Ever since childhood, I have been an avid PC gamer. So, it is no wonder I write topics about PC gaming and building PCs for gaming.
As the budget CPU battle between the AMD and Intel gets even bloodier, budget gamers can further benefit from the competitive pricing of these CPU giants' budget CPU series. Budget PC gamers can now build a cheap gaming PC even with their budget belts tightened. In fact, it is now very possible to build a cheap gaming PC under $350.
Yes, this gaming PC under $350 won’t be a shitty gaming PC that can’t even play any of today’s PC game titles. We will be able to build a cheap gaming PC, but it will be a decent one that is not only capable of playing most of the popular game titles of today. If you’re one of the budget PC gamers out there who is looking to build a cheap gaming PC under $300, then this guide is the right one for you.
What to Expect in this Budget Gaming PC Build
1. No GPU
With the budget of $300, how is it even possible to build a gaming PC under $300? Through the rise of CPU chips embedded with GPU, building a cheap gaming PC is a reality. Intel’s integrated HD graphics and AMD’s APU technology are definitely a blessing to us, budget PC gamers. Without having these technologies introduced to the budget PC gaming community, it won’t be possible to build a gaming PC without having to buy a dedicated GPU. And for this cheap gaming pc build, we will be taking out the dedicated GPU from our parts list. We will be heavily relying on our CPU’s embedded GPU chip to provide the graphics processing power needed for our gaming pc build.
2. Recommended Resolution for this Build - 720p
Having to build a PC with such a low price of $300, we can’t be expecting to play games at Ultra HD resolution or 4K resolution. For this build, we strongly recommend playing games at 720p resolution. This build is also capable of playing games at 1080p resolution but the performance of the game might significantly suffer especially for graphic-intensive games. However, with a few graphics tweaks, you should be fine even in 1080p resolution.
3. Target Average Framerate (FPS) - At least 30 FPS
Even for a budget-friendly build, we will still be aiming for optimal FPS rate: 60 FPS. But if it’s not capable of 60 FPS gaming, then we will try to at least aim for 30 FPS. Don’t you worry though, most of the popular games of today runs at 30 FPS or more in this budget gaming PC build. And as I’ve said, you can do a few tweaks to further improve the framerate and performance of the game. In fact, there are a few games on this list that runs at 60 FPS.
$300 Cheap Gaming PC Parts List
For this budget gaming PC build under $300, here is our list of parts:
1. CPU - Ryzen 3 2200G
The CPU and GPU performance that the Ryzen 3 2200G provides, at an affordable price of $85, is what makes this $300 cheap gaming PC build possible. The Ryzen 3 2200G is one of AMD’s line of budget gaming processors. While having 4 cores and 4 threads, this budget processor boasts a base clock speed of 3.5 GHz. Since it is an unlocked processor, it is capable of running up to a clock speed of 3.9 GHz through overclocking.
2. GPU - Radeon Vega 8 Graphics (Ryzen 3 2200G's APU)
The Ryzen 3 2200G’s APU, on the other hand, is powered by the Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. It has 8 GPU Cores which runs at a clock speed of 1100 MHz. The performance of this integrated GPU is comparable to GT1030. Yes, it’s a low end GPU but it is definitely enough to run most of today’s games.
3. Cooler - Wraith Cooler (Ryzen 3 2200G's Stock Cooler)
Aside from the decent CPU and GPU performance the Ryzen 3 2200G brings to the table, another thing I really like about it is its stock cooler. The Ryzen 3 2200G comes with the Wraith Cooler. It is a decent CPU fan cooler that can provide adequate cooling to your CPU. Although it is not enough for overclocking, it is definitely enough when using your CPU on its stock clock speed.
4. Motherboard - Gigabyte B450M DS3H
For our motherboard, we suggest the Gigabyte B450M DS3H. We will be picking this out since it is one of the cheapest motherboards that can support Ryzen 3 2200G, it supports later Ryzen models and it supports overclocking. It is not only an ideal motherboard for our cheap gaming PC build but it is also an ideal build for future CPU upgrades.
5. RAM - 16 GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2666 MHz (2 x 8 GB)
Two pieces of 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666 MHz RAM are definitely needed for this cheap gaming PC build. Since we will be using the Ryzen 2200G’s APU in this build, we will need to allocate some of our RAM’s resources to our APU. Apart from that, in this cheap gaming PC build, dual channel RAM is recommended. It offers more bandwidth; thus, it improves our build’s performance.
6. SSD - Crucial BX500 240GB SSD
HDD’s are absolutely cheaper than SSD’s but the performance difference between the two is pretty significant. We might be spending more on the Crucial BX500 240GB SSD as compared to buying HDD’s. If you’re not so tight on this one, this SSD is definitely recommended but if you want a cheaper one, go with an HDD.
