Pc build 2021

Pc build 2021 DEFAULT

BuildAPC: Top value for money desktop gaming PC builds (October 2021)

What are these PC builds?

These featured PC builds are automatically generated, including products whose price has significantly fallen during the last 3 months. So they always offer a great value for their current price and can also be used as a boilerplate for a custom configuration, being able to add or remove extra components according to your specific needs. If you have any specific question you can contact us or join the awesome Reddit community /r/buildapc.

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket AM4 with B450 chipset
  • CPU Ryzen 3200G/3400G (Integrated Graphics)
  • RAM 8GB DDR4 2133+ MHz
  • SSD 250GB SATA
  • Low power consumption
  • Ideal for browsing the Internet, watching movies and chatting
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket 1200 with B460 chipset
  • CPU Intel Core i3 Quad Core
  • RAM 8GB DDR4 2400+ MHz
  • SSD 500GB SATA
  • Mid range graphic card
  • Recommended for school and office work, casually playing video games
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket AM4 with B550 chipset
  • CPU AMD Ryzen 3/5 3rd gen
  • RAM 8GB DDR4 2400+ MHz
  • SSD 500GB SATA
  • Mid range graphic card
  • For AMD lovers, a cheaper alternative of the Gamer configuration
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket 1200 with Z590 chipset (overclock)
  • CPU Intel Core i5 11th gen 6-Core
  • GPU NVidia RTX 3060 Ti or AMD RX 6700 XT
  • RAM 16GB DDR4 3000+ MHz
  • SSD 1TB M.2 NVME
  • Mechanical keyboard & gaming mouse
  • Approved for videogames enthusiasts, freelance work and good performance longevity
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket AM4 Chipset X570 (PCIe 4.0)
  • CPU AMD Ryzen 5/7/9 3rd/5th gen
  • GPU NVidia RTX 3060 Ti or AMD RX 6700 XT
  • RAM 16GB DDR4 3000+ MHz
  • SSD 1TB M.2 NVME
  • Mechanical keyboard & gaming mouse
  • Approved for videogames enthusiasts, freelance work and good performance longevity
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket 1200 with Z590 chipset
  • CPU Intel Core i5 11th gen 6-Core
  • RAM 16GB DDR4 3000+ MHz
  • SSD 1TB M.2 NVME
  • Case Mini-ITX
  • So much power in such little space. Ideal for lan parties or for having a gaming beast sitting in your living room
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket 1200 with Z590 chipset (overclock)
  • CPU Intel Core i7/i9 11th gen
  • GPU NVidia RTX 3070 / RTX 3080
  • RAM 16GB DDR4 3200+ MHz
  • SSD 2TB M.2 NVME
  • Suggested for software development, streaming, playing video games in 2K/4K
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket 2066 with X299 chipset
  • CPU Intel Core X Series
  • GPU NVidia RTX 3070 / RTX 3080
  • RAM 32GB DDR4 3200+ MHz
  • SSD 2TB M.2 NVME
  • Extreme multitasking, editing videos, creating animations, or designing 3D models
View Build ►

Created now

CPU Single-CoreCPU Multi-CoreVGASSD
  • Highlights:
  • Socket sTRX4 with AMD TRX40 chipset
  • CPU Threadripper 3rd gen
  • GPU NVidia RTX 3070 / RTX 3080
  • RAM 32GB DDR4 3200+ MHz
  • SSD 2TB M.2 NVME
  • Extreme multitasking, editing videos, creating animations, or designing 3D models
View Build ►
Sours: https://pangoly.com/en/value-builds

The Ars Technica System Guide, spring 2021: Gaming edition

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If you're planning to build a new gaming rig in 2021, we have bad news for you—that's going to be difficult to impossible, due to supply chain constraints imposed by COVID-19. But we also have good news: while you might not be able to build a gaming PC, you can almost certainly buy one.

Don't get us wrong. If you have enough time and patience, you can still amass all the parts to build your own custom rig from the ground up. But that could take weeks or even months at this point in 2021. So instead of selecting parts lists, our next System Guide will focus on recent rigs from three of the major pre-built gaming PC vendors.

HP and Lenovo provided us with an Omen 30L and Legion 5i Tower, respectively. We also wanted to review an Alienware Aurora R11—and although we weren't able to get a review unit from Dell, Senior Commerce Editor Jeff Dunn graciously took a few pics and ran some limited testing on his personal R11.

Even at the big OEMs, the hardware that is available currently changes from week to week. But armed with component performance charts and a thorough review of these systems, you can make your own well-informed buying decisions.

The contenders

The HP Omen 30L and Lenovo Legion Tower 5i are mid-tower systems, a little on the large side but nowhere near "full tower" bulk. Each is significantly heavier than you'd expect from its size, but these machines are still well under anything you'd want to slap a "team lift only" sticker on. The Omen is slightly larger, but the Legion unfortunately makes up for it with an unnecessary whale-tail tacked onto the back-end for style. Each offers more than adequate cooling for the CPU and chassis, and each of them technicallyhas plenty of room to work inside. We'll get more into that "technically" weasel-word.

The HP Omen 30L came to us with a fluid-cooled Intel i9-10900K CPU and a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. The Lenovo Legion came with a more modest air-cooled Intel i7-10700 and GeForce RTX 2070 Super. Both systems (along with Dell's Aurora R10/R11) are at least theoretically configurable to whatever performance levels you'd like, but again, COVID-19-constrained supply and demand tend to limit your options unpredictably from week to week.

Advertisement We broadly expect similar performance from a given CPU and GPU combination coming from any given manufacturer. But there are some other variables that impact performance—particularly the cooling. Still, in our experience, these gamer-targeted rigs are unlikely to under-specify the cooling. That means the big things we're looking at here are the look of the system, how noisy it is, and what it's like to work on.

Fan noise

The Legion Tower 5i is generally quieter than the Omen 30L, despite the Omen's fluid cooler. Neither machine is loud in normal operation, but the Omen's fans have a slight rattly undertone. The Legion's fan noise did a much better job of fading imperceptibly into the background—I actually pressed my ear to the chassis the first time I powered it on to make sure it was booting.

A full Cinebench R20 run turns the normally well-behaved Lenovo and HP rigs into raging beasts that seem likely to lift off the desk under sheer fan pressure. But both machines stay quiet until the last third of the Cinebench run and go back to—as one Ars reader described it—"wabbit-hunting quiet" a few seconds later, even while running single-threaded Cinebench. Neither machine ramped up the fan noise at all during 3DMark Time Spy tests at 1440p, which are considerably more demanding than most AAA games.

I didn't have an Alienware Aurora R11 on hand, so I cannot compare it directly. Tom's Guide described it as loud and hot, which I wouldn't call either the Lenovo or HP rigs. I asked Ars Senior Commerce Editor Jeff Dunn to put his i9-10900K/RTX 3090 powered Aurora R11 through the same tests. During Time Spy, Dunn said his R11's fan speed increased significantly. He described it as easily audible from four feet away without being "brutal." It never went into the kind of raging beast mode that the Omen and Legion did during Cinebench R20.

By spinning up earlier and more aggressively than the Omen or Legion, the R11 manages to avoid accumulating enough thermal buildup to require emergency high speeds on the fans later. With its smaller cooling capacity, it probably doesn't have much choice in the matter. The Omen and Legion, with considerably higher capacity, gamble that extreme thermal spikes won't last long enough to require increased fan speed and noise. The fact that they don't spin up until the end of a Cinebench run—and return rapidly to idle afterward—argues that they're correct about that, too.


Users who prefer the R11's "a little more fan now, a lot less fan later" style tuning can adjust the fan curves in either of the bigger systems to match—which would be a very good idea indeed, if you plan to use your gaming system for long-term 100 percent CPU output like protein folding, hour-long compilation jobs, etc.

The bling

If bling is your thing, HP's Omen 30L mid-tower is ready to be your favorite rig. HP didn't miss a chance to glow up any individual part of this system, and the result is a gaudy but pleasing discotheque vibe that just needs you to add some bass. The HyperX RGB RAM glows its way softly through the rainbow on a loop, the chassis intake fan and Omen diamond logo on the front throw pearlescent light out into the room, the GPU announces itself with more LEDs, and even the fluid cooling system's radiator has rope LEDs wrapped around it.

That level of ostentation isn't to my personal taste, but the overall effect is well done. The light from the system's various elements melds together nicely, producing a soft, cool glow that feels sci-fi-movie cool.

Next to the Omen 30L, Lenovo's Legion 5i seems pretty restrained. The Legion 5i has a yellow-tinted glass side panel, but the only light-up component inside is a custom GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU cap. A large Legion logo on the front of the case appears white and unlit—until the machine goes to sleep, that is. With the 5i in sleep mode, the big Legion logo flashes bright blue in a roughly six-second on/off cycle that I found both pointless and obnoxious.

I suspect that there's a control, somewhere, to change the behavior of that LED-lit Legion logo. But it didn't reveal itself to a casual search of the pre-installed Lenovo app in the system tray, and I didn't burn any more time looking for it.

The Alienware Aurora R11 is the plainest system of the lot. The only light-up bling on the R11 is a slim LED trim ring on the front and an "Alienware" branding on the right side; there's no side panel, and the entire exterior shell is plastic, available in "Dark Side of the Moon" (dark, charcoal gray) or "Lunar Light" (somewhere between pale gray and pearl). It's also the smallest internally—the R11 is a micro-ATX system, while the other two are full-sized ATX.

