I built the best gaming PC I could for under $1,200 using Cyber Monday deals, and now I actually want it

Several components for a Cyber Monday 2023 build.
(Image credit: ASrock, Radeon, DeepCool)

My favorite November tradition, other than eating myself into a turkey and pie coma, is seeing what kind of rig I can build using nothing but the best Cyber Monday PC gaming deals. I scour every retailer for the best prices on the best parts, looking for every opportunity to save a few bucks while still buying quality PC components. The trickiest thing about shopping is just how much junk there is to wade through—there are dozens of sticks of RAM on sale for close to the same price, but dig into the specs and you'll see differences in speed and latency hiding behind those savings.

This year I gave myself a budget of $1,200 (pre-tax) to build a gaming PC that would normally cost $288 more. Once these deals disappear, this PC build will run closer to $1,500.

This is a PC I'd happily build for myself, with no cut corners. At its heart are the non-overclocking version of our favorite gaming CPU, the Intel Core i5-13600KF, and an incredibly reasonably priced Radeon RX 6800 with 16GB of GDDR6. We've also got some fast DDR5 RAM, a 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD, and an all-in-one liquid cooler that'll help that CPU stay cool.

Quick links: Cyber Monday PC build under $1200

Total cost: $1,163.74

The Core i5-13600KF can handle any current game you can throw at it and will be a strong gaming GPU for years to come, while the Radeon RX 6800's ample VRAM will help a bit with the #stutterstruggle that's afflicted so many PC games this year. AMD's cards still aren't fantastic at ray tracing, but this is still otherwise an absolute beastly 1440p graphics card. In our review, it delivered an average 75 fps in Total War: Three Kingdoms, 128 fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and 92 fps in Metro Exodus, all on Ultra settings.

I made sure to pick parts that would all fit in the selected case, so there shouldn't be any rude surprises when you go to put it all together. Unfortunately it's currently backordered, but it should give you a good idea of the size you need to spring for. If you're feeling the itch to start the year with a new PC, it's going to be hard to beat the price/performance of these deals.

Also, it has a Sonic the Hedgehog motherboard with built-in Wi-Fi 6E and a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port. I set out to make a PC that would go fast, but I didn't expect this would be how I got there.

Full component list: Cyber Monday PC build under $1200

Intel Core i5 13600KF | 14 cores, 24 threads | 6 P-cores + 8 E-cores | 5.1GHz | LGA 1700 | $304 $250 at Amazon (save $54)

Intel Core i5 13600KF | 14 cores, 24 threads | 6 P-cores + 8 E-cores | 5.1GHz | LGA 1700 | $304 $250 at Amazon (save $54)
The Intel Core i5 13600K currently tops our recommendations for the best CPUs for gaming. It's a multi-tasking marvel, and rivals the more expensive Core i9 12900K in both single-threaded and multi-threaded benchmarks. This is the slightly cheaper "F" version, which skips the integrated GPU, but is otherwise identical.


XFX SPEEDSTER RX 6800 | 16GB GDDR6 | 3840 shaders | 2,105MHz boost |$399.99 $379.99 at Newegg (save $20)

XFX SPEEDSTER RX 6800 | 16GB GDDR6 | 3840 shaders | 2,105MHz boost |$399.99 $379.99 at Newegg (save $20)
A Radeon RX 6800 vanilla for well under $400 is the sweetest part of this whole build. People were paying four of five times this much for one of these during the height of the pandemic and crypto craze. This 16GB, 256-bit graphics card beats out Nvidia's 4060 Ti and AMD's RX 7700 XT, too.

ASRock B760M PG Sonic | Intel LGA 1700 Socket | mATX | PCie Gen 5 x16 | 4x DDR5 slots | 3x M.2 | Wi-Fi 6E | 2.5 Gbps LAN | $174.99 $129.99 at Newegg (save $45)

ASRock B760M PG Sonic | Intel LGA 1700 Socket | mATX | PCie Gen 5 x16 | 4x DDR5 slots | 3x M.2 | Wi-Fi 6E | 2.5 Gbps LAN | $174.99 $129.99 at Newegg (save $45)

Did I pick this motherboard just because it has Sonic the Hedgehog on it? No, but I do think it adds a certain dash of style to this build... In all seriousness, it's a feature-packed budget motherboard, with ample M.2 space, Gen 5 PCIe, on-board Wi-Fi and a high speed LAN adapter. We liked it at full price, so it's a dang steal at this discount.

G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB | DDR5 | 6400MHz | CL32 | 2x 16GB | 1.4v | $119.99 $109.99 at Newegg (save $10)

G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB | DDR5 | 6400MHz | CL32 | 2x 16GB | 1.4v | $119.99 $109.99 at Newegg (save $10)

This RAM kit has stellar reviews, and strikes a balance between prioritizing overall speed with low latency. At this price, you're not going to find anything better.

WD Black SN850X | 2TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,300MB/s write | $129.99 $114.99 at Amazon (save $15)

WD Black SN850X | 2TB | NVMe | PCIe 4.0 | 7,300MB/s read | 6,300MB/s write | $129.99 $114.99 at Amazon (save $15)
Our favorite SSD for gaming right now. It's on sale frequently, so this isn't a rare deal, but it's still the best price/performance pick right now. The SN850X encapsulates the best PCIe 4.0 offers in terms of performance (check out our review). That makes it a great fit for a boot drive with space to spare for your game library.

Montech Century G5 | 750 watts | 80 PLUS Gold | PCIe Gen 5 compliant | Fully Modular - $109$79 at Newegg (save $30)

Montech Century G5 | 750 watts | 80 PLUS Gold | PCIe Gen 5 compliant | Fully Modular - $109 $79 at Newegg (save $30)

I remember one year when power supplies were so cheap they were practically being given away, and another year when damage to key manufacturing meant they were painfully pricey. This year is a nice median, with this model from well-reviewed Taiwanese peripheral maker Montech getting a particularly nice discount.

DeepCool LS720 | 360mm AIO liquid cooler | 3x RGB fans | LGA 1700 | 3100 RPM $93.49 $74.79 at Amazon (save $19)

DeepCool LS720 | 360mm AIO liquid cooler | 3x RGB fans | LGA 1700 | 3100 RPM $93.49 $74.79 at Amazon (save $19)

A drop dead affordable 360mm radiator with three shiny fans from a reliable cooler company? That's pretty much the whole story here. The i5-13600K can draw a lot of power, so a cheap air cooler wasn't going to cut it, but this AIO will keep ice running through its veins while you're gaming.

Phanteks Eclipse G300A |Mid-tower ATX | 1x 120mm fan | 360mm front radiator | Tempered glass side - $59 $34.99 at Newegg (save $25)

Phanteks Eclipse G300A |Mid-tower ATX | 1x 120mm fan | 360mm front radiator | Tempered glass side - $59 $34.99 at Newegg (save $25)

Phanteks reliably makes good cases, and this one is a steal at just $35, with all the space you'll need for that micro-ATX motherboard, a big GPU and a front-mounted 360mm radiator. There's enough clearance for the DeepCool's fans, and for a budget case there are many niceties in here, including a front panel USB-C and removable dust filters.

Price check: $49.99 Amazon

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.


When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).