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Building a gaming PC under 300 dollars can be a tough task but thanks to AMD’s impressive range of APU’s, we were able to do so while still achieving decent entry-level performance. At the heart of this build sits AMD’s entry-level APU, the 3200G. It comes equipped with Vega 8 graphics, which are surprisingly good at handling low-intensive games such as CS:GO and Fortnite.
Let’s quickly go over what this build has to offer in terms of performance and features, and while we’re at it, let’s discuss some of the roadblocks we encountered and why we ended up choosing the hardware we concluded with.
Watch Our Best $300 Gaming PC Build
One of the main goals for the $300 custom build was to create a gaming PC that could handle AAA titles while remaining under $300. No easy task I’m sure you’ll agree. However, thanks to the excellent value of AMD’s APU range, we were able to achieve this goal by opting for their entry-level APU, the 3200G.
The 3200G was pretty much the only APU we could go for and remain under budget, but that wasn’t a bad thing. By opting for an APU, we no longer had to worry about the cost of a standalone GPU. This means we could bolster other areas of this build like RAM.
Let’s be honest, you aren’t buying this build if you’re looking to play AAA games in 4K/ultra settings. This build is tailored towards low-intensive games such as CS: GO, Fortnite, and Overwatch. The APU should be able to churn out 60+FPS on these games on low-medium settings.
An APU, for those wondering, is an accelerated processing unit that comes with its own integrated graphics built-in. Unlike Intel CPUs, an AMD APU comes with VEGA graphics, which is much more powerful. The 3200G comes with VEGA 8 graphics that showcase similar performance levels to a GT 1030. So, not bad.
The integrated graphics of an APU fully depend on your system’s RAM when in use. For that reason, equipping your build with fast RAM is essential when trying to achieve maximum performance out of your APU.
How We Choose
Our team has years of experience behind them building PCs for a range of needs and budgetary requirements. All this knowledge combined with hours of research, user feedback, and onsite benchmarking is what goes into choosing the best components for our builds.
We look for value for money, how the components perform together, and focus on gamer’s needs to make sure our builds are the best for your buck.
We build all these PCs ourselves, in-house, so trust us when we say we want to make them as good as possible. We actually use all these builds ourselves day-to-day in the WePC offices.
How We Test
We build each of our selected PC’s from scratch to make sure all the parts we recommend work well together, fit into the selected case, and provide the best performance possible for the price range.
Once built, the PCs are used in the office for everyday work as well as a range of games from light to heavy-duty. While we test, we also run benchmarking tests to see how well our builds perform, all while keeping an eye on the temperature of the components themselves.
We tested our AMD builds against their Intel counterparts and found that these CPUs performed better across the board, and for a lower price. This is why we only recommend an AMD version.
NOTE: Due to the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are experiencing stock issues. WePC constantly updates our pages to reflect current availability, so if the PC or part you want shows as out of stock, check back later or check out these alternatives.
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Our Recommended Custom Build Details
This entry-level gaming system is designed to be the best 300 dollar gaming PC money can buy. FPS may not be very high, but this system should give you a perfectly enjoyable gaming experience overall, especially for esports titles.
Our $300 AMD Custom Gaming PC Build
The best custom built gaming PC for under $300 does exactly what it says on the tin. It offers up low-end gaming performance for people who are restricted financially. At this price range, we’ve opted for one of AMD’s latest APUs – the 3200G. Whilst this isn’t the most impressive CPU out there, it’s certainly one of the best when it comes to price/performance. It will be able to play older generation games at playable frame rates, including CS:GO, LOL, and Rocket League. Despite most of the components within this build being fairly entry-level, this build will still provide many budding gamers with the opportunity to try out some of the last generation’s best games.
AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
3.6GHz - 4.0GHz
The Ryzen 3 3200G showcases excellent value for money and dominates the competition in this price bracket. With the release of the Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs, we see AMD – for the first time in years – finally competing with Intel on a value and gaming spectrum. The recent drop in price, combined with its impressive performance, makes the 3200G one of the best value-for-money products available today. It comes equipped with Vega 8 integrated graphics that showcase similar performance to that of the GT 1030. This, in turn, means you have the ability to run low-intensive AAA games at 50+FPS in low/med settings. Perfect for any entry-level PC build.
GIGABYTE B450M DS3H V2
The Gigabyte B450M motherboard is an entry-level board that offers excellent features at an affordable price point. It’s the perfect starter to any entry-level build and comes equipped with Ryzen 1st/2nd/3rd Gen support, up to 3,600MHz RAM support, and the reliability that comes with buying Gigabyte products. Furthermore, an M.2 slot is available for users wanting to upgrade down the road. Overall, one of the best motherboards for gamers looking for an affordable platform to build off.
Patriot Viper Steel Series DDR4 8GB (2 x 4GB) 3200MHz
8GB (2 x 4GB)
We’ve gone for Patriot Viper Steel DDR4 8GB 3200MHz RAM for our $300 build, as it offers excellent performance at a relatively affordable price tag. It’s pretty much the perfect pairing for the Ryzen 3 3200G. With 8GB at your disposal, you are in a great spot to begin with and when you start to get bottlenecked, you can upgrade this with a further 8GB.
Crucial BX500 240GB
Zalman S2 ATX Mid Tower
The Zalman Z2 ATX PC Case isn’t going to win any awards for style, but this entry-level case still has a lot to offer. Zalman has equipped it with a pre-installed 120mm fan, giving you some cooling straight out of the box. Although this build will never overheat, Any other additional fans will allow you to produce a fully-fledged airflow solution for even lower temps when the build is under stress. It’s a compact case with a sleek and refined aesthetic. You can’t ask much more from a case offering at this price, but if you do find yourself wanting something a little different, you can check out our best PC case recommendations here.
