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Mid-range/Balanced Build (Build 3)



This build makes a very helpful improvement to the GPU, adds four more threads to the CPU, 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 more functional in multithread-heavy usage such as video rendering with the included 4C/8T processor. This build leaves open a lot of upgrade options, because the AM4 chipset will be in use for at least two more Ryzen generations. You could easily swap out the included CPU for whatever Ryzen CPUs release in 2018 or 2019, if you want to upgrade at that point. And, of course, the GPU would also be available to upgrade regardless.

CPU: The Ryzen 1400 is a quad-core, eight-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 1400'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 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 MHz at a minimum and 3200 MHz being the maximum. Don't break the bank jumping from 2666 MHz to 3000 MHz or 3200 MHz 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 is a great mid-range GPU that will chew through most 1080p/60 FPS games.. The next upgrade would be a 1070, but due to recent price inflation caused by high demand, it'll be a considerable increase to the overall price to make that upgrade.

Case: This is a highly personal choice. However, the NZXT S340 is a very nice case for the price and should still be quite functional even for future builds. We're still including one extra case fan, but at this budget, it would be a worthwhile investment to add one or two more case fans for added cooling.

PSU: Our PSU is selected from a small group of low-cost, but reliable, PSUs. Most of these are about 500 watts, which is more than we need by probably 100 watts or more, but it's hard to find respectable quality PSUs that are <500 watts, so this is what we're going with. If you're lucky, you may find a sale that gives you a semi-modular PSU instead of a non-modular PSU, but usually in the <$40 price range, you'll be getting a non-modular PSU.

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Edit This Part List
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $149.89 $149.89 OutletPC Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: AMD B350
$74.89 -$10.00 $64.89 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)
$164.99 FREE $164.99 Newegg Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, Intel, Mushkin, Samsung, SanDisk, Western Digital, Toshiba
  • Capacity: 220GB - 275GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Form Factor: 2.5"
$72.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $72.99 Amazon Buy
$43.89 $43.89 OutletPC Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
$349.99 $4.99 $354.98 Newegg Buy
Case $64.99 $64.99 SuperBiiz Buy
Power Supply $49.90 -$15.00 FREE $34.90 Newegg Buy
$15.00 mail-in rebate
Operating System $99.89 -$10.00 $89.89 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Case Fan $12.99 -$5.00 FREE $7.99 Newegg Buy
$5.00 mail-in rebate
Base Total: $1084.41
Mail-in Rebates: -$40.00
Shipping: $4.99
Total: $1049.40
* 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 1400 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
MSI - B350 PC MATE ATX AM4 Motherboard 17W - 70W
G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory 14W - 14W
Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
SanDisk - SSD PLUS 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB WINDFORCE OC 6G Video Card 30W - 120W
Cooler Master - MasterFan Pro 120 Air Flow 84.5 CFM 120mm Fan 1W - 5W
Total: 76W - 304W
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