Building the Best 700 Dollar Gaming PC on a Budget

written by jacob tuwiner Jacob Tuwiner

$700 Gaming PC Header

Dominating in 1080p, handling 1440p with ease, all for an affordable price of $700.

Sound appealing?

Great, because in this post we’re going to be taking a look at the best 700 dollar gaming PC for the money.

You’ll be able to crush just about every title with ultra settings in 1080p, and if you’re willing to turn down your settings a bit, you can even game in 1440p at medium-high settings with most games.

Let’s get started:

Best 700 Dollar Gaming PC

Component Name Image More
CPU Ryzen 5 2600 $700 gaming PC processor View
MOBO MSI B450M DS3H 700 dollar gaming pc motherboard choice View
RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 700 dollar gaming pc ram choice View
SSD Kingston A400 480GB Kingston A400 480GB SSD View
GPU MSI - GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB VENTUS XS OC MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB VENTUS XS OC View
PSU Rosewill 500 Watt 80+ Bronze Semi-Modular PSU Rosewill 500w View
CASE Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 700 dollar gaming pc case choice View
Order This Build on Amazon

Prices fluctuate daily. All budgets are within a $50 threshold

Pros
  • Lots of physical cores
  • Multithreading enabled (12 threads)
  • Budget friendly
  • Great overclocking
Cons
  • Ryzen 5 3600 is preferrable, but too expensive
Clock
3.4GHz
Boost
3.9GHz
Cores
6
TDP
65W
Type
Zen
Cooler
Yes

A gaming processor does not need to be the fastest processor on the market, as gaming relies primarily on the GPU. After all, it is responsible for 3D rendering and other tasks of that nature.

Nevertheless, an adequate CPU is still important.

The processor must be fast enough to keep up with the GPU; moreover, it is important to use a processor that can hold its own in CPU intensive titles, as well as some workstation tasks.

If your CPU is too slow in comparison to your GPU, you’ll experience bottlenecking and frame drops/stutters.

You can figure out if your CPU/GPU will bottleneck with this handy bottleneck percentage calculator.

The Ryzen 5 2600 is a great budget gaming CPU. Thanks to its high clock speed, impressive overclocking performance, 6 cores and 12 threads, this processor definitely holds its own.

ryzen 5 2600

Its performance is comparable to Team Blue’s offerings in the same price range – in fact, this CPU actually comes out on top in many gaming related performance tests.

As mentioned previosuly, the Ryzen 5 2600 boasts incredible overclocking potential even with AMD’s stock cooling solution.

If you want to use the default stock cooler that ships with the Ryzen 5 2600, you should be able to achieve moderate overclocking, as the Ryzen stock coolers are actually quite good.

However, if extreme overclocking is what you’re after, consider buying an aftermarket cooler for maximum cooling performance.

You can’t unlock the full potential of a CPU without overclocking, and this is especially true with AMD’s Ryzen line. We highly recommend you overclock this CPU, even if it’s a light overclockw with the stock cooler. There are plenty of Ryzen overclocking tutorials online.

Pros
  • Great design
  • Good airflow
  • Easy cable management
  • Spacious interior
Cons
  • No 5.25" drive bays
Type
ATX
Airflow
Great
Design
Great
Window
Yes
Spacious
Great
Noise
Quiet

A good case NEEDS to have these aspects:

This case fits the bill, featuring all of the important aspects a case should have, and then some.

This is definitely a small ATX case, but there’s still plenty of room for components, and cable management is a breeze as well.

The MasterBox Lite 5 doesn’t have a 5.25” bay for optical drives, a design choice that’s becoming ever more popular these days.

Removing the optical drive – which, let’s be honest, is hardly ever used – frees up loads of space in the case for other important components like fans, radiators, pumps, and cables.

Still, some may want to install an optical drive, so this design feature may be a drawback for some.

Overall, this is a solid case from a reputable company. It gets the job done for a fair price.

Pros
  • B450 chipset supports easy overclocking
  • Bang for your buck
  • 4 DIMM slots support up to 64GB RAM
Cons
  • micro-ATX, not full ATX
Form
mATX
Chipset
B450
Slots
4
SATA
4
M.2
1
Overclock
Yes

Don’t be tricked into thinking you need to spend a ton of money on your motherboard.

