Plan the Best Gaming PC Build Under $300:
January 2019 Recommended Entry Level Desktop

Building an Ultra Cheap Computer for 1080p Low Settings, 720p, or Old/Indie Titles


best custom gaming computer build 300 dollars

A Super Affordable, Ultra-Budget 300 Dollar PC Build for Gamers in the US, Canada, Australia or UK

The Best $300 Gaming PC Build: Recommended January 2019 Parts

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.7GHz Quad Core
  • CPU Cooler: Stock (comes with CPU)
  • Graphics: Vega RX8 (integrated in CPU)
  • Motherboard: MSI B450M PRO-M2 (mATX)
  • RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tactical 1x4GB (2666MHz)
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital 1TB (7200RPM)
  • Power Supply: EVGA 450 BT (80+ Bronze)
  • Case: Rosewill FBM-05 Mini Tower (mATX, mITX)

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2019



The Entry-Level Gaming PC Build: Overview


custom gaming computer build $300

300 dollars goes a surprisingly long way when you know how to carefully pick the best bang for your buck gaming parts on the market like the PC ninja you are (or are about to become after reading this guide)

Planning the best gaming PC build under $300 in the US, Canada, UK or Australia? Despite what anyone may tell you, whilst you obviously can't get too much graphical power for this price, by being smart about your component selections you can indeed assemble a very respectable, good-quality, and surprisingly reliable custom gaming computer for under 300 dollars (or under 300 pounds/euros for UK builders and a bit more for readers in Canada or Australia) that is also fairly future-proof in terms of being able to easily upgrade it later on with a graphics card, more RAM, and even a better AMD CPU (the AM4 socket type is quite flexible).

This fairly small and compact entry-level $300 gaming PC build is capable of playable 1080p gaming performance if you don't mind turning down the in-game graphics settings to low or medium, and if you're looking for the absolute cheapest PC build in 2019 to play popular lesser-demanding games like Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, DOTA2, CSGO, etc - then these parts may be all the power you really need. Also, if you turn down your gaming resolution to 720p instead of 1080p, this PC build will really shine. Same goes for playing old PC classics, most indie games, and many emulators.

Let's cut the small talk and get into all the juicy details of the latest recommended 300 dollar gaming PC build for January 2019 which will cover everything you'd likely need to know about planning the optimal gaming desktop on an ultra-budget like this. As with all our recommended best gaming PC builds, use this parts-list exactly as is or as a base for your ongoing hardware research.

See Also: Recommended $400 Gaming PC Build



Full Parts-List & Prices (US, Canada, UK, Australia)



Best Gaming PC Build Under 300 Dollars/Pounds/Euros

Check Price
Graphics Card Integrated (comes with CPU)
CPU AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (3.70 GHz, Quad Core, Ryzen 2nd Gen "Raven Ridge")

  

  
CPU Cooler Stock (again, comes with CPU. CPU also makes your morning toast)
Motherboard MSI B450M PRO-M2 (Micro-ATX, 2 x DDR4 RAM Slots)

  

  
RAM Crucial Ballistix Tactical 4GB (DDR4, 1x4GB, 2666MHz)

  

  
Hard Drive Western Digital Blue 1TB (7200 RPM, 64MB Cache)

  

  
Power Supply EVGA 450 BT (450 Watts, 80 Plus Bronze, Non Modular)

  

  
Case Rosewill FBM-05 (Mini Tower, USB 3.0, mATX or mITX Motherboards)

  

  

Estimated Total:

$292 - $322 (US Dollars)


Note: The parts of the $300 build will usually be the exact same across all 4 countries, but where necessary we'll make any relevant substitutions for Canada, UK, or Australia if a certain part isn't available in a certain country (or if it's too overpriced there).


