$750 Build

Looking to build an affordable gaming PC that's anything but "cheap?" Then our $750 Budget Gaming PC is the one for you! While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles you'll find in higher-priced systems, like liquid cooling, gobs of RAM, or a solid-state drive, for pure gaming purposes, it's got it where it counts. It offers fantastic performance in all of today's latest games without breaking the bank.

Thank to AMD's release of two hot new products in mid-April, we decided to roll out the May 2017 edition of the "Budget Gamer" early. The biggest news is the arrival of the revolutionary AMD Ryzen line of CPUs, and for this build we choose the value-packed Ryzen 5 1500X, a 3.5GHz quad-core CPU with four additional virtual cores to provide 8 threads of power. That allows it to provide a much bigger punch than its more expensive adversary, the Intel Core i5-7500 quad-core CPU. And thanks to its unlocked multiplier, there's a good chance that it will hit 4GHz! Also brand-new is the RX 580, a refined version of the RX 480 released in mid-2016. The RX 580 comes clocked about 75MHz higher, allowing it to pull even further ahead of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB. Basically, AMD is taking it straight to its bigger competitors in true David vs. Goliath fashion! And if one RX 580 isn't quite enough, you can add a second card later on, as the motherboard we recommend supports dual Radeon cards in CrossfireX! The build also sports 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a 450W power supply, all wrapped up in the stylish and functional Zalman Z-series case. This system will provide an exceptional gaming experience at the mainstream 1920x1080 resolution for years to come. 

We update this guide monthly, as prices and components in this market segment change frequently, and a few dollars here or there could buy you (or cost you) a lot of speed! To see past part selections, flip over to the Budget Gamer Archive. For help building your system, check out our detailed Ryzen PC Builder's Guide, or post a question in our Reader Forum. If you need accessories to round out your build, see our Monitor Buyer's Guide and Peripherals Buyer's Guide for advice. And be sure to stop by The Gallery, where you'll find inspiration in the builds submitted by our readers. If you build a system using one of our guides, pass along your pics and comments, and we'll add a profile page for your system too!

We use Amazon's real-time pricing engine to bring you current U.S. prices, and also provide links to Amazon Canada, Amazon United Kingdom (UK), and Amazon Deutschland (Germany) for all the products we list, with substitutions made based on availability. To support the continued development of this guide, please use our links if you decide to purchase the products we recommend.

The $750 Budget Gaming PC - May 2017

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 1500X

    While Intel has owned the mid-range gaming segment for years, that reign has come to an end. AMD has just introduced its Ryzen 5 1500X, a 3.5GHz chip that offers not only the four cores of its competitors from Intel, but also four additional virtual cores to improve multi-threaded performance. That makes it a whole lot more future-proof than Intel's chips, which only offer this feature if you pay over $300. At under $200, the 1500X is a true bargain for playing games today and in the future!

    The Guru's Tip:

    We know that a lot of gamers want to soup up their systems with an aftermarket CPU cooler, but trust us on this: the AMD Wraith Spire cooler included with the 1500X is more than capable of handling its heat output, so please save your money!

    Motherboard:

    MSI B350 PC Mate AM4

    To get the absolute best value in a gaming system, there's no question that you want to use a B350-based motherboard, part of the new AMD Ryzen AM4  family. It guarantees that you'll have a great out-of-the-box experience with your new 1500X processor, with full support for overclocking and a nice array of ports and slots, including an M.2 slot for a future SSD upgrade and a USB Type-C port for cutting-edge external devices.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this board actually supports running dual Radeon cards in CrossfireX! That's because it has a full-size PCIe x4 slot, unlike most boards in this price range. If you might want to go the dual-card route eventually, we recommend you pick up at least a 600W power supply rather than the standard 450W model recommended later in this guide.

    Video Card:

    MSI Radeon RX 580 4GB Armor

    The brand-new RX 580, released on April 18th, builds on the success of the RX 480 before it, upping the clock speed about 75MHz for around the same price. That makes it a fantastic value for gamers on a budget. The RX 480 handily beat its competitor, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, and now the RX 580 pulls even further ahead of that card in performance while also offering 1GB of extra VRAM, which is critical in the newest games.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that the RX 580 is available in very limited quantities, so if it sells out (or is unavailable in your region), you might grab a deal on the RX 480 4GB, which is being cleared out.

    Memory:

    Crucial 2x4GB DDR4 2133 CL15

    The latest games are finally starting to require more than 4GB of RAM, so this 2x4GB kit is a wise investment in your PC as a whole. Plus, by using two sticks, you'll be taking advantage of dual-channel operation, which speeds up many tasks by 2-3%.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Take note: we've made extra sure that this kit appears on MSI's memory support list, which is a critical step when matching RAM to AM4-based motherboards! Please do not just choose any random DDR4 kit you find, as it's quite likely it will not work at its rated speed.

    Hard Drive:

    Western Digital Blue 1TB

    There's just no better budget-friendly hard drive than WD's 1TB model. It's among the least expensive drives on the market, despite above-average performance. Of course, if you already know you need more than 1TB of storage, pick up Seagate's 2TB 7200RPM model, which offers even higher capacity per dollar.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While SSDs large enough to hold a big collection of games don't quite fit into the budget for this system, by all means add the bargain-priced Crucial MX300 275GB SSD to your build if you can spare an extra $90 or so. It will improve system boot speed, game level loading, and overall responsiveness.

    Case:

    Zalman Z3

    The Zalman Z-series offers an amazing set of features for the price. With this particular model, you get three pre-installed 120mm fans, along with three front USB ports (one being USB 3.0). There's no other case near this pricepoint that offers these features.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Another great option is the Z3 Plus, which adds a side window.

    Power Supply:

    EVGA 450 B1

    This EVGA 450W model is a great match for this build. With two PCIe 6+2-pin power cables, this unit can support just about any video card on the market. Plus, it's backed by EVGA's unrivaled service and a 3-year warranty.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The 450 B1's bigger brother, the new 600BQ, is also available at a very reasonable price, and it's what we'd recommend if you think you'll upgrade to a high-end video card (or dual RX 580 cards) in the future.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10

    Windows 10 is so much better than Windows 8.1, it makes us wonder whether Microsoft even tested Win8 in the first place. Windows 10 is easy to use right out of the box, and has a lot of refinements under the hood as well.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We're recommending the DVD version of Windows 10 because it's the cheapest way to get an OS license, and you can actually install it without a DVD drive. All you need to do is download a Windows 10 image directly from the Microsoft website, and run the installation tool to copy it onto a 4GB or larger flash drive.

    Optical Drive (Optional):

    LG 24x DVD Burner (Opt.)

    Because including a DVD drive would put us significantly over budget, we're listing it as optional for this build. While not required for any modern games, a DVD burner makes the installation of the OS and motherboard drivers a lot easier.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that the motherboard comes with two SATA cables, so you don't need to supply your own to attach this drive.