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By Abhay V
PC Build Guide: Budget gaming for around $1,000
by Abhay Venkatesh
With the holiday season now here, various e-commerce and retail shops are offering a bunch of discounts on electronics. While this makes it the best time to purchase gifts for loved ones, it also makes it the best time to configure and build a custom PC for yourself if you are looking to upgrade your aging machine or want to enhance your gaming experience with better specs.
And for those users that are willing to build a custom gaming rig but on a budget, we’ve put together a guide to help you through what components might be the best and where to find it at a discount. It must be noted, however, that discounts change constantly, and components could run out of stock at any time. Additionally, the guide lists the component just for a budget PC and does not include peripherals such gaming keyboard and mouse, and a gaming monitor.
The aim is to build a PC for around $1000 powered by an AMD processor, considering the advantages of better price to performance at a budget and the upgradability. Here are our recommendations:
Motherboard: GIGABYTE B550 AORUS PRO AC
Image credit: Amazon For the motherboard, we suggest going for the B550 AORUS PRO option. While there are a few B450 motherboards that could be had for less, this board provides the flexibility to easily upgrade to a new chip in the future – like the Zen3-based Ryzen 5000 series chips – without the fear of being locked out of PCIe 4.0 on older boards.
Other benefits include support for dual-band Wifi, 2.5G LAN, USB 3.2 Gen2 ports – including one Type-C port, and support for RGB Fusion 2.0. The board also comes with dual M.2 slots.
You can find the AORUS B550 Pro motherboard on Amazon here for $169.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT
Image credit: AMD While the Ryzen 5 3600XT is not from the latest batch of Zen3 line up of chips, it was unveiled only earlier this year and offers slightly higher boost clock speeds than the Ryzen 5 3600. Considering that the successor to this chip could be at least a few months away, and the Ryzen 5000 series more expensive and harder to find, the 3600XT offers a great middle-ground for a budget gaming experience.
As for specifications, the chip comes with six cores and 12 threads at a 95W TDP – higher than the 65W TDP of the Ryzen 5 3600. Of course, the processor can be overclocked depending on users’ needs. It also offers a 35MB “GameCache” with support for up to 3200Mhz memory.
You can find the AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT on Amazon here for $264.
Alternatively, a more affordable offering would be the Ryzen 3 3100, a four-core, eight-thread CPU that brings with it lower clocks, while not sacrificing the flexibility of overclocking. The chip supports PCIe Gen 4 on B550 motherboards.
The Ryzen 3 3100 can be found on Amazon here for about $185. However, at the time of writing, Best Buy has it listed for as low as $99, which is a stellar deal.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB)
Image credit: Corsair The two Corsair 8GB modules bring the benefits of dual-channel memory and a high 3200Mhz speed that can be leveraged by AMD processors. The CL16 kit, however, does not come with RGB goodness, so if you’re looking to add some bling, you might want to opt for the slightly more expensive RGB Pro version, found here on Amazon.
You can find the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB RAM on Amazon here for $63.99.
Storage: Samsung 970 EVO NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
Image credit: Samsung The Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD promises excellent read and write speeds of 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s, respectively, and is currently discounted by $40 to $59, pricing it close to the Crucial P2 M.2 SSD that serves as a budget option with lower speeds. 500 gigs should be a good place to start on a budget. Since the AORUS B550 motherboard features two M.2 slots, upgrading later should not be a problem.
For those that store a lot of data or play many games, a secondary storage option like the Samsung 860 EVO 2.5-inch internal SSD – which tends to retail lower than an M.2 NVMe SSD – will be handy.
You can find the 500GB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD on Amazon here for $59.99.
Alternatively, if the promos on the Samsung SSD run out, you can find the 500GB Crucial P2 M.2 NVMe SSD on Amazon here for $50.99.
