I'm just a small-time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.
December 2017 Gaming PC Builds - Midrange
Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am going to be presenting you with my December 2017 gaming PC builds. These PC builds are midrange in price and performance but make a great addition or even a new PC build. So, let us get down to it.
Intel Core i3-8350K Coffee Lake Gaming PC Build
Intel Core i3-8350K Specific Components
First up is the Intel based gaming PC. In this gaming PC build, we start with the Coffee Lake processor, the Intel Core i3-8350K. This is a 4-core and 4-thread processor with a base clock of 4.0GHz with 8MB of L3 cache. It is built on the 14nm architecture and is on the LGA1151 socket. Please note, however, that it will not work on previous generation Z170 or Z270 motherboards and only works on the Z370 chipset. This processor has integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics and supports up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM. The processor draws 91 watts TDP and is unlocked making it capable of being overclocked. This processor can currently be purchased for around $185.
The next part of this build is the motherboard. For this midrange gaming PC build, I have chosen the MSI Z370 Gaming Plus ATX motherboard. This motherboard by MSI is an ATX motherboard that features the Intel Z370 chipset. It comes with 4 memory slots that support DDR4 RAM with clock speeds from 2133MHz to 4000MHz and up to 64GB of memory is supported. The MSI Z370 Gaming Plus motherboard supports RAID, onboard-integrated graphics, and also supports crossfire. There are 6 onboard SATAIII ports as well as an onboard USB 3.0 header. You can purchase this motherboard for around $130.
The final piece specific to this Intel build is the EVGA GTX 1060 Gaming 6GB graphics card. This offering by EVGA is a single fan variant of the nVidia GTX 1060 and comes with 6GB of GDDR5 video memory. The core clock is clocked at 1.51GHz with a boost clock of 1.71GHz. SLI is not supported while G-Sync is. The card measures just 6.81” (173mm) and offers 3 DisplayPort ports, 1 DVI-D port, and a single HDMI port. The card draws just 120 watts TDP and should offer 1080p gaming on pretty much any current triple A title and should support 1080p gaming on future triple A titles at least for the next 3 or 4 years. This card can be purchased for around $260.
The next pieces of this build are also going to be used in the AMD Ryzen build later in this article and will only be discussed here. The Corsair H60 all in one liquid CPU cooler was chosen for a processor cooling solution. This is a fantastic, single 120mm fan and radiator making it a perfect solution to cooling and will fit in just about every computer case on the market. The Corsair H60 offers 54.0 CFM cooling from a 2000RPM fan and only emits 30.9 dbA. The Corsair H60 is currently retailing for $65. The G. Skill Ripjaws V Series 2400MHz RAM was chosen for the memory solution. It will be 2 modules of 8GB each for a total of 16GB of RAM. You can purchase this RAM for around $165, which is a little expensive but that’s just the way RAM pricing is in the current market. For storage, I went with a Crucial BX300 240GB SSD and the trusty Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7200RPM mechanical hard drive. These storage solution can be obtained for $88 and $47, respectively. For a power supply, I will be recommending the Corsair CX650M, 650 watt 80+ bronze certified, semi-modular ATX power supply. It is from Corsair so you can have a piece of mind that it will work and work well. This power supply can be purchased for around $70. Finally, to house all of these components is the Corsair 270R ATX mid tower case for around $65. This is a decent case for a budget price. The case has a windowed side panel and supports ATX, micro ATX, and mini ITX motherboards. It comes with 2 internal 2.5” bays, 2 internal 3.5” bays, has a front panel USB 3.0 port, and supports video cads of up to 14.57”. This case is currently retailing for around $60. So, that’s it for the Intel Coffee Lake build. The Intel Core i3-8350K CPU can be built for just under $1100 and should be able to bring you great fun and performance for the next 3-4 years without having to upgrade any of the components.
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 Gaming PC Build
Next up is the AMD Ryzen gaming PC. The processor that I have chosen for this build is the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor. This is a 6 core and 12 thread processor with a base clock of 3.2GHz and a boost clock of 3.6GHz with 2x8MB of L3 cache. It is built on the 14nm architecture and is on the AM4 socket. This processor can utilize multiple chipsets but recommend chipsets are the B350 and the X370 chipsets to allow for overclocking of this unlocked processor. This processor does not offer integrated graphics but supports up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM. The processor draws just 65 watts TDP and is unlocked making it capable of being overclocked. This processor can currently be purchased for around $190.
The next component of this build is the motherboard. For this midrange gaming PC build, I have chosen the MSI B350 Tomahawk ATX motherboard. This motherboard by MSI is an ATX motherboard that features the AMD B350 chipset. It comes with 4 memory slots that support DDR4 RAM with clock speeds from 1866MHz to 3200MHz and up to 64GB of memory is supported. The MSI Z370 Gaming Plus motherboard supports RAID, onboard-integrated graphics (Ryzen does not have integrated graphics) and also supports crossfire. There are 4 onboard SATAIII ports as well as an onboard USB 3.0 header. You can purchase this motherboard for around $95.
Finally, the last component specific to this midrange Ryzen gaming PC is the Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming 4GB graphics card. This graphics card offers 4GB of GDDR5 memory with a core clock of 1.26GHz and a boost clock of 1.35GHz. This RX 580 supports 4-way crossfire and is a dual fan card measuring just 9.13” (232mm). The Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming graphics card draws 185 watts TDP and will support 1080p gaming on all current triple A games and most likely will continue to do so for the next 3-4 years. This graphics card offers 3 DisplayPort ports, 1 DVI-D port, and a single HDMI port. This card can currently be purchased for around $260. Overall, this AMD Ryzen gaming PC can be built for just under $1050.
Intel vs AMD
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
So, there you have it. Two gaming PC builds from Intel and AMD. Both of these systems will supply you more than adequate and ample power to do things from day to day tasks, Microsoft office, and 1080p gaming. If you are into video editing or other things like architecture design or 3D artwork, I’d say go with the Ryzen 5 1600 system as you get more performance at a cheaper cost and the extra physical cores will be significant when doing things such as rendering. Both are good systems for the price however and either will suffice the everyday gamer. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Please comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you next time.
Other Good PC Build Options December 2017
AMD vs Intel
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.