Good Cheap Gaming Computers

Good Cheap Gaming Computers 2015 Edition

In this guide we’re going to go over everything you need to know in order to choose the best components for a solid cheap gaming computer. So, if you’re strapped for cash, but you still want to build a solid entry-level system, this guide will help you choose the best components for your budget.

In this day and age of incredible graphics and extremely demanding video games, you, as a PC gamer, must have a capable gaming computer if you want to play your favorite games in the way they they were designed to be played.

Unfortunately, though, the price tag that comes with a solid PC may be keeping you from getting the system that you deserve.

However, if you elect to build your own system–rather than buying it pre-built–you can forego the high costs associated with buying an expensive pre-built setup and you can finally get yourself an affordable gaming computer that will play your favorite games at acceptable levels.

In this guide I’m going to cover all of the different components that you can use in your budget build. I’m going to go over and answer every question that a prospective builder could possible ever have when looking for affordable components that will allow them to build a solid cheap gaming computer.

To start, though, I’m going to give you five different builds that you can use as is, or that you can use as a base to put together your own part list. This will allow you to skip the fine details and get straight to building your awesome gaming PC. If you want a more thorough overview of each component before you make your selection, you can use the full guide.

In the end, you’ll have a plan of action, as well as a number of different components to choose between, and you’ll be well on your way to building a cheap gaming computer that is capable of delivering excellent levels of performance.

i.PRE-MADE PART LISTS

In this section, I’ve taken five different price points ($300, $400, $500, $600, & $700) and I’ve put together builds for each budget.

These builds can either be used as is, or they can serve as a base that you can customize to your liking.

If you have any questions about these builds, please post them below in the comments section!

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$300 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

For gamers working with an extremely tight budget, it is possible to throw together a gaming computer (tower only) for around $300.

The downside of putting together such a low-end system is that you’ll be stuck with the integrated graphics on your processor. This isn’t a horrible thing, as integrated graphics have come along way. However, for $300, don’t be expecting to play modern games on settings any higher than medium.

Part List

CPU AMD A10-7800

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MOBO MSI A68HM-E33

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RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB

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HDD Seagate Barracuda 250 GB

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CASE Rosewill Dual Fans

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PSU Antec VP-450W

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ODD Install O.S. from USB drive

Grand Total: $280-$320

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

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$400 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

AMD FX-6300 6-Core ProcessorIf you were looking to buy a decent system from the big computer assemblers, you would expect to pay at least $700. However, you don’t need to spend $700 in order to get a gaming computer that will deliver a good experience.

In fact, for right around $400 you can build a system that will allow you to play your favorite games on moderate settings (and some of them on the highest settings) on a 1920×1080 monitor.

And, by building it yourself, you can avoid having to deal with the low quality power supplies and motherboards that the big computer companies like to throw in their builds.

The cheap gaming computer listed below is based off of my research of the best parts available for a $400 gaming computer. The build includes the following parts:

Part List

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3

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GPU Zotac GeForce GTX 750 Ti

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RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB

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HDD Seagate Barracuda 250 GB

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CASE Rosewill Dual Fans

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PSU Antec VP-450

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ODD Install O.S. from USB drive

Grand Total: $380-$420

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

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$500 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

For those of you looking to spend a little bit more money, you can come away with a truly powerful gaming computer at a very affordable price.

At $500 this next gaming computer build will present you with unbelievable performance. These parts are literally capable of producing an experience on par with some of the big manufacturers $1,000+ gaming computers.

Here’s the parts you’ll need to build a $500 gaming computer worth bragging about:

Part List

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3

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GPU Sapphire R9 270X

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RAM Crucial Ballistix 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Rosewill Dual Fans

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PSU EVGA 80PLUS 500W

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ODD Install O.S. from USB drive

Grand Total: $480-$520

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

GET THIS PC »

$600 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

The great thing about building your own gaming computer is that for a fraction of the cost of a pre-built machine, you can achieve some pretty incredibly results.

In fact, for right around $600 you can throw together a system that will max out any game on the market on a 1080p monitor and will even be able to handle pretty much any game maxed out on 1440p monitors as well. That’s a pretty awesome deal considering the performance you get.

The gaming computer below has a ton of power right out of the gates. The motherboard doesn’t give you a whole lot of overclocking options, but if you’re not looking to do any serious system tuning, then this machine is for you.

Part List

CPU AMD FX-6300

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MOBO ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0

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GPU EVGA GTX 960

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RAM Crucial Ballistix 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Sentey GS-6008 Stealth

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PSU Corsair CX430

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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Grand Total: $580-$620

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

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$700 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

A lot of people love to brag about their $3,000 water-cooled systems and the ridiculous frame rates they get while playing their favorite games. If you have the money to go all out on a high-end gaming computer, then by all means do so. (I personally love seeing how far a system can be pushed!)

However, if you’re looking to get a really high-end system that is capable of giving you  a really high-end experience, you could easily achieve that with $700 of quality computer components.

Here’s the part list:

Part List

CPU Intel Core i5-4460

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MOBO Gigabyte GA-H97M-HD3

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GPU EVGA GTX 960

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RAM Crucial Ballistix 8GB

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HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

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CASE Sentey GS-6008 Stealth

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PSU Corsair CX430

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ODD Samsung 24x SATA

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Grand Total: $680-$720

(Prices fluctuate on a daily basis, click here for current pricing)

GET THIS PC »

I. HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

This guide has literally everything you need to pick a part list for a solid cheap gaming computer. With so much information, you might get lost. So, it’s important that you know how to navigate and use this guide.

For starters, below you’ll find a Table of Contents. You can use this to easily navigate to the part of the guide you want to read.

The guide is broken down into sections. In the first couple of sections, the guide goes over some important concepts, including knowing your budget and whether or not you should buy now, or save until you can afford a better system. Then, the guide will go all of the components you’ll need in order to build an affordable computer.

Each component section will give you multiple suggestions. And, each component section is broken down to make it easier to navigate through. For instance, the processor and motherboard sections are broken down by the socket type. And, the video card, case and power supply sections are broken down by price range (i.e. Best Video Cards under $100.)

Another important thing to point out is that under each component, you’ll see the suggested “Budget Range” that that component fits into. This number doesn’t tell you how much the component costs, it tells you the kind of budget that component will work well in.