GPU: EVGA RTX 2060 KO ULTRA (6GB DDR6)
Image credit: Best Buy The GPU is one area where shelling out a bit more makes a difference when it comes to gaming. While there are a lot of lower-tier options like ASUS’ GTX 1660 Super, or even similarly priced RX 5600 XT offering from Gigabyte, the Turing-based RTX 2060 offering brings ray tracing and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), slightly enhancing the overall gaming experience.
You can find the EVGA - KO ULTRA RTX 2060 GPU on Best Buy here for $329.99.
Alternatively, if you wish to save close to $100 and go for a lower-tier GPU, you can opt for the GTX 1660 Super OC from ASUS on Best Buy here for $229.99.
Power supply: Corsair CX650 (650W)
Image credit: Amazon As the name suggests, the Corsair CX650 is a 650W PSU that is 80+ bronze certified, which should be more than sufficient to power the custom build, even if configured with the RTX 2060. The component is the non-modular type but comes with black cable sleeves for better aesthetics.
You can find the Corsair CX650 80+ Bronze on Amazon here for $79.99.
PC cabinet: Cooler Master MasterBox MB511 ARGB ATX Mid-Tower
Image credit: Cooler Master A gaming PC cannot go without RGB lighting and some bling. Cooler Master’s offering brings an open mesh design in the front that supports most fan sizes. The cabinet also comes with three ARGB 120mm fans, a controller, and allows for up to three 120mm fans or two 140mm fans on the top. A tempered glass side panel allows a complete view of the internals for when you would want to add more RGB components inside the PC.
You can find the Cooler Master MasterBox MB511 ARGB ATX Mid-Tower on Amazon here for $76.49.
Alternatively, those who want to go for a more traditional, subdued PC cabinet without an open design can opt for the Corsair Carbide Series 175R Mid-Tower case here on Amazon for a price of $74.99.
And that should do it for the components needed to build a gaming PC for around a thousand bucks.
Total cost: $1,043.45
Of course, if your budget allows you to splurge on any of the components, you could opt for higher specs in the processor, RAM, or GPU space. However, considering that many of the offerings are seeing discounts this week thanks to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, it is best to act fast if you have an upgrade on the cards.
Image credit: Amazon Lastly, though this is not part of the recommendation list for the sub-$1000 build, there is one good deal on gaming monitors for those of you interested. The 24-inch FullHD AOC 24G2 IPS gaming monitor is currently being offered for $237.49 on Amazon. The monitor is a great choice for 1080p gaming thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync (G-SYNC works but non validated) support, and 1ms response time.
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
Weekend PC Game Deals: More servings of Black Friday and Autumn savings
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Weekend PC Game Deals is where the hottest gaming deals from all over the internet are gathered into one place, every week, for your consumption. So kick back, relax, and hold on to your wallets.
Autumn and Black Friday gaming sales are in full effect, and that means new high-profile bundle appearances have paused for now. Epic Games' freebie promotion is still on a roll though, and to replace the double giveaway from last week arrives MudRunner.
This off-roading simulation game offers an extremely rough terrain sandbox to drive through using aging vehicles. You can try a solo venture or party up with up to three more players for a cooperative 'got-stuck-in-mud' experience. Don't forget to grab The Ridge, The Valley, and Old-timers DLC packs that are available for free on the game's store page as well.
You have until December 3 to claim this freebie before Cave Story+ takes over its spot as the next giveaway.
Free events are currently on break too, and that means we are going straight into our big deals for this weekend. The winter sales are only a couple of weeks away, but if you'd rather not wait, this is a good opportunity to further bolster your games library.
