A Build for Cain

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Build Overview


Wide-spectrum purpose machine, starting from scratch with no existing peripherals.  Budget range $800 to $1000.  The preferred design is Black.  Windows 10 running on any architecture. Use case will cover a wide variety of gaming and professional editing.  Media center usage and high-quality audio should also be emphasized.  Future upgrade path opportunities strongly emphasized.


$991.51 at the time of posting.  Prices change constantly and rapidly in the world of PC parts.  Take your time to shop each piece for the best deal.  If you’re making substitutions, consider all specs for the item.

Build Details

America.  The land of opportunity.  No matter what shitty politicians lead our country, that’s what we’re founded on.  And with that egregious promise comes the simple idea that a man deserves the right to a good PC.  A PC that can do a wide variety of things – play kick-ass games, make and play back kick-ass jams, watch and edit kick-ass HD movies at kick-ass HD resolutions – and sure, we’re all in different funding brackets.  My job is to simply build the best kick-ass machine for whatever your wallet can afford, and god dammit, that’s what I’m gonna do.

Now if you’ll allow me to step off this soap box, we’ll get started with this wide-spectrum build from scratch.  We’ve only got a grand to work with, too.  We’ll be cutting it pretty tight to fit what we can into our tiny budget, so we’ll have to optimize each and every piece where we can do so.

Our main goal here is to build a foundation.  Since it’s wide spectrum, I’ve gotta go Ryzen on this one.  To keep our budget opportunities as wide as possible, let’s go with Ryzen 3.  We’re gonna have to use that stock cooler, too.

Today was a good day for deals.  So good, in fact, that I picked up a motherboard for myself today!  I sit around a build tons of PCs for people, and rarely do I get to practice what I preach.  The board I picked up today – ASRock’s AB350 Pro4 – just so happens to be the perfect build for both my backbone upgrade and this build!  This board will perfectly marry the parts I have in mind.

On that board, let’s attach 16 GB of GeIL’s DDR4-2133 and reap the benefits of dual channel RAM.  We’ll spend a little bit more to use dual-channel config (2 x 8 GB), since the professional uses – video editing in particular – will see some big advantages to this.

While I wanted to go with the usual SSD + HDD hybrid setup, it just isn’t going to happen today with the budget, but we can pick up a huge slice of storage – 2 TB today – at a decent price for a traditional HDD.

While gaming is still, of course, a huge bullet point here, I wanted to focus a little more on backbone.  The remaining budget should sit pretty if we go with a GTX 1060.  I went with our cheapest 1060 option today, which is EVGA’s 6 GB GAMING model.

As with all boards that emphasize future upgrading, I like to spend a little more on a case.  I spotted an opportunity for a rebate, so I landed on the classic and high-rated NZXT S340, which give us plenty of room to expand later while also knocking out the sleek black design that was requested.  Powering our rig will be yet another rebate-fueled option on our PSU.  SeaSonic had a nice deal today which featured both 80+ Bronze and full modularity – not too shabby at $40.

Because we’ve pinched so many pennies, we can splurge on our human interface.  Since we picked up a 1060, let’s pair that with a 1080p monitor from Acer.  24″ and 60 Hz can’t be frowned upon, especially if it’s also sporting a 5ms response time – perfect for gaming.

While it not might be the highest of the high, our audio quality can still be cheesed with a decent 5.1 channel set from Logitech.  Pair that with a decent mechanical keyboard and a great optical mouse and we’ve got everything we need to pass for a great 1080p gaming station.

Rounding out our price is a licence for Windows 10.  And that’s all there is to it.

Build Summary


The foundation has been set for a great 1080p60 rig.  Both the board and case give Cain everything he needs to set his foot in the always-open PCMR door.  From here on out, Cain can do as he pleases to upgrade and better his experience in whatever direction he desires.


Like all builds done from scratch, a lot of money has to be fronted to peripherals, which leaves us with a less-than-desirable budget to fund backbone and gaming performance.  Many options exist to push performance higher, especially for CPU and GPU.  Our storage is one-sided and could benefit from an SSD.  Or how about an M.2 drive instead?  Whatever sound decision is made, at least the backbone will support it.

Author: DJChupa13