If you’re trying to build a PC on a budget and don't want it to cost the earth, then one of AMD's 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs should almost certainly be on your shopping list - much like it is in our £1000 RPS Rig build - and thanks to a rather attractive bundle at AWD-IT in the UK, you can get a decent saving by buying a Ryzen CPU and motherboard together, and you’ll even get a free Cooler Master cooler thrown in for your trouble, too.
The CPUs in question are the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X processors. They’re both strong performers, falling slightly short of the Intel Core i5-9600K on gaming performance but undercutting it on price.
The cheapest deal is on the Ryzen 5 3600, which can be had for £300 (down from its usual price of £360). This comes with the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Max motherboard, and AWD-IT are also throwing in a free Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition cooler with it, too (pictured above), which is a bit beefier than the standard AMD Wraith Spire cooler you'd normally get in the Ryzen 5 3600's box.
However, if you're prepared to spend another £20, then you can get the same board and cooler with the slightly faster Ryzen 5 3600X for £320 (normally £380). While its gaming performance is basically the same, spending this extra £20 will give you a little more desktop grunt for tasks like photo and video editing.
- Ryzen 5 3600 and MSI X470 motherboard bundle – £300
- Ryzen 5 3600X and MSI X470 motherboard bundle – £320
So, how good are these prices in the greater scheme of things? Pretty good. Both are definitely better value than some of AWD-IT's other CPU / motherboard bundles, such as this Ryzen 5 3600X and B450 motherboard combo for an identical £320, and you also save a bit of money compared to buying them all individually, too.
Our regularly updated CPU deals page currently has the Ryzen 5 3600 at £159 by itself, for example, while the Ryzen 5 3600X will set you back £198. As for the MSI X470 motherboard, the best price you'll find for that particular model is right here at AWD-IT for £130, and the Cooler Master cooler would normally set you back another £41. As a result, if you fancy them altogether, then yes, this is a pretty good deal. Plus, AWD-IT will assemble it all for you, taking the hassle out of putting it together yourself.
There is a single unfortunate fly in the ointment, though, and that’s the motherboard’s X470 chipset, which isn’t guaranteed to support AMD’s next-generation CPUs when you next come to upgrade. While AMD have confirmed that some boards will get BIOS updates to give them Zen 3 compatibility, you’d be rolling the dice a bit to assume this one will get supported, which may wall off your ability to upgrade in the medium term.
If you want that extra peace of mind, then you may want to pay an extra £30 for this Asus TUF Gaming X570-Plus bundle – but you won’t get a free Cooler Master cooler for the price, so you'll have to make do with the standard AMD one instead - not the end of the world, all told, but still not quite as good value for money overall.
Alas, the ideal scenario would be the option to pair a Ryzen 3 3300X with one of AMD's new B550 motherboards, but we'll likely have to wait until later in the month before these become available, as B550 boards aren't arriving until June 16th. As a result, you may want to hold off until then to see what else is available, but if you're in need of a new CPU and motherboard right now and don't mind the potential compatibility gamble, then these AWD-IT bundles are well worth considering.