Amazing $1200 gaming PC build to dominate 1440p in 2020

Updated: September 24th, 2020By: BrantonGaming PC Builds802 Comments

best 1440p gaming pc build for 1200 dollars
best 1440p gaming pc build for 1200 dollars

If you're looking to build a powerful gaming PC easily capable of maxing games out in 1440p for $1200, this is the one you need! The powerful RTX 2070 Super is well-equipped to handle 1440p-4K gaming and it's seriously going to blow your mind when paired with the AMD R5 3600 and 16GB of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM!

This build is exactly what you're looking for if you want to build a strong PC capable of delivering smooth, immersive gameplay AND being able to tackle some streaming and things like that. When it comes to this build, there really aren't many ways it could be improved upon without spending a lot more.

Without drawing this introduction out any longer, let's get down to the build!

If you have any questions check out our FAQ and feel free to ask them in the comment section!

Best Pre-Built Gaming PC Under $1200

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 12-Thread 3.6GHz (4.2 GHz Max Boost) CPU
  • 500GB SSD
  • GeForce RTX 2070 8GB DDR4 300MHz graphics card
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Free Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
  • 3 Display ports an 1 HDMI port
  • 3 RGB fans
  • 1 Year Warranty on Parts and Labor | Lifetime Free Technical Support
  • under 1200 gaming PC desktop

    1440p Killing $1200 Gaming PC Build

    computer case

    NZXT H510

    Mid-tower ATX case with a great layout. Features a big tempered glass window, full PSU shroud, and 2x 120mm fans.

    am4 socket b450 chipset motherboard

    MSI B450 Tomahawk Max

    A top-level AM4 socket motherboard running the B450 chipset. 6x SATA + 1x M.2 NVMe. Integrated 7.1 audio. 6x USB ports.

    amd r5 3600

    AMD R5 3600

    6-cores/12-threads @ 4.2GHz boost clock. Can be overclocked and comes with a stock CPU cooler (AMD Wraith Stealth).

    rtx 2070 super

    Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC

    8GB GDDR6 RTX 2070 Super. Solid 1440p + 4K gaming performance! Similar performance as the RTX 2080 (non-Super).

    power supply

    EVGA 650 B3 80+ Bronze

    650W fully-modular Bronze rated power supply; up to 85% efficiency – this PSU won’t let you down!

    system memory

    16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    16GB (2×8) DDR4 RAM at 3000MHz (C15). Dual channel pair.

    500gb ssd

    Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD

    The best SATA-based SSD you could own. 500GB is a good amount of storage, but you may want to consider adding more.

    REQUIRED TOOLS

    The tools you need:

    That’s really all you need to assemble your new desktop. All of the mounting hardware and cables will come with the parts listed above. The only time you might need something extra is if you’re modifying the build on this page.

    HOW TO BUILD YOUR PC...

    Super Simplified Build Steps:

    1. Install the power supply into the case
    2. Install the processor (CPU)
    3. Seat RAM in the motherboard
    4. Mount the CPU cooler (don’t forget thermal paste if you're not using a stock cooler!)
    5. Insert the motherboard’s rear I/O plate into the case's rear I/O slot
    6. Mount the motherboard in the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
    7. Plug your graphics card into the motherboard
    8. Install storage drives
    9. Plug all power and data cables in where they're required (storage, case, motherboard, graphics card, etc)
    10. Turn your PC on
    11. Install your OS
    12. Install and update ALL drivers
    13. DONE!

    In-depth Walkthrough

    If you’ve never built a computer before, then you probably want to take some time to learn the basics before getting ahead of yourself. To do that you have a couple of options you can choose from.

    The first, and probably the easiest way for most people to learn is finding a walkthrough on YouTube from a reputable tech channel. Here’s one by BitWit as an example.

    Alternatively, I’ve put together an in-depth guide on how to build a PC as well as a FAQ to address the most common questions and problems. I've also put together a short post covering 10 of the most common mistakes people make when building.

    Recommended Add-ons

    Although not entirely necessary, some add ons like optical drives can sometimes improve your experience. Others, like an operating system, are significantly more crucial. If you’re installing your operating system from a disc opposed to a USB flash drive, then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.

    Windows 10 home

    Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.

    CPU Cooler

    Corsair H80i Liquid CPU Cooler

    Instead of air cooling for your CPU, why not try a closed loop liquid cooler? Corsair’s Spec 02 case is guaranteed to work with the H80i.

    Samsung 970 EVO

    Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD

    An M.2-based NVMe SSD like the 970 EVO is a step up from basic M.2 or SATA SSDs. They offer significantly more speed, but at a higher price /GB in comparison.

    external optical drive

    LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 external optical drive

    With more and more cases moving away from internal 5.25″ bays for optical drives and things of that nature, external ODDs have become increasingly popular, like this one. 

