Building a PC with the Ryzen 5 1600X and 1600

The 6-core Ryzen 5 1600X and 1600 are an interesting pair for PC builders.

For both gaming and content creation, having a 6-core/12-thread CPU for the $220-250 price point is excellent. As such, we’re going to create two powerful example builds to give you an idea for what you can make yourself.

The 1600X and 1600 can be used interchangeably with the two builds, so feel free to swap as you see fit!


Ryzen 5 1600X Build ($1,315)

Initial reviews of the $250 1600X are showing it competing very well against Intel’s $240 i5-7600K in multi-threaded applications. With 12 threads, the 1600X simply outpaces the 7600K’s 4 threads in heavily threaded workloads. For gaming, the 1600X and 7600K trade blows, with the 1600X prevailing in games where multi-threaded performance is more important, but falling behind in games oriented toward single-threaded performance.

Overall, the 1600X is heavily disrupting the mainstream CPU space, and should definitely be considered for your next build.

This build will squeeze every bit of performance out of the 1600X, which is designed for mid-range, mainstream PCs that optimize bang-for-buck.

CPU: Ryzen 5 1600X ($250)

  • CPU: 6-cores / 12-threads
  • Clock: 3.6GHz (4.0GHz boost with XFR)
  • Cache: 3MB L2 / 16MB L3+
  • TDP: 95W
  • Cooler: None

The showcase hexa-core in the Ryzen 5 range comes complete with a much higher base clock and XFR for excellent overclocking performance.

 

Motherboard: ASUS Prime X370 Pro ($160)

This motherboard comes with everything you need for a PC in this price range.

 

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9x65 ($45)

As our particular CPU does not come with any cooler from AMD, we need a simple cooling solution. This will get the job done.

 

GPU: GTX 1070 ($380)

The GTX 1070 provides the best bang-for-buck of any graphics card. A great match for a serious gaming PC using the 1600X.

Alternatively, the GTX 1060 6GB ($240) and RX 480 4GB ($210) are also fantastic choices with a lower price tag. For even more power, consider the GTX 1080 ($550) or 1080 Ti ($700).

 

RAM: 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 ($135)

16GB of high-speed DDR4 RAM will allow you to multitask like a lunatic without going way overboard on the price.

 

SSD: 250GB Samsung 850 EVO ($95)

Samsung 850 EVO

 

One of the fastest SATA SSDs, the 850 EVO will give our build a nice snappy feel and short loading times. 250GB is a good size for holding Windows and a few games, but feel free to get a larger drive if you want.

 

Hard Drive: 2TB 7200RPM ($65)

2TB storage is nice and cheap these days. Feel free to get a larger or smaller drive, depending on how much storage you want.

 

Power Supply: EVGA GQ 650W ($72)

650W is plenty of power for this PC. This EVGA GQ is quiet, stable, and reliable. Considering upgrading if you plan to use two GPUs.

 

Case: Enthoo Pro ($100)

Enthoo Pro

Finishing off our build is the great Enthoo Pro from Phanteks. It provides everything you need for a PC in this price range. Good airflow, lots of space, good build quality, quiet. If you prefer a different style, feel free to choose any ATX (not mATX or ITX) case.

 

Total Ryzen 5 1600X build cost: $1,315

There’s an awful lot of power in here for your money. The good thing is that even with all of this, there’s still plenty of options for upgrading down the line. You could add another GTX 1070 to get SLI gaming, doubling your RAM or indeed jumping up to a bigger Ryzen processor.

That all being said, this is a great, powerful PC for the money.


Ryzen 5 1600 Build ($875)

At $30 lower in price, the Ryzen 5 1600 also clocked considerably lower than the 1600X and lacks XFR. But it does come with a stock cooler, and it sips significantly less power to operate.

Like our 1600X build, this one is focused on optimizing performance-for-price and generally being well-balanced for gaming and content creation. The 1600 still runs circles around the Intel i7-7700K (and i5-7600K) in multi-threaded applications, despite being significantly cheaper than the i7. However, the Intel chips have the upper-hand in single-core performance. Check benchmarks on your desired games and applications before making a decision.

CPU: Ryzen 5 1600 ($220)

  • CPU: 6-cores / 12-threads
  • Clock: 3.2GHz (3.6GHz boost)
  • Cache: 3MB L2 / 16MB L3+
  • TDP: 65W
  • Cooler: Wraith Spire

The standard hexa-core comes without XFR and a slightly lower clock but if you’re just after a great priced 6-core CPU you really can’t go wrong here. It comes complete with AMD’s cooler (the Wraith Spire) and with only a 65W TDP we have a powerful chip with small power requirements.

 

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-AB350 ($100)

With lots of features for the price, this is solid pick for a Ryzen 5 CPU.

 

GPU: RX 480 4GB ($210)

The RX 480 is a fantastic GPU for the price. Max out any game at 1080p resolution, and many games at 1440p.

 

RAM: 16GB 3000MHz DDR4 ($115)

We’re sticking with 16GB of RAM for this build, but saving a few bucks by going with slightly slower sticks. To save more money, you could reduce to 8GB or get an even slower speed.

 

SSD: 120 GB PNY ($50)

With enough storage for your OS and a few critical applications, this SSD will provide significant performance speed for little cost. If you think you’ll want more storage space, opt for a bigger-capacity drive.

 

Hard Drive: 2TB 7200RPM ($65)

2TB is plenty for most people. Get more if you’ll need it.

 

PSU: SeaSonic S12II 620W ($50)

A bronze-rated power supply that provides enough power alongside great value.

 

CPU Cooler: Stock

The 1600 comes with a good stock cooler, so feel free to use that. If you have your eyes on an aftermarket heatsink, just make sure it’s AM4-compatible.

 

Case: NZXT S340 ($65)

One of the more popular and affordable cases to come out in recent years. Simple and sleek.

 

Ryzen 5 1600 Build Total: $875

What a mini-monster of a PC we have here. The build gets us a genuinely powerful gaming rig for our money, and will comfortably handle any current game we throw at it.


Go Forth and Build!

As mentioned at the start of the article, there are 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).

We also have general 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: Two great example Ryzen 5 hexa-core builds that can provide you with much performance for the cost. If you have any questions or suggestions about these builds, let us know in the comments.