This guide will focus on building the best budget performance AMD gaming PC without killing your wallet. While Intel gets a lot of the spotlight these days, AMD has solid components that are budget friendly, and offer compelling performance. I have received quite a few requests lately regarding an AMD gaming PC build for $500-$600. You can get really decent performance with this kind of budget and I will update this post monthly so you get the best deal and best hardware combinations. You want a great AMD gaming PC … so let’s build one ;).
The Thought Process – Budget Performance AMD Gaming PC
When choosing components for any gaming PC build I usually focus my component budget in the following order:
- Graphics Card – most of your budget will be spent on this single component and it is important to your framerate. Try to get the best card for your money while staying within your budget.
- CPU – nothing less than a quad core will do for newer titles, however it has been shown that Intel’s Hyper Threading does increase performance on some of today’s titles.
- Motherboard – you can go cheap here and save some money if you are strapped for cash but I like to have upgrade options. Try not to get too fancy if a new socket design is on the horizon and you plan on upgrading within a year or two.
- Memory – 8 GB is currently the minimum standard for gaming builds and as of today there is no reason to have more than that for gaming.
- Storage – a traditional hard drive is all you really need but get an SSD if your budget allows
- Power Supply – you want to reliably power your components and look to the future if planning on doing SLI or CrossFireX
- Case – this will house all of your components and will play a major factor in keeping them cool. While aesthetics may be important to you, look for a case with good cooling options and cable management to make your build reliable and easy to build.
Though others may have a different logical approach, this one has served me well. So let’s get to the components list for our budget performance AMD Gaming PC Build and a short summary of why I chose each component.
Components – Budget Performance AMD Gaming PC Build
The FX-6300 is based on AMD’s Piledriver architecture and running at 3.5 Ghz (4.1 Ghz turbo), this 6 core beast has a lot of power for the money. With an impressive PassMark score of 6399 it’s right at the level of Intel’s older Sandy Bridge i5 2500K in terms of performance. While offering impressive performance for the dollar, it does however use a lot of juice in the process with a TDP of 95 watts. For overclocking I recommend that you buy a quality power supply and aftermarket cooler to combat the high power draw. This CPU will not bottleneck your graphics card and can be overclocked easily. For the price is an awesome deal for the performance you get.
MOTHERBOARD – GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ AMD 970 ATX AMD Motherboard
The Gigabyte Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 is an awesome choice for price to performance ratio. It is a fully featured ATX motherboard that will allow you to easily upgrade in the future. The board is compatible with CrossFireX and is a great overclocker, allowing you to push the Phenom II x4 965 to the extreme. I have no trouble recommending this board and Gigabyte has always been a reliable choice for gaming motherboards.
Kingston Hyper X memory is stable and fast. I have recommended this memory in quite a few of my builds as the price cannot be beat. It runs cool and can be overclocked fairly easy if you need the extra performance.
The MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC is built around AMD’s awesome 28nm GCN (Graphics Core Next) GPU design. The MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC should play any game at mid/high settings at 1080P while maintaining a very playable frame rate . With 1 GB of fast onboard GDDR5 riding on a 128 bit memory bus it will allow large textures to be loaded and provide stunning visuals. With a great 3 year parts and 2 year labor warranty MSI has hit a sweet spot with a great price to performance ratio.
The Corsair Carbide Series 200R is a mid tower case that has a lot of room and easy cable management. The 200R has two 120mm fans pre-installed and an additional six places to add fans to keep all of your components cool. The case can accommodate graphics cards up to 430mm in length and has room for three 5.25″ and four 3.5″ drives. With it’s great build quality and visual appeal I have no problem recommending this case.
Our AMD gaming PC wouldn’t be complete without a fast primary storage drive to house all of our games and OS. The Seagate Barracuda hard drives are fast and run cool and are very reliable. With a bargain price and a 2 year warranty this drive will be great for our AMD gaming PC.
OPTICAL DRIVE – Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive
Optical drives are on the decline as more and more software is made available in digital download format. You will still need one for OS installations and backing up your media. The Asus 24x DVD-RW drive is a mainstay in all of my builds.
The Corsair CX500 80 Plus Bronze Power supply is just the right size for our budget AMD gaming PC. It will allow us to overclock the processor and GPU with plenty of juice (38A on a single 12V rail) left over. The build quality is typical Corsair and the 80 Plus Bronze rating will help with the power bill. A very quiet power supply at a great price.
|CPU||AMD FX-6300 3.5 Ghz Black Edition||$ 120.00|
|CPU COOLER||N/A||$ -|
|MOTHERBOARD||GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+ AMD 970 ATX AMD Motherboard||$ 75.00|
|MEMORY||Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit||$ 72.00|
|GPU||MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC 1GB GDDR5||$ 125.00|
|CASE||Corsair Carbide Series 200R Compact ATX Case||$ 60.00|
|HARD DRIVE||Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache Hard Drive||$ 68.00|
|OPTICAL DRIVE||Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive||$ 22.00|
|PSU||Corsair Builder Series CX500 500W 80 PLUS POWER SUPPLY||$ 50.00|
Check the links for latest pricing as they can fluctuate daily
The build above is what I would choose if I were to build an AMD Gaming PC with a $500-$600 budget. Check back monthly for updates to this build as new hardware, technologies, and prices change.
Check out the other gaming PC builds for different budgets on TechNutz.com:
So what do you think of this build?