If you want to play most of the modern titles on a Gaming PC for under $400, then you will be happy to know that it is totally possible. 400 dollars may not be enough to max out graphics but it is certainly sufficient to have good eye candy without compromising much on the performance.
We know that it is difficult to keep up with the latest PC hardware releases and researching for a good configuration can be exhausting. You don’t need to do that as we have already prepared for you the list of best PC parts for this awesome $400 gaming PC. We keep our listed parts updated regularly to give you the best possible configuration for the money and at the same time, we try to make the build easily upgradable in the future.
What is a Gaming PC?
A Gaming PC essentially is a Desktop Computer that specializes in playing video games through the help of its configuration which consists of components powerful enough to render intensive graphics in games. A Gaming PC generally has the same components as the standard desktop PC except that its Processor and Graphics Processing Unit are significantly more powerful than the standard desktop.
A Gaming PC mainly uses 7 different components that are- Processor, GPU, RAM, Motherboard, Storage Drive, Power Supply, and PC Case with some having additional components such as aftermarket CPU coolers, Caes fans, and expansion cards for a more feature-rich gaming PC.
Is $400 Good For a Gaming PC?
$400 is adequate for those who are looking to get decent framerates at 1080p without going too hard on the graphical settings. With this PC, you can expect decent performance on low-medium settings in most AAA titles and on up to high settings in esports games such as CSGO, Fortnite, Valorant, LOL, etc. Fps will range from 40-70 depending on the title and the settings used but overall, it is easier to get this much performance without having major dips.
In 2022, $400 doesn’t give you a lot of options to choose from especially in the GPU category. We have limited budget CPUs and GPUs that can fit into this budget as a lot of money is invested into other PC hardware such as RAM, Motherboard, PSU, Storage, and Case. Fortunately, we have APUs as well that bring both CPU and GPU on the same chip and perform just as good as a dedicated budget GPU.
For this build, we will be looking at what we can get for this budget and what will be the best for you.
Parts list For $400 Gaming PC
Processor and GPU
There is no better APU than the Ryzen 5600G for under $200. Being a powerful 6-core APU, it completely eliminates any need for an entry-level GPU as well. Ryzen 5600G is based on the Zen 3 architecture that is faster in IPC compared to the Zen 2-based previous-gen APUs. It features 6 cores and 12 threads clocked at 3.9/4.4GHz of base/boost frequency and supports overclocking too. This makes it an excellent choice for a budget build well as a mid or high-end gaming PC.
The iGPU on the chip is the Vega 7 which features 7 GPU cores and a core clock speed of 1900MHz. Vega 7 is generally more powerful than some of the current budget GPUs under $100 like the Nvidia GT 1030. Vega 7 can play almost any game at 1080p with low to medium settings and with constant 40+ fps. For games that are less graphical intensive or are old, medium settings should be the choice.
As the APU is also overclockable, you can increase the core clocks of both the CPU and the GPU to have a good impact on the performance. For this, we recommend using the Ryzen Master software as it helps overclock, the CPU, GPU, and RAM as well. To know exactly how much performance you are going to get in different games, watch the video below.
CL Timings- 16-18-18-35
Corsair Vengeance 8GB RAM is an excellent choice for budget builds as it brings both high clock frequency and low latency for quicker operations. This RAM module comes with an 8GB capacity featuring a clocked speed of 3200MHz which is ideal for Ryzen CPUs, especially the APUs where the iGPU utilizes the main system RAM.
The tested latency of this module is 16-18-18-35 which is tighter than most budget RAM modules out there and to cool the PCB continuously, it comes with an aluminum heat spreader on the top. 8GB will be the right start for this gaming build and in the future, you can add another stick for a no-compromise workload.
RAM support- 64GB, 4133MHz
Storage- 4x SATA, 1x M.2
PCI-E slots- 2x PCI-E x1, 1x PCI-E x16
To overclock the Ryzen 5600G, it is important to have at least a B400 or B500 chipset motherboard. The MSI B450M Pro-M2 Max will not only allow you to overclock but it has an M.2 connector for installing a fast NVME SSD storage drive. The board is definitely cheaper than most competitors and costs nearly $70. It gives you dual DIMM slots for RAM installation and supports RAM frequencies up to 4133MHz which is insane.
There is a single PCI-E x16 slot for discrete GPU if you ever want to install one in the future and two PCI-E x1 slots for expansion cards like Wifi cards if you want to have a wireless connection. Except for these, the board is very basic and brings all the important slots/ports you will need. At the I/O, you will have dual PS/2 ports for older peripherals and 6x USB ports for the newer ones. For the display, there are triple output connectors including VGA, DVI-D, and an HDMI which you will definitely need as we are using an APU here.
The best part is the EZ Debug LEDs that are very helpful in finding out the root cause if your system ever refuses to boot. This feature is mostly absent on budget motherboards from different manufacturers, and therefore MSI is the way to go if you have a limited budget.
We always recommend going with an SSD no matter what budget you have. Using an SSD makes your PC a lot faster than using more RAM. Currently, both SATA and NVME SSDs are cheaper than ever and for this build, we chose the Crucial P2 500GB NVME SSD that gives you 4X more read/write speed than the entry-level SATA SSDs.
It has Read/Write speeds of up to 2400/1900MBs which makes the operation blazing fast and your games will load in a couple of seconds. With 500GB of storage space, you can store your OS and games easily. However, it is recommended that you buy another 1TB SATA SSD in the future if you ever run out of space.
Power Efficiency- 80+ White
PCI-E- 2x 6+2 Pin
Warranty- 5 years
To power everything, all we need is a decent 450 Watts of power supply from Cooler Master. The MWE 450 is an excellent choice for price and brings flat black cables for easy cable management. It comes with dual 6+2 pin power cables that will be handy if you upgrade to a discrete GPU.
It is rated at 80 Plus which means less heat generation and more than 80% of power efficiency on typical loads. Moreover, you will get OV/UV protection features to avoid any physical damage to other PC components.
Dimensions- 198 x 459 x 413mm
We are fortunate enough to get a mid-tower case for this build at around $50. Getting a good micro-ATX tower at a cheap price nowadays is like finding a diamond in the sand. Thanks to Aerocool, we have a beautiful mid-tower chassis with RGB lighting at the front panel. This case is called the Cylon RGB and it features a transparent acrylic side panel to see the insides.
There is a full-length PSU shroud at the bottom to cover up the cables and storage drives and the top area is spacious for installing mid-range sized CPU coolers and GPUs. There are multiple cutouts on the motherboard tray for easy cable routing and also on the PSU shroud as a lot of cables go on to the bottom of the motherboard.
For cooling, you can install up to 3x 120mm fans at the front and 1x 120mm at the top, however, it does come with a pre-installed 120mm fan at the rear for convenience. Unfortunately, this case isn’t much AIO friendly and supports up to 120mm AIO radiator at the front only. Except that, it is a fine choice for the price considering we don’t have enough cash left after buying all the components.
Links to Amazon UK and Amazon CA may contain different components depending on the availability and pricing. Most of the time these components will be RAM and Power Supply.
Is The $400 Gaming PC Upgradable?
Definitely. Every gaming PC we recommend is upgradable and this $400 PC is no exception. Whether you want to change your CPU without changing your motherboard, or whether you want to add a power GPU without changing your power supply, you can do all of that. However, we always advise you to be balanced in your approach when it comes to upgrading a single or more parts.
The first upgrade we recommend for this build is a discrete GPU. As the system uses an APU, the most obvious and excellent upgrade will be adding a GPU that will max out graphics on any game on at least 1080p resolution. For this, we recommend going with an RX 6600 XT or an RTX 3060 at the minimum. You don’t have to worry about bottlenecking as Ryzen 5600G can support high-end GPUs more powerful than the RX 6600XT/RTX 3060 without creating the least bottleneck.
The next good upgrade will be adding another stick of 8GB RAM module that will be sufficient for any gaming or non-gaming task. You can open multiple chrome tabs and run a game at the same time and will be still left with a few gigs of memory. For storing more games, add a 1TB of SATA SSD and you are good to go. For overclocking the Ryzen 5600G APU, you can get a 120mm AIO or a dual tower Air cooler and if you want to upgrade to a 240mm or bigger AIO cooler, make sure you change your case first to a mid-tower that supports big AIO radiators.
Finally, if you are not satisfied with the overclocking result, get a better and bigger ATX B550 or X570 motherboard that will not only provide you with a strong VRM with a lot of power phases but will also bring more PCI-E lanes for maximum bandwidth distribution to the components resulting in higher speeds.
Best PreBuilt PCs Under $400
If you are not able to build a PC by yourself or if you don’t have time to do so, then you can get a PreBuilt gaming system that will get you started right away. There are a few PreBuilt systems for around $400 that can play games decently at 1080p resolution. You can’t expect better components on PreBuilt PCs especially the Power Supply, RAM, and Motherboard. Therefore, the performance can be a little slower and on top of that upgrading can be a bit harder.
Radeon RX 550
16GB DDR4, 512GB HDD
Wifi and Windows 11 Prof
The Shinobee Quad Gaming PC is a perfect choice and is the best Prebuilt computer for $400 as it comes with some of the latest components that are suitable for the latest games. The CPU used is the Athlon X4 950 quad-core CPU that is installed on an AM4 motherboard. It is clocked at 3.8GHz and allows overclocking as well. With an AM4 socket motherboard, it is easily upgradable to a higher-end CPU and makes this PreBuilt better than the most $400 PreBuilts out there.
You will also get a dedicated Radeon RX 550 GPU that is as good as the Vega 7 if not better in some games. It comes with 4GB of VRAM and plays almost every game with medium settings at 1080p. The main system RAM is 16GB with a 512GB SSD that is perfect to start off and won’t require any addition very soon. All of this is hosted inside a decent micro-ATX chassis that comes with a pre-installed RED LED fan and features a transparent side panel.
Shinobee ships this PC with Wifi and Windows 11 Pro pre-installed which will save you a lot of time and on top of that, you will get 2 years of warranty on parts and labor with 24/7 support. It is definitely a great competitor to the custom $400 gaming build we recommend.
Radeon RX 550
16GB DDR4, 128GB SSD+1TB HDD
Wifi and Windows 10 Prof
This one is from HP and comes with an Intel i7 quad-core processor. The page doesn’t list what generation it is but more likely it is one of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th gen. It features a clock speed of up to 3.8GHz and features 8 threads. This should be enough for handling any game today and combined with the RX 550, the gaming experience will be just fine at 1080p.
It comes with 16GB DDR3 RAM, 128GB SSD, and a 1TB hard drive to store a good amount of games and files. This is really impressive at this price and just as most PreBuilt PCs, you will get Wifi and Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. HP is also providing an office keyboard/mouse combo bundled for absolutely free so you can save some money for future upgrades. This is a good desktop for $400 for which we don’t have any major complaints.
$400 isn’t sufficient for a very smooth gaming experience but with some settings compromised, 40-70 fps is definitely achievable. With the configuration we recommend, you will be loving gaming more than ever before if you are a new member of the PC Master Race. If you want any advice or suggestions regarding building a PC or components selection, feel free to use the comments box below and we will try to sort out all of your problems within a day or two.