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Introduction

Want to be a YouTube Let’s Player? Want to record yourself playing games and upload videos to YouTube on a compact powerful gaming PC? Or do you just want a great overall gaming small gaming rig for the summer of 2020? Read on.

Today’s article is different, but at the same time familiar.  Our hope is that this article helps someone out there who is building a computer this summer with inspiration, information, and what we think is a great gaming computer overall for this year. It sports a small package, but with no compromises to performance. This is all about squeezing high-performance gaming into a compact space.  We show you that it is possible to pack maximum performance into a small space.

While this article does fit a specific use-case scenario, it can be utilized and expanded to fill a more general role as a gaming computer build option for the summer of 2020 for anyone to play PC games. This computer was built in June of 2020.

How it Came to Be

Let’s start with how this article came to be.  This build-guide was born out of a personal side-project by me, Brent Justice.  This was something I was going to do in my personal time, and not actually be an article or review to be written to be published.  The original intent was just to build me a small and compact personal dedicated gaming computer for a specific purpose, doing YouTube Let’s Plays game recording videos. 

As I began the process, I saw an opportunity to make it something more that we could actually publish in the hopes this might be inspiring.  Therefore, the intent today is to be just that, inspiring, this is a “for fun” article of my build process.  I will also show many benchmarks I performed on the system so you can see where its performance lies in synthetic and games.

Before we begin, let’s start with a disclaimer.  You may or may not agree with the choice of components selected and used in this article for my build.  That is ok.  This build suites me personally and is what I wanted for a build.  You are welcome to substitute your own ideas and components in any area to best suit your needs.

My Build Goals

To start any gaming PC build you need to define your goals and roles.  That is, what is this computer being built for?  What do I need to achieve that? Where is my target performance? What will the use-case for this computer be? 

For my build this specific computer has a specific use-case, it is a dedicated gaming computer for doing YouTube gaming Let’s Play videos.  That means it needs to game very well, provide smooth performance, and at the same time record game videos and my voice through a microphone and then upload videos. It also needs to be small, I want the computer on my desk and taking up very little space, but not sacrifice gaming performance.

YouTube Let’s Plays

In short, a Let’s Play is simply a person, playing games, and recording a voice-over live talking about the game as they are playing it.  Then, people watch these videos on YouTube.  Let’s Play is sort of an older term, now people just call it streaming or recording gameplay videos, though technically this isn’t a live stream.  I will not be using a webcam of video camera starting out.  However, this can be added later if I want to put my face in a box in each video.

I’ve been doing Let’s Plays myself since I opened my gaming channel on YouTube in 2013 at JustGaming4Us.  Up until now, my gaming computer has always been my primary/main computer, which is also my work computer.  However, having everything on one computer can cause issues.  Sometimes a work computer setup, and a gaming computer setup conflict, as they are geared for two different things.  Often, while my computer was transcoding a video, I had recorded that meant I could not record a new gaming video until it was done, and that process takes several hours.  In addition, my display setup is configured for office work and doesn’t necessarily fit what I wanted for a gaming computer. There are other reasons as well.

Therefore, the solution was obvious, build a new computer with the sole purpose of playing games and recording on for YouTube.  Then my primary/main computer can transcode my video and I’ll still be able to play and record games at the same time since they are now two different computers.  I could focus on doing my work and have a system geared for that, in front of me, and then turn 180 degrees around to play games and record them for YouTube.  It’s the best of both worlds.  This summer was a great opportunity to build a new computer-based on AMD’s latest Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 series CPUs just for gaming, but this time in a small build.

You can view this entire computer build on my KIT profile page.

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Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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