be able to use most of its features. The only thing you’ll be unable to do is set your desktop’s wallpaper, for example. That said, if you can save $100, I think it’s worth it. If you can’t afford to buy an activation key, at least you can run the non-activated version of Windows.
How to Upgrade This $400 Build
While this $400 gaming computer won’t max out today’s top games on a 1080P monitor, it will give you the potential to upgrade it to be a system that can max games out. One more major improvement, and this system will run most games at 1920 x 1080 resolution, and a few more upgrades will turn it into a great all-around computer, in my opinion.
You may not be able to play the most popular games today on a 1080P monitor with this $400 gaming machine, but you have the option of upgrading to a system that can. Most games can be played at their highest settings on a 1920 x 1080 monitor with this machine, and with a few additional modifications, it might be an excellent all-around computer.
The first upgrade that I’d make would be to add a solid mid-range (or higher) graphics card.
Upgrading to one of these GPUs would be beneficial:
- GeForce GTX 1660
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 5600 TI
As a result, any of the aforementioned graphics cards can be used with this system’s power supply. The GTX 1660 or RX 5600 XT will let you to play any game at 1080p with ease if you save enough for them.
With the 600W PSU in this design, you may also upgrade to a high-end graphics card (such an RX 6700 XT, RTX 3060 Ti, or RTX 3070 Ti).
You may want to consider upgrading your monitor after you’ve upgraded your graphics card. A faster refresh rate monitor or a higher resolution monitor may also be an option if you upgrade your graphics card. If you play competitive games like Rocket League, PUBG, COD, Apex Legends, or the like, a 144Hz G-Sync monitor with a reasonable refresh rate would be a good investment for a GTX 1660 or RTX 3060 Ti.
A FreeSync monitor is a must if you’re upgrading your AMD graphics card (RX 5500 XT or 6700 XT).
The second and third upgrades I’d make would be to add another SSD and another 8GB stick of RAM.
There isn’t a lot of storage space built in to this system. Fortunately, adding more storage space to a PC is a simple process (although transferring the operating system is more difficult). As a result, your system and games will load considerably more quickly, and your system will seem a lot faster in general, if you install an additional SSD.
Upgrades to your system’s memory will also be easy to implement. With a single 8GB stick of RAM, you may simply increase the amount of RAM in this setup to 16GB. To go to 16GB of RAM, we’d have to swap out our dual-channel 2x4GB kit for a 2x8GB kit, which is more expensive. To get 16GB of memory, all you have to do is add a second stick of memory (just make sure it’s an 8GB stick of Corsair Vengeance LPX 2400MHz).
The fourth upgrade I’d make would be to upgrade this system’s processor.
You can put off upgrading your Intel Core i3-10100 processor for a long because it’s a good one. While upgrading the components indicated above is a good first step, you can also look to update your processor.
This $400 gaming computer’s motherboard is capable of supporting the following processor upgrades:
- i5-10400 processor from Intel
- I7-10700K processor from Intel
The Intel Core i7-10700 is my recommendation for an upgrade here. The i5-10400 isn’t going to provide you much of a performance boost, however the i7-10700 would (both in gaming and CPU-intensive tasks.)
AMD RYZEN 3 3200G – Best Processor
- No need for an expensive graphics card, thanks to the inclusion of Radeon Vega 8 graphics.
- High-definition smoothness in the most popular video games
- AMD Wraith stealth cooler and four processor cores
- Overclocked to 4.0 GHz, 6 MB of cache, with support for DDR 2933
A new RYZEN 5 3400G processor from AMD will be used.
AMD’s Ryzen 3rd generation gaming processors have arrived at the perfect time for gamers on a budget. Because it has four unlocked cores and eight threads, as well as a turbo clock of 4.0 GHz and RX VEGA 11 graphics, the Ryzen 3 3200G CPU is a fantastic place to start for this system. It also has excellent base and turbo clock speeds.
When it comes to keeping your computer running cool, the integrated Wraith Stealth cooler is more than adequate.
