Best PC Builds 2017 - $500 Budget Category

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Jsimenhoff

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Feb 28, 2016
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The submission period is now over. Please cast your vote here.

We recently updated our rules for Best PC Builds. m-ITX builds no longer require WiFi. Please see below for our full list of rules.

The Best PC Builds. Our title is practically self-explanatory. Unlike the System Builder Marathon, these configurations are not chosen by Tom's Hardware's editors. They are submitted and selected by our forum members based on defined pricing tiers. Every so often, we ask the community for its help picking parts based on performance and features for the price.

It's a new year and while certain parts of the industry could be labeled as stagnant, *cough* CPU architectures *cough*, there has been drastic progress in form factors and distribution. With the introduction of "mini" sized graphics cards such as the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Mini ITX and the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini, as well as the near standard requisite of space for full sized graphics cards, the mini-ITX form factor is now a viable form factor for any budget. The coming advent of true on-demand streaming from the likes of Nvidia further solidifies the mainstreaming of m-ITX. And so, for the first time ever, mini-ITX and SFX builds may compete in every single budget category. Are you up to the challenge?

The voting period will run until Wednesday, February 22nd, so be sure to vote for your best build by that date. Click on this link to vote for your favorite build in each category.

This thread is for the $500 budget category. Please only submit builds within the $500 budget category to this thread. All other builds 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.
    ■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.
Quick update from the Tom's Hardware Editor in Chief, Fritz Nelson:



Here are links to all eight build categories:

$500 Budget Build
$750 Budget Build
$1000 Budget Build
$1250 Budget Build
$1500 Budget Build
$2000 Budget Build
$2500 Budget Build
Unlimited Budget Build

Good luck and may the best build win!

 

Dark Lord of Tech

Retired Moderator
Aug 18, 2009
127,573
1,441
154,890
25,186
Plutonium Leak
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($73.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: GeIL EVO POTENZA 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($82.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($45.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon RX 480 4GB Red Dragon Video Card ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($51.43 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($46.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $532.34
Minus Shipping - $35.40
Base Total $496.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-02-06 16:03 EST-0500


Zalman Z3 comes with: 3 x 120mm fans (front 120mm fan is Blue LED)

G4560 Hyper Threaded Pentium \ RX480 4GB \ 16 GIGS of Memory. :D
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
Lan Party Crasher

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($73.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Aegis 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB Video Card ($184.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CXM 450W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($50.98 @ Newegg)
Base Total: $495.93
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-02-07 09:23 EST-0500
 

why_wolf

Honorable
I can ITX anything you can ATX

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-7100 3.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H110M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($73.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital WD Blue 750GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon RX 460 2GB Dual OC Video Card ($97.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 202 HTPC Case w/450W Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $498.93
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-26 17:49 EST-0500
 

Supahos

Champion
Ambassador
Tiny budget tiny build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G4600 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($95.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B150N Phoenix-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($102.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($50.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk SSD PLUS 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Video Card ($139.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Raidmax Element Mini ITX Desktop Case ($28.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($33.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $497.88
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-26 19:24 EST-0500
 

joz

Distinguished
Jun 13, 2008
160
0
18,690
1
"Little Snap Dragon"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($117.01 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus H110M-E/M.2 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($24.35 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $498.31

Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-29 19:52 EST-0500
 

Mister-Vine

Commendable
Jan 27, 2017
3
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1,510
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materagia

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

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-7100 3.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H270M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($106.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2800 Memory ($50.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital RE4 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($38.01 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon RX 460 4GB WINDFORCE OC Video Card ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Raidmax Element Mini ITX Desktop Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair VS 400W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Base Total: $494.95
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-27 01:55 EST-0500
 

Geekwad

Admirable
Sep 25, 2015
2,368
0
6,960
566
"Scotty, I need more (CPU) power!"

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($241.77 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85M-DS3H-A Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Essentials 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Black 320GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($40.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R7 350 2GB Video Card ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill FBM-05 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA 400W ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Total Base Price: $497.72

Total base price DOES NOT include shipping, taxes, and/or discounts
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-27 02:09 EST-0500
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
Business Elegance

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-7300 4.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI B250M PRO-VDH Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($83.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill NT Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($51.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Case: DIYPC P48-BK ATX Mid Tower Case ($33.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($46.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $516.90
Shipping: $16.97
Total without shipping: $499.93

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-27 06:54 EST-0500
 

Olle P

Distinguished
Apr 7, 2010
661
48
19,040
24
"A quick gaming starter"

(Updated 2017-02-01 for new formatting. Items changed/replaced to reflect price changes since previous version.)
The objective with this selection is to initially have a fully functional rig for gaming at 1080p, and subsequent incremental upgrades to make it good should cost as little as possible.

