PC Builds

How to Build the Best $850 Gaming PC in 2024!

RX 7600 + 3000D PC Build

With the demands of games constantly increasing, as well most new PC parts being targeted towards more expensive 1440p systems, building a 1080p gaming PC filled with updated hardware is no easy task. However, there are still a number of ways to assemble a budget-friendly system without having to worry about whether it will be able to support the latest releases for years to come.

Don’t believe us? Allow us to demonstrate with a gaming PC that not only provides strong gaming performance in the latest AAA and competitive titles, but also looks great doing so.

Along with showcasing this system in all its glory, we’ll break down all of the components used within this gaming rig and provide a glimpse at how it performs at 1080p high settings in a selection of popular games.

Main Components

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400F

MPI_Intel CPU Back Blue Background

For those working within a budget price range, there are several CPU options available. However, the Intel Core i5-12400F caught our eye due to its low price point and compatibility with modern components. Despite being an older generation of CPU, the Core i5-12400F utilises the LGA 1700 platform, which is the same as Intel 13th and 14th-Gen processors. This means the i5-12400F can be used alongside the latest motherboards without any issues.

Featuring six cores and twelve threads, this CPU will have no issues running games at 1080p settings, as well as other general tasks such as browsing online or watching media. On top of this, the lower power consumption ensures the i5-12400F will able to run reliably in a more budget-oriented system, with minimal threats of power surges.

SpecificationIntel Core i5-12400F
Core Count6
Thread Count12
Base Clock Speed2.5GHz
Boost Clock Speed4.4GHz
Max Cache99MB
Default TDP65W
CPU SocketLGA1700
OverclockableNo

Whilst the relatively small price differentiation between this CPU and its 13th and 14th-Gen counterparts could be worth the investment for anyone looking to do more than just play games on their system, the Core i5-12400F offers plenty of firepower to support 1080p gaming. Plus, the funds saved will be useful for other components in this build.

Buy the Intel Core i5-12400F on:

$119.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

CPU Cooler: DeepCool AK400

DeepCool AK400

The DeepCool AK400 is in charge of keeping our CPU and cool in this system. This air cooler is one of the more affordable solutions on the market, providing ample airflow to maintain low temperatures on a budget.

Though air coolers generally provide less cooling capacity than liquid cooling, these designs can be found for a fraction of the price of an AIO liquid cooler. On top of this, a single-tower air cooler such as the DeepCool AK400 is very easy to install, making it a great choice for first-time builders.

SpecificationDeepCool AK400
Product Dimensions (L x W x H)127mm x 97mm x 155mm
Weight661 grams
Max Fan Speed1850RPM
Max Fan Noise29dB
Number of Fans1
Number of Heatpipes4
Bearing TypeFluid Dynamic Bearing
Fan Connector4-Pin PWM
Socket CompatibilityIntel – LGA 1700, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155
AMD – AM5, AM4

As you might expect from the lower price point, the AK400 doesn’t come with any fancy bells and whistles, such as RGB lighting or an LCD display. However, this cooler does boast a black and metallic grey design that will fit in nicely with the rest of this build, along with a fluid dynamic bearing fan that produces speeds of up to 1850RPM for strong heat dissipation, all while keeping noise to a relative minimum.

Buy the DeepCool AK400 on:

$34.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

Motherboard: Gigabyte B760M DS3H DDR4

Gigabyte B760M DS3H DDR4

The motherboard is one area of this build where we managed to cut costs down significantly, as the Gigabyte B760M DS3H DDR4 provides the connectivity needed for assembled parts for significantly cheaper than most B760 motherboards on the market. This micro-ATX motherboard sacrifices aesthetics and heatsinks to provide a range of connectivity options that are crucial for entry-level gaming.

Along with PCI-E slots to support the RTX 4000 and Radeon 7000 series graphics cards, as well as multiple Gen4 SSDs, the B760M DS3H DDR4 can house up to 128GB of the best DDR4 memory available. This provides plenty of support for the components used in this build, with room to spare for upgrades further down the line.