Sours: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/03/how-to-buy-best-gaming-pc/
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The Best PC Builds for Gaming/VR

Home > PC Builds

Q4 2021 Recommended Parts to Maximize Bang for Buck When Building a PC

Recommended PC components for gamers this 2020/2021 holiday season

Background: New Releases Far Cry 6, Lone Echo 2 (VR), New World, and Battlefield 2042

Last Updated: October 11, 2021

Welcome to the latest Q4 2021 edition of my long running best gaming PC builds for the money series. This detailed PC parts guide is the result of extensive, meticulous research to bring together some of the current best value PC component combinations within the USA, Canada, UK, and Australian markets right now.

These PC build examples have been updated and rewritten based on the current October 2021 market, but unless there's big changes over the next month or two, this guide will likely still apply for anyone building a PC over the rest of this holiday season (November and December 2021). Whether you're planning the best budget PC build for 1080p 60FPS gaming, or the ultimate dream PC for VR, these sample builds are here to help you stretch your money further.

Everyone knows that building your own PC has advantages and is what I have always recommended, and continue to recommend, to most gamers no matter what your skill level is with hardware (PC assembly is not hard). But keep in mind that as I write this latest Q4 2021 update to the best PC builds below, GPU prices are still high as they have been for a long time now, and the truth is nobody knows when (or if) the prices of graphics cards will normalize again.

Therefore, while building your own gaming PC is still superior overall for various reasons, there's nothing wrong with buying a premade gaming PC these days as it could be an easier way to immediately get your hands on a new graphics card if you don't want to play the patient waiting game before your desired card comes back in stock (depending on your region). 

If you do end up looking at prebuilt PCs, just make sure to still do plenty of research as there's a lot of overpriced and/or average prebuilt desktops out there. If you want my 2 cents check out my best prebuilt gaming PCs guide.

But if you are willing to be patient to find a GPU, and at a reasonable price, building a gaming PC still remains the best path overall to end up with the most reliable, flexible, long-lasting system made up of only high-quality parts that you carefully selected. Besides, prebuilt PC prices have risen in recent times too, so it's not just individual graphics cards that have become more expensive.

Choosing parts for a custom build can be confusing though. PC hardware is a vast sea of endless choice and near limitless configuration possibilities, with new component models releasing seemingly every 5 seconds. Plus, not all parts are equal in terms of value, with certain parts - and more specifically certain combinations of parts - making for much smarter purchases than other combinations.

Finding these sweet spots in the market takes experience, so if you want the opinion of someone who has many years under my belt carefully choosing parts for others, and now having personally built dozens and dozens of custom PCs in my local area over the years, this comprehensive gaming PC build guide is here to help.

Each and every component recommended below has been carefully vetted and selected based on many factors including price to performance ratio, reliability, upgrade flexibility, brand quality, and last but not least, matching color themes and aesthetics to make for a slick setup.

If after reading you get stuck, feel free to ask for help in the comments and I'll do my best to personally respond when I can. Any general feedback on the builds is also always welcome and appreciated. Let's cut straight to the component chase, and when you're ready to build see the PC assembly guide that explains everything in layman's terms and includes plenty of photos and diagrams to make things super easy.

See Also:Intro to Building PCs

The Q4 2021 Builds (Overview Chart)

Before getting into the best gaming PC builds for different budgets, please keep the following in mind:

  • Any prices mentioned below are in USD (US Dollars).
  • Build price targets are only estimates as hardware prices fluctuate often.
  • For simplicity, builds only include the core PC components that make up the tower, so remember to factor in cost of Windows (explained later) and accessories (monitor, VR headset, keyboard, mouse, headphones, speakers, router, etc).
  • If you slept through all math at school (understandable), the < and > symbols mean "less than" and "greater than".
  • Recommendations are my personal opinion, so I encourage you to do your own research to make sure you choose the right parts for your specific needs. But I do strive to be as objective as possible and spend a lot of time researching and considering as many different models and brands as possible in order to make these builds a great starting point.

Best Value Parts for Gaming, Airflow, Longevity, Aesthetics (& Specs Cheatsheet)

< $600 Gaming PC Build


AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

Other Stores:

US / UK / AU

- 6 Cores, 12 Threads

- APU (Has Integrated Graphics)

AMD Stock Cooler

- Comes With 5600G

Gigabyte B550M DS3H

US / UK / AU



US / UK / AU

- Micro ATX

- Socket AM4

- All Specs: Gigabyte, MSI

TeamGroup T-FORCE Vulcan Z 16GB



Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB

US / UK / AU


G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB

- 2x8GB, 3200MHz CL16

- Get Cheapest in Your Region

Radeon Integrated Graphics

- Ok for Non Demanding Games at Low Settings

Western Digital Blue 1TB


- Best Value M.2 SSD (PCIe SATA)

- Has DRAM Cache (Better Longevity)

- Get 2.5 Inch Version if Wanting Portability

Corsair CX550M Bronze

US / UK / AU


EVGA 500 BQ Bronze


- Both Semi-Modular

- 500-550w Enough for Future Mid-Tier GPU

- Ignore Reviews for Old CX550M "Green" Model

- Get EVGA 550 B5 Also Good

Thermaltake Versa H18

US / UK / AU

- Mini Tower

- 1x 120mm Fan (Rear)

- Max GPU Length: 350mm (All Specs)

- H15 Also Good


SickleFlow 120mm LED

US / UK / AU

- Install in Front

- 1 Enough if Not Upgrading to GPU Later

- Get 2 for Maximum Airflow

- NF-P12 Better (But No LED)

< $800 Gaming PC Build


Intel Core i3 10100F

Other Stores:


- 4 Cores, 8 Threads

Intel Stock Cooler

- Comes With 10100F

Gigabyte B560M DS3H

US / UK / AU


Gigabyte B560M DS3H AC (WiFi 5)


- Micro ATX

- Socket LGA 1200

- All Specs: Gigabyte

As Above NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super

US / UK / AU

- Avoid Paying > $300


As Above As Above Cooler Master NR400

US / UK / AU

- Mini Tower

- 2 120mm Fans

- Max GPU Length: 410mm (All Specs)

< $1000 Gaming PC Build

Mid Range

Intel Core i5 10400F

Other Stores:

US / UK / AU

- 6 Cores, 12 Threads

- R5 3600 Too Costly Right Now (Worth it < $190)

Intel Stock Cooler

- Comes With 10400F

ASRock B560 PRO4



MSI B560 Tomahawk (WiFi 6)

US / UK / AU

- Micro ATX

- Socket LGA 1200

- All Specs: ASRock

As Above AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (8GB)

US / UK / AU


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (8GB or 12GB)

US / UK / AU

- Get Cheapest in Your Region

Kingston A2000 1TB

US / UK / AU


WD Blue SN550 1TB

US / UK / AU

- Best Value NVMe M.2 SSDs

- SN550 Lacks DRAM Cache, But Not As Crucial for NVMe

Corsair CX650M Bronze

US / UK / AU


be quiet Pure Power 11 600W CM Gold



Corsair RM550x Gold


- 550w Plenty if Not Upgrading GPU

- 600-650w More Flexible for Future

- Seasonic Focus GX-550 Also Good

- EVGA 600 BQ Also Good

Phanteks P400A


- Mid Tower

- 2x 120mm Fans

- Fan Controller (On Top Panel)

- 'Digital' Model Also Good (3 RGB Fans)

- Max GPU Length: 420mm (All Specs)

- NR600 Also Great (Specs)

< $1500 Gaming PC Build

High End

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Other Stores:

US / UK / AU

- 6 Cores, 12 Threads

- i7 10700KF Good if No 5600X Stock (With Z590-A PRO)

ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports White


Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black

- Freezer 34 Better if o'clocking

ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4


ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 AC (WiFi 5)

- ATX (Full Size)

- Socket AM4

- Best Value ATX B550

- All Specs: ASRock, ASRock

As Above


Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (if Want White)

- 2x8GB, 3200MHz CL16

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (8GB GDDR6)


AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (12GB GDDR6)

- 3070 Faster in Most Games

- But 6700 XT Cheaper

As Above SuperNOVA G3 650


Corsair RM650x


Leadex III Gold 650W

- Tier-A PSUs

- Get 750w if Upgrading GPU Later

Corsair 4000D Airflow

- Mid Tower

- 2x 120mm Fans

- Max GPU Length: 360mm (All Specs)

- Lancool 215 Mesh Also Great (Specs)

< $2500 Gaming PC Build


As Above Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black (Air)


MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2 (Liquid)

- Stock 5600X Cooler OK if Not Overclocking

- ML240L RGB V2 Good Value Liquid Cooler (New Version)

- Mount ML240L to Top With Fans Blowing Up

MSI B550-A Pro


ASRock B550 Pro4


ASUS TUF Gaming B550-PLUS (WiFi 6)

- ATX (Full Size)

- Socket AM4

- All Specs: MSI, ASRock, ASUS

G.Skill Trident Z Neo 16GB 3600MHz


Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB 3200MHz (if Cheaper)

- 2x8GB, CL16

- Corsair RGB Pro Not Ideal for Hyper 212 (Too Tall)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB GDDR6X)


AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (16GB GDDR6)

- Avoid Paying > $800

Sabrent Rocket 1TB


WD Black SN750 SE 1TB

- Super Fast NVMe M.2 SSDs

- DRAM Cache (Longevity)


Seagate Barracuda 2TB

- Value 7200RPM HDD

- Store Tons More Games

- Avoid 5400RPM HDDs (Slow)

SuperNOVA G3 750 Gold


Corsair RM750x

- Tier-A PSUs

Cooler Master MasterCase H500

- Mid Tower

- 2x 200mm RGB Front Fans

- 1x 120mm Rear Fan

- Max GPU Length: 410mm (All Specs)

- 500DX Also Great

< $3000 Gaming PC Build


AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Other Stores:

US / UK / AU

- 8 Cores, 16 Threads

- i9 10850K Good if No 5800X Stock (With TUF Gaming Z590-Plus)

