Can you build a PC for 500 dollars? If you’ve got this question on your mind, you’ve come to the right place for answers. This price point has been considered the perfect budget for low-budget PC users. For those who can afford it, PC components can cost thousands of dollars. However, for 500 bucks, we can build a working PC.
Before you build a PC, you must consider your needs. For a 500-dollar build, you shouldn’t expect a powerful PC that will crush everything thrown at it. However, a 500-dollar PC should be able to play most games, perform satisfactorily at content creation and perform most tasks fairly well.
In this article, I’ll break down the necessary components, and provide step-by-step instructions for building a PC on a budget of 500 bucks.
What platform – Intel or AMD?
You have to choose between the two major platforms. This is hardly a problem, because the platform doesn’t matter, as long as your PC can serve its purpose effectively.
However, you must know that the platform you choose now you must stick with down the road. You cannot expect to build an Intel-based PC, and later decide to change the CPU to an AMD model without changing the motherboard too.
Just know that Intel CPUs only work with Intel motherboards, and there are several different motherboard families too for different Intel CPUs. For instance, you cannot pair a 10th Gen Intel CPU with an LGA 1151 motherboard.
For AMD CPUs, there are fewer issues here. AMD has managed to keep its motherboard families fairly constant across several CPU generations. This has proved to be a good thing for PC builders, especially if you upgrade your hardware often.
We always take into consideration compatibility issues when recommending components in our articles, and this one is no exception.
Recommended Components For a $500 Budget PC Build
Based on our $500 budget, here are recommended components you should purchase right now for your build. Please understand that the total cost of these components is about 500 dollars, excluding the display which is an optional accessory and is not actually a PC component.
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 6-Core 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop...||$121.31||View on Amazon|
|MSI B550 Gaming GEN3 Gaming Motherboard (AMD AM4, DDR4, PCIe...||215 Reviews||$119.99||View on Amazon|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4 3600 MHz...||84,220 Reviews||$44.99||View on Amazon|
|Crucial P3 500GB PCIe Gen3 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to...||13,734 Reviews||$28.53||View on Amazon|
|EVGA 600 GE, 80 Plus Gold 600W, Eco Mode, 5 Year Warranty,...||11 Reviews||$92.99||View on Amazon|
|Zalman - S2 - ATX Mid-Tower PC Case - Tinted Tempered Glass...||1,696 Reviews||$59.99||View on Amazon|
|Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard And Mouse Combo For...||$27.99||View on Amazon|
|Acer SB242Y EBI 23.8" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Zero-Frame...||41,419 Reviews||$99.99||View on Amazon|
|Western Digital 1TB WD Blue PC Internal Hard Drive HDD -...||54,974 Reviews||$45.20||View on Amazon|
Last update on 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
For a budget build, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is a great choice. It’s a six-core processor with a base clock speed of 4.4GHz and an unlocked multiplier for overclocking. This CPU is a great bargain because of its integrated graphics, which will save us a substantial amount of money, and it also has a low power draw, which means it won’t require a lot of cooling.
This CPU performs great in most gaming titles, especially at 1080p gaming. however, you may have to dial down graphics settings in some games as the case may be. There’s also a cooler included, saving us the hassle of getting a discrete CPU cooler.
For our CPU, we’ll need a motherboard that’s compatible with the AM4 socket. The MSI B550 Gaming GEN3 Gaming Motherboard is a budget-friendly option that has all the necessary features, including support for up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM, PCIe 3, and multiple storage options including M.2.
RAM is kinda cheap these days, and we’ll want at least 16GB of RAM. The Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200 is a great choice, as it offers fast speeds and reliable performance.
For storage, we have a few options. If we want a lot of storage space, we can opt for a traditional HDD. The Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD is a good choice for a budget build. This drive is going to house our files and downloads. A 500GB NVMe should house your operating system and apps. This drive guarantees speedy file access times.
We’ll want a power supply that’s powerful enough to handle our components, but not so powerful that we’re overspending. The EVGA 500 W1 is a good choice, as it’s a reliable power supply with enough wattage for our components.
Case, Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse
For the PC case, we’ll want something that’s budget-friendly but still has enough room for our components. The Zalman S2 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case is a good option, as it’s a compact case with good airflow.
For the monitor, we’ll want something that’s at least 1080p resolution and has a good refresh rate. The Acer EBI 23.8″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Zero-Frame Gaming Office Monitor is a great budget-friendly option that offers a 1080p resolution and a 100Hz refresh rate.
For the keyboard and mouse, we can opt for a budget-friendly option like the Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo.
Building the PC
I built my first PC years ago, and you can too! I’ve put together a helpful step-by-step DIY guide that even a 5-year-old can follow. Even if you run into problems, let me know and I’ll respond to you asap.
Here’s a short guide just in case you prefer this. Now that we’ve chosen our components, it’s time to build our PC. Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Install the CPU onto the motherboard. Make sure to align the notches and secure the CPU in place.
- Install the RAM into the motherboard. Make sure to align the notches and apply enough pressure to secure the RAM in place.
- Install the storage into the case. If you’re using an HDD, make sure to secure it with screws. If you’re using an SSD, you can mount it to the case using adhesive.
- Install the power supply into the case. Make sure to align the power supply with the mounting holes and secure it with screws.
- Connect the cables from the power supply to the motherboard, storage, and any other components that require power.
- Install the motherboard into the case. Make sure to align the standoffs with the mounting holes and secure the motherboard in place with screws.
- Connect the cables from the case (power button, reset button, etc.) to the motherboard.
- Install the graphics card (if applicable). Make sure to align the notches and secure the graphics card in place with screws.
- Connect the monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the PC.
- Power on the PC and install your operating system of choice.
So, can you build a PC for $500? The answer is yes! By choosing budget-friendly components and taking the time to assemble everything yourself, you can save money and get better performance than you would with a pre-built PC. Of course, there are pros and cons to building a PC on a budget, but if you’re willing to put in the effort and some patience, it’s well worth it.
We always take into consideration compatibility whenever we recommend a PC Build, and this is one reason why you should trust our recommendations. This is to ensure minimal bottlenecking as much as possible.
Did this article meet your expectations? Let us know in the comments below. Meanwhile check out other build guides such as a $300 PC Build, a $400 PC Build, a $1000 PC Build, $1500 PC Build, $2000 PC Build, and more.