Order All Parts on Amazon in 1-Click:


(US)

(Canada)

(UK)

(Australia)



Additional Specs & Features Cheatsheet


Wattage (Power Draw) 14W - 87W
RAM Slots 2 (1 slot free)
Max RAM Support 32GB
CPU Overclockable? Yes
Built-in WiFi? No (buy adaptor or higher-end motherboard
Hard Drives Supported 4 x SATA3 Drives (HDD or SSD), 1 x m.2 SSD
VR-Ready? No
Case Fans 1 x 120mm Included (front), 1 x 80mm Included (rear)
Front Panel USB Ports 1 x 3.0, 2 x 2.0
Optical Drive Support? Yes (2 x 5.25" Drive Bays)
Multi-Monitor Support Triple Monitor Support
Case Dimensions 14.96 x 13.86 x 6.89 inches
Motherboard & Case Specs MSI B450M PRO-M2  |  Rosewill FBM-05



Performance & 1080p Low/Medium Benchmarks



Performance Overview:

720p (1280 x 720):

1080p (1920 x 1080):

1440p (2560 x 1440):

VR and 4K:

GOOD

AVERAGE

UNPLAYABLE

JUST..DON'T.

Confused? The above is the average expected performance of this parts-list at different resolutions and refresh-rates when playing a typical, graphically-demanding modern PC game on high/ultra/maxed settings. If you're not sure what refresh-rate your gaming monitor is, chances are it's a standard 60Hz screen. Learn more here: what is the best refresh rate for PC gaming.


Now to what many of you will care about - can you really build a gaming PC for less than $300 and play modern AAA games? What sort of performance can you expect from this entry-level desktop build, and what specific frame rates will you get with the integrated graphics of the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G processor (on stock settings; not overclocked) when paired up with only the measly 4GB of 2666Mhz RAM which is all we could fit in the 300 dollar/euro/pound budget (if you have more to spend on this build, upgrade to 8GB RAM first). 

Overall, the $300 entry-level rig will give you decent, playable performance in 1080p on low/medium settings when running less-demanding titles such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch and CSGO. With more demanding games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Battlefront 2, GTA V and so on you'll need a more powerful system for sure such as the best $400 gaming PC build or the next tier up from that (the $500 gaming PC build), especially if you want to play in 1080p and don't want to drop down to 720p resolution. Ok, let's get into the 1080p gaming benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and 4GB of 2666/2667 MHz RAM (they're the same thing for anyone wondering) based on our research from around the web.


Estimated Average FPS for 1080p (Ryzen 3 2200G, 1x4GB 2666MHz)

1080p LOW Settings

League of Legends:

CS:GO:

Overwatch:

Rocket League:

Fortnite:

DOTA 2:

Minecraft:

PUBG: (needs 8GB RAM)

100-110 FPS

45-55 FPS

50-60 FPS

50-60 FPS

35-45 FPS

60-70 FPS

45-55 FPS

Unplayable

1080p MEDIUM Settings

League of Legends:

CS:GO:

Overwatch:

Rocket League:

Fortnite:

DOTA 2:

Minecraft:

PUBG: (needs 8GB RAM)

85-95 FPS

40-50 FPS

45-55 FPS

35-45 FPS

25-35 FPS

50-60 FPS

45-55 FPS

Unplayable

How We Calculate the Average FPS

The average FPS ratings are an aggregated estimation based on carefully studying multiple online benchmark sources. Note these are averages, meaning that in the most action-packed scenes the frame-rate will go lower. For example, if we list the Witcher 3 average as 50-60FPS, your FPS may drop to 30-40FPS in the most intense scenes, so take that into account in your build planning.

Whilst we do everything we can to make these as accurate as possible, please note there's no guarantee you'll get this exact average as there are different factors that could affect your frame rate such as other hardware differences, software differences (OS, drivers, game patches/versions, etc), cooling/airflow of your build, enabled game features/settings such as Anti-Aliasing, different RAM setups you might be using, and so on. We always err on the side of being conservative with our numbers though, so we'll round things down if we need to instead of rounding up, so you can rest assured our averages are pretty safe bets in terms of what performance you can expect from a certain setup.

Confused About Frame Rates & Game Settings?

What's the Best Frame Rate for PC Gaming?

What's the Best Settings? Is Ultra Worth It?

