• Log In
  • Register


$500 PC For Video Editing / Recording and Light Gaming

by Danomight



CPU Clock Rate


GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



My goal was to build the best PC possible for $500 - capable of handling video recording / rendering and light gaming. I don't think many people would dispute that Intel makes the best chips on the market, but I found that the best bang for my buck was definitely with AMD. The six-core processor I selected had a noisy and ineffective stock cooler so I invested in an aftermarket cooler that I have been really really happy with - keeps my chip running really cool without noticeable fan noise. I chickened out and used ceramic thermal paste (albeit a highly reviewed brand) because I didn't trust myself to avoid smearing some on the motherboard. I splurged a bit for the SSD drive that I installed my (questionably legit) copy of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on but I think it was worth it - this machine is usable at the desktop in under 30 seconds from a cold boot and Windows / Sony Vegas runs incredibly fast. I'm really happy with how everything came together and with the performance I've been getting for the price!

Edit: My parts list didn't include the aftermarket cooler I used so I added that.

Also, the build total says $600 but when I purchased the parts the total was actually around $500. You can see if you look at the total price fluctuation under the completed build.

Also added a shot of the inside - I know the cable management is horrible. :P

I think I'll add a PCI-E card with 6g/s SATA ports.

Comments Sorted by:

TNTrocks123 1 Build 2 points 47 months ago

In my opinion, I would have invested in a more high end motherboard because you eventually upgrade and turn your video editing computer into a beast!

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 0 points 47 months ago

Yea, skipping the SSD and going with a cheaper case would've allowed for a better motherboard.

malcar11 3 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

Wich motherboard do you recommend?

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 3 points 47 months ago

The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 is a great motherboard. It has 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports, plenty of expansion slots, and enough USB/eSATA ports for whatever you need it to do. :)

TNTrocks123 1 Build -1 points 47 months ago

i recommend a z87 chipset motherboard for future over clocking, and i would also look at how many expansion slots there are depending on your needs.

TNTrocks123 1 Build 0 points 47 months ago

there is a gigabyte z87 series motherboards those are pretty nice

I_Luv_Cheetos 1 point 47 months ago

He doesn't have a haswell processor...

jinnyjuice 1 point 47 months ago

No way! SSD is too good for video editing.

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

Not when it's already half empty because it's holding Windows and programs.

I_Luv_Cheetos 1 point 47 months ago

take windows off of it and just run the programs on it.

Hanjohnbono 1 point 47 months ago

What aftermarket cooler did you buy also this is a great budget build! +1

Danomight submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I added the cooler to the parts list! Thanks!

canders 7 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

Looks like a nice budget build. more pictures please.

ImElkay 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

What kind of video editing do you do? And is Vegas worth the 350$ price tag?

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 5 points 47 months ago

Woah, woah, woah... Do people actually buy Sony Vegas? :p

ImElkay 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I'm aware that you can get it for free, but it seems shady and like it could potentially give you viruses or something. Idk, I've just always been wary of illegal downloads. Can any problems arise from it?

xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 2 points 47 months ago

I've never had problems with it, but I haven't used it in about a year.

ImElkay 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Okay thanks

Xaftz 1 Build 2 points 47 months ago

2013 and still getting viruses...

ImElkay 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Well, I'm 16 and have only used a computer outside of Microsoft word for about 6 months, and yet I know more about hardware than most people will in there entire lives. But yes, I am not very good with Windows or any OS for that matter. It's not that I am dumb or anything, I just don't have the experience I seek.

JoeyThePCNoob 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

So you spent $500 dollars on a computer an over $1000 on software. seems legit.

ImElkay 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

What are you talking about?

JoeyThePCNoob 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

Windows ultimate edition and sony vegas.

OCedPug 2 Builds 2 points 47 months ago

Hahaha , I'd pick FCPX for Editing if you own a Mac or can get OSX ( If you know what I mean :P ) Its simple to use , and great for light-med level editing. It will be cheaper I guess. IDK price tag , brought it quite a while back.

