Sometimes all you need for yourself, a friend or a family member is a PC that just works in daily tasks. Previously, this market was covered best by OEM PCs coming from companies such as Dell or HP and while they still have a lot of the market share, building your own little workstation often comes with big advantages in performance and quality of your components. With a pretty easy learning curve, building your own computer will just allow you to get the best components for your needs and budget often without the risk of getting lower quality parts (exactly how the OEMs do it in order to keep the price down and margin high). This list below is a strong recommendation if your budget is around $300, which we think is the best $300 gaming/workstation build out there in 2021.
Most people in the market for a working machine don’t want to spend a penny over what’s essential for their system to run good enough for their daily work habits; So if your old PC is giving you headaches regarding performance/noise or you just want an up-to-date system that can breeze through daily tasks like browsing the internet, reading, office work or even some content creation on the side, there’s probably no better alternative than this list below. Don’t get fooled by the small price tag because this machine has all the components you need for it to run smoothly and with no hiccups.
Without further ado, here is our recommendation for the best gaming/office PC under $300.
Entry-level $300 office/light gaming build – The parts list
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 3 2200G||$78|
|Memory||OLOy 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400||$50|
|Storage||ADATA SU635 240 GB 2.5" SSD||$25|
|Power Supply||EVGA BR 450 W 80+ Bronze||$40|
CPU – AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
We chose a Ryzen 2200G CPU because its easily a great performer on daily tasks. Sporting 4 true cores, a 3.7GHz boost clock, a small but powerful iGPU (integrated GPU), very small power consumption footprint and an unlocked clock multiplier (if you somehow need an extra boost of performance), the 2200G will happily deal with everything you throw at it. The great advantage of this CPU lies in the iGPU which is simply good enough for any gaming or rendering you want to do on the side.
The Vega 8 on-board graphics of this CPU is no slouch. It can hold its own in fairly new titles as long as you turn down some settings – so you can definitely get into some gaming from time to time. RAM performance is key here and thanks to the Dual Channel RAM in this list, the iGPU will be able to perform very well.
Motherboard – ASRock B450M-HDV
Another good advantage of the Ryzen 2200G CPU above is that it works great on many cheap motherboards; so you don’t need to shell a big amount of money for it. As a bonus, if you ever want to upgrade your CPU in the future, a B450 motherboard makes it easy because it features forwards-compatibility with any AM4 CPU on the market! We recommended a nicely priced B450 motherboard, the ASRock B450M-HDV, for the 2200G but feel free to get any similar one for this build because they essentially, don’t differ that much. Try to stay away from A320 motherboards though.
Memory – OLOy 16GB (2 x 8Gb) DDR4-2400
While 8GB would’ve worked good enough here, DDR4 RAM has great availability for cheap prices. A single stick of 8GB would’ve limited the performance of the 2200G CPU (because of the impact of single-channel memory) and 2 sticks of 4GB (Dual Channel) would’ve limited you from upgrading in the future.
Find yourself a $50-$60 2x8GB (16GB) DDR4 RAM kit and enjoy your PC never running out of memory. It’s simply too cheap not to buy 16GB of RAM even for an office PC in 2019, even at a $300 price point for the whole gaming PC.
Storage – ADATA SU635 240GB
An SSD is mandatory in a modern PC. It features reading and writing speeds up to 7-8 times faster than a normal hard-disk and lately, the prices of these little storage devices have always been a bargain. The list above has a 240GB one, the ADATA SU635 but if you feel like needing more on your PC, get a 480/500GB one for some few extra dollars and call it a day. Adding a HDD along-side the SSD is also an option if you need to store a lot of data like files/pictures/movies but its a very wise choice to have your Operating System and your most used applications installed on the SSD.
PC Case – Cougar MX330
The Corsair MX330 mid-tower ATX case comes at a very good price for its features; a sturdy side panel, PSU shroud and multiple cable management options. For the price and the design, this case is hard to beat and easily makes it into this list.
Power Supply – EVGA BR 450W 80+ Bronze
The EVGA BR 450W is an average quality 80+ Bronze power supply which also features 2×6+2 PCIe connectors if you plan on pairing the PC with a GPU in the future; nothing special here but the quality and value is good.