Noctua NH-U12S Black


Be Quiet BK024 Dark Rock Slim

- Compact Coolers for Meshify C and Tall RAM

- Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B Also Great

MSI Mag B550 Tomahawk (BIOS Flash Button)


ASRock B550 Steel Legend (No BIOS Flash)

- ATX (Full Size)

- Socket AM4

- All Specs: MSI, ASRock

- B550 Aorus Pro V2 Also Good

- B550 Gaming Edge WiFi 6 Also Good

G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB 3600MHz CL16 (Value)


Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz CL16 (B-Die Model)


TeamGroup Dark Pro 16GB 3200MHz CL14 (Fastest)

- 2x8GB

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

- 16GB GDDR6

- Avoid Paying > $1100

Samsung 980 1TB

- Best PCIe Gen3 NVMe

- DRAM Cache (Longevity)


WD Black 2TB

- Premium 7200RPM HDD

EVGA SuperNOVA G3 850 Gold


Corsair RMX RM850x Gold


Super Flower Leadex III 850W Gold

- Tier-A PSUs

- G2 and P2 Also Great

Fractal Meshify C

- Compact Mid Tower

- 2x 120mm Fans

- Max GPU Length: 315mm (See All Specs)

- Pro M (Specs) or Enthoo Pro (Specs) Also Great


2 xNoctua NF-A14 PW 140mm Fan

- Install Both in Front

- Move Stock Front Fan to Rear Top

< $4000 Gaming PC Build


AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Other Stores:

US / UK / AU

- 12 Cores, 24 Threads

- 5950X Not Worth it for Gaming

Noctua NH-D15 Black


NZXT Kraken X63 280mm


EVGA CLC 280mm

- NH-D15 Best Value

- If Liquid, Install Front of P600S (Fans As Intake)

- Move 1 Front 140mm to Rear Top of P600S

ASUS TUF Gaming X570-PRO (WiFi 6)


MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk (WiFi 6)

- ATX (Full Size)

- Socket AM4

- Both Have BIOS Flash Button

- All Specs: ASUS, MSI

- ROG Strix X570-E Gaming Also Great (WiFi 6)

- B550 Vision D Also Great (WiFi 6)

Vengeance LPX 32GB 3200MHz C16 (if NH-D15. Value)


2xVengeance LPX 16GB 3600MHz C14 (if NH-D15. Fastest)

US / UK / AU


Trident Z Neo 32GB 3600MHz CL16 (if Liquid)

- LPX Better Clearance for Large Air Coolers

- If Liquid, These and These Are Luxury Options

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090


- Avoid Paying > $1600

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB

- Best PCIe 4.0 NVMe

- DRAM Cache (Longevity)


Samsung 870 QVO 2TB

- Extra SSD for Games

Corsair HX Platinum 1000

- Get 1200w Model if Similar Price

- 80+ Platinum Certified

- Tier-A 850w PSUs Fine if No Future Upgrades

- RM1000x and Supernova 1000 P2 and Prime TX 1000 Also Great

Phanteks Eclipse P600S

- Spacious Mid Tower

- 3 x 140mm Fans

- Max GPU Length: 435mm (All Specs)

- H500P Also Good (Specs)

- 750D Airflow Also Good (Specs)

See Also:Best Value Gaming Monitors

Best Gaming PC Build Under $600 (Q4 2021)

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G (6 Core, Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Stock Standard (Included)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B550M DS3H (Micro ATX, Socket AM4)
  • RAM: TeamGroup T-Force Vulkan Z 16GB (2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics: Integrated With CPU
  • SSD: Western Digital Blue 1TB SSD (M.2 SATA)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX550M (Semi Modular, 80+ Bronze)
  • Case: Thermaltake Versa H18 (Mini Tower, 1 Included Fan)
  • Extra Fans: Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm (1 or 2, Any Color)

When planning the best cheap gaming PC build, getting an AMD CPU that has good integrated graphics is a great bang for buck solution well worth considering if you only play less demanding games (and at low settings). It means you don't have to fork out the funds for a graphics card, which are all more expensive these days due to the ongoing chip shortage (among other reasons).

The latest, recently released AMD CPUs with good integrated graphics (technically called an APU: Accelerated Processing Unit) are the Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 7 5700G, the former of which being the better overall value since the gaming performance between the two is minimal.

When paired with a healthy 16GB of fast 3200MHz RAM, you get a very playable 1080p gaming experience in many popular titles if you keep those settings low. On older games you can even crank those settings a bit higher and still get nice frame rates.

But for the most graphically demanding AAA games on the market (and for VR), that's where integrated graphics falls flat, but for the right type of game or if you're after a "stopgap" temporary setup to do some light gaming on until you can afford throwing a GPU into your rig, the 5600G is a great overall value option. Integrated graphics aside, it's a very capable 6-core CPU that will pair well with even a high-end GPU down the road.

To go with a 5600G and 16GB of RAM to make for a great bang for buck entry-level gaming PC build, I recommend a cheap yet respectable B550 motherboard like the Gigabyte B550M DS3H which is far superior than the previous B450M DS3H, and is of good enough quality for any budget to mid-range Ryzen build.

For what it's worth I've used this particular board for a recent Ryzen 5 3600 build and was impressed with what it serves up for the price, and also taking into account what others have said about it because one-person anecdotal evidence is close to a moot point, it's an easy recommendation for anyone wanting the best super cheap AMD motherboard so long as you don't need fancy features.

Like most modern motherboards, the board doesn't have built-in WiFi, so if you want wireless capability in your PC I'd look at a different B550 such as the cheap B550M Pro-VDH WiFi if you only need WiFi 5 (AC), or something like the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming if you want the latest and greatest WiFi 6 (AX).

Or, instead of buying a more expensive WiFi-enabled motherboard, you can just get a PCIe WiFi adapter for your build which slots onto the motherboard underneath where the GPU goes, which is what many people do if their motherboard doesn't have WiFi. Just remember that wired LAN is better for online gaming so you don't absolutely need WiFi when building a gaming PC.

For the $600 gaming PC I've recommended a decent quality 550 watt power supply, the Corsair CX550M, that'll comfortably handle an upgrade to a mid-range GPU such as a RTX 3060 or RX 6600 XT in future, and a good budget case that has better airflow than many other cheap cases (the H18 has a mesh front panel).

Recommended Usage:

  • 1080p 60Hz (Low/Med Settings)
  • Stopgap PC (GPU Upgrade Later)

Don't be fooled by price; the B550M DS3H is fine for budget AMD builds

Cheap yet decent fans

I'd also install an extra 120mm fan in the front to boost airflow, especially if you chuck in a graphics card down the line, though if you wanted to save as much as possible you would be just fine only having the H18's one included rear fan as a 5600G on its own (without a graphics card) doesn't need much in terms of overall case cooling.

Cooler Master SickleFlow fans are cheap but perform decently, aren't too loud, and come in different LED colors. I put two blue ones in the Versa H18 build I did a while back (in the photo) since the case comes with a built-in blue LED strip (not shown since I had it turned off for that photo).

If you don't care for matching blue lights, any color fans will do. I also added 2 fans and not just one because I used the case to house an upper mid-tier GPU and wanted maximum airflow as the climate here can get hot (but 1 extra fan is just fine for less powerful GPUs). Oh, and if you would rather get the best performing fans that are the most quiet (instead of getting LED or RGB), look out for Noctua or Arctic fans which are two of the best manufacturers in that regard.

Lastly to storage, and there's no reason NOT to get an SSD these days as they are much faster and more reliable than HDDs, and well worth the extra money. A good value M.2 drive like the 1TB WD Blue will conveniently slot into your motherboard, freeing up space within a small-ish build like this, but you could always get a 2.5 inch sized SSD instead which installs on one of the H18's two 2.5 inch drive bays.

Best Gaming PC Build Under $800 (Q4 2021)

  • CPU: Intel Core i3 10100F (4 Core, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Stock Standard (Included)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B560M DS3H (Micro ATX, Socket LGA 1200)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB Black (2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super (6GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: Western Digital Blue 1TB SSD (M.2 SATA)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX550M (Semi Modular, 80+ Bronze)
  • Case: Cooler Master NR400 (Mini Tower, 2 Included Fans)

At this price point, assuming you can find a GTX 1660 Super for sale at a reasonable price, you can build a very nicely performing gaming PC that will run any game on the market, and many titles at or around 60FPS at 1080p - even on high settings. You won't get 60FPS on high settings with the most visually demanding AAA games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Tarkov, Watch Dogs Legion, etc, but you could still run these on low or medium settings just fine.

I mean, you could also technically run PC VR games like Half Life Alyx with playable performance on low settings, though I definitely recommend the next tier of GPU if you want the best VR experience without dropped frames (stutters in VR is more noticeable than in regular games). Especially if you choose a modern PC VR headset, as their resolutions are quite high and therefore require beefier GPUs to run well. For older PC VR headsets like a Rift S or Vive, this setup could be all you need if you don't play very demanding VR games like racing/flight sims.

Recommended Usage:

  • 1080p 60Hz (High Settings)
  • 1080p 144Hz (Low Settings)
  • VR 90Hz/80Hz (Low Settings)

The CXM is a good value, mid-tier PSU

Anyway, for lesser demanding titles like Fortnite, Minecraft, CSGO, Valorant, Warzone, Dota 2, WoW, and many other popular titles, and also for medium-ish demanding games like GTA V, PUBG, Apex Legends, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and modded Minecraft (vanilla Minecraft isn't demanding), an $800 gaming PC build like this is enough for a very good experience. 

Let's talk a little about the specific parts chosen. In terms of CPUs, at the time of writing this, Intel steals the budget segment of the market for a change, but only because AMD's budget range of CPUs (Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300x) are difficult to find in stock and at reasonable prices. Historically, it's typically been Intel as the obvious high-end CPU choice and AMD for those on a budget, but the tables have turned in recent years with AMD currently dominating the high-end CPU market.