As an example, the AMD A8-5600K processor has a suggested budget range of $300-$400. This means that if you’re building a gaming computer and you have $300-$400 to spend, the A8-5600K will fit nicely in your budget.

Finally, at the end of the guide, I have put together five different builds, ranging from $300 on the low-end to $700 on the high-end. These builds can either be used as is, or they can be customized to your liking.

1.KNOWING YOUR BUDGET

The budget that you set for your gaming computer is going to determine the kind of performance you get out of it. The more you spend, the more games you’ll be able to play on higher settings and the higher the framerates you’ll get.

Setting your budget will give you a price to work with when selecting your components and it will make it easier to make decisions on each part. So, set a budget and stick to it. For this guide, we’ll be looking at systems that come in under $700.

Should You Buy Now, Or Save Up Until You Can Get Better Components?

There are advantages and disadvantages that come with either buying your components now or saving up until you can get better-performing parts. It really all depends on your personal preferences as well as the kind of games you play.

If you don’t want to wait to be able to have to play your favorite games and you don’t mind playing on lower settings, or the games you play aren’t too demanding, then building now is definitely a good option. However, if you’re playing demanding games that are best experienced in full detail on the highest graphics settings, then it is probably a good idea to save up some more money so that you can get a better set of components.

If you want the best of both worlds, you can always build for now and the future. In order to build for now and the future, you must choose components that will give you decent performance now and that will allow you to upgrade in the future. Since this guide is directed towards those gamers who are building on a budget, I have tried to make it as future friendly as possible without sacrificing too much performance now.

Either way you choose, the components listed in this guide will at least allow you to start playing your favorite games. And, the top component options in each category will even allow you to play most games on the highest settings.

Let’s Get Started Choosing Components

In the rest of this guide, we’ll take an individual look at each component category and go over the different options you have if you’re building a solid cheap gaming computer. Each component is going to be broken down into sections.

First up, we’ll look at the best budget gaming processors and then we’ll proceed to look at all of the other components you’ll need.


2.THE BEST BUDGET PROCESSORS

In this part of our Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide, we’re going to take a look at all of the different CPU options you have for your budget gaming PC.

The CPU you choose for your gaming PC is going to play a pivotal role in how well your system performs.

A faster processor is going to be able to handle more games better. A slower processor will give you trouble running more demanding games.

Fortunately, even if you’re building on a budget there are a number of CPU options available on the market that will allow you to play your games at acceptable levels.

In fact, for just under $100 you can get a CPU that is capable of running your gaming computer.

In this guide I will take a look at all of the CPU options you have for your budget gaming PC.

Any of the CPUs listed in this article will at least get your foot in the door.

And, some of the processors–like the AMD FX-6300–are not only budget-friendly, but they are also good enough for a gaming computer that can max any game out.

Budget Gaming Processors for AMD’s Socket FM2

AMD’s FM2 socket is quickly becoming one of the most popular platforms for gamers working with a tight budget. Built around AMD’s APUs (accelerated processing unit), the FM2 socket boasts processors that have powerful integrated graphics.

And, even though integrated graphics aren’t ideal for graphics-intensive games, AMD’s APUs provide enough power through their integrated graphics to play most games on at least the lowest settings. So, while FM2 APUs alone aren’t great solutions for high-end machines, they do work well for entry-level systems and will be good enough to build a solid cheap gaming computer.

Another cool feature of the FM2 APUs is that they can be paired with budget-friendly AMD video cards to give a boost in graphics performance. So, pairing the APUs listed below with an HD 6670 is a solid budget-friendly way to give you more in-game graphics power.

The following are a list of the APUs that I recommend for budget gaming PCs:

Athlon X4 760KAMD Athlon X4 760K 3.8 GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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While not the greatest processor on the market, the Athlone X4 760K can hold it’s own and will serve well in an entry-level build that includes a standalone video card.

It’s important to note that, unlike other FM2 processors, the Athlon X4 does not come with integrated graphics… so you will need to pair it with a video card.

Ultimately, while the Athlon series of FM2 CPUs have become popular among budget builders, in my opinion the FX-4300 is the better long-term option for just $10 more, as the AM3+ socket has much better  upgrade potential.

Features

  • Quad Core CPU
  • Socket FM2
  • 3.8GHz Operating Frequency
  • 2 x 2MB of L2 Cache
  • Can Hit Decent Overclocks With Proper Cooling

RECOMMENDATION: The Athlon X4 760K serves its purpose as an affordable option for gamers on a budget, but I’d recommend spending $10 to get the FX-4300 and better AM3+ platform.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Athlon X4 760KAMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7 GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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The Athlon X4 860K is a step up from the X4 760K and costs about $10 more.

Essentially the X4 860K serves the same purpose as the 760K. It’s an affordable budget CPU for anyone who is looking at the FM2 socket and wants to pair a discrete video card with it. Again, this CPU does not have integrated graphics and requires a discrete video card.

Just like with the X4 760K, it would be best if you went with the FX-4300 for the better upgrade options that the AM3+ platform provides.

Features

  • Quad Core CPU
  • Socket FM2
  • 3.7GHz Operating Frequency
  • 4MB of L2 Cache
  • Can Hit Decent Overclocks With Proper Cooling

RECOMMENDATION: The Athlon X4 860K is priced the same as the FX-4300 making it, in my opinion, an obsolete option as  the FX-4300 has more upgrade options.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD A10-5800K APUAMD A10-5800K APU 3.8 GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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The A10-5800K is a step up from the A8-5600K, with a stock clock rate of 3.8 GHz and a max turbo rate of 4.2 GHz.

The integrated HD 7660D graphics are also a little better on the A10-5800K, giving you more performance.

And, just like the A8-5600K, the A10-5800K can be CrossFireX’ed with an entry-level HD Radeon discrete video card in the future. (Some people have even CrossFireX’ed it with an HD 7750.)

Features

  • Quad Core APU
  • Socket FM2
  • HD 7660D Integrated Graphics Will Allow You to Play Most Games on Low-to-Mid Settings
  • Integrated Graphcis Can Be CrossFireX’ed with Radeon HD 7750 or Lower
  • Integrated Graphics Support Eyefinity Technology

RECOMMENDATION: Use the A10-5800K if you are working with a low budget that won’t allow for a discrete video card, or if you want to CrossFireX it with an HD 6670. Make sure you get an FM2 motherboard to go with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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amd-a10-6800kAMD A10-6800K APU 4.1GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400
SOCKET: FM2

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The king of the APU’s the A10-6800K is at the head of AMD’s latest release of accelerated processing units.

