With AMD dominating today’s PC market, building a new gaming PC on a budget is very achievable. You can get excellent performance without spending a lot of money, and our $700 AMD build is proof of that.
It’s not just the fact that AMD CPUs come with great price-to-performance ratios. RAM is relatively cheap, good SSDs are getting cheap, and there are a lot of great cases that don’t cost too much. This combination of factors allows you to build a good system on a budget.
In the guide that follows, we’ll take a look at a balanced gaming rig that is great for 1080p gaming, and won’t set you back too much. To make things even better, this is a system that you can use to get some work done as well, whether you’re doing office work, or something more demanding. Without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at the components.
Before we take a look at the actual components for the $700 AMD build, it’s worth addressing the possibilities of the PC. When you’re limited with your budget, you should set reasonable expectations. For this specific build, you can expect a great 1080p gaming performance.
When it comes to modern shooters and competitive titles like CS: GO and Valorant, you’ll easily be able to get over 100 frames per second. With more demanding AAA titles, you’re still looking at respectable framerates, but you will need to tone it down a bit in terms of visual fidelity.
To add to this, we mentioned you can get some work done on the $700 AMD build as well. We’re talking about both lighter tasks and more demanding ones since you have a powerful CPU and plenty of fast RAM to go with it.
With that out of the way, let’s see what the build is all about.
At the core of this build is AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600 CPU. Some might notice this is a previous generation model, which is exactly why we’ve opted for it. It comes at a significant price reduction and performance that’s respectable for gaming.
There are six cores and twelve threads on the Ryzen 5 2600. This makes it great for multithreaded tasks and games. However, you’re also looking at a base clock of 3.4GHz, and a maximum boost clock of 3.9GHz. Even things that only use a single core will run well on it.
Add to this the mere 65W TDP, as well as the included Wraith Stealth cooler, and this becomes a great budget choice that’s easy to keep cool, too. And it handles anything you can throw at it.
With a build like this, you don’t need an X series chipset – the B450 is sufficient. Gigabyte’s B450M DS3H is one of the best budget options, and it’s a micro ATX one, too, which helps with our case choice later on.
As far as the important things go, you can have up to 3600MHz of RAM, and up to 64GB of it. With four DIMM slots, you can start with the two sticks we’ll suggest later, and upgrade to more RAM down the road if necessary.
You also have an M.2 slot for fast storage, as well as USB 3.1. If you care about aesthetics, you’ll appreciate the RGB header, too. There’s also a gigabit Ethernet port for fast Internet connectivity, too. All things considered, this is a great budget motherboard with a couple of high-end features sprinkled here and there.
AMD and their 2nd generation CPUs are well known for the fact that they’re rather demanding when it comes to RAM speeds. 3600MHz RAM is where you want to be if you want to make the most out of the CPU. And that’s exactly what we’ve got – Corsair’s Vengeance LPX kit, in a 16GB capacity and at a 3600MHz speed.
The kit comes with two 8GB sticks, which allows you to use dual-channel memory. The timings are C18, which isn’t best in class, but at 3600MHz, this won’t make too much of a difference in day-to-day usage. And it’s a $700 AMD build, after all.
Last but not least, you get a low profile heatsink that keeps the modules cool, without interfering with your CPU cooler. This gives you the possibility to have a large CPU cooler if you want to, and still get great performing RAM.
Nvidia has some nice GPUs in their lineup currently, but the GTX 1660 Super hits the sweet spot in terms of price to performance ratio. It’s an excellent performer that doesn’t consume a lot of power, and won’t break the bank too much. And Gigabyte has a great variant of it.
The GTX 1660 Super OC comes with 6GB of GDDR6 memory, which is quite enough for 1080p gaming. The 1830MHz clock speed is pretty good, too. Overall, there are zero complaints in terms of performance.
The GPU also looks nice, with a black backplate that also adds a bit of rigidity, too. Gigabyte has also given it the WINDFORCE 2X treatment, which gets you two fans to keep the GPU cool. They work well, and even under load, there is no GPU throttling or overheating. Overall, this is an excellent choice on a budget.
While there are cheaper SSDs, and faster SSDs, nothing gets you the price to performance ratio of Samsung’s 970 EVO. It’s an M.2 SSD with excellent thermal performance and comes with a 500GB capacity. That should be quite sufficient for your OS, apps, and a couple of games.
What’s great about the 970 EVO is that it’s one of the most durable drives out there. They come with five-year warranties, or 600 Terabytes written, which is quite a lot. You won’t be replacing this drive anytime soon.
The speeds are rather impressive, too. You’re looking at 3,500MB/s read and 2,500MB/s write speeds, which is great for day to day use. Oh, and did we mention that the 970 EVO has a very reasonable price today? It’s a great choice for the main drive, for whatever use case you have.
The total power consumption of the $700 AMD build sits a touch under 300W. However, a PSU works best when you don’t keep it under full load, and who knows, you might want to upgrade some of the components down the road. That’s why we opted for EVGA’s 500 W1 power supply. This is a non-modular 500W unit with great performance.
You have an 80+ certification, which even though is the lowest level certification available, is still some kind of guarantee for efficiency and durability. The 500 W1 is a rather reliable unit, which is not something that you see often at this price point.
The fan is pretty quiet as well, and when you don’t push it hard, the PSU is almost silent. Add to this the heavy-duty power protections that EVGA has included, and you’re looking at a great power unit for the build.
So far, we have a micro ATX motherboard, a compact GPU, and a rather low profile CPU cooler. None of these things require a lot of room in your case, so a micro ATX case makes perfect sense. And when you’re on a budget, few are as good as Thermaltake’s Versa H15.
This is a micro ATX tower that’s very wallet-friendly and comes with excellent performance. In terms of aesthetics, it’s a simple case with a mesh front panel, and no tempered glass or acrylic side panel. It does look nice, but you won’t be able to showcase your components.
That mesh front panel allows a lot of air to get inside, though, which is nice. With two exhaust fan positions, you can easily get a balanced air setup. Pair that with great cable management options, and the Versa H15 quickly becomes a great choice.
The goal for the build itself was to provide a good, balanced gaming experience. However, if you’ve got a bit of extra budget to spend, there are always things you could do to either get better performance, or a few extra features.
First things first, the Thermaltake Versa H15 comes with a single fan preinstalled. This isn’t ideal, and you’ll want to add at least one more. Set up one as an intake, and the other one as an exhaust. Or, even better, get three more, and set up two intakes and two exhausts. We’ve got a list of excellent PC case fans for you to choose from, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Next up, if you want to add a bit of convenience, you can always install a Wi-Fi card to the system. If you’re doing this, a nice tip would be to get one that has a high gain antenna, or even better, two of them. We’ve reviewed a couple of great options, so you can choose the one that fits your needs most.
Last but not least, you could upgrade some of the actual components. If you care about aesthetics, take a look at some of the best cases of 2020 and see if something catches your eye. Or, you could get a modular power supply, which helps clean up cable management a bit.
As we mentioned, the goal with the $700 AMD build was to get an overall balanced gaming rig, but you can always make it even better if you spend a bit more, right?
All things considered, if you only have about $700 to spend, this AMD build is probably your best shot at getting a good 1080p gaming performance. You could also go the Intel way, and you’ll probably get something similar, but as far as AMD goes, this is the build we would have no problem recommending.
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