Radeon VEGA 11 graphics are built inside the RYZEN 3 3200G processor. There are VEGA 56 and VEGA 64 graphics cards manufactured by AMD.
No graphics card is required for this construction because the RYZEN 3 3200G uses the cores from these graphics cards directly on its chip.
For games like League of Legends and Fortnite, the inbuilt VEGA 11 graphics are more than capable of handling them at 1080p with acceptable frame rates and settings. Make no fear about playing games on this PC because it has everything you need to do so. Just don’t expect to always be able to use the highest possible settings.
For gamers, the 3200G’s four cores and eight threads make it a powerhouse in the domain of multitasking while concurrently uploading to Twitch.
The best PC build guide includes a motherboard that may need a BIOS update. (I’ll get to that in a second.) To flash the BIOS on a RYZEN 3 3200G, you’ll need an older Ryzen processor or an AMD upgrade kit.
Watch out for bundles that include both this product and the most recent generation of motherboards. You may be able to save some money if you time your purchase correctly.
- Powerful and trustworthy
- Has no need for an additional graphics card.
- Achieves high-resolution results
- Overclocking is already possible due to the fact that the device has been unlocked.
- Is DDR 2933 compatible with your system?
With the best of games, it may be used
- When playing intensive games, multitasking is difficult.
GIGABYTE B450M DS3H V2 – Best Motherboard
- In favor of ATI 3rd Generation Ryzen/ 2nd Generation Ryzen/ 1st Generation Ryzen/ 2nd Generation Ryzen with…
- DDR4 Non-ECC Unbuffered Dual-Channel Modules
- Low RDS(on) MOSFETs have a digital VRM solution
- Multiple Displays through HDMI and DVI-D Ports
Our motherboard will be the Gigabyte B450M DS3H V2.
A motherboard can be found right here. Users of Ryzen 3rd Generation processors can enjoy the advantages and compatibility of this motherboard. In addition, if you opt to upgrade in the future, you’ll have access to additional features.
The AM4 sockets on this board ensure fantastic gameplay at an incredible price for an entry-level motherboard.
- AMD 1st Generation, 2nd Generation, and 3rd Generation Ryzen Processors are all supported.
- Multiple displays are possible because of the various interfaces.
- A fantastic upgrade option for the future.
- A noise barrier is included.
Audio capacitors of the highest quality are included.
- Does not support the AMD Ryzen 5 5600x APU or the Athlon 3000G APU.
Patriot Viper Steel Series DDR4 8GB (2 x 4GB) 3200MHz – Best RAM
- It has a storage capacity of eight gigabytes (2x4GB)
- Based on PC4-17000 (2133MHz) and PC4-25600 (3200MHz) with…
- 15-15-15-36 is the base timing and 16-18-18-36 is the tested timing.
- Profile 1’s voltage was measured at 1.35V.
Instead of the single 8GB choice, we select for the Patriot Viper Steel Series, which has dual-channel memory support.
The relatively swift speed of 3200MHz means we won’t be sacrificing performance as much as we would with only 2666MHz, and 16GB is more than plenty for most modern apps. As a result of the CPU’s overall quickness, you should have little trouble running a variety of games on it.
- Provides incredibly fast memory
- For overclocking, this motherboard is excellent.
- Greatly enhances your performance.
- Not extremely long lasting
Crucial BX500 480 GB – Best SSD
- Increase the speed of startup. Files will load faster. In general, make the system more responsive.
- Compared to a standard hard disk, it is three times faster
- Because it consumes 45 times less energy than a standard…
- For the past 40 years, Micron 3D NAND has been advancing memory and storage technologies.
The storage cost of the new CPU was significantly less than the last update. Because of this, 480GB of storage space was the best option for me.
If you have a lot of games and other media, you’ll have plenty of room to keep them. It may not be as good as the latest models, but it will suffice for the time being.
- Has a quick boot time
- Compared to a regular hard disk, it is three times faster.
- File loading speeds are significantly improved.
