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Building on a Budget: The $300 AMD PC

by raycosm


Part List View full price breakdown


CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

48.0° C


I built this as an upgrade over my 2011 Macbook Pro as a station for doing school work, using the internet, and a little bit of light gaming. Matlab, Microsoft Office, Multisim, and general computing all seem to be pretty noticeably faster than my Macbook, and it's definitely a lot more comfortable to use a nice mechanical keyboard, wireless mouse, and 22" monitor than it is to sit at my laptop. The timing of this build also happened to coincide with the Steam sale, and the AMD A10 with integrated graphics performs pretty well at the highest settings on the cheap old <$5 games that are within my budget such as Bioshock and TF2.

My budget for this build was strictly $300 and the keyboard, monitor, mouse, and OS I already had. I would have made it too if my Comcast modem/router combo could actually be moved to a different room, but the house is too old for there to be more than one cable connection. In the end, I had to buy a PCI-E wireless card which pushed me over $300, but close enough that I'm still satisfied.

Most of the parts were purchased secondhand locally from other college students selling PC parts or used on Amazon. I didn't haggle too much on them, but the prices still beat sales on Newegg, Tigerdirect, and Amazon due to tax and shipping. The AMD A10-5800K was acquired for a very nice $85 used off Amazon and doesn't appear to have any problems. Buying used parts was surprisingly painless and ended up saving me a lot of money considering the budget.

Comments Sorted by:

Erikus 1 Build 20 points 34 months ago

For $300, this is impressive. I would probably get about as far as a motherboard and run over budget.

godshawk 4 points 34 months ago

This is the kind of computer I want.

Highwlaker 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Same here xD

AlCarter2013 1 Build 7 points 32 months ago

I love the build. I especially liked the first part involving you switching from a Mac. :3

l13199l 3 Builds 6 points 34 months ago

nice, i admire you, i cant budget for the life of me

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MadBadger 5 points 34 months ago

Be proud of this one. It's difficult to even mount a decent CPU at the $300 price point. Nice work.

I wish I could get this degree of savings on my build!

nsyedhasan 3 points 34 months ago

Consider overclocking the RAM.

SEWComputers 4 Builds 1 point 34 months ago

Good build for the relatively small budget. Is the stock 5800k fan loud? I'm thinking of using it for my personal rig.

raycosm submitter 1 Build 2 points 34 months ago

Well, it's definitely not quiet! I don't mind the noise though, my room is the front room of a house that faces a rather busy street and the white noise generated from the fan helps drown out the outside noise a little. That being said, you probably want a quieter one.

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Frostbyter 1 point 34 months ago

You shant really overclock with it anyways, so its all good! With an 8350 its barely keeping it at an acceptable temp.

jw215 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

At high revs it makes this high pitched noise, most likely from the bearings.

EagleRevenant 1 point 34 months ago

Nice, What games do you play on this?

bambam5211 1 point 34 months ago

Did your CPU come with a stock fan?

raycosm submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Yeah. I'm not really bothered by the volume since it's just white noise, so I can't really tell you if it's loud.

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runtrat 1 point 32 months ago

nice job. i could get the same thing if not worse performance wise for $600

jadenmp 1 point 30 months ago

thanks for the help i think i might slightly tweak it then build it

ViolentBoo 1 point 30 months ago

Nice build dude! Just a little iffy about the PSU, I always go with Corsair with PSU.

dromni 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

I personally would get a mid level graphics card like Radeon HD 7850 making it a $500 budget to play games like Sleeping Dogs and BF4... But for a $300 budget, this is nothing but AWESOME!

drummerdude2010 1 point 27 months ago

DId the motherboard fit with the case you bought? the notes are telling me that the case has front panels and the mobo has back usb.. im new to all this

goME2448 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

lol this is an old reply but idk if you know this but yes the mobo fits in the case, you just can't use the usb the case came with.

CNEPeddlar 1 Build 1 point 27 months ago

is the wifi adapter good?

zainathan 1 Build 1 point 21 months ago

nice budget build! +1

IMojoe134 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

I hate when i see builds like this, they remind me that i have to spend 200+ on OS and monitor and peripherals like keyboard and mouse and wireless adapters

Rocks902 1 point 4 months ago

If you already have a windows disc you can get windows for 30 bucks (8.1 with free upgrade to 10) Keyboard and mouse can be like 20 dollars and with a console you need a TV either way so i mean i think it's pretty fair

Variable.variables 1 point 19 months ago

This an impressive build for this tight of a budget... How are your upgrades coming along?

tekmage 1 point 17 months ago

This is a very impressive build. I'll bet It wouldn't be expensive at all to add on to your APU with a compatible video card that will allow you to Crossfire.

jnanof 19 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

very nice on budget. You did well to pick that power supply. Its very good, most people get a real POS for $20-30.

Ubermaniac 1 point 9 months ago

add a good video card and thi could be a gaming build,

ChrisGriffin 1 point 5 months ago

Not really Impressive but ok

UncleBunky 1 point 5 months ago

Gotta love budget pc gaming.

sumusiko 1 point 1 month ago

http://innoreviews.com/builds/whats-best-cheap-gaming-pc-under-300/ Has a pretty good article about a great gaming pc for only 300$, I bought mine from there and I can run most of the games I've tried, I'm sure you'll love the performance.

JasonRespawn 0 points 33 months ago

if you were to upgrade put in a GPU

raycosm submitter 1 Build 1 point 33 months ago

Looking to put in a 7870 or 7950 about a year from now, and maybe a jump from FM2 to AM3+ with an FX-8xxx since I think FM2 is on its way out.

dusty0 2 points 33 months ago

The next is FM2+, it will fit Trinity, Richland, and the up coming Kaveri.

PickItApart -1 points 34 months ago

Prices are great. Hard to beat this for the price. Why not 2133 RAM for light gaming? I'm assuming it's a budget issue.

raycosm submitter 1 Build 1 point 34 months ago

Yeah, I'm just too cheap to buy faster ram really. If I had a bigger budget I'd probably go with an AMD FX and a discrete GPU but I don't even really have the money to buy games outside of <$10 ones during the steam sale.

fossben000 -8 points 34 months ago

forgot windows. add an extra 90 bucks and you got yourself a 400 dollar build

SEWComputers 4 Builds 5 points 34 months ago

Maybe he's using Linux. I think is budget is 300 dollars for hardware, not including software and peripherals.

TheGreatJoshua 5 points 34 months ago

he said he already had the os