Building a Better PC: The $1200 Gaming PC

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edited October 2021 in PC Build Guides

Looking to build a budget gaming computer, but still squeak every last drop of power out of it? We got you. We’ll walk you through all the parts needed to put together your new gaming PC, to get you up and gaming as soon as possible.

Essential PC Components

 The essential components you will need to get going are:

 ●    CPU

●    Motherboard

●    Graphics Card

●    Hard Drive

●    Memory

●    Power Supply

●    Case


 The Ryzen 5 3600 Matisse 3.6GHz 6-Core AM4 Boxed Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler is an excellent choice for an affordable PC.

With six cores, twelve threads, and a base clock of three gigahertz, this CPU will handle almost any task you throw at it. You can also overclock the CPU to four gigahertz to further optimize its performance.

AMD Ryzen processors are created using the world's most advanced 7nm manufacturing technology. These processors are paired with a Wraith cooler allowing you to do more without worrying about overheating.


ASRock's B450 PRO-series boards come with all the essentials required for assembling your PC.

They work perfectly with the AMD Ryzen 3600 and have built-in support for AMD's latest technologies like Ryzen, Radeon, and PCIe Gen.

 The B450 motherboard has two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports on the rear i/o. These will also support future USB devices and deliver 10 Gbps data transfer rates.


Graphics Card

 The EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 XC Gaming is a great budget choice graphics card. It offers the power of Nvidia in an affordable package, keeping your build budget intact.

 The EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 is an amazing graphics card for anyone looking to game at 1080p and 1440p. With 12GB of GDDR6 memory, this GPU has abundant space for your gaming needs!



 SSDs are faster than traditional hard drives, and they give you better access to your data. This is especially useful for gamers who need quick load times. For example, the Samsung 870 QVO 1TB delivers plenty of storage along with read speeds of up to 560 MB/sec, perfect for any heavy-duty processing. Also, with 1TB of space, you don’t have to worry about having room to download 100GB games.



The dual-channel Crucial Ballistix DDR4 RAM is a great way to ensure you have enough of this vital component in your PC. 32GB will give you plenty for any task or game. However, if you are looking to save a few more bucks, then 16GB is also a good option too. We don't recommend going below 16GB for any PC running games or video editing software.


Power Supply Unit (PSU)

 When building your PC from scratch, keep in mind that several important components require power, and a quality PSU is what you need. The PowerSpec 650 Watt 80 Plus Bronze ATX Semi-Modular will give you plenty of power without breaking the bank, making it ideal for a low-cost build! It will also give you some extra wattage as this build only requires 447 watts, and this PSU maxes out at 650.


 Lian Li has been making exceptional cases since 1989, and they're still at it today with their Lancool 215 Tempered Glass eATX Full Tower Computer Case. This case is made from tempered glass and aluminum, giving you a sleek look that does not comprise on functionality.

 It features two pre-installed 200MM RGB fans and a 120MM fan, combining with mesh panels to provide efficient ventilation.

Additional Considerations

 We have covered the basics for this build, but you may want to think about adding additional items like a monitor, keyboard/mouse combo, HDMI cables, and speakers.

 You can most likely use your old cables, but if they aren't compatible for some reason, you will need to purchase new ones. It is also a good idea to upgrade your generic mouse and keyboard to the ones specific to gaming for a better experience.

And don’t forget about your monitor. Sure, you can run most things on that old CRT, but you certainly won’t see eSports quality frame rates on it.

What Can I Run on This PC?

 Almost anything you can throw at it! The combination of an AMD Ryzen 5 and NVIDIA 3060 mean you’ll be seeing buttery smooth frames at 1080p on almost every game, from the classics to stuff released yesterday. And if you’re an eSports gamer, you can expect the high framerates required for high-level play.

 If you don't need to play games, this computer will still do everything that a typical office or home computer would do. Video and photo editing with Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and After Effects will also run smoothly on this build.


Build A PC Today!

 Building a PC is tricky. Building a gaming PC on a budget is even harder. Hopefully we've put together enough of a guideline that you can either run with the build we've put together or use it as a baseline for your own build! You can find this build here in MicroCenter’s Custom PC Builder, and modify it to make it your perfect build. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask below or stop in at your local Micro Center!

More from the Micro Center Community:

Looking for more information about Building a PC? We’ve got PC Build Guides as well as articles on How to Choose Parts for you Custom PC Build, Product Reviews, and Part Comparisons. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to post a new discussion and the Community will be happy to help!


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