Last updated on August 16th, 2019
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, feel free to ask them in the comment section!
1440p Killing $1200 Gaming PC BuildUpdated: August 16th, 2019
Mid-tower ATX case with a great layout. Features a big tempered glass window, full PSU shroud, and 2x 120mm fans.
MSI B450 Tomahawk
A top-level AM4 socket motherboard running the B450 chipset. 6x SATA + 1x M.2 NVMe. Integrated 7.1 audio. 6x USB ports. Will require a BIOS update – More on that below.
AMD R5 3600
6-cores/12-threads @ 4.2GHz boost clock. Can be overclocked and comes with a stock CPU cooler (AMD Wraith Stealth). View
Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC
8GB GDDR6 RTX 2070 Super. Solid 1440p + 4K gaming performance! Similar performance as the RTX 2080 (non-Super).
EVGA 650 B3 80+ Bronze
650W fully-modular Bronze rated power supply; up to 85% efficiency – this PSU won’t let you down!
16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM
16GB (2×8) DDR4 RAM at 3000MHz (C15). Dual channel pair.
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.
- A small Phillips screwdriver
Size #2 works well as a general rule.
- An anti-static wristband
Optional but recommended.
And lots of it.
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.
Windows 10 (USB Installer)
Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer. View
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. View
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. View
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. View
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!
Motherboard: MSI's B450 Tomahawk 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.
With all of that said, this board WILL NOT SUPPORT THE R5 3600 WITHOUT A BIOS UPDATE! No B450 chipset board will.
I know, now you're thinking, "then why the f--- are you suggesting I buy it?!" I get that, it's completely understandable.
The reason is simple, there are no B550 chipset motherboards yet - what we need for native Zen 2 support. They won't release for another month or maybe 2, possibly 3. Meaning, the only option for native Zen 2 support is the X570 chipset. But, those boards start at around $160 and quickly get up to and beyond $250.
The other option is what I opted for - updating a B450 motherboard. It's not difficult to do, but it will require some... extra steps... More on that here. Keep in mind that this board does support CPU-less BIOS flashing.
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!
Graphics Card (GPU): The 8GB RTX 2070 Super is a complete and utter powerhouse when it comes to 1440p or even 4K gaming. Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC 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.
System Memory (RAM): 16GB of 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BenQ GL2706PQ 27"
A very solid 27-inch 1440p 60Hz monitor with a 1ms response time. View
Logitech G513 Mechanical Keyboard
Romer-G mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard! View
Logitech G502 HERO
Logitech’s G502 HERO is an awesome gaming mouse offering great accuracy and a lot of comfort!
Kingston HyperX Cloud 2
Kingston’s HyperX Cloud 2 is an absolutely amazing headset that’ll completely blow you away! View
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!
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!