AMD thought of their somewhat budget-oriented users when they released the Ryzen 5 3400G APU. If you’re looking for a cheap PC build that comes in below $500 price point, our budget Ryzen 3400G build is right for you. If you decide to include the GPU, this build comes in well below the $700 price point. Which still makes it a great budget PC build.
With a quad-core CPU, Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a fairly large and fast SSD, this build is great for both gamers and users who want a good performing PC at a lower price. The graphics card of this build is optional but recommended if you can increase your budget. This is because the 3400G is an APU, meaning it contains both a CPU and a surprisingly good Radeon RX Vega 11 GPU all in one chip.
The Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics allows for decent gaming at 1080 on low to medium settings depending on the game being played. However, we must mention that the Ryzen 3600 CPU is worth upgrading to if you plan on getting a GPU with this build. If that is that case you can checkout our Ryzen 3600 PC Build.
$500 Ryzen 5 3400G Build
|Ryzen 5 3400G|
|GIGABYTE B450M DS3H|
|Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB|
|Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB, 3000Mhz)|
|Crucial P1 500GB NVMe PCIe M.2|
|EVGA 500 W1|
- Ok for 1080p gaming without the GPU, great for 1080p and good for 1440p gaming with the GPU
- Good as a dedicated streaming PC
- Ok for content creation and multitasking: including 4K video editing, photo editing, and other forms of multimedia
- Customizable and good upgrade path
CPU: Ryzen 5 3400G
The Ryzen 5 3400G is a CPU that comes in at a very reasonable price, yet manages to give you extremely respectable performance. To add to that, it’s an unlocked CPU, so you could even try to overclock it, but chances are you won’t be doing this since the performance benefits aren’t all that worth it.
The 3400G is a four-core, eight-thread processor which also has AMD’s RX Vega 11 graphics with 11 GPU cores. The base clock sits at a respectable 3.7 GHz, and the CPU can turbo up to 4.2 GHz. There’s 4MB of L3 cache, and the CPU has a 65W TDP. With the included Wraith Spire cooler, you won’t have to worry about temperatures, even under load.
It’s made on a 12nm FinFET process and uses AMD’s AM4 socket. It works with 2933 MHz dual-channel DDR4 memory and is overall a great midrange CPU.
Motherboard: Gigabyte B450M DS3H
If you’re trying to save a bit of money during your Ryzen 3400G build, a B450 motherboard is a great way to do that. Gigabyte’s B450M DS3H is one of the best such boards, and even though it’s technically a previous generation motherboard, it still uses AMD’s AM4 socket and has support for the 3rd generation Ryzen CPUs.
The motherboard comes with a PCIe Gen3 NVMe slot, as well as 4 DIMM slots for dual-channel memory. The audio section is also pretty decent, with high-quality capacitors and Audio Noise Guard, and Realtek’s Gigabit LAN makes sure you have great network performance.
The motherboard also supports the RGB Fusion software, which allows you to control RGB LED strips in 7 colors. Last but not least, Gigabyte’s Smart Fan 5 is also supported, which rounds out an excellent micro ATX motherboard.
GPU (optional): Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB
The Radeon Plulse RX 580 is arguably the best graphics card under $200. For starters it has 8GB of DDR5 VRAM make it future proof. This GPU is also great for 1080p gaming on meduim to ultra settings and is decent for 1440p as well.
Additionally, it has a base frequency of 1257 MHz and a boost frequency of up to 1340 MHz. That along with its 256-bit bus and 2304 stream processors allows this graphics card to actually perform very well in most AAA gaming titles.
With RAM prices coming down, you can comfortably have 16GB of RAM even in a build that’s made to fit a fairly tight budget. We’re recommending Corsair’s Vengeance LPX kit, with two 8GB sticks. It runs at a very respectable 3000 MHz, with support for XMP 2.0.
The Vengeance LPX sticks are made for overclocking, and they come with a low profile aluminum heat spreader that helps keep them cool. Each IC has been screened for performance, so you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting what you’re being promised. The Vengeance LPX kits are some of the most reliable memory modules, so you should be good to go for the future as well if you decide to upgrade other components.
Storage: Crucial P1 500GB
A couple of years ago a build that’s budget limited meant that you had to go with a mechanical hard drive in order to save a few bucks. Now, however, you can have a 500GB NVMe SSD in such a build without your budget going sky high.
Crucial’s P1 SSD comes in an M.2 form factor, and you can expect speeds of up to 2,000 MB/s read and 1,700 MB/s write. It’s based on a Micron 3D NAND chip and makes use of the PCIe interface on your motherboard. You’re also getting SMART technology, as well as the Acronis True Image software. It’s a great budget SSD that will undoubtedly give you fast loading times in your OS, as well as in-game.
PSU: EVGA 500 W1
A good, high-quality power supply is a must, and when you’re trying to stay within budget, EVGA’s 500 W1 power supply is a great way to go. With 500W of power and 80+ White certification, this is a power supply that will easily power all of the components in our Ryzen 3400G build without being overloaded.
It has all the necessary protections – UVP, OVP, OPP, OCP, and SCP, and there’s also a 3-year warranty. Unfortunately, this isn’t a modular or even semi-modular power supply, so you’ll need to be wary of your cable management, but it’s still an otherwise pretty impressive power supply for a budget build.
The Phanteks P300 is a great budget-friendly case. It’s a mid tower ATX case with a tempered glass panel, which allows you to showcase your build conponents on the inside. Inside is quite a lot of space for components. There’s support for a 120mm, 140mm, 240mm or 280mm radiator. You can also fit a graphics card that’s up to 370mm in length, and there’s plenty of airflow and cable management room. The only downside is that there is only one fan included, so if you want extra airflow, you’ll need to supply your own.
Operating System: Windows 10 USB Installer
As far as the operating system goes, our recommendation is going with Windows 10, and the Home edition instead of the Pro. The Home edition is quite a bit cheaper, and you’re missing out features such as Client Hyper-V and a few security features that aren’t a must. Windows 10 is a very secure OS as is, and saving a bit here is well worth it.
It’s also got support for all the hardware we’re using in our build and will continue to get software updates, as well as driver updates for quite some time. Therefore, if you’re going to be using it for a few years, you should be good to go with Windows 10.
Wi-Fi Adapter: TECHKEY USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter
If you’re going to be gaming, a wired connection may be better, and you can take advantage of the gigabit LAN on the motherboard. However, for convenience’s sake, a Wi-Fi adapter is much better. We would suggest getting something that has decent speeds, and preferably external antennas for better reception. You can easily get USB adapters that fit the bill, and they don’t even cost too much. If you decide to get a better one, though, you could also get by with gaming wirelessly too.
All things considered, in the past couple of years, Intel and AMD have released CPUs that make it possible to have a budget build that still performs well for gaming and other computational tasks. The Ryzen 5 3400G is an excellent example, and it’s one that performs a lot better than you’d expect, especially at the price it comes at. This is the perfect budget PC build that has a good upgrade path.