As I write this latest update to the builds, the i3 10100F is the best bang for buck cheap gaming CPU available, coming in at around 100 bucks and delivering solid gaming performance for 60Hz/75Hz monitors (and is okay for 144Hz in less demanding games). If you do manage to find a Ryzen 3 3100 in your region for around the same price, I would consider that instead as it slightly edges out the 10100F in most games (though the 10100F wins in a few titles like RDR2 and Cyberpunk for instance). If you do go for the Ryzen, don't forget you need to switch up your motherboard to an AMD B550 model (or B450 even: see B550 vs B450 if you want to know the differences).

As for choosing the 10100F vs 10100, the 'F' model means that it doesn't come with an integrated graphics chip and is therefore a little cheaper. When you're building a PC with a discrete (ie dedicated) graphics card like in this $800 build example, there's no need for integrated CPU graphics, so the 10100F is the best value overall. There is the odd case where integrated graphics is worth having as a backup, for example if you ever sold your GPU and wanted to continue using your PC in the meantime until you bought another one, or in the rare case your GPU failed etc. But I would just get the 10100F if you want to stretch every dollar as far as you can.

Choosing the best value motherboard for a budget 10th-gen Intel CPU like the 10100F comes down to deciding between the older B460 chipset, or the latest B560 chipset. B560 boards are backwards compatible with Intel 10th gen, allow for memory overclocking, and are also around the same price as B460, so there's no real reason to go for a B460 vs a B560. Just keep in mind that with a 10th-gen Intel CPU like a 10100F, whether you can set the RAM to 3200MHz will depend on the exact motherboard model.

Related:How to Choose a Motherboard (Specs 101)

The cheap Gigabyte B560M DS3H I've chosen to fit in with this $800 build example officially lists 2666MHz as the maximum speed with an 10100F - you can try 3200MHz but there's no guarantee it to be stable. However, if you upgrade to an 11th-gen Intel CPU in the future though, such an i5 11400F which would be a logical future upgrade for this build, you will be able to set the RAM to its intended speed of 3200MHz.

Speaking of RAM, 16GB of 3200MHz DDR4 memory is the sweet spot in terms of bang for buck these days, and is therefore a staple recommendation for most of the gaming PC builds in this guide, including this $800 build. I would simply get the cheapest model that is also from a reputable memory brand like Corsair, TeamGroup, or G.Skill. If you're wondering why get 3200MHz modules when this specific motherboard and CPU combination only technically allows for 2666MHz, the reason is simply because 3200MHz RAM is basically the same price these days, and besides, having 3200MHz is more future proof for when you perhaps get your hands on a newer CPU to increase the RAM speed.

If you wanted to run 3200MHz right now with a 10100F build, you would need a better B560 motherboard such as the one recommended in the next build below. The good thing is though, the difference between 2666MHz vs 3200MHz for gaming with a 10100F is really not that noticeable. It's AMD CPUs that typically benefit more from faster RAM rather than Intel CPUs, so it's less of a concern for this setup.

Last but not least is the same good value 550 watt power supply that is plenty of power for a future GPU upgrade to a strong mid-tier card like a RTX 3060 Ti, and the compact Cooler Master NR400 which is one of the best airflow cases on a budget with a front mesh design and 2 pre-installed fans (no need for more fans unless you throw a high-end GPU in this case). Like all cases recommended in these PC builds, it also has a universally attractive look that will appeal to most people, but that also isn't over the top in any way (nothing fancy, but slick in a simple way, with a see-through side panel). 

When choosing a gaming PC case, I do value form, but function is the higher priority (not fancy aesthetics). But you can easily turn any relatively plain looking case into an RGB fest if that's your style by simply adding some RGB fans (and/or a lighting strip) or getting a case with included RGB fans in the first place. That does it for the best gaming PC build under 800 US dollars, and now let's see what we can do to strategically spend an extra 200 dollars on a build.

Best Gaming PC Build Under $1000 (Q4 2021)

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 10400F (6 Core, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Stock Standard (Included)
  • Motherboard: ASRock B560 PRO4 (ATX, Socket LGA 1200)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB Black (2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (8GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: Kingston A2000 1TB NVMe (M.2 SSD, PCIe 3.0)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX650M (Semi Modular, 80+ Bronze)
  • Case: Phanteks P400A (Mid Tower)

With a budget around 1000 US dollars you can start venturing into some seriously fast gaming performance. Assuming you can find a graphics card in stock and at a price that's not too crazily inflated, the best GPU you can squeeze into a $1000 build is a RX 6600 XT or RTX 3060 which are very close in performance and pricing. I would simply get whichever you can find at a better price in your region, but getting either card (or any graphics card for that matter) will take a little patience due to the current woeful state of the GPU market.

As for choosing the best CPU for a mid-range gaming PC build like this, it's hard to ignore Intel's mid-range right now given that AMD's mid-range CPUs are tough to find at this moment in time and are also inflated in price right now as well. Specifically, the i5 10400F and regular 10400 are very attractive buys if gaming is all you care about, offering frame rates very close to the Ryzen 5 3600 but for less money. Remember the "F" model simply means it has no integrated graphics, which isn't a problem if you're buying a dedicated graphics card.

At this price point you can also afford a nicer B560 motherboard with better memory overclocking support than cheaper B560M models, allowing you to set your RAM to 3200MHz within the BIOS even with a 10th-gen Intel CPU like the 10400F. Remember that older B460 motherboards don't allow you to set fast RAM speeds, so there's no point getting one over a B560. No need for a pricier Z490 or Z590 motherboard either, unless you were to get an overclocking-enabled "K" model Intel CPU such as a 10600K or 11700K (B560 motherboards don't support CPU overclocking, but Z490 and Z590 do).

Recommended Usage:

  • VR 90Hz (Low/Medium)
  • 1080p 60Hz (Ultra)
  • 1080p 144Hz (Low/Medium)
  • 1440p 60Hz (Medium/High)

When cheaper than a Sabrent Rocket and WD SN750 Black, the A2000 is a good buy

For a $1000 build it also makes sense to consider a slightly faster SSD, allowing for speedier load times whether that's in-game or when using your system in general. The Kingston A2000 and WD Blue SN550 are two of the best value NVMe SSDs, and are slightly faster than SATA SSDs like the SATA WD Blue included in the $800 build. You also want a decent quality 650 watt power supply to accommodate future upgrades if you want to keep your options open, but 550w is enough if not planning a future GPU upgrade). One of the most important things to remember when building your first PC is to never go too cheap when choosing a power supply for a gaming PC, as your system is only as reliable and strong as its weakest link (a bad PSU puts your whole build at risk).

For the case, the slick Phanteks P400A remains from the previous builds earlier this year, as like most of the cases I recommended in those builds it's still a great buy right now. The P400A has good airflow out the box with a top-notch front mesh design and 2 good-quality 120mm fans included. Feel free to add an extra fan to the front to boost airflow further, though you're better off just getting the 'Digital' model instead that comes with 3 front RGB fans. For mid-range gaming PC builds like this though, 2 fans is adequate. You only really need 3 fans or more if your setup will live in a particular warm room or if you're using a higher-end GPU that can get hotter.

Rounding out the best gaming PC build under $1000 for this month is the same good value 16GB 3200MHz RAM options that I suggest for the previous builds, as you just don't need more than 16GB (or faster than 3200MHz) for a gaming desktop, and spending more on RAM is a luxury and you're better off putting that extra money elsewhere for a more noticeable return on investment (32GB is overkill for gaming).

Best Gaming PC Build Under $1500 (Q4 2021)

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (6 Cores, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Arctic Freezer 34 eSports (White)
  • Motherboard: ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 (ATX, Socket AM4)
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB White (2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: NVidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: Sabrent Rocket 1TB SSD (M.2, PCIe NVMe)
  • Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650 (Fully Modular, 80+ Gold)
  • Case: Corsair 4000D Airflow (Mid Tower, 2 Included Fans)

Recommended Usage:

  • VR 90Hz (High/Ultra)
  • VR 120Hz (Med/High)
  • 1440p 144Hz (Med/High)
  • 4K 60Hz (High)
  • 1080p 144Hz (High/Ultra)
  • 1080p 240Hz (Low)

When you move up to a $1500 budget and can afford to invest in a very good gaming CPU, the 5600X is hard to ignore for its great price vs performance over the competition (assuming you buy it around its normal price). In fact, the 5600X performs so well in games that you could genuinely consider it a high-end gaming CPU despite it "only" being a Ryzen 5. It delivers similar FPS to even an Intel Core i9 10900K in most games, which is telling.

That said, despite what you may hear from AMD fanatics, the 10900K or 10700K do still have their place when building a gaming PC if you find them for a good price (or the newer but more expensive 11900K and 11700K). But overall, the 5600X is the best value in the upper CPU market, and all that you really need for high FPS gaming on a 144Hz monitor if that's your thing. It'll also fair well for 240Hz gaming for the more eSports oriented players.

The 5600X comes with a stock cooler which will work okay to keep the 5600X relatively cool if not overclocking, but whether you plan to overclock the 5600X or not I suggest getting a better cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black. It doesn't cost much and brings tangible benefits in cooling performance, noise reduction, and aesthetics over the stock cooler. If you want something a fraction better but that also looks fantastic for a white PC case like the recommended 4000D Airflow White, check out the Arctic Freezer 34 eSports which is another great bang for buck air cooler that'll keep that 5600X nice and cool.

For graphics, the RTX 3070 is the best card you can fit in a sub 1500 dollar build, assuming you find it at a reasonable price and not too inflated. You've also got the RX 6700 XT and RX 6800 as options in this price range, which cost a little less and a little more respectively, which could be the better option depending on market conditions in your particular region. Right now it's more a matter of which GPU you can find in stock and at a fair price, rather than which exact model is the best buy - you really can't go wrong with a 3070, a 6700 XT, or a 6800. These cards are plenty powerful for a myriad of different scenarios, whether that's 1440p, 4K, or VR gaming.

