Today we will be focusing on you people that happen to want a system that can run one of the hottest new eSports games out there; that’s right, we’re talking about Riot’s Valorant. Freshly out of Open Beta, this game took the world by storm with its good gun play (similar to CS:GO) and ability use. Many FPS players and streamers tried playing during beta and recommend it to everyone, especially because Riot put in all their efforts to polish and refine the game in such a short time. The game is so popular due to how great of an impact it had on the First Person Shooter community as it promises nothing too revolutionary but an evolution to the FPS genre.
This budget, high-FPS PC build doesn’t contain some kind of Valorant witchcraft and will certainly be a great system for other eSports games that focus a lot on CPU single-core performance. The Ryzen 3 3300X punches well above its price due to the fact that its a 4 core 8 thread unlocked CPU with incredible single core performance. As a matter of fact, this CPU will beat even a heavily overclocked 7700K in single core performance thanks to better IPC on the Ryzen CPU and because AMD opted for a single CCX setup. That’s right, the 3300X features only one CCX which is good for gaming, latency between the core complexes being non-existent. This will often permit the 3300X to game better than more expensive, higher core CPUs thanks to the low core to core latency, especially in games that don’t use more than 4 cores.
We are focusing on an emerging eSport game here which needs smooth and stable high FPS in order for you to have a competitive advantage; that means at least 144 FPS at all times in order to enjoy the benefits of a 144 Hz panel. The 3300X is not only stellar at its good $130 price, it is also the only sane pick if you want the best gaming performance at this price range. There’s no other CPU at this price, not even second hand, that will beat this chip in single thread and general gaming performance.
Lets go ahead and describe our build choices for the best performing eSport Valorant build on a budget:
Budget Valorant High FPS Gaming PC Build – The Parts List
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 3 3300X||$129|
|Motherboard||MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX||$114|
|Memory||G.Skill Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16||$59|
|Storage||Crucial MX500 500 GB 2.5" SSD||$69|
|Video Card||Asus GTX 1660 SUPER TUF GAMING OC||$229|
|Case||Phanteks Eclipse P300A Mesh||$58|
|Power Supply||Corsair CXM 550 W 80+ Bronze||$68|
While our primary focus at PremiumBuilds is build planning for your ease, we also heavily focus on how to pass on this information to our readers in order for them to understand the decisions we took in each and every one of our building lists. We’re not leaving you in the dust with some scattered information that you may or may not find informative; we’re here for the whole journey of helping you plan and accomplish your dream build so stick with us further!
As you could already figure during the introduction, we couldn’t wait to talk about this ‘little’ CPU here. It’s special because unlike the Ryzen 3 3100 which is the same 4 core and 8 threads, the Ryzen 3 3300X features all of its cores on a single CCX (core complex) while the 3100 and all other Ryzen consumer CPUs feature two core complexes. This is AMD’s fine way to prove what they can do in gaming without the latency that’s introduced by CCX to CCX communication.
With this CPU, AMD essentially gives to the low end market a better gaming processor than the 7700K which only three years ago was the best gaming processor on the market. If that doesn’t weigh a lot in favor of this little $130 beast, then we don’t know what will. The CPU can boost itself with an algorithm that will provide the best performance based on workload be it productivity tasks or pure gaming and while overclocking is indeed possible, AMD’s algorithm is so good, you won’t get much more out of the chip with manual old school tweaking; we mainly suggest to leave it at stock. Power consumption is also well handled by the bundled cooler which won’t get too loud.
Besides great gaming performance, this processor is still an 8 thread CPU that can handle productivity pretty well. Streaming in the highest of details is likely not possible but streaming with the GPU is always an option as Nvidia’s NVENC on the 1660 Super graphics card that we’re using is getting better and better with compression and image quality. Content creation like editing your gameplay videos is handled well with software like Premiere Pro or Blender.
This CPU can stretch its legs on any AM4 motherboard that supports overclocking and that includes any B350, B450, X370, X470 and X570; god bless AMD’s platform compatibility! You can find B450 motherboard with decent features for $30 less than this motherboard but we’re still recommending the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX, thanks to its over engineered VRMs (voltage regulator modules), good I/O and additional flash memory for the BIOS. This additional flash memory allows MSI to provide you with solid updates in the future in order to be able to upgrade to a better CPU if you like. AMD says that the AM4 socket will be supported through 2020 while in 2021 we will get a new one, most likely AM5.
This opens up a world of possibilities. Buying a Ryzen 3 3300X now when you’re on a budget and upgrading next generation to the processor of your dreams is a solid option and also a big reason why we’re choosing this $30 more expensive motherboard in favor of cheaper ones with just decent VRM and a smaller BIOS storage chip.