- Extremely efficient in terms of energy usage
Utilizes state-of-the-art technologies
- After a period of time, it may become unreliable.
EVGA 450 BR – Best Power Suppl
- In other words, “bronze reliability” is what the EVGA 450 BR stands for.
- The 80 plus Bronze Under normal conditions, a certified 85 percent or greater efficiency level is required.
- Strong defenses such as OVP, UVP and other OVP family members as well as OCP, OPP, SCP, and OTP
- Guaranteed for three years, with round-the-clock assistance from EVGA
You don’t have to shell out a fortune to obtain the greatest power supply for your PC, but a cheap or off-brand power supply can quickly wreck your entire system if it fails. We choose the EVGA 450 BR because of this.
Powerful engines are at the heart of EVGA 450 BR. For a device of this caliber and our budget, we are only able to provide minimal modularity features.
To run a dedicated graphics card, it is not advised because of the basic modularity features. However, the EVGA 450 BR is a good choice. Also, it’s simple to set up, even for first-timers in the construction industry. Check it out, so don’t forget to do so.
To put it another way: The EVGA is a more affordable option than other firms. However, a low price does not imply a low level of quality. The company’s GPUs and power supplies have earned a reputation for being powerful and long-lasting throughout the years. A Bronze-certified power supply unit is also included.
- Totally dependable
- A three-year warranty is included.
- Heavy-duty protection is included.
- Quality at a reasonable price
- Excellent for a low-cost construction project.
- Use with more than three fans is not recommended.
Zalman S4 ATX Mid Tower -Best PC Case
- Design of the Bezel for the Best Airflow
- Custom System Displayed in Sophisticated Style with Full Acrylic Tinted Side Panels
- Premium Black Coating and a High-Strength Chasis for Corrosion Resistance
- Case I/O That’s Easy to Use
To house all of these components, we’ll need a sturdy case, and fortunately, there are a plethora of excellent solutions available for under $100.
Zalman S4 Mid Tower PC Case is ideal for a low-budget PC construction. The enclosure can be set up in either a horizontal or a vertical position. Having a translucent side allows you to see inside, and it provides the finest support for airflow and circulation.
Because of the way they’re designed, you’ll have more room to organize your cords.
Finally, the Zalman S4 appears like it’s ready to take on the competition. Its minimal yet attractive design demonstrates that it knows its purpose: to provide an economical platform for the budget-conscious gamer and look nice while doing so.
- Simple to use
- Corrosion-resistant construction
- Effortless style
- Quality at a reasonable price
- The user guide lacks in depth information.
We needed to establish some ground rules in order to get the most out of this technology.
Let’s take a step back and talk about what we hope to accomplish with our $400 gaming PC before diving in to the details.
For the record, we’re talking about the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 when we say “console-level performance.” This may come across as a setback, but in reality, it’s a huge relief. Think of all the games you can play on these consoles and how they look, and then imagine having a $400 PC that can do the same thing.
It’s not a bad deal at all.
A $400 console, or one of its versions, would give you roughly the same performance as this PC, therefore we set out to match that level of performance with this PC.
This system has a lot going for it in terms of hardware, but it’s going to struggle at 1080p because games are optimized for consoles. As for 1080p, you’ll be able to get 30 FPS after tweaking the graphical settings.
The 900p and 720p formats can be used if necessary. In the section on GPU and RAM, we’ll go into greater detail about this.
You’re making a huge trade-off in terms of upgradeability with this performance discrepancy.
Easy To Upgrade
Upgradability is the primary reason to buy a PC rather than a console. A gaming console will provide superior performance right out of the box than any gaming PC, regardless of how much you spend. However, once you’ve purchased it, you’re stuck with it. You’ll have to wait for the following generation and buy a completely new machine if you want to update. When you buy a computer, you may improve it as you go.
It’s time to upgrade your graphics card for a new game. Invest in a better video card.
If you’d prefer a faster page load time, consider Upgrade to a solid-state drive (SSD) or extra RAM.
Have a game that has a large number of NPCs and/or bots that you’d want to improve? Invest in a more powerful CPU.