To pair with the 5600X, if you want to strategically use your money wisely, which I assume is the case if you're reading this guide in the first place, you want a mid-range B550 motherboard that's not too cheap but not too expensive. There's no need for a high-end motherboard unless you're doing serious overclocking and tinkering, or if you needed an above average feature set. 

The ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 is one of the best value full-size ATX B550 motherboards in my opinion and what I suggest if you don't need anything fancy, and is more than adequate in terms of quality (VRMs/cooling) to comfortably look after a 5600X. There's also a WiFi version of the board if you want built-in WiFi. The standard recommendation of 16GB RAM remains, as 32GB is more a luxury for gaming and would hardly make any difference, though is recommended for hybrid gaming and video editing PC builds where going beyond 16GB can make a noticeable difference (or for other workstation builds like for game dev or photo editing). 

Last but definitely not least to the power supply, and when you start getting into high-end territory of 1500 dollars to build a powerful PC, your choice of power supply starts to become quite important. Not that it's ever not important, as you should always choose a good PSU for a gaming PC, but once you start building with one of the current best gaming GPUs like a RTX 3070, RX 6700 XT, RX 6800, or an even better card, if you want your system to be as reliable and long-lasting as possible without encountering issues, as well as to be well positioned to potentially upgrade to an even faster GPU in future, it's crucial to use a reliable, trustworthy PSU of high quality, with good feedback from professional reviewers (don't solely judge units by customer reviews as PSUs are complex products to assess fairly). 

Doesn't mean you need to spend a ton on a PSU, but for a high-end build, I highly suggest avoiding low or even mid-tier units as the small money saved can come back to haunt you later and cause issues for your system. The SuperNova G3 or G2 series from EVGA, the RMX series from Corsair, and the latest Super Flower units are some of the best gaming power supplies on the market today that won't set you back too much. I'd look to get whichever of the aforementioned units are at a better price in your region. There are many cheaper options than these units, but like I said I wouldn't risk it for a powerful RTX 3070 build.

In terms of wattage requirements for a RTX 3070 build, NVidia's official PSU requirement for a 3070 is 650 watts, but I recommend 750 watts to not only be on the safer side (since RTX 3000 series can be quite power hungry), but to give you headroom for future upgrades (and/or for overclocking). But if you never plan to upgrade to an even stronger GPU in future, you'll be fine with 650w, especially if it's a high-quality unit that provides a "true" 650 watts (lower quality PSUs may be misleading about how much wattage they can reliability provide your parts).

Oh, and if you're wondering about PSU cables for a RTX 3070, you can technically get away with a PSU that has a single 8pin PCIe cable, but ideally you want a PSU that has 2 8pin PCIe cables (but any good model will have this). Most 3070 models have 2x 8pin connectors, and while you can technically just use one PSU PCIe cable to connect them both (PSU cables have multiple connectors daisy-chained on the same cable), for the best stability you want to use 2 separate PCIe cables to connect to the 2 8pin ports on the card. If you buy the 3070 Founder's Edition, it's different and has a 12pin connector instead, but it comes with a 12pin to 8pin adapter included so nothing to worry about.

Best Gaming PC Build Under $2500 (Q4 2021)

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (6 Cores)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 (RGB Black Edition)
  • Motherboard: MSI B550-A Pro (ATX)
  • RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Neo RGB 16GB (2x8GB, 3600MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: NVidia GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB GDDR6X)
  • SSD: Sabrent Rocket 1TB SSD (M.2, PCIe NVMe)
  • HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB (7200RPM)
  • Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 750 (Fully Modular, 80+ Gold)
  • Case: Cooler Master MasterCase H500 (Mid Tower)

Now we're getting into serious custom PC territory, and with a generous ceiling of 2500 US dollars you can (obviously) build an absolute monster to dominate VR, 4K, or 1440p 144Hz gaming. Starting with the CPU, the supremely capable 5600X processor remains from the recommended $1500 setup above, as it's such a fast CPU that can easily handle any modern game at high frame rates - even more CPU intensive titles. 

Don't be fooled by the fact it's a Ryzen 5 (ie AMD's mid-tier Ryzen line) - the 5600X is well and truly a high-end gaming CPU that destroys previous-gen Ryzen 7 and 9 chips when it comes to gaming performance. Just like when paired with a RTX 3070, the 5600X also won't get in the way of a RTX 3080. Put another way, despite what some may have you believe, with a 5600X and RTX 3080 a CPU bottleneck is unlikely.

Especially if gaming at high resolutions (4K, VR, but even 1440p) as performance in these situations are almost always GPU-bound. There's no real need to spend more on a processor unless you know it'll help in your specific workflow or in certain edge-case gaming situations such as competitive 1080p 240Hz gaming, where a 5800X or 5900X could make sense depending on the game to squeeze out a little extra FPS.

See Also:Best CPU GPU Combos to Avoid Bottlenecks

To cool the 5600X, unless you're a PC enthusiast doing a lot of overclocking and pushing the chip to its limits, there's no need for anything fancy. Even the stock AMD cooler would do if not overclocking, but for the best cooling and lowest amount of noise when gaming, investing in an affordable aftermarket cooler like the uber popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 will do a better job than the stock cooler. Get the RGB edition if you want some extra lighting inside your case.

Recommended Usage:

  • VR 90Hz (Ultra)
  • VR 120Hz, 144Hz (High)
  • 4K 60Hz (Ultra)
  • 4K 144Hz (High)
  • 1440p 144Hz (Ultra)
  • 1440p 240Hz (High)

Nice upgrade from the stock cooler

If you prefer to get a liquid CPU cooler instead (referred to technically as a liquid AiO: All In One), the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB is one of the best bang for buck models on the market right now and is also easy to install (can confirm as I've now used it twice for other people's builds: I used to build PCs for people as a side hustle).

If you also get the H500 case I've used in this example build, I recommend installing the AiO to the top of the case, and make sure to orient the AiO's fans as exhausts so that they blow air out the top of the case (instead of sucking air into the case). 

Also worth noting is the tubes on the ML240L isn't that long, meaning if you install it in the front of a case with the tubes on the bottom of the radiator (the optimal way to install an AiO as Gamer's Nexus explains here), the tubes may not reach in larger cases. Do your research in advance if wanting to use the ML240L in a difference case.

Liquid value; a very decent AiO for the price

Oh and if you're wondering, it doesn't matter whether you use an air cooler like the Hyper 212 or a liquid AiO as the difference in cooling performance isn't going to be huge (liquid will win slightly, but air coolers are better bang for buck, have less maintenance, and less potential for issues such as leaks). It's really more a personal preference in terms of aesthetics.

Moving onto storage and at this point you can afford a very fast NVMe SSD like the reliable Sabrent Rocket or WD Black SN750, both highly recommended models that'll make for blazing fast load times. The standard recommendation of 16GB RAM still remains, as 32GB is really only worth considering if you're splurging without any budget restriction and the aim to never have to upgrade your system again. 

But while 16GB of RAM is all you need for even the most demanding of modern games, 32GB would definitely help in heavy non-gaming applications such as video/photo editing or game development. But what I do suggest is getting 3600MHz modules instead of 3200MHz, which will squeeze out a little extra FPS in games. Getting standard 3200MHz memory is just fine for a high-end Ryzen build though, as the FPS difference between 3200MHz and 3600MHz isn't huge in games.

RAM speeds make a bigger difference on the lower-end; the jump from 2133MHz to 3200MHz for instance is much more noticeable. But if you're not trying to cut costs everywhere you can, get 3600MHz or even faster if you wish. Just don't forget to manually set your RAM speed in the BIOS; one of the necessary steps to take after building a PC if you're using anything faster than 2133MHz (which should be everyone in this day and age where 3200MHz is basically the norm, even for budget builds).

Choosing the best motherboard for a 5600X is a matter of selecting between different B550 or X570 motherboards, but there's no strong need for the latter as the B550 chipset is almost as good as X570. It's more a matter of comparing specific models and their features for the price, rather than deciding between chipsets as the benefits of X570 vs B550 won't matter to most people. At least for a typical high-end gaming rig anyway (workstations can benefit from the extra features of X570).

I chose the MSI B550-A Pro because it's one of the better value, nice-looking mid-range B550 boards, but there's plenty of good alternatives some of which I listed in the main builds chart above. If you want WiFi, the ASUS TUF Gaming B550-PLUS has the latest WiFi 6 standard and is also an all-around top notch motherboard too.

And of course, that brings us to the mighty RTX 3080, which unless you've been chilling under a sizeable rock this past year or so, you'll know won't be easy to find in stock at a non-ridiculous price these days due to such high demand, not just from gamers but even more so from Ethereum cryptocurrency miners who have been gobbling up each and every one faster than you can blink.

The RX 6800 XT is also impressive, and kudos to AMD for bringing the fight to NVidia in the high-end GPU market for the first time in forever (the previous two gens, RTX 2000 and GTX 1000, were both a no contest for NVIDIA in the high-end). But to say AMD brought the fight is an understatement, as the 6800 XT is actually the superior choice for 1080p or 1440p, where it generally outperforms the 3080. But if 4K gaming is your thing, whether 4K 60Hz or 4K 144Hz, NVidia wins fair and square as you'll see in most 4K benchmarks.

