Tight budget to build your first machine? You are on the right page! In this guide, we invite you to discover a selection of the best components to assemble a PC Gamer configuration at 350 USD. We should not expect miracles at this price, but it is now possible to run many games without breaking the bank.
This machine does not have a dedicated graphics card but a chip directly integrated into its processor. We can, therefore, easily change it later depending on our savings.
With a budget of 350 USD, no need to expect a war machine on the performance side. Without a dedicated graphics card, this configuration will clearly struggle to keep pace with current 1080p titles.
However, the graphics chip integrated into the Athlon 3000G remains a perfect surprise. It allows tons of independent games to run without the slightest problem and more recent titles if we limit ourselves to a resolution of 720p and relatively low graphics settings.
The 3000G also has the advantage of being “unlocked,” that is to say that you can easily overclock its CPU part but also its iGPU Vega 3. In a few clicks, we obtain a real gain in terms of performance.
As you can see in our presentation video, the results are quite impressive for this small CPU available at around 50 $. Some examples :
Fortnite (720p – Low): ~ 68 FPS
CS: GO (1080p – Low): ~ 100 FPS
The Witcher 3 (720p – Low): ~ 30 FPS
GTA V (1080p – Low): ~ 50 FPS
League of Legends (1080p – High): ~ 150 FPS
The Wolf Among Us / The Messengers / Hotline Miami (1080p): 60 FPS
With the Athlon 3000G, AMD offers us an APU perfectly tailored for an entry-level PC. Unlike a traditional CPU, the 3000G comes directly with an integrated graphics chip, here with a Vega 3 model.
If the latter is obviously not as powerful as a real dedicated graphics card, we saw a little above that it could do more than correctly on many games.
The 3000G features a 2-core, 4-thread design with a base frequency of 3.5 GHz on the specification side. With the chip being unlocked, we can even push it up to 4 GHz via a small overclocking, even if we advise in this case to switch to cooling a bit more substantial than the cooler supplied in the box.
The Vega 3 chip can also be boosted, going from 1100 MHz to nearly 1600 MHz without too much difficulty. What to take advantage of a real gain in terms of in-game performance.
Important: As the Athlon 3000G is sold out in all French stores, we suggest you buy it on the Aliexpress site, in its version without a fan.
To accompany our Athlon 3000G, we decided to go on an MSI B450M Pro-VDH MAX motherboard. With a very affordable price of around 70 $, it is more than sufficient for this type of configuration and offers us the possibility of OC the processor.
In mATX format, Gigabyte’s card is rather compact but has everything needed for an entry-level configuration. We find in particular 4 DDR4 Slots that can climb up to 3200 Mhz, 4 SATA ports, or an M.2 port (be careful; NVMe models do not work with 3000G).
There are also 2 PCIe 16x ports to eventually install a real graphics card and a 1x port for a Wi-Fi card, for example.
By opting here for a motherboard with a B450 chipset rather than A320, the configuration of the day is also much easier to upgrade. We will eventually be able to install Ryzen 3000 or 5000 processors there without any difficulty.
Another advantage, thanks to the B450 chipset, it is possible to overclock our Athlon 3000G to benefit from a real gain in-game performance.
With a budget limited to 350 USD and unless you come across an excellent promotion, you will have to limit yourself here to a total of 8 GB of DDR4 RAM with a kit of 2 x 4 GB of HyperX Fury Black at 2666 Mhz.
As memory prices are constantly changing, we advise you to regularly look at the latest offers available on Amazon, both for the 2 x 4 GB and 2 x 8 GB kits.
You can find 16 GB kits below the 65 $ mark with a little patience, a good idea if you then want to upgrade this configuration to something a little more substantial.
In parallel with our small SSD, we add here a traditional hard drive for the storage of its games and its various media.
Adjust to suit your own needs, of course, but a 500GB 7200rpm WD Blue is a good base for enjoying your favorite games in our opinion. Available below $ 30, it is one of the most affordable in the sector.
Our Athlon 3000G processor is not sold with its original cooler in the version offered on Aliexpress, it will be necessary here to add some to our configuration to cool it.
In order to limit prices, we opt for a fairly affordable model with the Deep Cool Gamaxx 400 V2, offered at around 20$. It will be more than sufficient to cover the low cooling needs of our CPU and will allow us to overclock it without difficulty.
With its 4 copper heat pipes and its 120 mm RGB fan, you can also use it if you want to upgrade your configuration to a Ryzen processor.
