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Mid-range/Balanced Build (Build 3)



Updated November 13th, 2018

This build makes a very helpful improvement to the GPU, upgrades the CPU from four cores/four threads to six cores/twelve threads, and gives us a few other nice perks overall. You won't go above 1080p, but you might hit a few Ultra settings or a much better framerate at Medium-to-High settings. You'll be quite proficient in multithread-heavy usage such as video rendering with the included 6C/12T processor. The Ryzen 1600 CPU is a generation old at this point, but the price has dropped so significantly that it's a great option even though the Ryzen 2600 is already available. This build leaves open a lot of upgrade options, because the AM4 chipset will be in use for at least one more Ryzen generation. And, of course, the GPU would also be available to upgrade regardless.

Here is a video with benchmarks for the Ryzen 1600 with a GTX 1060 6 GB - the RX 580 8 GB will perform similar in most titles, but check performance for your most-played games.

CPU: The Ryzen 1600 is a hexa-core, twelve-thread CPU. It can be overclocked and comes with its own cooler which can handle mild overclocks. However, if you really want to push your Ryzen 1600's overclock to its limit, you'll need an aftermarket CPU cooler which will run you $30-$60 more.

Motherboard: No change here from our previous build. Any low-to-medium priced AM4 B350/B450 motherboard will do for this build; MSI, ASUS, ASRock, and Gigabyte are all reputable brands.

RAM: This build maintains the very solid 16 GB of RAM, which should be plenty for gaming for at least a couple of years. The speed/frequency of the RAM is moderately important for a build using any Ryzen CPU, so try to aim for higher speeds with 2666 MT/s at a minimum and 3200 MT/s being the maximum. Don't break the bank jumping from 2666 MT/s to 3000 MT/s or 3200 MT/s however, as it's just not that important and you'll likely only see 2-3% framerate increases from each jump up... which is around 1 to 3 FPS average when you're around 60 FPS.

Storage: A 1 TB hard drive will be enough storage for most uses including quite a few game installs, and you can always add on more storage later via internal or external storage. This mid-range build ups the SSD to 240 GB, which is enough to easily fit your OS and several games and productivity software.

Video card: The 1060 6 GB and the RX 580 8 GB are great mid-range GPUs that will chew through most 1080p/60 FPS games. The next upgrade would be a GTX 1070 in terms of a reasonable price increase for a reasonable performance increase.

Case: This is a highly personal choice. We have added a parametric filter for a medium-cost case from reputable companies, but you will want to look around and decide what is best for you. Our price range here is $50-$70. You may want to add in an extra 120mm or 140mm case fan, such as the be quiet! SilentWings-series, to help with case airflow if you plan to overclock your CPU aggressively, although we've opted to include one extra fan already.

PSU: Our PSU is selected from a small group of low-cost, but reliable, PSUs. The PSUs are picked from a parametric filter with these qualities: Manufactured by EVGA/Corsair/Seasonic (all reputable brands, generally-speaking), between 450-550 watts, and 80+ bronze-rated efficiency. It's unlikely that anything in this price range will be modular, however, which doesn't harm the quality of your PC, but does result in a messier build with more cables/wires in the case than are needed.

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Edit This Part List
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $129.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $129.99 Amazon Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: AMD B350, AMD B450
$79.89 -$10.00 FREE $69.89 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill, GeIL
  • Speed: DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$104.99 FREE $104.99 Newegg Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, Intel, Mushkin, Samsung, SanDisk, Western Digital, Toshiba
  • Capacity: 220 GB - 275 GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Form Factor: 2.5"
$39.89 FREE $39.89 OutletPC Buy
$44.89 FREE $44.89 OutletPC Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, Radeon RX 580
  • Video RAM: 6 GB, 8 GB
$209.99 -$20.00 FREE $189.99 Newegg Buy
Get 2 Free Games w/ purchase, limited offer
$20.00 mail-in rebate
From parametric filter
  • Price: $50.25 - $70.93
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Cooler Master, Rosewill, NZXT, Fractal Design, Phanteks
$50.88 FREE $50.88 OutletPC Buy
Power Supply
From parametric filter
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, EVGA, SeaSonic
  • Wattage: 450 W - 550 W
  • Modular: No, Semi
  • Efficiency: 80+ Bronze
$44.99 -$20.00 FREE $24.99 Newegg Buy
$20.00 mail-in rebate
Operating System $108.89 -$10.00 FREE $98.89 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Case Fan $10.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $10.99 Amazon Buy
Base Total: $825.39
Mail-in Rebates: -$60.00
Total: $765.39
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Part List Price History (Excluding Tax)



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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor 8W - 65W
G.Skill - Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory 14W - 14W
Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Toshiba - OCZ TR200 240 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
MSI - Radeon RX 580 8 GB ARMOR OC Video Card 46W - 185W
Cooler Master - MasterFan Pro 120 Air Flow 84.5 CFM 120mm Fan 1W - 5W
Total: 75W - 299W
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