best quiet gaming pc build

Critical Update: if you actually want to start gaming on a new PC any time before Summer 2021, you simply cannot build your own PC. That's because GPUs are sold out worldwide due to the latest cryptocurrency mining crisis. We therefore recommend that all gamers who want a new PC today purchase the pre-built PC we list in this guide. We continue to publish our DIY component picks every month so you know what we'd recommend in theory, but based on current estimates, we believe that GPUs will not be available at retail until June 2021 due to ongoing market constraints.

-----------------------------------------

Want a high-powered Quiet Gaming PC Build that delivers an excellent gaming experience while running in near silence? Then the $1,250 Quiet Gaming PC Build is the system for you! Every component has been chosen to maximize performance in both games and applications, while minimizing noise.

For March 2021, the Quiet Gaming PC Build features Intel's Core i5-10400 six-core, 12-thread CPU, which takes up the challenge thrown down by AMD by delivering all-around better performance per dollar! That's in part because AMD is getting bold and raising prices, meaning Intel is now the value leader. The biggest change to this system, however, comes in the form of the new GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB video card, which is so powerful that it matches the last-gen RTX 2080 Super at a much lower price. This combo can easily handle resolutions up to 2560 x 1440, making this a true high-end gaming PC, even if it's ultra-silent!

As for the other components, the Quiet Gaming PC Build is loaded up with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a big 1TB NVMe solid-state drive, a silent CPU cooler, and an efficient Gold-rated power supply. The icing on the cake is the be quiet! Pure Base 500 case, which will certainly live up to its name by keeping things quiet! We also list a few of our favorite accessories to complete the Quiet Gaming PC build, including a responsive keyboard, a great low-cost mouse, and an excellent 144Hz gaming monitor.

Learn more about this awesome PC in our build overview YouTube video right here, and then click through to YouTube to post any questions!

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 Build Archive.

Throughout this guide, we provide direct shopping links to Newegg or Amazon for our readers in the US, as well as links to Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Germany (with regional substitutions made where necessary). Your use of these links helps keep this guide alive!

The $1,250 Quiet Gaming PC Build - March 2021

The Pre-Built Option

  • The High-End Gaming PC:

    ABS Master 3600X/RTX 3060 Gaming PC @Newegg

    HOT DEAL - JUST RELEASED! This pre-built PC from Newegg's ABS division comes with everything you could possibly want in a high-end gaming PC, but with a mid-range price! That includes an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X six-core, 12-thread processor, the brand-new GeForce RTX 3060 12GB video card (which is impossible to find at retail), plus 16 GB of RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The RTX 3060 offers performance better than the last-gen RTX 2070, and on par with the Radeon RX 5700 XT.

The Build-Your-Own Option

  • CPU:

    Intel Core i5-10400 @Newegg

    The Core i5-10400 offers up six cores, 12 threads, and a very high Turbo speed, which all translates to excellent gaming performance! While AMD had been in the lead for a while, significant price increases, including on existing CPUs, has given Intel the clear advantage in terms of price/performance.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that while this CPU includes a cooler, we recommend an upgraded model later in this guide, which will significantly reduce noise levels.

  • Motherboard:

    AsRock B460 Steel Legend @Newegg

    This feature-packed board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. This includes dual M.2 slots for high-speed SSDs, six USB ports (including a Type-C port), and four expansion slots.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Make sure to use a 400-series motherboard for this build. Older 300-series boards (along with AMD's B450 boards) will not support the CPU we recommend.

  • Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB XC @EVGA

    CRITICAL UPDATE: The new king-of-the-hill in the midrange segment is the RTX 3060 Ti 8GB, which offers simply exceptional performance per dollar. Unfortunately, you can't buy it right now, as it sold out instantly at launch, and will likely remain out of stock until Summer 2021 due to its popularity among cryptocurrency miners. A better alternative is to go with the pre-built PC we recommended earlier in this guide, which will get you gaming right away!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Another option if you're committed to building your own PC right now is using the onboard graphics built into the Intel CPU until you can buy a video card.