Positioned at the entry-level with a price of around 40 $, it is only certified 80 PLUS White and therefore does not offer the best possible performance. However, it will do perfectly for this small configuration and our limited budget.
If you have a slightly larger budget and you have the idea of quickly changing your configuration with more demanding components, do not hesitate to opt now for a better power supply.
For example, you can opt for a 550W 80 Plus Gold certified model, so that you can see the future more calmly.
For the box, no follies with our maximum budget of 350$. We start here on a Corsair 110R, with a fairly simple design but still effective.
This model in the Medium-Tower format has the advantage of having a complete power supply cover, a side panel in tempered glass, or even 5 slots for its fans. It is compatible with ATX, mATX, and ITX format motherboards and comes by default with a single 120mm fan mounted on the back.
That’s enough to cool our little setup, but feel free to buy a little extra fan kit if you want to upgrade your PC afterward.
If the Corsair 110R is not necessarily to your taste in terms of looks, you have many other possibilities around 50$, including models with a slightly more gaming style.
This configuration at less than 350$ is clearly oriented entry-level, but it is still possible to easily upgrade it to a much more powerful and versatile machine. Here are some ideas.
Invest in a bigger SSD If you choose to integrate a 120 GB SSD in this PC Gamer configuration at 350$, we recommend that you opt for a slightly larger model if you have a larger budget.
There are now 1TB models below the 90$ mark, allowing you to easily store your OS, your programs, and all your games.
Please note that NVMe compatible models do not work with the Athlon 3000G processor. It will be necessary to limit oneself to SATA SSDs (M.2 or 2.5-inch format).
Add a dedicated graphics card. If the graphics chip of the small Athlon 3000G is not doing too badly, it very quickly shows its limits on games that are a little more greedy.
However, by adding even a small graphics card with a price between 100 and 180$, we can go to a much higher level and enjoy all current games in 1080p.
Among the models we recommend, we can list the RX 570 if you find it less than 130$, or the more powerful GTX 1650 Super.
The infernal machine! The new configuration with AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and Nvidia RTX 3080 (10GB GDDR6X) – Our reference for gaming PCs! Maximum gaming performance paired with a 16-core processor with a perfect price-performance ratio!
As always, perfectly matched this configuration to get the best gaming and video editing performance for your money out of the budget. The gaming PC is perfectly suited for every demanding game in 4K resolution on the highest settings, esports games with over 240Hz, and the most demanding tasks such as rendering, video editing, and streaming! In terms of performance, this PC is the absolute benchmark. You will be able to enjoy this PC for years to come!
The Gamer PC has been perfectly matched to each other, all parts fit 100% together, and no other parts than those linked here are required.
The heart of the PC is the currently strongest gaming CPU from AMD, namely the extremely powerful AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – an absolute monster with no less than 16 cores and 32 threads and still a 4.7Ghz turbo clock!
The Ryzen 9 3950X is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful processors that you can currently buy because it not only offers outstanding multi-core performance but also in terms of the single-core and, thus, primarily gaming performance, the processor is at the top With.
In application and rendering tasks, this CPU is faster than the well-known Threadripper processors. In terms of multi-core performance, it is significantly above the level of an i9-9980XE 18-core processor from Intel. Even in terms of single-core performance, we are only 3 points behind an i9 9900K – more than impressive!
As far as the performance values are concerned, it is probably the most blatant CPU in the gaming sector at the moment and, therefore, of course, the recommendation for this high-end computer.
This system relies on an MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk WIFI mainboard, the current generation for the mainboard.
It offers excellent features with the current high-end X570 chipset, a decent sound chip, a great power supply, RGB (Mystic Light), support for high-speed RAM, a great BIOS with clear and simple overclocking functions, and much more.
The chic board leaves nothing to be desired and offers us an excellent platform for operating the system and, of course, great functions and capabilities for overclocking!
The card is a good deal faster than even an RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti (the top model of the previous generation) and thus offers sufficient performance to play even the most demanding games absolutely smoothly on the highest settings and in 4K resolution.
The lead over an “old” RTX 2080 is almost 70%! Not only 4K gaming, but also competitive gaming in esports games with frame rates beyond 240FPS are child’s play with this card. Because the fact is: this graphics card is next to the RTX 3090 (which takes the place of the Titan in the current line-up and is therefore not really aimed at gaming) the fastest graphics card ever built and only extreme models in the server area that are faster are alone cost many times that of this PC.
In addition, the custom design used here keeps the card super cool even under load – with a pleasantly low volume.
In addition, a total of 32GB Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO with 3600Mhz are used. This superfast RAM gives us another small advantage in terms of frame times and, above all, Min-FPS in games.
The two modules also work in fast dual-channel mode, and since 32GB is more than enough, you will probably never have to worry about it in the next few years – if there are two more free RAM banks available.
Of course, there is the extensive RGB lighting known from Corsair, which, in conjunction with the built-in AIO, creates a real light spectacle in the PC.
With such a high-end system, we naturally rely on SSD storage for the hard drive. A 1000GB MP600 NVMe SSD (PCIe 4.0) from Corsair is used here, which should definitely offer enough space for the operating system, all your programs, and of course, the complete Steam library.
An SSD is faster than a normal hard disk (HDD), and you can feel that in everyday life. The increase in performance is so immense that we can hardly put it into words. Keyword: Over 4950MB / s read rates.
In addition, the SSD is supported by a 1TB HDD from Toshiba (P300), which acts as a data grave.
So that the extremely powerful processor always stays nice and cool, a Corsair Hydro Series H100i RGB Platinum AIO water cooling with a 240mm radiator is used here. As far as the temperatures are concerned, the system remains in the green area even with overclocking, and one thing above all: quiet!
This power supply unit (based on Dark Power Pro technology) is also persuasive from the technical side: 80+ Gold certification, be quiet! Silent fans, DC / DC, multi-rail, and all conceivable protective circuits. In addition, the power supply unit is fully modular – cables that are not required can be removed, which makes cable management even easier. The Straight Power 11 is currently one of the best power supplies available!
All components are installed in the brand new Fractal Design Meshify C with a tempered glass side panel. The case is one of the best Airflow models on the market. In addition to its high-quality and elegant appearance, it impresses with the usual very high processing quality from Fractal.
It has several hushed fans pre-installed, offers enough space for all components, and has a clever and well-thought-out system for cable management. In addition, this housing relies on two separate chambers for the main components and the power supply unit, cables, and hard drives. All the features make this case our current top favorite for cases this year at the current low price of just 95$.
Gaming in 4K and that at 144Hz? A while ago, that was unthinkable! With the new graphics cards from Nvidia and the technical progress in display technology, we can now recommend such a monitor for the first time – the Acer Predator XB3. A masterpiece with 4K 10Bit HDR IPS panel, 144Hz, and G-Sync!
For this PC we recommend our current favorite keyboard and the model that is currently used in the editorial office: The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire with the great Cherry MX speed switches. The keyboard really offers every feature that you can expect from a high-end keyboard and will meet your highest demands.
The fastest gaming mouse currently available: The Endgame Gear XM1! It is not without reason that former Counter-Strike professional players developed this mouse. The analog readout technology of the switches gives you a measurable advantage in online shooters and otherwise offers real high-end features such as the latest PixArt sensor and preselected Omron switches.
Our current reference when it comes to gaming headsets – the Beyerdynamic MMX300. It offers by far the best sound quality of all tested gaming headsets, both in terms of speakers and microphones. If you have the necessary change, you will get the best of the best with this device!
Positioned a notch above our configuration at less than € 1,500, we now have our gaming PC for a budget of 2500 USD. Here, no concessions, and no game should be able to resist you.
The current configuration is based on an Intel Core i7-10700K processor and a GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card. It also comes with one of the fastest NVMe M2 SSDs on the market for storing both your operating system and your favorite games.
This type of PC is obviously intended for players wanting the best in the industry, whether for games over 144 FPS or to enjoy the latest AAA titles in 4K at 60 FPS.
As you can easily imagine, a $ 2500 gaming setup is approaching the best in the industry. With such a machine, you will be able to enjoy all your games, whether in 1080p, 1440p, or even 4K.
Players limited to Full HD resolution will be able to play in maximum detail while maintaining excellent framerate. What really take advantage of a 240 Hz screen and get the best possible fluidity on certain FPS. CS: GO and Overwatch fans should appreciate it.
In 1440p, the contribution of the RTX 3070 will also allow you to play in excellent conditions all the current titles, and this without making concessions on the graphics or the FPS. Want to rediscover PUBG in 1440p @ 144FPS? This configuration is made for you!
Finally, this gaming PC for less than 2500 USD will also delight gamers wishing to try their hand at 4K. Thanks to the power of the 3070, you can rediscover most of your favorite games while maintaining an average framerate above 60 FPS. What to take full eyes without sacrificing at the level of the fluidity of the image.
Available under the $ 400 mark on Amazon, the recent Intel Core i7-10700K is one of the most powerful processors if you’re looking to build a $ 2500 gaming PC.
With its 8 Cores and 16 Threads design, it is able to climb up to 5.1 GHz via its Turbo mode and even outperform the previous Core i9-9900K. At present, only the i9-1900K is above, but its price is still excessive.
If you want to build such a powerful machine for gaming as well as heavy tasks like video editing, maybe prefer the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, in 12 Cores / 24 Threads. More versatile, it can be found around 500 USD.
To accompany our 10700K, we start on the excellent Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Elite AC. It is available for around 245$, it is one of the best models on the Z490 chipset, and its price remains relatively affordable.
The motherboard has the advantage of offering excellent VRM, allowing you to overclock the 10700K without a hitch. Ditto if you opt for a 10900K, even more powerful.
For the rest, the model is particularly complete with 3 M.2 PCIe 3.0 ports, 6 SATA ports, 4 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1, or even 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2. We also benefit from the integrated WiFi and Bluetooth.
If you decide to go for the 3900X rather than the 10700K, we recommend the MSI B550 Tomahawk.
Despite the large budget of our configuration, it is impossible to move towards the best current graphics cards, like the RTX 3080 or the RX 6800 XT. With the current shortage, these two models are difficult to find below the 1200$ mark.
With models regularly displayed around € 600-800, the RTX 3070 fits our budget and allows us to enjoy performance quite close to that of an RTX 2080 Ti. You can play in excellent conditions in 1440p Ultra and enjoy your favorite games in 4K without difficulty.
RAM side, we decided to move towards a kit of 4 x 8 GB of DD4 at 3600 Mhz to gain versatility. With this Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB kit, there is no risk of being limited when gaming. We also benefit from a good memory resource for heavier tasks such as video editing, photo editing, or even 3D creation.
If your PC is only intended for gaming use, you can save a hundred dollars by staying on a 2 x 8 GB kit. Enough to free up a little more budgets for your other components.
The choice of storage will again be based on your own needs. For this example, we consider that a single 1 TB SSD will be more than sufficient to install its OS, its main applications, and its favorite games.
We start with an NVMe compatible M.2 model, with the excellent Sabrent Rocket. It is more affordable than most of its competitors with a price of around 180$; it is nevertheless part of the leading pack in terms of performance.
Capable of reaching 3450 MB / s in reading and 3000 MB / s in writing, it isn’t easy to find faster unless moving towards PCIe 4.0 models, which are in any case not compatible with our current CPU.
The Core i7-10700K can tend to be very hot, and we recommend opting for efficient AIO water cooling if we want to be able to take full advantage of it.
We opted here for an Arctis Liquid Freeze 240, a 240 mm model offering excellent performance and controlled noise pollution. Sober and efficient, it is sufficient to cool our CPU of the day and especially benefits from an excellent quality/price ratio below the 100$ marks.
This PC Gamer configuration at 2500 $ requires a power supply worthy of the name, and we opt here for a Corsair RM750X.
In addition to its 750W power, it stands out for its tranquil use and excellent performance with its 80 PLUS Gold certification. It is available for around 180$, it is fully modular and allows you to use only the cables you need for this configuration. What to facilitate cable management.
You can find some interesting alternatives in our selection of the best power supplies for PC Gamer.
The choice of the case will be made as usual according to your own preferences, but make sure you can install at least a 280 mm water-cooling. For the rest, you can consult our selection of the best current PC cases.
To avoid exploding our budget, we opted for a great classic, the Corsair 4000X RGB, one of the best models under 110$. You can also go for a Phanteks P360X, a BeQuiet! Pure Base 500 or a Fractal Design Meshify C to stay in the same price range.
As with our previous configuration, the possibilities for upgrading this Gamer PC to less than 2500$ are currently limited.
With such a budget, you already have a machine capable of running the vast majority of games at full throttle. If, however, you still want to grab a few more FPS, here are some avenues for improvement.
An even more powerful GPU
If the current configuration is already equipped with one of the most powerful graphics cards in the sector, a model will still be positioned above: the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080.
On the AMD side, the RX 6800 XT is also an excellent candidate to take it to the next level.
However, we do not recommend the RTX 3090 and RX 6900 XT models, which are far too expensive and not necessarily much more efficient for gaming.
