Best gaming PC for under $550

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Hardware' started by SolarisGuru, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. SolarisGuru

    SolarisGuru [H]Lite

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    So my cousin just asked me to build a gaming PC for her son. Her budget is about $550. The lowest gaming budget PC build I've ever done before was for $767. I've got a build slapped together with an AMD APU on NewEgg for about $600, but I'm curious what you guys might recommend.

    I figure with a good APU build he could get a decent video card next year and be better off in the end. He wants to move away from console gaming entirely, which I applaud wholeheartedly. He's currently trying to game off of a Wal-Mart laptop with integrated Intel video. The AMD APU (Ryzen 5 2400G) would be tremendously better than the junk he's trying to game on.

    Do you guys have any advice? $550 is pretty limiting, but I can throw in a few bucks from myself to help... it's for Christmas after all.

    *edit*

    His game of choice is Fortnite by the way... but I figure he'll want to play other games once he has a PC.

    *edit, edit*

    PC Hound Part List

    CPU: AMD AMD Ryzen 5 2400G ($158.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I GAMING ($158.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws V Series ($89.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: EVGA 550W B3 220-B3-0550-V1 ($65.98 @ Newegg)
    Storage: SAMSUNG 250GB 860 EVO Series MZ-76E250B/AM ($55.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Core 2300 FD-CA-CORE-2300-BL ($59.69 @ Newegg)
    Total: $589.63
    Price may include shipping, rebates, promotions, and tax
    Generated by PC Hound


    I also need to throw in a copy of Windows 10 Home Edition.... which is about $90 from what I've been seeing.

    My original build had this motherboard:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813119140
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  2. Etherton

    Etherton Will Bang for Poof

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    Seen this?
     
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  3. Denpepe

    Denpepe [H]ard|Gawd

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    I ,was looking into something similar on another forum, came up with this

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
    CPU: Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($129.79 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock - H310M-HDV Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($51.49 @ OutletPC)
    Memory: GeIL - EVO POTENZA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($70.98 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Team - L5 LITE 3D 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($62.89 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB SC GAMING Video Card ($129.89 @ OutletPC)
    Case: Phanteks - Eclipse P300 Tempered Glass (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Gold 450W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($64.90 @ Amazon)
    Total: $559.93
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-11-03 11:23 EDT-0400
     
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  4. Etherton

    Etherton Will Bang for Poof

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  5. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    Not a bad original build - I personally feel that for budget you'll be best with AMD. I know you're new to the forum but I don't know if you have any experience with other PC hardware communities, have a Heatware account etc... but have you considered buying some used parts or possibly a whole system? Pleases like the [H] For Sale / WTB forum has lots of verified sellers/traders and if you're going on a budget, you might be able to pick up hardware well beyond what you would spend brand new. Alternately, Amazon Warehouse Deals and occasionally Ebay will have good deals on used hardware. Some suggestions...

    CPU - Ryzen 2400G is the best you're going to do if you go the APU way, but if buying used and you find a GPU deal, you may be able to find a Ryzen 5 or 7 2000 series that would have a faster clock and more cores.
    Mobo - Good choice for mITX...but is there a reason you're sticking to mITX? ATX will likely be less expensive and have more expansion potential/features if you are not space limited. Asus ROG boards are great, I'd focus for X470 if the budget fits but B450 isn't bad either.
    RAM - I would consider getting a single 8GB stick if you're able, so that he/you can add another one when price permits. DDR4 3200 is a sweet spot and will be well used by Ryzen machines for performance, including APUs.
    PSU - Not sure of the particular model but overall EVGA, Seasonic, and Corsair are usually pretty solid so that's probably a good choice. A little higher wattage, efficiency, or full modularity would be nice to give him some room to grow but it all depends what you find second hand; its better to take a reputable PSU with lower wattage etc.. than a higher wattage crappy one.
    Storage - Great choice there with the 860 Evo. If it works based on price it may be nice to give him 500gb; there's a promo on Amazon for 860 Evo 500gb for $80 currently and of course second hand you may do even better. Of course, you can always stick with the 250 and he can upgrade later for himself when necessary.
    Case - I hear good things about Fractal Design. I don't know what is important to you case wise, but that is an ATX case so I'd definitely take the ATX mobo vs the mITX one. There may be other cases out there that are worthwhile and within a reasonable price range but that seems to be a solid entry.
    OS - As others have said, on this very forum (and other places) there are fully legit Windows 10 Pro keys for far, far less than retail/upgrade pricing to really save a bundle.
    Peripherals - Will his family be providing a monitor, keyboard/mouse etc.. or already have those as well?