The A10-6800K boasts better graphics (Radeon HD 8670D) than its predecessor, the A10-5800K, and brings a little more performance to the table when gaming.

With the best integrated graphics on the market, the A10-6800K is a great affordable option for gamers playing non graphics-intensive games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Diablo III.

Also, while the A10-5800K can technically be CrossFireX’ed with a radeon HD 7750, the A10-6800K definitely can and is optimized to do so. So, if you get this processor and you want to upgrade later on down the road, the HD 7750 would go well with this APU.

Features

  • Quad Core APU
  • HD 86700D Integrated Graphics Will Allow You to Play Non Graphics-Intensive Games on Max Settings
  • Integrated Graphcis Can Be CrossFireX’ed with Radeon HD 7750 for Added Performance
  • Integrated Graphics Support Eyefinity Technology

RECOMMENDATION: Use the A10-6800K if you want good results now and the option to upgrade later. You can also pair this APU with an HD 7750 to maximize your results and to get a solid budget gaming computer. Make sure you get an FM2 motherboard to go with this APU.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Processors for AMD’s Socket AM3+

One of the best CPU solutions for a budget gaming computer is the AMD FX-6300. And, while there are other options for the AM3+ socket, as far as the price-to-performance ratio goes, the FX-6300 is definitely one of the better options.

However, with AMD’s recent price drops, the FX-4300 is a very nice low-budget option and the FX-8320 and FX-8350 gives budget builders a chance to grab a high-end CPU at an affordable price.

Ultimately it comes down to price-to-performance and AMD’s AM3+ CPUs offer some of the best options for gamers who have a budget between $400-$800.

AMD FX-4300AMD FX-4300 AM3+ 3.5GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: AM3+

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It wasn’t too long ago when the FX-4300 was tipping the scales at right around $100. Now, however, the quad-core CPU has dropped below $90.

This price decrease has made the FX-4300 perhaps one of the low-budget CPUs on the market.

And, while others may rave about the Athlon 760K or the 860K, the truth is that the FX-4300 is not only the better CPU, but it’s also on the better platform for gamers: AM3+. That means better upgrade options in the future.

So, if you’re looking for a good CPU in the $80-$90 range, look no further than AMD’s FX-4300

Features

  • Quad Core CPU
  • Plenty of Processing Power for Gaming
  • AM3+ Has Much Better Upgrade Options than FM2
  • Excellent Price-to-Performance for the Price

RECOMMENDATION: UThe FX-4300 is a good option for systems in the $400-$500 range. The AM3+ platform has much better upgrade potential than FM2 which therefore makes the FX-4300 a much better option for budget builders who want a discrete video card.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD FX-6300 CPUAMD FX-6300 AM3+ 3.5GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$600

SOCKET: AM3+

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For those gamers who have a little bit higher of a budget, the AMD FX-6300 is your best option.

With six cores, the FX-6300 is the most affordable and future-proofed CPU on the market.

If you don’t want to go with a setup with integrated graphics and you want to utilize a discrete video card for the most performance, then pairing the FX-6300 with a decent video card is the way to go…

…especially if you want to upgrade to a more powerful video card in the future.

In my opinion, the FX-6300 is the best CPU option for budget builders who can afford it because it offers ideal performance for gaming now and with its six cores it will accommodate the games of tomorrow as well.

Features

  • Six Core CPU
  • Plenty of Processing Power for Gaming
  • Extra Cores Make This CPU the Best Mulit-Tasking Processor Under $150
  • Most Future-Proofed CPU in Its Price Range

RECOMMENDATION: Use the FX-6300 if your budget is over $400 and you want to use a discrete video card. Good cards to pair it with are an HD 7770, GTX 650 Ti, and an HD 7850. The FX-6300 is a socket AM3+ CPU, so make sure you choose an AM3+ motherboard to go with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD FX-8320AMD FX-8320 AM3+ 3.5GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $600-$800

SOCKET: AM3+

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Since AMD has reduced the prices on some of their CPUs, gamers who are looking to build a gaming computer, but who are working with a tight budget, have gained a number of options. This is as especially true with the FX-8320.

At just under $150, the FX-8320 is an eight core monster that can be overclocked to his FX-8350 levels. And, while I don’t include this CPU in any of my pre-made part lists, it will definitely fit well in the $700 build as a replacement for the i5-4460.

In the end, the FX-8320 is a great CPU and it’s powerful enough to not create a bottleneck on pretty much any system.

Features

  • Eight Core CPU
  • Optimal Processing Power for Gaming
  • Extra Cores Make This CPU the Best Mulit-Tasking Processor Under $150
  • Most Future-Proofed CPU Under $150

RECOMMENDATION: Use the FX-8320 if you’re looking for a low-cost CPU that will deliver high-end performance. The FX-8320 can be used in systems from $600 and up, though the higher your budget the more I’d recommend going with a more efficient Intel CPU.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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AMD FX-8320AMD FX-8350 AM3+ 4.0GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $600+

SOCKET: AM3+

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The debate will always wage on… which CPU manufacturer is better, Intel or AMD? For certain diehards, there’s only one CPU manufacturer they’ll buy from, and that’s fine.

In the case of the FX-8350, it’s a very capable processor for gaming, with the ability to match the in-game performance the top Intel processors are able to produce.

Where the FX-8350 lacks (at least compared to its Intel counterparts) is in efficiency, single-core performance, affordable motherboard options, and heat produced. For those reasons, I typically recommend new builders to go with an Intel Core i5 CPU in this price range.

However, for AMD diehards, and people who want to overclock their CPU, the FX-8350 will give you the performance you need, but you just need to make sure you get a motherboard that will accommodate it.

Features

  • Eight Core CPU
  • Optimal Processing Power for Gaming
  • Extra Cores Make This CPU a Great Option Under $200
  • Can Be Overclocked to Hit Even Higher Levels of Performance

RECOMMENDATION: Use the FX-8350 if you’re looking for a strong overclocking CPU under $200. And, be sure to pair it with a 990FX chipset motherboard to handle the demands of the FX-8350.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Processors for Intel’s Socket LGA 1150

There is no doubt that Intel is the king of gaming processors. And, there isn’t a question that they produce the fastest CPUs on the market.