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7. PSU - EVGA 500 BR, 80+ Bronze 500W
Choosing the right PSU is very important to a PC. Settling on generic or unknown brands might not be a good investment in the long run. Worse, it might even cause damage to the other parts of your PC. When choosing a PSU, always choose a branded one with an 80+ rating. For this build, we will be choosing the EVGA 500 BR, 80+ Bronze 500W as our PSU. It’s one of the best PSU brands so you definitely have to pick this one out.
8. Case - DeepCool MATREXX 55 Case
With so much cool looking and decent cases to choose from, it’s a bit difficult to pick out what is the best case for this build. Don’t you worry though after hours of searching, we’ve finally decided to choose the DeepCool MATREXX 55 Case as the case for this cheap gaming PC build. It is cheap and is also a great case. Its sports a very cool look thank to its color and RGB lighting. Plus, having its side panel as a tempered glass gives us a great idea of adding more RGB lights or upgrading the inside looks of our PC build.
$300 Budget Gaming PC Benchmarking
Now that we have completed our cheap gaming PC build under $300, let’s finally try it out and benchmark it with most of the popular games of today. Since this is built for gaming, we will only benchmark this cheap gaming PC build with games. We will not implement any other kind of benchmarks other than gaming benchmarks.
1. Dota 2 - 73 FPS (720p)
Dota 2 is an older title but we are including it in our benchmark since it is still one of the most popular games of today. Definitely, this is an easy one for our build. At 1080p, with medium graphics settings, it can run more than 60 FPS. It is definitely more than we need.
2. PUBG - 51 FPS (720p)
PUBG is not too difficult for our cheap gaming PC build. Although it is also not an easy benchmark for our build, it can run at an average framerate of 39 FPS at 1080p. In 720p, it can get up to an average framerate of 51 FPS.
3. Fortnite - 79 FPS (720p)
Another popular game title of today, Fortnite (Chapter 2), is very playable in this build. We can get an average framerate of 42 fPS in 1080p (Low) and 79 FPS in 720p (Low).
4. Metro Exodus - 37 FPS (720p)
Metro Exodus is a game title released in 2019. It is considered to be an AAA game in 2019 so it should be a bit resource-intensive to our cheap gaming PC build. For 1080p, yes, it does perform poorly. But in 720p, you can get an average framerate of 37 FPS.
5. Sekiro Shadows Die Twice - 45 FPS (720p)
The low FPS framerate is really noticeable in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice when playing it in 1080p. However, if you’ll run it in 720p with all graphics settings to low, this cheap gaming PC build can clearly run it smoothly. In fact, it is capable of running the game at an average framerate of 45 FPS.
6. Witcher 3 - 35 FPS (720p)
Witcher 3, an AAA title, is definitely a difficult one for our cheap gaming PC build. Even if you set all of the graphics settings to low/off, at 1080p, our $300 PC build can only average at around 25 FPS. However, if you set the resolution to 720p, it can run at an average framerate of 35 FPS which is definitely a considerable framerate. If you’re more after for the experience than the graphics, then playing Witcher 3 on this build should be enough for you.
7. Assassin's Creed Odyssey - 40 FPS (720p)
Another AAA title, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey clearly puts our budget gaming PC build to its knees. It poorly runs at 1080p even after setting the graphics settings to low. But with 720p, still setting all of the graphics settings to low, it can get an average framerate of 40 FPS.
Gaming Benchmark Summary
To further summarize all of the gaming benchmarks we've done on this $300 cheap gaming PC build, here is the full list:
|Game Title||Resolution||Average Framerate (FPS)|
"Assassin's Creed: Odyssey"
"Devil May Cry 5"
"Far Cry New Dawn"
"Fortnite (Chapter 2)"
"Project Cars 2"
"Rainbow Six Siege"
"Red Dead Redemption 2"
"Resident Evil 2: Remake"
"Sekiro Shadow Die Twice"
"Shadow of the Tomb Raider"
"Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order"
"The Outer Worlds"
"Total War Three Kingdoms"
This gaming PC build passes almost all of our expectations. We can get an average framerate that is more than the average playable framerate of 30 FPS. In fact, it can even run more than 30 FPS in all of the benchmarked AAA game titles in 2019.
The Verdict on This $300 Cheap Gaming PC Build: Worth it!
This cheap gaming PC build, even at the price of under $300, is a worthy build for cheapskates. If you’re more after the gameplay than the graphics, then go for this budget gaming PC build. But if you’d like better graphics when playing PC games, you can still go for this cheap gaming PC build but you’ll have to pair it with an RX 570 or GTX 1060 graphic card.
Raju Shahi from Delhi, India on January 12, 2020: