5 Gaming PC Builds

Table of Contents

Have you been wanting to build your own gaming computer for some time now, but you are too confused about what parts to use? Well, we are here to help. 

In this article we take you through our suggestions for the parts required to build 5 different level gaming PC towers. Keeping in mind various budget requirements, we cover gaming PCs ranging from entry level (~$500 USD) through to your ultimate gaming PC (~$3000 USD).

Building your own computer is not only fun, rewarding, and educational, it is also cheaper than purchasing a pre-built computer from a commercial retailer.

Budget PC (est. $500 USD)

This Budget PC is designed to be the ‘entry level’ PC starting at an estimated $500 (USD). This is designed to be a very “bare-bone” functional gaming PC. Despite being on a lower budget, it will get you up and playing your favorite games in no time. This PC will run games like Fortnite and Counter Strike Global Offensive with no issues, however you may want to avoid resolutions higher than 1080p, and you might have to trim your graphics sliders just a little to reach your desired performance.

Given that this is an ‘entry level’ PC, we have created the build list (e.g. parts list) with the intention of expansion and upgradability. Meaning that this Budget PC can serve as a perfect base for an eventual mighty PC just by upgrading only a few parts. 

Processor (CPU): AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor

For the budget build we went for an AMD Ryzen 3 3200G for the CPU. You will be able to play most popular games with this processor. For a great price you get a very decent CPU with AMD’s built-in Vega graphics processing (AMD Radeon Rx Vega 8), and a AMD Wraith stealth cooling fan. Therefore you don’t have to have a Graphics Card to run games. The Ryzen 3 3200G has four cores, which gives a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, and a 4MB L3 cache, but keep in mind it doesn’t have support for multithreading, therefore each core can run just a single software instruction thread at a time. 

Motherboard: ASRock B450 Steel Legend ATX AM4

The CPU runs on an AM4 socket, so we suggest to use aASRock B450 Steel Legend ATX AM4 Motherboard for a couple of very valid reasons. It is a well-reviewed motherboard, and although the BIOS are not the fanciest, it is still easy to navigate. The 4 memory and 2 NVMe slots will cover you for any upgrade in the future.

AMD has promised that B450 boards (and newer) will be compatible with their new Ryzen 4000 series CPUs that should be released later this year (2020). This is an excellent upgrade path if you’re planning on upgrading to a more modern, more powerful CPU without changing many parts.   Dual PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and quad PCIe 2.0 x1 slots enable equipping powerful PCIe-enabled components, and with six SATA 6Gb/s connectors you can install HDDs/SSDs for all your storage requirements.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16

For memory we went with G.Skill Ripjaws 2 x 8 GB DDR4-3600 sticks. They offer a terrific bang for your buck. However, keep in mind that this choice has the functionality in mind and will not provide anything fancy like RGB lighting. AMD’s processors are also more dependent on memory speed, which is another reason we chose to go with 3600 sticks.

Storage: Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

For the storage we suggest a 500 GB NVMe SSD from Crucial, which will provide excellent speeds (up to 1900 and 950 MB/s). The 500 GB might not be a lot of storage, but given your budget it should be plenty to initially get you up and gaming. However, if your budget allows, you may consider adding some storage in the future since 500 GB may prove to be slim.

Case: Corsair 275R Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case

For the case we suggest the Corsair 275R Case. Mainly because it is a very stylish and functional case with a modern design. It has a slatted front panel that helps provide ample airflow into your system, along with 3x120mm fans (therefore you don’t need to buy any extra fans). However, it has room to install up to 6x120mm cooling fans or multiple radiators in sizes up to 360mm. It also has a single tempered glass side.

Power Supply: EVGA BR 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX

For the power supply we went with the EVGA BR 600W 80+ Bronze. It is excellent value for money that provides quiet operation and has a good lifespan. The hard lined design allows the cables to be attached to the power supply for ease of installation and removal. The Bronze Rated Efficiency 80 Plus certification ensures your power supply isn’t wasting power and turning it into excess heat. And for cosmetics, we like the black connections so you then avoid the bright colors of red and yellow wires flashing through the tempered glass.

Mid-Range PC (est. $840 USD)

This PC showcases the Budget PC’s upgradability by taking most of its components and replacing the CPU and adding a GPU to gain a more powerful PC than what we previously suggested. 

This PC will run games smoothly at 1080p with higher refresh rates, and could even open the possibility of gaming at 1440p. This PC is what we would call our go-to gaming starter build – it is not too expensive and gets the job done very well.  This PC takes all the Budget PC’s benefits, so you still have that upgrade path opened to you for even more significant upgrades, as we will see in our Balanced build, which is next. 

Since we are building on the Budget PC, each of the following parts are the same for the mid-range PC (see descriptions above).

Motherboard: ASRock B450 Steel Legend ATX AM4

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16

Storage: Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

Case: Corsair 275R Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply: EVGA BR 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX

To upgrade the budget PC to the mid-range PC we chose the following CPU and GPU.

Processor (CPU): AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor

For the CPU we upgraded to an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core/12-Thread 7nm Processor. This processor offers a significant bump up in performance at a great price. It is a powerful 6-core processor with 12 threads and especially designed for socket AM4 motherboards. It has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and can reach a max boost clock speed of 4.2 GHz. It also comes with an included cooler, which is plenty to do the job of keeping parts cool. 

Graphics Card (GPU): Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6 GB GAMING OC

For the mid-range PC we opted to add a GPU (Graphics Card) since the newly paired processor doesn’t provide integrated graphics. We suggest the GTX 1660 Super because it is 6 GB of VRAM and is a reliable option to offer a great gaming experience. However, if you have a bit more money to spend, maybe consider upgrading to a more powerful GPU since that’s where you will notice the main difference for gaming.

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 has a graphics processor with a core clock speed of 1860 MHz and 1408 CUDA cores, which will easily allow you to play all the latest games without setting the graphics too low.  You can also play games for hours without worrying about overheating – it has 3 fans with opposite spinning cycles to reduce the wind turbulence, and composite heat pipes. 

Performance PC (est. $1150 USD)

Similar to the earlier builds, this PC showcases the Budget and Mid-Range PC’s upgradability by taking most of their components and replacing the CPU and GPU to gain a PC that is far more powerful. 

This PC will run games smoothly at 1440p with high refresh rates. For a monitor we recommend a 1080p or 1440p, 144hz monitor. This PC offers outstanding performance, and anything above this, you’re entering enthusiast territory. This will get you all the performance you need for your perfect gaming experience. 

This PC shares its benefits with the previous two builds, so you still have that upgrade path opened to you for even more significant upgrades. Each of the following parts are the same for the Performance PC (see descriptions above).

Motherboard: ASRock B450 Steel Legend ATX AM4

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16

Storage: Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

Case: Corsair 275R Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply: EVGA BR 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX

To upgrade this computer to the next level we chose the following CPU and GPU.

Processor (CPU): AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8 GHz 6-Core Processor

We have upgraded the CPU slightly to an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, which provides a little more speed and performance and still has excellent bang for your buck appeal. Also, this will pair nicely with the new GPU (see below).

Video Card (GPU): GeForce RTX 3070 8 GB GAMING OC

For the GPu we suggest the RTX 3070, which isn’t due to release until the end of October. Because of it’s fantastic performance for the price, we recommend waiting for this specific card. It will offer similar performance to the previous flagship RTX 2080 Ti; this will make this build all of the more awesome.

High-End PC (est. $1600 USD)

Now we take it up another notch. The high-end PC is designed with performance in mind. It will get you playing any game at high resolution and high refresh rates. You will be able to run Triple-A games without any issues, and at ultra graphic settings. Although we don’t mention monitors in this article, we recommend pairing this PC with a 1440p or 4K monitor that has a high refresh rate so you can get the most out of this blinding performance.

Processor (CPU): AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor

We now bump up the processor to a AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, which is an octa-core processor with a total of sixteen threads. This CPU also enables the ability of streaming and gaming live without a problem.