With AMD’s AM4 socket, you may upgrade any individual component without having to replace the entire machine.
Virtual reality is supported by both the motherboard and the integrated graphics card. A $400 PC won’t be able to run VR games, but if you ever change your mind, there are ways to get a VR-capable PC without needing to replace the motherboard.
Dedicated Gaming PC
To be clear, we’re constructing a $400 computer. In order to run recent games at that price, the PC will have to be tuned for gaming, which means it won’t be able to perform other things you’d want.
This computer, for example, lacks a CD drive. It didn’t seem like a good use of our limited funds to spend money on a game that most PC gamers currently download via Steam or another online gaming site.
Another thing we didn’t buy was a wifi adapter. ‘ A wireless card built into your motherboard can be great to have, but it does nothing to improve your gaming performance.
These attributes aren’t something we dislike. However, they aren’t actually necessary for gameplay. So, what you’re about to witness is a stripped-down system that’s ready to play without spending a dime more.
The PC Build
Once we’ve established some parameters, let’s go over each of our sections one by one and discuss possible alternatives. Everything you need to know about our $400 gaming PC components is here.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
An APU in AMD’s mid-range lineup is the Ryzen 5 3400G. In comparison to the Ryzen 3 3200G, which clocks in at 3.9 GHz, the 4.2 GHz clock speed of this processor represents an improvement.
The inclusion of multi-threading in AMD’s 3400G over the 3200G gives this quad-core CPU the appearance of an 8-core CPU. It also boasts an upgraded integrated graphics chip, but we’ll get to that in a second. The fact that AMD’s AM4 chipset is used means that it will remain viable for years to come.
Although the B450 line of AM4 motherboards won’t be able to support the Ryzen 5000 series processors without a BIOS change (which is a headache, and according to AMD is also irreversible), but if you choose any of their 3rd-generation motherboards, you’ll be good to go.
While the processor’s basic speed is a respectable 3.7 GHz, the chip is shipped with all four cores unlocked.
We’ll let you decide whether or not to overclock it, but doing so will void your warranty and cause it to overheat. It’s a good idea to utilize an external cooler even if you’re simply overclocking to 4.0 GHz.
A graphics card is a great feature to have, especially at this price point, and this processor has it. To have a dedicated GPU, you will need a system that costs more than $400. In order to achieve this, we decided to use a processor with built-in graphics.
The AMD Ryzen 5 3400G is a great bargain for the money, and it’s the finest processor you can get for $400. There is a downside, though, in that the 5000 series APU can be purchased for less than the older model, especially at its usual price.
Neither is now within your price range, so our recommendation is to wait till they do. However, if you’re in a hurry and need a PC today, you could want to consider the new Zen3 APU or seek for used solutions.
Cooler: Wraith Spire Cooler
One of the coolest features of this CPU is that it includes its own cooler. The Wraith Spire is one of the best stock coolers for AMD Ryzen CPUs, and it’s one of the most popular. It may be compared to the Wraith Prism, and that’s saying a lot.
This PC’s standard cooling does an excellent job and is more than adequate for your needs.
There are aftermarket options if you’re very keen on overclocking but they aren’t necessary for this build. No frills, but it gets the job done, and that’s all that matters when you’re on a tight budget.
GPU: Radeon RX Vega 11
A separate graphics card isn’t needed with the Radeon RX Vega 11. Because it’s built into our Ryzen 5 processor, there’s no need to buy a separate graphics card.
With an integrated graphics card, you don’t get any separate video RAM to work with. As a result, it falls short when compared to specialized GPUs, which have their own inbuilt VRAM for storing visual resources. Integrated graphics cards rely on your PC’s RAM, which can slow them down when playing more demanding games.
An integrated card, on the other hand, is significantly less expensive.
There is a wide spectrum of dedicated GPUs, from low-end to high-end that can cost as much as a second processor. It’s worth every cent to buy a graphics card with 11 cores running at 1400MHz like this one, as it just adds a fraction of the cost of your processor.
