Can You Build a Good Gaming PC for $500?

With all new parts, you can build a good gaming PC that will handle most games you can throw at it for $500. But you can squeeze out even more performance when you start shopping for after-market parts.

My name is Ry Robinson. I have been in IT for a few years. But before pursuing this as a career, I was an at-home PC builder and even began a venture where I built PCs for people within strict price ranges.

I hope that with my knowledge of the PC building world, I can assist you in helping you get up and running with a powerful, affordable gaming PC. 

Let’s boot up and get into this 

Key Takeaways

  • You can build a solid gaming computer with all new parts within the $500 range.
  • The market for PC parts is constantly fluctuating, so sometimes is better to buy than others.
  • Shopping through after-market options like eBay can open up more opportunities with the used price market. 

Building a Good Gaming PC With New Parts

Building a PC can be a nerve-wracking and daunting task to take on. But if you’re fully equipped with brand-new hardware, some courage, and a little know-how, you’ve got this in the bag. 

There is a multitude of things that could go wrong in the building and boot-up process, including faulty hardware. If you want to limit this being a factor, buying brand-new parts is the way to go. The parts will cost more, but the peace of mind is what you are paying a bit extra for.

There are a lot of components that go into a PC to make it work, and making sure the parts you get are compatible is mandatory. Luckily when shopping, there are amazing sites that will only show you. 

PCPartPicker is a great site to use to see comparable parts as well as pricing on their “builder” section.

Going through the PC part picker, I assembled a gaming PC that would net great performance for the price. You can see the part list here! Due to the fluctuation in pricing, the total cost may vary, but as of 1/16/2022, the price is $525. A little over budget, but makes up for it where it counts.

The RX 580 is a powerhouse of a graphics card for the price point and when paired with the i3 10100f, you have a great combo, with room for upgrades later on. The 16GB of RAM will give us that much-needed head room to handle some newer titles.

The performance of this combination will get you 60FPS on most modern AAA titles, and with some of the graphical settings tweaked, you should be able to play almost any game you can throw it this PC with little to no issue at all. Click this to view more of the GPU’s performance details!

The image below shows the average performance you will get with this GPU+CPU combo.

Using After-Market/Refurbished Parts to Build a Good Gaming PC

The safer option is to use all new parts due to the parts coming from reputable brands/sites, with fair return policies and warranties. But if you are willing to gamble, using eBay or other sites to get used and refurbished parts, might just pay off. 

I have priced out another pc using solely eBay, and the price to performance is even better. This once again comes just a tiny bit above the budget at $512. 

The RAM and Power Supply have stayed the same. But every other component has been improved upon in some way, while still keeping the price very similar. The RTX 2060 is normally about $300 plus new. But this Refurbished card will cut that down a bit.

The RTX 2060 when put up against the RX 580 in the all-new build, performs a great deal 

Better. Boasting 30-50 more frames in most games, and overall, 74% faster. Which can be seen below!

The performance boosts can be seen when looking at how most AAA games perform at 1080p and even 1440p. If you want to take an in-depth look at this GPU+CPU combo, click this link. You can see that at max or high settings, this card will perform admirably.

Final Thoughts

In this day and age, it is more than possible to build a great gaming PC for $500. Gone are the days of ludicrous PC part prices, it is finally possible to get a console-priced gaming PC that performs extremely well under heavy load.

Building with all new, and trusted parts is the best course of action if this is one of your first times building a computer, but if you are willing to trust refurbished parts and random unknown sellers, the price to performance is unmatched.

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