In most cases – I mean 99% of the time – a more expensive motherboard is not going to improve your FPS. I actually cover this topic more in-depth in an article I wrote which you can read by clicking here.

The only time you need to spend a lot on a motherboard is when your build is super high-end to begin with.

For example, this motherboard probably wouldn’t be great if you wanted to use a top-of-the-line i9 CPU with an RTX 2080 Ti or something like that.

Those components require a heavy duty motherboard and you’d probably want some other crazy features to run such expensive and high-end components.

On the other hand, if you’re sporting normal components (like the ones in this $700 gaming PC build) you don’t need to buy an expensive motherboard.

In this case, we just need a motherboard that is reliable, affordable, and has the features we need.

That means we want our motherboard to:

  • Support overclocking
  • Have plenty of RAM slots
  • Support high-speed RAM
  • Have enough PCI slots
  • Have enough SATA/M.2 ports

Yep, that’s pretty much it.

Micro-ATX boards tend to offer the most bang for your PC gaming buck, so I opted to pick this affordable mATX board for this PC.

Pros
  • Dual-channel memory
  • High speed
  • 16GB
  • Affordable
Cons
  • None
Amount
16GB
Modules
2x8GB
Speed
3200MHz
Type
DDR4
CAS
16
Voltage
1.35V

CPUs tend to perform at their best when paired with high-speed RAM, which makes sense.

The RAM is literally Random Access Memory, which is used when the CPU needs to pull data that isn’t being stored in the cache.

Ryzen CPUs, however, have been shown to have big performance benefits with fast RAM, even more so than their Intel counterparts.

That’s why we’re rocking 16GB of high-speed RAM in this build. Clocked at 3200MHz, our 16GB of RAM is coming in 2 sticks of 8GB.

A dual-channel configuration (having two 8GB sticks instead of one 16GB stick) is actually a bit faster, so we’re harnessing the maximum performance potential of our RAM.

Although a few years ago – even last year – I would’ve only recommended 8GB, nowadays games are becoming more demanding.

In all honesty, you can still get away with just 8GB, but it’s not ideal.

New AAA titles are beginning to recommend 12 and even 16GB of RAM for the best performance.

In addition, having 16GB of RAM is going to make your PC more responsive overall. In case you want to do any recording, editing, rendering, multitasking, etc. you’ll be happy about the extra RAM.

Pros
  • Crazy fast boot speeds
  • Maps load quickly
  • No moving parts
Cons
  • Only 480GB of storage
  • More expensive than a mechanical drive
Type
SSD
Capacity
480GB
Price/GB
$0.11
Size
2.5"
Interface
SATA
NVME
No

Listen up:

The difference between a mechanical hard drive and a solid state drive is night and day.

Although an SSD won’t improve your FPS, it will significantly improve loading speeds, both in terms of boot speeds and loading screens.

You can check out our full guide on whether or not an SSD will improve FPS by clicking here.

Unfortunately, this SSD only has a bit less than 500GB (SSDs are more expensive) so you won’t be able to fit a TON on this drive.

Just download your OS, drivers, and your favorite games/applications. We HIGHLY recommend adding a 1TB or 2TB mass storage mechanical drive to the build for good measure.

They’re only $40 these days and you can use them to store games, music, movies, applications, etc.

But if you can only pick one, the SSD is the way to go for performance.

Pros
  • Same performance as GTX 1070
  • Cheaper than GTX 1070
  • Crushes 1080p
  • Handles 1440p with ease
Cons
  • None, this thing rocks
Core
1500MHz
Boost
1830MHz
Length
204mm
Fans
2
Memory
6GB
Ports
4

The GPU is easily the most important part of any gaming rig. Any well optimized PC game will primarily harness the power of your GPU, followed by your CPU and your RAM, respectively.

For this 700 gaming pc build, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6 GB VENTUS XS OC was chosen.

It’s brand new from NVIDIA, and it’s one of the best GPUs on the market today.

Although the way it was named doesn’t make much sense (they went from 1060 to 1660 for some reason) the GPU is an absolute powerhouse.

It’s comparable in power to the GTX 1070, and in some cases, it even outperforms the GTX 1070.

