$500 Console Killer - Best PC Builds 2018

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Johnny5

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Welcome to the 2018 Best PC Builds Competition! For over two decades Tom's Hardware has brought you news and reviews of the latest in PC hardware, while the famous forum has grown to more than 2 million members. Because of their expertise and the constant requests for help with PC builds, our members have developed a talent for finding the best prices and putting together the best system builds.

This thread is for the $500 Console Killer budget category. Please only submit builds within the $500 budget category to this thread. All other builds will be disqualified.

Some of our members asked for clarity regarding the rules of this build:

We are looking for the best performing gaming PC under $500.

Please make sure to follow the ground rules below. Any builds over budget will be disqualified.

Here are the ground rules:

  • Only one build per budget category, per user. Multiple builds from a single user or duplicate accounts will be disqualified.
    ■Do not go over budget.
    ■Use only Amazon OR Newegg to source parts.
    ■Use list prices only: coupons, rebates, bundles or any other limited-time offers will not be accepted.
    ■Do not include shipping or tax in your final budget.
    ■Do not include the Operating System, Monitor or VR Headset, Keyboard, Mouse or Gamepad.
    ■All builds must have a name.
    ■Do not put your forum handle in the name of your build, and avoid odd capitalizations & symbols.
    Provide links to the Amazon or Newegg product pages of each component — we encourage users to use PCPartPicker's System Build for speedy construction. Do not post a link to your build, but rather please be sure to export as BBCode for a quick copy/paste to the forums:
Here's an example build for formatting help:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: Biostar - X370GTN Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB ACX 2.0 Video Card ($174.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master - Elite 130 Mini ITX Tower Case ($44.12 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - BR 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($32.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $475.06
Minus Shipping: $10.98
Base Total: $467.07
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-09 14:31 EDT-0400

Here are links to all five build categories:

$500 Console Killer Build
$1000 Mainstream Gaming Build
$1500 Streaming and Gaming PC
$2000 High End Content Creation and Gaming Rig
$5,000 Ultimate Everything RGB Build


Good luck and may the best build win!
 
First, can we define what criterion is used to determine "best"?

"Cheap-But-Capable"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.18 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-AB350M-DS3H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team - Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi - Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($40.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card ($169.00 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-05 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($25.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - BT 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($37.22 @ Amazon)
Total: $493.31
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 10:39 EDT-0400
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
"The Little Engine That Could...... be upgraded"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1400 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($134.00 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($55.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot - Signature Line 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Patriot - Burst 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital - AV-GP 500GB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($19.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB ACX 2.0 Video Card ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($26.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - BT 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $498.93
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-23 14:43 EDT-0400

4/8 CPU
board that'll allow some modest overclocking.
2666MHz RAM that would hopefully OC to near 3000MHz
240GB SSD + 500GB HDD for sufficient storage at the pricepoint
Solid enough PSU
Cheap case, but front panel USB3, side panel window & included 120mm + 80mm fans are sufficient cooling for a build of this nature

Foundation is solid, with only the GPU that's particularly underwhelming. GPU upgrades in future are easier than a full overhaul of the platform, so I opted to go this route.
 

Jwpanz

Reputable
Apr 17, 2016
1,847
0
4,660
420
"The Inceptor"
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.18 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Biostar - B450MHC Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($63.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Aegis 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($63.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston - A400 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PowerColor - Radeon RX 570 4GB Red Devil Video Card ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($19.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($32.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $496.12
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 07:13 EDT-0400
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
"Starter Pack"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.50 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - B450M-HDV Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($69.03 @ Newegg)
Memory: Team - Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: ADATA - Ultimate SU800 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($47.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI - Radeon RX 560 - 1024 4GB AERO ITX Video Card ($134.40 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($26.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair - CXM 550W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Base Total: $495.90
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-16 09:38 EDT-0400

The CX550m gives some headroom for upgrades, without sacrificing quality.
 

punkncat

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Apr 3, 2018
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Title of this segment in this 'contest' is putting a bow on a pig. Been argued across various posts that a $500 budget system isn't doing anything to dethrone a console. I think it's best said above as "Cheap but Capable".
 