SpecificationGigabyte B760M DS3H DDR4
Form FactorMicro-ATX
Memory Support128GB DDR4 5333MT/s
PCI-E x16 Slots1 x PCI-E 4.0
PCI-E x4 Slots2 x PCI-E 4.0
VRM Power Phases6+2+1
Front IO2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
2 x USB 2.0
Rear IO1 x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen2
3 x USB 3.2 Gen1
2 x USB 2.0
Audio3 x Audio Jack
Networking2.5Gb LAN

In terms of connectivity, this motherboard includes a vast range of USB ports on the front and rear IO, including a USB-C port and several high-speed USB 3.0 connections. This makes it easy to pair up a range of gaming peripherals and accessories to this system, without having to worry about limited bandwidth reducing performance. Also, the B760M DS3H DDR4 includes plenty of multiple audio jacks for speakers and gaming headsets, as well as a 2.5Gb LAN for low-latency online gaming.

Buy the Gigabyte B760M DS3H DDR4 on:

$156.77 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

RAM: TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB

TeamGroup T-Force Delta DDR4

In contrast to the approach taken with the motherboard, we’ve decided not to aggressively cut costs on the memory in this build, opting for the TeamGroup T-Foce Delta RGB. More specifically, their 32GB 3600MT/s RAM kit will provide the speeds and capacity needed for stable 1080p gaming, even in the most demanding titles, with some future upgrade headroom, too.

Memory is one of the areas affected most by the increasing requirements of modern games, with many titles wanting at least 8GB or 16GB as a minimum for the game to run as intended. Because of this, we cannot suggest going any lower than 32GB when building a gaming PC, especially for those with limited funds.

SpecificationTeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB
GenerationDDR4
Capacity32GB
Transfer Speeds3600MT/s
CAS LatencyCL18
Tested Voltage1.35V
RGBYes

Despite the need to splash some extra cash on memory with a higher capacity, we managed to save some money by choosing a 32GB Kit of the TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB. This is amongst the cheapest 32GB DDR4 memory on the market, yet it provides solid performance and an RGB-heavy design that will add some much-needed flair to the inside of this build.

Buy the TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB on:

$69.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

SSD: Crucial P3 Plus

Crucial P3 Plus

When it comes to finding an affordable storage solution for a gaming PC, M.2 drives from Crucial are always at the top of our list. For this build, we’ve picked up a 500GB version of the Crucial P3 Plus, a budget-friendly Gen4 option that offers plenty of speed for quick downloads and loading times.

Typically, we’d suggest the 1TB version, as this will provide enough space for a handful of titles no matter how large the file size. But in order to spend as little as possible, we’ve chosen the 500GB option this time around.

SpecificationCrucial P3 Plus
PCI-E GenerationGen4
Capacity500GB
Read Speeds4.7GB/s
Write Speeds1.9GB/s
Warranty5 Year
Endurance110TBW
Form FactorM.2 2280

Performance-wise, the 4.7GB/s and 1.9GB/s read and write speeds are lower than the speeds found on other models, but will be enough to provide reliable gaming performance at lower settings, especially when paired up with 32GB of RAM. Plus, the P3 Plus comes with a 5-year warranty, covering you if there are any problems with this drive.

Buy the Crucial P3 Plus on:

$54.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

GPU: Gigabyte RX 7600 Gaming OC

Gigabyte Gaming OC Radeon RX 7600
Original Review by Harry ColemanAMD Radeon RX 7600 Review – Gigabyte Gaming OC Edition

The AMD Radeon RX 7600 has been considered the best budget-friendly graphics card within the Radeon 7000 and RTX 4000 generation of graphics cards, and for good reason! With the RX 7600 being one of the few graphics cards from this generation to be designed with 1080p gaming in mind, this GPU provides all the ray tracing and AI upscaling benefits at an entry-level price.

Additionally, the RX 7600 manages to outperform its NVIDIA counterpart – the RTX 4060– along with previous price-to-performance kings such as the RX 6750 XT in most 1080p gaming scenarios. As a result, the RX 7600 is arguably the best graphics card to buy for less than $300, making it our go-to choice for a budget-oriented gaming PC.

SpecificationGigabyte RX 7600 Gaming OC
Video Memory8GB GDDR6
Bus Width128-bit
Base Clock Speed2.35GHz
Boost Clock Speed2.75GHz
Stream Processors2048
Ray Accelerators32
Power Draw165W
MSRP$299

The particular model of the RX 7600 we picked up is the Gigabyte Gaming OC variant, as this provides a triple-fan layout for enhanced cooling, as well as a more luxurious design with a hint of RGB lighting. Also, the Gigabyte RX 7600 Gaming OC includes improved clock speeds for marginal improvements to gaming performance over AMD’s base design.