The best part?

It’s much cheaper than a GTX 1070, despite being brand new!

For less than $300, this GPU is a steal. The GTX 1660 Ti and Ryzen 5 2600 will deliver 60FPS in 1080p with ultra settings in all titles, and you can game in 1440p with high-ultra settings as well.

Pros
  • 80+ Bronze Certified
  • Good bang for your buck
  • Semi-modular
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Not the most efficient PSU on the market
Wattage
500
Rating
Bronze
Modular
Semi
Color
Black
SATA
5
Noise
Quiet

Lastly, we have the power supply. Though often overlooked, this guy is pretty important.

Choose a PSU that’s not powerful enough, and you could fry the PSU or worse, the entire PC.

Conversely, if your PSU is too powerful, you’ll waste a ton of money.

Not to mention you have to worry about noise, cable management, and whether or not it’s compatible.

Fear not, for once again we’ve done the heavy lifting for you – you’re welcome.

The Rosewill 500W is a pretty standard power supply, but it has a few key features that make it stand out for its price.

It’s Semi-modular, so you’re getting a good mix of affordability and practicality. It’s also 80+ Bronze Certified, which means this PSU is power efficient.

The Rosewill 500W is also pretty quiet, and compatible with the build components.

More Gaming PC Builds

Price Name Image Components Build Guide
$400 Extreme Budget Gamer
  • Ryzen 3 1200
  • RX 570 4GB
  • 8GB DDR4-3000
  • 1TB HDD
Build Guide
$500 Perfect Balance
  • Ryzen 3 2200G
  • RX 570 ROG STRIX 4GB
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-2400MHz
  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB
Build Guide
$600 Stealth Gamer
  • Ryzen 5 2600
  • GTX 1060 6GB
  • 16GB DDR4-3000
  • 480GB SSD
Build Guide
$800 Monster
  • AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Mini
  • G. Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2400 MHz
  • WD Caviar Blue 1TB
Build Guide

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

Upgrade Options

Don’t get me wrong, this PC build is an absolute monster, able to dominate any game in 1080p and even 1440p.

And if you’re interested in dabbling in VR, you’ve come to the right place.

However, this is PC gaming after all – you can always make improvements to your already awesome gaming PC.

That’s why we’re highlighting some potential upgrade paths for this build. If you choose to upgrade the PC in the future (or now), we recommend the following:

WD Caviar Blue 1TB 7200RPM HDD

1tb hard drive

We went with an SSD for the build, but that means we had to leave out a mass storage drive.

Mechanical hard drives suck if you have your Windows operating system and drivers loaded on them, not to mention games. Nobody likes waiting around for ages to spawn or load a map.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use a mechanical drive to store other stuff. In fact, that’s what they’re best used for.

HDDs – especially the WD Caviar Blue 1TB – are incredibly cheap, reliable, and great for mass storage.

You can pick one up for less than $50 on Amazon. We recommend storing your applications, movies, music, downloads, etc. on your mass storage drive.

This way, you’ll have plenty of storage space, but you can save the space on your SSD – the precious boot drive – for more important files.

Corsair Hyper 212 Evo Aftermarket Cooler

corsair hyper 212 evo aftermarket cpu cooler

Since we’re rocking a Ryzen 5 2600 in this build, overclocking is a must.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can probably get away with overclocking the 2600 with its stock cooler. AMD’s Wraith Stealth Coolers are actually pretty impressive as far as stock coolers go.

However, if you’re serious about overclocking, the Hyper 212 Evo is the way to go. It’s a powerful aftermarket CPU cooler that you can use for light to medium overclocking.

Ryzen CPUs are good out of the box, but they’re great when overclocked.

Corsair H100i Water Cooler

corsair h100i water cooler

Sure, you can get a Hyper 212 Evo, but if you really want to overclock like a boss, it’s all about water cooling.

Not only does the H100i from Corsair look like an absolute beast (courtesy of its glowing LEDs), it’s also a favorite in the overclocking community.

This water cooler is a bit pricey, but for good reason. As they say, you get what you pay for.

If you opt to go the water cooling route, you’ll be able to harness the maximum performance potential out of your CPU.

