Crafting a robust gaming PC on a budget is a challenge that many enthusiasts undertake. With a budget of $1,000, it's possible to assemble a system that not only tackles current games with ease but also stands ready for future upgrades.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through building a mid-range gaming PC, aimed at delivering high-to-ultra settings at 1080p and decent performance for 1440p gaming. The full hands-on experience is in the video above, while a quick look at the components and major steps is below.
CPU: At the heart of our build lies the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 3D -- a six-core, twelve-thread CPU with a generous 96 MB of L3 cache, which promises excellent gaming performance. It’s part of a Micro Center bundle including RAM and a motherboard for $299.
RAM: We've chosen 16GB of DDR4 3200 memory, provided in two 8GB sticks, to ensure smooth performance across gaming and multitasking.
Motherboard: The ASUS TUF Gaming B550 motherboard, included in the bundle, offers a solid foundation with room for future upgrades.
GPU: The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060, with 8GB of VRAM, is capable of leveraging Nvidia’s DLSS technology. It is a mid-range card that pairs well with our CPU and costs $319 (when we built this, it's $299 right now). There's also a case to be made for using an AMD RX 6800 or 6700 XT.
Storage: A 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD, which we picked up for $44, will serve as the primary drive for the operating system and games.
Cooling: The Deepcool AG400 air cooler, at $25, offers an economical solution to keep our CPU at optimal temperatures.
Power Supply: A PowerSpec 750 watt semi-modular power supply at $79 provides clean power with the flexibility of modular cables.
Case: The Montec Air 903 Max case, chosen for its excellent airflow and aesthetic appeal, cost us $59.
Add in a copy of Windows 11 for $139 and that brings our total expenditure to $970, just under our $1,000 target.
Here's where to get everything we used:
A clutter-free workspace is key. An anti-static bracelet is a must-have to prevent electrostatic discharge. Have all your tools handy, and make sure there's enough lighting.
Before handling the motherboard, strap on your anti-static bracelet. Place the motherboard on its box - a safe and non-conductive surface.
Installing the CPU: Open the AM4 socket on the motherboard, align the CPU with the triangle on the corner to the corresponding mark on the socket, and gently place it in without force.
Installing the SSD: Remove the heatsink cover, insert the SSD into the M.2 slot, and secure it with a screw. Replace the heatsink cover to ensure proper cooling.
Installing the RAM: Refer to the motherboard's manual to find the correct slots for a dual-channel setup and firmly press the RAM sticks until they click into place.
Remove the side panels of your case and locate the fan and front panel connectors. Install the I/O shield into the back of the case.
Carefully place the motherboard inside the case, aligning it with the standoffs. Screw in the motherboard using the provided screws, starting with the center and moving outwards.
Slide the power supply into its bay at the bottom of the case with the fan facing down. Secure it with screws and route the main power and CPU cables.
Apply a pea-sized drop of thermal paste to the center of the CPU. Attach the cooler according to the instructions, ensuring even pressure across the CPU surface.
Connect all motherboard cables, including the front panel, USB, and audio connectors. Install the GPU into the PCIe slot and secure it. Route and connect the power cables to the GPU.
With everything assembled, it's time for the moment of truth. Connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to your new PC. Flip the power supply switch on and press the power button on the case.
Enter the BIOS to ensure all components are recognized correctly. Adjust settings as necessary, then proceed to install Windows 11 from a bootable USB drive.
Once the OS is installed, test the system's performance in various games and applications. Monitor temperatures and performance to ensure stability.
This build delivers solid performance and provides a platform for future upgrades. The RTX 4060 GPU ensures that games run smoothly at high settings, and the Ryzen 5 5600X 3D can handle multitasking easily.
See all of Micro Center's PC parts and bundles here.
Solid build for that price point!
interesting read and solid build for the price
Pretty good build for the price! I had a customer come in yesterday to pick up those parts after seeing this video!
this build is super valuable
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