Buy the Gigabyte RX 7600 Gaming OC on:

$299.00 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

Case: Corsair 3000D Airflow

Corsair 3000D Airflow

For the case, we’ve chosen the Corsair 3000D Airflow, an affordable and sleek mid-tower design that puts an emphasis on ventilation. This chassis is fairly compact for a mid-tower design, which provides a healthy balance between component clearance and the impact on real estate.

With support for up to E-ATX motherboards, as well as the ability to house a 360mm AIO cooler, the 3000D Airflow has no issues accommodating a high-end gaming PC. As a result, the budget-oriented components used in this system will fit in without any hassle, whilst also providing plenty of room for upgrades and additional components such as fans or storage drives.

SpecificationCorsair 3000D Airflow
Form FactorMid-Tower
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
Case Dimensions (L x W x H)462mm x 466mm x 230mm
Front IO2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
1 x Combo Jack
PCI-E Slots7
ColourWhite or Black
Max Clearance170mm Cooler Height
360mm GPU Length
220mm PSU Length
Drive SupportUp to 2 x 3.5″
Up to 2 x 2.5″
Fan SupportSide: N/A
Top: 2 x 140mm
Front: 3 x 120mm
Rear: 1 x 120mm
Bottom: 2 x 140mm
Radiator SupportSide: Up to 360mm
Top: Up to 280mm
Front: N/A
Rear: Up to 120mm
Bottom: N/A
Pre-Installed Fans2 x 120mm

From a cooling standpoint, the 3000D Airflow includes plenty of ventilation throughout the design, allowing this chassis to live up to its name. The 3000D Airflow also comes with 2 pre-installed fans included, which will greatly assist the heat dissipation efforts of our air cooler.

Buy the Corsair 3000D Airflow on:

$74.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

PSU: Corsair CX650

Corsair CX650

Finally, the Corsair CX650 will be used to power this system, with the 650W of power being more than sufficient for the parts included. This power supply is a very affordable choice thanks to its semi-modular design, which means some of the cables are attached at all times.

Whilst this means there is less control over cable management than what you’d find on fully modular power supplies, the connectors attached to this PSU are for components that are crucial elements of any gaming PC. This means the clutter and cables in the back of the case won’t be too dissimilar from a PC build utilising a fully modular PSU anyway.

SpecificationCorsair CX650
SizeATX
Wattage650W
Efficiency Rating80 Plus Bronze
ModularitySemi-Modular
ATX 3.0No
Fan Size120mm
Zero-Fan ModeNo

The CX650 also comes with an 80 Plus Bronze efficiency rating, which implies this PSU should remain cool and quiet under most workloads. This is mainly thanks to the 120mm low-noise fan, which adjusts the speed to match the system’s workload.

Buy the Corsair CX650 on:

$64.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

Performance

1080p, High Settings
Avg: 194FPS

Preset: High

V-Sync: Off
Anti Aliasing: TSAA
Texture Filtering: 8x
Ambient Occlusion: High
Volumetric Lighting: High
Dynamic Shadows: Enabled
Model Detail: High


1080p, Comp. Settings
Avg: 249FPS

Preset: Low

V-Sync: Off
Render Distance: Far
TSR: Off
Global Illumination: Off
Ray Tracing: Off
Effects: Low
Post Processing: Low


1080p, High Settings
Avg: 270FPS

Preset: High

V-Sync: Off
DLSS: Performance
Textures: High
Particle Quality: High
Tessellation: Near
Shaders: High

    1080p, High Settings
Avg: 120FPS

Preset: Recommended
V-Sync: Off
Anti-Aliasing: TAA High
Effects Quality: High
Texture Quality: High
Shadow Quality: High
Motion Blur: Off

Video

editor
Aled Wheeler is part of our technical writing and reviews team, focussing on PC components, console gaming and peripherals such as keyboards and monitors! With a degree in journalism and experience working for publications in the sports and gaming sectors. Aled is our in-house news and gaming writer, with his finger on the pulse of game devs around the world. Aled is currently rocking a solid mid-range gaming PC build, with a Ryzen 5000 processor and RTX 30 series graphics card.