EVGA 450 BR
EVGA’s 450W PSU is perfect for this build as it provides an efficient power source at an affordable price point. It even allows for small upgrades down the road if that’s what you’re looking to do. Unfortunately, we had to go for the non-modular option to stick within the price constraints, meaning cable management will be more difficult, but still very achievable come build time. That being said, we did save a decent amount of money on this PSU, which went towards a much better RAM kit. If you are curious to know which PSUs we recommend overall, you can find them on our best gaming power supplies page right here.
Our Best $300 Prebuilt Gaming PC Recommendations
Now, you may have gotten this far and have decided you just aren’t quite ready to take the step into custom PC building. And that’s OK! For those people, we’ve scoured the web to find relevant prebuilt options that will offer the same performance as our custom build.
We do weekly checks on our prebuilt recommendations to make sure they are in line with our custom build. If we find a more powerful prebuilt option or the current one goes out of stock, we will replace it with a like-for-like product.
Below are several respectable prebuilt PC solutions that are as close to the custom build in both performance and price. Be aware, though; you do pay a premium when opting for a prebuilt.
Allied Desktop PC
AMD Athlon 3000G
AMD Radeon Vega Graphics
8GB DDR4 2666MHz
What Games Can This $300 Custom Gaming PC Run?
This build will provide 60FPS in all competitive online titles, however, if you are looking to play more demanding titles, then you would have to look at the $500 build to achieve 60FPS and above. Additionally, the dedicated graphics card and a more powerful CPU would allow you to raise the graphical settings and resolution in all titles. Looking at demanding single-player games such as The Witcher 3, you would be looking at 30FPS at 900p, but well-optimized titles like Forza Horizon 4 allow for 50FPS at 1080p and still look incredible even on Very Low graphical settings.
Things To Consider
One of the main things you need to consider at the start of your custom PC build journey is your budget. A lot of people come to us expecting to splash $300 on a custom build that can smash 4k games at 100fps. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Our $300 build has been custom designed to play less intensive esports games such as CS: GO, DOTA 2, and LoL. Understanding the limitations of your budget at the start will save you a bunch of time in the long run.
It’s worth mentioning that Amazon prices do fluctuate regularly. So, this means the builds might not always be under the intended target. Don’t worry, though; we check the builds daily to make sure the most up-to-date and best value products are being selected.
Upgradability And Future-Proofing
Another area to consider when building your own PC is future upgrades. Let’s be honest; a PC won’t last you forever. At some stage, you will need to upgrade its components. Making sure you limit the number of products that need updating when that day comes is a major part of the hardware selection process.
Luckily, we’ve already done that for you. This build comes with an up-to-date motherboard, which is perfect for future upgrades. The case is also a solid option that will allow for GPU and additional storage capacity upgrades, as well.
Overclocking has become increasingly more achievable in the last ten years, mainly thanks to the quality of the hardware becoming much more overclocking friendly. It’s a great way of extracting additional performance at no extra cost.
This build is set up for light overclocking and will respond if you choose to do so. However, it must be noted that Ryzen chips are extremely well-optimized out-of-the-box. Gaining significant performance increases is probably a thing of the past, for now.
Ease Of Building
As a first-time builder, it’s always a bit daunting having to physically build your rig, especially if the case isn’t builder-friendly. Always do your research on the case, making sure it’s the right size for your components.
We used a PC building toolkit during this build and recommend you do the same to help make the entire process go that bit smoother. Also worthy of consideration is an anti-static wristband that can be purchased for next to no additional cost.
Another key area to consider is the non-gaming side of a PC build. A large number of gaming enthusiasts will design a build around both gaming and workstation tasks. You’ll be glad to hear that we’ve done the same.
This build can handle small workload tasks thanks to its multi-threaded performance. Simple video editing and photo editing should be more than achievable, albeit slow. If you’re looking to stream, then you’d be better served with one of our premium builds instead.
Aesthetics are always important in a custom build because, ultimately, you want your build to look the best it can. However, just like the performance, aesthetics usually have a direct impact on the cost of the build.
Unfortunately, PC cases at this end of the scale leave quite a bit to be desired when it comes to aesthetics. There are a bunch of stylish cases out there; you just need to increase your spends to accommodate for one.
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Best Prebuilt Gaming PC Brands
Every recommended prebuilt gaming PC in this article is from a reputable manufacturer. You are probably wondering how we know what the best gaming PC brands are? Well, we have done our research and purchased PCs from these brands.
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Upgrade Options for $300 Custom Gaming PC
So, you like the build, but it doesn’t quite have the performance power to handle the games you want to play? Well, don’t worry. Below are our most recommended upgrade options that will boost your in-game performance exponentially. The products below are fully compatible with the above build and can be swapped out with no ramifications.
Remember, the upgrades will increase the base price of your custom build.
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
3.6Ghz - 4.2Ghz
Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM
MSI Radeon RX 570 ARMOR 8G OC
8 GB GDDR5
Memory Bus Width
Operating System & Peripherals
Note: These will raise the price of your build!
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the custom build and the hardware it comes with. One thing we haven’t really discussed, however, is the physical building of this PC. If you’re new to the PC building game, then I would recommend checking out our 12 Mistakes that Every Newbie PC Builder Makes article. Furthermore, our 15 Common Questions About Building a PC should answer the most frequently asked questions first-time builds have.
Below are some of our best building tips for new and old builders alike.
How To Build A PC
Never built a PC before? Let us guide you through everything you need to build your first PC, even if you’re a complete beginner!