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Build Guide

Entry Level AMD Gaming Build

by ThoughtA


Revision History

  • #1: Entry Level AMD Gaming Build (29 days ago)



Our CPU of choice is the Ryzen 3 1200. This CPU is inexpensive but still packs a punch with its 4 cores and 3.4 GHz turbo frequency. The R3 1200 includes a good stock cooler, so a 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary.


We're using a parametric filter to constantly select the best-priced motherboard while meeting selected criteria. In this case, we are filtering for mATX A320 chipsets, which will save us a good chunk of money. The compatibility engine will filter out anything not compatible with the build.


For this build and most machines outside of the top end enthusiast realm we opted to go with 8GB of DDR4 memory. The parametric filter finds the best price on 8GB kits of memory that are within AMD’s recommended specifications. We've limited it to DDR4-2800 and DDR4-3000 as Ryzen CPUs scale well with higher frequency memory. At the current time, using memory rated over 3000mhz is not advised without doing extra research as DIMM support can be hit or miss. AMD is working on releasing additional BIOS updates to add better compatibility for higher frequency memory.


We're using a parametric filter to select the best-priced 2TB mechanical drive. Unfortunately, with the rising cost of NAND, in addition to the rising cost of video cards due to the current mining craze, we've had to cut out the SSD in order to keep this build more budget-friendly. Everyone's needs are different, so feel free to increase capacities or add an SSD to fit yours.


Normally we would recommend the AMD RX 570 at this price point. Unfortunately, due to a recent surge in cryptocurrency mining, there is an extremely low availability of several video cards that would be appropriate at this price point. As a replacement, we suggest using the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti. We've created a parametric filter to show you the lowest priced GTX 1050 Ti which will be powerful enough for most AAA games.

When video card stock and availability normalizes again, we will make sure to update our guides as appropriate to reflect the change in the market.


The Corsair Carbide Series Spec-04 is a fairly compact ATX mid-tower that doesn't take up a ton of room but gives you plenty of room to work in when building. It features a number of cable management holes, 3x 3.5" bays, 2x 2.5" bays, and a built-in dust filter that you can remove for easier cleaning. It also includes 1x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 2.0 ports on the front panel, along with front 120mm LED fan.

If black and red isn't your thing, you can tone it down with the black and gray version or go bold with black and yellow.

Cases tend to be highly personal choices, so make sure you browse our listed cases to see what suits you.


For the PSU, we're using a parametric selection of a few well-reviewed semi-modular and modular units, which are all rated for good power efficiency and can provide plenty of power for this build.

Intel Version

Here is the Intel version of our Entry Level Gaming Guide.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 225W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $129.75 $129.75 DirectCanada Buy
From parametric filter
  • Socket / CPU: AM4
  • Form Factor: Micro ATX
$79.50 -$20.00 $59.50 Vuugo Buy
$20.00 mail-in rebate
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 8GB (2x4GB)
$79.99 $79.99 Memory Express Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 2TB - 10TB
  • Type: 7200RPM
$75.19 $75.19 DirectCanada Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
$185.99 $185.99 PC Canada Buy
Case $74.13 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $74.13 Amazon Canada Buy
Power Supply $59.99 $59.99 Memory Express Buy
Base Total: $684.54
Mail-in Rebates: -$20.00
Total: $664.54
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Comments Sorted by:

KrypticCrazy 11 points 29 days ago
  1. Definitely switch out the A320 chipset for the B350 one. 20 Bucks more will get you overclocking capability as the A320 doesn't support that. That way instead of 3.1 ghz you can have a whopping 3.8ghz or more for the same 110 dollar cpu :) More useful.
  2. This is very optional. If you're not going to use Led Strips or you are on a budget, there's no need for a windowed case. Save a few bucks there if you want it.
  3. I'm not positive on this but I'm pretty sure ddr4-2400 is fine for Ryzen CPUS. But otherwise this build is perfect. Good job Dude :)
TrumanStuff 5 points 11 days ago

I would recommend going dual channel with a higher clock speed ram i have a build plotted out with 8 gigs ddr4 3000 ram. (more recent analytics have highlighted this quirk.) I also agree with the non-windowed case (beginners will suck at cable management.) B350 all the way.

snakey_snake 1 point 3 days ago

is the Asus STRIX B350-F GAMING the motherboard you are talking about?

Gl4cial 3 points 29 days ago

B350 Boards too expensive feelsbadman

zoahporre 5 points 26 days ago

I think having a better board would help you more in the long run, especially if AM4 becomes a long term thing.

No hate <3

Gl4cial 2 points 25 days ago

yeah i agree, he could go a little bit cheaper on the case as well as finding lower clocked RAM to compensate for the high price of the B350M Motherboard

PoopsMaggie 3 points 9 days ago

Doesnt Ryzen benefit from faster ram?