However, for extreme budget gaming PCs, the only CPU options that Intel really has are the Intel Core i3 line of processors. And, while these CPUs have great single-threaded performance, the fact that they are only dual core processors means that they are a little more limited in multi-threaded applications.

If your budget creeps closer to the $700-$800 range, choosing an Intel Core i5 CPU becomes more and more plausible. In fact, in the builds listed at the top of this page, we use an Intel Core i5 CPU in our $700 build. So, if you have a moderate budget of $700 or more, then I would definitely recommend going with on of the Intel Core i5 CPUs listed below.

Intel Core i3-4160 LGA 1150 Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $450-$600

SOCKET: LGA 1150

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Out of all of the processors available in this price range, the Intel Core CPUs offer the most single core performance.

And, despite the fact that the i3-4160 is only a dual-core processor, it still performs very well for gaming purposes.

However, in my opinion, for about $20 less, the FX-6300 is the better option because it is more “future-proofed.”

Although, if you’re playing games that don’t utilize more than two cores, the i3-4160 will perform better.

And, if you want to upgrade to a higher end LGA 1150 Intel Core processor in the future, then it would be best to go with this CPU.

Features

  • Dual-Core CPU
  • Better Single-Core Performance than AMD Alternative
  • Can Easily Be Upgraded to an LGA 1150 Intel Core i5 or i7 In the Future
  • Extremely Power Efficient When Compared to Similarly Priced AMD CPUs

RECOMMENDATION: The Intel Core i3-4160 is the perfect CPU for gamers looking to build a solid cheap gaming computer. I recommend going with the i3-4160 if you’re planning on upgrading to a higher end Intel Core LGA 1150 CPU in the future, or if you are only planning on playing games that only utilize two or less cores. If you do choose this CPU, make sure you get an LGA 1150 motherboard to go with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Intel Core i5-4590 LGA 1150 Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $700+

SOCKET: LGA 1150

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If you’re looking for the best all-around CPU for under $200, then the Intel Core i5-4590 is it.

It combines all of the efficiency and high-performance we’ve come to expect from an Intel CPU for an affordable price.

Ultimately, the i5-4590 is the perfect option for anyone who isn’t planning on overclocking, who has a decent-sized budget (at least $700) and wants ideal in-game performance (assuming you choose a formidable video card to go with it.)

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Better Single-Core Performance than AMD Alternative
  • Can Easily Be Upgraded to an LGA 1150 Intel Core i7 In the Future
  • Extremely Power Efficient When Compared to Similarly Priced AMD CPUs

RECOMMENDATION: If your budget is around $700 or higher, the i5-4590 is probably the best CPU option for you. However, if you want to be able to overclock, you’ll want to either look at AMD’s FX-8320, or 8350.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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3.THE BEST BUDGET MOTHERBOARDS

In this section of the Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide I’m going to list all of the viable motherboard options you have if you’re building on a budget. These motherboards are good enough to get your budget gaming PC up, running, and performing well.

Your gaming computer will not work without a motherboard.

And, one mistake that first-time builders and those working with a tight budget make is to choose a cheap low-quality motherboard.

However, choosing a cheap motherboard can cause a lot of problems for you and your system down the road.

Therefore, you need to make sure you get a decent motherboard for your money.

Since you’re working with a tight budget, getting a high-end motherboard is out of the question….

…but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a capable motherboard to go with your gaming PC.

There are plenty of solid motherboards under $100 that are perfect for budget gaming computers.

In this section of the guide, I will cover the different motherboard options you have for your build.

Budget Gaming Motherboards for AMD’s Socket FM2

AMD’s socket FM2 is the perfect option for gamers working with an extremely tight budget, or for gamers who are playing less demanding games (like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Dota 2, Minecraft, etc.).

There are a ton of viable budget gaming motherboard options for the FM2 socket. Below are listed all of the FM2 motherboards that will work in a solid cheap gaming computer.

fm2-a55m-e33MSI FM2-A55M-E33 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $300-$400

SOCKET: FM2

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At the low end of the FM2 motherboard spectrum, the MSI FM2-A55M-E33 is the perfect board for gamers who are on an extreme budget.

The FM2-A55M-E33 has everything you need to get your computer up and running.

And, while it’s not the most ideal board for gamers, it’s definitely good enough to get the job done.

So, if you’re working with a minimal budget and you just want to throw something together quickly so that you can start gaming as soon as possible, then pairing this motherboard with an FM2 processor will allow you to build a solid cheap gaming computer.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Comes With an HDMI and VGA Port So that You Can Take Advantage of the Integrated Graphics on Your AMD APU
  • Supports Up to 32GB of Memory
  • Is AMD Radeon Dual Graphics Capable

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend using the MSI FM2-A55M-E33 if your budget is under $400. It will pair well with the A8-5600K for the price. This setup isn’t ideal, but it will allow you to start playing most games on at least low settings. If your budget is $400 or more, look at a processor/motherboard combo that offers more features.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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asrock fm2a55m-dgsASRock FM2A55M-DGS Motherboard
Budget Range: $300-$400
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

SOCKET: FM2

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If you’re looking for an alternative to the MSI FM2-A55M-E33, the ASRock FM2A55M-DGS is essentially the same board. The only real difference is in the software and BIOS that comes with each motherboard.

In my opinion, you’ll be fine with either the MSI or ASRock board, but some people prefer one brand to the other. Either board are good options for gamers working with an extremely tight budget (under $400).

Ultimately, both of these motherboards are capable of producing identical in-game results. And, while they aren’t the best options on the market, they are good enough to allow you to start gaming.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Comes With DVI-D and VGA Ports So You Can Utilize the Integrated Graphics on Your AMD APU
  • Supports Up to 32GB of Memory
  • Is AMD Dual Graphics Capable

RECOMMENDATION: My recommendation for the ASRock FM2A55M-DGS is the same as my recommendation for the MSI FM2-A55M-E33… use this board if your budget is under $400 and pair it with an A8-5600K.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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fm2-a75ma-e35MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $350-$450

SOCKET: FM2

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The main upgrades that the A75 chipset has over the A55 chipset, is that the A75 chipset brings 6GB/S SATA capabilities and USB 3.0 into the picture.

