Quiet Gamer

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

For August 2019, this build is better than ever, thanks to huge new product releases, plus plummeting prices on everything else. It all starts with the brand-new Ryzen 5 3600 CPU from AMD, which blasts past its Intel rivals with the latest Zen 2 architecture based on a 7nm manufacturing node. It's backing up the brand-new GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB video card, which is powerful, quiet, and efficient. It can easily handle resolutions up to 2560 x 1440, and will even push up to 4K in many games, making it a true high-end gaming card. As for the other components, this system is loaded up with 16GB of fast DDR4 RAM, an amazing PCIe-based 1TB solid-state drive, an ultra-quiet cooler, and an efficient Gold-rated power supply. The icing on the cake is the stylish Phanteks P400S case, which uses silent fans and sound-dampening material to keep things quiet. 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 24" gaming monitor.

Need help building your system? Check out our step-by-step guide to building a mid-range PC. You can also see what this build looks like when fully souped-up by flipping over to The Gallery, where one of our readers has shared his build experience. 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 - August 2019

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 5 3600

    The brand-new Ryzen 5 3600 is now by far the best CPU ever released at its pricepoint, offering up 6 cores and 12 threads, and boost speeds of over 4GHz right out of the box. It's a true powerhouse, easily beating anything Intel can muster in this price range, thanks to its advanced Zen 2 architecture and 7nm manufacturing technology.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that as with all AMD processors, this one comes with a great cooler, but for extreme quiet and improved boost levels, you'll want to pick up the quieter aftermarket model recommended in the options section at the end of this guide.

    Motherboard:

    Gigabyte X570 Gaming X

    Offering cutting-edge features at a reasonable price, this X570-based board has dual PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots for high-speed solid-state drives, eight USB ports, and five expansion slots.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you must use an X570 board to boot up the Ryzen 5 3600 CPU. Older B450 and X470 boards will not have the proper firmware to support 3000-series chips out of the box.

    Video Card:

    Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Super Gaming OC 8G

    NEWS FLASH! There's never been a better time to be a gamer, thanks to massive competition between Nvidia and AMD in the mid-range market. As a result, you can get the brand-new RTX 2060 Super 8GB at the $400 pricepoint. It offers speed that nearly matches the more expensive RTX 2070, along with an extremely quiet cooler (unlike AMD's competing cards).

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that this card has just hit the market, so you may need to backorder it to get your hands on one.

    Memory:

    Ballistix 2x8GB Sport LT DDR4-3200 CL16

    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, looks great, and is guaranteed to work with the Ryzen platform, thanks to its single-rank design. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    This kit's DDR4-3200 rating will take effect once the AMP profile is selected in the motherboard UEFI. It will translate to much higher performance than DDR4-2133.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Intel SSD 660p 1TB PCIe

    Thanks to an all-out price war in the SSD market, prices keep dropping on high-quality drives. This model is now the drive to beat in the mid-range market. Featuring cutting-edge QLC NAND combined with the PCIe interface, it makes a mockery of SATA drives at the same pricepoint. And since it comes in the ultra-small M.2 form factor, it's a perfect pick for this build - it will slot right into the motherboard without the need for any cables. And of course, being solid-state, it will make absolutely no noise!

    The Guru's Tip:

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

    Case:

    Phanteks Eclipse P400S Silent Edition with Tempered Glass

    The P400S is the perfect low-cost case for a quiet gaming system. The solid front panel and acoustic padding reduces noise reaching the user, while the dual 120mm fans runs quietly to provide airflow.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case comes in a number of very attractive colors, all available from the product page linked here.

    Power Supply:

    Seasonic SSR-550FM

    For the Quiet Gamer, we want a power supply that offers high efficiency and low noise. This fantastic model offers a hybrid fan that shuts off at low loads, semi-modular cables for a tidier interior, and a 7-year warranty.

    The Guru's Tip:

    A 550W power supply has plenty of capacity to support this system, which will use draw around 300W 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 34 eSports

    This cooler is the perfect pick for a quiet gaming PC. It offers exceptionally low noise levels despite excellent cooling capability. And of course it has an AMD AM4 bracket right in the box!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The CPU we recommend for this includes an effective CPU cooler, but this one will be much quieter, and will even allow it to auto-boost to higher speeds without touching any settings!

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    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:

    This USB 3.0 version installs in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

    Wireless Card:

    TP-LINK Archer T6E AC1300

    Add high-speed wireless networking to your build with this awesome drop-in card from TP-Link, which offers AC1300 speeds.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Avoid the tiny USB WiFi adapters that are all over the 'Net - they may be super-tiny, but they are also super-slow!

    The Gaming Keyboard/Mouse Combo:

    Corsair Gaming K55 Keyboard + Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse

    Combo Discount! Score a great deal on a great gaming keyboard and mouse with the K55/Harpoon combo, both offering programmable RGB effects and great responsiveness. Buying them separately would cost $80!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The RGB effects on this keyboard can be programmed using Corsair's iCUE software, and can even be sync'd with the mouse we recommend below!

    The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor:

    Acer XFA240

    If you're serious about gaming, you want a high-refresh rate monitor, and for an ultra-smooth experience, you need frame-syncing technology. And this model features AMD's FreeSync, which provides frame-syncing between the monitor refresh rate and the video card's frame rate. Translation: ultra-smooth gaming on this 24" 1080p TN panel with its 144Hz refresh rate. It's a true gaming monitor at a mainstream price!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Nvidia's latest GeForce drivers enable AMD's FreeSync, so you'll have no trouble using this FreeSync monitor with the RTX 2060 Super.