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Upper-mid tier (Build 4)



Now we're cooking! We bump up the GPU to the high-end of mid-tier GPUs and add another two cores/four threads to our CPU. You can generally crush 1080p gaming and can start making headway into 1440p. You'll be more functional in multithread-heavy usage such as video rendering with the included 6C/12T processor; I wouldn't use this build if you're doing daily, heavy rendering, but if you render from time-to-time, you'll be really happy with the performance for the price. 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 1600 is a hexa-core, twelve-thread CPU. It can be overclocked and comes with its own cooler which can handle moderate 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 $40-$70 more.

Motherboard: We've kept the same motherboard as our previous build tier. Any medium priced AM4 B350 motherboard will do for this build, but check reviews to see how well the board handles overclocking; 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: We double our HDD space to 2 TB which, barring special cases, will be enough storage for the vast majority of uses. This build maintains the SSD at 240 GB, but you could upgrade this to a 500 GB SSD as a reasonable upgrade for this build.

Video card: The 1070 8 GB is the lowest priced card that I would feel comfortable running at 1440p. It won't get you 1440p/144Hz, but it can handle 1440p/60Hz fairly well, depending on your settings. The next upgrade would be a GTX 1080, which is "only" around $100 more - if you have the $100 to spare and want to improve this build, that's where you want to spend your money.

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: We give a slight upgrade to the PSU, going for a semi-modular unit. This will allow you to have a few fewer cables in your case, making cable management (and by extension, air flow) a little better.

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Edit This Part List
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $199.89 $199.89 OutletPC Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: AMD B350
$84.99 -$15.00 $0.99 $70.98 Newegg Buy
$15.00 mail-in rebate
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill, Kingston, GeIL
  • Speed: DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$181.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $181.99 Amazon Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, Intel, Mushkin, Samsung, SanDisk, Western Digital
  • Capacity: 220GB - 275GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Form Factor: 2.5"
$74.99 FREE $74.99 Adorama Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Western Digital, Toshiba
  • Capacity: 1.8TB - 2.0TB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$59.88 FREE $59.88 Other World Computing Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070
  • Video RAM: 8GB
  • Length: 170mm - 403mm
$409.99 FREE $409.99 B&H Buy
Case $69.99 -$10.00 FREE $59.99 Newegg Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Power Supply $68.79 -$15.00 $53.79 OutletPC Buy
$15.00 mail-in rebate
Operating System $99.89 -$10.00 $89.89 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Case Fan $18.89 FREE $18.89 SuperBiiz Buy
Base Total: $1269.29
Mail-in Rebates: -$50.00
Shipping: $0.99
Total: $1220.28
* 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 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Gigabyte - GA-AB350-GAMING 3 ATX AM4 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory 11W - 11W
SanDisk - Ultra II 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Toshiba - P300 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
EVGA - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB SC GAMING ACX 3.0 Black Edition Video Card 42W - 170W
be quiet! - SilentWings 3 PWM 50.5 CFM 120mm Fan 1W - 5W
Total: 85W - 351W
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