Second, your processor or RAM can often become a bottleneck for high-end graphics cards. It’s possible to squander a lot of money if either of those components is significantly slower than your graphics card.
RAM: Patriot Viper 4 Blackout 8GB (2 x 4GB)
As for RAM, it’s important to note that, because some of it is used as VRAM, RAM has a significant impact on the performance you may expect from integrated graphics.
VRAM has the advantage of utilizing quicker memory with more bandwidth. Currently, most GPUs use DDR6 memory, although some of the most cutting-edge models, such as the RTX 3000, use DDR6X. In contrast, DDR4-based RAM sticks are still the norm.
So how do you get your DDR4 performance to at least match that of a dedicated graphics card with DDR5 VRAM?
There are three things that can help:
- Memory with two channels
- Memory access speeds up
- a larger amount of memory
First, dual-channel RAM is critical when using integrated graphics since it practically doubles your bandwidth. It’s possible that a higher FPS count is all that’s needed to see an improvement in performance, but it’s not a guarantee.
This can be taken a step further with faster memory. The 8GB of 3000MHz dual-channel Patriot Viper 4 Blackout RAM was our choice for this project. If you want to get the most out of your integrated graphics, this is an excellent low-cost RAM option.
Although 8 GB of RAM isn’t the ideal amount for this PC, it’s the most we could fit in given the available funds. To that end, the most cost-effective approach to boost your PC’s performance without the need for a dedicated GPU is to increase your RAM to 16 GB at some point in the future.
A significant gain in frame rate should be expected by using 2666MHz RAM instead of 2133MHz RAM, although the difference in performance will vary from one game to the next.
Motherboard: ASRock B450M PRO4
We went with the ASRock B450M PRO4 motherboard because it struck a good mix between price, performance, and quality.
There are six USB 3.1 Gen-1, two USB 3.1 Gen-2, and six USB 2.0 connections on this motherboard, as well as enough RGB headers if you’d like to spruce up your system.
You may be able to fit any Ryzen CPU from the first to the third generation on the Gigabyte B450M PRO4 if you have the necessary BIOS update, and you may even be able to do it with a Ryzen 5000 processor once you have the necessary BIOS update.
It’s true that the AORUS M lacks a Wi-Fi card, but most of us prefer a solid cable connection for gaming anyhow.
Even with higher-end motherboards, the BIOS is the most common source of anxiety for most users. You don’t have to be concerned about it here. The ASRock B450M PRO4 has an overclocker-friendly BIOS and a modern, user-friendly UI with a plethora of customization choices.
Overclocking your RAM should be a breeze, but we still don’t recommend overclocking your CPU.
You can expect it to serve you well for numerous reincarnations of this PC as you upgrade it, making it an excellent mid-range motherboard choice.
SSD: Western Digital Blue SN550 500GB
Because SSDs have become the industry standard for storage, we opted for one over an HDD. Storage on an HDD would be more expensive, but the advantages of SSDs are simply too great to pass up.
It wasn’t simply any old SSD that we went with. A Western Digital Blue SN550 NVMe with 500GB of storage was our final choice.
For every ten times faster than an HDD, an NVMe is ten times faster. The disparity between the two is nothing short of staggering. You’ll understand what we mean once you’ve tried it out.
You can get an HDD with 1TB of storage for around the same price if you prefer speed over volume. Choosing between them is a personal decision based on your priorities and the timeline for future PC purchases.
Still, this guide is supposed to show you the greatest $400 products you can buy, so between an HDD and an NVMe, it’s clear which one was going to make the cut..
Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart 80+ 500W
The most difficult parts to find when assembling on a tight budget are power supplies and cases.
Investing in hardware that has a direct impact on gameplay is what your instincts are telling you to do, yet these don’t do that. However, the dangers of using a subpar power supply from a dubious vendor are too great for anyone to take.
One of the best things about the Thermaltake Smart 500W PSU is that it’s built to last. All of these features make it an ideal choice for this project, including a quiet fan, extensive protection, Bronze reliability, an extended warranty, and enough power to run even a dedicated graphics card.