Johnny5

Community Manager
Staff member
Feb 28, 2016
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It depends on the budget category. In this category "best" would be the best performing gaming system under $500. We want builds that compete with consoles in terms of price and performance. Bonus points for competing with consoles in terms of size and form factor as well.

 

GraySilencer

Respectable
Jun 25, 2016
410
0
2,160
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"Vega 11 Graphics with Massive Steam Library"

With 2TB of storage, you don't have to worry about running out of space for your games. ;)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2400G 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-AB350M-DS3H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($123.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: ADATA - Ultimate SU800 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($29.50 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cougar - MG110 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($35.58 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA - BT 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($37.22 @ Amazon)
Base Total: $492.27
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 12:31 EDT-0400
 

yeti_yeti

Notable
Apr 29, 2017
391
0
860
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"$500 Powerhouse"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.18 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - A320M-HDV Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston - A400 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte - Radeon RX 580 4GB Gaming 4G Video Card ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($19.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair - VS 550W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($23.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $466.11
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 11:03 EDT-0400

Base Total: $502.12 - Shipping: $3.99 = $498.13
 
hahahahaha, console killer? not a chance. console is DEDICATED to gaming, has a custom os, never need to update drivers and have stutter issues, just system and games... keep dreaming. i let xbox keep itself updated so when i feel like playing I don't have to mess around.

for 500, you are better off with an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro

yeah and consoles don't get hot and shut down... so many benefits... so many cons with your silly pc. CLOSED systems for the win when it comes to gaming and having fun online and off.
 

Johnny5

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You're on the wrong site! You can find the console peasants else where :p
 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator


If you know how to build a PC (ie can follow basic instructions and maybe put together a lego set for a 4th grader) your PC will never "get hot and shut down".

For $500 you can build a PC that can play games at twice the FPS at 1080p as the consoles, in many cases with more detail. You forget more than half the console games out there run at 30fps, even on the OneX and PS4 Pro (BTW I have a PS4 Pro and love it, for what it is).
 

Math Geek

Glorious
Herald
Red Headed Step Child You'll Actually Love

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Pentium Gold G5600 3.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($91.55 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - H310M A Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($55.47 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($45.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card ($169.00 @ Amazon)
Case: DIYPC - P48-W ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair - CX (2017) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($45.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $499.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 10:10 EDT-0400
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator


A console is DEDICATED to gaming, because they don't have the added resources to do anything else.
The simply fact is a console needs a custom OS to be as light as possible, to keep as much of the available resources free to run a given title.

For what they are, at the pricepoint they come in at (typically loss-leaders to get you into the ecosystem), consoles are a great value, nobody is likely to dispute that.

The added graphical settings, modding community etc still keep a "console killer" relevant at the pricepoint though - not to mention if you ever need to create a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet, your console isn't much use then.



You're right. Completely forgetting that's a safety measure though, right?
Consoles have, in the past been known to get hot and......well, die.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_problems#Causes

Solid argument there :ange: ;)
 

punkncat

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Apr 3, 2018
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IDK, I agree with the sentiment if not everything said, and posted about it earlier.

This whole post in and of itself is basing itself in a false premise. We can see that it is a possibility to build a decent starter system for the $500 range, give or take an activated OS (another story), but to make it out as if ANY SINGLE ONE of these system builds are going to hold a candle to a system that is built specific for gaming is ludicrous.
Some kid wishful thinking is going to read this posts wonderful build ideas (because they are that) thinking he is getting something over his Xbox and PS4 buddies just to be sadly disappointed outside a productivity focus.


