Cyber Monday Gaming PC: Build a 1080p Desktop for $600, 1440p for $750

inside of aPC
(Image credit: Photo by Brian Jones on Unsplash)

Cyber Monday is a great time to buy components for an affordable gaming PC build. Normally, if you want to put together a desktop that can play games at 1080p very high or Ultra settings and smooth (60+ fps) frame rates, you'd spend a nice chunk of change. And, if you want to kick the resolution up to 1440p, you might expect to spend closer to $1,000 or even more. 

But right now, with Cyber Monday sales on PC parts bringing CPUs, graphics cards, SSDs and even cases and power supplies down in price, you can build a very serviceable 1080p gaming rig for $600 and a 1440p-capable one for under $750. And whichever you build, you'll likely save hundreds of dollars off of the price of a prebuilt desktop with similar capabilities. 

Below, we've put together parts lists for both a sub-$600 Cyber Monday 1080p PC build and a sub-$750, 1440p gaming PC build. These prices are based on Cyber Monday sales that are current at publication time so your mileage may vary slightly depending on when you read this. Also note that we do not include the price of the OS (you can get Windows for free or cheap) nor any peripherals. 

Cyber Monday Sub-$600, 1080 Gaming PC Build

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ComponentModelSale PriceOld PriceNotes
CPURyzen 5 5500$94$99Row 0 - Cell 4
GPUXFX Speedster SWFT 210 Radeon RX 6600$229$239Row 1 - Cell 4
MotherboardGigabyte B550M DS3H AM4$99$109Row 2 - Cell 4
RAMTeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200$42$47Row 3 - Cell 4
SSDSolidigm P41 Plus$59$89Row 4 - Cell 4
CaseGamdias Argus M1$39$48Row 5 - Cell 4
PSUEnermax Cyberbron 500W, 80+ Bronze$34$39Row 6 - Cell 4
Row 7 - Cell 1 $596Row 7 - Cell 3 Row 7 - Cell 4

Admittedly, sales on Black Friday were a bit better and more items were in stock so we had to cut a few corners to get to a $600 price point and still deliver smooth 1080p play. Here are all the parts we chose and the rationale for each.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500 ($94 at  B&H (opens in new tab)) - The Ryzen 5 5500 is not one of the fastest CPUs around, but it does give you 6 cores, 12 threads and a 4.2-GHz boost clock for less than $100.  On the chart below, you'll see that the 5500 delivered a solid 129 fps on our 1080p gaming, Windows 11 gaming suite.  We benchmark the CPUs with a top-of-the-line graphics card so that the GPU is not a bottleneck; you obviously can expect lower numbers with the GPU in this build.

    However, you can see that the 5500 can deliver solid frame rates that put it well ahead of AMD's prior-generation processors such as the Ryzen 5 3600X. There's no question that the Ryzen 5 5600, which costs about $40 more right now, is a lot quicker and we recommend going with the 5600 (opens in new tab) instead if you can afford it. 

Ryzen 5 5500 Gaming FPS

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
  • GPU:  XFX Speedster SWFT 210 Radeon RX 6600 ($229 at Amazon (opens in new tab)) - At one point this Cyber Monday deals season, you could get an RX 6600 card for as little as $189, but as of this writing, this was the cheapest that we could find.  The card features 8GB of GDDR6 RAM and a boost clock of 2,491 MHz.

    As you can see on the chart below, the RX 6600 averaged 72.3 fps running a suite of 8 games at 1080p Ultra settings. While that puts the GPU below more expensive competitors such as the RTX 3060 and RX 6600 XT, it's still a very playable frame rate and a fantastic value. 

Ryzen 5 5500 Gaming FPS

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B550M DS3H AM4 ($99 at Newegg (opens in new tab), was $109). In theory any motherboard with a B550 or X570 chipset would be fine. However, many AMD boards require a BIOS update (see how to enter your BIOS) before they will recognize a Ryzen 5000 chip and you can't tell what BIOS version your motherboard will ship with.