Case: Cooler Master Q300L
It’s not a surprise that most cases under $50 are poor. If they’re only difficult to build in or have sharp edges, they’re at best inconvenient, but at worst, they can completely block the airflow and become an oven (not to mention that many feature long outdated exterior designs).
In the midst of all the rubble, though, there are some gems to be unearthed. In addition, the Cooler Master Q300L is one of the finest examples of this type of gem.
In this build, we could have opted for a more expensive enclosure, but that would have meant slashing the budget for other performance-enhancing components like the APU and RAM. To save money, we went with a case that could easily be upgraded to a respectable mid-tier case with a few of additional external fan upgrades.
It’s one of the rare budget cases that doesn’t look like a budget case. Cables can be neatly tucked away in this cabinet. Because it only has a single 120mm pre-installed fan, the airflow isn’t great, but it’s also not choppy. It works perfectly right out of the box. It’ll be fantastic if you only add one front fan!
Additionally, the case contains two USB 3.0 connections and room for four additional fans in the top and front. ‘
Magnetic dust filters can be removed from the top, front, and bottom of the device. Overall, it’s a decent mATX case with adequate upgradeability options that fit perfectly in our build.
Keep an eye out for sales and discounts whenever you can.
The reason why we didn’t add a discount scenario in this build is because we wanted to always have a decent baseline solution in place. It’s still worth looking into, though, since you can get a case regularly priced at $60 or $70 for practically half off.
Congratulations! You’ve now spent $400 and created a working computer tower. Of course, a tower on its own is little more than a high-priced doormat. You’ll need a couple more things if you intend to do anything with it.
A display, a mouse, a keyboard, and an operating system will be covered in this part. We’ve listed these items separately from the PC because you may already have them.
Because you won’t be able to use your new PC without them, make sure you have enough money set aside to purchase even the most basic models.
Operating System: Windows 10
A strong operating system is essential for a gaming PC, and Windows 10 is the greatest option available right now.
Due to the Professional Edition’s lack of additional features for gamers, we went with the 64-bit Home Edition of Windows 10. If you use your PC primarily for office tasks, you may want to consider upgrading to Windows 10 Pro, but otherwise, Windows 10 Home is more than adequate.
Windows can be installed on a USB stick because it is compatible with our build and doesn’t require a disc drive. If you’re installing a disc drive on your computer, you may also purchase the DVD version of the software, although there’s really no advantage to doing so.
So why would we recommend such a pricey operating system for a gaming PC that costs less than $400? Choosing Microsoft Windows has two key advantages:
- It does the job. As soon as it’s been installed, your computer will begin to function normally. Every time you install an application, you don’t need to run a C++ compiler. You don’t have to manually set up every single option.
- Everybody does it by writing software. Windows lets you play all of your favorite PC games and has a plethora of other applications at your disposal.
If you’re thinking about switching to Linux, keep in mind that the operating system is much more difficult to learn than Windows. To get started, you’ll need to become familiar with the UNIX command prompt and the C++ compiler. Due to a lack of Linux support and/or poor optimization, you’ll be restricted to largely independent titles.
SteamOS is a great option if you’re on a tight budget and need to get up and running on Linux right away.
It’s free like other Linux distributions. Steam-specific: It was created by Valve for use with their platform. No, this is not a computer you’d expect to use for anything other than browsing the internet and watching YouTube videos. The installation files must be downloaded to a PC and then transferred to your new system using a USB drive.
Windows 10 is available for free, but there are a few drawbacks, such as a watermark in the lower right corner of your screen and the inability to access the App Store. Even if this is your only option, go for it. It still has the best gaming performance of any operating system.
Monitor: HP 24mh
The HP 24mh is the monitor we’ve settled on. For this particular build, the display stood out for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, it’s a 24-inch IPS panel monitor, which means you’ll get more bright colors and a wider field of view than you would with any other sort of panel.