For just $5-$10 more than the the MSI FM2-A55M-E33, you can can the MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 and the faster SATA connection as well as four USB 3.0 ports.

Ultimately, this motherboard will work well with any of the AMD APUs and can even be used as an affordable solution for gamers who want the A10-6800K.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable motherboard to pair with your AMD A-Series APU, then the MSI FM2-A55M-E35 is definitely a solid option.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Comes With VGA, DVI, and HDMI Ports
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics
  • Has 3 x USB 3.0 Connections

RECOMMENDATION: The MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 is an excellent option for gamers who want to get the most out of their AMD-APU-Based gaming computer. I recommend using this motherboard if you want an affordable option to pair with your A10-5800K or A10-6800K and you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a high-end motherboard.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Asrock-FM2A75-PRO4-MASRock FM2A75 PRO4-M Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $350-$450
SOCKET: FM2

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For $5 more, the ASRock FM2A75 PRO4-M is virtually the same board as the MSI FM2-A75M-E35. However, the extra $5 gives you a little bit more stability when overclocking.

It also comes with SATA 6GB/S capabilities and USB 3.0. And, if you’re looking to run AMD Radeon Dual Graphics this board (like the MSI one) will allow you to do so.

This board is also a decent option if you want to experiment with some mild-to-moderate overclocking. Ultimately, though, the only reason why you’d get this board over the MSI board is if you prefer ASRock’s software/BIOS or if you want to do some more system-tuning.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Decent Overclocking Board
  • Has VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI Ports
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics
  • Has 3 x USB 3.0 Connections

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend choosing the ASRock FM2A75 PRO4-M if you’re looking for an affordable motherboard that will allow you to overclock your AMD A-Series APU and/or your memory. This motherboard will work well paired with any A-Series FM2 APU, but I recommend using it with either the A10-5800K or the A10-6800K.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ga-f2a85x-d3hGigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: FM2

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For the enthusiasts, the A85X chipset brings a couple more SATA 6GB/S connections and the ability to run dual video cards in X8 CrossFireX configuration. For the extra price, though, the minor additional options probably aren’t worth it for gamers on a serious budget.

However, the ability to run dual video cards in CrossFireX does make the A85X chipset the perfect option for gamers who want to upgrade their rig in the future.

And, of the A85X motherboards out there, the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H is one of the most affordable. So, if you’re looking to give your solid cheap gaming computer some serious upgrade possibilities, then consider the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Decent Overclocking Board
  • Comes With VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI Ports
  • Can Accommodate Dual Video Cards in X8 CrossFireX Configuration
  • Has 4 x USB 3.0 Connections
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics

RECOMMENDATION: The Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H is a solid option for gamers who want an moderately priced board that will allow them to get the most out of their APU and will give them the option of running dual video cards in CrossFireX configuration in the future. I would recommend pairing this motherboard with an A10-5800K or A10-6800K and I would only recommend getting it if you are considering adding dual video cards in the future. If not, go with one of the A75 motherboards.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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FM2A85X Extreme4ASRock FM2A85X EXTREME4
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500
SOCKET: FM2

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Another FM2 A85X option is the ASROCK FM2A85X EXTREME4 motherboard. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between the FM2A85X EXTREME4 and the GA-F2A85X-D3H, so the determining factor may come down to price and brand preference.

In any case, the board is a decent option for overclockers and it comes with four USB 3.0 connections and eight SATA 6GB/S connections.

Its A85X chipset gives it the ability to run dual video cards in CrossFireX configuration at X8 in both PCIe lanes.

As mentioned with the GA-F2A85X, I only recommend this board if you want the option to run dual video cards in the future, as there isn’t too much of a difference between the A85X and A75 chipset. And, you can save a decent amount of money if you stick with the A75 chipset–something that is incredibly important for cheap gaming computer builds.

Features

  • DirectX 11 Capable
  • Socket FM2
  • Decent Overclocking Board
  • Comes With VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI Ports
  • Can Accommodate Dual Video Cards in X8 CrossFireX Configuration
  • Has 4 x USB 3.0 Connections
  • Will Support AMD Radeon Dual Graphics

RECOMMENDATION: The ASRock FM2A85X EXTREME4 motherboard is a good option for gamers who want the ability to run dual video cards in the future. It will be best utilized when paired with an A10-5800K or A10-6800K. It’s also a decent option for anyone who wants to overclock. However, if you don’t plan on running dual video cards in the future, stick with an A75 motherboard.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Motherboards for AMD’s Socket AM3+

If you’re going with the AMD FX-6300 CPU, you’ll need an AM3+ motherboard to pair with it. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable AM3+ motherboards available.

Listed below are all of the AM3+ motherboards that I recommend for budget gaming computers.

asus m5a78l-m lx plusASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: AM3+

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For AM3+ budget gaming computer builds, the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS is a solid entry level motherboard to get your build started.

The M5A78L-M LX PLUS is by no means an enthusiast board and doesn’t have all the high-end features that the more expensive AM3+ boards do, but it is good enough to run your CPU and a single discrete video card…

…and for most gamers, with the right CPU/video card combo and a decent amount of RAM, that’s all you’ll need to get ideal in-game performance.

So, if you’re looking into building an entry level gaming computer that features an AM3+ CPU and a discrete video card, the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS is the perfect option for gamers with a tight budget.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Supports Mild Overclocking and System Tuning
  • The “Core Unlocker” Feature Allows You to Easily Unlock All of Your CPU’s Extra Cores
  • Supports Up to 16GB of DDR3 Memory That Can Be Overclocked to 1866MHz

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend choosing the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS if you are building an AM3+ budget gaming PC. This board works well with an AMD FX-6300 and any of the video cards recommended in this guide. It isn’t the best motherboard option, but if funds are limited and you want to get your system up and running, this board will definitely allow you to do so.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ga-78lmt-usb3Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $400-$500

SOCKET: AM3+

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For approximately $10 more you can go a step up from the M5A78L-M LX PLUS and get Gigabyte’s GA-78LMT-USB3 motherboard. The main difference?

