It’s been a while since we first introduced the RPS Rig, our £1000 PC build that includes everything you need to start playing PC games, during which time prices for our prized components have gone up, down, or disappeared altogether. So I’d thought I’d give it a bit of a spring clean, especially after last week’s launch of the excellent AMD Ryzen 3 3300X CPU. If you’ve ever wanted to build a PC but don’t know what you should buy or which of our many bestest best components to put inside it, help is at hand.
In case you missed it the first time round, the RPS Rig aims to offer a complete package for playing PC games in 2020. That includes all the crucial things that go inside your PC, as well as a monitor, headset, and mouse and keyboard so you can get straight to the action as quickly as possible. Why £1000? Well, I reckon you don’t need to spend any more than this to get a great gaming PC, and the components I’ve picked will ensure you’ve got plenty of oomph for playing games at 60fps on max settings at 1080p, plus a bit of 1440p potential if you decide to upgrade your monitor further down the line or you want to take advantage of our chosen monitor’s high refresh rate (and yes, it is possible to build a PC and pair it with a great 144Hz gaming monitor for less than £1000).
Of course, building a gaming PC is something you theoretically can pour infinite amounts of money into if you’ve got the time and a few buckets of spare cash sandwiched between your mattress, so naturally there will always be other, flashier recommendations you could go for instead of what I’ve picked out below. If you’ve got suggestions for what you’d put in instead, then shout about them in the comments below. And if you haven’t spruced up your PC for absolutely ages, here’s everything you need to know about upgrading your PC in 2020.
That said, like any of our best PC component lists, the RPS Rig isn’t going to be a system that’s set in stone. New components arrive on my testing bench all the time, and I’ll be swapping bits in and out of our recommended build as and when they come in for review and I think they deserve a place on the list.
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, of course, but at time of publication our RPS Rig comes in £988 (excluding the cost of Windows 10). We’ll do our best to keep on top of any major price hikes, but you can also find all the best prices for our graphics card, SSD and monitor recommendations in our regularly updated Graphics card deals, SSD deals and Gaming monitor deals pages. For now, though, here is the new and improved RPS Rig:
Motherboard – AsRock B450M-HDV R4.0
This micro-ATX motherboard may not have the most impressive feature set compared to newer and more expensive X570 boards, but it’s still got everything you need to form the foundation for a great gaming PC. You get six USB ports round the back, for example (four of which are USB3), plus a Gigabit Ethernet port and three audio jacks. There are also four SATA ports for your SSD and any additional storage drives you might want to add further down the line, and its PCIe 2.0 x1 slot sits above the main PCIe 3.0 x16 slot so it won’t get obscured by your graphics card.
CPU – AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is a fantastic CPU for the money, and comes with its own cooler in the box, too, which helps save on cost. It may only have four cores, but they work surprisingly hard to deliver gaming speeds that are almost on par with Intel’s significantly more expensive Core i5-9600K. To see exactly how it shapes up to its other AMD and Intel competition, have a read of our AMD Ryzen 3 3300X review.
RAM – Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x 8GB) 3000MHz
Corsair make excellent RAM, and their Vengeance LPX range is some of the best in the business. Previously I recommended 8GB (which is still fine for most gaming PCs, but now we’ve got a bit more money to play with by opting for a cheaper processor, I thought I’d upgrade it to 16GB this time. Plus, it’s completely free of any RGB lighting, which practically comes as standard on more expensive models.
Graphics card – Gigabyte Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC
AMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT is the best graphics card you can buy right now for flawless 1080p gaming. With 6GB of GDDR6 memory, it’s capable of hitting 60fps in practically every big blockbuster game that’s available today, and it can also manage around 60fps on High settings at 2560×1440, too. It’s a fantastic card, offering nigh-on identical speeds to Nvidia’s more expensive RTX 2060, as well as AMD’s own Radeon RX 5700. It doesn’t support ray tracing, but it’s still a fantastic card in its own right. For more information, have a read of my AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT review.
SSD – WD Blue SN550 (500GB)
There are so many great SSDs around at the moment, but the 500GB WD Blue 3D NAND is arguably the best value for money. Whereas other SSDs on our best of list will get you around 250GB for £50, you can currently get a 500GB WD Blue for just £60. It’s not quite as fast as the Crucial MX500 or Samsung 860 Evo, all told, but its random read and write times are still much better than other budget drives, including WD’s Green SSDs and the Crucial BX500. Read more in our WD Blue 3D NAND review.
Power supply – Corsair CV550
Your power supply is the beating heart of your PC, so it pays to get a good one. Alas, my previous recommendation, the semi-modular Corsair CX550M, now seems to be rarer than hen’s teeth, so I’ve opted for the CV550 instead. It isn’t modular unfortunately, so you may have a new more cables knocking around in your PC case as a result, but with prices the way they are at the moment, you’d have to pay considerably more for the privilege. Still, the Corsair CV550 should provide more than enough juice to power everything listed above. It’s an 80 Plus Bronze rated PSU, too, which means it’s nice and energy efficient.
Case – Bitfenix Nova Midi Tower
PC cases can often be highly personal choices depending on what your tastes and preferences are, but I’ve gone with the Bitfenix Nova Midi here as it’s probably one of the most neutral and least offensive-looking PC cases you can buy right now. It’s an ATX case, so there will be plenty of room for our chosen motherboard, and it also comes with two USB ports on the front panel, loads of HDD and SSD drive bays if you want to add more storage later on, and a single 120mm fan included at the back of it with room for more at the front and top of the case.
Monitor – AOC 24G2U
AOC’s 24G2U is a fantastic gaming monitor for the money. It’s a 24in, 1920×1080 screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync support, and it has a superior IPS panel instead of a cheap TN one. As a result, its colour accuracy is superb, so you can be sure your games will look their absolute best. For more info, read my AOC 24G2U review.
Mouse – HyperX Pulsefire Core
The HyperX Pulsefire Core is a great value gaming mouse and until very recently the top budget pick in my gaming mouse roundup. Not only is it nice and light, making it easy to move around your mouse mat, but its build quality is much better than other budget gaming mice, including the similarly priced Steelseries Rival 110. Each of its seven buttons can also be programmed to do whatever you like, and its overall design isn’t too garish either. Read more in my HyperX Pulsefire Core review.
Keyboard – Razer Cynosa Chroma
The Razer Cynosa Chroma may not be a proper mechanical keyboard, but it’s still the best gaming keyboard for those on a budget in my eyes, and more than capable of keeping up with all your rapid gaming inputs. Thanks to Razer’s specially-built membrane keys, it’s a lot more responsive than your typical membrane keyboard, and it’s blissfully quiet, too, making it a lot easier on the ears than its mechanical rivals. For more info, have a read of my Razer Cynosa Chroma review.
Headset – Logitech G432
When it comes to do-it-all gaming headsets, there really is nothing better than the Logitech G432. With crystal clear sound and an excellent microphone, the G432 is one the best headsets you can buy right now. It’s a little more expensive than usual due to the coronavirus, but thankfully it still comes within our £1000 budget. Plus, you can plug it into almost anything thanks to its myriad of connection types. This includes a combined 3.5mm jack for your laptop, a dual 3.5mm splitter for your PC, and a USB DAC for both for when you want to take advantage of its 7.1 virtual surround sound. Read more in my Logitech G432 review.