Not too shabby for an ultra cheap budget of 300 dollars, right? For example, if you're just playing League of Legends or a game of similar performance requirements, this setup will dominate and is all the gaming power you need. It's also fine for plenty of other games assuming you don't mind turning down those graphics settings to low or medium depending on the game. And yes, these estimates are only for 1080p, so if you're willing to play in 720p resolution you'll get much better performance than the above. These parts also work great for most indie games and emulators, too (though check the requirements of course as some indie titles can be demanding).

By the way, for those curious to further their research, here's a video which shows the 2200G + 4GB 2400Mhz benchmarks which also includes a few more games than included above. The results this guy got fits with our further research from analysing other benchmark sources for this hardware setup, but note that we have 2666MHz RAM instead which will get you slightly higher FPS than the video below:



He also compares 4GB vs 8GB memory performance (2400MHz) with a 2200G setup in the vid below if you're curious how much better performance will be with the added RAM. 4GB will get you by for some games, but 8GB is ideal for most AAA games.






Hardware Component Breakdown


$300 PC Build: Recommended CPU (with Integrated Graphics)

ryzen 2200g gaming pc build

When building a budget computer for gaming around $250 - $350, the Ryzen 3 2200G APU is a no-brainer and great bang for the buck

The Ryzen 2200G stays as the best overall value choice for a gaming PC build under $300, and we can't see that changing anytime soon. The 2200G is not only a very decent quad core CPU in its own right, which allows for very capable general/multitasking performance for a while to come, but includes integrated graphics (codenamed Vega) which blow previous integrated graphics solutions out of the water.

For beginners, integrated graphics (technically referred to as iGPUs or APUS) means you don't need a graphics card as its included with the CPU, and in the past they really were to be avoided if you wanted any sort of respectable gaming performance, even in the lower-end/entry-level side of things.

However, these new APUs (AMD Accelerated Processing Unit), namely the 2200G and bigger brother 2400G (included in our next suggested $400 gaming PC build) have changed that and they both provide very decent graphics performance suitable for modern gaming, and good enough to be included in our recommended cheap/budget/entry-level builds from now on.

Ryzen 3 2200G Gaming Performance

Simply put, on a strict budget of around 300 bucks for a new gaming PC build, the Ryzen 3 2200G is a no-brainer, with this 4-core chip clocking in at a very respectable 3.7GHz and delivering excellent value for money graphics, and the 2400G is also an excellent bang for your buck option too.

The latest AMD Ryzen 2200G and 2400G budget CPUs have the best integrated graphics performance we've seen so far as builders

With a Ryzen 3 2200G and its integrated "RX Vega 8" graphics you can expect performance roughly on par with a GT 1030 graphics card if it were paired with a budget CPU. That means real good 720p resolution performance in modern titles and playable/decent 1080p (full HD) on low/medium settings (depending on the game).

It's perfect for older and less-demanding games as well, including many popular eSports, so if you're say building a PC for League of Legends or Dota 2/CSGO/Overwatch, you're good to go with this setup for very decent performance in 1080p (low - medium settings for ideal performance) and excellent frame-rates in 720p.

The Ryzen 3 2200G is also a great option if you want to put together a system now for as cheap as possible, and get a dedicated graphics card later down the track to bolster your 1080p performance further when you save up some more coin, whilst still having a good base to work with in the meantime. The Ryzen AM4 platform is flexible and you could even upgrade to a better Ryzen CPU later on as well.

You also don't need a CPU cooler for this build as the 2200G comes with its own stock cooler, a Wraith Stealth Cooler, which is of quite decent quality and all you need especially if you won't be overclocking this little build. Speaking of overclocking your AMD CPU, the 2200G is unlocked meaning that you can go ahead and squeeze out a little faster performance by doing a little tweaking around should you want to go down that route.

Not generally recommended for first-time builders, but these days overclocking a CPU (or GPU) is quite straightforward to do so don't rule it out even if you're a fairly inexperienced gamer as you can get a little extra performance for very little effort (and no extra money). You could still use the stock cooler for that if you wanted and you're not pushing the chip too far, but it's recommended to get an even better aftermarket CPU cooler if you do end up overclocking.


$300 PC Build: Recommended Motherboard

For an entry-level Ryzen 2200G gaming PC build, you have a few options in terms of choosing a motherboard. You could go for the older A320 or B350 form factor motherboards, which were released for the Ryzen 1 series (we're now at Ryzen 2nd edition models), as these boards will still support these newer 2nd gen Ryzen CPUs with a BIOS update (which should already be done by the manufacturer before they ship the board out to you).

Or you could just get the latest and greatest B450 platform, which is what we've done here for January 2019's $300 build, as the price difference right now isn't much if anything between the older B350 boards and new B450 models. The MSI B450M PRO-M2 is a one of the best bang for your buck models right now, assuming you're okay with only 2 RAM slots. If you want 4 RAM slots instead then see the recommended motherboard in the next recommended $400 gaming PC build.

Also, remember that no WiFi is included on this board (most boards don't have built-in WiFi) so you'll need to get either a wireless PCI-E adaptor card or USB WiFi dongle if you want wireless networking/internet for this build. See the Gaming Builds Hub and FAQ for specific recommendations on these add-ons.


$300 PC Build: Recommended RAM

4GB is OK for an entry-level desktop for older or less-demanding games, but if you're playing demanding modern titles like PUBG you'll need 8GB

When building an entry-level custom computer for less than 300 dollars/pounds/euros, you obviously have to cut costs wherever possible, and that has to extend to your selection of RAM. 4GB is all you can realistically fit into this ultra budget without sacrificing the other parts. Although that's assuming you want to stay under $300, so if you have a tad more to spend on your system and the next $400 build is pushing it too far for your wallet, then get this 2200G build but include 8GB of RAM instead of 4GB. 

However, 4GB will indeed get you by for now if you're just playing older/indie/less-demanding games, gaming in 720p, or if you don't mind playing on low settings in 1080p, and you can always upgrade to 8GB later on if you decide you want or need more. But as explained in the benchmarks for this entry-level build above, for demanding modern AAA titles like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds you're going to need 8GB RAM (but those games aren't what these parts are for). Also, with 4GB you shouldn't expect great multitasking or workstation performance either, so be aware of that if you plan on using this new desktop for a lot of work and you want to be as productive as possible.


$300 Gaming PC Build: Recommended Hard Drive

For the current best gaming PC build under $300 we haven't sacrificed on storage because it's quite affordable to get a nicely-sized 1TB hard drive, and also because of the stellar value of the Ryzen 2200G which frees up the rest of your 300 dollar budget for some decent components. Of course, if you don't need a big 1TB drive, then by all means go for a smaller one to cut costs to either save your money or put that towards something else such as your peripherals (or RAM).

As for the specific HDD (Hard Disk Drive if you're a curious noob) - we've selected Western Digital which is the best in terms of overall reliability and speed for the money, although Seagate is a close second in our opinion so feel free to opt for them if you prefer. It should go without saying though that a Solid State Drive (SSD) doesn't represent enough value for money to be included in such a tight-budget build, but of course feel free to include one if you really want to as it'll slot into this parts-list without issues.


$300 Gaming PC Build: Recommended Case

Wallet-friendly yet decent case that gets the job done and is beginner-friendly

Rosewill have catered really well to budget builders over the years with their excellent value cheap case options, and as of 2019 nothing really has changed in that regard with their entry-level gaming PC cases still well worthy of consideration if all you need is a basic setup. Specifically, the FBM-05 model is one of the better picks among the ultra-budget crowd of cases out there and easily one of the best bang for your buck options for a mini entry level gaming rig like this when you're looking to cut costs as much as humanly possible. Obviously don't expect too much from it, but it gets the job done for a standard gaming build and really doesn't look too shabby either with a simplistic yet clean design.

For such a cheap case the USB 3.0 support is nice (only 1 3.0 port on the front of the case though), as well as 2 built-in case fans (one 80mm and one 120mm) to provide more than enough cooling for the 300 dollar custom build. For under 30 bucks or so, you can't go wrong with this one, and it's also easy to work with as a fresh-faced beginner first-time PC builder. Feel free to pick a different case as pretty much any model out there is going to fit these entry-level PC parts no problem. A decent alternative around the same really low price that we can give the nod ahead for this build would be Rosewill's FBM-X1.

Recommended Alternative Case

Rosewill FBM-X1 Mini Tower Gaming Case



$300 Gaming PC Build: Recommended Power Supply

Last but certainly not least is the PSU (Power Supply Unit for the beginners: no judgin' as we've all been there!), which isn't something you should skimp too much on, even on a super-tight PC building budget of around $300. Avoid making the common rookie mistake of getting a cheap no-name PSU just 'cause it's at the lowest possible price with the logic that it's "just a power supply and so what does it matter".

Whilst your graphics and CPU are obviously the most important components that make up a custom gaming build in terms of what performance you'll get, but what's also important is the fact that a desktop computer build is kinda only as strong as its weakest link, and a bad PSU can become a big problem down the track if it fails and/or potentially damages your other precious parts. Therefore, you always want to choose a good PSU that is at least of decent quality and reliability, so that it won't let your precious parts down and will safely and securely power your new system for years to come.

This doesn't mean you need to spend a lot on a top of the range power supply for a budget build like this, but make sure to consciously choose your PSU instead of just haphazardly picking the cheapest-looking model you find.To reliably power all the components of the best gaming PC build under $300 for this month, we have the cheap yet decent-quality EVGA 450 BT which is 80 Plus Bronze certified for good efficiency. 450 watts of power is also more than enough for the $300 entry-level PC build, with plenty of wiggle room to take into account any common upgrades you may wish to make later (yes, even if you plan on adding a dedicated graphics card to this setup later down the track).


Recommended Operating System & Accessories


Recommended Operating System

For the $300 entry-level gaming PC build, or any of our suggested gaming builds for that matter, we recommend Windows 10 64-Bit (Home or Pro) to the far majority of gamers. Linux is only suggested for advanced users who know what they're doing and exactly why they're opting for Linux over Windows. As for buying Windows 10 for your new entry-level gaming rig, you have various options to go about this:

  • Option C: Buy Windows from Microsoft and download it to an existing computer/laptop, then put it on a flash drive, then use that flash drive when booting up your PC. 


Recommended Optical Drive (optional)

The Rosewill FBM-05 case included in the current best January 2019 $300 gaming PC build does indeed have the option for an optical drive to be installed (it has 2 x 5.25 inch drive bays). So if you want to get one for your setup to play DVDs, CDs, or burn DVDs/CDs (or to install the DVD edition of Windows 10 mentioned above as it's usually cheaper than the flash drive version), this is the cheap yet reliable optical drive we'd use for this build:


Recommended Entry-Level Monitors and Headsets/Speakers

Your $300 gaming PC build isn't going to be of much use without a screen or some audio capability, and these are the cheap entry-level options we'd include for this setup if you don't already have a monitor or headset laying around from a previous build. See our gaming monitor, gaming headset, and gaming speakers guides for all our current top picks of these accessories for all price ranges.


Recommended Entry-Level Keyboard and Mouse

For an entry-level gaming PC build, your aim is to cut costs as much as humanly possible, and this naturally extends to your peripheral choices too should you need to buy these new. We recommend the super cheap yet decent Logitech MK120 Keyboard and Mouse Combo Bundle, or the below separate keyboard and mice on a budget. If you're using this entry-level PC build for eSports and competitive gaming and want the most accuracy, control, and comfort possible then you'll want to spend a bit more on a proper gaming mouse and maybe even a gaming keyboard too with macro keys etc.




Building the $300 Computer & Final Thoughts


Ready to assemble the $300 parts? 