The GA-78LMT-USB3 brings USB 3.0 capabilities to the table and supports up to 32 GB of memory. Is that worth the extra cost?

Well, that’s up to the individual.

For the most part, this Gigabyte board is still a standard entry level AM3+ motherboard with no really exciting features. However, it does support USB 3.0 and it will give you the foundation of a solid budget gaming computer.

So, if you’re looking for a decent entry-level motherboard that supports USB 3.0, then the GA-78LMT-USB3 is a good bet.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Allows for Mild Overclocking and System Tuning
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory
  • Advanced Protection Against the Elements With Humidity, Electrostatic, Power Failure, and High Temperature Protection
  • Supports USB 3.0

RECOMMENDATION: The Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 is a nice entry-level board that will work well with an AMD FX-6300 CPU. I recommend choosing this board if you’re looking for an affordable AM3+ motherboard and you utilize USB 3.0-compatible peripherals. If you don’t need the USB 3.0 support, then for $10 less, the ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS is the better option. 

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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970A-G46MSI 970A-G46 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $500-$600

SOCKET: AM3+

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If you’re working with a decent sized budget and you want a quality motherboard to pair with your AM3+ CPU, then the MSI 970A-G46 is an affordable option that will give you plenty of features.

With support for up to 32GB of DDR3 memory that can be overclocked to up to 2133MHz, you’ll have a board that can easily be upgraded to meet the future demands of gaming.

While this board isn’t ideal for overclocking, it does have all of the other features you could ever want or need (USB 3.0, SATA III, 7.1 Surround Sound Capabilities,Dual Video Card Support etc.)

So, if you’re looking to spend a little more on your system and you want to get a decent motherboard, the MSI 970A-G46 is perfect for you.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Mild Overclocking/System Tuning Can Be Achieved on This Board
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDr3 Memory, Which Can Be Overclocked to a Maximum of 2133MHz
  • Supports USB 3.0
  • OC Genie II Makes Overclocking Simple and Easy
  • Dual Video Card Support
  • Well-Designed Graphical User Interface Makes the BIOS on this Board Very Easy to Use

RECOMMENDATION: The MSI 970A-G46 is by no means an enthusiast board. If you’re looking for high overclocks, you’ll have to look elsewhere. However, if you want a decent-priced motherboard that has all of the latest technology built into it, then I recommend getting this MSI board. It’s perfect with the FX-6300 and it will give you everything you need to build a solid single video card setup.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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AM3 GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $500-$600

SOCKET: AM3+

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If you’re looking for optimal performance and you’ve got a little bit more to spend on your budget gaming computer, then you may want to consider the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3.

With an advanced 8+2 power phase, the GA-970A-UD3 is one of the best AM3+ motherboards for overclocking ~$100.

Not only is the Ga-970A-UD3 one of the only solid options for performance enthusiasts who are working with a budget, but it also has all of the other features you could want out of a motherboard: USB 3.0, SATA III with 6GB/S link speed, Dual Video Card Support, etc.

So, if you’ve got the extra money and you’re looking for a decent overclocking board, then the GA-970A-UD3 is your best option.

Features

  • Socket AM3+
  • Best Overclocking Option at or Under $100
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory Which Can be Overclocked to 2000MHz
  • Supports AMD CrossFireX

RECOMMENDATION: The Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 is the best option for budget builders who want to overclock. The board can be paired with the FX-6300 to achieve moderate overclock levels. And, if you’re looking to spend ~$600 you can fit this board into your budget nicely even if you pair it with an HD 7850 or GTX 660. This setup will give you all-around ideal in-game performance.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Motherboards for Intel’s Socket LGA 1155

For those of you who are looking to go with a solid cheap Intel-based gaming computer, your best bet for a processor is the Intel Core i3-3220, as its really the only affordable Intel CPU for budget systems.

And, if you are going with an i3-3220, you’ll need a decent motherboard to pair it with. I’ve listed two options that will work well for an Intel-based budget gaming PC below.

H77MA-G43MSI H77MA-G43 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $450-$600
SOCKET: LGA 1155

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If you’re looking to go with an Intel gaming computer, your only plausible CPU option is the Intel Core i3-3220.

And, since that’s a locked processor, it’s not worth it to get an unlocked motherboard to pair with it.

The MSI H77MA-G43 is the perfect entry-level motherboard for a solid cheap gaming computer based on an Intel CPU.

The H77MA-G43 has USB 3.0 support, can hold up to 32GB of memory, and it’s micro-ATX form factor makes it a great option for LAN-party builds.

So, if you’re looking for a decent motherboard that will support your Intel system, the MSI H77MA-G43 is definitely a good option.

Features

  • Socket LGA 1155
  • Supports 2nd and 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory Which Can be Overclocked to 2400MHz
  • Will Support CrossFireX Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: For those of you who want to go with an Intel-based gaming computer, the MSI H77MA-G43 is a solid entry-level motherboard. I recommend pairing this motherboard with an Intel Core i3-3220. It’s not a setup that will blow you away, but it’s definitely good enough to get you started.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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H77 Pro4-MASRock  H77 Pro4-M Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $450-$600

SOCKET: LGA 1155

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Another good H77 motherboard that you can use with your Intel Core i3-3220 is the ASRock H77 PRO4-M.

The H77 PRO4-M basically has all of the same features as the MSI H77MA-G43. It also has USB 3.0 support, can hold up to 32GB of memory, and is great for LAN-party builds.

The only real difference between the two boards is that the ASRock board will not allow you to overclock your memory to as high of speeds. However, this isn’t a huge deal, as there is no significant in-game advantage to overclocking your memory.

So, whether you prefer ASRock or MSI, either of these boards will get the job done.

Features

  • Socket LGA 1155
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • Supports CrossFireX Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: The ASRock H77 PRO4-M Motherboard is another solid H77 motherboard that you can choose to go with an Intel Core i3-3220. There’s really not a whole lot of differences between the two boards. Both are good options for the price.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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4.THE BEST BUDGET VIDEO CARDS

Next up in the Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide is video cards. In today’s article I’m going to take a look at all of the budget video card options that you have for your budget gaming PC.

There is no component that dictates your overall in-game performance like your video card does.

The video card you choose is incredibly important and it’s essential that you take your time to ensure that you get the best one possible for your budget.

Fortunately, there are a ton of different affordable video card options you have. And, each one brings its own benefits.