With an Intel Core i5-10600K processor and an RTX 3060 graphics card, this 1400 USD PC Gamer configuration is capable of doing wonders. You will be able to enjoy the latest current games in excellent conditions, whether for Full HD gaming with a high framerate or 1440p at over 60 FPS.
This selection is regularly updated according to new component releases and price changes, in order to offer you the best possible quality/price ratio for your budget.
This 1400 USD configuration is perfectly comfortable to enjoy its games in Full HD with a high refresh rate, or in 1440p at more than 60 FPS without the slightest problem.
Concretely, what can we expect from such a configuration? With an Intel Core i5-10400F processor and an Nvidia RTX 2060 or AMD RX 5600 XT, you should be able to enjoy a more than adequate experience on most of the current games.
By limiting yourself to a Full HD / 1080p resolution, today’s configuration will allow you to exceed 100 FPS in Ultra and thus enjoy perfect fluidity on your favorite games. On less greedy titles, you will also be able to take full advantage of your screen at 144 Hz, an interesting point on competitive titles such as CS: GO or Fortnite.
Today’s setup will also allow you to try your hand at higher resolutions, especially 1440p. You will obviously have to lower your expectations in terms of details or FPS, but if you have a QHD screen, this 1200$ config should perfectly meet your expectations.
For this configuration at less than 1400 USD, the Intel Core i5-10600K is the ideal candidate.
Versatile, efficient, and above all very affordable at around 270$, it is equally at home in gaming as it is in heavier tasks, such as video editing or photo editing.
With 6 cores and 12 threads, it can hold the road on the most demanding games, and its Boost frequency at 4.8 GHz allows it to take full advantage of current GPUs. Around 240$, it’s hard to find better for a gaming-oriented machine.
To accompany our 10600K, we opted here for a Z490 motherboard to be able to overclock our processor and take advantage of higher frequencies in terms of RAM.
Available at around 204$, the MSI Z490-A Pro is rather positioned at the entry-level. Still, it is largely sufficient for this configuration, and its VRMs can handle an OC of 10600K at 5 GHz without flinching.
Connection side, we find with DDR4 support up to 4500 Mhz, 2 M.2 ports including one with a heatsink or 6 SATA connectors. At the rear, no less than 6 USB ports, including 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 including one Type-C and 2 USB 2.0.
For this 1400 USD configuration, our choice would logically be the recent RTX 3060, offered at a manufacturer price of 400$. Unfortunately, it is already impossible to find or at prices exceeding 600$.
If you can’t find one for less than 420$, we recommend that you head to the second-hand market and opt for an RTX 2060 or an RX 5600 XT. You can find between 350 and 420$, and the difference in performance is not that huge.
With a budget of 1200 €, our configuration comes with a single SSD with a Crucial P2.
NVMe compatible, this 1TB model is currently available at the unbeatable price of 115$. We do not benefit from the fastest speeds on the market at this price, but the results are more than correct, with 2400 MB / s in reading and up to 1900 MB / s in writing.
With 1 TB of storage, you can easily install your operating system, favorite programs, and many AAA games. Obviously, adjust a bit according to your own needs and your budgets. For example, you can opt for a 250 GB SATA SSD and pair it with a 500 GB HDD to save a few dozen dollars.
With a budget of 1400 USD, we have enough margin to install an AIO water cooling and efficiently cool our 10600K.
We opt here for one of the best quality/price ratios in the sector, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II in 240 mm. You will not find better at less than 110$ if you want to enjoy controlled temperatures while limiting noise pollution.
The Arctic model might not be the prettiest in the industry, but it features an original design with a fan that also reduces the temperature of the VRMs by a few degrees. Interesting for overclocking enthusiasts.
If you are looking for a more flashy model, head to our selection of the best AIO water cooling.
For food, we gain comfort by opting here for a semi-modular model with a Corsair TX650M.
If the cables dedicated to the CPU and the motherboard remain attached, the others are removable and allow you to use only what is necessary. Enough to clean up the cable management level, especially since our configuration does not include an SSD in SATA.
With 650W, we have enough power to properly power all our components and even a little headroom to upgrade our PC. On the yield side, the feed is 80 PLUS Gold certified.
For the case, choose according to your own preferences and your budget. Be careful, though, as we explain to you in our buying guide, do not rely solely on the design and keep an eye on the dimensions, the compatibility with your components, and especially the cooling performance.
For around 102$, you can, for example, go on an NZXT H510 or a Phanteks P350X.
For a little over 120$, you can also check out the Corsair iCUE 220T RGB, the Phanteks P400A, or the Thermaltake S550TG.