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Entry-level Dual-core (Build 1)

SoupaSoka

Description

This is the cheapest build, from new parts, I can comfortably recommend for anyone wanting to enter into PC gaming. You won't go above 1080p, and you won't be at Ultra or High settings, but you can pull a respectable framerate in quite a few games at Medium or Low settings. This build leaves open modest upgrade options, as you can swap out the CPU for a beefier CPU such as the Core i5-8400 relatively easily, and then of course the GPU would also be available to upgrade regardless of your motherboard.

Here is a video with benchmarks for the G5400 and GTX 1050 Ti.

CPU: The G5400, G5500, or G5600 are all dual-core, four-thread CPUs. They can't be overclocked and come with their own cooler, so any of them are great for a budget build - grab whichever is the cheapest for you, as the difference between them is fairly minimal.

Motherboard: Any low-priced H310 motherboard will do for this build; MSI, ASUS, ASRock, and Gigabyte are all reputable brands. Usually, micro-ATX (mATX) boards are cheaper than ATX boards, so for a budget build, I encourage you to go the mATX route as we've done here.

RAM: I would never recommend less than 8 GB of RAM these days, so don't go below that. The speed/frequency of the RAM isn't overly important for a build using the G5400 CPU, but if you can get 2400 MT/s or higher, that's preferential. If you have budget to spare, going for 16 GB of RAM is an upgrade worth considering.

Storage: A 1 TB hard drive will be enough storage for most uses including quite a few game installs, and you can always add on more storage later via internal or external storage. This build is extremely budget-conscious, but we did slot in a 120 GB SSD from lower-priced brands to use as a main OS drive and maybe for one or two games. If you need to cut your budget even more, drop the SSD, as it has a relatively minimal impact for gaming and we can't really cut anywhere else very easily.

Video card: The 1050 Ti is as low as I would recommend in terms of GPU quality, although you could consider a 1050 (non-Ti) if you're extremely budget-conscious... although at that point, it might be better to look for used cards like a 770, 780, 960, 970, or a used AMD equivalent to those.

Case: This is a highly personal choice. We have added a parametric filter for a low-cost case from reputable companies, but you will want to look around and decide what is best for you. You may want to add in an extra 120mm or 140mm case fan, but it isn't necessary.

PSU: Our PSU is selected from a small group of low-cost, but reliable, PSUs. The PSUs are picked from a parametric filter with these qualities: Manufactured by EVGA/Corsair/Seasonic (all reputable brands, generally-speaking), between 450-550 watts, and 80+ bronze-rated efficiency. It's unlikely that anything in this price range will be modular, however, which doesn't harm the quality of your PC, but does result in a messier build with more cables/wires in the case than are needed.

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Edit This Part List
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $74.90 FREE $74.90 OutletPC Buy
Motherboard
From parametric filter
  • Socket / CPU: LGA1151
  • Form Factor: Micro ATX
  • Chipset: Intel B360, Intel H310
$50.02 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $50.02 Amazon Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill, GeIL
  • Speed: DDR4-2133, DDR4-2400, DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Size: 8GB (1x8GB), 8GB (2x4GB)
$66.99 $0.99 $67.98 Newegg Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Manufacturer: Mushkin, Team, Drevo, Inland
  • Capacity: 120GB - 15.4TB
  • Type: SSD
$24.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $24.99 Amazon Buy
$44.89 FREE $44.89 OutletPC Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, PNY
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
$169.99 -$15.00 $4.99 $159.98 Newegg Buy
$15.00 mail-in rebate
Case
From parametric filter
  • Price: $30.68 - $50.25
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Cooler Master, Rosewill, NZXT, Fractal Design, Phanteks
$34.99 -$10.00 $5.99 $30.98 Newegg Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Power Supply
From parametric filter
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, EVGA, SeaSonic
  • Wattage: 450W - 550W
  • Modular: No, Semi
  • Efficiency: 80+ Bronze
$36.39 -$10.00 FREE $26.39 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Operating System $104.89 -$10.00 FREE $94.89 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Base Total: $608.05
Mail-in Rebates: -$45.00
Shipping: $11.97
Total: $575.02
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Part List Price History (Excluding Tax)

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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Pentium Gold G5400 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor 7W - 58W
ASRock - H310M-HDV Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 15W - 60W
G.Skill - Aegis 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory 5W - 5W
Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Drevo - X1 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
MSI - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Video Card 18W - 75W
Total: 51W - 228W
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