    Hope this helps a bit and don't be afraid to look for used parts from reputable enthusiast sellers (and/or certain limited storefronts)!
     
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  6. Drexion

    Drexion [H]ard|Gawd

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    Don't forget the nephew doesn't have a rig atm, so you'll probably need another couple hundred for the peripherals (keyboard/mouse/monitor/headphones). Take 200 of your own bucks, put it into the build and tell her it's the kids xmas/bday present for the next couple years.
     
  7. SolarisGuru

    SolarisGuru [H]Lite

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    Wow, thank you all for the responses! I greatly appreciate it.

    *edit*

    So I finished reading all the responses. Thanks again! What I'm told is that she (my cousin) wants to get him all NEW parts, no refurbished or used parts. She's had bad luck with that sort of thing in the past.

    She does already have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor for him to use with this system, so I don't have to worry there.

    As for the Windows 10 key, I'm very hesitant about using some of those CD key services because I'd hate for it to get blacklisted later on. I honestly just want to build this thing and be done with it and really don't want a call for a blacklisted Windows 10 code. I don't mind spending the extra money on the key. I don't want to spend that kind of money, but I will just for the peace of mind.

    RanceJustice, thank you so much for the detailed response! I truly appreciate the advice. I do think I will go with the full ATX board as it's about $30 cheaper. I accidently posted the part list with the mITX board in my original post, but that was not my intention. Definitely going with ATX. Also, from what I'm reading this particular APU should handle his games well enough until next year when they can afford a dedicated video card.

    As for the Fractal Design case, every case I've bought in the last seven years has been Fractal Design and I've had ZERO issues. That's why I picked it. This one is definitely a budget case, but I trust them.

    I also personally use eVGA power supplies and I've had great luck with them, so that's my reasoning for that.

    As for being new to the forum, I've been lurking here for many years but I never post much. Kyle once personally helped me with a bad ATI Radeon 5870 card years ago and I just freaking love this site and the community.

    Again, thank you ALL. Good to see no one is heavily against my build above. I think I may just run with it and pay any extra expense out of my own pocket.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  8. TechLarry

    TechLarry Can't find the G Spot

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    IMHO you need to bump up that PSU a bit or when he does go for higher end video later he will probably have to upgrade that as well. I’d never go below 800 on a PSU these days.
     
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  9. thomps33

    thomps33 n00b

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    I'd buy parts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You are sure to save some money and be able to stretch the money farther. Also, if you live near a Micro Center consider buying a CPU and motherboard combo there. They usually beat the prices on PC Part Picker and they have a deal where you can save $30 on a CPU + motherboard combo.

    For example, the CPU and motherboard combo would be $149.99 + $114.99 -30.00= $234.98 + tax at Micro Center.

    Honestly, your list looks pretty good. I would switch the CPU to a Ryzen 5 2600. I know they don't like used parts, but any money saved on black friday, using Super Micro and what you're willing to put towards yourself; I would buy him a used GTX 1060 6mb. This should at least let him play any games he wants.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  10. Bigbacon

    Bigbacon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    There is a user here who sells legit win10 keys in the FS area. Like 15 bucks or sonething.

    Gaming pc without an ok decrete card is stupid.
     
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  11. mmarsh

    mmarsh Limp Gawd

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    I get you are on a budget but gaming without a dedicated graphics card is going to suck. Anyway he can save up another 150 and get something decent or used?

    If not, he might just be better off with a PS4 and keeping the laptop. Cheaper too.

    I see a PS4 PRO RDR2 Pack is $399.