One question that most first-time builders will ask is whether they should go with an AMD or NVIDIA. For a detailed answer on that question, check out this post.

Ultimately, though, for cards under $200, the two manufacturers are so close on performance that it doesn’t make sense to say that one company is better than the other.

However, NVIDIA cards and AMD cards perform differently in different games. So, before you choose your video card, you should check relative benchmarks and make sure that the card you choose is the better option.

Budget Video Cards Under $100

Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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At $70, the Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 is probably the lowest you want to go on a discrete video card. Any less, and you might as well just utilize the integrated graphics on an AMD APU.

The Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 isn’t going to blow you away performance-wise and you won’t be able to play the more demanding games on mid-to-high settings, but it will allow you a solid entry point. And, if you’re playing games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Dota 2, Starcraft II, etc. then this card will max those games out with no problems.

The good thing about this Gigabyte version of the HD 6670, is that, unlike other 6670 models, this one comes with a fan.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to build a solid cheap gaming PC and you want to use a discrete video card, the HD 6670 gives you plenty of power for non-demanding games and will at least have you playing the more demanding games on low settings.

Features

  • Extremely budget friendly
  • Will max out most non-demanding games
  • Good entry-level video card that will at least play the more demanding games on low settings

RECOMMENDATION: The HD 6670 is a good video card to use if you’re working with a budget of around $400 and especially if you don’t plan on playing graphics-intensive games. It’s powerful enough to max out non-demanding games and will at least allow you to play the more demanding ones.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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If you’ve got a little bit more to spend on your system, then the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750 is another good affordable video card option.

The HD 7750 is a step up from the HD 6670 and will allow you to play the more demanding games on mediumish graphics settings. And, just like the HD 6670, the HD 7750 will allow you to max out the less demanding games.

So, if you’re looking for a solid video card under $100, the HD 7750 will give you pretty good performance for the price.

Features

  • Budget friendly
  • Will max out games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft II, World of Warcraft, etc.
  • Will also allow you to play some of the more demanding games on medium settings

RECOMMENDATION: If your budget for your system is between $400 and $450, then the HD 7750 is a solid option. At the very least it will have you playing any game on low settings, and you’ll definitely be able to max out some of the less demanding games with it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Video Cards Between $100-$150

evga gtx 650EVGA GeForce GTX 650
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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For right around $100, you can get the EVGA GeForce GTX 650. The GTX 650 is by no means a high-end card. However, it is capable of delivering some pretty good results for the price.

This card will be able to run the more demanding games like Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and Far Cry 3 on medium settings and it will easily max out the less demanding games.

In fact, if you want a thorough look at what the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 can do, read Trent’s Review on the video card.

Ultimately, the GTX 650 is a great card for the price… especially if you’re working with a tight budget and you want something that will allow you to play most games on at least moderate settings.

Features

  • Budget friendly
  • Will easily max out less demanding games (MOBA’s, MMO’s, RTS’, etc.)
  • Is capable of playing the more demanding games on mid-to-high settings

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re working with a tight budget, but you can find room for the GTX 650, definitely do so. It’s a great card for the price and it will have you playing even the most demanding games on ‘mediumish’ settings.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $400-$500

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The AMD alternative to the GTX 650 is the Radeon HD 7770. And, honestly, for the price, I’d recommend getting whichever of the two cards is at the better price.

The HD 7770 will max most games out and for the more demanding games it will allow you to play on at least medium settings. And, for about $110 that’s a pretty good deal for a budget gaming computer.

Another thing that the HD 7770 has going for it is the fact that it is a part of AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program, so when you get the HD 7770, you also get Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.

So, if you can find the HD 7770 for a better deal than the GTX 650 (or if you really want the two Far Cry games), then this card is the perfect option for your budget PC. It will give you a solid graphics processing solution that will enable you to play any game on at least moderate settings.

Features

  • Budget friendly
  • Will max out less demanding games easily and will play most demanding games on at least moderate settings
  • Through AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program you’ll get Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon for free with the purchase of the HD 7770

RECOMMENDATION: Either the GTX 650 or the HD 7770 are going to be good solutions at this price range. However, video card manufacturers often have sales, so if you see either of these cards at a good price, definitely jump on that one… and if you want the Far Cry games, then that definitely gives the edge to the HD 7770.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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MSI Radeon HD 7790 OCMSI Radeon HD 7790 OC
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $500-$600

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The HD 7790 is a fairly new addition to AMD’s Southern Island family of video cards. And, at $130 it’s definitely a solid option for a cheap gaming computer build.

The MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC is by no means a high-end video card, but for the price it will allow you to max the less demanding games out and it can even play some of the more demanding games on higher settings (although not with any kind of startling framerate numbers…)

Just like the battle between the GTX 650 and the HD 7770, the GTX 650 Ti and the HD 7790 are equally as close. And, the main selling point of the HD 7790 over the GTX 650 Ti may once again be the fact that it overclocks better and that it comes with two free games from AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program. For the HD 7790, you’ll get BioShock Infinite and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.

If it were me personally, I’d choose the HD 7790 OC over the GTX 650 Ti OC because it provides just as much performance at the same price, it overclocks better, and it comes with two free games.

Features

  • Excellent Price-Performance ratio
  • Decent overclocking card
  • Will max out most games and will perform well in even the more demanding games
  • Through AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded Program, the HD 7790 comes with two free games: BioShock Infinite and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

RECOMMENDATION: At the $130 price range the HD 7790 OC, in my opinion, is the best video card option. While the GTX 650 Ti OC provides almost identical performance at the same price, the two free games that the HD 7790 OC comes with and the better overclocking support gives the AMD card the edge. So, if you’re looking for the most value possible, the HD 7790 is definitely it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OCGigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $500-$600

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As mentioned previously, the GTX 650 Ti OC is not my first pick in the $130 range. However, there’s no reason to not consider it.

The GTX 650 Ti is just as good as the HD 7790 OC and the main reason why I chose the HD 7790 OC over it is because of the two free games that the 7790 comes with. For some gamers, the two games that come with the HD 7790 OC may not be as appealing and in that case there is no real significant different between the two cards.

Ultimately, the GTX 650 Ti is going to give good performance for its price and it will play most games on max settings. And, on the more demanding games it is still a decent option.

