Sub $1500 gaming build

Hey folx,

My son is getting ready to put together a new pc for gaming. Windows 10, and going for best bang for the buck using quality parts. Spent a few minutes looking at current pricing and playing on system builder - curious to here any suggestions, criticisms, or etc; thanks for any input!

This is what I came up with so far (edited for suggestions):

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor $150.00
CPU Cooler Scythe FUMA 2 51.17 CFM CPU Cooler $60.00
Motherboard Gigabyte B550 AORUS PRO AC ATX AM4 Motherboard $170.00
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory $110.99 @ Amazon
Storage Crucial P1 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive $104.99 @ Adorama
Storage Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $53.99 @ Amazon
Video Card Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB NITRO+ Video Card $448.98 @ Newegg
Case Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case $98.98 @ Newegg
Power Supply SeaSonic FOCUS Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply $109.99 @ Best Buy
Case Fan ARCTIC P12 PWM PST 56.3 CFM 120 mm Fan $9.99 @ Amazon
Case Fan ARCTIC P12 PWM PST 56.3 CFM 120 mm Fan $9.99 @ Amazon
Case Fan ARCTIC P12 PWM PST 56.3 CFM 120 mm Fan $9.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $1337.89
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-06 09:42 EDT-0400

I have a couple issues with that build.
In general - it’s perfectly fine. But I think you can get a better SSD for the price. 120$ for less than 2gig read is really not that great.
You can get the same speed for 105$ by getting Crucial P1.
The price difference you can send towards a better PSU.
That EVGA is so overpriced for a Bronze unit. The Seasonic I linked gives you even more power and 7 years warranty on top of the Gold rating. Yes, rating isn’t everything, but I do not trust EVGA since it’s rebranding units.
Anyways, I am massively approving of your fans choice. Arctic is top quality for budget price.

I don’t really like the case either, but nowadays there is literally only one case I can look at and think “that’s a nice case”. But that’s purely subjective.


Build looks pretty good to me, although i do agree with @psycho_666 on the psu.
For the rest the build looks pretty balanced to me.
But for the psu there are likely better options for that money.


Id swap the mobo for the “Gigabyte B550M AORUS PRO” only $5 more

your sdd is kinda whack they are right, the hdd is SMR but for that price i cant argue

psu could be like a seasonic focus, or a nice corsair unit (at least something gold rated for $100+)

you can get “wifi 6” for the price of that asus card

case fans i didnt research but thats lower end noctua/bequiet price range

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone - exactly the sort of stuff I’m looking for. Crucial P1 definitely seems like the better deal if cheaper, and I didn’t put much thought into the PS at all. I’ll update the parts list to reflect those changes.

As for the HDD - yeah, it’s cheap.

Any recommendations for a better wifi card (at around that price)?

As for B550 - beyond the ability to drop in Ryzen 4000 (kina doubt that will happen), and assuming one isn’t like to take advantage of pcie 4.0, what advantages are there with that board? Not that it matters much for $5, just curious. I guess the VRMs look better on paper, but not sure about the components? I picked the Tomahawk Max bc I have the older version and like it, and kinda thinking it could be better to go higher end 450 rather than lower end 550.

The fans are top quality. They move a lot of air, they are quiet and they are much cheaper than most overpriced beQuiet and Noctua and especially Corsair fans.
The fans are super underrated.

PS: Fun fact, those fans are literally 5 euros in my country.

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I don’t know if it’s fixed now or not but the B450 Tomahawk Zen2 BIOS was not very good at launch.

The Arctic fans are really good. Some people don’t like their sound profile, especially on the P12, and many report tonality issues with them in certain rpm ranges, but for the price they can’t be beat.

As for the motherboards:

  • 2 NVMe capable M.2 slots
  • 3 PCIe slots (x16 + x4 + x1)
  • 4 USB 2.0 + 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (one is type C)
  • ALC1220 sound
  • 4 SATAIII ports
  • Internal Thunderbolt header


  • 1 NVMe capable M.2 slot
  • 5 PCIe slots (x16 + x4 + x1 + x1 + x1)
  • 2 USB 2.0 + 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 + 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 (one is type C)
  • ALC892 sound chip
  • 6 SATAIII ports

Unless you really want the extra expansion slots or just don’t like matx boards (I don’t) then the Aorus is hard to pass up feature wise, especially if the prices are so close. In your case, since you plan to use at least one expansion card it could be a tight fit with that video card.

For SSDs, the Kingston A2000 drive is also decent and very cheap.

