Build a $300 Gaming PC 2014 Best Custom Desktop
Best $300 Budget PC Build 2014
I'm a home theater and PC enthusiast who likes to have everything at my fingertips. In my opinion a home theater PC is better than any streaming player out there simply because it gives me the flexibility to do what I want. In this post I'll cover how I'd put together a super inexpensive PC that can be used as a home theater PC as well as for work at home and light gaming. Overall I feel it's a good build and you might just be surprised at what you can get for that price.
Choosing the Right Hardware for Your Build
Going in to this I knew I was going to have to have certain components in order to make this a really functional build. While this may change depending on what you plan on using it for there are a few things that I highly recommend you budget for. For example I knew that I wanted at least 4GB of ram and a decent APU that would allow me to save money by combining the CPU and GPU purchase together while still giving me the performance I needed to do light gaming and use my rig as a HTPC. An additional money-saving consideration would be to purchase a case that comes with a power supply.
Best APU Graphics Card and Processor Under $100 2014
In this price range it makes a lot of sense to go with one of AMD's APU options as purchasing your graphics card and CPU separately would cost considerably more.
This is the one I'm going for with this build in the $100 range. Technical details include; 4 cores, 3.0Ghz operating frequency, 4MB L2 cache, DirectX 11-capable graphics, AMD Radeon HD 6550D integrated graphics, and it includes a 3 year parts and labor warranty.
Best Motherboard Under $50
The rebate Available takes this item to 45.99. Technical Details include; micro ATX form factor, 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16, 4 x SATA 3Gb/s, 8 Audio channels, 4 x usb 2.0 on board, Rear Panel Ports include; D-Sub + DVI, 4 x USB 2.0, 3 audio, and 2 PS/2. A 3 year parts and labor warranty from Gigabyte is also included.
Best DDR3 Ram / Memory Under $25
It's amazing how much ram has come down in the last couple of years and it really benefits this build to grab just around 4GB. I suggest you go with the Corsair XMS3.
Technical Details; DDR3 1333 speed, 9-9-9-24 timing, XMS Heat Spreader, and includes a lifetime limited parts and labor warranty.
Best Hard Drive Under $60
If you have a little extra cash you can easily upgrade one of the drives below to 1TB for just around $20. That being said many people don't need a drive larger than 500GB so this is an easy way to keep yourself in budget.
Best DVD Drive Under $20
A DVD drive doesn't have to be fancy and there are many options in the $20 or under range that will do a more than adequate job.
Best HTPC and Gaming Cases Under $40
The type of case you get will be determined by both your personal preference and what type of PC you are building. Those wanting simply a HTPC might consider going with a minimalist looking case while those wanting a personal or gaming computer may want something larger that they can upgrade.
This is the perfect case for a media center build.
Not as sturdy as the NZXT above but not as expensive either.
Best Power Supply Under or Around $30
While an 80 Plus certified power supply would be ideal it's simply not viable for this build. Still, I recommend you using a brand that is durable and will last you a long time.
How much power do you need?
While 400 watts should be more than enough for any build at this price level it's always a good thing to know exactly how much power your PC will use as power supplies are more efficient when they are at a higher load (overall percentage of usage). Check out Thermaltake's PSU calculator to get a very good idea of what your usage will be.
$300 Custom PC Build Summary
In conclusion here's what I actually ended up going for:
AMD APU model A8-3870k: - $90
Gigabyte GA-A55M-DS2 FM1 Socket Motherboard: $45.99 (after rebate)
4GB XMS3 Corsair DDR3 Memory: $22.99
Western Digital 320 GB Hard Drive: $67.93
Sony AD-7280S-0B DVDRW Drive: $17.99
NZXT Source 210 PC Case: 39.98
Cooler Master eXtreme Plus S500-PCARD3-US: 32
Total Price: $298.94
Success in your build and don't forget to leave a comment below and check out my other PC related posts. Cheers!