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Building my friend a computer for Christmas

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So I'm planning to build my best friend a computer for Christmas. My budget is about $300 not including the OS. He's most likely gonna use it for gaming and YouTube, so it doesn't have to be bleeding edge(Not that I can make a bleeding edge rig for $300 :P)).

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I think my strategy to get him a good computer for a good price is probably to buy a pre-built computer and upgrade the graphics card and ram. Any suggestions?

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Well. Sometimes with pre built. You are paying more for the branding. Like Dell or hp ect, than  the actual performance.  I would just go with building one. You can get a better machine with less money 

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I never really trust refurbished imo. I always hate the uncertainty of how old the parts are and ect  but that's just a personal thing

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Wanna hear something that makes this thread pointless? He told me he doesn't want a computer, so I got him a football jersey instead.

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