Rich's gaming rig: See what I'm using to play PC games

Thermaltake Core P5
Thermaltake Core P5 (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

I last fully rebuilt my main gaming rig back in 2017 and while I continue to have an internal debate about migrating to AMD Ryzen completely, what I have installed continues to perform above expectations thanks to wiggle room for overclocking. Should you be looking at a PC build that doesn't cost a fortune but offers incredible performance, my setup may inspire you to pick similar components for an enjoyable experience.

Powerful specs

Gaming Rig

Rich's Gaming PC (Image credit: Windows Central)

Bear in mind that this is a system that was built over the course of a year — the two Western Digital drives being the latest additions. The price of GPUs at the moment makes it impossible for me to recommend you purchase a GTX 1070 for more than $1,000. If you're looking for a new GPU, be sure to keep a watchful eye on our deal round-up that may bag you a bargain.

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Operating systemWindows 10$92.99
CPUIntel Core i5-6600K$234
CoolerCustom water-cooling loop~$300
RAM16GB Viper DDR4$189
MotherboardASUS PRO GAMING Z170$138.98
GPUZOTAC AMP! Extreme GTX 1070Why you should avoid GPUs
Storage256GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD1TB Western Digital Blue SSD4TB Western Digital Blue HDD$119.99$249.99$98.99
PSUEVGA 750 G2$119.99
Row 8 - Cell 0 Total:$1,543.93

When it comes to peripherals, I'm currently rocking the following:

Overclocked performance

Gaming Rig

Thanks to the custom water-cooling loop, which sports a 480mm radiator dedicated to the CPU with four fans, I've managed to bump up the CPU to a stable 4.5GHz, achieving a further 28 percent performance. It's possible to go higher (and I've read through various reports of people even hitting 4.8GHz and 5.0GHz) but I don't wish to push the system too far and cause unnecessary damage to the processor.

Even more demanding games like Ark: Survival Evolved and The Witcher 3 run perfectly fine at a stable FPS on highest settings with both the Core i5 CPU and GTX 1070 GPU working in unity. G-Sync simply completes the puzzle. Do I need to further upgrade the system? No, not really. Though an AMD Ryzen processor and motherboard (with faster RAM) would provide better performance, it's not really require right now, not until games make another leap that leaves mid-tier PCs like mine in the dust.

How to build your own gaming PC

Your PC builds

Phanteks P400S

Phanteks P400 (Image credit: Windows Central)

You've heard enough about my build, so how about you show off yours in the comments? Let us know what you're gaming on!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.