    Build Breakdown

    For right around $1200, this R5 3600 + RTX 2070 Super-powered gaming PC is absolutely insane! It has more than enough power to completely blow your mind over and over again as you try your favorite games on it in either 1440p or even 4K!

    Keep in mind that the price above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don't currently have.


    Case: The NZXT H510 is an awesome mid-tower ATX case that takes everything the S340 did well and improves almost everywhere. It comes with everything you'll need right out of the box, including the mounting hardware you'll need and 2x 120mm fans. It can easily support custom or AIO watercooling setups with radiators up to 280mm.

    That all being said, there are lots of other cases that would work great for this build, so to make sure that your build is really your build, make sure you pick the case that you like best!

    nzxt h500 computer case


    Motherboard: MSI's B450 Tomahawk Max is a great ATX sized, AM4 socket, B450 chipset motherboard. It comes with everything you’ll need for the components in this build as well as the majority of any future upgrades you might want to undertake.

    It gives you a plethora of USB options including multiple USB 3.1 ports, 6x SATA ports, an M.2 NVMe slot, and room for 4 sticks of RAM just to name a few. On top of that, you're also getting on-board RGB lighting, support for Crossfire GPU configs, and high-quality integrated 7.1 audio as well as Ethernet. This board does not come with integrated WiFi, so if you need WiFi you'll also need an adapter.

    b450 motherboard


    Processor (CPU): AMD's Zen 2 processors are complete and utter beasts; the R5 3600 is absolutely no exception. This 6-core/12-thread monster has a boost clock speed of 4.2GHz across all 6 cores which results in a ton of gaming potential. The R5 3600 is a unlocked CPU meaning it can be overclocked without an issue.

    Although the R5 3600 comes with a fairly good stock CPU cooler from AMD, upgrading it would not be a bad idea by any means - especially if you want to push really high overclocks. If you want to do that, check out my list of the best air and liquid CPU coolers!

    amd ryzen 5 2600


    Graphics Card (GPU): The 8GB RTX 2070 Super is a complete and utter powerhouse when it comes to 1440p or even 4K gaming. ASUS's RTX 2070 Super 8G EVO is turning out to be a great performer with solid cooling and it's easily one of the best-priced options available right now.

    An RTX 2070 Super will perform similarly to an RTX 2080 (non-Super) in both 1440p and 4K.

    Note: Due to their popularity, all models of the RTX 2070 Super are fairly difficult to find right now.

    rtx 2070 super


    System Memory (RAM): 16GB of Corsair's Vengeance LPX 3000MHz DDR4 RAM is a great amount and speed for a gaming PC at this level. Corsair's LPX lineup is really awesome which is probably why it has nearly 5-star reviews pretty much everywhere. That said, there are other options available that come with LED lighting and things like that if you're looking for something a little different.


    Power Supply (PSU): EVGA's 650 B3 is a good 80+ Bronze rated power supply with a semi-modular form factor and 5-year warranty. Being that this is a fully-modular power supply, it will make cable management not only easier but result in a cleaner finished product as well.


    Storage: As far as storage goes, I picked you out the best 500GB SSD you could own - Samsung's 860 EVO. Although 500GB is a fair amount of storage, you may want to consider adding more. With that in mind, you should know that it's very easy to do. All you have to do is buy more drives and plug them in. The motherboard in this build will support up to 6 total drives between M.2 and SATA.

    ssd storage


    All-in-all, this build is phenomenal, for $1200 you'd be hard-pressed to get a better gaming PC anywhere, and that's a fact.

    Pairing an R5 3600 with the RTX 2070 Super is a recipe for success when it comes to 1440p and 4K gaming.

    Operating System

    When it comes down to picking an operating system for your build, you have a couple of options. One is free, the other is about $100.

    Windows is the first, and probably best option for the most people - specifically Windows 10. Not only is DirectX 12 a Windows 10 exclusive, but if you're looking to play some Forza Horizon 3 on your new PC, well, it's also a Windows 10 exclusive. When it comes to picking out your copy, Windows 10 Home is all that's necessary, and you even have the option of buying an OEM disc or the significantly faster USB flash drive installer.

    windows-10-home

    The free option would be downloading a copy of a Linux-based operating system like Ubuntu and going from there, there are other options but Ubuntu is generally the best. Although pretty decent, there are some downsides to running a Linux-based system, like less compatibility for games / programs.

    Peripherals

    If this is the absolute first gaming PC you’ve ever owned, then chances are high that you don’t have a very good keyboard + mouse combo, or that your monitor is sub-par to really enjoy your experience.

    If you don't already have these basic peripherals, you're definitely going to want them. At the very least you're going to need a keyboard, a mouse, some kind of audio, and a monitor. Luckily for you, we've featured some awesome products to cover each of these basic needs, just check them out!

    Since picking a good monitor can often be a very subjective choice, I've put together this guide on how to pick the best monitor for gaming.

