PC*Base: Building a sub $400 PC

One thing I often hear from people when I talk about building a PC is expensive it is. They tell me that Best Buy will sell them a PC cheaper than I can build one. In some cases this is true, but the parts in cheap store-bought PC’s are usually sub-standard. I’ve put together a list of products that you can buy from Microcenter that come out to less than $400. If there isn’t a Microcenter near you, you can find similar (and sometimes better) deals at Newegg or TigerDirect. I plan on updating this list over time as things get cheaper or parts go on sale, so remember to look back here if you want to build a cheap PC!

I just recommended a friend buy similar parts to the ones I’m going to list, and he loves it. It’s super-fast for him, and he knows it will feel great for some time to come. He’s using it for basic internet use, and basic video editing. He doesn’t plan to game on it often, but the games he plans on playing won’t require a separate video card.

This guide assumes you already have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. It also does not include the price of the operating system since that’s more of a matter of personal choice. The parts listed should make a good computer that won’t feel obsolete for years. It’s not a gaming machine, but it will play games at low settings.

Component SKU Price
CPU Intel i5-3570K 169.99
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H * 59.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 29.99
Case w/ power supply R12-40835 Mid Tower w/450 W Power Supply 29.99
Hard Drive Toshiba 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0 Gb/s 3.5″ drive 64.99
DVD Burner LG 24x SATA internal DVD Burner 15.99
Subtotal 370.94

* = Microcenter has a deal where they subtract $50 from any Z77 motherboard if you purchase either i5-3570K or an i7-3770K. The price I have listed has already subtracted the $50.

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