    Thats probably a better gaming rig than what you are building.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  12. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    I prefer a more powerful gpu and weaker cpu. You don’t need s STRIX mobo, that’s overkill for a budget build. Here’s what I got you: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/Ls78mq

    Pretty sure this build is easily the fastest listed here so far for gaming and it can be upgraded. It’s close to the budget but tax might put it over a bit.
     
  13. 5150Joker

    5150Joker 2[H]4U

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    Eew no, consoles should never be recommended over a pc. I gave him a good build that fits his budget with a decent gpu.
     
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  14. whatevs

    whatevs Limp Gawd

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    You're spending too much of budget on CPU/motherboard and wasted RAM. Is this a $2000 gaming PC ($500 xx70 class GPU?, $300 CPU) or not. It is not. It's a $500-$800 PC. It is a 1080p 60fps "high" settings gaming machine.


    1300X or 2200G. X is a little better, but $30 towards a real GPU is a worlds better gaming PC. Intel has hidden cooler cost,, quality of life/noise...

    Motherboard is serious mismatch. Any of the $60-ish boards with good reviews would be fine. Check board has enough case fan headers for your particular case. Personally, i like ASRock boards that mention isolated sound circuits. Have never had crackling/pops on those. Always clean sound. (Something you live with day in day out). Avoid the niche "gamer" NICs. Intel/Realtek, safety in numbers. And of course, if getting APU, the motherboard has display outputs you like.

    A cheap 2x8GB is best bet. Super high hertz are for eeking out the last few FPS on high end OC-ed systems. Again, money spent on a real GPU would give tons more return on value. 2x4GB is too little unless you are certain he will ever only play old/casual games.

    PSU: 800W advice is nuts. ~65W cpu, 20W MB+SSD, 200W GPU. A 450W PSU is overkill. The efficiency ratings are required for 20% to 100% load. 20% of 800W is 160W. Games dont peg CPU/GPU majority of time. This build would be sitting in worst part of PSUs efficiency majority of time. On same point, it requires much better parts to hit the same Gold rating on 450W PSU than a 800W PSU. I would get one of the super highly rated/vetted Seasonic or Corsair Gold 450-550W PSUs. Not your Bronze. Especially since they are same price.

    SSDs: any on pcpartpicker are generally safe. Adata, MyDigital,.. are all good and safe. Inland is MicroCenters store brand. SSD controllers have hit safe zone for a while. Go for cheap 240GB. More than enough for a 1080p gaming PC. You wont be using super texture packs on a GTX 1060 class GPU.

    That would leave you enough to buy the $170 MSI RX 570 8GB card on pcpartpicker for around $600 minus taxes and shipping.

    A good 1080p gaming PC.
     
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  15. zrikz

    zrikz Gawd

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    The keys the guys sell in the FS/FT section are legit, have been using 5+ keys for office and windows for years, great $10 buy and will save you a fortune.
     
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  16. Sodapopjones

    Sodapopjones [H]ard|Gawd

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    I seriously question someone recommending a crap budget PC vs a console for gaming, you're building with throwaway parts that will limit yourself and upgrade path (lack thereof).
     
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  17. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: MSI - B450M GAMING PLUS Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($69.99 @ B&H)
    Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($109.99 @ Newegg Business)
    Storage: Kingston - A400 240 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($39.49 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: PowerColor - Radeon RX 570 4 GB RED DRAGON Video Card ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair - SPEC-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: EVGA - BQ 650 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($45.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $565.42
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-11-11 21:40 EST-0500


    Def the best deal and RIGHT at your budget.

    You should be able to hit 3.8 Ghz on the stock cooler by just setting the multi to 38 and voltage to 1.3v.

    EDIT: If she can swing it, I would HIGHLY recommend spending an extra $46 on a secondary data drive:
    Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  18. robjordan406

    robjordan406 Limp Gawd

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    A lot of good advise in these posts. Myself, I went with a top of line build off Fleebay for 620.00 Minus video card. . I happened to have a gtx1080 laying around.
     
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  19. whatevs

    whatevs Limp Gawd

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