    If you have an old BIOS that won't recognize your new CPU, you need to upgrade the firmware before you boot with the new CPU, but what if you don't have an older CPU to use for the update? The Gigabyte B550M DS3H AM4 has a feature called Q Flash Plus (on other boards known as BIOS Flashback) which allows you to update the firmware without a CPU as you just plug in a USB Flash drive with the update and hold down a button on the motherboard.

    If you don't mind waiting a few weeks for delivery, consider getting the Gigabyte B550M DS3H AC, which is $99 at Amazon (opens in new tab) and is the same board but with built-in Wi-Fi 5. However, it doesn't ship for about two weeks.
  • RAM: TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 ($42 at Newegg (opens in new tab), was $47). You need no less than 16GB of RAM and you want a dual-channel kit with two 8GB sticks of DDR4 that run at up to 3200 Mhz. This is the least expensive set we could find and comes from a reputable brand.
  • SSD: Solidigm P41 Plus 1TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD ($59 at Newegg (opens in new tab)) - To keep our cost around $600, saving every dollar counts and that's why we're going with the cheapest 1TB NVMe SSD we could find that comes from a reputable brand.  Haven't heard of Solidigm? It's the company that bought Intel's SSD division so those are pretty good bonifides.

    This drive uses the modern PCIe 4.0 interface so is automatically a step up from most PCIe 3.0 SSDs. It's rated for sequential read and write speeds of 4,125 MBps and 2,950 MBps. We reviewed the Solidigm P41 and found it to have modest, but acceptable performance. As you can see, it scored quite a few points below more powerful drives such as the WD Black SN770 and SK hynix Platinum P41 on the 3DMark SSD gaming test, but those competitors cost more. It is definitely faster than most PCIe 3.0 SSDs. 

Solidigm P41 Plus Speeds

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
  • Case: Gamdias Argus M1 ($39 at Newegg (opens in new tab), was $48):  This case has a lot going for it for less than $40. It's very attractive considering its budget status, with a tempered glass side panel, an RGB light strip on the front  and three illuminated USB ports on the front panel. There's an RGB rear fan included and room for up to a 280mm radiator (two 140mm fans or two 120mm fans) on the top or in front.

Gamdias Argus M1

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • PSU: Enermax Cyberbron 500W, 80+ Bronze ($34 at Amazon (opens in new tab)) - To keep our costs low, we need a reliable, but very inexpensive CPU. Enermax is a well-known brand and this 500W capacity will be more than sufficient to power the components in this build.  We even get 80+ Bronze power efficiency, something not every cheap PSU offers.

    The only real downside is that the PSU isn't even partially modular. However, there's no great harm in having all the cables built-in to the power supply. You'll never lose them that way.

Cyber Monday Sub-$750, 1440p Gaming PC Build

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ComponentModelSale PriceOld PriceNotes
CPURyzen 5 5600$137$135Row 0 - Cell 4
GPUXFX Speedster Radeon RX 6700$319$349Row 1 - Cell 4
MotherboardGigabyte B550M DS3H AM4$99$109Row 2 - Cell 4
RAMTeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200$42$47Row 3 - Cell 4
SSDSolidigm P41 Plus$59$89Row 4 - Cell 4
CaseCooler Master MasterBox MB511$39$74after mail-in rebate
PSUThermaltake Smart BM2 650W 80+ Bronze$39$use promo code BFDBY2A335 to get it at this price
TotalRow 7 - Cell 1 $734Row 7 - Cell 3 Row 7 - Cell 4

So let's talk about why we chose the parts we did and what you can expect from each. 

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600 ($137 at Newegg (opens in new tab)) -  As we've said elsewhere (opens in new tab), the price of AMD Ryzen 5000 series chips is incredibly low right now, because the new 7000 series, which is way too expensive, recently came out. The Ryzen 5 5600 has 6 cores, 12 threads and a maximum boost clock of 4.4 GHz, which is more than adequate for gaming at 2K, particularly when you have a strong graphics card to pair it with. It comes with a cooler in the box so no need to buy one. Note that Newegg has this part backordered but it is currently due to ship by December 2nd.

