The 2020 £500 Build

There are many people out there that may be looking to put together a budget orientated gaming PC so that’s why here at Mod83 we have decided to put you together a build that doesn’t break the bank.

The simple rule is that it has to come in at under £500 including shipping but there are some other caveats to this. Our build suggestions focus on the tower only, so no keyboard, mouse, monitor, software or additional extras are included. This is purely about the best value hardware getting you up and running with the peripherals left to you to hunt down.

We already mentioned this but we are focussed on building a gaming system. We will assume that you also want to do a bit of light photo editing, watch cute cat videos on Youtube and send the occasional email. Sadly though, there will be no Pixar blockbusters rendering on this machine.

For our £500 build we have to limit our expectations on a number of areas including aesthetics, build quality (on some parts), non essentials such as RGB lighting, enhanced cooling and to some extent performance. This wont be rocking up with Cinebench scores on par with an i9 or Ryzen 9 based system so you have to keep your expectations real here.

So with the asterisks out of the way, let’s get on to the build and why we have chosen these specific parts.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 £111.90

The beating heart of this system comes from AMD, a Ryzen 5 2600. At £111.90 it is more expensive than the Ryzen 5 1600 but is more recent and has a boost clock of 3.9ghz over 3.6ghz. We also went with this over the Ryzen 3 1300X given the Core Count. We also get a cooler included with this AMD chip so that’s a great bonus on such a tight budget. Sorry intel fans, but here’s where it’s at for us, AMD are banging out some kick-ass products at the moment.

ASRock B450M Pro4 £72.56

Given the flexibility of the AM4 platform, we have many great options here. We settled with the ASRock B450M Pro4 over the Gigabyte B450M DS3H purely as it had an additional M.2 slot for an extra £9 or so. If this is a system you may wish to upgrade over time, having an extra slot sways us here.

Corsair Vengeance LPX 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3000 £43.99

Since we have 4 slots available on our motherboard, the choice here was simple. Slap in 2 x 4GB and add more later when budget permits. The Corsair LPX is tried and tested and comes highly rated by modders around the globe. Its great value and at 3000mhz speed will keep our Ryzen 5 2600 more than happy.

Seagate BarraCuda 1 TB 3.5″ 7200RPM £36.25

We are sorry but there will be no SSDs on this one. 1TB from Seagate will give more than enough storage for a growing Steam library, photos and files along with our OS. Refer back to our motherboard, we have room for future expansion and upgrades to add additional storage later.

PowerColor Radeon RX 580 8 GB Red Dragon £149.99

As with most builds, the GPU is always one of the hardest components to select, especially given the budget on this one. The PowerColor won over the MSI RX 570 Armor OC, EVGA ACX 2.0 and Gigabyte 1050Ti. Better clocks are what swayed us here and we are after every last drop of performance we can get.

CiT F3 MicroATX Mini Tower £25.98

Cases play a really important role in your system, they not only house the components but need to allow enough airflow to keep them cool. Finding a case in budget with more than one case fan was hard but the CiT wins it over the Thermaltake Versa H17 because of this factor. Build quality may not be on par with other manufacturers but having that additional cooling will help out until you can afford to upgrade.

EVGA GD (2019) 500 W 80+ Gold £49.99

For our PSU we had 2 areas in mind, build quality and efficiency. The EVGA GD provides 500W for our system, estimated at around 350W leaving some in the tank for later down the road. Being Gold rated also means we get the best bang we can for under £50. Its not a modular system though so cable management will need to be dealt with.

Verdict – £496.14

So that’s it, our sub £500 build is done! Coming in at £496.14, including shipping we think its somewhere near perfect for this type of project. If you can manage to grab free shipping on everything then you are looking at saving a little more, £8 – £10 that can go elsewhere.

There are always compromises with these budget based systems and I am sure there are other options out there too. We feel here that you get a great balance of performance, value and build quality to some extent. Would we ever recommend, for example, the CiT F3 given a £600 based build? We don’t know that one and again it comes down to spending money in the right areas.

We are actually quite curious to see how this machine would handle, we may reach out and see what we can do, then follow this up with some benchmarks of the system. If that is something you would like to see then please drop us a comment over on our Facebook Page.

All the parts can be seen over at PC Part Picker using the link below, we will see you for our next build, a sub £750 system!

https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/Mod83/saved/yDNsXL