Building a Budget Gaming PC for Under $300 2014 – Best Custom Build

Kaveri

Thanks to Kaveri gamers can now build a cheap gaming PC that works well with today’s latest games in 1080p. Older APU options have declined in price as a result, but still make good budget options.

It’s been a while since I’ve written directly on the website, but with changes coming up with not only how often I make videos, but how we interact I thought it’d be a good time to start publishing here once again. This $300 PC should be a good option for those wanting to play modern games in 1080p.

While there are a few games you’ll have to turn settings down on in order to use 1080p I’m still amazed at how far we’ve come in terms of hardware affordability and what you get for your money.

In our last $300 gaming PC build the build went over budget and I opted for a dedicated graphics card. With the recent release of AMD’s Kaveri APU it seems that everything has become just that much more affordable for the PC gamer. For continued updates also be sure to see our post on the best Gaming PC builds for the money, updated monthly.

$300 Gaming PC Build and the Parts for 2014

Finding a Good Processor and Gaming Graphics Card Combo for Under or Around $100

In the under $100 price range you’re definitely limited in terms of what you can afford. That being said with Kaveri’s release coming out should you go with one of the newer APU or one of AMD’s older models?

The AMD A10-5800k really jumps out to me at this price point. For $100 you get a top of the line 2012 Trinity model. That being said for just $20 more you can go with the Kaveri A8 7600. This APU gives you quite a bit more performance on the graphics end, but is not as good of a CPU in terms of raw benchmarks. For pure gaming FPS you’ll still want to go with Kaveri which should see a 20% FPS boost Vs. the flagship Trinity model.

Overall you’ll be fine with either APU, but may want to opt for Kaveri which leads to PCIe 3.0 compatibility and the option to use it in dual graphics mode with AMD’s new R7 240 or 250 graphics cards should you need to upgrade in the future. That being said you won’t want to go into this build with the idea of using dual graphics mode upfront. For now those graphics cards are a bit pricey compared to what you could get for a $200 CPU and dedicated GPU option.

Full Parts List:

Benchmarks for the AMD A8 7600:

As a real world example here’s a look at the kind of FPS you can expect to get from a game like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and another benchmark for Bioshock Infinite.

Gigabyte's FM2+ motherboard, model GA-F2-A75M-HD2, is the perfect mix of quality and durability. It's compatible with the last 3 generations of APU and is PCIe 3.0 compatible when using a Kaveri APU.

Gigabyte’s FM2+ motherboard, model GA-F2-A75M-HD2, is the perfect mix of quality and durability. It’s compatible with the last 3 generations of APU and is PCIe 3.0 compatible when using a Kaveri APU.

Best Budget FM2+ Motherboard 2014

As I mentioned previously Kaveri gives you compatibility with PCIe 3.0; however, it’s only compatible with an FM2+ motherboard. FM2+ is the new socket that’s been released for use with Kaveri but is also backwards compatible with Richland and Trinity.

It’s true that if you go with a Richland model that you could probably save a little money on an FM2 motherboard; however, it’s always a good idea to go for the newer model whenever it’s not completely out of the budget. In this case we can go with in inexpensive $50 board option in Gigabyte’s GA-F2A75M-HD2 motherboard. I’d recommend going with the newer Rev 3.0 for the better looking option.

For the money it’s a good overall value and you get USB 3.0 compatibility, triple monitor support, and a name in Gigabyte that you can trust for quality and durability.

Best Gaming Ram for the Money Under $50 2014

For ram we can only afford 4GB. You’ll certainly want to upgrade in the future, but in the meantime find some inexpensive gaming ram like Kingston’s HyperX that as of this date is around $40.

The Corsair CX 430 is a good 80 Plus budget PSU option for gamers. Find it on rebate for an even better deal.

The Corsair CX 430 is a good 80 Plus budget PSU option for gamers. Find it on rebate for an even better deal.

Best 80 Plus PSU Under $50

For this build I like the CX 430 for it’s budget price and quality. 430 watts is more than enough for a build with an APU and you get efficient power usage that should save you money for years to come. In addition, it’s currently on rebate at Newegg for $25. If it’s not on sale by the time you read this post, then look around for another 80 Plus option similar to this one.

A Good Micro ATX PC Case for the Money 2014

For around $20 to $30 you’ll want to definitely look at Rosewill’s FBM series. Made specifically for Micro ATX it goes well with our motherboard and because it comes with 2 fans should keep our system plenty cool without the need for extra fans.

What’s a Good  Hard Drive for the Money?

Whenever I’m building a budget PC I tend to head for Western Digital’s blue series for the combination of quality and durability. For this build we have around $50 which should be enough for a 500GB version if you look around.

Overall:

Overall this is a solid build that play today’s latest games. Going forward it’s clear that even the budget-conscious PC gamer will get to play in 1080p and we have Kaveri and AMD to thank for it. If you have an suggestions or questions, then please use the open discussion area below. Comments are approved and I usually respond within 24 hours.

Comments

  1. How much a difference is there between this build and say the ps4?
    also with all the upgrades you mentioned is this still in the $300 range or will it fall into a category near the $400 range?

  2. Will the new Kaveri chips crossfire with the Radeons R9 series, particularly the R9 270?

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