  • Memory:

    G.Skill 2x8GB Ripjaws V DDR4-2666 @Newegg

    With 16GB of RAM, you'll have plenty of capacity for any typical task. Why do we choose this kit in particular? It offers great speed for the price thanks to tight timings, rare on 2666 kits.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This kit's DDR4-2666 rating is the highest supported by the CPU in this build, so don't pay more for fancier RAM!

  • Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe

    By far the best drive available at its pricepoint, this XPG 1TB drive features TLC NAND and the incredible PCIe interface to achieve an amazing price/performance ratio. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you'll need a jeweler's-type screwdriver to affix this drive to the motherboard.

  • Case:

    be quiet! Pure Base 500 White Window @Newegg

    Offering fantastic value and quality for under $100, this model combines quiet operation and minimalist styling that truly strikes a balance. It includes 140mm fans in the front and rear for great airflow, plus acoustic padding to reduce noise. We love this case in white, but if that's too bold for you, it's also available in Metallic Grey.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case is also available with a solid side panel, but we really like the look of the glass, and it doesn't let significantly more noise through.

  • Power Supply:

    Silverstone ET550-HG Gold

    For the Quiet PC Gaming Build, we want a power supply that offers high efficiency and low noise. This model offers Gold-rated efficiency, meaning it runs cool and quiet, and it also has semi-modular cables for a much neater build.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Due to current worldwide supply chain issues, many power supplies have sold out across the US. Luckily, this high-quality model is almost always in stock. Please avoid knock-off brands from no-name manufacturers like RaidMax and Apevia.

  • CPU Cooler:

    ARCTIC Freezer 34

    This cooler is the perfect pick for the Quiet Gaming PC Build. Thanks to its advanced design, it offers nearly-silent operation despite excellent cooling capability. It uses our favorite all-around 120mm fan, the excellent Arctic P12 PWM.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The CPU we recommend for this build includes a decent CPU cooler, but this one will be much quieter!

  • Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 on USB @Newegg

    There's no doubt about it: Windows 10 is the best OS ever, and it keeps getting better, with Microsoft offering major features updates every spring and fall.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Windows 10 on USB is only available from Newegg; as an alternative, you can always get it via download - all you need is an 8GB or bigger flash drive to load the image onto.

Optional Components

  • Wireless Card:

    TP-Link Archer T5E AC1200/Bluetooth 4.2

    Need wireless networking? Look no further than this ultra-high-speed 802.11ac PCIe-based card!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model, unlike all of its competitors, includes Bluetooth built in, meaning you can also connect Bluetooth peripherals using this card!

  • The Budget Gaming Keyboard:

    Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

    Pick up a great keyboard at a great price with the G213. It's quick, quiet, and responsive, and it also has sweet RGB backlighting, of course!

    The Guru's Tip:

    To set the keyboard's backlighting, you'll want to download Logitech's GHub software.

  • The Mainstream Gaming Mouse:

    Logitech G502 Hero

    Get a jump on your competition with this awesome gaming mouse from Logitech, which features a next-gen 16,000dpi sensor and a classic ergonomic shape!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Avoid all the knock-off brands that often top the sales charts - they won't come close to offering the same performance and quality.

  • The Mainstream Gaming Headset:

    Corsair HS60 Pro Surround

    While you certainly won't have to drown out the noise coming from the Quiet Gaming PC Build, you'll probably still want a set of headphones, and we recommend Corsair's excellent HS60 Pro Surround headset. Light, comfortable, and stylish without being in your face, it's a great headset for gaming, and can even be used with mobile devices that have a 3.5mm analog jack.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The HS60 Pro Surround offers up a virtual 7.1 Surround mode via an included USB adapter.

  • The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor:

    Acer XFA240

    If you want to pick up a true "gaming" monitor, you want something with a high refresh rate. And this is the very best value out there in high-refresh-rate monitors. It features a 24" 1920x1080 TN panel capable of displaying images at up to 144Hz, which makes it infinitely smoother than a standard 60Hz monitor that costs just a bit less. And thanks to its FreeSync technology, it will run with zero lag or screen-tearing.

    The Guru's Tip:

    AMD's FreeSync tech works on both AMD and Nvidia video cards!