See our photo-filled written guide to installing PC parts or if you prefer video see our latest video tutorial recommendations in the full guide to planning and building your first PC. If it's your very first time, there's nothing to fear as building your own computer is very simple these days, no matter whether it's a 300 dollar budget machine like this or a more high-end system.

When people say building a custom PC is essentially Adult Lego, that's no exaggeration, as it really is just a matter of plugging things in, connecting things, perhaps screwing a couple things in here or there, following some very basic safety procedures, and loading up some software to then follow on-screen instructions.

Conclusion

This wraps up our January 2019 edition of the best gaming PC build under 300 dollars (or 300 euros/pounds for UK builders and a bit higher for readers in Canada and Australia) updated for the current January 2019 market (happy new year) which will suit those who don't have high gaming demands, or if you're simply really strapped for cash and want to build a decent base that you can upgrade later on with say a dedicated graphics card, more RAM, and even a better AMD CPU (the AM4 CPU socket is quite flexible). 

So, to summarize once last time, can you really build a good gaming PC for less than 300 dollars and is it worth it? Yes - assuming you know what you'll be using it for, and what your limitations in performance will be. As with all our monthly gaming desktop builds, all of the above component and accessory recommendations are based on a combination of extensive, objective research and analysis of the current hardware market as well as our own subjective opinion based on over a decade of helping gamers to make smarter purchase decisions.

Good luck with your entry level PC build on a (extreme) budget, and we hope this in-depth PC build guide has helped make things a bit easier. Happy gaming.

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Closest Recommended Prebuilt Desktops


Let's do a quick comparison of the $300 custom gaming PC build versus the best prebuilt gaming desktops that we could find on the current market that have similar specs. We list these prebuilts here for two reasons.

  • Firstly, it can help you to precisely compare how much money you can save building your own system compared to buying a premade computer, as well as the higher level of component quality and reliability that you get when choosing your own parts (if you investigate all the parts of a prebuilt, more often than not the brand/model quality won't be as high as a custom build).
  • Secondly, if you would rather just buy a pre-made PC even if you're aware that 9 times out of 10 it'll cost you more, these are the premade systems we can recommend. We're all for DIY here at BGC, but buying a prebuilt computer isn't the end of the world as some people don't have the time, patience or interest to build their own despite understanding and appreciating the benefits of going DIY.




Next Tier: Current Best Gaming PC Build Under $400


Sources

- MSI B450M PRO-M2 Micro ATX Motherboard Specifications
- ASRock A320M HDV Motherboard Specifications
- Rosewill FBM-05 Mini Tower Computer Case Specifications
- Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200RPM Desktop Hard Drive Specifications
- EVGA 450 BT 80+ Bronze Power Supply Specifications
- Crucial Ballistix Tactical UDIMM DDR4 1X4GB 2666MHz Specifications
- AMD Ryzen 3 2200G APU Specifications





About the Author

A hobbyist game programmer turned hardware enthusiast, Julien "cyberjulz" is the founder of BGC and has kept a keen eye on the latest in DIY gaming ever since starting BGC back in '06 as an almost laughably-basic and brief 20 page site with the aim to make building PCs more accessible to the average gamer since most resources weren't too noob friendly. Over countless reinventions and reiterations to the quality, depth and usefulness of the content over many years the site has steadily grown into the expansive, comprehensive and ever-updated first-time PC builder resource that it is today that now reaches and helps thousands of gamers and power users each month to more easily plan optimal setups for their exact needs. You can learn more about the BGC mission and ways to support it here.


Questions, Feedback & Getting Further PC Build Help

Have a question or enjoyed the article and want to share some feedback, constructive criticism, or report an error to help us keep making BGC the best beginner building resource around? We're listening: feel free to comment or message on our Fanpage or email us here.

For those wanting comprehensive 1 on 1 help with planning the perfect custom build for your specific budget and performance requirements, our personalized parts-list research service might be for you. You send in your build requirements, in as much detail as you like, and we'll get to work to carefully and comprehensively plan the very best PC build for your specific situation to help you save money, stretch your budget as far as possible, and build the ultimate high-performing, well-balanced, reliable and upgrade-friendly system.