My Linux Gaming Rig (2021)

Here is the list of parts used in my build so far. Barring software limitations, this build maxes out my cheap 1080p 60hz monitor on most games I tested, although I tend to play indie titles and any triple AAA games I play are not current-gen ones, so your mileage may vary.

I bought all my parts on Amazon, directly from Amazon, in one big order so that I could take advantage of their return policy if any of the parts arrived broken.

I originally aimed for a Ryzen 5 3600 for my CPU, but they were out of stock when I finally had the funds together for my parts, so I spent $50 more to buy the 3600x Instead. Either way, this CPU takes everything I throw at it in day-to-day use and doesn’t even break a sweat, and the stock cooler does a pretty good job of keeping it cool.

I spent a while agonizing over what Motherboard to get. My PC case choice helped here, as it can fit from mini-itx sized boards up to Atx size boards.

In the end, I picked up the MSI B550M PRO-VDH WiFi Motherboard, a Micro-atx board. It has all the basics, plus some extras that were necessities to me: built-in WiFi and Bluetooth alongside Ethernet, plenty of USB ports, and it was cheap enough that I could spare some funds for other parts of my build.

My GPU is a GTX 1060 I got from my dad, he bought it off a guy as part of a GPU mining rig a few years back, and when he found a more energy-efficient mining method he let me use parts of the rig as needed. The prior owner didn’t even bother to overclock the card, so it’s in pretty good condition aside from being a bit dusty from sitting unused for a while, but otherwise is a perfectly fine card.

My storage, RAM, and PSU aren’t as exciting as my other parts, but I’ll list them anyway.

My ram is a 3200mhz 16GB dual-channel kit from crucial, I wanted a 32 GB kit, but the price went up too much for it to be worth it. My motherboard’s bios automatically set them to run at their rated speed, although they rarely actually need to go that fast.

For storage, I used a crucial mx500 500GB SSD I had from my old windows laptop that was my previous daily driver. I also have a 1TB SSD from the same brand that is still in my old laptop that needs a SATA cable before I can add it to my new rig.

I looked up reviews for power supplies carefully since a bad PSU could, in theory, destroy my other parts if it shorted or caught on fire, both of which I had heard of happening before, so I very much wanted to play it safe. In the end, I picked the Corsair RM550x since Corsair is a popular brand in PC building spaces. I found the cables it came with somewhat stiff and difficult to position the way I wanted, but I lacked the funds to buy new cables, so I dealt with it and hid most of the cables under my case’s motherboard tray.

The case I picked was the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO. Some prettier cases have things like tempered glass side panels and RGB lighting. This case has unparalleled airflow, an almost entirely steel construction, a horizontal motherboard mount, removable top and side panels secured with thumbscrews, and carrying handles, so you don’t injure yourself trying to move this absolute tank of a case.

In the end, I got all my parts around mid-march and worked myself into a near-frenzy in my excitement to put it together. I’d recommend having another computer on hand to make it easy to reference the digital manuals for each part, as some of my parts didn’t even come with paper manuals!

This build was my first time building a PC, but I think I did pretty well with it. I got it booting into the bios and left it there for the night, mostly since my parts arrived at 7 pm, and it took me 2 to 3 hours to get it all together.

The next step was installing my choice of OS, which I’ll go over in my next article.

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