Gl4cial 2 points 5 days ago

Yeah it does but as this is a budget build it's better to get a board with overclocking capabilities for the future rather than faster RAM imo

PoopsMaggie 1 point 4 days ago


HiMiGrill 3 points 29 days ago

You know I think that getting lower clocked memory and trading that for a B350 board would be more worth it. Would rather have a 3.8ghz r3 1200 rather than 3000mhz ram

BolbiSwaganovsky 4 points 26 days ago

This. Although I'd say the minimum you want to go with Ryzen is 2400, there's plenty of RAM out there (In dual channel too, which is also great for Ryzen), that gives you financial wiggle room for a better mobo or even to fit a Ryzen 5.

LatiosGaming 2 points 21 days ago

I definitely agree. With this kind of budget you don't need fast ram since you're not going to be getting godly performance anyway. 2666 is more than acceptable. Besides, the R3 1200 is the best overclocker in the lineup, on the STOCK COOLER. Locking it is a waste.

Mtthwmths 1 Build 2 points 24 days ago

Good choice on the Ryzen 3, it's a good value to budget builders. I think a LOT of the value from Ryzen chipset comes from the ability to overclock (for example; getting your 1200 to the performance of a factory clocked 1300x via overclocking). Having said that, I really think you should include a B350 board in the build. Great guide, love that you went with a higher clocked RAM set.

Mtthwmths 1 Build 1 point 23 days ago

Here's my attempt:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU *AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor $109.88 @ OutletPC
Motherboard *ASRock - AB350M Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $59.99 @ Newegg
Memory *Patriot - Viper Elite 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2800 Memory $72.99 @ Newegg
Storage *Toshiba - P300 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $61.99 @ Best Buy
Video Card *Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB Mini ITX OC Video Card $199.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply *Corsair - RMx 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $59.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $584.83
Mail-in rebates -$20.00
Total $564.83
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-08-29 10:23 EDT-0400
LatiosGaming 5 points 21 days ago

Seems pretty solid but I'd recommend a WD Blue 1TB because not everyone is going to use 2TB and WD is likely quieter, faster, and more reliable.

Mtthwmths 1 Build 3 points 20 days ago

I'm looking at the WD Blue 1TB for my personal build, and I definitely agree with you! That Toshiba was just the cheapest 2TB drive from the parametric filter.

B_Cub 1 point 20 hours ago

Which WD Blue 1TB might that be?

CarCat 2 points 24 days ago

If the budget is $600, (at least with the current parametric filters this would work) and you want to OC, use this mobo: https://pcpartpicker.com/product/yBtWGX/asrock-ab350-pro4-atx-am4-motherboard-ab350-pro4

Revensmith 2 points 22 days ago

Hi I'm new to gaming builds would this be able to play rust, rainbow six siege, gta 5, and other triple a tittles on med to high?

LatiosGaming 5 points 21 days ago

It would most likely be able to handle them, but I'd recommend some changes. Switch the hard drive for a Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB hard drive (around $45-50). Sure it's half the storage, but Western Digital drives are typically quieter, faster, and more reliable than Hitachi drives. Most people don't use a terabyte of storage anyway, let alone 2 terabytes. You should also switch out the motherboard. A B350 chipset motherboard (like this one https://pcpartpicker.com/product/sfcMnQ/asrock-ab350m-micro-atx-am4-motherboard-ab350m) is better than A320 because you can overclock. The CPU in this build will get up to 3.8 GHz from 3.1 on the cooler that it comes with quite comfortably. This is impressive because most coolers that come packaged with CPUs are awful. If you overclock the R3 1200, the performance vs. stock speeds is very noticeable. Hope this helped and welcome to PCMR.

Rgobel 1 point 16 days ago

What about a motherboard that doesn't have to be overclocked (Not good enough to do it)

LatiosGaming 3 points 16 days ago

You don't have to be good to do it. I'm pretty stupid and I did it. Youtube is your friend, and if you're not overclocking you're not taking full advantage of your CPU.

Revensmith 1 point 14 days ago

Well that's the thing I'm not really sure how to overclock and I find all the acronym's very confusing

LatiosGaming 2 points 13 days ago

Overclocking is quite simple. There are 2 variables you need to pay attention to-multiplier/frequency and voltage.

Jackison 1 point 13 days ago

hi, what does overclocking mean? and what good does it do for games?

LatiosGaming 3 points 13 days ago

Overclocking is the act of making your hardware run faster than its factory specifications. Depending on what it is you're overclocking and how far you overclock it, you could see an increase in FPS, 5-10 for mild overclocks and maybe 20+ depending on how extreme.

sbark65 2 points 14 days ago

what about this case it is a little cheaper with led's https://au.pcpartpicker.com/product/3MPfrH/deepcool-case-tesseractsw

Ssomebody 2 points 7 days ago

Great build, but you should change the A320 to a B350 If you want to Overclock

pieck 1 point 29 days ago

Why is there a micro ATX board?