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Build looks nice but I would ditch the NVMe/mech drive combo in favor of a single 2 TB NVMe solution. Mech drives are on their last leg, and their speed limit is already becoming a noticeable bottleneck in some instances. If you really need archive storage, repurpose an old mech for cheap. Its like comparing a tractor pulling a cart vs a Tesla - sure the tractor+cart can bring more people more cheap, but the Tesla does it better and faster in pretty much all scenarios.

I would also recommend ditching the wlan card for a built in motherboard solution, like the B550 aorus pro AC. About the same price range as wlan card+Mobo, but better forward compatibility and PCIe 4.0.

For the money for those fans… you can buy noctuas :slight_smile:

Pete and his Arctic fan love

A terabyte boot drive ? Unless you actually need the space…

You can drive the price down on your build and not compromise in the slightest.

Shop around a bit and consider what it is you have to have ?

Thank all.

The 550 aorus or aorus pro/WiFi seem like good suggestions if no one has anything bad to report about them; integrated Wi-Fi would be a bonus for only a few dollars more.

2tb nvme isn’t a bad suggestion - I think my son would prefer that in practice - I didn’t think to go that way because I prefer to have multiple internal drives to back up files, and not have all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. But worth considering. Anyone have a suggestion on something in budget that’s known to be extremely durable/reliable? I don’t know much about the various ssd technologies.

The Lian and phanteks cases are both nice And good suggestions. This is more of a taste thing though, so long as we’re talking cases with an appropriate amount of air flow - he will pick whatever he likes.

Chose 1tb boot because he plays a lot of different games, some large, and probably doesn’t want to worry much about moving things around to avoid pushing it beyond recommended capacity.

My personal leanings would have me checking out a 2070 or Super if it was a more gaming centered.

  • I agree with Crucial P1 for an SSD. Crucial is a good brand, and since they are owned by Micron they are one of the few brands to make their own chips.
  • If you can get a Gold PSU for a small upcharge I would. No guarantee it’s better, but generally Gold power supplies from reputable brands will last years and years.
  • I have mixed feelings on mechanical hard drives. On one hand SSDs are so much snappier, but on the other hand games are huge nowadays and will eat up space in no time. IIRC one of the newest Call of Shooty games is like 200 GB+? Like 10 modern AAA titles and you’d hit a terabyte easily.
  • Scythe Fuma 2 is a great cooler for the price.
  • Check benchmark comparisons for the equivalently priced Nvidia cards.

That was my original thought, and I almost forgot about 5700xt bc it had so many issues at release. But it seems like driver stuffs have been resolved, and the 2070s is 20% more expensive for less than 10% more performance, from what I’m seeing? Possibly worth it for some if the money is there, but he can think about that. He’s not on the forum, but I linked him to the thread.

I can not say much about supreme oc’ing but at stock these are fine :slight_smile: and a little cheaper.

I am a bit familiar with some of these brands and parts…As I built a X570 rig with 3600 and 2080.

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Oh, well that changes things - I hadn’t seen any that cheap. There won’t be any extreme OC so that could be the ticket.

EDIT: I read that link as 2070 Super because that’s what I had been thinking about. Worth considering but less obvious s choice.

MB pricing and psu pricing have gotten pretty funky but some patience and good timing might land you a better deal . You do not really need a 750 watt psu for such a built unless you plan on expanding it into something later.

Absolutely. I recommended he spend at least a few weeks looking for deals as I saved a ton of money that way (I spent a couple months probably). But he’s anxious to have it now. So waiting for prices to level back out some probably isn’t an option. I’d probably be waiting on Ryzen 4000 - but that sounds like at least Xmas/haven’t heard any definitive answers.

Also agree on the power supply; originally specd a 650 and 600 would probably do it. But a little more won’t hurt. And seems like a decent deal considering current pricing.

SSDs in general are very durable - more reliable than mechs in my opinion. The king of Kings in durability, Samsung EVO 970, is of course ridiculously long lived and would last around 200 years In a gaming system. Most NVMe come with 5 years of warranty these days, too.

That said, 2TB is quite expensive at the moment, so a 2x1TB NVMe combo with a 2 slot motherboard should be a better deal.

If that is too little storage, look into an nvme 4x4 extension card :slightly_smiling_face:

OP could easily go with NVMe+SATA SSD too if one wants to avoid spinners. Also, there is almost no reason to get a NVMe drive for games specifically, or most any other desktop oriented task. A small 250-500GB NVMe SSD for the OS alone (and whatever other programs OP may need) and a 2TB SATAIII SSD for user accounts and games.

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