Here we go again! For the past several years, we’ve listed somewhat affordable gaming computers for work and play, and since the season of 13th Month Pay or 14th Month Pay has come and gone, my friend Jayson asked me to set him up something North of 150K.
Since he is a friend, I was upfront in explaining to him how stupid it was to throw all of that cash on electronics that would lose its value in a couple of months; but knowing that he would be adamant about it, I proposed something that could still be considered “high-end” but at the same time sensible. Taking this opportunity, I decided that the article for this year would be an enthusiast gaming PC build.
For the past three years, AMD has been kicking butt so the core of this system will be the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core/16-Thread processor that will do just about anything from MS Excel, professional photo and video editing, gaming, and live game streaming if needed.
I was playing around with the idea of the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, but that processor is already an overkill for the intended use and in all honesty, even the modest AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core/12-Threaded processor can do 99% of the task that we intended the 3700X to do. Even if the stock AMD Wraith Prism heatsink and fan are more than enough to cool the 3700X, we opted to add in a slightly better HSF in the form of the ID Cooling SE224 RGB to ensure that the processor would run cool and quiet, no matter what.
So what motherboard should we match our processor with? A budget B450 motherboard since the processor is efficient enough that even a modest board will run it without issues or a TOTL (Top of the Line) board that costs as much or even more than the processor itself? For this build, I chose the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite, which has all the bells and whistles to keep him busy: a solid 12+2 phase voltage regulator in case that he wants to over clock it, a chunk of metal to keep the VRMs cool, all the ports he needs for his Solid State Drive and Hard Drives, a terrific built-in sound card for his audio needs, and an addressable RGB lighting headers because he was feeling spicy.
There is a lot more going on for this board and it will take up a lot of writing space to list everything down, so I just listed the essentials. An alternative for this board would be the Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus, which basically has the identical capability for more or less the same price.
For the RAM (Random Access Memory), we were a feeling a bit fancy and opted for one of my favorites: the 16B GSkill Trident Z Neo DDR4 3600 CL18, which is rated to run at its full capacity with the selected motherboard. I selected this specific module because of how the AMD Ryzen processor interacts with its RAM, the TLDR would be the faster RAM with a lower latency, the better the processor will perform.
Top Tip: If your RAM XMP settings keeps resetting in the BIOS, it is best to update to the latest BIOS for your motherboard. It is likely the BIOS is not yet up-to-date to support the latest peripherals.
The storage solution is a 1 terabyte ADATA XPG 8200 Pro M.2 SSD (Solid State Drive). For the price, this punches in the same category of what the best of Samsung and Western Digital offers. For anyone who hasn’t experienced owning an SSD or an M.2 SSD, this will basically let your PC boot up in around 10 seconds, and load your games or applications way faster than what a conventional mechanical Hard Disk Drive can offer, but of course we also got a 4 terabyte HDD as a storage solution since an SSD of the same capacity is cost prohibitive.
When we were still doing our advocacy via school and mall tours, what I preached the most was never to undermine the value of the Power Supply Unit since it could make or break your investment. A solid PSU with all-rated protection can ensure that your gaming computer will live a long and healthy life and the choice for this specific build is the Corsair TX650M. It’s an 80Plus Gold rated PSU, which helps lower the overall electricity bill costs due to its very high efficiency even at 50ºC operating temperature. Plus, Corsair is one of the most well-respected brands in the PSU industry. An alternative would be any Gold or Platinum-rated PSU from Seasonic or FSP.
What separates a gaming PC from your office PC is the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) also known as the Video Card. For this build, we decided to go all red team by selecting the Gigabyte AORUS Radeon RX 5700 XT. For those in the know, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT offers a ton of bang for the peso and punches way above its weight. We chose this particular card instead of my personal favorite Sapphire Nitro+ because for some reason, this card is actually cheaper than Sapphire by a couple of thousand pesos! Since this is a Gigabyte AORUS card with their Windforce cooler, build quality and cooling is also assured.