The I/O offered on this board is also good. B450 Tomahawk’s rear panel offers a total of five USB ports: two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, a Type-A and a Type-C. Other connections include a DVI-D port and a HDMI 1.4 port, a single PS/2 combination keyboard/mouse port, and a Realtek RTL8111H Gigabit networking controller.
MSI has also included a great tool in the form of BIOS Flashback+. This means that whenever you want to update your motherboard, you can do it with peace of mind because even if it somehow bricks from something like a power outage, the BIOS Flashback+ feature will revert to the basic BIOS the motherboard came with, essentially freeing you from a trip to the local shop and money spend on a BIOS flash at the local tech store.
This card, the GTX 1660 Super, stands as Nvidia’s fastest Turing GPU that doesn’t have the Ray Tracing cores. Based on the GTX 1660, Nvidia made a series of small tweaks to its already successful 1660 in order to be very competitive against AMD value and performance wise. Its the ultimate 1080p graphics card and rivals the performance of the previous generation GTX 1070.
In other words, it’s the exact same 12nm 284mm2 die comprised of 6.6 billion transistors as the GTX 1660. It also has the same 6GB VRAM buffer but it’s here where the changes begin to be seen. Nvidia has upgraded the 8 Gb/s GDDR5 memory of the standard 1660 to 14 Gb/s GDDR6 memory and this sees a massive 75% increase in memory bandwidth. In fact, this provides the 1660 Super with even more memory bandwidth than the 1660 Ti model.
For $230, this card, the ASUS 1660 Super TUF Gaming OC, has one of the best performance per dollar showings and can easily hold above 144 fps in every eSport game, which is exactly the focus of this Valorant build and why we’re so excited about it. Its closest performance competitor would be AMD’s RX 5600 XT which is indeed around 20% faster but its a $300 card which doesn’t scream budget anymore. If you can afford to get a faster GPU, and AMD RX 5600XT or RX 5700 would be our next recommendations, but we’re going to stick with the GTX 1660 Super for the Valorant build – thanks to its great performance for the accessible price tag.
G.Skill’s Aegis lineup is purposefully built for customer value as it comes at friendly price tags with great performance. For $60 you are getting 2 x 8GB Dual Channel memory binned to 3000MHz and a CAS Latency (CL) of 16. That’s insane value considering that for double the money, you’re likely looking at similar 3200MHz RAM sticks with maybe less latency. For this system, this RAM kit is perfectly suitable as it allows you to just plug into the motherboard, set BIOS XMP in order for the sticks to run at their rated speeds and just forget about them; they will deliver great performance over and over again.
If you are a tweaker and want to test your luck, some of these sticks can be tweaked to higher MHz and lower CLs by increasing the voltage; but we repeat, its down to luck. For example, out of the 5 G.Skills Aegis kits we had on hands, 3 of them managed to clock to 3466MHz CL 15 or 3133MHz CL 14 with tightened timings. That’s free performance and it might be worth taking a look into; don’t worry, we have an in depth article coming on that soon! Stay tuned!
The 16 GB capacity that the 2 x 8GB sticks offer is definitely enough for this kind of build and you’ll only need more if you’ll be doing heavy editing on your system; light editing will still be handled very well by this system’s 16GB of RAM. Also, the Ryzen 3300X CPU will definitely profit from these higher clocked modules as its Infinity Fabric clock speed benefit from memory speed; because of this, 3000MHz RAM modules like the ones in the list are the sweet spot for our build right here.
One of the best SSDs out there, the Crucial MX500, makes way into this build its main difference from a classic SSD drive being the presence of 512MB of Cache. This benefits both the reading and writing speeds of this device in heavy use situations like video editing previews, rendering or even game loadings. This SSD’s main advantage over the other traditional SATA ones is to never slow down, independent on load and capacity used.
We’re only going for 500GB of storage for budget constraints and that should be enough for your OS and a large library of games but if you need more storage we assume that you have an HDD around that you can use in this build. If you don’t, just pay some extra money and upgrade this MX500 to the 1Tb version because it still remains a solid value proposition for its performance.
This mid-tower enclosure, the Phanteks Eclipse P300A Mesh, is a new case from Phanteks that drastically improves on airflow when compared to other similarly priced cases. Its also in the name; the A from P300A stands for Airflow! We are loving this case because it comes with many features that are found in products with a much higher price tag. Great airflow, solid metal build, an edge to edge tempered glass panel, space for additional fans and lots of space for cable management; what’s not to like?
Many cases at this price range went the route of crazy designs and RGB paired with plastics all over the place; like people usually say, lights improve frame rates, right? Well we don’t want to be those guys but RGB certainly doesn’t. This case is a great example of a simple product packed with quality features and a well-thought layout. Its front panel is not closed but it features a mesh material with dust filters that allow air to freely pass through the build, cooling it and maintaining the consistent performance of your other components.
