Quiet Gamer

Want a high-powered PC that delivers an excellent computing experience while running in near silence? Then this is the system for you! Every component has been chosen to maximize performance while minimizing noise.

For November 2017, we continuing to recommend AMD's awesome Ryzen 5 1600X hexa-core processor. While Intel has attempted to respond to AMD's resurgence in the mid-range market with a new line of CPUs code-named "Coffee Lake," it forgot that you typically should have a product to sell before you "launch" it! In fact, we believe Intel won't ship these products in quantity until 2018, so that leaves AMD as the only brand to consider at this point. To power your games, we go with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, as it's likewise the best pick in its price range. We also load this system up with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a fast 500GB solid-state drive. You're also getting the beautiful tempered glass edition of the noise-optimized Phanteks P400S case, a new class-leading 550W power supply from Seasonic, and an ultra-silent 120mm tower-style CPU cooler. We even list a few of our favorite accessories to complete your build, including a silent keyboard, a great low-cost mouse, and an excellent 1080p G-Sync monitor.

Building an AMD-based system is a bit different than building an Intel-based system, so check out our step-by-step Ryzen Assembly Guide to help you get up to speed on building your new AMD system. You can also post a question in our Reader Forum - we'll answer as soon as possible! And feel free to check out The Gallery to get inspired by the builds submitted by other TBG readers. When you have yours up and running, let us know and we'll create a profile page for your system too! We update this build on a monthly basis to incorporate new product releases or major price adjustments, so check back often. To see past months' builds, check out the $1,250 Quiet Gaming PC Archive.

We use real-time pricing engines to give you the most up-to-date prices available, and we also include shopping links for our readers in UK, Canada, and Germany (with regional substitutions made where necessary). Your use of these links helps keep this guide alive!

The $1,250 Quiet Gaming PC - November 2017

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 1600X

    Black Friday pricing is in effect on this product! The Ryzen 5 1600X offers tremendous processing power at a very reasonable price. With 6 cores and 12 threads, it can easily handle the most demanding tasks, and thanks to its high boost speed (the highest of any Ryzen processor), it's great for games as well.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Intel pulled a fast one on everyone by "releasing" its "Coffee Lake" line of CPUs in early October without actually having product to ship. Benchmarks are nice, products in hand are nicer, and that's what you get with AMD.

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 AM4

    Black Friday pricing is in effect on this product! Offering tremendous value for the price, this B350-based board from Gigabyte has the advanced ALC1220 audio codec, an M.2 slot for high-speed solid-state drives, and the ability to overclock any Ryzen processor. It even has RGB lighting and controllers built in!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is the board we used in our Ryzen assembly guide, and we continue to use it to this day in all of our Ryzen-related articles.

    Video Card:

    Asus GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Dual

    The GTX 1060 is the perfect GPU for this system, offering excellent gaming performance and exceptional efficiency, meaning it generates very little heat, and thus very little noise.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Every GTX 1060 model continues to sell out on a daily basis, and simply finding one in stock at any given moment is a challenge. We update this guide regularly to catch the best in-stock or backorder options.

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666 C16 Black

    With 16GB of RAM, you'll have plenty of capacity for any typical task. Why do we choose this kit in particular? It comes from one of the most respected names in the memory market, and offers a nice boost over standard 2133MHz RAM for a lot less than its competitors.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We want our readers to be aware that there is currently a massive crisis afflicting the RAM market, with rampant shortages driving prices up on a weekly, if not daily basis. Please know that we are updating the RAM selection constantly to ensure that you're getting the best possible price on compatible RAM. Unfortunately, you'll likely still pay more tomorrow for RAM than you will today!

    Solid-State Drive:

    Western Digital Blue 3D 500GB M.2

    The new Blue 3D from Western Digital is now the drive to beat in the mid-range market. Featuring ultra-fast 3D TLC NAND developed by SanDisk (now owned by WD), it offers class-beating performance despite a mainstream price.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver to install this drive in the M.2 socket of the motherboard.

    Case:

    Phanteks Eclipse P400S Silent Edition with Tempered Glass

    The Eclipse P400S has the noise-dampening foam and solid front panel featured in so many other so-called "quiet" cases, but it also has a streamlined interior designed for today's PCs. By reducing the number of drive bays to a minimum, it achieves optimal airflow and minimum noise. A system packed with hard drives wasn't going to be quiet anyway, so good riddance! This stylish model even includes a full-width tempered glass side panel and user-controllable LED lighting for the power button, front panel downlight, and interior LED strip.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Would you like your system to offer a bit more bling? No problem! Phanteks offers this case with a variety of color schemes, including a flashy red-on-black model and a sleek white-on-black model.

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-550FX

    For the Quiet Gamer, we want a power supply that offers high efficiency and low noise. Enter the new FX series from Seasonic, the best name in power supply design. It offers a hybrid fan that shuts off at low loads, fully-modular cables, which means you'll only use the cables you need, and it's backed by a 10-year warranty.

    The Guru's Tip:

    A 550W power supply has plenty of capacity to support this system, which will use around 250W at full load at stock settings. That gives you plenty of room for overclocking, and more importantly, means the the PSU won't work as hard, leading to quieter operation.

    CPU Cooler:

    Arctic Freezer 33

    This new cooler from Arctic the perfect fit for a quiet gaming PC, offering a semi-passive mode, as well as an ultra-high-quality fan for silent operation. And it's one of the very few coolers on the market to include the AMD AM4 mounting bracket right in the box!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The CPU we recommend for this build does not include a CPU cooler, so make sure to pick this or another model up before starting your build!

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    Windows 8.1 was fast, stable, and secure, but it had a user interface that drove most people crazy. Windows 10 built on all the performance improvements of Windows 8.1 while bringing back a functional start menu, similar to Windows 7, but with enhanced functionality. Microsoft also released DirectX 12 alongside its latest operating system, a graphics programming interface that is giving developers new ways to tap into hardware to provide unprecedented levels of image quality.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Because this build doesn't have an optical drive, this flash drive version of Windows is the easiest way to install your OS. Luckily, it comes with a side benefit: it will install in around 5 minutes, thanks to the fast USB 3.0 interface.

Optional Components

    The Ultimate Business Keyboard:

    Corsair Strafe MX Silent

    Featuring Cherry's MX Silent switches, the Corsair Strafe is the quietest keyboard on the market. But being a legitimate mechanical keyboard, it also has the responsiveness serious typists crave.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model has adjustable red backlighting, which can easily be turned off if you'd prefer a "blacked out" system.

    The Mid-Range Gaming Mouse:

    Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse

    The best low-cost mouse on the market, Corsair's Harpoon offers a fast sensor, on-the-fly DPI switching, a full range of buttons, and RGB lighting.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Corsair's excellent CorsairLink 2 software allows you to control lighting and speed of your mouse.

    The 24-inch G-Sync Gaming Monitor:

    Acer XB241H

    If you're serious about gaming, you want a G-Sync monitor, which allows refresh rates to sync with frames per second output by the video card. That means no lag, no frame tearing, and buttery-smooth rendering, practically regardless of framerates. Luckily, at the monitor's 1920 x 1080 resolution, the GTX 1060 will often be very close to the 100fps sweetspot where G-Sync really takes off.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While 60fps has long been the target for gaming, G-Sync means that this number is now basically arbitrary.