How to Build a Budget Gaming PC With Less Than $550

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Gaming PCs are known for their top-notch hardware using cutting-edge tech to run games on their best graphic options. However, while the best Gaming PCs have the latest and costlier hardware, this isn’t the rule. You can pretty much build a good PC for games without spending all your money on it. It’s perfectly possible to build a decent Budget Gaming PC for $550. In this guide, we will provide you with some options that will help you to build a good Gaming PC without breaking the bank.

With careful planning and smart shopping, you can build an impressive gaming rig for under $550. This guide is here to help you find the best deals on gaming hardware, providing a solid foundation for your budget-friendly build. We’ll highlight the top components available today (Via DigitalTrends), ensuring you get the most value for your money. Whether you’re new to building PCs or looking to upgrade your setup without overspending, our recommendations will help you maximize performance without stretching your budget.

The Build and What It Can Do

This section provides a quick overview of the hardware we’ve chosen for a budget gaming PC built under $500. We’ll go into more detail about each component below, but here’s a summary if you want to dive in and buy them right away.

Note: All the products listed are available on Amazon and were found during our research for this article. Prices can fluctuate, so make sure to check for the most up-to-date prices before purchasing. Additionally, these items can sell out quickly, especially when highly recommended. If an item is missing or the price seems off, click through the individual component listings for the latest information.

Summary of Components

  1. CPU: A capable processor that balances performance and budget.
  2. GPU: A graphics card that delivers solid gaming performance for the price.
  3. Motherboard:  Compatible with our chosen CPU and GPU, offering essential features.
  4. RAM: Sufficient memory to ensure smooth multitasking and gaming.
  5. Storage:  A fast and reliable SSD for quick load times and responsive performance.
  6. Power Supply: Provides stable power to all components.
  7. Case: A budget-friendly case with good airflow and space for future upgrades.

What This Budget Gaming PC Can Do

With this setup, you can expect to play popular games at medium to high settings, maintaining good frame rates for an enjoyable gaming experience. This build is also versatile enough to handle everyday tasks like web browsing, streaming, and light productivity work. One of the greatest advantages of a gaming PC over the conventional console is that you can use it for much more than simply gaming. While it is powerful with gaming, you can do anything with it.

Please note that this build is not take into consideration other peripherals you will need on a PC build. You will certainly need a Monitor, a Mouse, a Keyboard, and Sound Output devices to enjoy this setup. Make sure to consider them in the final math.

CPU – Intel Core i3-12100F – $85

Intel’s Core i3-12100F is a great budget option for a gaming PC. It has four performance cores and supports hyperthreading, allowing it to handle up to eight tasks at once. This makes it powerful enough for modern games and multitasking, similar to more expensive CPUs. It also has high clock speeds, which is great for gaming. The i3-12100F is an F-class CPU, so it doesn’t have onboard graphics. You’ll need a dedicated graphics card to run your PC, which is still possible within the $550 budget. We wouldn’t call this a gaming setup with onboard graphics anyway. The onboard graphics cards have become quite powerful in recent years, and it’s perfectly possible to play with them. However, they will eventually fail where dedicated graphics cards will make your setup more future-proof.

Of course, we are listing a Setup that is quite future-proof. It supports 12th-, 13th-, and 14th-generation processors. You can upgrade the CPU in the future without needing a new motherboard or memory.

Motherboard – MSI Pro H610M-G – $80

The MSI Pro M610M-G is a standout entry-level motherboard. It supports Intel’s 12th-, 13th-, and 14th-generation LGA 1700 processors. The motherboard offers PCIexpress 4 with an “armored” x6 PCIe slot and a clean design. Troubleshooting is made easier with its post- LEDs. Storage options are versatile with support for NVMe M.2 and up to four SATA SSDs.

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However, it lacks USB-C and built-in Wi-Fi. You might need add-in cards to enhance these functions. At around $80, it’s a reliable and straightforward choice for building a $550 gaming PC.

Budget Gaming PC

Graphics card: PowerColor RX 6600 Fighter – $190

The tricky part of a budget gaming PC venture is to acquire a good graphics card. These grew expensive over the past years with the high demand and low offer amidst the COVID-19 crisis and the shortage in the semiconductor industry. The situation is much better nowadays, and it’s now possible to find a decent GPU for a budget gaming PC. The option here is the AMD RX 6600 which costs about $190 and takes the largest portion of your $550 budget. Anyway, you will be able to enjoy most of the new games by finding a balance between graphics and frame rate.

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The AMD RX 6600 is a great entry-level GPU that helps this PC to play anything. It outpaces any onboard graphics of the most capable GPUs. It’s modern enough to support the latest gaming features, these include the FidelixFX Super Resolution and even Ray Tracing. Obviously, for the latter, you will need to adjust settings in this build.

Budget Gaming PC

Memory: Teamgroup T-Force Vulcan Z – $35

This is one of the most affordable parts of our build. Nowadays, the memory is cheap and you will usually get as much as you can afford. There are various options in the market with the most varied prices, so we will recommend this option, but feel free to find anything else with the same proposal. 16 GB DDR4 RAM is ideal for playing games and it will give you enough room for multi-tasking and demanding activities on the PC.

This PC build will limit you to only two DDR4 sticks, so you can opt for two 8 GB DDR4 modules for a 16 GB setup, or two 16 GB sticks for a 32 GB setup. Usually, games run better when you have two RAM sticks working together.

Budget Gaming PC

Storage: PNY CS1030 500GB SSD – $38

SSDs are also super cheap nowadays, and you can find plenty of options if you’re not too exigent on brands. In this build, you can go for an NVMe SSD for the best loading times. It’s easy to fill 500 GB if you download various AAA games at once. So make sure to manage your storage, and play one by one depending on its size. This SSD offers fast, PCIe 3 speeds of up to 2,000 MBps read, and 1,100 MBps write. It’s faster than any SATA III SSD or older hard drive at an affordable price. For more games, you might consider adding a SATA SSD.

Budget Gaming PC

Power Supply: Corsair CX550 – $60

Your focus here might be saving money and getting the best hardware. However, when it comes to the PSU (Power Supply Unit) you need to prioritize quality over price. It’s perfectly possible to find the balance between price and quality but avoid super cheap PSUs. After all, you usually get what you pay for in this particular area. And getting the wrong PSU can be risky as you can easily fry other expensive components if it blows for some reason. Corsair is one of the strongest names in this category, and you can rest assured you’re getting quality here. The CX550 is the perfect option in this particular setup. It’s an affordable and reliable model.

Budget Gaming PC

Case: Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L – $40

You’re free to play with different case options. After all, it’s your PC and this area certainly varies by taste. You can try getting a basic case without any way of seeing the internals. They’re cheap and will get the job done. However, the trend of gaming PCs often involves having a case with the internals there exposed to anyone who wants to see the fun.

There are nicer cases that cost more, but you can rather put more money into a better CPU, more storage, or a faster graphics card. Just make sure to ensure the case has a decent airflow to prevent overheating and fill all your components.

Conclusion – The $550 Budget Gaming PC

As you can see, it’s perfectly possible to build a gaming PC for only $550. Of course, you can save more money if you acquire these components during promo sales or with the right discounts. There are also some cheaper setups, but this one is a great option if you want to build something ready for future upgrades.


Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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