Recommended Budget Gaming Builds: December 2015 ($450 and $600 Builds)

 

The following budget gaming build examples will show you how to squeeze out the most gaming performance for your money when putting together your own custom build on a tight budget. You can use these builds exactly as they are, or as a base for your own build and make some modifications to suit your wants and needs.

The target budget for the first build is $450 which will suit casual gamers or those with a limited budget who still wish to play the latest games quite well. The second build shows how to intelligently improve upon the first build for those with a slightly larger budget of around $600.

Please note that all prices quoted below were correct at the time of writing and prices can change from day to day. I’ve linked all components to Amazon.com because they’re highly reliable and their prices are top notch (especially at this time of year).


 

$450 Budget Gaming Build (Dec 2015)

ComponentModelPrice
CPUAMD FX-6300 6-Core 3.5GHz$100
MotherboardGigabyte AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX$50
RAMKingston HyperX FURY 4GB DDR3 1600MHz$23
Video CardEVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB$135
Hard DriveWestern Digital Blue 1TB$50
CaseRosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower$30
Power SupplyEVGA 430 W1 80+$33
DVD DriveSamsung DVD Burner 24x$18
TOTAL$439

Some will say it’s a tough ask to build a gaming computer capable of handling the latest games with such a small budget, but it’s definitely possible and this build is proof of that. At approximately $450 this build shows how you can squeeze out as much gaming performance as possible for this sort of price without sacrificing on quality and reliability.

Arguably the best bang for your buck budget gaming CPU right now, the AMD FX-6300 packs a punch yet is very affordable. It has the best price to performance ratio when compared to its fellow AMD chips the FX-4100, FX-4300, and the FX-6100.

The competing Core i3-3220 offering from Intel would also be a good choice for a budget build, but overall I believe the FX-6300 is the best way to go. With its 6 core design the FX-6300 is more future-proof (the i3 only has 2 cores) and therefore better for multitasking too.

Sure, some will argue that most games these days don’t actually utilize more than 2 cores which is true, but in the near future games will start taking advantage of more cores so you might as well have more if you have the choice. The stock fan that comes with the FX-6300 will do you well at stock speeds so you don’t need to spend extra money on an aftermarket cooler unless you plan on overclocking.

best budget gaming buildThe $450 Budget Gaming Build

The Gigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G Micro ATX motherboard is great value for money and will do the job for this build, but don’t expect any flashy features for this price. As for the RAM I’ve gone with a fast 1600MHz 4GB module from Kingston (specifically their popular “fury” range). 4GB is the minimum amount of memory I would suggest for gaming these days, and Kingston has been a reliable memory manufacturer for a long time so you can’t go wrong.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB is without a doubt your best bet for a gaming video card under $150 right now. You won’t have a problem running any of the latest games quite well. You can even run many games on high/ultra settings with only a little lag. The 750 Ti also runs cool and uses very minimal power which is great for our little budget build.

As for the case I’ve gone with the Rosewill FBM-01 which is exceptional value at around 30 dollars, and even though it’s small it will fit all your components comfortably. It’s hard to find a reliable case for so cheap but this one is highly recommended and won’t let you down if you don’t plan on any fancy future upgrades.

Speaking of not letting you down, the EVGA 430 W1 80+ power supply (430 watts) I’ve included in this build is a solid choice for those on a budget. EVGA make some very affordable PSUs without sacrificing too much on quality, and this model is no exception. It will serve a budget machine very well and 430 watts is more than enough power for a build of this caliber.

So that makes up the first budget build (recommendations for the operating system and peripherals can be found below). It’s capable of playing any of the latest games and is perfect for gamers who want to spend the absolute minimum on a new PC without missing out on decent performance.

Now let’s get into the next build for those with a little more to spend for some extra grunt:


 

$600 Budget Gaming Build (Dec 2015)

ComponentModelPrice
CPUAMD FX-6300 6-Core 3.5GHz$90
MotherboardASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970ATX$94
RAMCrucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 1600Mhz$45
Video CardEVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB SSC $230
Hard DriveWestern Digital Blue 1TB$50
CaseRosewill Challenger Black Mid Tower$45
Power SupplyEVGA 500 W1 80+$35
DVD DriveSamsung DVD Burner 24x$18
TOTAL$607

In a nutshell, the improvements over the previous budget build is a more powerful graphics card, double the amount of RAM, a slightly more powerful power supply, and a more robust and upgrade-friendly case and motherboard. The FX-6300 processor stays, and for good reason as it is speedy enough for very smooth gaming and you’re better off putting the extra money towards your video card.

Speaking of the video card, the EVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB SSC is currently the best bang for your buck gaming card under $250 without a doubt. With one of these in your rig you can expect to play even the most demanding games on the market quite well. The 2GB of video memory included on this video card is also plenty to handle the latest games.

best budget gaming build 2The $600 Budget Gaming Build


 

Recommended OS and Peripherals

The following are my top picks for operating system software and accessories for the above budget builds, but feel free to choose your own based on preference:


 

Spread the Knowledge

So that makes up the 2 budget gaming builds. Next up are the Recommended Enthusiast Gaming Builds which offer faster performance, better features, and longer lastability.

If you found these builds helpful, make sure to spread the knowledge by sharing this post with your gamer friends by using the social media buttons below.

If you need help with actually building your new PC our step-by-step PC building tutorial will hold your hand throughout the entire process. Some of you may not even need any guidance as building your own rig these days is truly a piece of cake.

Anyway, good luck with your new gaming machine. Long live PC gaming : )

-JD

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