 

ScrewySqrl

Champion
Moderator
Basic Gamer

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.18 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI - B450M PRO-M2 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($68.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2800 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Patriot - Burst 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($36.99 @ Newegg Business)
Storage: Samsung - Spinpoint F1 DT 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB ACX 2.0 Video Card ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($19.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill - 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($40.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $498.10
Shipping: $7.98
Final total: $490.12

With the Ryzen 3 2200, we have the basic chip we need that can be easily upgrade. We won't be using its built in GPU, but its available for backup, and was cheaper than the R3 1200 at the moment anyway.
the 450 Motherboard avoids any potential compatibility problems and allows a light overclock.
We have 8 GB of ram slightly slower than usual (2800 vs the usual 3000 or 3200), but as a Ripjaws V, it can probably be overclocked.
A GTX 1050 will still do 1080p gaming at medium-to-high settings at 40 fps+
Which leaves us with the ability to have both the 240 GB SSD *and* a 750 GB HDD for ~1 tb of total storage, but with teh SSD for speed. The Video card was stepped down a touch to afford the SSD for a better all-round system.
The Rosewill Power supply, while not an A+ brand, is solid and reliable.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Here is my entry:

Spec-O-One
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 1300X 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-AB350M-DS3H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Patriot - Burst 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($36.99 @ Newegg Business)
Storage: Samsung - Spinpoint F1 DT 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB ACX 2.0 Video Card ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($26.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($32.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $496.92
Shipping: 3.99
Final Total: $492.93
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 13:11 EDT-0400

IMHO, it's a nice platform to upgrade off of, while yet retaining the PSU, case and the storage. The case has USB3.0 ports alongside to USB2.0 ports so that would be worth a carry over. I've been able to push NT series G.Skill rams to 2933 without much tinkering so the Ripjaws will be around the same. Some of the folks I'm around mentioned they went to 3000 without breaking a sweat.
 
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1400 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($134.89 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-AB350M-DS3H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Toshiba - Product Series:DT01ACA 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($22.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1050 2GB ACX 2.0 Video Card ($109.99 @ B&H)
Case: Raidmax - Ninja II ATX Mid Tower Case ($25.98 @ Newegg Business)
Power Supply: Corsair - CXM (2015) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $461.78
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 16:27 EDT-0400
 

bloodroses

Honorable
Jan 27, 2013
640
0
11,160
56
"Killer In Size"

[PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.18 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-L9a-AM4 33.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($39.90 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - A320M-ITX Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2800 Memory ($67.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: ADATA - Ultimate SU800 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($77.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Morex - 557 HTPC Case ($49.95 @ Amazon)
Other: LEDwholesalers 12V 20A 240W AC/DC Power Adapter with 5.5x2.5mm DC Plug and 2.1mm Adapter, Black, 3262-12V ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Other: DC-ATX-160W 12V Pico Switch PSU Car Auto ITX ATX Power Supply Module 160W ($19.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $493.96
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 17:12 EDT-0400

A slimline Noctura cooler is used since I don't believe the stock Ryzen cooler will fit in the case.
 

materagia

Commendable
Oct 15, 2016
15
0
1,510
0
Squeezer

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - H310M A Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($55.47 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: MyDigitalSSD - SBX 128GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1050 3GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Thermaltake - Versa H15 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - BR 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $498.41
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 18:34 EDT-0400

Includes: 4 core cpu; dual channel ram; m.2 slot; nvme storage; 3gb vram; bronze psu; well ventilated case with window
 
Oct 10, 2018
4
0
10
0
A Whole New World

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.18 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - B450M DS3H Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Aegis 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($55.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital - RE3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($28.85 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card ($169.00 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master - MasterBox Q300L MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - BR 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $497.99
Prices DO NOT include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 20:19 EDT-0400
 

Thordas

Distinguished
Jan 10, 2012
17
0
18,510
0
Here is Mine

2018 Console killer under $500 "PS Killer"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($154.97 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI - B350M GAMING PRO Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg Business)
Memory: Team - T-Force Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($80.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung - 860 Evo 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($87.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill - FBM-X1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($26.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $480.91
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-10 21:29 EDT-0400
 
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