    One of the most important parts of putting together a good battlestation is ergonomics. Without a good, ergonomic chair to use, you're going to be uncomfortable and you won't enjoy your gaming sessions as much as you should. Because that's definitely not what I want, I've put together this buyer's guide containing 16 of the best chairs to use for gaming.

    monitor

    A very solid 27-inch 1440p 60Hz monitor with a 1ms response time.

    Mechanical Keyboard

    Logitech G513 Mechanical Keyboard

    Romer-G mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard! 

    mouse

    Logitech G502 HERO

    Logitech’s G502 HERO is an awesome gaming mouse offering great accuracy and a lot of comfort!

    headset

    Kingston HyperX Cloud 2

    Kingston’s HyperX Cloud 2 is an absolutely amazing headset that’ll completely blow you away!

    WiFi

    Personally, I prefer using a wired internet connection over a WiFi connection, and this build would support that right away. But, if you absolutely have to use a WiFi connection, then you're also going to need some kind of WiFi adapter.

    When it comes to actually picking a WiFi adapter, it's a little more complicated than simply picking the cheapest option and plugging it in. Sure, you could do that, but it wouldn't deliver a great experience in most cases, especially not when you might be able to spend just $10 more to get significantly better speeds.

    First, you should determine whether or not your router runs on the "N" or "AC" standard. N is older and only offers support for the 2.4GHz band (not great for gaming) where AC supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Ideally, 5GHz is the band you want to be using for any kind of online gaming as it offers the best performance, but N will work if it's all you have.

    Next comes time to actually pick your adapter, it should be the same standard as your router. This is because you don't need (and won't get better performance) if you're using an AC adapter with an N router. But, if you have an AC router, you don't want to miss out on taking advantage of the 5GHz band by cheaping out on an N adapter.

    I hope that makes sense, because here are some suggestions!

    WiFi adapter

    TP-Link Archer T4U

    A good internally mounted (PCIe) AC1300 WiFi adapter. 

    dual-band USB WiFi adapter

    TP-Link Archer T3U

    A reliable AC1300 dual-band USB WiFi adapter. Capable of operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. 

    Conclusion

    For right around $1200, this build will keep you comfortably gaming for years to come. No big upgrades will be needed for a reaaaaally long time, and it's not going to have any issues running games maxed out for the same amount of time. The RTX 2070 Super is a complete beast and it's going to blow your mind, I just know it!

    This PC is really a thing of beauty, you would be seriously hard-pressed to find a better $1200 build anywhere. This badass build is using some of the newest and best hardware that you could use, and it's going to be noticeable from the first time you boot up your favorite game!

    As always, if you have any questions, comments, or whatever else, feel free to leave it below! 


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    About the Author
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    Branton

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    Hey there! I'm Branton, the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. Since our launch in 2015, we've helped thousands upon thousands of gamers build their dream desktops, find the perfect peripherals, and more. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to get in tough!

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    Perry
    Perry
    September 12, 2020 7:29 pm

    Is this build will be affected by the new rtx price cut. Can we now get higher gpu with the 1,200$ price range?.

    T dot
    T dot
    August 12, 2020 4:36 am

    Warning! ARGB lights incompatible with the motherboard. Only buy RGB stuff not argb. Learned this the hard way now I have a set of argb components that work through a controller which cannot sync with mystic light to the rgb memory, b450 motherboard, mouse and keyboard . If I had bought rgb lights and fans I don’t think I would have had a problem.

    Thanks for providing this build, it was super useful and I based my sexy rig on this!

    Banana
    Banana
    August 9, 2020 7:10 pm

    Is it 1200 canadian

    oshin_PCGH
    oshin_PCGH
    August 11, 2020 12:16 pm
    Reply to  Banana

    Hello! The prices mentioned in this build is in US dollars (USD).

    Vince
    Vince
    August 7, 2020 12:37 am

    Does it run fortnite at 240fps?

    oshin_PCGH
    oshin_PCGH
    August 9, 2020 2:37 pm
    Reply to  Vince

    Hey Vince! So this build is excellent at reaching an average of 150+ fps, I would suggest an upgrade to the CPU to meet your needs. To reach an average FPS of 200+, the Ryzen 7 3800XT would be good with this build.

    Chris
    Chris
    June 30, 2020 3:50 pm

    Is there another power supply that would work with this build because the one listed is out of stock. If there is can you please leave a link to it.

    Andrew
    Andrew
    June 7, 2020 2:23 am

    Hey so I wanted to know what the difference was in the rtx 2070 super gaming and the etc 2070 super, and if I were to get the 2070 super can it be used instead of the super gaming one?

    Brandon Hampton
    Brandon Hampton
    May 29, 2020 11:06 am

    There is on issue I would like to point out with this build as it is very similar to a pc I had parts picked out for. This issue is the case above has a usb 3.2 type c port that the motherboard does not support, so there will be one usb port that is unused within this system!

    michael
    michael
    August 10, 2020 9:03 pm

    bro there is literally a usb 3.2 type A+C on the motherboard