Why a Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build?
When I first heard about Ryzen I started reading and watching video reviews and benchmarking results. This piqued my interest to say the least. Then I learned of the cost of these new processors, especially the Ryzen 3 1200, and was rather impressed. I thought to myself, “Can a cheap processor actually beat Intel’s i5 lineup?”. So my Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build began.
While I have a very limited budget to work with I decided to utilize my PayPal credit to buy a few parts and pay it off over the course of a couple of weeks. Since Ryzen’s release this worked out well and was able to complete my Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build sooner rather than later.
Although, I have to admit…
I had a few horrible experiences with AMD processors around 2000 and 2001 so vowed to never use one again. And I haven’t! While I don’t recall exactly what issues I had, been a few years since then, I do recall having both hardware and software issues. But I figured it was time to give them another try.
Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build Parts List
After much consideration I decided to go with Gigabyte’s GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 Micro ATX motherboard. Cost was $79.99.
Well, obviously I went with the Ryzen 3 1200 since that’s the title of my build. Cost was $109.99.
Most pre-built Ryzen budget builds go with 8GB of memory, but that’s really not enough these days when Windows consumes almost half that. I went with G.Skill Flare X Series 16GB 2400MHz for $139.41.
Being a budget build, but still wanting some GPU power, I went with Gigabyte’s GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB memory. Coast was $154.99.
I had a Kingston SSDNow V300 240GB drive laying around so decided to use it for this. On a budget build this wouldn’t be included by the price when I got it was $79.99.
Picked up a Western Digital 1TB Performance hard drive on sale for $68.99. Great secondary drive but also great on budget for primary drive too.
My test Ryzen 3 1200 build wasn’t going to need a lot of power so just went with EVGA’s 550W G2 for $89.99. Good enough for testing other build variations too.
I came across the Thermaltake’s Core V21 awhile back and seemed like a nice case. Maybe a little to big for mATX but has great airflow. Cost was $57.99.
Went with Windows 10 Pro for this at a cost of $139.99.
Overall cost including the Kingston SSD boot drive is $921.33 excluding monitor, keyboard and mouse. While most may not consider this to be a budget build, and I’d agree, it is the minimum specifications I’d recommend.
Why I recommend this setup
Unless you’re are hardcore gamer, which this wouldn’t be enough for you either, the items I selected for my Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build will easily last 3+ years and perform admirably. Plus it has the benefits of rather large upgrades to the processor, memory and video board allowing you to extend it’s longevity.
Want a true Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Build?
If a customer truly wanted a “budget” build and wasn’t planning on gaming with it then I would swap out the above with an ASRock motherboard, 8GB memory, Radeon RX 550, no SSD, 450W Power Supply and a cheaper case. That drops the price to $643.21 and if you don’t mind a Windows watermark on the lower right of your screen the price could be as low as $503.22. But, again, I really wouldn’t recommend it.
With less than 8GB of memory your system will bog down eventually, probably sooner rather than later. With just some basic software running on my current system (Avast AntiVirus, Adobe Creative Cloud) it is utilizing 4.6GB of memory. That doesn’t leave much for other processes if you only have a total of 8GB available.
Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build Benchmarks
- Preset: Custom
- API: DirectX 11
- Quality: High
- Tessellation: Disabled
- Stereo 3D: Disabled
- Multi-monitor: Disabled
- Anti-aliasing: x2
- Full screen at 1920 by 1080
From 3DMark, “Cloud Gate is a new test that is designed for Windows notebooks and typical home PC’s. Cloud Gate includes two graphics tests and a physics test. Cloud Gate uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 10 making it suitable for testing DirectX 10 compatible hardware.”.
As with all results you’ll see here, I was a little surprised, until I realized that overclocking on a mATX motherboard may result in the video board not getting enough juice. Results using a full size ATX motherboard would probably show better results.
One thing to note is the physics test is primarily CPU intensive. So the overclocking definitely gives it a little boost to take the lead in the overall 3DMark Score.
While I only ran each test once or twice, I’ll have to go back and retest some of these exaggerated results to see if they were remotely close to being accurate. Unfortunately this company is just my side job/hobby and it took me many days to get to this point. But I’ll try and retest them in the very near future.
From 3DMark, “Sky Diver is a DirectX 11 benchmark for gaming laptops and mid-range PC’s. Use 3DMark Sky Diver to benchmark systems with mainstream graphics cards, mobile GPU’s, or integrated graphics. It is especially suitable for DirectX 11 systems that cannot achieve more than a single-digit frame rates in the more demanding Fire Strike test.”.
With that said, think I’m just going to let the charts speak for themselves the rest of this article as it’ll get way to long.
Not much of an anomaly in the above graphics score and tests. Can really see the overclocked processor taking the lead.
From 3DMark, “Time Spy is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PC’s. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built “the right way” from the ground up to a fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API feautres like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal test for benchmarking the latest graphics cards.”.
While the GTX 1050 is a newer card it’s definitely not got the muscle to perform well in this test. However, I wanted to include it as an additional benchmark. Check out the charts below.
Overview taken from Unigine’s web site, “Heaven Benchmark is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. This powerful tool can be effectively used to determine the stability of a GPU under extremely stressful conditions, as well as check the cooling system’s potential under maximum heat output.
- Extreme hardware stability testing
- Accurate results due to 100% GPU-bound benchmarking
- Support for DirectX 9, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0
- GPU temperature and clock monitoring
- Comprehensive use of adaptive hardware tessellation
- Dynamic sky with volumetric clouds and tweakable day-night cycle
- Real-time global illumination and screen-space ambient occlusion
- Support for stereo 3D and multi-monitor configurations
- Cinematic and interactive fly/walk-through camera modes
Well there’s another anomaly, this time with the overclocked 3.5GHz test. I’ll get this retested as soon as possible. As you can see with the results the overclocked 3.75GHz takes the lead, however small it may be. Not much variance in the FPS chart either.
This makes me wonder if I had a stronger video board to test with (along with a full sized ATX motherboard) would there be larger gaps in the results. Well, your results may vary but I was actually impressed with the Ryzen 3 1200 processor. Not at first but once I got to overclocking it to 3.5GHz and 3.75GHz Windows 10 Pro definitely was loading quicker. I believe, overall, this is a very nice processor for it’s price.
And speaking of a more powerful video board, how about a couple more charts.
Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build vs Intel i5-6600
The data from the following 2 charts takes a i5-6600 3.3GHz toe-to-toe against my Ryzen 3 1200 Budget Gaming Build running at 3.75GHz. The i5 currently has a water cooled GTX 1070 so obviously that’ll skew the results in the first chart…
Okay, like I said, 1070 vs a 1050 Ti really is no competition. But take a look at the Physics Score. The Ryzen comes in at 7,544 vs the i5 at 7,874. At the time of this writing it’s a $109.99 Ryzen CPU against a $263.99 i5 CPU… which would you buy?
And, with that last chart, I’ll close with this… as the number of threads increased, the gap decreased. And the difference in video board’s didn’t make as big a difference as it did in the previous chart. I’ll be picking up a cheap Ryzen 5 1400 to do more testing in the near future.