With luck or patience, scoring a 3080 is possible

I also recommend the RTX 3080 over the 6800 XT if building a VR gaming PC due to generally better VR performance and driver support, and team green is also the objectively better choice if building a gaming and streaming PC since NVidia cards have the best built-in hardware encoders (for live streaming to Twitch). NVIDIA also boasts better ray tracing in RTX-enabled titles like Cyberpunk 2077 or Minecraft. That said, if you don't care about these things, the 3080 vs 6800 XT debate is a close one overall, and you can't go wrong with either. They're both absolute beasts with more FPS firepower than most gamers will ever need, and both obliterate previous generation cards. Besides, the current GPU market doesn't really give you much of a choice, and it's more a matter of which card you can find in stock, rather than which is best.

As for which specific RTX 3080 graphics card model to buy, the Founder's Edition is great and all with a good cooling solution, but is super exclusive. Third-party cards have better coolers anyway, and some are factory-overclocked to be a little faster than the base FE model. Check reviews on specific models if concerned about certain things like noise levels, OC levels, aesthetics, and so on, but it'll be hard to find a "bad" 3080 out there and all reviews I've seen so far are net positive, with no models that stand out in a bad way to be avoided. Just like with choosing an AMD or NVidia card for your next build, picking and choosing your desired 3080 model is a luxury afforded to no living breathing human at this moment in history (only lighting fast bots serving their sometimes scalping masters). Getting any 3080 during the current supply state of doom is a win, assuming you don't overpay too much over MSRP.

In terms of power cable requirements for a RTX 3080 build, as mentioned with the RTX 3070 build, most RTX 3080 models will have 2 8pin connectors, and for maximum stability make sure to use two separate PCIe cables coming from your power supply to connect them (instead of using just one daisy-chained PCIe cable). Any half decent PSU will have multiple PCIe cables to allow you to do this, but my point is that you shouldn't get lazy and just use one PCIe cable as it can spell trouble.

Topping off the sub $2500 gaming desktop for this month is the MasterCase H500, one of Cooler Master's best gaming PC cases that features standout 200mm RGB front fans which look awesome in action, and along with the front mesh case design provide good airflow. The H500 also comes with a rear 120mm fan, meaning complete airflow out the box without needing to buy and install extra PC fans. I've recommended this case a lot over previous editions of these builds, but it's still a great choice in my opinion.

If you want more lighting inside the case to supplement those front RGB fans, that RGB RAM, and that Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition, consider a 3-pack of RGB 120mm fans and use one to replace the stock exhaust fan and mount the other 2 on the top of the case. I wouldn't get a 3-pack of 140mm fans as the H500 only supports a rear 120mm fan (though you could buy 2x 140mm fans as the top of the case does support that size). 

Installing the 3080 Eagle for a lucky local where I live

Best Gaming PC Build Under $3000 (Q4 2021)

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (8 Cores, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black
  • Motherboard: MSI B550 Tomahawk (ATX)
  • RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB Black (2x8GB, 3600MHz, CL16)
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (16GB GDDR6)
  • SSD: Samsung 980 1TB NVMe (M.2 SSD, PCIe 3.0)
  • HDD: Western Digital Black 2TB (7200RPM)
  • Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 850 (Fully Modular, 80+ Gold)
  • Case: Fractal Design Meshify C (Mid Tower)
  • Extra Fans: 2 x Noctua NF-A14 PW 140mm Fan (Black)

Recommended Usage:

  • VR 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz (Ultra)
  • 4K 60Hz (Ultra)
  • 4K 144Hz (High)
  • 1440p 144Hz, 240Hz (Ultra)
  • 1080p 240Hz, 360Hz (Competitive)

Moving on up from a 5600X and RTX 3080 build is the slightly faster 5800X and RX 6900 XT. For a motherboard, at this price point you can afford any high-end B550 or X570, and either chipset will do and it's more about comparing the merits of a particular board versus another rather than simply choosing between the B550 or X570 chipset.

The B550 Tomahawk and B550 Steel Legend are evenly priced and equally impressive in their feature sets, quality, and design, but the Tomahawk gets the slight edge for its handy BIOS flash feature. Neither have onboard WiFi though, so look at other options if you need that in a board.

For RAM, take your pick among the many good 3600MHz and 3200Mhz options out there, and once again as mentioned before 16GB is plentiful - no need for 32GB unless your non-gaming workflow would benefit (or if doing some intense multitasking, streaming to Twitch, etc). I simply chose the G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB 3600MHz CL16 as the top option since it is good bang for buck at the time of writing.

The Meshify C has been an extremely popular choice among PC builders for a long time thanks to its high-airflow, slick design and good build quality at a reasonable price. The second version of this case is out (Meshify 2, not to be confused with the Meshify S2), but it'll set you back a fair bit more and the original Meshify C remains a better value proposition in my eyes.

G.Skill is a reliable memory manufacturer

Airflow of the Meshify C is decent out the box with its 2 included fans, but for optimal cooling of an extreme gaming build like this you ideally want to add another fan or two. Fitting a couple high-quality Noctua NF-A14 140mm fans in the front will do exactly that, as these are some of the best fans on the market. 140mm fans are also better than 120mm ones for the least noise (as they don't have to spin as fast in order to move the same amount of air as a 120mm). 

If you do get extra fans for the Meshify C as I suggest, consider putting 2 x 140mm fans in the front as mentioned, and move the front stock fan to the rear-top of the case (positioned as an exhaust so that it pushes air out the top of the case through the vents).

To keep the 5800X cool and quiet, the Noctua NH-U12S is a great choice, with a low-profile design which makes it easier to install in the compact Mid Tower that is the Meshify C. It's not a small case, but its more compact nature makes it difficult to work with if using a large cooler like the NH-D15. I've used the NH-D15 in the Meshify C and it was a very tight fit and hard to manage, so it's not a combo I can recommend.

Streaming to Twitch? See Our Streaming PC Build Guide Too

Adding 2 extra Noctua fans in the front of a white Meshify C

Best Gaming PC Build Under $4000 (Q4 2021)

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12 Core, No Integrated Graphics)
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black
  • Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming X570-PRO (ATX, WiFi 6)
  • RAM: 2x Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB, 3600MHz, CL14)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 (24GB GDDR6X)
  • SSD: Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe (M.2 SSD, PCIe 4.0)
  • SSD #2: Samsung 870 QVO 2TB (SATA, 2.5")
  • Power Supply: Corsair HX 1000 (Fully Modular, 80+ Platinum)
  • Case: Phanteks Eclipse P600S (Mid Tower, 3 140mm Fans)

Recommended Usage:

  • VR 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz (Ultra)
  • 4K 144Hz (Ultra)
  • 1440p 240Hz (Ultra)
  • 1080p 240Hz, 360Hz (Competitive)
  • 8K 60Hz (High)

If you're fortunate or hard-working enough to be throwing such a ludicrous lump of cash on a gaming system, this zero compromises parts-list of near perfection is one way to go about strategically assembling the absolute machine of machines that ticks all the boxes including the fastest gaming performance on the planet for surreal VR or 4K gaming, optimal cooling and airflow for maximum lastability, near-limitless future upgrade flexibility, premium dual SSD storage, cream of the crop component reliability, and slick aesthetics thanks to an all-class spacious case.

Because I enjoy sleeping at night, it's hard to ever recommend a RTX 3090 over a RTX 3080 or RX 6900 XT. The 3090 is so wildly priced, and I'm talking even if you strike gold and manage to find one at/near MSRP (a rare feat considering the current sorry state of the GPU market). The price vs performance of the 3080 or 6800 XT is far superior, making the overpriced 3090 a very tough recommendation unless you're swimming in boatloads of cash, in which case I'd greatly appreciate a spare 3090 sent to my humble peasant door kind sir.

But seriously, if you're after the single most powerful gaming card on the planet, the RTX 3090 stands alone on the throne, nicely outperforming every other released consumer GPU in history including the ludicrously priced $2499 US Titan RTX that makes the 3090's $1499 US launch price look reasonable by comparison. With its crazy 24GB of VRAM, the 3090 will deliver the ultimate 4K 144Hz or PC VR gaming experience that money can buy right now. 

Touching on virtual reality for a second, the RTX 3080 is definitely more than enough to handle any current VR game on maxed settings. But that extra pixel pushing power of a 3090 can make a tangible difference to VR enthusiasts as it'll allow you to crank up SS (Super Sampling) higher than a 3080 could, which improves visual fidelity and increases immersion. Plus, it'll leave nothing to chance for Valve Index owners wanting to take full advantage of that headset's demanding 144Hz mode without sacrificing much (if anything) in terms of visual settings.

As for power requirements for this beast of a GPU, a good quality 850 watt power supply is plenty, but for maximum headroom and full flexibility for future upgrades, for a 3090 build I would get a 1000 watt PSU, and ideally get a Platinum-rated model for the best in efficiency.

For the CPU, the logical next step up from the Ryzen 7 5800X of the previous build is to get your hands on the newly crowned, single best gaming CPU on the market right now. Yup, AMD really did it with this latest Ryzen 5000 series, and the 5900X is now the undisputed king, taking the crown previously held by the 10900K. The more expensive 5950X could realistically fit in this build's budget, but isn't recommended over the 5900X if you're mostly just gaming, as the former delivers identical (or near identical) performance from the gaming benchmarks I've seen from testers and reviewers (16 cores makes no difference in games compared to 12 cores). 

In terms of air coolers, which provide the best cooling performance for the price compared to liquid coolers, there's nothing more effective than the menacing, notorious Noctua NH-D15 (see our NH-D15 install guide here). The NH-D15 is the best air cooler on the market and will effectively keep a powerful 5900X running optimally whether you overclock it or not.

Noctua's flagship cooler is a beast, since the better the performance of an air cooler, the larger it's going to be, so you need to think through your component choices when using this monster as you need a case that fits it, a motherboard that won't have its top PCIe slot covered by it, and RAM modules that aren't too tall in height so that they clash (especially if having all 4 RAM slots occupied either now or in future). These same precautions apply for other large high end coolers like the Dark Rock Pro 4 (another great choice that's neck and neck with the NH-D15 as best air cooler on the market). 