For powering your build we’re going to use a very popular PSU in the form of the Corsair CXM 550W. It stands out as a quality and well-revised product from a reputable company with a good track record. It features all the cables you need in our recommended build in a semi-modular form factor that helps you keep the case tidy; the Corsair power supply allows you to put aside the cables that you’re not going to use except the 24 PIN that you’re obviously going to use in order to power the Tomahawk motherboard.
550W is more than enough for this type of build because you’ll almost never go above 200W of total system power consumption; that’s how efficient both the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X and Nvidia GTX 1660 Super are. We’re using a 550W PSU because its a great model and its value will increase in time if you will be upgrading your system after a few years; you will still be able to use the same power supply thanks to its universal compatibility and especially the presence of 2 x 6+2 PCIe cables which can hold much more power-hungry graphics cards.
How will this build handle Valorant and other eSports games?
Now that all the build aspects are sorted out, we guess you’d want to know what was all this fuss about. We guarantee you’ll be impressed with the capabilities of this “little” ~$700 build as much as you’d wonder, how is it possible for such a cheap build to run games so well. With every build that we plan and recommend, we prepare a set of helpful benchmarks in order for you to understand the performance of the build and to be able to compare it with other performance figures online.
We know that you’re most likely using other resources besides PremiumBuilds but we thrive to be as complete as we can! Here are some helpful benchmarks of the Ryzen 3 3300X + GTX 1660 Super combo:
|Title||Graphics Quality||Resolution||Average FPS||1% Low FPS|
|GTA V||Medium Settings||1080p||132||92|
|Rainbow Six Siege||Ultra||1080p||177||148|
|Rainbow Six Siege||Competitive Settings||1080p||244||179|
|Call of Duty Modern Warfare||Ultra||1080p||110||88|
|Call of Duty Modern Warfare||Competitive settings||1080p||161||133|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||Ultra||1080p||202||179|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||Competitive Settings||1080p||293||246|
As you can probably see, popular eSports games that need high FPS in order to have a competitive edge work very well on this build. That’s no surprise because we optimized the system for such a use; in order to fit the budget, a faster GPU than the GTX 1660 Super would mean a downgrade on the CPU which would’ve damaged the frame rate consistency of these high fps games. Similarly, a downgrade on the GPU would’ve probably meant some more FPS in a low graphics game like CS:GO but less FPS in more graphically focused games like Modern Warfare or Valorant. The Ryzen 3 3300X quad core / 8 thread unlocked CPU strikes a perfect balance with the GTX 1660 Super for a build at the $700 budget and it shows!
Have leftover build money and your monitor is sub-par?
The main purpose of this Valorant gaming PC build is to be able to run eSports games at high frame rates with as little stutter and frame inconsistency as possible. While the build itself will certainly succeed at this mission, a proper monitor would complete the experience. It’s useless to buy many nice clothes and not be able to show them off because you can’t wear them, right? That’s the thing with high refresh rate monitors; they allow you to see frames at a faster rate by displaying the image 120, 144 or 240 times a second, unlike the locked 60 some of you may be familiar with. It’s so easy to grow addicted with the smoothness of high refresh rate, just get into a tech store and ask to play around with such a monitor; just moving the mouse on the desktop will give you a strong idea of what you should expect.
There are many popular 144hz monitor options that will come at a great price thanks to the competitivity of the market. As a bonus of this build recommendation, we’d like to also show you a few monitors that would work great along with this build!
|MSI Optix MAG240VC||23.6"||144Hz||$209|
|MSI Optix G241||23.8"||144Hz||$189|
Both of these are great performers with great IPS or VA panels and a generous 144Hz refresh rate. MSI’s Optix line is of great value for the consumer and we would really recommend checking these two out because for approximately $200 they make for very compelling gaming monitors! Also, being IPS and VA panels with 1 ms response time, the color accuracy, viewing angles and overall image quality will be very good so you’re not sacrificing on those just for the speed. Stay tuned for our VA vs IPS vs TN monitor technologies comparison; it’s coming soon!
Planning out a speedy eSports gaming build isn’t an easy task; we would even consider harder than a high end build where you have the budget for everything and can’t really go wrong with the pair between top processors and top GPUs. High FPS value builds like this one need to be perfectly weighted and tested for any bottlenecks; it’s not enough to just get the priciest components in your budget because that may not be the best option FPS wise. It would be hard or even impossible without some cheap second-hand parts to beat the brand new system we have here that we thoroughly tested in order just to get it right for you!
Appreciate that you stuck with us till the conclusions; that means we didn’t do this boringly and we thank you! It’s probably time to make up your mind because we are in a very competitive component market right now and the value some of the manufacturers bring to the table is just stellar. We also hope that this article’s sections have been in-depth enough to answer most of your questions and you weren’t left with too many questions; if you do have them, we love to answer in the comment section below! We will also be doing complete building video guides in the future so stay tuned for that.