To take full advantage of the overclockability, if that’s something you’re interested in, we chose the Noctua NH-D15 since it provides outstanding cooling. Noctua is one of the most renowned brands in the industry as far as CPU cooling is concerned for a very valid reason. It has excellent cooling performance with superb quietness of operation and outstanding RAM, case and PCIe compatibility. The chromax-black has a sleek stealth look with its black fan and black coated heatsink.

Motherboard: Asus PRIME X570-P ATX AM4 Motherboard

For the next level up motherboard we suggest an X570 as it will provide a significant upgrade path for future generations processors. The Asus PRIME X570-P is designed with performance, versatility, and stability in mind. It will easily give power users and gamers all they need to build a high-end PC that can run the latest technologies efficiently with no problems. Its speed and reliability make it suitable for gaming, content creation, and workstation applications.This motherboard features an AMD AM4 CPU socket, four dual-channel DDR4 DIMM RAM slots, six 6Gb/s SATA connectors, two M.2 slots, and five PCIe 4.0 interfaces.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16

For the memory, we opted for 32 GB (2 x 16) @ 3600 because Ryzen CPUs scale well with higher frequency memory. This also leaves two empty slots for further upscaling your system to 64 GB total memory if you desire.

Storage: ADATA XPG SX6000 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD

With the higher budget we also enhanced the storage capacity to 1 TB on a single NVMe. It offers up to 4 times faster performance than SATA SSDs and a massive 1TB capacity. Although this capacity should be enough, everyone’s storage needs differ, so feel free to change the capacity by adding another SSD or HDD to your choice.  The SX6000 Pro is slimmer than standard M.2 2280 SSDs for a higher level of compatibility thanks to its single-sided design.

Video Card (GPU): NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB Founders Edition

Now we are talking about a serious GPU. The brand new, just released, GeForce RTX 3080 is an extremely powerful Graphics Card that will get you through every game, even in VR or 4K. It’s built with enhanced RT Cores and Tensor Cores, new streaming multiprocessors, and superfast G6X memory. The NVIDIA Ampere streaming multiprocessors are the building blocks for the world’s fastest, most efficient GPU for gamers and creators.

Given its recent release and popularity it may be difficult to find a store that has it in stock. However, after the hype has died down it should be easy to find. In the meantime, an alternative is the previously released RTX 2080 SUPER, which may not be as powerful, but will still run games fantastically.

Case: Corsair 4000D Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case

The case is simply our personal choice. Mainly because the Corsair 4000D is well ventilated and has a PSU shroud, cable management holes, and cable tie-offs. All of these will make it easier to keep the PC looking clean. It fits up to 2x 2.5in SSDs and 2x 3.5in HDDs, with relocatable SSD trays that can be moved to the front PSU cover.

Power Supply: EVGA 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX

Keeping things simple, the power supply was upgraded to a 750W to answer the new needs of the system power-wise.

Ultimate PC (est. $2900 USD)

For our final build we take it up a few more notches. For a home built PC this is probably the most high-end and most powerful PC you can build without going into super advanced and custom water cooling, and going SLI on dual graphics cards etc. 

This PC has everything you would ever need for your gaming. In fact, it has even more than what you need for an amazing gaming experience. With this PC you will be able to game in 4K or VR with absolute ease. 

Parts of this PC shares its benefits with the previous build. Each of the following parts are the same for the High-End PC (see descriptions above).

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16

Storage: ADATA XPG SX6000 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD

Processor (CPU): AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor

The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X is one of the fastest gaming CPUs available. It offers 12 cores, 24 threads, a base frequency of 3.8GHz, and a turbo frequency of 4.6GHz. The unlocked multiplier enables easy overclocking and it is especially designed for socket AM4 motherboards. The third-generation 7nm Ryzen processor offers increased performance than its predecessor. It has a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz and can reach a max boost clock speed of 4.6 GHz. 

To take full advantage of the Ryzen 9 3900X’s performance potential we’ve included an NZXT 240mm liquid cooler. This is a must-have for any build, providing better cooling, stunning visual effects, and intuitive installation.

Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI) ATX AM4

We chose this motherboard simply because it is one of the best on the market. Similar to the High-End build, we suggest an X570 motherboard as it will provide a significant upgrade path for future generations processors.

Video Card (GPU) NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24 GB Founders Edition

This build requires the best GPU, which means we desire the new GeForce RTX 3090 by NVIDIA that was recently released.  It’s powered by Ampere—NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX architecture, doubling down on ray tracing and AI performance with enhanced RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and new streaming multiprocessors. Plus, it features a staggering 24 GB of G6X memory, all to deliver the ultimate gaming experience. 

You should unquestionably pair it with a high refresh rate and high-resolution monitor to take full enjoyment of the card’s capabilities. For those interested in VR, the RTX 3090 will have no problem playing any applications currently on the market. This GPU is so new that it is most likely out of stock already. But we strongly recommend waiting to get your hands on this GPU.

Case: Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic ATX Full Tower Case

For the case we have chosen the Lian Li PC-O11 for its aggressive look, but also its cable management holes and tie-offs to help your build look cleaner. The tempered glass on each side looks great and airflow is excellent.The angled motherboard tray and the back side cable management bar conceal and exclude any cable mess. By the way, one of the most comments on reviews is that it is super easy to build.

We  also added a Corsair  LL120 fan 3-pack since this case doesn’t contain any. These fans are quiet with excellent airflow.

Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 W 80+ Gold Fully Modular

Similar to the power supply in the high-end PC, but we upgraded it to the SuperNOVA series by EVGA. This is the newest addition to their line of power supplies. It is 80 Plus Gold Certified and built for long term usage and durability. An excellent choice for our Ultimate PC build.

Summary Of The Five PCs

Budget

$ 500 Estimated
  • CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core
  • Motherboard:
    ASRock B450 Steel Legend ATX AM4
  • Memory:
    G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16
  • Graphics Card:
    Not required
  • Storage:
    Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Case:
    Corsair 275R Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power Supply:
    EVGA BR 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX

Mid-Range

$ 840 Estimated
  • CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core
  • Motherboard:
    ASRock B450 Steel Legend ATX AM4
  • Memory:
    G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16
  • Graphics Card:
    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6 GB GAMING OC
  • Storage:
    Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Case:
    Corsair 275R Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power Supply:
    EVGA BR 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX

Performance

$ 1150 Estimated
  • CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8 GHz 6-Core
  • Motherboard:
    ASRock B450 Steel Legend ATX AM4
  • Memory:
    G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16
  • Graphics Card:
    GeForce RTX 3070 8 GB GAMING OC
  • Storage:
    Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Case:
    Corsair 275R Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power Supply:
    EVGA BR 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX

High-End

$ 1600 Estimated
  • CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core
  • Motherboard:
    Asus PRIME X570-P ATX AM4
  • Memory:
    G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16
  • Graphics Card:
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB Founders Edition
  • Storage:
    ADATA XPG SX6000 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD
  • Case:
    Corsair 4000D Airflow ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power Supply:
    EVGA 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX

Ultimate

$ 2900 Estimated
  • CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core
  • Motherboard:
    Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS ATX AM4
  • Memory:
    G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16
  • Graphics Card:
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24 GB Founders Edition
  • Storage:
    ADATA XPG SX6000 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD
  • Case:
    Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic ATX Full Tower Case
  • Power Supply:
    EVGA SuperNOVA 750 W 80+ Gold Fully Modular

To Wrap Things Up

We all want the most powerful PC for our gaming experience, but in reality we have to keep it within our budget. With so many parts available from many different companies it can be difficult to decide on the right parts for your PC within your budget. When it comes to building PCs a lot of it is trial and error – unfortunately we don’t always know how the specific parts will perform until we have tried them out. Also, depending on your level of gaming, performance-wise we all have different requirements and expectations so always do your research within your individual needs.

In this article we provided the build lists for 5 different PCs of varying price and performance capabilities. These are simply our suggestions to help guide you through the process of selecting parts for your gaming PC. You can mix-and-match any combinations of these parts. However, one simple tip is to try to match parts of equal value/performance because cheaper parts may not always be the best match for more expensive parts.