Mainstream gaming PC build guide: The best PC parts you need for gaming in 2022

Mainstream gaming PC build guide: The best PC parts you need for gaming in 2022

If you’re in the market to build a new gaming PC, then you just landed on the right page. We already have a couple of other PC guides including one for the enthusiast gaming PC build and for an Intel-based streaming PC build. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the best PC parts you can grab on the market for a mainstream gaming PC build. These are the components we recommend now at the start of 2022 to anyone who’s looking to put together a decent gaming rig that balances price and performance.

Yes, we’re completely aware of the ongoing GPU shortage and their inflated pricing on the market. Graphics cards are still absurdly over-priced, but we’re expecting things to get better soon. In fact, the GPU prices have already begun to plummet along with the crashing Crypto market. Besides that, you can always use this guide to start procuring other components while you wait for the GPU prices to drop. So without wasting any more time, let’s get started with the guide, shall we?

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Best CPU for mainstream PC build: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Processor

Retail box of the Ryzen 5 5600X CPU on a white background

Yes, we’re going with AMD chip for this build which means we’re sticking to a more affordable Zen 3 chip over the new 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake processor. This is because the Ryzen 5 5600X is a fantastic option in the budget space, especially for gaming. Its six cores and twelve threads may look weak on paper when compared with other chips out there, but it’s only an issue for more serious workloads. In fact, the Ryzen 5 5600X is known to match the general performance of the 5900X for games. A couple of other things we like about this particular chip includes its relatively affordable price tag, the included Wraith Stealth cooler, its support for overclocking, and more. It may not our top pick but the Ryzen 5 5600X is definitely one of the top-performing chips in our collection of the best CPUs on the market.

    The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is a fantastic processor that matches the general performance of more powerful chips when it comes to gaming.

Best graphics card for mainstream PC build: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

A black colored RTX 3060 Ti with a dual fan design

It’s damn near impossible to find the RTX 3060 Ti in stock right now, let alone at its $399 retail price. But in an ideal world, this is the graphics card we’d consider for this build. There’s a lot to like about the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. While it’s touted to be a replacement for the RTX 2060 Super, there’s no denying that it matches the general performance of an RTX 2080 Super. In fact, it even handily beats the 2080 Super a bunch of benchmarks and real-world tests. It’s a remarkable GPU for 1440p gaming that also offers decent ray-tracing performance.

    The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a remarkable 1440p graphics card with impressive ray-tracing performance.

Best motherboard for mainstream PC build: ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming

A black-colored ASUS motherboard with subtle RGB lights

The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F gaming is our choice of motherboard for this particular build. This board is already a part of our best AMD motherboards list, so this was an easy recommendation for us. It’s worth pointing out that it’s not the cheapest motherboard for the Ryzen 5 5600X, but it keeps the upgrade path open for the PC. This particular motherboard also offers an extensive set of features including a robust 14+2 power stage, m.2 heatsinks, top-end networking features, and more. The general performance of the motherboard is pretty good and it matches a lot of x570 chipset-based boards out there.

    The ASUS ROG Strix B550-E gaming is already a top pick in our collection of the best AMD motherboards. It works well with the Ryzen 5 5600X and also keeps the upgrade path for the PC to grow in the future.

Best memory kit for mainstream PC build: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200

Silver colored Ripjaws memory module installed on a motherboard

Picking a reliable pair of DDR4 RAM kits is a fairly straightforward task. There’s no shortage of DDR4 memory kits on the market now, and we’ve picked the G.Skill Ripjaws V Series kit. The goal here for this particular build was to pick a kit with DDR4-3000 or higher with tight timings. The G.Skill Ripjaws offers impressive performance at a relatively affordable price, so this would be a solid addition to the build. Alternatively, you can also check out our collection of the best DDR4 RAM kits on the market to find other reliable options.

    The G.Skill Ripjaws Series V RAM kit is a solid addition to this build. These DDR4-3200 sticks work well with the Ryzen 5 5600X to deliver reliable performance for a variety of workloads.

Best storage drive: Western Digital Blue SN550 PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD

An image showing a WD SN550 Blue NVMe M.2 SSD installed on a motherboard

The Western Digital Blue SN550 is one of the most reliable SSDs out there, and it also happens to be one of our picks for the best M.2 SSDs you can buy on the market right now. For less than $45 for a 500GB stick, the WD Blue SN550 offers plenty of features including high sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,400MB/s and 1,750MB/s, respectively. While we aren’t recommending any other storage drive to keep the overall cost of the PC low, you can also choose a little extra to either get a higher capacity drive or just simply add a hard disk drive for more storage.

    The Western Digital Blue SN550 is a reliable m.2 drive that works well with a variety of motherboards and offers decent speeds.

Best PSU: Corsair RM650x 80 Plus Gold Modular Power Supply Unit

A black colored modular PSU with 650W power

Based on the parts that we’ve picked for this particular build, we think a 650W power supply unit should be enough to power all the components. As such, we’ve picked the Corsair RM650x PSU with an 80 Plus Gold rating. This is also one of the few reliable modular PSU options out there in this price range, which is great. We always recommend picking up a modular PSU over a non-modular option as it’ll be a lot easier for you to build the PC.

    The Corsair RM650x is a fully modular PSU that delivers reliable power to the PC. It also comes with an 80 Plus Gold rating making it better than a lot of options out there.

Best PC case: Phanteks Eclipse 360A mid-tower PC case

A black-colored PC case with RGB lights on the front

A quick look at our collection of the best PC case will give you plenty of PC case options for your build. From high-end full tower cases to entry-level mid-tower cases, our collection includes a lot of great options. For this build, however, we’re going with the Phanteks Eclipse 360A mid-tower case. One of the best things about this particular PC case is that it comes with two 120mm D-RGB PWM fans pre-installed out of the box. Additionally, there’s space to add more case fans and even radiators for AIO coolers if you plan on adding a high-end liquid CPU cooler in the future.

    The Phanteks Eclipse P360A is a solid PC case for budget builds. It comes with two RGB fans and an RGB light strip along the side panel.

Mainstream gaming PC build guide: Price Summary

Here’s a quick look at the pricing summary based on the parts that we’ve picked for this guide. It’s worth pointing out that these prices are subject to change based on the availability of stocks. The table below reflects the price at the time of writing this article.

Component Listed Price
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Processor $259
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti $399
ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming motherboard $189
G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 RAM $65
Western Digital Blue SN550 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD $43
Corsair RM650x 80 Plus Gold Modular PSU $85
Phanteks Eclipse P360A $80
Total $1120

Note: The price summary, as you can see, doesn’t include accessories or peripherals. We recommend picking those up separately based on your budget. We’re adding a bunch of links to some of our collection articles towards the end, so be sure to check them out. Even though the Phanteks case comes with its own case fans, we recommend buying at least another fan to use as an exhaust. Additionally, we also recommend picking up a thermal paste syringe just to have it at your disposal for the build. Both the case fan and the thermal paste syringe are relatively affordable, so we’re not adding them to the summary.

Mainstream gaming PC build guide: Final Thoughts

Besides the graphics card, we think you should be able to get your hands on almost every other component without any issues. You can simply hit the link below each item to check the best price online and buy them. As we mentioned earlier, we’re hoping the GPU prices to go down further over the next couple of months. But if you don’t mind buying a prebuilt system, then you can use our guide to customize the build and get it delivered without having to wait or pay inflated prices.

If you’re looking for other peripherals for your build, then be sure to check out our collection articles including the best monitors, best gaming headset, and more. Alternatively, you can also join our XDA Computing Forums to discuss your build and potentially get more product recommendations. Good luck!

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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