For our computer case, I selected the Tecware Forge mid-tower case not just for the looks but also for the build quality value you get for the peso. It has two huge front intake fans, dust filters, and a decent rear ARGB fans for an exhaust; the assembly is almost tool-less; and it even comes with an ARGB fan controller hub. To ensure that we have excellent airflow, we also attached 3 ID Cooling DF12025 120mm case fans for our exhaust.
To complete this setup, no ordinary monitor will do and he wanted something special. We selected the MSI Optix MAG271CQR 2560X1440p 144hz VA Panel FreeSync monitor, which highly complements the Gigabyte Aorus 5700XT.
What makes this vastly different from any other monitor? One is the higher 1440p resolution, which can show more in-game details (case to case basis) and secondly, the 144hz and the AMD FreeSync technology will ensure a better smooth gaming experience that words cannot explain.
So what else did we add to complete this gaming build? A Tecware Phantom RGB Mechanical gaming keyboard for the clickity-clackity feeling whenever you press a key, and the Hyper X Alpha Gaming Headset, which is probably the best sounding gaming headset in the market for an immersive gaming experience. We didn’t get a gaming mouse since he already owns one.
So what else do you have to do after installing your operating system? Install Steam and your games, of course! For the gaming test, one of the most anticipated gaming titles was used. Red Dead Redemption 2 at 1440p is something to behold and this tiny 720p scaled down screenshot does not do it any justice.
The damage? Well, here it is at the time of purchase:
- processor, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 16-Thread 3.80-4.40ghz – Php17,000
- motherboard, Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite – Php11,580
- ram, GSkill Trident Z Neo RGB 16GB 2x8gb 3600Mhz CL18 (F4-3600C18D-16GTZN) – Php5,950
- solid state drice, m.2 Adata XPG SX8200 Pro SSD 1TB M.2 NVMe ASX8200PNP-1TT-C – Php7,500
- hard disk drive, Seagate 4TB Barracuda ST4000DM004 – Php5,790
- video card, Gigabyte Aorus Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB DDR6 – Php25,200
- power supply unit, Corsair TX650M 650watts 80Plus Gold – Php4,950
- case, Tecware Forge – Php3,700
- processor HSF, ID Cooling SE224 RGB – Phphp670
- monitor, MSI Optix MAG271CQR 27″ 2560×1440 144hz 1ms Curved VA – Php23,000
- fans, ID Cooling df12025 – Php1,800
- keyboard, Tecware Phantom RGB Mechanical – Php2,150
- headset, Kingston HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset – Php5,670
- TOTAL: Php115,960 not too much, but not cheap, either.
I know there are a lot of people who won’t justify spending six digits on a gaming PC; so as a bonus, I’ll also add something reasonable for the rest of us. To get the entire list, just Google THE LIST in the Help Me Build My Rig Thread, which I just updated recently
- processor, AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4-3.9Ghz 6c/12t – Php6,520
- motherboard, MSI B450M Mortar Max – Php5,270
- ram, GSkill Trident Z RGB 16gb 2x8gb 3600Mhz F4-3600C18D-16GTZRX – Php6,000
- hard disk drive, WDC Blue 1TB WD10EZEX – Php2,100
- video card, Gigabyte GTX 1650 Super Windforce OC 4GB – Php9,400
- power supply unit, FSP HyperK 500W 80PLUS White – Php1,950
- case, Tecware Nexus M TG – Php1,600
- monitor, BenQ 21.5″ 1080p GW2270H – Php4,000
- TOTAL: Php37,890 – reasonable yet potent.
CAVAET EMPTOR: prices and parts tend to change from seller to seller. It was a pleasure to set up this gaming PC and it is always fun to have a huge budget headroom and to do the challenge of making every part count. Thank you, Dynaquestpc, for letting me play with your stuff whenever I’m there!
Do you have a story for the WhenInManila.com Team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a direct message at WhenInManila.com Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad!