Your son or daughter wants to play Fortnite and Minecraft. You have £1000 to spend. What do you buy?
The aim of this build is to provide a complete gaming PC that offers a solid 100fps experience with good quality hardware that provides a platform to upgrade in the future.
A word of warning; computer components are in scarce supply right now due to the global COVID-19 pandemic affecting the supply chain. Graphics cards especially have been hard hit so the choice is limited. Hopefully, this will improve in the future.
These 9 components come in at just under £1000 but provide a solid price to performance ratio. This assumes that you require every component. If you already have a monitor then I’d suggest spending extra on the graphics card.
The CPU, Motherboard, Cooler and Memory
The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the brain that gamers favour. It’s a high performance CPU that is very well suited to gaming and will last for many years to come. Paired with the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Elite ATX motherboard, you’ll have the option for a sleek looking gaming motherboard which offers future upgradeability. The B550 chipset is AMD’s current mid-range offering and will be compatible with AMD’s new Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 series of processors. These new CPU’s are priced at £100+ more than the Ryzen 5 3600 for around 20% increased performance so I suggest sticking with the 3600 until the new range drop in price.
The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 does come with a cooler included (Wraith Stealth) which should be more than sufficient if you are not overclocking, but for £40 extra the Be Quiet Pure Rock 2 Black CPU Cooler provides excellent performance while looking great in a stealth black.
The suggested Hyper-X Fury 16GB 3200MHz memory leans more towards value than performance. While 3600mhz might offer a very small performance increase, 3200MHz is more than adequete while 16gb is the sweet spot with 8gb starting to feel stretched and 32gb being excessive.
Case and Power Supply
The Corsair SPEC-DELTA Carbide RGB case is one of Corsair’s more popular cases providing a great looking case with a tempered glass window and 3x RGB fans. This is a great choice for a good value gaming PC case that is easy to work with and has reasonable build quality. Cases are personal and, if the budget allows, spending another £20-30 would open up the possibility of something like the Corsair iCUE 220T RGB case which includes a Corsair Lighting Node. This allows you to control the RGB effects using software installed on your PC which I highly recommend.
Power supplies are another component that is difficult to buy right now. The Corsair RM650 is a high quality 650w power supply that will last you for many years to come (they have a lengthy 10 year warranty too). The power supply is also modular which means you only attach the cables that you are planning to use. This makes cable management easier.
I’d caution going for the cheap option with a power supply as you’ll sacrifice quality at the expense of possible instability. There are some really cheap and nasty products available so aim for a 80+ gold quality power supply.
This is perhaps the weakest part of the system and is likely to be one of the first components to be upgraded some time in the future. The MSI Ventus GTX1650 is suitable for the purpose of playing Fortnite and Minecraft and from benchmarks you should expect to see around 100fps on high quality at 1080p. However, as the demands of games increase, I suspect you’ll need to look at upgrading the graphics card to keep up. The choice is limited right now and Nvidia has just released a new range of high-end graphics cards with the lower end of the range coming soon. It may make sense to look at the second-hand market for an Nvidia GTX2060 or GTX2070 if funds allow which will provide future-proofing well beyond what the GTX1650 will offer.
I’ve tried to include a NVMe hard drive for additional performance and also the M.2 format so the hard drive can be installed to the motherboard rather than having to route cables for a conventional SSD drive. The WD Blue SN550 500gb is once again a great value option from a trusted brand. The 500gb capacity should be enough for most people but for those with a lot of data or require many games to be installed an additional or larger capacity could be considered.
The monitor has the potential to be one of the largest contributors to the overall budget. I’ve opted for the BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P 24 Inch 144Hz PC Gaming Monitor as it’s a highly regarded gaming monitor used by pro gamers. A 24″ monitor is the smallest I’d recommend but if the budget allows then I’d strongly consider a 27″ for the larger screen. When gaming, the 144Hz refresh rate means that images move smoothly across the screen and may give your son or daughter the edge compared to gaming on a 60Hz screen!
For around £100 extra, there are some fantastic 27″ 144Hz alternatives to consider which also have a 1440p screen (2560 x 1440 pixels) rather than 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) which in my opinion, having used both, is a nicer option. I’d recommend something like the Samsung LC27JG52QQUXEN 27″ Curved Gaming Monitor – WQHD 2560×1440, 144Hz or Acer Nitro VG271UPbmiipx 27 inch WQHD Gaming Monitor.
Just a word of warning; if you do choose to stretch for the 1440p range of monitors, this will stretch the performance of the graphics card even further.
Keyboard and Mouse
To complete the recommended components I have opted for a slightly cheaper option. The havit RGB mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse set gets great reviews and I have spoken to people who recommend it and have been very happy with the performance.
So, for £1000 this is a great option for a selection of proven, high quality, compatible components that offer great performance while looking fantastic in the process. The gaming PC will play Fortnite and Minecraft at 100fps on mid to high quality settings, providing everything you need to get started. The graphics card is the area where I’d look to spend more, if possible, or you may finding yourself having to fork out to upgrade sooner than expected.
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