Choosing the right PC components is the most important factor in making sure you are spending your money appropriately. This paramount task can feel a bit overwhelming but don’t worry in this article I am going to simplify things for you.
By eliminating tech jargon, I am going to bring you an easy-to-understand article with the entire focus on determining the best specification for a specific budget PC.
For this article, the budget that we will be focusing on is $500. Many gamers see $500 as a write-off when it comes to gaming PCs but believe even in this budget you can get yourself a well-equipped gaming PC that will be able to play modern games without a hitch.
Ideal Specifications for a $500 Gaming PC
A $500 gaming PC identifies as an entry-level likewise the specifications that we will be looking for will cater to that category.
Besides the specs, I will also provide you with some recommended PC parts that you should consider at this price budget.
The CPU is the brain of the computer and is therefore responsible for all the operating tasks. Hence it should be a given that you need to get a good CPU if you want a capable computer.
In the $500 price budget, you have two options. Either go with an Intel I3 or get a Ryzen 3 APU. The trick is to get a processor that has at least 4 cores and 8 threads.
In the case of whether to go with Intel or AMD, if you ask me both options are equally viable. The ideal specification for the processor therefore will be either an Intel I3 10100f or an AMD Ryzen 3 1200 or 5300G.
Although these 3 are comparable in terms of performance I would suggest you go with the Ryzen 5300G. Bear in mind the Ryzen 3 5300G is an APU and hence also has a built-in graphics card.
An APU is basically a processor that also has a built-in graphics card. With this processor, you won’t need to buy a separate graphics card.
The graphics card is the bread and butter for a good gaming experience. Therefore, for a gaming PC, the specification of the graphics card is very important.
For the $500 price bracket, there are two routes that gamers can go choose from. One is to buy an Nvidia graphics card, or the other is to use the built-in graphics card of the AMD Ryzen APUs.
Truth be told, I will recommend that you go with an Nvidia GPU. The ideal graphics card for $500 is the Nvidia GTX 1650.
The RAM basically dictates how smooth your PC is going to run. For the ideal specification, you have to get 16GB RAM.
There is no second thought about it. I know 8GB is quite popular in the $500 price range, but I am afraid it is not enough to play modern games smoothly. Hence you will be much better off spending the extra $20-30 and getting 16 GB RAM.
There is a complete article on why 8GB RAM is not enough for gaming in 2023 which you can check out.
Storage is subjective and depends on the personalized use of an individual. That being said, I will say that 500GB should be the bare minimum storage capacity in a gaming PC.
A single game these days can occupy up to 100GB hence you can assume what will happen if a gaming PC has less than 500GB storage capacity.
Also, the storage capacity should be in the form of an SSD and not HDD. HDD is too slow and honestly not worth it anymore.
Besides the core specifications, their other ones although not as important should also be accounted for when purchasing a gaming PC.
- Power Supply: A 450-550W power supply should be ideal in the $500 price budget. You can go for 450W if the budget is tight but I always recommend opting for a slightly higher capacity like 500W or 550W in order to maintain a slight power headroom.
- Motherboard: In the $500 price range any motherboard that is compatible with your processor should fit the bill. Just make sure that the motherboard you are buying has 4 ram slots and not only 2.
- Case: The case is a subjective matter and will depend on what sort of aesthetic you are going for. Aesthetics aside, buy the case that has proper cooling channels.
- Peripherals: It does not matter which peripherals you get with your PC but do make sure that you save some budget for the peripherals. I see many gamers spending the full $500 and then not having enough money to buy a proper gaming mouse and keyboard. Even $30 should suffice for buying a decent gaming mouse and keyboard.
Related PC Guides
Check out some of our related PC guides below.
- What Specifications Should a $1000 Gaming PC Have?
- What Specifications Should a $1500 Gaming PC Have?
- What Specifications Should an $800 Gaming PC Have?
- What Specifications Should a $2000 Gaming PC Have?
To conclude the ideal specification for a gaming PC will be as follows:
- Intel Core-i3 10100f or AMD Ryzen 3 5300G
- Nvidia GTX 1650
- 16GB RAM,
- 500GB SSD
There are the specifications that you should be on the lookup for in the $500 price bracket. If you have not decided on a PC yet, then you can check out my recommended cheap prebuilt gaming PCs under $500.
Before signing off, I hope that the information I mentioned about the specification is clear. On that note, good luck with the search for your gaming PC.