The $700 Build That Could

Peter_Brosdahl

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There are many levels of PC enthusiast. From those wanting to see how far they can go with as little spent as possible to those who will throw large amounts of money to get the best that exists. I’m more a middle of the road person although it's nice to dream.

With the holidays around the corner we’re already beginning to see things drop in price. It’s also been a pretty exciting year with virtually every manufacturer releasing new generations of products or discounting past offerings. TechPowerUp published a nice article for a $700 build that could get the job done for 1080p/1440p.
  • AMD Ryzen 2600 6C/12T @ 3.4 Ghz Processor w/ cooler included
  • ASRock B450 PRO4 Motherboard
  • Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR4 3000 Mhz
  • Crucial P1 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1660 Super OC
  • Phanteks Eclipse P300 Case
  • Corsair CX550 80 Plus Bronze 550w
At present reported prices it rings up for around $719. Not too bad. Some users in their thread are even reporting the CPU as being sold even cheaper in some places now. It would be easy to bump this up to just around $1000 by upping the CPU to a Ryzen 3600x, increasing ram to 16GB, upping the PSU to a 600w model and still not hurt the wallet too much. We’ve actually got some in house reviews of some products to note.
  • Brent has done a review of the Geforce GTX 1660 Super OC here
  • Dan has done a review of the Ryzen 3600x here
  • Paul has reviewed a 80 Plus Gold 600w model PSU here
What would you do different?
 

Snowy

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Is 8GB really viable for a gaming PC (even entry level)? I would have subbed out such a large SSD for more RAM.
 

{NG}Fidel

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Is 8GB really viable for a gaming PC (even entry level)? I would have subbed out such a large SSD for more RAM.
Its viable but not sure for how long, Ive got a friend gaming on a setup with 8gb of ram and only 4 cores / threads. He still manages to do just fine albeit he loads in slightly slower.
I am kinda with you though, 16GB is the new 8GB for gaming imo.
 
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Riccochet

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yeah, 16 GB RAM minimum. Last thing you want is to be paging while gaming.
 

Niner51

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I read this the other day and immediately said it would need 16gb of memory at minimum.
 

Peter_Brosdahl

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Yeah most of us agree 16GB is the new minimum for a gaming rig. Interesting how it didn't take that long to get there. I remember arguing with someone, at Tom's, a few years ago that 8GB was needed and they were trying to tell someone else that 4GB was fine when that user couldn't understand why virtual memory was slowing everything to a crawl with their HHD.

32GB is definitely overkill for gaming but I did find this article, https://www.tomshardware.com/opinion/32gb-ram-is-my-minimum, an interesting read.
 

Riccochet

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Windows 10 and a few peripheral controller apps, like iCUE, LGS, RGB controller, Steam will consume 6-8 GB of RAM alone.
 

geok1ng

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32GB is definitely overkill for gaming but I did find this article, https://www.tomshardware.com/opinion/32gb-ram-is-my-minimum, an interesting read.
Thanks for sharing. The article makes a very strong point: going from 16GB to 32GB on an AMD system not only increases your raw memory capacity, but also yields 3-10% more performance because you move from 2 ranks to 4 ranks of DDR4. At the time it was another $60 the budget, so definitively a valid consideration for builds above $700.
 

Peter_Brosdahl

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Thanks for sharing. The article makes a very strong point: going from 16GB to 32GB on an AMD system not only increases your raw memory capacity, but also yields 3-10% more performance because you move from 2 ranks to 4 ranks of DDR4. At the time it was another $60 the budget, so definitively a valid consideration for builds above $700.
In recent years, my laptops and rigs, often start with 8GB or 16GB. Whatever they come with or I can afford when building at the time. I always consider it a happy day when I can throw the fastest, motherboard/cpu recommended, 32GB kit in them. Even with Intel stuff I see significant improvements in response times. If nothing else, they just feel snappier. I will say the biggest change I ever saw was on my 3.4GHZ P4 rig back in the day. Felt like a new machine when I dropped 2GB in it. Also happy to say we're fortunate with so many different manufacturers at the table these days with so many options.
 
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