How to Build a Cheap Gaming PC (Under $300)

Updated July 21st, 2018 by Headshot Jacob Tuwiner

PC gaming is becoming more popular every year, and for good reason.

If you’re interested in building a gaming PC, but you don’t have a ton of cash, I’ve created this step-by-step guide that is going to show you how to salvage parts on eBay to create build a cheap gaming PC.

By the way, this PC can game in 1080p. The best part is you won’t even have to spend $300.

Keep reading to learn how to build an amazing gaming PC for just $300 (or less)!

Step 1: Find an old desktop for sale on eBay

The first step to building a dirt cheap gaming PC is finding an old desktop on eBay.

View Desktop PCs

You’re going to have to filter through lots of desktops. This may take some time.

I’d recommend using eBay filters. Often you can find a listing that is advertised as “for parts or repair”.

Filters eBay

Many think that just because their PC won’t power on, it’s garbage. Little do they know, there are many parts inside the PC that can be salvaged. This will help you to save lots of money.

Finding an old used desktop is also a good path to take.

Desktop eBay

After 10 minutes or so of browsing eBay listings, I found this PC for sale.

The PC is listed for $150 which is a pretty good price, but we’ll get this PC for even less.

Make sure the PC doesn’t have anything wrong with it, and check out the specs of the PC.

This Dell Optiplex 990 MT PC has:

  • Intel Core i7-2600 3.4 GHz CPU
  • 8GB of DDR3 Ram
  • 500GB Hard Drive
  • DVD-Rom

Furthermore, you’re getting the case, power supply, and motherboard all for the low price of $150. Now it’s time for the next step.

Step 2: Negotiate a Price

The price of this PC is already low, but we want it even lower.

Most listings allow you to make a “Best Offer”. It’s always a good idea to negotiate for a lower price.

Best Offer

Once a price is agreed upon, make the purchase. Now we move on to our third and final step.

Step 3: Buy a GPU

The GPU is the most important part of any gaming PC. You really don’t need the best processor to game. You don’t even need a ton of ram. The GPU does all of the hard work.

This is why we purchased an older desktop PC and salvaged the parts. The older components are still more than capable of gaming. As long as the CPU won’t bottleneck, you’re good to go.

That being said, finding the right GPU is important.

Return to eBay, and search for your GPU of choice. For this example, we’ll use the GeForce GTX 1050 ti. This GPU is powerful, cheap, and great for a low end budget.

View GPUs

Don’t be afraid to buy a used GPU. I’ve bought many used GPUs on eBay with no problem at all. Just read the reviews of the seller and make sure they’re trusted.

Once you find your GPU for sale on eBay, repeat the last step and await your parts to arrive!

There you have it, a cheap gaming PC!

More Gaming PC Builds

Price Name Image Components Build Guide
$400 Extreme Budget Gamer
  • Intel Pentium G4560
  • MSI GTX 1050 2GB
  • Crucial 8GB DDR4-2133
  • WD RE3 500GB
View
$500 Perfect Balance
  • Ryzen 3 1200
  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
  • Ballistix Sport LT 8GB DDR4-2400 MHz
  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB
View
$600 Stealth Gamer
  • AMD Ryzen 3 1200
  • ASUS GTX 1060
  • G. Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2400 MHz
  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB
View
$700 Phoenix
  • AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • ASUS GTX 1060 6GB
  • G. Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2400 MHz
  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB
View
$800 Monster
  • AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Mini
  • G. Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2400 MHz
  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB
View
Prebuilt Prebuilt PCs
  • Intel i7-7700K
  • GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • 16GB DDR4 2400 MHz
  • 1TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD
View Prebuilt PCs

*prices fluctuate daily. All budgets are within a $50 threshold. Some components may have been adjusted to fit the budget.

An Even Cheaper ($200) eBay Gaming PC!

Conlcusion

If you’re on an extreme budget, buying old parts on eBay is a great way to save some money. You can easily find older desktops for an incredible price, and replace one or two components.

You’ll have a gaming PC worthy of gaming in 1080p for less than $300!