Building a Gaming PC around a budget in 2021 is really difficult, at a time where the PC hardware and gaming industry has been hit by global silicon shortages and GPU supply issues. But, in true GeekaWhat spirit, we’ve give it a good good, using a combination of new and used components!
This build is going to be perfect for Gaming at 1080p High settings right now, but with upgrade paths ready for 1440p and 4K gaming. We have designed this system config to allow you to swap out the GPU for an RTX 3000 card once availability improves, without changing much else! Who knows, we might even be on 4000 series by the time availability improves, but hopefully not.
CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
The first of those components is the ever population Ryzen 5 3600. According to some sites, this was actually the second best selling CPU last year – with huge amounts being hoovered up by gamers near and far.
And their choices are very logical – with 6 cores and 12 threads, an efficient 65W TDP and some good single threaded performance it is a fantastic all-rounder!
GPU: MSI GTX 1660 Super
Talking of price bumps… buying a GPU in 2021! It might sound bonkers to recommend the 1660 Super for a build at this budget, but hear me out.
With huge demand placed on GPUs from cryptocurrencies like ETH, existing global silicon shortages have been made even worse. Even car manufacturers have had to close down production, because they can’t buy the chips for infotainment systems! The same issues facing gamers are being felt by industries globally. Huge steps are being taken to fix this, but as with all things, these steps will take time.
That’s one major reason why a used 1660 Super is not a bad choice. Less attractive to miners, with a lower hash rate, there are some good used options on Ebay and elsewhere. Plus, with legs to game at 1080p High settings, as you’ll see later, it is a very capable card.
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro
Memory in this build is nicely covered off by 16GB of Corsair’s new Vengeance RGB Pro LP memory. With a diffused RGB section up top, matte heat spreaders and fast 3600MHz it is good for gaming in 2021 and beyond!
SSD/Storage: Seagate Barracuda 510
Next up on the parts list for this build is the storage. You definitely want to opt for an M.2 SSD for most builds in 2021 – the speed advantage, ease of use and reliability are unrivalled. SATA SSDs are restricted by the ageing SATA interface, where M.2 does not have this limitation.
This drive is a fast Gen 3 NVMe SSD which delivers speeds of upto 3.5GB/s. Generation 4 drives will take you upto the 7GB/s mark give or take, but aren’t quite worth the price bump for this build.
the speed advantage, ease of use and reliability are unrivalled.
Keep scrolling for the rest of the components, but remember: we’ve uploaded a video version of this build below!
Motherboard: MSI B550 MORTAR
The motherboard choice in 2021 for us is the MSI B550M Mortar. This Micro ATX motherboard is a great value, compact option, which supports all of the latest Ryzen CPUs.
Support for super fast Gen 4 SSDs, 4 RAM dimm slots as well as CPU & RAM overclocking it covers all the necessary bases really well!
Case: Cooler Master MB320L
The final two components to look at are in the case and power departments. The case was a super easy choice, Cooler Master’s absolutely superb MB320L. When it comes to budget cases this chassis really is king, as we discussed in our Top 5 case round up video for 2021!
When it comes to budget cases this chassis really is king
PSU: Cooler Master MWE650
Finally, power for this build is provided by Cooler Master’s MWE650. With an 80+ Gold Certification to back up efficiency claims and a fully-modular interface it is an awesome choice!
Performance & Benchmarking
Awesome stuff – we’ve covered off all the parts in our system and its now time to run some games, about 15 to be precise, to see what kind of performance figures we’re able to achieve! At 1440p high settings the numbers the numbers looked good, while 1080p is an ever better story – predictable.
Games tested include: Apex Legends, COD Cold War, COD Warzone, Control, CS:GO, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding, Fortnite, GTA V, Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, Watch Dogs: Legion & Overwatch!
|GTA V||122 FPS|
|COD Warzone||99 FPS|
|Apex Legends||128 FPS|
|Watch Dogs Legion||77 FPS|
|COD Black Ops Cold War||83 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077||61 FPS|
|Death Stranding||89 FPS|
|Rainbow Six Siege||213 FPS|
Make sure to get subscribed to our dedicated benchmarking & build channels, using the buttons below to get notified whenever we publish a new build!
Performance aside, one super important factor with any build is how it looks …right?! This build is a bit of a stunner if I do say so myself, and below is a gallery of some of the awesome stills we pulled from this system – take a look!