Best Gaming Computers 2014

GAMING COMPUTER BUILDS – CHOOSE YOUR BEAST

THE HORNET

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$400

CHOOSE

THE JACKAL

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$600

CHOOSE

THE GRIZZLY

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$800

CHOOSE

THE LION

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$1,000

CHOOSE

THE DIRE WOLF

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$1,250

CHOOSE

THE PHOENIX

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$1,500

CHOOSE

THE KRAKEN

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$1,750

CHOOSE

PEGASUS

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$2,000

CHOOSE

THE HORNET | $400 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS

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GPU EVGA GTX 750

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RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB

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HDD Western Digital 250 GB

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CASE Rosewill Dual Fans

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PSU Antec VP-450

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY THE HORNET

Featured Components in The Hornet

“Let’s face it, The Hornet is not a creature that keeps you awake at night. However, when threatened, The Hornet goes into a ferocious frenzy and takes its anger out on its foes with a rapid succession of vicious stings. So even though The Hornet doesn’t look like much, you know it will be ready to attack when the time comes…”

hornet-testOverview

The Hornet is not a high-end gaming computer by any means. However, if you’re looking to build an affordable entry-level system that will allow you to play most games on at least medium settings (and a lot of less-demanding games on high settings), then this build is a great option for you.

The FX-6300 is a solid CPU for gaming and the GTX 750 is plenty powerful enough for you to max out popular games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Dota 2, etc.

The Hornet also has upgrade potential. While the power supply in this build only comes with one PCIe adapter, the unit itself is capable of powering a fairly high-end video card (like a GTX 760 or R9 270X), though you will need an adapter to do so.

You can also easily upgrade to 8GB of RAM. And, the motherboard in this build will support an AMD FX-8320 or 8350, though you would probably want to upgrade the motherboard if you want to do any kind of overclocking.

Why You Want the Hornet

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An extremely affordable entry-level system that will have you playing most games on medium settings.

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Will allow you to easily upgrade your RAM and video card (to as high as a GTX 660 or R9 270 without additional adapters) in the future.

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A solid setup for first-time builders who want to get their feet wet before jumping into more serious system-building.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: Acer S220HQL 21.5″ 1920×1080 (View)

Keyboard: Inland USB Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: E-3lue Cobra II Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset (View)

THE JACKAL | $600 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS

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GPU Gigabyte Radeon R9 280

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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HDD Seagate Barracuda 500 GB

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CASE Thermaltake V4

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PSU XFX Core Edition PRO 550W

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY THE JACKAL

Featured Components in The Jackal

“Not the biggest or most powerful predator on the block, The Jackal must rely on its keen senses and incredible stamina in order to track down its prey. It won’t dominate in a traditional manner, but with persistence, The Jackal will find its opportunity to strike. When that time comes, the efficient nature of The Jackal will arise and we will see how fierce of a beast it really is.”

jackaltempOverview

The Jackal has some real power for a gaming computer build that comes in right around $600. For that price, you wouldn’t expect to play many games on max settings, but that is, in fact, what you get.

With an FX-6300 and an R9 280 this build is capable of maxing out pretty much any title on the market at 1920×1080 resolution.

We’re talking games like Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, and Skyrim… The R9 280 will allow you to max out any of those games with around ~50 FPS or higher on a 1080p monitor.

That’s pretty remarkable for a build that comes in around $600 (minus the O.S., monitor, keyboard, and mouse.) and it just shows why it’s so much better to build your own gaming PC, rather than to buy one pre-built.

Why You Want the Jackal

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This gaming computer build is both powerful and affordable.

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Will allow you to max out the majority of today’s top games on a 1920×1080 monitor.

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You can easily upgrade to an FX-8320/8350 and/or a bigger video card… though you may want to consider a better motherboard if you want to overclock.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: Acer S220HQL 21.5″ 1920×1080 (View)

Keyboard: Azio KB505U Backlit Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: Perixx MX-2000II Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Plantronics GameCom 367 Gaming Headset (View)

THE GRIZZLY | $800 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU Intel Core i5-4590

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MOBO MSI H97M-E35

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GPU HIS Radeon R9 280X

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Thermaltake V4

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PSU XFX Core Edition PRO 550W

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY THE GRIZZLY

Featured Components in The Grizzly

“The Grizzly is not a beast you want to cross paths with… Huge in size, with a ferocious temper, The Grizzly does’t like to be messed with. Should an enemy get too close, The Grizzly becomes extremely defensive, using its hulking paws and razor sharp claws to stand its ground and ensure victory… And victory is almost always certain, because on this mountain, the bigger the bear, the better!”

jackaltempOverview

The Grizzly is the perfect point between overall performance and affordability. At just $800 you get an Intel-based gaming computer that is capable of handling anything on a 1920×1080 monitor.

Not only that, but this build offers a good entry point into 2560×1440 gaming. With the R9 280X, this system can handle most games on a 1440p monitor fairly well. Though, if you want to play more demanding games on that resolution, you might want to look at some more powerful cards.

However, this build has a lot of upgrade potential. The power supply can handle a video card as big as a GTX 780 Ti or R9 290x, and your motherboard will allow you to jump up to an i7-4790 as well.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a somewhat affordable build that can max out pretty much anything and has a ton of upgrade potential, then The Grizzly is an excellent option for you.

Why You Want the Grizzly

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This build can max out anything on 1920×1080 resolution and opens the door for 2560×1440 gaming.

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Intel-based build is efficient and can easily be upgraded to an Intel Core i7 processor in the future.

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The power supply in this build can accommodate even the most powerful video cards on the market.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: Acer S220HQL 21.5″ 1920×1080 (View)

Keyboard: Azio KB505U Backlit Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: Perixx MX-2000II Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Plantronics GameCom 367 Gaming Headset (View)

THE LION | $1,000 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K

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FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

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MOBO MSI Z97 PC MATE

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GPU MSI GeForce GTX 970

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Antec One

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PSU XFX Core Edition PRO 550W

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY THE LION

Featured Components in The Lion

“The most majestic beast in all the land, it stands above all others… With a deep roar and a body designed to destroy its prey, you will find no predator quite so intimidating as The Lion. And, it stands for certain that one thing has not changed in a long time… The Lion is STILL the King of the Jungle.”

jackaltempOverview

The Lion is a high-end gaming computer that won’t come with a huge price tag. Yes, $1,000 is a lot of money any way you look at it… but compared to a pre-built machine of the same caliber, The Lion seems like a steal…

With a i5-4670K and a GTX 970, The Lion will handle just about anything you throw at it. It will easily max out anything on a 1920×1080 monitor and it can be used to max out most games on a 2560×1440 monitor as well. So, if you’e looking for a balance between affordability and the ability to play games at 1440p well, then this build is a great option.

This build can easily be upgraded in the future as well, as the 550W PSU can easily handle the biggest video cards on the market. Though, if you want to add a second GTX 970 later down the road, you will need to upgrade the power supply.

Ultimately, The Lion is an exceptional gaming computer and for the majority of gamers, it offers more performance than they could ever need.

Why You Want the Lion

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A high-end gaming computer that costs a fraction of what a similar-performing pre-built machine would cost.

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2560×1440 gaming can easily be achieved. Playing on a 1920×1080 monitor will be no challenge for this build.

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Can be overclocked to decent levels and has plenty of upgrade options.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: BenQ GW2450 24″ 1920×1080 (View) or ASUS PB278Q 27″ 2560×1440 (View)

Keyboard: SteelSeries Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: Anker 8200 DPI Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset (View)

THE DIRE WOLF | $1,250 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K

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FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

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MOBO ASUS Z97-A

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GPU Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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SSD Crucial MX100 128GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Antec One

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PSU XFX Core Edition PRO 550W

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY THE DIRE WOLF

Featured Components in The Dire Wolf

Larger, stronger, faster, and much more intelligent… The Dire Wolf is not your ordinary predator. With steel-like fangs and quick wits, the monster wolf does more than just devour n00bs… it destroys towns and villages and leaves even the best of gamers shaking with fear–because when The Dire Wolf is on the prowl, there’s no safe place to hide…

jackaltempOverview

In terms of overall performance relevant to the price you pay, The Dire Wolf may be the best option on this list. With an Intel Core i5-4690K, a GTX 980, a quality motherboard, and an SSD, there isn’t a lot this build can’t do.

The GTX 980 makes this build suited for ultra high resolutions gaming and if you upgrade the power supply in the future to accommodate two GTX 980’s, then 4K gaming is very realistic.

While an SSD isn’t going to help your in-game performance, it will improve the overall performance of your system and will make your computer function a lot faster outside of gaming.

All-in-all, The Direwolf is an excellent option for anyone who wants to put together a high-end machine that brings a ton of in-game performance to the table.

Why You Want the Dire Wolf

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The GTX 980 will max out anything on a 2560×1440 monitor and opens the door to 4K gaming as well.

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This build comes with an SSD. Even though an SSD won’t help your in-game performance, it will significantly improve the performance of your system.

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This build can be overclocked to moderate levels and has a number of upgrade paths as well.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: BenQ GW2450 24″ 1920×1080 (View) or ASUS PB278Q 27″ 2560×1440 (View)

Keyboard: Razer DeathStalker Expert Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: Razer DeathAdder Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Corsair Vengeance 2100 Gaming Headset (View)

THE PHOENIX | $1,500 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K

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FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

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MOBO ASUS Z97 PRO

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GPU Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980

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RAM Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB

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SSD Crucial MX100 128GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Antec One

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PSU SeaSonic M12II 620W

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY THE PHOENIX

Featured Components in The Phoenix

A mythical bird that lives for centuries at a time, The Phoenix is a visionary. The Bird of Fire is a creature of a higher moral conduct and displays itself with grace and power. Although not one to impose its will on other beasts, The Phoenix gains respect with its awe-inspiring and virtuous nature. The Phoenix isn’t for every gamer, but rather, for those who hold themselves to higher ethical standards regardless of the realm they may dwell in.

jackaltempOverview

At $1,500 you can afford the best single GPU video card for gaming on the market: the GTX 980. And, even though the GTX 980 accounts for a huge portion of your total build, you won’t have to sacrifice the quality of your other components in order to get it.

With an unlocked Intel Core i5 CPU, a high-quality Z97 motherboard, and an SSD, this build has everything necessary to put together a high-end gaming computer.

And, if you want to add a second GTX 980 down the road for 4K gaming, all you’ll have to do is upgrade to a more powerful power supply.

In the end, $1,500 is probably the perfect budget for anyone looking to put together a powerful single-GPU setup and The Phoenix will definitely deliver all the performance you could want.

Why You Want the Phoenix

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This build comes with the most powerful single-GPU video card for gaming on the market: the GTX 980.

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The Phoenix can be overclocked and upgraded easily.

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This build can handle dual GTX 980’s in the future with an upgrade to a bigger power supply.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: ASUS PB278Q 27″ 2560×1440 (View)

Keyboard: Razer DeathStalker Expert Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: Razer DeathAdder Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Corsair Vengeance 2100 Gaming Headset (View)

THE KRAKEN | $1,750 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K

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FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

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MOBO ASUS Z97 PRO

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GPU MSI GTX 970 (SLI x2)

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RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB

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SSD Crucial MX100 128GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Cooler Master HAF XB EVO

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PSU XFX PRO850W

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY THE KRAKEN

Featured Components in The Kraken

“From the depths of the sea emerges a truly terrifying beast–The Kraken. With it’s overwhelming size and countless number of monstrous tentacles, the deep-water dwelling creature rules the ocean. Threatened by none and feared by all, this creature of the sea only needs your signal to wreak havoc and bring chaos down upon your foes… So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to “Unleash The Kraken!””

jackaltempOverview

At $1,750 The Kraken is treading waters beyond just a normal gaming computer. With dual GeForce GTX 970s powering this monster, you can expect some serious performance. Whether you’re looking for a ton of GPU computing power for design-work, or if you’re looking to get into 4K gaming, this  build will get you headed in the right direction.

You can overclock it and upgrade it in the future (triple GeForce GTX 970s?) for added performance. Though you’ll want to upgrade to a quality ~1000W power supply before you add a third video card.

Ultimately, this build will give you the option to start gaming at 4K resolutions.

Why You Want the Kraken

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This build is 4K gaming ready.

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The Intel Core i5 CPU, extra RAM, and dual GPUs help The Kraken perform like a workstation as well as a high-end gaming computer.

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With a power supply upgrade, this gaming computer can easily take a third GTX 970.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: ASUS PB278Q 28″ 4K Monitor (View)

Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: Logitech G700 Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Sennheiser PC 360 Gaming Headset (View)

PEGASUS | $2,000 GAMING PC

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PART LIST

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K

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FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

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MOBO ASUS Z97 Pro

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GPU Gigabyte GTX 980 (SLI x2)

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RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB

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SSD Samsung 840 EVO 250GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE CM Storm Stryker

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PSU SeaSonic M12II-850

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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BUY PEGASUS

Featured Components in Pegasus

The most revered of all mythical creatures, the winged-horse, Pegasus, has been one of man’s most trusted allies against dark and evil forces for a long time. A divine being, fathered by Poseidon, and of the same blood as Medusa, Pegasus holds a high place amongst the Gods. And, if Zeus trusts the noblest of all horses with the burden of carrying his own thunderbolts, then imagine what you can do with Pegasus by your side!””

jackaltempOverview

At $2,000 you can’t ask for much more out of a gaming computer. With dual high-end GPUs this build is about as powerful as it gets. And, it comes with some cool other features, as well.

With two GTX 980s, this build is designed specifically for 4K gaming. Aside from the incredible graphics processing power, Pegasus has an i7-4790K, a 240GB SSD, and 16GB of DDR3 memory, making it perform like a workstation as well as a powerful gaming computer.

Also, this build comes with a top-of-the line motherboard, a big power supply that will easily support the two GTX 980s and overclocking, and a sleek full tower computer case to house your ridiculously awesome build.

Not everyone will be able to afford Pegasus, but if you have the money and you want an “over-the-top” gaming experience, then this is the build for you.

Why You Want Pegasus

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The dual GTX 980s make this build a very capable 4K gaming computer.

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This build comes with a high-end full tower case, a power supply with plenty of head room for overclocking, and one of the most reliable motherboards on the market.

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With an i7-4790K, a 250GB SSD, and 16GB of memory, this build can be used as a workstation as well.

Recommended Peripherals

Operating System: Windows 8.1 (View) – You’ll need an OS if you don’t have one.

Monitor: ASUS PB278Q 28″ 4K Monitor (View)

Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Gaming Keyboard (View)

Mouse: Logitech G700 Gaming Mouse (View)

Headset: Sennheiser PC 360 Gaming Headset (View)