Since the start of the autumn sales last weekend, heavy hitters like Steam have joined in with their huge numbers of discounted wares. We have our highlights list prepared for you below as always, which is a little longer than usual this time:
Half-Life: Alyx VR – $44.99 on Steam Watch Dogs: Legion – $44.99 on Ubisoft Store Wasteland 3 – $41.99 on Steam Sea of Thieves – $29.99 on Steam Marvel's Avengers – $29.99 on Steam Desperados III – $29.99 on Steam Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 – $29.99 on Epic Store Disco Elysium – $27.99 on Steam Halo: The Master Chief Collection – $25.99 on Steam Mafia: Definitive Edition – $25.19 on GreenManGaming Death Stranding – $24.60 on GreenManGaming Satisfactory - Early Access – $23.99 on Steam BONEWORKS VR – $23.99 on Steam Detroit: Become Human – $23.99 on IndieGala SnowRunner – $23.99 on Epic Store Parkitect – $22.49 on Steam STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order – $21.59 on Fanatical Metro Exodus - Gold Edition – $21.44 on Fanatical Arkane 20th Anniversary Bundle – $21.40 on Steam STAR WARS: Squadrons – $21.07 on Fanatical Hades – $19.99 on Steam Hunt: Showdown – $19.99 on Steam GreedFall – $19.99 on Steam Parkasaurus – $19.99 on Steam SpongeBob: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated – $19.79 on Steam ASTRONEER – $19.49 on Steam Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition – $17.99 on Steam Assassin's Creed Odyssey – $17.99 on Steam Control Ultimate Edition – $16.40 on GreenManGaming Outer Wilds – $16.24 on Steam Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – $15.99 on Steam Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition – $15.99 on Steam Untitled Goose Game – $14.99 on Steam Ori and the Will of the Wisps – $14.99 on Steam Carrion – $14.99 on Steam Noita – $14.99 on Steam The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - GOTY Edition – $14.99 on Steam Raft - Early Access – $13.39 on Steam Anno 1800 – $13.19 on Fanatical Valve Complete Pack – $13.14 on Steam Command & Conquer Remastered Collection – $12.99 on Origin Phasmophobia - Early Access – $12.59 on Steam The Surge 2 – $11.99 on Steam Far Cry 5 – $11.99 on Steam Black Mesa – $9.99 on Steam Gears 5 – $9.99 on Steam Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition – $9.99 on Steam PC Building Simulator – $9.99 on Steam Streets of Rogue – $9.99 on Steam Journey – $9.74 on Steam Tom Clancy's The Division 2 – $9 on Ubisoft Store Bayonetta & Vanquish Bundle – $8.98 on Steam Battle Chef Brigade – $7.99 on Steam Into the Breach – $7.49 on Steam Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition – $5.99 on Steam Sunset Overdrive – $4.99 on Steam Sonic Mania – $4.99 on Steam Terraria – $4.99 on Steam Firewatch – $4.99 on Steam Among Us – $3.99 on Steam MudRunner – $0 on Epic Store DRM-free Goodness
The GOG store's Black Friday sale has opened its doors this weekend too, with over 2,600 deals being available until December 1. Also, the DRM-free store's front page has flash sales that offer deeper discounts for various games, with new items rotating in every day at 2PM UTC.
Cuphead - $14.99 on GOG XCOM 2 - $14.99 on GOG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - GOTY Edition - $14.99 on GOG Age of Wonders: Planetfall - $12.49 on GOG Warcraft I & II Bundle - $11.24 on GOG Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition - $9.99 on GOG Prey: Digital Deluxe Edition - $9.99 on GOG Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition - $9.99 on GOG Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition - $9.99 on GOG Wolfenstein: The Two Pack - $8.99 on GOG Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition - $7.99 on GOG Dishonored 2 - $7.99 on GOG Freedom Planet - $7.49 on GOG Blade Runner - $7.49 on GOG Diablo + Hellfire - $7.49 on GOG Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition - $5.99 on GOG Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition - $5.99 on GOG Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition - $5.99 on GOG The Talos Principle: Gold Edition - $5.47 on GOG Hollow Knight - $5.09 on GOG The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - GOTY Deluxe - $4.99 on GOG Caesar 3 - $4.79 on GOG Bridge Constructor Portal - $3.99 on GOG Little Nightmares - $3.99 on GOG The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY Edition - $3.74 on GOG Batman - The Telltale Series - $3.74 on GOG SiN Gold - $3.49 on GOG System Shock 2 - $3.49 on GOG Psychonauts - $2.49 on GOG Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - $2.49 on GOG Return to Castle Wolfenstein - $1.79 on GOG Hocus Pocus - $1.49 on GOG Secret Agent - $1.49 on GOG Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure - $1.49 on GOG Flashback - $0.99 on GOG Keep in mind that availability and pricing for some deals may vary depending on the region you're in.
