$1,150 Workstation/Gaming PC with the Ryzen 7 1700

R7 1700

To celebrate the release of the Ryzen 7 1700, we’ve put together an example PC build that will get the most out of AMD’s new CPU. With an insanely low TDP of 65W for an 8-core CPU, this should be an interesting one!

This PC is excellent for many workstation applications, such as video editing, and it’s even a very good gaming PC. Below are parts recommendations, along with budget options or more powerful alternatives. The standard build totals $1,150.

CPU: Ryzen 7 1700 ($329)

With this guide, we are building around the Ryzen 7 1700. Let’s see what the R7 1700 brings to the table.

  • Clock: 3.0GHz (3.7GHz boost)
  • Cores: 8-cores, 16 threads
  • Cache: 4 MB/16 MB (L2/L3)
  • Socket Type: AM4
  • TDP: 65W

This is such an interesting beast of a CPU for builders. 8 cores and 16 threads, and only 65W of power use!

It is overclockable, too. Unlike the R7 1700X and 1800X, the 1700 does not come with the new auto-overclocking feature, XFR. So if you want to overclock, it will have to be the old-fashioned way.

Cooler: Stock or an Upgrade Option Below ($0-$142)

Unlike the other processors in the Ryzen 7 range, the 1700 comes with its own cooler! If you’re not planning on overclocking, the included AMD Wraith Spire will keep the CPU cool and quiet without needing to get a separate CPU heatsink. It looks nice, too.

AMD Wraith Spire

Air cooling upgrade options: Noctua NH-U12S ($60) or Noctua NH-D15 ($90)

If you want to try your hand at overclocking, you will want an upgraded CPU cooler.

Initial overclocking tests with the 1700 have shown decent success. The first comes out of the Overclockers UK, who managed to get a stable overclock of 4.05GHz with an ASUS Crosshair VI Hero motherboard. A lot of other boards maxed at around 3.8 or 3.9GHz which is still a nice jump on a $329 processor.

These Noctua models have been around for a while, and are widely recommended for their excellent performance. You’ll see them regularly on our main parts page because of this. I have linked to the new listings for both, which come with the AM4 adaptor plate and screws. Noctua will also ship you these upgrade kits free of charge if you already own one of their models. They also state that you will be able to purchase these kits standalone from retailers for $7.90. AMD also likes the U12S so much that they sent it out with the press reviewer kits!

For picking between the two, use the U12S cooler if you are not planning on much in the way of overclocking the 1700. It has enough performance where you can still enjoy the full boost and have room above that for some overclocking, while keeping things cool and quiet. Jump up to the D15 if you’re wanting to push the overclocking limits!

Water cooling upgrade option: Corsair Hydro Series H110i ($142)

If you really want to push the limits of overclocking, the H110i is a solid setup. The large 280mm radiator provides excellent heat dissipation. Compared to the NH-D15 air cooler, the H110i will keep the CPU about 10% cooler, and be just as quiet. To make life easy, Corsair provide Corsair Life monitoring software, so you can see what is going on in the case right from your desktop.

Motherboard: MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON ($180)

MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon

Supports dual GPUs in SLI or Crossfire. Looks nice, with RGB LEDs. Good onboard audio. Two M.2 slots for fast SSDs.

Budget option: ASUS B350-Plus ($100)

All the basic features most people would want: USB 3.1, an M.2 slot, plenty of SATA and USB ports. You can still overclock the 1700 with this board, as well as use 3200MHz (OC) RAM. It is an ideal board for anyone only using a single GPU, while still wanting all modern ports.

Heavy overclocking option: ASUS Crosshair VI Hero ($255)

If you really want to push both the processor and the RAM, spend a little bit more onto this motherboard. Better audio, a ton of ports, great build quality. It’s expensive, but the power performance and stability is why this is being used by overclockers to show the maximum clocks of the new Ryzen 7 range. You’re paying for the best and it shows.

RAM: 16GB 3000MHz ($110)

16GB is plenty of RAM for all games, and to have stuff open in the background at the same time. 3000 speed is a good combination of performance and price.

Many RAM kits right now won’t run at maximum speed with Ryzen. This is normal for new CPU launches. Improved DDR4 compatibility and performance should come in the months following launch.

