In the market for a new PC? Have about $750 to spend? Here’s our suggestion for a $750 gaming PC build based on the Ryzen 5 3600 CPU and the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super graphics card.
When building a gaming PC with this budget you have to cut costs on some components in order to have enough money to buy the best processor and graphics card possible. In our build, we’ve got a cheap case and a relatively affordable motherboard. Also, we opted for a 500GB SSD without a HDD. Don’t worry though, the board’s good enough to run both the Ryzen 5 3600 and an eventual upgrade which may come in a few years down the line. Let’s begin.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
The Ryzen 5 3600 is the best mid-range CPU on the market at the moment. It’s pretty good for gaming and blows Intel Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs out of the water when it comes to most productivity benchmarks. Sure, you could go with a Core i5 9400F plus some cheap H310 or B365 board. But by doing that your upgrade choices will be very limited (more on that later) and your CPU would be quite behind the Ryzen 5 3600 in productivity tasks and multitasking.
Intel recently announced its 10th gen CPU lineup. One of those CPUs, the Core i5 10400F looks very promising. It has 6-cores/12-threads and 4GHz all-core boost. But the problem is that the price listed is the wholesale price. This means the final pricing will most likely be higher than what the Ryzen 5 3600 sells for at the moment. Next, you’ll have to wait a while before Intel releases affordable motherboards. By the time you’re able to buy the Core i5 10400F coupled with an affordable motherboard 4th gen Ryzen CPUs will already be a thing.
At the moment and during the summer of 2020 the Ryzen 5 3600 is and will stay the best mid-range CPU you can get.
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 1660 Super Black Gaming
The GTX 1660 Super is without a doubt the best sub-$300 graphics card you can get right now. There’s the GTX 1660 Ti that sells for a noticeably higher price while offering just around 5 percent more performance, making it a bad buy right now. The RX 5600 XT from AMD is a great card but it’s also sold for a much higher price, a price we couldn’t fit into our $750 gaming PC build budget.
The 1660 Super is an excellent mid-range card. It’s a capable 1080p card that can run most games at 60fps and high/ultra settings. Hell, you can even use it for 1440p gaming, if you mostly play esports titles. You won’t find a better graphics card to fit inside the $750 budget.
Motherboard: ASRock B450M Steel Legend or MSI B450M Gaming Plus
|Memory||4 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 64 GB|
|Storage||2 × M.2, 4 × SATAIII|
|Multi GPU Support||AMD CrossFire|
|Expansion Slots||2 × PCIe x16, 1 × PCIe x1|
|Back Panel Ports||1 × PS/2
1 × DisplayPort 1.2, 1 × HDMI
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
4 × USB 3.1 Gen1
2 × USB 2.0
1 × LAN
1 × Optical SPDIF Out
HD Audio Connectors
The ASRock B450m Steel Legend is one of the best motherboards for Ryzen 7 CPUs. It features pretty solid VRM and a nice selection of features. The alternative is the MSI B450m Gaming Plus, which is one of the best motherboards for the Ryzen 5 3600.
Both boards are great for the price. They both feature mATX form factor, one M.2 slot, four SATAIII connectors, and one PCIe x16 slot. The MSI model has 2 DIMM slots and supports up to 64GB of DDR4 3466MHz memory. Steel Legend features 4 DIMM slots and it supports up to 64GB of 3533MHz DDR4 memory.
Fewer DIMM slots is a disadvantage for the MSI B450M Gaming Plus but on the flip side, this board has a better VRM than the Steel Legend. While the ASRock Steel Legend isn’t recommended for the Ryzen 9 3900X, the MSI board can run that CPU without issues. And a better VRM could be very handy in the future.
You see, AMD confirmed that the 4th gen Ryzen CPUs will use the same AM4 socket used by all current Ryzen CPUs. While AMD recently informed the public that B450 and X470 boards won’t support Ryzen 4000 CPUs the company later backed down from this decision a couple of days ago. Now it’s official, B450 and X470 boards will officially support Ryzen 4000 CPUs. That means both of these boards will be able to house upcoming Ryzen 4000 CPUs, meaning you will have an excellent upgrade path if you pick any of the two.
|Memory||2 × DDR4 DIMM, max. 64 GB|
|Storage||1 × M.2, 4 × SATAIII|
|Multi GPU Support||None|
|Expansion Slots||1 × PCIe x16, 2 × PCIe x1|
|Back Panel Ports||1 × PS/2
1 × DVI-D, 1 × HDMI
1 × LAN
3 × USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
2 × USB 2.0
HD Audio Connectors
Flash BIOS Button
The Gaming Plus will be able to run 12-core CPUs while the Steel Legend is limited to 8 core processors. You can fit the 3900X on the Steel Legend, if you have an active cooling over its VRM unit. Just don’t try to install one without providing cooling to the VRM. That’s the reason why we don’t recommend getting the Core i5 9400F and a cheap board. 9th gen Intel CPUs simply don’t have an upgrade path. If you have a couple of dozens of bucks to spare get the MSI B450 Tomahawk Max. This board features both a superb VRM and four DIMM slots.
