Mainstream Build – $1,000

A branded mid range gaming PC build for under $1,000.

Since the past two years have been an absolute nightmare to buy hardware, we lowered our expectations and aimed at something that can handle smooth, 1080P gaming without any issues. For this task, we utilized the all-new AMD Ryzen 5 5600 for the CPU and paired it with the excellent Radeon RX 6600 for the graphics card. This leaves us enough room in the budget for a solid mix of high quality components.

ComponentManufacturerProductPrice (US)
CPU:AMDRyzen 5 5600$179
Motherboard:ASRockB550 Phantom Gaming 4 AC$152
Memory:TeamgroupT-Force Alpha 16GB DDR4-3600 CL18$77
Storage:Western DigitalWD Black SN850 1TB M.2 NVMe 4.0$134
Graphics Card:XFXRadeon RX 6600 Speedster$299
CasePhanteksP360A (Black)$89
Power SupplyEVGA650 Gold 550 Watt Fully Modular$59
CPU Cooler: Stock CoolerAMD WraithN/a

Pairing the Ryzen 5 5600 with a slightly nicer, B550 ASRock motherboard allows us to save a bit of money while not actually sacrificing any performance compared to the more expensive X570-motherboards. While we do lose some extra PCIe 4.0 slots, but for a build like this, you won’t miss it any way. Likewise, doing away with any fancy RGB lighting (with the exception of the chassis and motherboard) allows us to maximize gaming performance and spend money where it counts the most.

In terms of performance, in our own review of the bigger brother Radeon RX 6600XT, we found it to be a great performer at 1080P, the 6600 retains most of that performance with a much more budget friendly $300 price point. While we haven’t reviewed the Ryzen 5 5600 ourselves, we have found the Ryzen 5600X CPU to be great at gaming as they managed surpass 10th and 11th gen parts while with the launch of Alder Lake they still have a small gap with Intel in that area. Upgrade path wise, the most obvious choice would be the cooling, memory, and storage. Still, we feel this is a strong starting point as it is fairly easy to pop in a second SSD or HDD for extra space later on. A GPU or nice Monitor could be another place to throw money in the near future with 7000 series GPUs and RTX 4000 series GPUs on the horizon.

As for what we think you should pair this system with: well, given it’s graphical prowess, we believe an inexpensive 1080p, 240Hz FreeSync-enabled monitor such as the AOC C27G2Z, which lacks any of the extra bells and whistles of some of the more expensive gaming monitors, but comes at a price of just $239.