ThoughtA staff submitter 7 points 28 days ago

mATX boards save more money.

Gl4cial 4 points 26 days ago

micro ATX boards are just fine for the job

CCGigabyte 1 point 23 days ago

Honestly, this build isn't the greatest in my opinion.

I think this would be better:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor $109.88 @ OutletPC
Motherboard ASRock - AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard $74.49 @ SuperBiiz
Memory *G.Skill - Aegis 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $65.99 @ Newegg
Storage *Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $44.38 @ OutletPC
Video Card *MSI - GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB Video Card $214.99 @ Amazon
Case Rosewill - FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $24.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA - 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $48.99 @ B&H
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $583.71
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-08-29 18:29 EDT-0400
Mtthwmths 1 Build 3 points 20 days ago

good call on the B350, I wouldn't worry with including the 480 in graphics cards though.

LatiosGaming 3 points 16 days ago

It's not better. The RAM needs to be dual channel. Replace the RAM with a 2x4GB configuration.

shinilms 1 point 22 days ago

Will the GTX 1060 Mini 6GB get bottlenecked on this build?

LatiosGaming 1 point 21 days ago

The R3 1200 should bottleneck a 1060 6GB when not overclocked. If it doesn't, I'd still recommend switching the motherboard out for a B350 chipset.

jhsu2022 1 point 20 days ago

Does the case come in different colors?

VinentPlayz 1 point 2 days ago

Yes, They have Red, Grey and Yellow.

Everythingilike 1 point 19 days ago

Hi, I would use this build for Minecraft and other games. I don't really care about the speed as long as minecraft is really good and the other games are playable without much lag. (Maybe with med-high resolution) Would this work? (I am very distrustful of putting money into claims like what is a good PC build, after what happened with the last one) I am not planning on overclocking. I also saw people making suggestions and I am willing to accept differences from this list as long as the price difference isn't massive. Thanks!

Benjammers2002 1 point 18 days ago

I might get this can it run games at a good fps

magardan 1 point 11 days ago

Is there anything that needs to be added to this build besides the operating system and accessories? Also, any idea what kind of games this build can run? How well would it run the Witcher 3 or PUBG? Thanks :)

williamcarvajal 1 point 9 days ago

B350 Boards too expensive

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 9 days ago

If a B350 board is showing as the selected board from the parametric filter, then it's the cheapest compatible motherboard available at the time.

williamcarvajal 1 point 9 days ago

Is there anything that needs to be added to this build besides the operating system and accessories?

DarkArrow120 1 point 9 days ago

Nice, but i prefer to put a power supply that is 80+ Gold because its safer, you need a better power supply than 80+ Bronze to keep your system safe

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 9 days ago

That's not true at all. 80+ ratings only address efficiency. Safety and quality can only be determined by reading in-depth reviews of the PSUs in question.

RobbieC333 1 point 7 days ago

what mouse and keyboard will go well with this build?

realSpoderman 2 points 5 days ago

It doesn't really matter just get what you want. Nothing will be affected.

Thicc_Papa_Osc 1 point 6 days ago

Hey what ssd do you recommend for me to put windows 10 on for this build.

Dr.Theme 1 point 5 days ago

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/HLs2Ps I made a build off this build and I need some comments about it

KevinMoondust 5 Builds 0 points 29 days ago

Finally a sensible build! The Nova one felt wrong on so many places. Only changes I'd do would be 1TB Mechanical + 128GB SSD, and a M-ATX MiniTower case, like the Zalman T1 Plus, and the (now cheap) EVGA 450BT. I'd stay away of Corsair's CX PSUs and go, if needed, to the VS450.

daroyaljester 1 point 24 days ago

I've got a Corsair CX500 coming in the mail, you're scaring me man. After rebates its only $6 so so long as it doesn't explode I'm happy but what's wrong with the CX series? **** I heard the VS ones were the **** to avoid.

KevinMoondust 5 Builds 1 point 24 days ago

While both the CX and VS lineups are certified, the issue is the CX capacitor's choice and Temperature ratings. CapXon and 30°C for me is a no-no, and while the VS are similar and the biggest nuance with the VS are the undervolting issues, they are a bit overengineered for them to be budget units, as sometimes they can perform at higher than rated wattage and have (as fas as I know) 40°C Temperature ratings.

Kode103 0 points 29 days ago

Continue to be cautious of the RAM. I bought G.Skill DDR4-2666 for my Ryzen 5/Aorus X370 and it turned out to be incompatible at the time.

[comment deleted by staff]
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
ASRock - A320M-DGS Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard 15W - 60W
G.Skill - Ripjaws 4 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2800 Memory 5W - 5W
Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card 18W - 75W
Total: 50W - 225W