For the second time, it features a refresh rate of 75Hz, which implies that it can register up to 75 frames per second. Even though it’s not a huge boost over 60, it will undoubtedly appear in games where such framerates are attainable, like esports, for example.
As a third benefit, it comes with built-in speakers that, though they aren’t anything special, can be quite useful in the event that you don’t have separate speakers or if they break down.
Even more impressive is the monitor’s design, which features small bezels on all three sides and a black and silver color scheme.
It’s important to note that this is a 1080p monitor, thus anything with a resolution of 1080p or higher will look amazing on it. In addition, the lack of a graphics card means you’ll have to play your games at a lower resolution and, as a result, lose some of its appeal.
This is where you’ll have to make a decision based on your long-term goals.
You should remain with the HP 24mh if you plan to upgrade your PC in the future, because it’s a fantastic monitor and will work perfectly even if you add a graphics card.
The Acer SB220Q, on the other hand, would be a better choice if you’re not planning on updating your PC in the near future. Although this is a 75Hz IPS display, the price is significantly lower and the size is significantly smaller. As a result, a 720p or 900p resolution will not look as terrible and pixelated on a larger screen.
Both solutions are excellent, and which one you choose depends on what you intend to do with your computer in the future.
Keyboard, Mouse and Headset: Havit Mechanical Keyboard, Mouse, and Headset Kit
Because this is a budget build, we decided to go with a bundle because you get a lot of good stuff for a low price. The Havit Mechanical Keyboard, Mouse, and Headset Kit is a wonderful place to start if you’re searching for a keyboard, mouse, and headset on a budget.
As a result, bundle shopping can be a challenge, as many packages only include one item that is actually useful. If you’re looking for something that’s both affordable and high-quality, this Havit package is a great alternative.
Mechanical switches and a metal enclosure provide the feel, sound, and performance of a much more expensive product for under $90. It also has a dazzling RGB lighting system with 14 modes and seven effects to pick from.
For the ultimate peace of mind, all keystrokes are registered thanks to the keyboard’s anti-ghosting and full n-key rollover features.
In addition to the keyboard, you get a mouse with a simple ambidextrous design that fits comfortably in your hand.
The mouse’s DPI can be set to as high as 4800. Many mice today offer far more than 3200 DPI, but for most gamers, 3200 DPI is more than plenty for an ordinary player, even if they have a mouse capable of going higher.
If you have a high-resolution monitor, you’ll have a better experience if you play games with high resolutions. However, in general, this mouse should perform admirably for a mouse with this type of build costing $400.
Additionally, a Havit headset is included in the package.
If the keyboard and mouse were the best and easiest to use in this combo, the headset may be the most surprise.
You can purchase better quality items for as little as $20 more if you’re willing to spend more, but this is a fantastic component worth purchasing as part of this bundle, and even for those on a budget.
The fact that it includes 50mm speakers and simulated surround sound, despite being a budget option, is what prompted us to title it “the most surprising.” It’s a lightweight headset with memory foam earpads, so you won’t get fatigued from wearing it for long periods of time.
Along with outstanding quality, the headset boasts a sturdy microphone that should last for a long time with proper maintenance.
In the event that you don’t need all of the things in this bundle, you can check out alternative Havit bundles that don’t contain a headset. Alternatively, the Redragon S113 keyboard combo, which omits the Numpad.
We also propose the Redragon K552 mechanical keyboard and the Redragon M711 Cobra mouse if you wish to purchase the goods individually. These two items aren’t included in the Redragon S113 bundle, and they’re a bit more pricey, but it’s good to know that there are other possibilities.
In spite of the fact that Redragon is a budget brand, they have some great value products like the ones we’ve described.
The RUNMUS K8 Gaming Headset is an excellent affordable alternative for a headset. Be aware that it weighs a hefty 0.66 pounds or 300 grams. It’s not overly heavy, but repeated use may induce pressure in the ears.
Check out Amazon for some great deals if you’re looking for more options in this price range. These are some of our favorites. You may also check out the links above for lists of some of the top keyboards, mouse, and headsets currently on the market.
