Best $400 Gaming PC Build (2020 Ultimate Budget Guide)

Looking for the best $400 gaming PC? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Not only are we going to help to show you how to build a fantastic PC on a tight budget, but we’re also going to provide you with support along the way!

If you’re interested in seeing other price points of pc builds, check out our overall listing of PC builds.

We also have an even more in-depth article discussing PC builds ranging from $200-600, and we included a unique upgrade path that isn’t normally discussed. See our new article about our cheap gaming PCs here.

The Build

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Thermaltake VERSA H15

  • Turbo fan coolng system
  • 120mm rear fan included
  • Compatible with a 240mm radiator liqyid cooling system
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Thermaltake Smart 500W

  • 500W continuos output
  • Multipl PCIE 6 supported connectors
  • Volt rail (+12)
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Gigabyte Geforce GT 1030

  • 150mm card length
  • 2GB GDDR5/64-bit memory
  • AORIS graphics engine
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AMD Ryzen 1200 W/ Wraith Cooler

  • 3.4 GHz precision boost
  • Quad core CPU
  • VR ready system
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ASUS PRIME A320M-K

  • AMD Ryzen AM4 7th-gen Athlon processor
  • Proprietary SafeSlor Core PCIe slots
  • Optmized fan controls
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PATRIOT 8 GB DDR4

  • Data rate of 2400MHz
  • Dual in-line memory module
  • Lifetime warranty
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WD Blue 1TB

  • Acronis True Image cloning software
  • 2 year warranty
  • 2+TB cpacities
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The Ultimate $400 Gaming PC Budget Build 

$400 might not seem like a lot, but you’d be surprised as to how good of a PC you can get. This type of system isn’t able to run new games on ultra settings, but it can handle breakout titles like Fortnite or Apex Legends without breaking a sweat.

Thankfully we’re out of the cryptocurrency craze, allowing us to build a PC that would’ve cost upwards of $500+ for under $400!

With a build like this, you should expect to play most newer titles on medium settings. This includes graphically demanding AAA gaming titles such as The Witcher 3 or Sekiro Legends Die Twice. As we stated earlier, this game mops the floor with battle royales and other graphically demanding games like Minecraft. You should expect medium to high quality while getting a consistent 60FPS when playing these types of games.

If you like playing the latest games on ultra settings, check out our other builds that are more expensive, as that is not what this build is for. 

With that being said, with this $400 build, you’re still getting something more powerful than most consoles and can play any new game out there.

All right, no time to wait around! Let’s get into the $400 ultimate budget build that’s going to dominate!

The Build Breakdown

Here's what you need to know:

Case

The Thermaltake Versa H15 Mini-Tower Case is a well-built case for a solid price. Many cheaper cases have a mediocre look to them, but the Versa H15 looks like a gaming computer worth another $30 on top of its actual price! Not only does it look nice, but you’re also getting something that’s well-built and is designed with airflow in mind.

This deal is also sweetened with Thermaltake’s three-year warranty, which protects you from any potential risk. Honestly, the Versa H15 is a no-brainer for people on a tight budget and that makes it a perfect candidate for this build.

Check out some of our other cases.

Power Supply

Thermaltake makes some of the most affordable, yet high-quality power supplies for computers, so it’s no surprise they’d be one of the top choices. We chose the 500-watt Thermaltake power supply for this build and It should power everything just fine. Even with its low price, the case remains highly efficient maintaining 80% efficiency. Thermaltake also gives you a three-year warranty with the purchase of this power supply

The Thermaltake 500-watt power supply isn’t anything special, but for those on a budget, this is something that to consider one of your top choices, as it offers insane value for the price and is an essential edition to this $400 gaming PC build.

Video Card

Yep, this is the star of the build and the reason why this build can still play on such good settings, even though it is so cheap. The GTX 1030 is an awesome little graphics card that we consider the best entry level 1080p graphics card on the market at the moment. This little card can be used to play most modern games on high settings at 1080p, making it an awesome card to have. If you are not gaming at 1080p, then this thing will perform even better, but we still recommend 1080p, if you have a monitor capable of it.

Processor

While the Ryzen 1200 is a quad-core processor, It beats out anything Intel has in the same budget range and is quite honestly the best budget CPU on the market right now. It’s part of AMD’s new Ryzen generation series and, man does it impress. While processors are very important when it comes to gaming, the main thing is getting a processor that won’t bottleneck the CPU and the G4400 is more than powerful enough for the GTX 1050.

Motherboard

The Asus 320M-K motherboard of this build is an awesome micro-ATX board that is very affordable, but still gets the job done. The motherboard complements the processor very well and there are no compatibility issues. For AMD, it’s the best budget motherboard on the market at the moment and easily competes with motherboards at a higher price-range.

RAM

Eight GBs of RAM are absolutely essential. That’s why, even though we’re working with a tight budget, we had to include this. You could cheap out and go for 4GB’s of RAM, but that would be a major mistake! RAM stands for Random Access Memory and it’s what your PC uses to keep tasks running quickly. The more RAM, the more demanding things you can run. Most games use around three to four GBs of RAM nowadays.  No matter how good your PC is, if it runs out of RAM, it’ll lag out on you. The RAM for this build is Patriot’s 2x 4GB option. It’s not the best RAM in the world, but it gets the job done at an affordable price

Hard Drive

Western Digital is easily a favorite hard drive maker. They provide some of the best prices on value hard drives that are also extremely reliable. This $400 gaming PC build features WD’s 1TB hard drive. This hard drive will provide enough space to play many games and should last you for a long time. If not, Western Digital offers a two-year limited warranty you can work with.