Memory: Patriot Viper Blackout DDR4 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3200MHz
A no-frills choice. This is an excellent memory that runs at 3200Mhz, the perfect frequency for Ryzen CPUs. We’ve picked a 2x8GB kit over a single 16GB stick because dual-channel memory setup is noticeably faster compared to a single channel.
And if you pick the Steel Legend board you can get another 16GB kit in the future. While 16 gigabytes of memory is standard for cozy gaming right now, we reckon games will require more than 16GB of memory once proper next-gen titles start coming out in a couple of years from now.
Storage: WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB SSD
This new Western Digital Blue 500GB SSD with 3D NAND technology is great. It has excellent read and write speeds and is a bit faster than the Samsung 850 Evo. It’s also much more affordable than the Samsung 860 Evo 500GB SSD while providing very similar performance.
This SSD is the best budget option on the market at the moment. And 500 gigabytes of storage should be enough for your system and more than a handful of games. If you need more storage you can save some money and get a cheap 1TB HDD later.
PSU: Corsair CX Series 650 Watt 80 Plus Bronze
The situation with power supplies on Amazon is quite erratic at the moment. A model you saw yesterday at a great price might be unavailable to buy today. 650W models with 80Plus Gold certification sell for less than 550W 80Plus Bronze models made by the same brand. It’s crazy.
This is why our choice went to a 650W PSU. Yes, this power supply is clearly an overkill for this build. But, it’s very affordable right now and sells for less than 550W and 600W models. It has the 80Plus Bronze certification and is semi-modular.
Chances are by the time you get to buy the actual components for your rig this PSU will become unavailable or will sport much higher price. If that happens follow these few simple rules when looking for a power supply:
Don’t cheap out on PSU. Getting a cheap power supply can fry your system or damage your components. It’s better to save more money and get a decent PSU than to get a no-name brand or a PSU without the 80Plus certification.
80Plus Bronze is the minimum you should go for. 80Plus Gold and Silver PSUs are a bit better but 80Plus Bronze is just fine for virtually any gaming rig. Also, don’t go with suspicious brands you’ve never heard about, especially if they have low user rating.
Finally, 550W should be a minimum for a gaming rig. That way you won’t have to get a new PSU in case you upgrade to a new CPU and/or graphics card. You can maybe go with 500W but that’s only if you don’t plan on getting a powerful CPU or GPU in the future.
Case: Thermaltake Versa H22
|Motherboard Form Factor||ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX|
|Dimensions||429 × 209 × 480 mm|
|Drive Bays||3 × 5.25”
3 × 3.5” (Usable for 2.5” SSDs)
3 × 2.5”
|GPU Clearance||315 mm|
|Max number of Fans and Radiators||2 × 120mm fans front, 1 × 120mm fan back or 1 × 120mm AIO radiator|
|Front I/O Ports||1 × USB 3.0, 1 × USB 2.0, 1 × HD Audio|
For the case, we’ve picked the most affordable case that can host an ATX motherboard. The Thermaltake Versa H22 doesn’t have the looks of more expensive cases, but it does offer the basics. It comes with one 120mm fan on the back and allows users to fit two additional 120mm fans on the front. It has a decent airflow thanks to perforated front and top panels. And it comes with a plethora of drive bays. Three 5.25”, three 2.5”, and three 3.5” that can also be used for 2.5” SSDs.
The case comes without great cable management support, it doesn’t have a see-through side panel, comes with support for only 3 fans, and is not made for custom water-cooling setups. On the flip side, it’s affordable, has lots of space for components and the PSU, and it comes with support for one 120mm radiator on the back (better than nothing).
If you’re fine with getting a case that can host only mATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, check out the Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L. That one looks much better, supports up to six 120mm fans, and one 240mm AIO radiator. Or you can spend a bit more and get the Carbide 100R from Corsair, a mid-tower case that features a see-through side panel.
To summarize, this is a $750 gaming PC build that features the best mid-range CPU and a great 1080p graphics card. We also picked a motherboard that will support a 4th or even 5th gen Ryzen CPU. This means you will be able to replace the Ryzen 5 3600 with much more powerful option down the line. 16GB of fast memory is there for fluid gaming. 500GB SSD should be enough for start and you can upgrade the storage for cheap with a large HDD. Finally, the quality 650W PSU will allow you to upgrade to any CPU or GPU in the future without issues.