Oh, and you can brag to your buddies about your water-cooled rig.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 XC Black Edition 6GB

rtx 2060 gpu upgrade

This 6GB video card is among the newest from NVIDIA, and I felt it would be the perfect upgrade option if you want a better GPU.

Only slightly more expensive than the GTX 1660 Ti, this thing is a beast.

The RTX 2060 XC Black Edition from EVGA is fully equipped with the latest ray tracing technology and all the other bells and whistles you could want (like AI enhanced graphics).

This GPU is a great card to future-proof your build for years to come.

Can You Build a Gaming PC for 700?

Yes, if your aim is to crush games in 1080p with ultra settings or kick things up a notch to 1440p, 700 dollars is a great amount to spend on a gaming PC.

I’ve been a PC gamer since I was 13 when I built my first gaming PC in the 8th grade.

700 dollar gaming pc

Prior to my enlightenment, I played a whole lot of Call of Duty on the Xbox 360. When the Xbox One came out, I decided I’d rather build a gaming PC than buy a new console.

I could either:

A) Buy a $500 Xbox One and a $500 laptop

or

B) Build a $1,000 gaming computer

I decided to build a 600 dollar gaming computer, because a gaming PC with that budget can game in higher resolution, with better graphics and framerates, than an Xbox. Additionally, it can do everything a normal computer can do!

Actually, I spent $700 on the PC. Now I’m going to share my experience with the build:

It was my first build, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I spent too much on the processor, and too little on the graphics card.

Despite my poor choice of components, the PC was still awesome. You can build a mean gaming PC with $700.

I ended up selling my PC after two years, because I didn’t have a job and I wanted money for a car. I built another gaming PC one year ago with another $700 budget, and it runs all of the games I want to play with great framerates in 1080p.

What’s the bottom line here?

With $700, you can build not only a powerful gaming PC, but a great computer as well. If you’re thinking of joining the PC gaming community, $700 is an ideal budget.

Is an SSD Worth the Money?

SSDs are quite pricey, especially compared to mechanical drives. For example, a 240GB SSD will cost you around $60, while a 1TB mechanical drive costs $50.

So, are they really worth it?

YES. Yes they are.

SSDs are much faster than mechanical drives. If you buy a 240GB SSD, you can store your Windows OS, drivers, and some of your favorite games on it. Your PC’s boot speeds will dramatically increase – furthermore, the overall compuer’s usability is better, too.

If you have evert felt like you need to let your PC ‘warm up’ after turning it on, you probably have a mechanical drive. With an SSD, you won’t have to wait anymore!

SSD example
SSDs significantly improve your PC's performance!

Seriously, your PC will be ready to go within 30 seconds of hitting the power button. It’s no joke!

In addition, games installed on your SSD will load incredibly quickly. You’ll be among the first loaded in the game!

Of course, 240GB is not a lot of storage if you like to download photos, music, movies, applications, etc. For your mass storage, you can buy a 1TB mechanical hard drive. They’re cheap, and work perfectly for regular file storage.

If you have the money for an SSD, buy one! They make your user experience 100x better!

To learn about the tech that makes SSDs lightning fast, click here.

Intel vs. Ryzen

intel vs ryzen

Up until recently, it was obvious that AMD’s Ryzen 3 line held the title of “The King of Budget Gaming CPUs”. Before Ryzen 3 was released, your only real options were the skylake i3 CPUs, or the Pentium G4560. Both choices didn’t sport four cores; only dual cores with hyperthreading.

At the time they were great, as the four threads did a great job. Of course, once AMD launched a quad core CPU for a lower price, it was game over. AMD’s Ryzen line outperformed Intel’s closest offerings in just about every category except for single-threaded performance.

As we all expected, Intel fought back. They released their Coffe Lake CPUs, the 8th generation of the Intel i3 line. They’re priced similarly to the Ryzen 3 line, and they have four true cores as well. In fact, they show similar if not better performance in most categories.

Unfortunately, the lowest-priced motherboards available for this chip at this time are all over $100. This makes it hard to consider them a “budget gaming CPU”.

Until cheaper motherboards are released for the new line of Intel CPUs, Ryzen 3 will remain our budget CPU of choice.

We also have a guides for $400, $500, $600, and $800 budget gaming PCs!