If you want to save even more, you could go down to a 500GB hard drive in the beginning and then get another hard drive when you have more money in the future. We recommend just getting the 1TB hard drive though.

Why Did We Exclude an Optical (CD) Drive?

We excluded the optical drive because there is no real need for one anymore. This piece is definitely not essential to building a gaming PC any longer.  This build is already very tight, so in order to get more performance, we decided an optical drive just wasn’t worth it. 

Recommended Peripherals

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Acer SB220Q IPS Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor

  • 21.5" HD widescreen display
  • Radeon free sync technology
  • 75Hz refresh rate
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Redragon S101 Combo

  • 25 non-conflict keys
  • Gold plated, anti-corrosive USB connector
  • Wired gaming mouse included
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HyperX Cloud Stinger

  • Brand signature memory foam
  • Lightweight
  • Multi-platform compatibility
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You can’t use that new PC of yours to its full potential if you don’t have a few peripherals (accessories). Here are a few peripherals we would recommend getting. Keeping in mind that this is a budget build we are trying to keep the cost low, but just like getting a TV with a console and a good stereo, you still need to pay a significant amount to get a complete package. The good thing is, once you do get these, they will last you for a good deal of time before you need to upgrade.

Acer SB220Q bi 21.5 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor (HDMI & VGA port),Black

Specs

  • 21. 5 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display
  • Radeon Free Sync technology. No compatibility for VESA Mount

This is the best 1080p budget monitor out there. Made by Acer, a very reputable company, this monitor is 21.5 inches in length and weighs about four pounds. For the price, you really can’t go wrong due to amazing color contrasts amazing brightness and the matte display. If you are looking to get a 1080p monitor on a budget, this is the one to get.

Redragon S101 Wired Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo RGB Backlit Gaming Keyboard with Multimedia Keys Wrist Rest and Red Backlit Gaming Mouse 3200 DPI for Windows PC Gamers (Black)

Specs

  • PC Gaming Keyboard and Gaming Mouse Combo: Includes Redragon RGB Backlit Computer Gaming
  • RGB Backlit Gaming Keyboard; 7 different RGB Lighting Modes & Effects, 4 Backlight Brightness

The Redragon S101 Combo is probably the best budget keyboard and mouse you are going to find. One thing Redragon knows how to do is make combos, and when you are getting an LED set that actually feels better than some $80 combo sets, that says something. The keys feel very responsive and as though you are using a high-tier gaming keyboard. The mouse has different levels of DPI (sensitivity of the mouse) making this very customizable. We 100% recommend this combo set if you are on a budget.

HyperX Cloud Stinger - Gaming Headset – Comfortable HyperX Signature Memory Foam, Swivel to Mute Noise-Cancellation Microphone, Compatible with PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Mobile Devices

Specs

  • Lightweight headset with 90-degree rotating ear cups
  • 50 millimeter directional drivers for audio precision

First of all, this is a really stylish headset. The Mpow EG3’s Gaming Headset is definitely eye candy, but what’s most important in a gaming headset is the sound quality and the mic. The sound quality of this headset is loud and very clear, which provides an overall dynamic experience. The mic is also good and clear, with low static. Overall this headset is good, but what really sets it apart is its very low price. If you are looking for a nice, stylish budget headset, then this is it.

For those of you who aren’t going to be using an Ethernet cable and are looking for an affordable Wi-Fi adapter, we recommend the Netgear NightHawk wireless USB adapter. For the price, it’s a really good deal, considering adapters that provide much slower speeds cost more than the NightHawk. It’s reliable and will allow you to connect to the internet and play games (specifically online ones) with zero to no connection based lag.

Operating System Options

Ok, now it’s time to talk about operating systems. So what are operating systems? Operating systems are basically software that manages computer hardware and also provides different services. There are many operating systems, but the biggest ones available are Windows and Ubuntu (Linux). These are both good choices, but for the most people, Linux will not be sufficient, as it is an Open source program and Windows will be the choice for most users. Since most of you are new to PC building, we will briefly go through each program and why you should or shouldn’t go with it.

Ubuntu (Linux)

Linux is free and if you are on a budget, this might be what you want to go with. The one problem with Linux has been that it is not widely supported by game makers at the moment (although this is changing quickly due to Steam releasing an OS based on Linux!). It is also very technical and can easily become overwhelming if you allow it to.

Windows

Windows is a familiar program that everyone knows and chances are you’ve already used it before. This is probably the go-to for most people. The main reason to get this OS is because of all games being made for Windows, but with popularity comes problems in the form of viruses and Trojans that you need to pay attention to.

Windows 7, 8, or 10?

We recommend getting Windows 10. Not only does Windows 10 offer many gaming improvements over its predecessors, it’s also the best-looking OS out of the bunch. Support for older versions also decreases as the world begins to move to newer operating systems.

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Windows 10 USB Version

  • Produce 3D objects easily
  • Improved gaming capabilities
  • Comprehensive systems protections
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Windows 10 Disc Version

  • New and improved start menu
  • Downloadable apps that work across platforms
  • Fast & responsive technology
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What You Need to Build a PC

  • Screwdriver
  • (Optional) Static Wrist Band
  • Some Guidance…

As long as you don’t build your PC on a carpet, your PC should be just fine without the use of a static band.

How to Build a PC

Here is a video you can use as a reference when putting this gaming PC together. It’s very easy to follow and concise. 

Conclusion

This is an awesome build and we hope this $400 budget gaming build really helps you make an awesome PC for the price of a console. If this build isn’t what you are looking for, you can always check out our other gaming builds. Good luck!