Can You Build a PC for 400 Dollars?

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As someone who has built countless PCs over the years, I’m often asked this question: can you build a PC for 400 dollars? Of course, $400 isn’t much, but it can build us a PC. Furthermore, we are not looking to build a PC that will destroy the latest games. No. Just something that can do some light computing such as typing, web browsing, and similar stuff.

In this article, I’ll explore how you can build a budget PC and what components you’ll need to make it happen, all for 400 bucks or less! In summary, it is possible to build a PC for about 400 bucks, but you have to rely on budget components and exclude a dedicated GPU. You may also have to go for a CPU with a stock cooler.

Is It Possible to Build a PC for $400?

Before we dive into the components, let’s discuss whether it’s even possible to build a PC for $400. The short answer is yes, but it comes with some caveats. While $400 may not get you a high-end gaming rig, it can get you a decent computer that can handle everyday tasks, such as web browsing, video playback, and light gaming.

To put it into perspective, a pre-built computer in the $400 price range often comes with low-end specs that are not suitable for much beyond basic computing. However, if you build your PC from scratch, you can choose the components that meet your specific needs and get more bang for your buck.

This is exactly what we are going to be discussing in detail.

Components Needed for a $400 PC

Now that we know it’s possible to build a PC for $400, let’s dive into the components you’ll need to make it happen.

The CPU or Processor

There are a variety of options to choose from for a CPU. But first of all, you must determine whether you want an Intel or AMD CPU. Does this even matter you may ask?

It doesn’t, as long as the PC gets the job done. Let’s see our options: for a budget PC, you can opt for an AMD Ryzen 3 or an Intel Pentium Gold. Both of these processors offer good performance for their price range.

Motherboard

When choosing a motherboard, it’s important to ensure that it’s compatible with the processor you’ve chosen. If you opt for an Intel build, the motherboard must match your CPU. The same goes for AMD.

A good budget option is the ASRock B450M-HDV. It has all the necessary features for a basic PC build, such as support for DDR4 memory, PCIe slots, and SATA ports.

Memory

For a $400 PC, 8GB of RAM should be sufficient. You can opt for a single 8GB stick or two 4GB sticks, depending on what’s available at a good price. We will go for DDR4 RAM with a speed of at least 2666MHz.

Storage

For storage, you can choose between a traditional hard drive or a solid-state drive (SSD). A 500GB hard drive will give you plenty of space for your files and applications, while a 240GB SSD will give you faster boot and load times. You can also consider using both, with the SSD as your boot drive and the hard drive as your storage drive.

Power Supply

A good power supply is essential to ensure the stability and reliability of your PC. We will opt for a power supply with a wattage of at least 450W and an 80+ rating for efficiency. A budget option is the EVGA 450 BT.

Case

Lastly, you’ll need a case to house all of your components. A basic option like the Zalman S4 ATX Mid Tower Gaming PC Case will do the job and fit within your budget.

CPU Cooler

We are not buying these because they are bundled with the CPU, thereby saving us some cash.

Graphics Card

We will also not be buying a dedicated graphics card because it is integrated into the CPU. Again, this is a good measure to save some money.

We’ve handpicked these components specifically for this build, ensuring there would be no bottlenecks to encounter. Feel free to utilize the list as you deem fit.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
  • Motherboard: MSI ProSeries B450M PRO-VDH Max
  • GPU: Integrated
  • Cooler: Bundled with CPU
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 430W ATX PSU
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe
  • Case: Zalman S4 ATX Mid Tower Gaming PC Case
  • Display: 22-inch 1080p Monitor
  • Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech MK120 Wired Keyboard and Mouse Combo
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Putting It All Together

Once you’ve gathered all your components, it’s time to put them together. Building a PC is actually doable, especially if you haven’t done it before. By following a helpful guide, such as our DIY guide to building a PC, you’ll find out how simple it is – even a 5-year-old can do it.

Can you build a PC for 400 Dollars?
The Zalman S4 ATX Mid Tower Case is a good option for a budget PC build

When building your PC, be sure to take your time, follow the instructions carefully, and double-check your work. Once your PC is assembled, test it thoroughly to ensure that everything is working as it should.

For the sake of brevity, here’s a simplified guide to follow:

  • First of all, ground yourself properly if you can help it. We’ve provided a simple guide on how to ground yourself when PC building.
  • Place all your components on a table, with basic tools such as a screwdriver.
  • Place the motherboard on the table, ensuring that you do not remove the foam backing.
  • Install the RAM first, followed by the CPU, and then the CPU cooler. Make sure they are firmly secured.
  • Secure the motherboard onto the case with the provided screws.
  • Install the storage drives to the case storage bays, and connect the SATA/power cables
  • Connect the front panel headers for the power and USB connectors if applicable. This will ensure that the power button and USB connectors on the case work as intended. You can follow the instructions in the motherboard manual to do this.
  • Next, connect the power supply cables to the motherboard.
  • Ensure that all devices are firmly secured.
  • Connect the PC to the mains and switch it on. Run your Windows installation by following the on-screen instructions.

There you have it! Your PC should be working flawlessly. However, if this is not the case, such as if the PC Build keeps turning on and off, carry out some basic troubleshooting.

Some common issues could be loose RAM modules and loosely connected devices such as storage. Whatever the case may be, if you need further help, simply reach out to us and we will assist you promptly.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, building a PC for $400 is possible. While you won’t be able to build a high-end gaming or content creation rig, you can build a decent computer that can handle everyday tasks. By choosing budget components and leveraging integrated graphics/bundled coolers, you can save money and get more value for your budget.

Building your PC may require some patience and adventurous spirit, but the end result is a computer that’s specific to your needs and budget.

Are you satisfied with this article? Let’s know your thoughts in the comments below. Visit our build guides for more such as PC build for 1000 dollars, PC build for 1500 dollars, PC build for 2000 dollars, and more.

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