What that means for us builders is this:

  • If you are filling all four slots on your motherboard, set your speed to 2400MHz. You may be able to get it to run faster, or may not.
  • If using two RAM sticks, put them in the A2/B2 slots (check your motherboard manual) and a max of 3200MHz should be possible.

It’s worth checking compatibility lists provided by the motherboard manufacturer.

Budget option: 8GB 2400Mhz single stick ($52)

8GB is an acceptable budget option. 8GB is enough for any game, but you’ll want to close down your browser or whatever else you may have open in the background first.

Upgrade option: 32GB 3000Mhz kit ($229)

Useful for video editing, or having way too many things open at once.

An important note on the 3000/3200Mhz Kits

When you install the RAM, it may show as running at 2133MHz. You need to enable the full speed in your BIOS. Look for an “XMP” setting, or manually set the voltage, timings, and frequency (in that order).

GPU: RX 480 4GB ($195)

The RX 480 is a great value. You’ll be able to get 60+ FPS in almost all games maxed out at 1080p, and many at 1440p.

Budget option: GTX 1050 ($109) GTX 1050 Ti ($139)

If you don’t need much GPU power, the GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti both do a good job gaming at 1080p and ensure your PC executes any necessary graphics processing for normal use.

Upgrade options: GTX 1070 ($370) or GTX 1080 ($590)

The GTX 1070 provides a lot of performance. Get 144 FPS in most games at 1920×1080 resolution, 60+ FPS at 1440p and playable at 4K.

If you have that high quality 4K/VR itch, the GTX 1080 is a nice upgrade, and will let you game smoothly in VR or with a 4K screen. Two 1070s in SLI provides great value for maxing out games and getting 60+ FPS at 4K, but won’t work as well for VR.

Solid State Drive: SK Hynix 250GB ($90)

Use this as your drive for installing your operating system and some of your important software. It has excellent performance for the price, and will make your whole system feel snappy.

Upgrade option: Samsung 960 EVO 500GB PCIe M.2 SSD ($265)

Because sometimes the standard SSD speed isn’t enough. With a max read of 3200 MB/s, and max write 1500 MB/s, this has scary fast data speeds. Feel free to splurge on the 1TB version and put everything on there.

Remember that this does not connect with a SATA port. Your motherboard needs to have the specific M.2 connection to use this! (Our recommended motherboards here have M.2.)

Hard Drive: 2TB HGST ($56)

This is relatively cheap, reliable storage. Get as many of these as you need, or get something bigger.

Power Supply: 750W EVGA Supernova G2 ($100)

EVGA 750 G2

I personally really like the whole G2 range from EVGA. They’re reliable, have an excellent efficiency rating and have a lot of system protections in place. This is more than enough power for an overclocked CPU, single graphics card, and anything else you want to throw into your build. The 650W version would be fine too, but it’s not much of a cost savings.

Unlike the AMD CPUs of old, the 1700 isn’t a power hog. But remember that if you want to use two graphics cards, you’re going to need more power. If you overclock the 1700 and tweak your RAM, you’re going to need a solid performing unit to provide stable power for both.

Upgrade option: 860W Corsair AX860 ($170)

For adding a second graphics card and doing serious overclocking, it’s worth paying a little bit extra for an even more powerful, higher quality power supply.

Case: Phanteks P400S ($80)

Phanteks P400S

The Phanteks P400S is a superb case when it comes to build quality, cable management, and sleek aesthetics.

As far as cases go, it is a dangerous game recommending a case to someone. With anything aesthetic, everyone has their own preferences.

Budget option: Corsair Carbide 100R ($50)

Upgrade option: Cooler Master HAF X ($180)

My own preference for full size, high-end builds for the longest time now. Superb modular design, great airflow.

Extras

There are a few extras that you might need to finish off these builds:

  1. A copy of Windows. If you are a student or work for a big business, you might be able to get a copy for free or at a significantly lower cost. If not, we recommend Windows 10 on DVD ($90) or USB ($120).
  2. An optical drive – critical if you are wanting to install Windows 10 via DVD. Good thing here is DVD-RW drives are cheap these days (here’s one for $21). If you are hooking this into a 4K monitor for gaming or movies, you might want to consider buying a Blu-ray drive like this LG model ($59).

We also have recommendations for:

If you want to see other builds with even higher performance, check out the main page at Logical Increments.

There you have it, some recommended parts based around the performance of the Ryzen 7 1700. If you have any questions or suggestions about these parts, then let us know in the comments.