And that is it for our pick of this weekend's PC game deals folks, and hopefully, some of you have enough self-restraint to not add even more games to your growing backlogs this autumn season. Of course, there is an enormous amount of more deals ready and waiting all over the internet if you comb through it hard enough, so keep your eyes open for those, and have a wonderful weekend.
By Asher Madan
These are the best Xbox games launching next week
by Asher Madan
Every week, a number of games launch on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. However, deciding which ones to purchase can be a difficult decision. We've compiled a list of some of the highly anticipated titles that are launching between November 30 to December 4. The highlight of the next week, of course, is Immortals Fenyx Rising.
Chronos: Before the Ashes
Chronos: Before the Ashes is slated to launch on December 1, priced at $29.99. You can purchase it by going to the Microsoft Store.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is expected to launch on December 4, priced at $39.99. The game runs at 4K resolution on Xbox One X. You can purchase Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age on the Microsoft Store.
Immortals Fenyx Rising
Immortals Fenyx Rising will launch on December 3, starting at $59.99. The game is optimized for Xbox Series X|S. You can purchase it through the Microsoft Store.
Which of these games are you interested in? Let us know in the comments.
By Usama Jawad96
Sony is permanently banning PS5 owners selling access to PlayStation Plus Collection
by Usama Jawad
A major advantage a PlayStation Plus subscription offers to new owners of the PlayStation 5 is immediate access to 20 high-quality PlayStation 4 games. Games such as Uncharted 4, Until Dawn, Bloodborne, God of War, and more are playable at no extra cost under the "PlayStation Plus Collection" umbrella. Once claimed, these games are playable across both the PlayStation 5 and the PlayStation 4. Now, Sony is permanently banning some PlayStation 5 owners for exploiting this offer.
Citing several now-removed forum posts, GamerBraves claims that Sony is issuing permanent bans to PlayStation 5 owners who have been selling access to this collection of games. How this "exploit" works is that some PS5 owners create listings online for fees as low as $8 according to one Malaysian listing, and ask people to share their account credentials to gain access to the collection. Shared credentials can then be used to create an account on a PS5 which also gives that account instant access to the games on the originally associated PS4.
Apart from the fact that this is an exploitative technique which Sony definitely does not want people to employ, the security implications of sharing account credentials with strangers on the internet are enormous.
As such, Sony is handing out bans to players on both sides - sellers and buyers - for engaging in this practice. The report claims that sellers have been issued permanent bans while accounts of buyers have been banned for two months. An account ban entails losing access to all content tied to it, including games purchased using those credentials. For the selling parties, this means permanent loss while for people buying their services, this means that they will be able to access their content from the same account again after two months.
Source: GamerBraves via Push Square
Epic Games Store is hosting a Black Friday Sale, with a MudRunner giveaway
by Vishal Laul
Epic Games Store has put on offer MudRunner to claim and keep for free this week, taking the place of Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door. Also starting today is the Black Friday Sale, hosting discounts for a wide range of titles for this week. Check our weekly gaming deals post this Saturday so you don't miss the best offers.
MudRunner, formerly known as Spintires: Mudrunner, is an all-terrain off-roading simulator that paces players through a variety of locations. With only a map and a compass, players have to traverse through muddy and hilly terrains to reach locations around the map. Here’s how the Epic Games Store describes it:
Epic Games Store is offering MudRunner for players on Windows. Here are the minimum requirements:
If you wish to claim MudRunner, you can find it here. It will be free to claim until December 3, which is when Epic will put on offer Cave Story+ for its next giveaway.