Now that it’s officially Cyber Monday, we’ve still been combing through sales online, and we’ll continue to do so throughout the holiday season. As such, we thought it might be a good idea to throw together a quick and dirty PC build based on some of the better deals we’ve seen, in the event anyone is currently or looking to piece together an entire system. Our target was $1000 or less, and we’ve managed to assemble a pretty potent gaming machine for right under that.
Admittedly, $1,000 is a bit steep for a mid-range build—an upper-scale mid-range, no doubt—but still mid-range. This is the part where we insert the disclaimer about the voracious prices on RAM, SSDs, and GPUs. Alas, such are the times.
This gaming PC build for under $1000 uses an AMD Ryzen R5 CPU, a GTX 1060 3GB card, and 16GB of memory to provide a foundation for hobbyist or semi-professional workstation uses.
Unlike our recent Threadripper Workstation build, this one is squarely aimed at gaming and a mix of “content creator” type tasks; the R5 and additional memory will abet in light productivity workloads. Should anyone be considering serious overclocking, certainly pick up the optional cooler listed below, and maybe consider a move to X370 with a better VRM and heatsink.
Cyber Monday 2017 Gaming Build
AMD R5 1600 3.6 GHz: Almost all of AMD’s Ryzen family is marked down, but the R5 won our “Best Overall Value” award, so the R5 1600 comes easy to recommend. Intel’s i7-7700K is also marked down to $288 for Cyber Monday, and we nearly went that route; however, an i7 necessitates a higher caliber GPU—something to the tune of GTX 1070/1080/1080Ti or Vega 56/64—of which there are no deals on, and pricing is still bad enough at the mid-range level. To keep our budget in check and prevent an imbalanced build, e.g. GTX 1060 + 7700K (which doesn’t make a lot of sense), we’re going with an R5 and a 1060.
ASUS GTX 1060 3GB Dual: As we’ve stated many times already, GPU prices are tough right now; the price wave created from both mining and gamer demand has not yet crested. That said, this 1060 from ASUS is among the most competitive buys on the market, and we mentioned it in our recent Best GPU Sales guide. If you’re curious about 3GB vs. 6GB GTX 1060 performance, here’s a reference chart from our latest GPU round-up guide:
CPU Cooler (Optional)
Corsair Hydro H105 240mm: This build guide presumes the intent of using the bundled Wraith Spire cooler included with the R5, but for those looking at liquid, this a particularly good buy. The Corsair H105 240mm variant is presently marked down to $90 from a list price of $130. Corsair has AM4 retention brackets over at their website. The cooler will help ensure higher overclocks, but make sure you’re positioning fans above the VRM to provide some airflow.
ASRock AB350 Pro 4: Normally listed at $90, this B350 option from ASRock is significantly discounted. The ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 is also on sale for $70, making for another good buy. The B350 chipset is a good alternative to X370 for those still wanting to do some mild overclocking, and run a single GPU gaming rig. We have an AM4 overclocking motherboards round-up, for those a little more serious.
G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB 3000MHz ($150): Perusing RAM “sales” presently is something akin to being kicked between the legs—any sales are actually just prices that are less gouge-y, and closer to MSRP. Thus, $150 for a 16GB (2x8, dual channel) at 3000MHz is what suffices for a deal this year. Be sure to check out our RAM Sales guide for any other potential sales that might have not yet expired.
Corsair CX450 ($20): For $20, users can pick up the 80-Plus Bronze rated, non-modular 450W CX450, from Corsair’s CX series of power supplies. This PSU is normally listed at $50, so a savings of $30 is pretty good. The CX line isn’t our favorite, but is certainly acceptable. For those looking for something slightly better, the EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G2 is also on sale for $70.
WD Blue 250GB SSD ($70): The WD 250GB SSD (non-3D-NAND variant) can be had for $70, after a promo code. This isn’t a terrible buy, all things considered. For our other SSD picks for the year, check out our guide.
WD Blue 7200 RPM 1TB HDD ($50): The WD Blue is our earmarked choice for gaming/everyday mechanical storage. Used alongside any SSD to host the OS, it makes for cheap option for game or media storage. The WD Blue 1TB is presently $20 off the $70 list price, although it does routinely sell for less than that.
Corsair Carbide 270R ($45): We’ve recommended the Corsair 270R before, as the case won our Editor’s Choice award last year. A $45 sale price is one that is legitimately exciting, unlike some of the others (RAM, we’re looking at you). The Fractal Meshify C is another compelling option, also on sale for $70. The Meshify C was awarded “Best All-Around” in our recent Case Awards.
We have a budget, sub-$500 build coming up shortly, also for publication today. Check back in a few hours for that.
Editorial: Eric Hamilton