CPU: Intel Pentium G4600 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg) (I'd really want a G4560, which should be cheaper, but that's not available in the US yet.)
Suggested later upgrade, if the Pentium is found to be insufficient: Core i5-7600K or Core i7-7700K. A better cooler will also be required.
CPU Cooler: Provided with the CPU.
Motherboard: ASRock Z170A-X1 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg) Perhaps the most surprising choice in the list. Picked this as the most low cost option to get 4 RAM slots and the ability to use and overclock Kaby Lake K-type CPUs later on.
Memory: G.Skill NT Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($51.99 @ Newegg)
8GB should be sufficient, but more memory can be added later if found necessary.
Storage: Toshiba P300 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg) I consider 1TB to be the bare minimum required.
Suggested later upgrade: An additional SSD to use for the OS and most often used software.
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon RX 470 4GB Red Dragon Video Card ($154.99 @ Newegg) The most powerful option I can squeeze into the budget.
Case: Rosewill Galaxy-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg) The cheapest option available. It will hold the stuff!
If you don't like it you can always get a better case later on.
Power Supply: EVGA 400W ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg) 400W is more than sufficient for this computer.
Total, excluding shipping and taxes: $496.93

Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-02-01 05:10 EST-0500
 
Brokeass Millionaire

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($62.81 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B150M Pro4S Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($68.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Aegis 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin TRIACTOR 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB ARMOR OC Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: DIYPC MA08-BK MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($46.98 @ Newegg)

Base Total: $496.75

*updated to take advantage of the just-released G4560. Here is the Amazon link since it is not yet listed on PCpartpicker:
https://www.amazon.com/Intel-BX80677G4560-Pentium-Desktop-Processors/dp/B01NCE8T92/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486066199&sr=8-2&keywords=g4560
 
G

Guest

Guest
Armamentarium

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($75.00 @ B&H)
Motherboard: Asus H110M-E/M.2 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Mushkin TRIACTOR 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Deepcool TESSERACT SW ATX Mid Tower Case ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Rosewill 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $496.93

Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-27 11:09 EST-0500


_______________________________


Semi Modular Power Supply
Nice size SSD
Motherboard has M.2
Kaby Lake Pentium with HyperThreading
 

Jsimenhoff

Community Manager
Staff member
Feb 28, 2016
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Also, all parts must be sourced from Newegg or Amazon. Builds with parts sourced from SuperBiiz, B&H, or any other big box store will not be accepted.
 
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H110M-HDS Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($50.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital RE4 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($38.01 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: DIYPC MA08-BK MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $497.95
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-27 12:02 EST-0500
 

WickedPigeon

Distinguished
Feb 10, 2012
35
0
18,540
2
More Video for better game play!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD FX-6350 3.9GHz 6-Core Processor ($128.86 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Biostar TA970 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($51.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($61.23 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($35.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Apevia X-Trooper-Jr (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case w/450W Power Supply ($48.85 @ Amazon)
Total: $501.90
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-27 12:40 EST-0500
Less Shipping $1.99
Total $499.91
 
Power to spare
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($120.98 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus H110M-E/M.2 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($27.05 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB Video Card ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Xion XON-350_BK ATX Mid Tower Case ($28.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($50.89 @ Newegg)
Total: $495.86
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-27 13:02 EST-0500
 

mossberg

Distinguished
Jun 13, 2007
153
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Hope you have the hotdogs and marshmallows ready when that PSU catches fire.
 

WarWolverineWarrior

Distinguished
Sep 24, 2013
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Won't need hotdogs and Marshmallows without a PSU.
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator


The case has a bundled PSU. ;)
 

Karthikeyan_5

Commendable
Jan 27, 2017
2
0
1,510
0
K_rth1k's $Budget killer$

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-7100 3.9GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H110M-S2H Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($40.11 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Video Card ($144.98 @ Newegg)
Case: DIYPC MA08-BK MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($48.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $491.02
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-28 05:29 EST-0500
 
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