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.
Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am bringing you the January 2018 gaming PC build of the month. I tried to keep the build at a decent budget and given the current state of RAM prices and other hardware prices, graphics cards specifically, I feel I did a pretty good job of it. I am sticking to just a gaming PC build and will give you the best components which will give you best performance for your hard-earned money. So, without further delay, let’s get to it.
Ryzen 5 1600
Up first, we have the processor for this gaming PC. After much deliberation and combing through benchmarks of some of the best Techies over on YouTube like Steve at Hardware Unboxed, Paul at Paul’s Hardware, and Jay at JayzTwoCents, I have decided to go with a processor that I myself have considered switching to in my main rig and that is the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor. The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is a 6 core, 12 thread processor with a base clock out of the box of 3.2GHz and Turbo speed of 3.6GHz. With this processor, you get a total of 3MB of L2 cache and 16MB of L3 cache. This processor is build on the 14nm, Zen architecture and draws just 65 watts of TDP. The processor is unlocked so it can be overclocked with a mother board with the AMD B350 or X370 chipset. You could purchase an aftermarket CPU cooler but it is really not necessary with this processor as the included Wraith Spire cooler has shown to be more than enough cooling for overclocking this processor to around 3.7GHZ or beyond. However, if you are planning on a more aggressive overclock, you could go with an aftermarket cooler to attempt that elusive 4GHz overclock. The Ryzen 5 1600 has shown it can hang with the best Intel has to offer and at just $200, you really cannot beat the price to performance that this processor offers.
MSI B350 Gaming Pro Carbon ATX Motherboard
The motherboard I have chosen for this gaming PC build is the MSI B350 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard. With a price of around $130, you really cannot go wrong with this motherboard as it is on par with its X370 counterpart. This motherboard will support overclocking giving you the best performance out of the Ryzen 5 1600. The board supports DDR4 memory clocked up to 3200MHz in dual channel configuration and there are 4 DIMM slots allowing up to 64GB of that DDR4 memory. There is a Gen3 PCI-E 16x slot, a Gen3 PCI-E 8x slot, and a Gen2 PCI-E 4x slot as well as 3 PCI-EX1 slots. You get 4x SATAIII ports and an M.2 slot for lightning fast storage. You will get 4x Gen1 Type A USB 3.1 ports in the front along with a single Gen2 Type C, Gen 2 Type A, and 4x Gen1 Type A USB 3.1 ports in the rear of the motherboard. You will get 4x USB 2.0 ports in the front, and 2x USB 2.0 ports in the rear. This is a regular ATX motherboard and it supports Crossfire.
Corsair Vengeance LPX 2400MHz DDR 4 RAM
Next up we have the RAM, which is probably the most overpriced part of this build. I say overpriced as RAM was about half of the price this time last year as it is this year. At any rate, I am going with one of my favorites here in the Corsair Vengeance LPX 2400MHz DDR4 RAM. I pick this RAM because of the amount of success I have had overclocking this RAM. I currently use this same 16GB kits in dual configuration and have it overclocked to 2800MHz but I have had it at 3000MHz and very stable. Given the talks that Ryzen likes and does better with higher speed RAM, I think this is a reasonable kit to pair with this processor. I’d overclock it to 2800MHz or 2933MHz and call it a day. This should give you great performance.
Crucial MX300 275GB SSD and Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB Hard Drive
Next component up is the storage options. I am a firm believer that all builds these days need an SSD of some sort but trying to keep the build at a decent price, a standard 2.5” SSD will suffice and give you great load times, save times, etc. For this build, I went with the $80 Crucial MX300 SSD. This is a nice drive and will give you 275GB of storage for your operating system and a few of your favorite, most played games. For the lesser used programs in your portfolio, you can pick up the 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue 7200RPM mechanical hard drive for just under $50. This should give you more than adequate storage.
Zotac GTX 1070 Ti Mini 8GB Graphics Card
The next component is the graphics card. For this build, as far as value for money and performance goes, the best bet is the Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Mini 8GB graphics card. This card can currently be purchased from Amazon for just $450 and gives you great performance for that price. This card can easily be overclocked enough to get you GTX 1080 performance. If you aren’t into overclocking, you will still get a core clock of 1.61GHz out of the box with a boost clock up to 1.68GHz to go with that 8GB of GDDR5 video memory. This is quite an efficient card too as it draws just 180 watts TDP. As far as graphics cards go in this current landscape, this is by far the best bang for your buck.
Buy the Zotac GTX 1070 Ti Mini at Amazon
Corsair CX550M power supply
Finally, we get to the case and the power supply. First, to power this system is the Corsair CX550M 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular power supply. This is an awesome and efficient power supply from a reliable company. And even though it is just semi-modular, for $52 and the power supply shroud included in the case, this is quite the bargain for all the power you need. And speaking of that power supply shroud included with the case, we will house this system inside of the Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower case. With the mesh front panel of this case, you will get fantastic air flow from the start and even without fans, this case would provide plenty of air flow for the components inside. With this case, you get a full-length power supply shroud and two included 120mm case fans. There are 3 hidden SSD slots as well as 2x 3.5” HDD slots which are concealed by the power supply shroud. This case looks great with its tempered glass and will not break the bank at just $90.
Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
So, there you have it. The new year, January 2018 gaming PC build. This is a great build at a decent price. With all of the included components, you will spend around $1230 which is a little expensive but again, given the current state of components such as RAM and graphics cards, this is not a bad price for the performance you will be getting. The encouraging thing about the PC landscape right now is that AMD is catching up with Intel which should bring enough competition to start bringing prices down. Thanks for stopping by folks and I hope to see you next time. Drop a comment below and let me know if you would do anything different in this build.
January 2018 Gaming PC Build
Ryzen 5 1600 compared to Intel Core i7-7800x by Steve at Hardware Unboxed
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.