Mouse Pad: Ktrio Extended Gaming Mouse Pad
Mouse pads aren’t something that most people have a preference for, and only professional gamers can tell the difference between the grip of different materials in everyday use. Size, stitching, and pricing are the three most important considerations for a typical buyer.
The Ktrio Extended Mouse Pad was the product we came across in our search for something that would appeal to a wide range of people, something that would satisfy even the most demanding users.
Fortunately, even the most costly mouse pads on the market aren’t prohibitively expensive, so we decided to go with a pure black XL mouse pad because it had both superb quality and timeless design.
There are sewn edges to avoid fraying, and a rubber bottom that adheres to the desk so that the mouse may easily glide across the cloth surface without losing control. There is enough room for your mouse and keyboard on the mouse pad to accomodate both, and it looks excellent with any color.
If the size of this mouse pad is too large for you, we recommend checking out the HyperX FURY S mouse pads or the link below for further suggestions. Unfortunately for you, Ktrio does not make a smaller version of this mouse pad.
Controller: Xbox One Controller
If you play a lot of games, a good controller might mean a lot, but it’s not exactly a cheap accessory.
If you prefer to utilize a keyboard and mouse, there are many of low-cost choices available. Those who prefer a controller should look no farther than the Xbox One Controller, which we rate as the best in its class.
Even if you play wild and crazy, it’ll still last you a long time thanks to the familiar ergonomic design and color-coded buttons.
If you’re looking for a more affordable choice, an Xbox 360 is also a possibility, and if you’re a console aficionado, you may already own one of these two. The DualShock 4 is also a fantastic controller, but it can’t be used in most PC games without third-party software.
Chair: BestOffice Mesh Chair
The chair is, of course, the final crucial accessory. In addition, you need an ergonomic chair that will not cause your back to suffer or cause you to slowly slide into a half-lying position with your feet up on your desk.
The BestOffice Mesh Chair is one of the few lower-priced mesh chairs that may be considered great investments.
This is a pretty standard chair, to be honest. In order to keep the price down, it’s primarily built of plastic and mesh, and it doesn’t have any adjustment choices other than height and tilt resistance.
An ergonomic design and lumbar support will keep your lower back in a straight line and make you sit up straight. For those who spend most of their waking hours in front of a computer, this is critical.
For the most part, we would advise you to go for the most comfortable chair you can afford. We’d even make suggestions that are less expensive.
However, because this is the one accessory that has the potential to negatively impact your health and well-being, we recommend saving up and purchasing a more expensive model instead if you can afford it.
This is due to the fact that more expensive chairs are constructed using higher-quality materials, making them more long-lasting. To put it simply, they’re more comfortable and provide superior support for your spine and neck because of their numerous adjustment possibilities.
Our top pick is the BestOffice Mesh Chair because it’s the most affordable, but we did explain the benefits of a higher quality chair in case some of you are considering it as an option.
Is a $400 gaming PC worth it?
For $400, you can have a nice 1080p gaming PC. Rather than purchasing a pre-built computer while looking for the best gaming PC under $400, consider making your own.
Can you get a decent gaming PC for 400?
Alternatively, this $400 gaming PC might be seen as a starting point for future upgrades. It’s a regular PC, so additional components can be installed or swapped out as you need them to be. A dedicated graphics card, a new CPU and extra RAM are just some of the upgrades that are possible on a computer.
End of the finest PC under $400 build. We hope you’ve been convinced that even if you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in an expensive toy, you can still have a perfectly fine gaming setup with practically unlimited upgradeability.
Take a deep breath now. Recent games won’t run at their highest settings on this PC. However, you can expect to play most games in 720p at 30-40 frames per second, which is excellent for a system of this price range.
You can upgrade the processor, install a dedicated GPU, or add any of the many peripherals we discussed over time. There are countless upgrade options to choose from, and the greatest part is that you can do so whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Until then, you can start playing today’s games right away with this rig. That’s a good deal for $400.