    When we reviewed the Ryzen 5 5600, it returned an average frame rate of 156 fps on our suite of 1440p games and that number jumped to 159 fps when we enabled precision boost overdrive (which is like overclocking).  To see what the CPU is capable of we tested with a high-end GPU in the form of an RTX 3090 so you won't get those frame rates with our suggested graphics card for this build, but you can rest assured that the Ryzen 5 5600 won't be the bottleneck holding you back.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 1440p gaming

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
  • GPU: XFX Speedster Radeon RX 6700 ($319 at  Amazon (opens in new tab), was $349) - In this price band, AMD's Radeon RX 6700 offers more performance for your money than Nvidia's RTX 3060 which costs more than $350 and usually closer to $400.

    On our GPU benchmark hierarchy, the RX 6700 is actually 8 places ahead of the RTX 3060, delivering an average  frame rate of 87.7 fps on our 1080p Ultra settings, test suite compared to 70.2 fps for Nvidia's card. At 1440p Ultra settings, the RX 6700 delivers an average 63.5 fps, which is very smooth, and compares favorably to the 3060's mark of 52.6 fps.

RX 6700 results

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B550M DS3H AM4 ($99 at Newegg (opens in new tab), was $109). We're sticking with the Gigabyte B550M from our $600, 1080p Cyber Monday gaming PC build, because there's nothing wrong with it.  We'd probably wait the extra two weeks of shipping delay to get the version with Wi-Fi 5 built-in, which is $99 at Amazon (opens in new tab).
  • RAM: TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan Z 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 ($42 at Newegg (opens in new tab), was $47). We're sticking with the RAM from the $600 build here as there's no need to get faster than DDR4-3200 speed and we can't reasonably afford to go up to 32GB and keep our price in range.
  • SSD: Solidigm P41 Plus 1TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD ($59 at Newegg (opens in new tab)) - If we want to keep our costs below $750, we have to economize on the SSD and stick with the Solidigm P41 from our 1080p build. However, if you're willing to spend just $17 more (which would take us just slightly over the $750 mark in total cost), get the WD Black SN770 for $79 at Amazon (opens in new tab).

    The WD Black SN770 promises sequential read and write speeds of 5,000 and 4,000 MBps respectively. It also had much lower gaming latency on our tests.

Solidigm P41 vs WD SN770

(Image credit: Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master MasterBox MB511 ($39 at Newegg (opens in new tab), after rebate) - This case doesn't have the built-in RGB bling of the case we chose for our 1080p gaming rig build, but it has better cooling potential with a mesh front panel. It has room up to three 120mm fans in front (or a 360mm radiator) and two 120mm fans (or a 240mm radiator) at the top. There's a tempered glass side panel so you can see everything inside.

Cooler Master MasterBox MB511

(Image credit: Newegg)
  • PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower GX2 600W 80 Plus Gold ($38 at Newegg (opens in new tab), was $69). A name-brand, 600-watt gold-rated power supply for under $40? What's not to love? Thermaltake's PSU is non-modular, but it features a 120mm quiet fan and can deliver 90% or higher efficiency.

As you can see, we made just a few compromises to get a 1080p gaming rig for $600 and a 1440p gaming rig for less than $750. If you want to step things up and spend more, you can go for a pricier CPU, GPU and SSD, but hopefully this list of parts gives you some ideas. We have a more complete set of parts lists on our best PC builds page.

Avram Piltch is Tom's Hardware's editor-in-chief. When he's not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you'll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.
  • HideOut
    if you are building a budget rig why on earth would you spend the money to upgrade from a 5500 to a 5600. Its barely an upgrade at all. And what, $50? No way.
    Reply