Want to build a cheap gaming PC for playing today’s latest games? We highly recommend AMD’s Ryzen 3 processor. This, along with an inexpensive B350 motherboard, allows for insane value at this price point.
While this PC will play all of today’s latest AAA titles, I’m focusing on today’s most popular competitive and eSports games. Specifically, Overwatch, CS:GO, PUBG and LOL. For me as long as this PC can play these games in 1080p 60FPS at reasonable settings, it’s good to go. Considering that many of today’s more recent titles look fantastic on medium and high settings, this shouldn’t be too hard to reach.
Trying to build a gaming PC for the first time isn’t as difficult as many think. Grab a processor, graphics card, some ram, a motherboard, case, power supply, and hard drive or solid state drive and you’re ready to get started. For most, grabbing the parts is the biggest battle. So, for this build, we’ll list what we think are the optimal parts for building a computer with a Ryzen 3 processor in the under or around $500 range.
Cheap AMD Ryzen 3 1200 eSports Build Parts list
|$500 AMD Ryzen Build||Profile||Availability|
|CPU||Ryzen 3 1200|
|Motherboard||MSI B350 Tomahawk|
|Ram||G. Skill Ripjaws V Series|
|GPU||GTX 1050 (1050 Ti if prices stabilize)|
|Case||Corsair Spec 01, 100R, or Versa H21|
|PSU||Corsair VS 500W or EVGA W1|
|Storage||ADATA Premier Pro SP 600 256GB SSD or WD Caviar Blue 1 TB Drive|
Ryzen 3 1200 vs 1300X Processor
As I mentioned this build features the AMD Ryzen 3 1200 processor. With an inexpensive B350 motherboard and the stock Wraith CPU cooler, you should be able to overclock to around 3.8GHz. So, assuming you’ll do that the Ryzen 3 1200 is basically identical in performance to the 1300X. For non-overclockers, it might be beneficial to simply spend the extra $20 and go with the 1300X.
In terms of how we feel about the Ryzen 3 lineup, we’re happy to give it our full recommendation. The overall performance is fantastic and we’d choose it over Intel’s current i3 lineup in most cases.
Installing the Processor:
Installing the processor is simply a matter of lining up the grooves and pins in the CPU slot on your motherboard. I recommend you keep it in the plastic until you’re ready to install it. Otherwise, you risk bending pins.
We’re not aiming to break any records here as we’re trying to stick to a budget. So, we’re using the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series. A 1 x 8GB kit is a bit cheaper, so that’s one way we can keep to our budget. It should easily hit 2800MHz and perhaps a bit higher with some tweaking. There are, of course, DDR4 kits better suited for Ryzen; however, this is a good course for our needs. Our motherboard should be able to support higher than this, so going with something like the inexpensive Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz memory might be worth a try here.
For aesthetic, the red G. Skill Ripjaws V fits in perfect with our black Tomahawk motherboard with red Ambient LEDs and lines. In fact, this board is surprisingly well color-coordinated considering we’re focusing more on a budget here. Initially, we went with Crucial Ballistix DDR4 memory as you can see below here, but as of this current update, the Ripjaws seem like a better deal.
Finding the Right Motherboard
We’ve reviewed what we think are the best B350 motherboards in the past. And while the MSI B350M Gaming Pro may not have all of the features of the more expensive AMD X370 motherboards, it is a solid option for an affordable build.
Even though it’s inexpensive it actually looks pretty nice with its red and black scheme and ambient red gaming LEDs. It also has an M.2 slot and supports up to 3200+ OC memory.
To install the motherboard line it up with the top holes of your case. Place the standoffs in the holes that it lines up with and then screw it into the case.
We don’t have a ton of money for a power supply but it’s still a good idea to go with something that’s 80 plus. Right now, Corsair’s VS series is on sale. It’s 80 Plus and a reasonably reliable option for this price range. If it’s not on sale where you live or at the time you read this, look for something around $30. With rebates, it should be possible to get something this solid for $30. EVGA’s W1 series typically goes at a similar price point and would be a reasonable alternative.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the power supply we’ve chosen take a look at our power supply tier list here for more information. However, at this price range, this PSU seems to fit very well.
Power supplies are typically top or bottom mounted in the back of your case. Simply line it up with the screws. If it’s on the bottom, typically the fan blows down towards the bottom of the case.
We’ve already discussed what we think are the best graphics cards for Ryzen 3 here. So, if you’re looking for additional options, you can find more information there. For this $500 Ryzen 3 build, we’re going with the GTX 1050 2GB. It’s a better performer than the RX 560 in a wide variety of games. The 560 does win in a few games; however, so you may want to look into additional benchmarks if you’re looking for a specific game.
GPU Market Unrest
The GPU market has been crazy the past few months. You can thank the cryptocurrency boom for that. So, I’m not sure what you’ll be able to find. Right now, the GTX 1050 2GB is available for $130 at a variety of places. So, that seems like a safe option. This, along with the Ryzen 3 1200 and the MSI B350 Tomahawk gives you a solid CPU, GPU, Motherboard combo for under $300.
Get the 1050 Ti or even RX 570 if You Can.
However, I think if you can go with a GTX 1050 Ti here, you’ll have a much better experience with games. It gives you a solid This PC will also give you more longevity. Right now, the 1050Ti has been above $200. Yet, the price of these GPUs regularly goes to around $130. So, either have the patience or just go with the GTX 1050.
We’re going with a relatively nice case here in the Corsair Carbide Spec 04. You could, of course, go for something cheaper here. However, I like the options and price that the Spec-04 comes with and it should be easy for you to work with as you change your build from time to time. The black and red version of this case really looks fantastic with our red and black motherboard with ambient red LEDs.
Another option here would be the Corsair 100R. I’ve seen it available for as low as $25 on Newegg over the past few months.
For cooling, the case comes with a single front 120mm intake fan. This should be fine for our low wattage build. If you want to add additional fans, there is plenty of options to do so. Overall it’s inexpensive and lightweight and does the job ok. If you’re looking for something similar that often goes on sale, you can also check out the Thermaltake V3 or H23 that we’ve reviewed in the past.
Overall this is a pretty fantastic little build. It should take on the likes of all eSports games and AAA titles for the near foreseeable future. Even down the line, you can continue to adjust settings and it should work very well for you. We’re impressed with the Ryzen 3 1200 and it’s 4 core value. Overclocking it to 3.8GHz is very easy with the Wraith Cooler and something we highly recommend if you’re looking for additional performance.
$600 AMD Ryzen 1300X eSports Build
Want a slightly higher-end version of this? Here’s a build from our friend Joker. He uses the 1300X along with the MSI Tomahawk motherboard and gives some great benchmarks in various games for the RX 560 and 1300X.