$750 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, gobs of RAM, or RGB lighting, 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, while also using a space-saving yet stylish micro-ATX chassis.

For April 2019, the Budget Gaming PC Build gets a huge upgrade for a second month in a row. Last month, we moved from a quad-core to Intel's rippin' new Core i5-9400F six-core, a "gamer's special" that maximizes CPU power while dropping the built-in GPU, which is just fine for purposes of this system. It packs in 6 cores that can Turbo to over 4GHz, which makes it a perfect match for this month's big upgrade, the GeForce GTX 1660 6GB. Offering 20% better performance than either the older GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 580 for the same amount of money, it's a huge gift to gamers on a budget. Indeed, the 9400F/GTX 1660 duo is the perfect combo for 1080p gaming. Admittedly, going with the latest and greatest does put us just slightly over our $750 target budget, but trust us on this one - spending a little more this month gets you way more gaming power!

In terms of storage, the Budget Gamer sports a 500GB solid-state drive, truly setting it apart from every other "budget gaming PC" on the 'Net. It ensures that this PC isn't just fast when gaming, but fast in everything else too! Also on board is 8GB of RAM, the minimum we recommend for any modern PC. The build is powered by a reliable 450W power supply and wrapped up in a stylish, compact mATX case from Thermaltake, which is head and shoulders above its low-priced competition. If you'd like to accessorize your PC, you can also see our recommendations on budget-friendly PC peripherals at the end of this guide, including by far our favorite 144Hz monitor on the market.

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. 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 - April 2019

    CPU:

    Intel Core i5-9400F

    With games now demanding more than four cores, there's only one CPU to consider if you want to game on a strict budget: Intel's new Core i5-9400F. This six-core chip comes in at the lowest price ever for an Intel six-core, despite a boost speed of over 4GHz. The only catch is that Intel has stripped it of the standard onboard video that most Intel CPUs have, but for a gaming CPU, that doesn't matter, because of course you'll be adding a gaming GPU!

    The Guru's Tip:

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

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte B360M DS3H

    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 Gigabyte board comes in at a very reasonable price despite features like four RAM slots and an M.2 slot. And thanks to the economical B360 chipset, it supports Intel 8000-series processors. Older B250, H270, and Z270 boards will not work, despite having the same socket designation (1151).

    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 GeForce GTX 1660 6GB

    Well, after a good run, the Radeon RX 580's reign as the budget gamer's choice is over. Nvidia has simply clobbered it with the new GTX 1660, which is 20% faster for around the same price, handing it a clear victory. It's the perfect GPU for gaming at 1920 x 1080, the standard resolution on most mid-range gaming monitors.

    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:

    Ballistix 2x4GB Sport LT DDR4-2666

    The latest games definitely require more than 4GB of RAM, so this 2x4GB kit is a wise investment and not something you want to skimp on. This kit offers a 2666MHz speed rating, a nice boost over standard 2133MHz kits that sell for the same price or more. 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:

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

    Solid-State Drive:

    Crucial MX500 500GB M.2

    Simply put, any PC you build today simply must have an SSD in it. And while you still can't get an ultra-high-capacity SSD for the price of a hard drive, you can get this excellent 500GB drive from Crucial, which will get you off to a great start. Load up Windows and a bunch of your favorite games, and prepare for an awesome computing experience.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We had been recommending hard drives in this build for years, simply based on the capacity per dollar they offer, but the age of hard drives is over. After a recent "opportunity" we had to install Windows 10 on a new PC using a traditional hard drive, we've decided that the experience is so terrible that we'll never allow another TBG reader to go through it again!

    Case:

    Thermaltake Versa H17

    Build a stylish system without breaking the bank using the Versa H17.  It includes one 120mm exhaust fan for cooling, and has a builder-friendly interior.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Another great option in this size range is the SilverStone PS15, which offers huge airflow, a tempered glass side panel, and lots of style.

    Power Supply:

    EVGA 450 BT

    This 450W model is a great match for this build. With dual 6+2-pin power cables, it's just what you need to power up the video card we recommend. Plus, it's backed by unrivaled service and a 3-year warranty.

    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

    The Basic Wired Keyboard:

    Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600

    While you could spend a lot on a flashy keyboard with lots of lights, you'll get similar performance from this inexpensive model.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Avoid wireless keyboards for gaming, as their responsiveness just can't match a wired keyboard.

    The Mid-Range Gaming Mouse:

    Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse

    In terms of peripherals, a mouse is the one that will make the biggest difference when it comes to gaming performance. Do yourself a favor and avoid all the off-brand mice you'll find on Amazon on elsewhere, and go with the high-quality Harpoon from Corsair.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You even get RGB lighting on this mouse, which you can control using the excellent Corsair CUE 2 software package.

    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 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 1660 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.