Building a budget gaming PC in 2023
With new graphics cards and CPUs launching in 2022, 2023 is shaping up to be a great year to build a budget gaming PC. While GPU and CPU prices are still higher than before the pandemic, the market has stabilized and deals are more readily available.
In this guide, I’ll go over the components needed to build a solid budget gaming PC in 2023 for around $800. This will allow playing the latest games at 1080p resolution and high settings.
CPU – AMD Ryzen 5 5600
For the CPU, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600 is an excellent choice for budget gaming in 2023. It has 6 cores and 12 threads which provides great performance in games. The 5600 launched in 2022 so it’s one of AMD’s latest budget CPUs. It can easily handle high frame rate 1080p gaming and also streaming and multitasking.
Compared to Intel, AMD offers better value and performance at this budget price point. The integrated graphics on the 5600 are also more powerful than Intel’s offerings.
Motherboard – MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi
For the motherboard, the MSI B550M Pro-VDH WiFi is a great pairing for the Ryzen 5600. It has decent VRMs capable of supporting some overclocking and all the features you need like PCIe 4.0 and four memory slots.
Importantly, this motherboard has built-in WiFi 6 and Bluetooth connectivity. At this price point, integrated wireless is a nice bonus that saves you from having to buy a separate WiFi card.
RAM – 16GB DDR4-3200
16GB of RAM is recommended for gaming these days. 8GB can still work for budget gaming but with only 8GB you may run into limitations for background tasks and future game requirements. 16GB helps ensure your system won’t bottleneck on memory capacity.
For Ryzen CPUs, try to get at least DDR4-3200 speed memory. This is the sweet spot for price and performance. 16GB of 3200MHz RAM from major brands like Corsair, G.Skill, or Crucial can be found between $50-$60.
Storage – 500GB NVMe SSD
Using an SSD as the boot drive is essential for any modern gaming PC. It speeds up Windows, games, and all applications compared to a mechanical hard drive. A 500GB NVMe SSD provides enough space for your OS and several top games. Models like the WD Blue SN570 or Samsung 970 Evo Plus are great budget options under $50.
To complement the SSD, add a 1TB or 2TB traditional hard drive for mass storage. The Seagate Barracuda Compute is a reliable HDD for around $40-$60.
Graphics Card – AMD Radeon RX 6600
The graphics card is where most of your budget will go for a gaming PC. Given current market pricing, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 is the obvious choice for 1080p gaming under $800. It outperforms lower-tier cards like the RX 6500 XT and offers better value compared to Nvidia’s RTX 3050.
The RX 6600 handles max settings in most games at 1080p. It’s also competent for high FPS esports titles if you turn down some settings. For high-refresh rate gaming on a budget, it’s one of the best options available. The 8GB of VRAM gives it an edge over cheaper 4GB cards.
Case – Corsair 4000D Airflow
The case doesn’t impact performance but helps contain all your components. The Corsair 4000D Airflow is a quality budget case with great features like two included fans, mesh front panel for airflow, clean looks and easy cable management. For under $100 it’s one of the best values that looks great through a tempered glass window.
Alternative cases to consider are the Phanteks P360A, Lian Li Lancool 205M, or Cooler Master MasterBox NR600. Any quality case with airflow in mind works well.
Power Supply – Corsair CX650F RGB
Choosing a reliable PSU is critical for any system stability and longevity. Aim for a 550W-650W unit for a budget gaming PC with the RX 6600. The Corsair CX650F RGB is fully modular, 80+ Bronze certified, has nice looks with RGB fan, and most importantly delivers reliable power. For a budget PSU under $100 this hits all the key points.
Other options to consider are the EVGA BQ 600W or Seasonic Core GM 650W. Look for 80+ Bronze efficiency, 120mm fan, and 5 year warranty at a minimum.
CPU Cooler – Deepcool AK400
The stock cooler that comes with the Ryzen 5600 is adequate but noisy under load. For about $30 the Deepcool AK400 air cooler is an excellent budget upgrade. It runs cooler and quieter thanks to the large heatsink and 120mm fan. This allows some overclocking headroom too.
Here are some optional extras or upgrades for this budget gaming build:
- Extra case fans for better cooling and airflow ($50)
- 1TB Hard Drive instead of 500GB for more storage ($35)
- RTX 3060 or Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card for better gaming performance ($100-150 extra)
- 1440p monitor to take advantage of improved graphics ($200-300)
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X for 10% better CPU performance ($60 extra)
- 650W power supply for more headroom ($20-30 extra)
In summary, for around $800 you can build a very capable 1080p gaming PC in 2023. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600 and Radeon RX 6600 form an excellent combination capable of high framerates in popular titles. Add 16GB of RAM, 500GB SSD, quality budget supporting components, and you have a PC ready for smooth gaming. This is a solid mid-range baseline you can later upgrade with a new GPU or monitor as budgets allow. Have fun choosing components and building your budget gaming rig!