How to Build a Water-Cooled, Powerhouse PC for under $1000!

edited December 2023 in PC Build Guides

Written by Sean Mekinda

Building a PC on a budget doesn't mean you have to skimp on power. By taking advantage of bundles and high-powered, affordable parts you can put together a PC that can absolutely crush 1080p gaming and easily break into high-frame-rate, 1440p esports and AAA titles!

Not only does this build feature one of the latest GPUs from AMD, the RX 7600, but it also uses the Micro Center exclusive AMD Ryzen 5 5600X3D, a processor specifically designed to take your gaming PC to the next level without destroying your budget. The 5600X3D is part of a bundle that includes the processor, a motherboard, and RAM and will make up the core of this build, all the while saving you over $130!

So, how do we do it? Check out our parts list and find out!

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X3D Vermeer AM4 3.3GHz 6-Core Boxed Processor

Unsurprisingly, the Ryzen 5 5600X3D is the heart of the bundle. This Micro Center exclusive processor uses AMD's 3D V-Cache technology to greatly expand its cache, delivering snappier load times and higher frame rates. Don't believe us? We've got the proof in our benchmarks. But act fast! The Ryzen 5 5600X3D is a limited run processor - when they're gone, they're gone for good!

Cooler: DeepCool LT520 Premium 240mm Water Cooling Kit

The Ryzen 5 5600X3D is an incredibly powerful processor, and incredibly powerful processors deserve more than air cooling. The DeepCool LT520 is an incredibly water cooling solution that not only keeps your processor running at low temperatures, but looks absolutely stunning all the while.

Motherboard: ASUS B550-PLUS TUF Gaming WiFi II AMD AM4 ATX Motherboard

The backbone of the 5600X3D bundle, the ASUS B550-PLUS is a fantastic motherboard that will last you for years. ASUS TUF components are, as the name implies, designed to be hearty computer parts, built with military-grade components. Beyond the construction, the B550-PLUS is ready to go out of the box, with WiFi built-in, so you don't need to worry about finding an adaptor or running ethernet cable through your whole house!

Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 PC4-25600 CL16 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit 

The final piece in the 5600X3D bundle, this 16GB kit of RAM from G.Skill is plenty to get you gaming. 16GB is the minimum we recommend for gaming rigs nowadays (even some internet browsers can eat up a good chunk!), and, with only two sticks, it still leaves enough room to upgrade if you decide you need a bit more memory.

GPU: AMD Radeon RX 7600 ROG Strix Overclocked 8GB GDDR6

AMD's RX 7600 is their most recent GPU release and comes packed with power for budget-friendly builds. The 7600 is more than capable of handling the latest releases at 1080p and, in our testing, could even handle some of the most intense games of recent memory, like Cyberpunk 2077, at a very playable 30FPS at 4K! So if you're looking for a card that's more than ready to take on 1080p and 1440p without overextending your budget, this is it.

SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 1TB M.2 NVMe Interface PCIe 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND 3 bit MLC Technology

At this point, SSDs are a must have. Not only do they greatly reduce boot times, but new games, like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, are starting to require them for the best experience. Samsung's 970 EVO Plus comes with 1TB of storage, more than enough to get a new builder up and running with several games. And, if you find yourself needing more storage, you can always add additional 2.5" SSDs!

Power Supply: PowerSpec 650 Watt 80 Plus Bronze ATX Semi-Modular Power Supply Active PFC SLI Crossfire Ready Gaming PC

If you're looking to build a PC on a budget, you definitely shouldn't skimp on the quality of your power supply. However, opting for a non- or semi-modular power supply can save you a bit over their fully-modular counterparts. The semi-modular power supply we've chosen here has a few permanently attached cables, but still has several detachable cables for easier cable management.

Case: Lancool 205 Mesh Type C Tempered Glass ATX Mid-Tower Computer Case

Just because you're building on a budget doesn't mean you have to build in a case that looks like it's from 2003. The Lancool 205 is a stylish case that comes with a tempered glass side panel and RGB fans, giving your PC a modern, stylish edge.

Check out (and customize!) the full parts list here:


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