400$ gaming computer build (2014)

The other day, a friend of mine asked me if I could help him build a gaming computer for 400$ or less. Since I loved the idea, I decided to post my final build on this website.

Note: This build does not include an operating system (over a hundred dollars for Windows, free for most Linux distributions) nor does it include a screen, mouse or keyboard. This is only the tower.

Disclaimer: If you try to build this computer and screw something up, we are not to be held responsible. If you’re inexperienced with building computers, look up some tutorials first!

Anyway, enough talking :P, here’s the build:

PartsLinkPrice
CaseNZXT Source 210 S210-001 Computer Case40$
MotherboardASRock FM2A78M-HD+ FM2+ / FM2 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard55$
Optical driveASUS 24X DVD Burner - Black SATA Model - OEM20$
Power SupplyEVGA 500W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply45$
Processor/Video CardAMD A10-6800K Richland 4.1GHz Radeon HD 8670D Quad Core APU120$
RAMG.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory 50$
StorageWestern Digital WD Blue 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM60$
Subtotal390$

Keep in mind that, with taxes and shipping, the price will be slightly above 400$

Why I chose these parts:

Case:

The NZXT Source 210 S210-001 is a pretty basic case (which is what we would expect for 40$). I chose it because it was inexpensive yet offered all the basic options we could want for a 400-500$ Gaming PC. It supports both Micro ATX and ATX motherboards, has an impressive total of 8 Internal 3.5″ Drive Bays and supports 6 fans (1 included with the case) for good airflow. The case is also quite roomy and feels sturdy. It’s biggest drawback is the fact that it looks like something out of the nineties… it’s just plain ugly in my opinion. Nonetheless, for the price, it’s a great case.

Motherboard:

The motherboard is pretty much the most important part of a computer, so you want something good. The ASRock FM2A78M-HD+ is perfect for our budget. It’s inexpensive (55$), supports FM2 and FM2+ APUs (which is necessary for our processor) and has 6 SATA slots. It even supports USB 3.0! What I didn’t like about this board is the fact that there are just 2 memory slots, but for this price, we can’t ask for more.

Optical Drive:

There’s not much to say here, the ASUS 24X DVD Burner is just a standard DVD drive, which is all we’ll need for this computer. If you ever wish to turn this build into a HTPC (Home theater PC), then you can switch this drive for a BLU-ray one, but this is unnecessary for gaming.

Power Supply:

This computer is not particularly power hungry, so the 500W EVGA power supply will be more than enough. This model is reliable, inexpensive and relatively efficient with it’s 80 PLUS rating. Also, if you ever wish to upgrade this computer, then the EVGA 100-W1-500-KR should still be able to pump out enough power.

CPU/Video card:

Had we had a bigger budget, I definitely wouldn’t have chosen an AMD APU for this computer. Unfortunately though, there’s not much we can do with 400$. This being said, the A10-6800K is surprisingly powerful. It boasts an impressive 4.1GHz quad-core processor and a reasonable Radeon HD 8670D GPU. Furthermore, this unit has an unlocked multiplier, so it’s easy to overclock. This being said, If you have a higher budget, I recommend that you replace this APU with a CPU+Video card combo. You’ll get much better performance with something like a Radeon HD7770 and an Intel Core i3-4130. Keep in mind though that, if you decide to use a different processor/GPU combo, you’ll also need a different motherboard!

RAM:

You really can’t get less than 4 Gigabytes of RAM nowadays. This being said, gaming doesn’t usually require that much memory (unless you’re running a 150 slot Minecraft server ;)). These two G.SKILL Ripjaws units should be enough for most games. It’s good quality ram that runs at 1600 MHz and comes with a nice heatsink. All-in-all, it’s just about perfect for this build.

Storage:

With games getting constantly bigger, you’ll need lots of hard drive space. This Western Digital Blue drive offers a respectable 1TB of disk space at a reasonable price. It also has pretty good read/write speeds, although if you really want speed, go for an SSD. If you feel like 1TB isn’t enough, you can always buy two of these drives.

Conclusion:

This article shows that, even with a very tight budget, you can still get decent performance. This 400$ gaming computer build will be able to play most games at reasonable settings. If you think you could get better performance by using different parts, feel free to let us know in the comment section down below!

Also, keep in mind that you’re probably better off spending 500-600$ on your computer. You’ll get much better performance than this build for just a slight increase in price.

I hope you enjoyed this article and, as always, have a nice day!

-Icosebyte