I built this value and performance Ryzen 5 gaming machine with my teenage son to replace his Dell G3 gaming laptop. It was a back to school project at the end of COVID-19 lock-down here in Australia. The Dell G3 laptop which I bought new had an Intel i7 Processor (8th generation, 6-Core, 9MB Cache, up to 4.1GHz w/ Turbo Boost).
The Dell G3 laptop already been upgraded with 16Gb Crucial DDR4-2666 SODIMM (2 x 8 GB), a Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD and a 500Gb Crucial MX500 SSD. This was much better than the original 1Tb HDD and intel optane memory. However the GeForce(R) GTX 1050Ti (4GB GDDR5 memory) graphics card on the Dell G3 was not up to playing COD and other games.
My son selected the Galax GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8 Gb (1-Click OC) graphics card (which was cheaper than other options for this card) and designed the rest of the gaming machine build around this to maximise game-play performance for what he wanted. I had previously bought a 1060 super for an old i3 mid-tower gaming box (still an improvement on the 1050Ti in the DellG3 laptop and so much better than the GT 710 in the old mid-tower) but this was not going to give the performance he wanted.
We opted for the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor which was a later generation and similarly priced to the Ryzen 7 2700 that we were otherwise looking at. For this processor the MSI Gaming Plus Max was the best motherboard that we could afford within our build budget. We combined it with 16Gb (2x8Gb) 3200 RAM – Kingston Hyper-X Fury – which was a good deal at the time.
We also reused the Samsung M.2 SSD and 500Gb Crucial SSD from the Dell G3 laptop for the Ryzen 5 gaming build. The case chosen was a budget case with lots of room and extra drive slots. He also wanted a gold power supply but didn’t need this to be modular. Finally we opted for the ”be quiet!” Pure Power 11 600w PSU which is well over for the 365w expected load and so should cater for any later upgrades including over-clocking.
It was my first PC build from the ground up and our first real experience with Ryzen processors. Shop around for the best deals on processors and motherboards because prices on these vary quite a lot (as does RAM). The lesson I learnt is that a custom built Ryzen 5 gaming machine like this is better value than the low-end gaming laptop it replaces and will be upgrade-able in future. The drives in the Dell G3 laptop were replaced with the original Dell 1Tb HDD and 250Gb M.2 SSD (from another Dell G3). We plan to use this for streaming … and perhaps school work.
This Ryzen 5 gaming machine is all working well and my son is impressed with the increased speed, smoothness and more detailed graphics within game play now. There were a few nervous moments after we put it together while we checked all connections and reinstalled the CPU cooler before it would not boot. It was a great father-son project at the time. We have ordered some extra fans to help with the cooling because we have just used the stock cooler and he has turned all of the game settings to max!
After this successful experience I am going to start on my own unraid server build. 🙂
DigitalAid (and son)