[comment deleted]
OCedPug 2 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

I'd love some pics of the inside , since thats what matters more. Also your build went to 550$ if you didnt notice. Although you still wasted money on the case and some on the GPU. This is not the best for 550$ but surely is a good one. But remember if its good for you , thats all that matters.

Danomight submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Thanks man, if you look at the chart in the price breakdown you'll see it was actually cheaper a month ago when I bought the components.

Zeus 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Nice build! Add some pics! Only suggestion I could have made is the SSD could have been a future upgrade. While it is nice, it doesn't really fit into that 500 dollar budget. Also, what's the case like? I know Raidmax aren't the best when it comes to PSUs, but I've yet to hear anything about their Cases.

Danomight submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I really like the case! It came well-packaged and has a sturdy build quality. I found it roomy and easy to build with. They included lots of extra screws, zip ties, etc.

Zeus 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Thats great!

[comment deleted]
TheLastBoss78 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

I used that same case! It may have awful cable management but it just looks too awesome. Not for everybody, obviously, but I like it.

Danomight submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Yeah man when I unboxed it it looked even more badass than I had imagined! Like you said though there isn't really any way to hide the cables effectively.

anoori9000 1 point 47 months ago

You could game wtih this... Its got fine specs.

Bartmanicus 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

You did a great job for the price point, the 7770 is an awesome card. Take me upvote!

Danomight submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Thanks man! :)

gillett 1 point 47 months ago

Just joined this awesome site, btw your build is beast.

Storage: Your SSD/HDD decision is completely clutch. Video editing is going to take for. god. damn. ever. With a SSD you are shaving off minutes from hours of compressed -> storage. Plus the fact that video files are ******* huge and you have to be loaded with money to be able to afford 1TB of SSD space. Descent deal on both drives, too.

Memory: Fits the build. Might be able to save $5 from a brand pushing a rebate.

CPU: Personally I would have gone with a Phenom II X4 960T. They are discontinued but considering your $500 budget/goals it might be worth it to find it on eBay. And the fact you are after market heat-sinking I would overclock/unlock the 2x cores to 6 cores.

GPU: Fits the build. I personally would spend an extra couple of hours finding the exact fit.

Case: Comes down to preference. For a budget case you could do better.

Power Supply: Shave a few dollars off of the case and put it towards a better PSU.

Recommendations: Any money you can use to make this build more effiecent/effective I would put towards an additional 8 gigs of RAM and keep it under $500.

Note: Do not purchase full windows. Download a consumer copy of any version of Win 7 (enterprise is what I went for) and push the registration time through run/regedit. IF you are selling purchase an OEM copy of whatever version your customer wants.

Edit: I'm an *** and just learning the website didn't realize it was the final build. OP did an incredible job with his build and I would recommend any budget minded editor/gamer to follow in his footsteps.

jchamb49 1 Build -1 points 47 months ago


i wouldve gone with a better mobo for sure. you could've found a cheaper case that looks a little more professional, would've not worried about an SSD especially if you're not doing much gaming. the video card could be better, but it will suit fine as long as you stick to that "light gaming" idea of yours. also, where's your optical drive?

Danomight submitter 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Yeah not getting a mobo with 6gb/s sata was a mistake but I can address it with an expansion card. I cannibalized my first build for the optical drive - only used it to install Windows and then disconnected it as it is really noisy. :P

jchamb49 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

i see, well all problems set aside, if a budget build is what you're looking for, you've got it :)

Arit911 -5 points 47 months ago

More pics! More pics! More pics! +1 from me.

OCedPug 2 Builds 4 points 47 months ago

Please Stop ! Please Stop ! Normal Font is also good !

[comment deleted]
[comment deleted]
xBlood_Monkey 10 Builds 1 point 47 months ago

Please delete this and post it in the forums. We will be more than happy to help you there.

kesh62 1 point 47 months ago

okay thanks