Have you read our Ryzen 9 7950X3D review yet? If you have, or even if you don’t, you’re probably already aware that it’s either the fastest or second fastest CPU on the planet in just about every game out there. In other words, if you’re building a new gaming PC, you can’t go wrong with one of these chips.
To keep your CPU cool, well, you don’t need to use a bundle, and you don’t need to mess with pesky liquid coolers either. That’s because the X3D processors have a lower, 120-watt TDP that’s easier to cool. However, we are not going to skimp on cooling either; The Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE offers two fans to cool two radiators in a compact package that’s stylish and includes RGB LEDs as well.
For our motherboard, we go to the bottom of the top: ASRock X670E Phantom Gaming Lightning ATX motherboard. This is an X670E motherboard, which means it has PCIe 5.0 support for both the graphics card slot and primary M.2 connector. There are no PCIe 5.0 graphics cards or SSDs yet, but AMD has promised to support Socket AM5 at least through 2025, so you’ll be ready when that time comes. This card also includes 2.5 Gbps Ethernet and a pair of USB Type-C ports.
Our main storage is a shockingly affordable WD Black SN850X 2TB NVMe SSD. This is a PCIe 4.0 SSD that should easily pass Microsoft’s DirectStorage API when it becomes more common in games, and the 2 TB capacity gives you plenty of space for Windows and other applications. We recommend installing it in the motherboard’s “Hyper” M.2 socket instead of the PCIe 5.0 “Blazing” M.2 connector, leaving the slot open for an additional, even faster drive.
All of our hardware is going to be crammed into an affordable Gamdias Apollo E2 Elite ATX mid-tower chassis. This case offers everything you’d expect in a modern data case: a power supply cover and cable management area, a tempered glass side panel, RGB LED fans and plenty of airflow thanks to the paired 200mm intake fans. And all for just $60!
For our power supply, we could save a little more than we did, since the most power-hungry part we’ve chosen for this system expects a power supply of only 750W peak power. However, power supplies age over time, and a quality unit can save you countless headaches down the line. It doesn’t get much higher quality than this ADATA XPG Cybercore unit, with 1000 watts of power and 80+ Platinum certification. It is fully modular, and ADATA offers a ten-year warranty on the unit.
Which graphics card should I buy?
Finally, the pièce de résistance of any gaming rig: the graphics card. We have made three choices for you based primarily on cost, but also on possibilities. Right now, the graphics card market is in a bit of a weird place. The only current generation hardware available is quite expensive due to it being exclusively upper midrange and high end parts.
If you want to go current-gen instead, you can find pretty decent prices on Radeon RX 7900 XT cards right now. We were initially put off by the card’s value given its performance and MSRP, but considering Radeon RX 7900 XTX cards can’t be found anywhere near their $999 MSRP right now, $883 for this Powercolor Hellhound model looks pretty good. This card also uses a non-reference cooler, meaning you don’t have to worry about the infamous manufacturing issue with these coolers. 20GB of video RAM and superior 4K performance of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4070 Ti means this card can work well in an AMD gaming system.
So you have a few options here, but no matter what you choose, you’re going to end up with a powerful PC. We’ve created the handy chart above that shows you what kind of price you’re looking at depending on the components you choose. With the Ryzen 9 7900X3D and that Sapphire Pulse RX 6800 card, you come in at $2000 – an incredible price for a machine with that kind of performance. However, none of these parts are really a bad value and you should be happy with what you buy.
Obviously, DIY is going to come out a bit cheaper than a pre-built, but it has to be said that it is also an option. Our friends at Maingear, Falcon Northwest, Origin PC and Alienware all offer brand new turnkey solutions for Ryzen X3D systems. We won’t begrudge anyone who feels an extra few hundred bucks is worth the time to not have to route wires and plug in persnickety connectors.
Do you know of any great deals on components that we missed? Let us know in the comments if you’ve found a great deal that we’ve overlooked.