This small configuration for PC Gamer at less than 400€ uses a principle quite similar to that of the PC at 300€. We stay here on an APU, combining a processor and a graphics card, in order to fit into our tight budget.
However, we are moving on to a more powerful and versatile model, with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200G which can accompany you a little longer if you want to upgrade your PC little by little. This entry-level configuration also benefits from the addition of an SSD, bringing a much smoother and more responsive use to your PC.
We can play without too much problem in 1080p on most competitive games, but also on titles that are a little more demanding by limiting the graphic details.
Best Gaming PC Build Under 400
Can we really play with a 400€ Gamer PC?
The answer is yes!
Despite the affordable price of this machine, which does not allow us to invest in a dedicated graphics card, we will be able to discover many current titles in the correct conditions.
By opting for an AMD Ryzen 3 3200G APU, you benefit from both a high-performance processor and a Vega 8 graphics chip that does more than honourably when gaming .
What Games Will It Run and What Framerate Can I Expect?
Obviously with such a small budget, there are no miracles on this configuration and you will often have to limit yourself to very low graphics settings to play at 1080p, or move towards a 720p resolution to gain in FPS.
No time to watch our video? Here are some examples of the average FPS obtained during our tests:
- Apex Legends – 1080p Low : 40 FPS
- Battlefield V – 1080p Low : 41 FPS
- Control – 1080p Low : 26 FPS
- CS:GO – 1080p Low : 85 FPS
- Fortnite – 1080p Low : 78 FPS
- League of Legends – 1080p High : 200 FPS
- Valorant – 1080p Low : 100 FPS
- COD Warzone – 1080p Low – 37 FPS
Processor – AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
On the processor side, we are quickly limited with a total budget that cannot exceed 400€.
For this configuration, we are therefore naturally moving towards an APU (a CPU embedding its own graphics chipset), with here the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G . With a design with 4 cores and 4 threads that can climb up to 4 Ghz in Turbo mode, the 3200G is robust and allows you to enjoy a perfectly fluid machine in daily tasks.
The 3200G is mainly accompanied by a Vega 8 graphics chip, allowing here to skip a real dedicated graphics card. If we should not expect exceptional performance, we can still run many current games by limiting the graphic details.
Another good point, the Ryzen 3 comes with its own cooler. If it is not the most efficient or the most discreet model, it will do the job perfectly for this small configuration.
Please note: The 3200G is no longer available in stores and you will have to go to the second-hand market to get your hands on it. Count between 100 and 120€.
Motherboard – MSI B450M Pro-VDH Max
To accompany our 3200G, we start here on an MSI B450M Pro-VDH Max motherboard .
Available at around €60, it is positioned as one of the most affordable B450 motherboards in the sector and offers direct compatibility with Ryzen 3000 and 5000 processors. Clearly, no need to update your BIOS to install our small 3200G and you keep the possibility of easily upgrading your configuration.
The motherboard has a mATX design, but we find everything necessary for an entry-level configuration, with 4 DDR4 slots, 1 PCIe 3.0 16x port, 1 NVMe compatible M.2 port or 4 SATA connectors.
At the rear, with 4 USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI, DVI, VGA and RJ45 connector, we also have plenty to do despite its very affordable price.
RAM – Klevv Bolt X
Despite the affordable price of this configuration, it is wiser to go here with a 2 x 8 GB DDR4 kit rather than a 2 x 4 GB kit. machine overall much more fluid, efficient and above all adapted to future developments.
Available around 60€, the selected Klevv Bolt X kit also has the advantage of being clocked at a frequency of 3200 Mhz. Prices can quickly change on the RAM market, do not hesitate to take a look at the other 2×8 GB kits available .
Storage – Crucial P2 – 500 GB
With SSDs becoming more affordable, it would be a shame to overlook the benefits they can bring, whatever your configuration budget.
Much faster than a traditional HDD, we start here on a 500 GB Crucial P2 in M.2 format and PCIe 3.0 compatible. Despite its affordable price of around €55, it still displays very good speeds with up to 2400 MB/s in reading and 1900 MB/s in writing.
With 500 GB, you have enough space to store your operating system, your favorite programs and some AAA games. If you need more space, you can add an additional 500 GB HDD for around thirty euros .
Power Supply – Corsair CV450
On the power side, we start with a fairly basic model with a Corsair CV450 . Certified 80 PLUS Bronze, it offers attractive yields for an entry-level machine.
With 450W, we have enough power to power our configuration for less than 400€, but also a good margin to upgrade your machine by adding a dedicated graphics card, for example.
Cabinet – MSI MAG Forge 100M
For the box, you are spoiled for choice with a budget between 40 and 70€. On our side, we start on a safe bet with an MSI MAG Forge 100M.
For less than 60€, it’s hard to find better at the present time with here an ATX format box meeting all the expectations of a modern PC configuration. In addition to its rather successful lines, we appreciate the presence of a perforated front panel accompanied by two 120 mm RGB fans. A third at the back ensures correct airflow to your machine and your components.
The case also benefits from a tempered glass side panel as well as a power supply cage to hide your ugly cables. The general finishes are also much better than on the many “no-name” boxes offered at only ten euros less.
How Can I upgrade this build?
If we start on the basis of a PC Gamer with a budget of 400€, many prospects for evolution are possible. A quick overview of our recommendations.
Invest in a dedicated graphics card
If the iGPU Vega 8 of our Ryzen 3 3200G is not doing too badly, the first path of evolution to follow remains the purchase of a real graphics card.
Capable of running the vast majority of current games in 1080p under very decent conditions, it offers unbeatable value for money at the entry level. We also tested all this on video on about fifteen games and you can discover the results below:
If you’re looking for something a little more powerful and still suitable for the 3200G, you can also go for the Nvidia GTX 1650 Super . Under the 200€ mark on occasion, it remains one of the best graphics cards for playing in 1080p at 60 FPS.
Another advantage of the GTX 1650 Super is the presence of the NVENC encoder, allowing you to use your graphics card to start streaming, all without using the 3D resources of your GPU.
Finally, if you prefer to focus on the new market, head for the most recent AMD RX 6500 XT. It can now be found under the 250€ mark . At this price, we are far from getting the deal of the century, but at least there is no risk of a bad surprise by buying directly from the store.
Please note that the 6500 XT displays better performance when connected to a PCIe 4.0 port. This is not the case with B450 motherboards!
A more powerful CPU
With its 4-core, 4-thread design, the Ryzen 3 3200G can show its limits depending on the games you play and the applications you are used to using.
Luckily, it is very easy to move towards a much more powerful model while keeping the other components of this configuration.
If you want to stay an APU and continue playing your games without a dedicated graphics card, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is positioned as the big brother of the 3200G.
Available around €180, it benefits from a 6-core, 12-thread design, with a Turbo frequency of 4.4 Ghz. The graphics part is also revised upwards, with the presence of a Vega 7 chip.
We can also imagine moving towards an Intel processor and in particular the recent Core i5-12100F available around 120€. Much more powerful than our Ryzen 3 3200G, it will allow you to gain performance, whether during office automation or gaming.
However, this development implies many changes in our configuration, since the CPU will also have to be accompanied by a new B660 motherboard as well as a real dedicated graphics card. If you have a limited budget, you can find the Gigabyte B660L DS3H DDR4 for around 130€ and the Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card for around 250€.