If mixing and matching parts to use with this legendary cooler, check out the Noctua compatibility charts to confirm motherboard and case compatibility. For this $2500 build example, we've gone for a roomy case that has no issues with the NH-D15, as well as low-profile RAM that also won't get in the way if/when you have all 4 RAM slots populated. And as with any of our PC build templates, feel free to install a liquid AiO instead if you prefer, but also plan in advance in terms of choosing the right radiator size for your case (ie 240mm or 280mm, and also plan your fan setup). 

The air cooler to end all air coolers

If you're thirsting for some water instead, the NZXT Kraken X63 and EVGA CLC 280mm are two of the best liquid AiO coolers you can get. Last but not least, there's a plethora of good high-end PC cases you could use, but the P600S makes my shortlist as one of the best all-round options right now due to its impressive simultaneous soundproof and airflow-focused design, generous space to easily accommodate any upgrade imaginable, slick but not over-the-top look, and excellent performance out the box with three good quality 140mm Phanteks fans pre-installed (2 front, 1 rear) to keep this ridiculously powerful RTX 3090 build under control. It comes in various colors too, all of which I can recommend. That wraps the best gaming PC build under $4000 US right now in my humble opinion, and now let's go over what to know about choosing software, accessories, and putting your beast together.

Software, Accessories, & Installation

Recommended Operating System

Choosing an operating system for a new gaming PC build basically comes down to either Microsoft Windows or some variant of Linux (such as Ubuntu or Manjaro just to name a couple).

However, if you're new or unsure, just stick to Windows. While Linux is free and can offer more control and security features, it's a more advanced OS that takes a while to learn and get used to, and it also has less support overall for gaming compared to Windows (but it's always getting better). If you're interested, check out these good resources on learning Linux: 1, 2, 3).

As for Windows 11 which is just about to be released, I would still build with Windows 10 normal for now, and then once Windows 11 has been out for a while and the kinks have been ironed out with some updates from Microsoft, then you can easily update from Windows 10 to 11 for free with a couple clicks. Also, in terms of which specific version of Windows 10 to get, Home edition is fine for the majority of people as the benefits of Windows 10 Pro are not relevant to the average PC user.

To get Windows 10 for a new gaming PC build you have 3 options:

1) Download Windows Onto a USB Drive (For Free), Then Buy/Activate Later

This is the cheapest way to get Windows 10 up and running on your new PC build as you don't have to buy a Windows 10 license/key straight away. You can do this for free and then buy a key later when you have perhaps saved up more money, and until then your PC will still be 100% functional without any limitations. The only downside is you'll see a watermark image in the bottom right of your screen reminding you to upgrade (watermark disappears when gaming).

All you need is an empty USB flash drive that's 8GB or bigger (like this) and access to another desktop or laptop to download Windows onto the USB. Here's how you do it:

  1. Clear all data on the USB drive by formatting it (it must be blank). Do this even if it's brand new.

  2. Go here to download the Windows 10 installer to your computer, then follow the steps on that same page under the heading "Using the tool to create installation media". Both of these things can take a while (up to a few hours depending on your internet connection).

  3. When you've finished installing all your PC parts and you've also set your RAM speed within the motherboard BIOS (explained in what to do after building a PC), insert the USB drive into a USB 2/3 port (depending on type of USB drive) on either the front or rear of your new PC build.

  4. Reset the computer and the Windows installation should automatically begin on-screen. If it doesn't, re-enter your motherboard BIOS and set the boot priority order so that the USB drive is showing up first in the queue, and then exit the BIOS making sure that it also saves your changes. The Windows installation should begin once the system restarts, otherwise keep retrying this process by tinkering with the boot queue within the BIOS as mentioned until it works, or try a different USB port.

  5. Follow the steps on-screen to install Windows, and click "I don't have a product key" or something similar when that options appears. Full photo steps for every aspect of this is included in my extended eBook manual for DIY beginners, but to be honest it's not hard to figure out on your own unless you're completely not tech-savvy and have never used a Windows PC before (in which case I can comfortably recommend the manual for detailed guidance on every aspect of building, owning, and maintaining a PC for the first time). Oh and as for the Windows privacy settings screen - which can be confusing as to which to select or not - I personally turn them all off. Read them through and make your own decision, but if you don't understand what one of them means I would default to turning them off (I personally don't like to enable something if I don't understand what it is).

  6. If you're wondering, no you don't need to connect to the internet to finish the installation, nor do you need to sign into a Microsoft account. But once Windows is installed you do want to connect to the internet to first update Windows (search and click on "search for updates" from the main search bar in the bottom left of the Windows desktop screen), and then to download driver software for your motherboard and GPU (and also for a wireless adapter if you installed one). I cover all this over in this article.

  7. In your own time, buy a product key from the Microsoft Store, from Amazon (Home or Pro), or from somewhere else (but make sure it's a legit key).

2) Buy Windows 10 Physical Copy (USB or DVD)

Instead of downloading Windows onto a USB drive explained above, you could just buy the official USB or DVD version either online or in a physical store. You simply insert the USB or DVD when you've finished building your PC (and finished BIOS setup).

The DVD version (available at Amazon, and B&H) is usually cheaper than the USB flash drive version, so get that if you're including a DVD drive for your PC build (and don't forget to ensure your case has a 5.25" drive bay as not all do). But if you're not including a DVD drive in your build (which will actually be most people these days since physical media is fast becoming ancient), get the USB version (available at Amazon, B&H, and BestBuy

Consider Windows 10 Pro instead of Home if you're building a hybrid gaming and workstation PC for professional use if you need its advanced features like BitLocker, remote desktop, and domain join. If you don't know whether you need Windows 10 Pro or Home, chances are you're not going to benefit from Pro (so just stick with Home to save money). You can also find Pro on Amazon (DVD or USB), B&H (DVD or USB), or BestBuy (USB).

3) Reuse Your Previous Copy of Windows

If you already have Windows on another PC and it's a full retail version that's eligible to be reused on another system, this is the way. See our reusing PC parts guide for more details on this, but I can pretty safely say that if your previous PC was a prebuilt one (and not a custom built one by either you or someone else), then chances are you won't be able to reuse Windows as it's likely tied to that single machine.

Other Software for New PC Builds

You don't want to immediately bloat your fresh new PC build with a ton of software, but there are some key programs that will make your gaming PC more secure, useful, and/or fun. I'm talking anti-virus and malware software (crucial if you use your PC for important work), hardware monitoring and benchmarking programs (ie to conveniently check system temperatures/stats, show FPS on-screen when gaming to see how your build is performing, stress-test your CPU and GPU, and so on), and VPN software if you want to further secure your PC when online.

For vetted recommendations for all of these things and more (including the best places to actually buy PC games), see our continually updated list of recommended applications for gaming/workstation PCs:

Recommended PC Gaming Accessories

If you want recommendations for accessories, see the following buying guides:

Recommended Networking Accessories

Last but not least, if you choose a motherboard that doesn't have built-in wireless, you can still get wireless functionality (for WiFi) by buying a wireless adapter. These come in either USB or PCIe models; the latter is usually best for signal strength and range, but make sure you have a spare PCIe slot on your motherboard to accommodate it (most boards will) and that your graphics card doesn't cover that extra slot (if it's a huge GPU with a smaller board for instance).

You'll also want a good router if you'll be gaming online via wireless, especially if you'll be using an Oculus Quest 2 for wireless PC VR via AirLink/Virtual Desktop. Just remember wired Ethernet is best for online gaming so your best bet for the fastest, most secure online gaming sessions is to just plug your PC straight into your router or modem using an Ethernet cable (if you don't have a cable you can buy one for cheap almost anywhere).

Building Your Gaming Computer

Required Tools:

  • Phillips-head screwdriver size #2 (medium head) like this or this. Ones with a magnetic tip such as these ones are handy to avoid dropping screws into the deep dark depths of your case.

  • Phillips-head screwdriver size #1 (small head) like this, this - but only if installing a M.2 SSD as the screw used to secure M.2 drives to the motherboard are smaller than all other computer screws.

Optional Tools:

  • Anti-static wrist strap like this one or this one if you want to be extra safe (but you can instead simply periodically touch a metal object before handling components).

  • Flashlight or directional lamp to see inside your case better if your room lighting is poor, which may come in handy when trying to connect cables to the motherboard (or just use your phone's flashlight).

  • Cable/zip ties and scissors (however most cases comes with zip ties already).

  • Full PC toolkit if you want to get fancy and be prepared for anything both now and in future (see recommendations in our computer tools guide). Or just get a basic screwdriver kit like this one and call it a day (most builds don't need anything other than screwdrivers).

For your first gaming PC build, you will need a full walkthrough/tutorial to follow; manuals that come with hardware components don't contain detailed instructions or explanations that you probably need as a beginner (though don't throw them out as you will need to refer to them during installation; especially the motherboard and case manuals). To learn how to put together your first PC, it boils down to either following a written or video tutorial:

Option A: Written Tutorial (Most Detail)

Our complete photo guide to assemble a PC was carefully crafted with complete beginners in mind and includes all the little important details you need to know as a first-timer, including photos from multiple builds (one Intel, one AMD), along with diagrams throughout to help illustrate certain steps. Our tutorial has been fine-tuned over multiple years to be as easy to follow (yet detailed) as possible so that no noob gets left behind - even if you're a complete beginner who's never seen the inside of a PC before.

Option B: Video Tutorial (Quicker)

Linus's POV build guide. While a YouTube video doesn't provide as much in-depth guidance and instruction as a written guide, and generally moves through the steps quite quickly while missing certain little details that could be important to understand as a beginner, in conjunction with using other guides it may be enough for you to build your first PC (especially if you're a little more tech savvy and understand the basics of computers).

