Mainstream Build – $1,000

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

For the mainstream focus, we wanted something that can handle smooth, 1440p gaming without any issues. For this task, we utilized the all-new AMD Ryzen 5 3600 for the CPU and paired it with the excellent Radeon RX 5700 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 3600$199
Motherboard:MSIB450 Tomahawk$114
Memory:CorsairVengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200 CL16$77
Storage:Western DigitalWD Blue SN500 500GB M.2 NVMe$64
Graphics Card:PowerColorRadeon RX 5700 8GB$349
CasePhanteksP350X (Black)$69
Power SupplyEVGA550 B3 550 Watt Bronze, Fully Modular$65
CPU Cooler: Cooler MasterHyper 212 Black Edition$33

Pairing the Ryzen 5 3600 with a cheaper, B450 motherboard allows us to save quite a bit while not actually sacrificing any performance compared to the more expensive X570-motherboards. Sure, we lose support for PCIe 4.0, 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) allows us to maximize gaming performance and spend money where it counts the most.

In terms of performance, in our own review of the Radeon RX 5700, we found it to out perform the similarly priced RTX 2060 by up to 16% on average at 1440p, making it a much better value overall. While we haven’t reviewed the Ryzen 5 3600 ourselves, we have found the Ryzen 3000 CPUs to be great at gaming as they’ve finally managed to really close the gap with Intel in that area. Upgrade path wise, the most obvious choice would be the storage, as that’s one area this build does cut back on. 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.

As for what we think you should pair this system with: well, given it’s graphical prowess, we believe an inexpensive 1440p, 144Hz FreeSync-enabled monitor such as the VIOTEK GN27DB, which lacks any of the extra bells and whistles of some of the more expensive gaming monitors, but comes at a price of just $299.

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