Best Budget Gaming PC Build

Looking to buy 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, tons of RAM, or fancy RGB lighting, for pure gaming purposes it's the best bang for the buck you'll find. It offers fantastic performance in all of today's latest games without breaking the bank, while also using a space-saving yet stylish micro-ATX chassis.

For December, this build gets a complete overhaul, going with AMD for the CPU, and picking up a new Nvidia GPU on graphics duty. So, first off, the king is dead, long live the king. We're going with the power-packed AMD Ryzen 5 3600 six-core, 12-thread CPU, which Intel would charge $100 more for, if it even had a competing product. This amazing CPU is backing up the brand-new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB, the best GPU ever released under the critical $200 pricepoint. It's a serious gift to gamers on a budget for the holiday season. The 3600/1650 Super duo is the perfect combo for maximizing framerates on a 1080p gaming monitor. In terms of storage, the Budget Gamer sports a 500GB solid-state drive. Most other "budget gaming PCs" you'll find on the 'Net still use hard drives, which is a sure sign that whoever's suggesting them has no idea what they're talking about! An SSD ensures that this PC isn't just fast when in the middle of a game, but fast at launching your games and everything else too! New this month is an upgrade to 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM - we can no longer recommend going with 8GB, as it just won't work well with the latest games. The build is powered by a reliable 450W power supply and wrapped up in an stylish, compact micro-ATX case. If you'd like to accessorize your PC, just check out our recommendations for budget-friendly PC peripherals at the end of this guide, including our favorite low-cost 144Hz monitor and a great budget gaming mouse.

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. Throughout this guide, we provide links to Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany, and our US links will auto-convert for our readers in Spain, France, and Italy. Your use of these links is the only thing that keeps this site on the 'net!

The $750 Budget Gaming PC - December 2019

The Pre-Built Option

  • The Budget Gaming PC:

    CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A8

    Don't have the time or ability to build your own gaming PC? No problem! You can get a system equivalent to the DIY PC we list below completely assembled and ready to go from CyberpowerPC. It features the Intel Core i5-9400F 6-Core CPU, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1660 6GB, 8GB DDR4, a 240GB SSD, plus a 1TB hard drive.

    The Guru's Tip:

    As a bonus, this system even includes built-in wireless networking plus a mouse and keyboard, which cost extra in the DIY PC we recommend below.

The Build-Your-Own Option

  • CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600

    With games now demanding more than four cores, there's only one CPU to consider if you want to play modern games: AMD's Ryzen 5 3600. It provides unprecedented power at the $200 pricepoint, thanks to its six cores, 12 threads, and awesome clock speeds.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This chip includes a cooler, so there's no need to buy an extra one.

  • Motherboard:

    MSI B450M PRO-VDH Max

    To get the absolute best value in a gaming system, you don't want to spend a ton of money on a motherboard. Luckily, this board is packed with features despite a very reasonable price. It offers four RAM slots, six USB ports, and an M.2 slot, which you'll be using for this build. Also take note that most B450 boards will not work with Ryzen 3000-series processors, but MSI's MAX line has been updated with the proper firmware out of the box! 

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that we're using a compact micro-ATX motherboard here, which will work perfectly with the micro-ATX case we recommend for this build. Be sure not to substitute a larger ATX motherboard!

  • Video Card:

    ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 Super Twin Fan 4GB

    Nvidia has reinforced its mid-range gaming lineup with the brand-new GTX 1650 Super. Coming in at just $10 more than the GTX 1650, it offers nearly twice the memory bandwidth thanks to the use of cutting-edge GDDR6 memory, which translates to a 40% boost in performance. Not bad for ten bucks!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To get the most out of this card, we suggest you pair it with a frame-syncing monitor, like the one listed at the end of this guide!

  • Memory:

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Elite DDR4-2666 Grey

    This kit offers a 2666MHz speed rating, a nice boost over standard 2133MHz kits that sell for the same price or more. And with 16GB of total capacity, it will ensure all your latest games run smoothly!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this system will not support higher-clocked RAM kits, so don't spend any extra money on such models.

  • Solid-State Drive:

    Western Digital Blue 3D 500GB M.2

    Simply put, any PC you build today has to have an SSD. If you see build guides suggesting you set up your gaming PC with a hard drive as your system drive, they're giving you bad advice. Yes, you trade a little capacity going with an SSD, but consider that this drive is about 10x faster than any hard drive, and you'll understand that the tradeoff is worth it. So load up Windows and a bunch of your favorite games, and prepare to be blown away!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is among the least-expensive M.2 drives on the market, and undercuts many slower SATA drives.

  • Case:

    Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L

    Build a stylish system without breaking the bank using the Q300L. It's ultra-compact and looks great, thanks to the windowed side panel and aggressive styling. It includes one 120mm exhaust fan for cooling, and has a builder-friendly interior.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case sells out constantly. If you see it in stock, grab it!

  • Power Supply:

    Thermaltake Smart BX1 450W

    This 450W Bronze-rated model is a perfect pick for this build. With dual 6+2-pin power cables, it's ready for any video card you could fit in this system.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We strongly recommend buying at least a Bronze-rated power supply like this one. "White"-rated power supplies are often the same price, but use outdated designs that run hot and waste a lot of electricity.

  • Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    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:

    This version of Windows will install in just a few minutes thanks to the USB 3.0 interface!

Optional Components

  • Wireless Card:

    TP-LINK Archer T6E AC1300

    Add high-speed wireless networking to your gaming PC with this awesome expansion card, which packs in dual-stream 802.11ac networking and speeds of up to 1300Mbps.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Once the video card is installed, there will be two free PCIe slots in this system, and you should use the bottom slot to allow as much airflow to the video card above.

  • Hard Drive:

    Seagate Barracuda 2TB

    If you need more space for games and want the most cost effective bulk storage you can get, you want the Barracuda 7200RPM hard drive. It simply can't be beat in terms of value.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, you do not want to use this for your OS installation, which should be on an SSD. A hard drive should only be used as secondary storage capacity.

  • The Gaming Keyboard/Mouse Combo:

    Corsair Gaming K55 Keyboard + Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse

    Corsair is driving a bargain that none of the generics you'll find on the market can even touch: a legitimate set of RGB gaming peripherals for a fantastic price. This combo includes the ultra-popular K55 keyboard and unmatched Harpoon mouse, and both can be set up and controlled via Corsair's iCUE software.

    The Guru's Tip:

    If purchased separately, this kit would cost an extra $10-$15, so you're getting a nice discount by buying the combo.

  • The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor:

    Acer XFA240

    If you want to pick up a true "gaming" monitor, you want something with a high refresh rate. The very best value out there in high-refresh-rate monitors is the stylish Acer XFA240. It features a 24" 1920x1080 panel capable of displaying images at up to 144Hz, which makes it infinitely smoother than a standard 60Hz monitor that costs just a bit less. And thanks to its FreeSync technology, it will run with zero lag or screen-tearing. While FreeSync was pioneered by AMD, Nvidia has recently "unlocked" it in its GeForce drivers, meaning this model will work perfectly with the GeForce 1650 Super GPU we recommend.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model even features a fully-adjustable stand, making it far easier to "dial in" than monitors with simple tilt adjustments.

  • The Bargain Gaming Headset:

    HyperX Cloud Stinger

    Assuming you actually want to hear the bullets whizzing by you in your games, you're going to need a great audio source, and there's no better budget gaming headset on the market than the Stinger from HyperX! With 50mm drivers and a comfortable fit, it's the real deal, where all the other headsets in its price range are just pretending.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Read our full review right here!