Guide to Best Mid-Range Gaming PC for Overclocking
CPU, Motherboard & Cooling
CPU: AMD FX-6300 $99.99
The 6300 is impossible to beat for it’s price. By itself, it isn’t the greatest of processors. Throw some decent cooling on it though, and you’ll easily be sporting a 4.4-4.6 GHz clock that performs really well with a mid-range GPU. INTEL just doesn’t have an answer for this chip and it’s really sad because all they would have to do is unlock one of the i3s. For that reason, the FX-6300 is our go to choice.
Honorable Mention: AMD FX-6350 with Wraith Cooler $134.99
If you’re going to overclock, there is no reason to get the 6350 on it’s own. The binning won’t make a noticeable difference in the end. However, the Wraith cooler really takes stock cooling up a notch. You have a great chance at bumping up your clock speed to 4.4 GHz without buying additional cooling. That makes this combo a great alternative, especially if you want an easy installation as well.
Motherboard: ASUS 970 Pro Gaming/Aura $99.99
The motherboard is a critical part to your overclocking experience and many budget boards skimp on their VRM design. That’s not the case for the ASUS Pro Gaming. It comes with a full 8 phase VRM which I’ve learned is perfect for getting good overclocks without throttling. On top of that, ASUS has equipped the board with USB 3.1 ports, an M.2 slot, and the awesome Aura lighting. Catch one of the $15 rebates and this board is an absolute steal! There’s really nothing else you should look at when you’re trying to find the perfect mid-range board for your 6300.
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC COOLING Liquid Freezer 120mm Liquid CPU Cooler $64.99
Wow! Cutting through all the cooling options is pretty brutal! The key here was finding a good cooling solution that was also at a reasonable cost for a $100 CPU. Why did I choose a CLC? I looked at tower coolers but if you plan on taking your PC to a LAN party, you might feel safer about any bumps if there’s less weight on your socket. ARCTIC COOLING looks like they did a fantastic job on this cooling unit with professional and user reviews giving it some pretty high praises. The price is great but what sold me on this particular unit is the fact it includes 2 fans on a thicker rad. I was able to pull temps down by about 5c on a 120mm unit of my own when I added an extra fan. This is a great bang for your buck and should give you some of the best overclocking headroom in this price range.