Reminder: No matter how you learn to build your PC, don't forget you need to manually set your RAM speed (such as 3200MHz). All DDR4 memory modules are automatically set to 2133MHz or 2400MHz, so if your RAM is faster than that (99% of you) you need to manually set the speed in the BIOS (by first enabling "XMP"). See what to do after building a PC for more.

Scared to Build Your Own PC?

If it's your first time building a gaming PC, stress less as it really isn't anything to be overwhelmed or scared by if you simply take your time and follow basic safety precautions. If you're afraid because you perhaps don't consider yourself tech-savvy, transform that fear into excitement because it's actually quite hard to go too wrong if you take it slow one step at a time, and if you get stuck, everything is "figureoutable" with a few internet searches or posting in a helpful community like r/BuildAPC (or commenting on one of our articles; I try my best to reply to every comment).

If you've heard the saying that building a PC is essentially adult Lego, that's no exaggeration, as it really is just a matter of plugging things in, connecting things, screwing a few things in here or there, tidying and tying cables, and so on. Far from rocket science, especially if you stick to a typical gaming build such as the ones above which don't have any overly complicated installations (I avoid recommending parts that aren't that beginner-friendly). 

Sure - building a PC takes a little patience, and your first go will likely span a good few hours minimum (sometimes a whole day), but it's well worth it to not only get the fastest gaming PC for your money but to become way more self-sufficient and prepared to handle upgrades, to troubleshoot and overcome potential problems in future (not to mention reaping all the other benefits of building your own PC).

No Time to Build a PC?

No hard feelings, friend. Buying a premade desktop isn't the end of the world if you don't mind paying a bit more for the convenience of having a pre-assembled system that's ready to go, and if you don't mind the various downsides to prebuilt PCs such as companies typically using cheaper parts (to increase their profits).

If going this route, make sure to do your homework to find a respectable model from a reputable company that's not a complete rip off - surprisingly hard to do once you've opened your eyes and gained a little knowledge about building PCs, but definitely possible. If you want my opinion, see the best prebuilt gaming PCs for the money for hand-picked, vetted recommendations for desktops that (hopefully) won't blow up within the week.


Can I mix and match parts from different builds?

Of course; customizing parts for your exact usage and aesthetic preferences is part of the fun. This best gaming PC builds series is simply my own opinion on what I would personally buy if building a PC at a certain budget based on the current market. Just don't forget to always check compatibility between all of your parts when changing things around, and don't just rely on auto tools like PCPP which don't check for absolutely everything and can make the occasional mistake (though it's generally quite accurate and I'm a fan). If you need help or a second opinion on your parts-list, feel free to ask in the comments.

Why isn't Windows included in the build prices?

Because there are various ways to get Windows for a new gaming PC build. For example, some will already have a (legal) copy of Windows they can reuse from a previous PC, some people will use Linux (which is free but more complicated), and some people will download Windows onto USB using another computer and install it for free on the new build (and then buy an activation key later in their own time). So for simplicity, the above builds just focus on the core parts.

Why aren't accessories included in the build prices?

Choosing accessories such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse and headset comes down to personal preference a lot more than when buying hardware (which is more based on objective data/facts of what performs best), and like the OS, many people will reuse PC parts for a new build too. For specific accessory recommendations, see our main menu.

Should I wait for part X to release before building?

An age-old question that comes down to various factors, including whether you just want to build now or are not in a rush for a new system and are willing to play the waiting game if there is something coming up that could be worth holding out for. The hardware game is a fast moving one with new parts always seemingly (and sometimes actually) just around the corner, either real soon or in the not too distant future.

But if you wait for all new releases before building your computer you'll be waiting forever. However, not all new releases are created equal, so it does depend on your particular build and the particular part you may be waiting for. Some might be worth the wait, others not so much. Also keep in mind that if do hold out for a new part, it may not be the best overall value for money once released, and previous generation parts might drop enough following a new series launch to actually be the better buy overall even after that new part is released.

Do the builds have WiFi capability?

Most modern motherboards don't actually come with built-in WiFi, so if you want wireless internet access for your new desktop you can either buy an external USB or internal PCIe adapter or choose a motherboard that does have WiFi. If the recommended motherboard we suggest for a certain build doesn't have WiFi, in that build's guide we typically mention a secondary motherboard choice that does have WiFi.

How Do You Decide On the "Best" Builds?

When building your own PC, when planning a parts list you have near-limitless combinations to choose from. So how on Coruscant do I begin to narrow the entire hardware market to the absolute best picks to publish on this page each quarter/month? It's not easy, but there is careful strategy behind these recommendations, with an aim of getting as close as possible to what the objectively-best value part combinations are right now for gamers who not only want the fastest gaming performance for the money but that also want a quality, reliable, awesome looking system that's built to last (and that is also flexible for future upgrades).

Countless hours of ongoing research goes into each iteration of this guide, which includes considering the thoughts of the most credible, trustworthy reviewers and testers in the industry, studying many detailed benchmarks and comparisons, as well as blending in my own subjective opinion based on many years of carefully analyzing the hardware market for both work and play. When hand-picking and selecting the parts I take into account everything that makes for a good custom PC build including: 

  • Only recommending high quality, reliable components from top brands and manufacturers
  • Ensuring full compatibility between all parts and manually checking what auto tools like PCPP can't check (ie RAM/cooler clearance among other things)
  • Allowing plenty of future flexibility for easy upgrades down the line, including enough wattage (PSU) to accommodate a more powerful GPU later on
  • Ensuring adequate - and ideally optimal - airflow for each parts-list to keep your PC running cool
  • Designing part lists that will look great with universally attractive parts and matching colors/themes wherever possible (all the builds look great; no eyesores here)
  • Favoring beginner-friendly components for a hassle-free, easy install if building your first PC

All that said, the nature of anything "DIY" obviously implies you should do your own research to ensure you choose the right parts for any particular wants and needs that you have, and so despite these being the greatest gaming PC builds in the known galaxy you shouldn't just take my word for it, especially when it comes to a large and (hopefully) long-lasting purchase like a new gaming desktop.

Though a lot of time and ongoing effort does go into giving the best, most accurate, nuanced, well thought-out recommendations possible, and these example PC builds are not just haphazardly hashed together at random overnight. So if you're after a solid "safe bet" parts-list to buy or to use as a base for your research, I'm confident you may find these build templates to be somewhat helpful in your ongoing research. Thanks for reading and good luck with your setup!

I hope this comprehensive gaming PC build guide helps in your research. If you have any feedback or have a quick question about choosing parts then feel free to let me know in the comments below. Good luck and enjoy your new setup!

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The online retailers I recommend for tech.

USA: Amazon US / BestBuy / B&H

Canada: Amazon CA

UK: Amazon UK / Overclockers

Australia: Amazon AU / PLE / Scorptec

Affiliate Disclosure: Build-Gaming-Computers.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

That simply means if you purchase product/s within a certain period of time after clicking the store links above (or any product links on this site), if that store offers an affiliate program I receive a small commission of the total sale amount (at no extra cost to you - it comes out on the retailer's end). This is how I'm able to earn an income writing and updating these articles for you guys. Also note this is unrelated to manufacturers: I don't accept monetary incentives to recommend a certain product over another.

Trusted VPN

Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important issue in the digital age, and installing a VPN is one easy way to improve the security and privacy of your PC. VPNs can also help for gaming. NordVPN is the one I use and can recommend. For more on VPNs see my gaming PC software guide.

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About Me

Indie game dev currently working on my first public release, a story driven VR FPS adventure built with Unreal Engine and designed from the ground up for virtual reality (to be announced here). Also likes writing about tech.

My favorites of all time are OOT, Perfect Dark, MGS1, MGS2, GE007, DKC2, THPS3, HL1, HL2, WC3, GTA3, and KOTOR, with the most recent addition to my list of immortals being the VR masterpiece Half Life Alyx. - Julz

Sours: https://www.build-gaming-computers.com/best-builds.html

Build 2021 pc

The Verge's 'Infamous' PC Build Gets Fixed

Back in 2018, The Verge released a guide to building a new PC that was, well, from where I was sitting it was not ideal. From where some angry PC nerds were sitting, though, it was an outrage.

How bad was the video? It has its own knowyourmeme page, that’s how bad. The guide was full of glaring omissions and bizarre tips, from a strange obsession with power usage to the most liberal use of thermal paste you’ve ever seen.

The original video guide was eventually removed by The Verge (though you can see it here, and the written portion remains online), with the site claiming that it didn’t meet their “editorial standards.” Things took a turn for the worse when folks’ initial bemusement with the guide quickly morphed into outright harassment from others, with author Stefan Etienne receiving a ton of racial abuse and The Verge issuing takedown notices on a couple of videos critical of the situation.

Anyway, that was 2018. We’re not here to drag up bad old content and the ramblings of internet shitheads, we’re here for the redemptive arc in this tale. That comes in the form of this new Linus Tech Tips video, where the host gets Etienne on to “fix” his old build, going through the same basic overall process as the original, making some changes (or just adding some extra information) at stops along the way.

Etienne is a great sport throughout (and interestingly claims that The Verge’s editorial basically threw him under the bus with the video section of the guide). The pair go through the original guide point by point, not just explaining how they’d improve things in 2021, but also allowing Etienne to break down just what was going on during the creation of the video as well.

This video had quite the tightrope to walk. While the original guide had its problems, the scale and tone of the reaction to it quickly got out of control, and so revisiting the whole thing could easily have been a disaster. Getting the original creator on there, and Linus being such a nice guy throughout, thankfully means this is actually just a really cool (and occasionally revealing) way to spend half an hour.


Sours: https://kotaku.com/the-verges-infamous-pc-build-gets-fixed-1847632851
Best $600-$700 Budget Gaming PC You Can Actually Build! (2021)

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