Features

  • Excellent Price-Performance ratio
  • Will max out most games and can hang quite well with some of the more demanding games

RECOMMENDATION: My first choice at this price range is the HD 7790 OC solely for the reason that it comes with two free games. If you’re not interested in Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon and BioShock Infinite, then the GTX 650 Ti OC is just as good of an option.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Video Cards Over $150

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SCEVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SC
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $550-$600

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There are three cards over $150 that can be had if your budget is between $550 and $600. The most affordable of those cards is the GTX 650 Ti Boost.

The GTX 650 Ti Boost is a souped-up version of the regular GTX 650 Ti and it definitely brings a noticeable performance difference to the table.

In games like Battlefield 3, the Boost edition of the GTX 650 Ti actually puts up almost 10 FPS more than the non-Boost version. And, for a little less money, at stock speeds the 650 Ti Boost competes with the HD 7850 in most games and even beats it in others.

So, if you’re looking for a powerful video card at an affordable price, the GTX 650 Ti Boost definitely fits the bill.

Features

  • Excellent Price-Performance ratio
  • There’s only a few games on the market that will stress the GTX 650 Ti Boost
  • Perfect option for budget gamers who want ideal performance

RECOMMENDATION: The GTX 650 Ti Boost is perhaps the best option when considering the price/performance ratio you’ll get at stock speeds. So, if you don’t plan on overclocking your video card, then the GTX 650 Ti is definitely worth the money.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card

Budget Range: $550-$600

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As far as performance goes, the Radeon HD 7850 has more potential than any other card under $200. (That’s why we recommended it in our Top Video Cards article.)

At stock speeds the GTX 660 is the better card and the GTX 650 Ti Boost even gives the HD 7850 a run for the money.

However, when you bring overclocking potential into play, the HD 7850 blows the similarly priced NVIDIA cards out of the water.

There is a 90+ page thread one overclockers.co that shows that the HD 7850 has the potential to surpass stock  HD 7950 speeds when overclocked. That’s pretty amazing from a sub $200 card.

Ultimately, you’ll need a good motherboard and PSU if you want to take the HD 7850 to its true potential, but if you do go that route you will be heavily rewarded.

So, if you’re planning on overclocking your GPU, the HD 7850 is the only choice sub $200. If you’re just going with stock speeds, it’s still a good choice (especially since it comes with three free games), but the GTX 650 Ti Boost and the GTX 660 will perform just as well, if not better.

Features

  • Monster overclocking potential
  • Will run most games on max settings at stock speeds
  • Comes with Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, BioShock Infinite, and Tomb Raider as part of AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded program

RECOMMENDATION: If you want the most potential as is possible and you don’t mind overclocking your video card, then the HD 7850 is the only choice you should consider. However, if you’re just planning on sticking to the stock settings, you should definitely consider the GTX 650 Ti Boost and the GTX 660 as well.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SCEVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card

Budget Range: $550-$600

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As the most expensive video card I’d recommend for a budget gaming computer, the GTX 660 SC is definitely an excellent option.

For about $200, the GTX 660 SC will give you near ideal in-game performance. With it you can expect to max out pretty much any game on a 1080p monitor. That’s pretty good for a budget gaming PC.

In the end, each of the three video cards over $150 that I’d recommend for a budget system bring their own advantage to the table. The 650 Ti Boost is the best price-to-performance option of the three, the HD 7850 is the card with the most performance potential (and it comes with three free games), and the GTX 660 SC has the best stock speed performance.

So, you need to decide which of those advantages you prefer. Whichever one you choose of those three, you will not be disappointed.

Features

  • Great performance for the price
  • Highest performing budget video card at stock speeds
  • Will max out just about any game you throw at it

RECOMMENDATION: The GTX 660 SC is the best option for gamers who have a budget of between $550-$600 and who want the most performance right out of the box. For overclockers, the HD 7850 is the better choice, and for those looking to save a little bit more money, the GTX 650 Ti Boost is the better option.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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5.THE BEST BUDGET MEMORY

Today we’re going to talk about the options you have for choosing memory if you’re working with a tight budget. The budget gaming memory options in this article are all capable of doing their part to help you secure an ideal in-game experience.

Corsair Vengeance Low Profile MemoryMemory, or RAM, is an important part of your computer. It gives the processor a place to carry out calculations and it helps it grab information and data quickly.

In modern gaming, there aren’t a whole lot of games that fully utilize more than 4GB of RAM. So, if you’re working with a tight budget, 4GB is a good place to start.

However, due to the fact that RAM is the one of the most affordable components out there, and because the next generation of games are right around the corner, it’s not a bad idea to go with 8GB of memory.

Of course, whether you do go with 4GB or 8GB is all going to depend on your budget. For bigger budgets, 8GB is easy to fit in. For extremely tight budgets, 4GB is the better option.

In this article I’m going to take a look at the different budget gaming memory options you have. Unlike the other posts in this series, I’m going to break down memory by the manufacturer, rather than the model.

Budget Memory Options

kingston hyperx bluKingston HyperX Blu Memory
1600MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Kingston has been around and producing memory since 1987. And, they are definitely one of the top names in memory among gamers and system builders.

Their HyperX Blu line of memory is the perfect balance between speed and affordability and it will definitely do its part to bring you an ideal in-game experience without bottlenecking your other components.

As far as comparing it to the other brands listed in this article, the HyperX Blu has the most affordable set of 8GB of memory at around ~$55. And, since the speeds are similar, there’s no reason not to go with it.

And, with a lifetime warranty and superb customer support, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you will be covered in the rare occasion that something goes wrong.

In the end, the HyperX Blu is a solid option for gaming memory and you won’t be disappointed by choosing it.

Features

  • 1600MHz
  • Lifetime Warranty and Customer Support
  • HyperX module gives it faster latency timing

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend getting 4GB if you’re working with a tight budget (less than ~$450) and 8GB if you’ve got a little bigger budget (over ~$450). Ultimately, the memory listed in this article are so similar in terms of performance, that you’ll probably want to go with whichever one costs less. At the time of writing this article, the Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB memory kit is the most affordable.

 

ADATA XPG Gaming SeriesADATA XPG Gaming Series Memory
1600MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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ADATA is a relatively new face in the industry (founded in 2001), but they have quickly made a name for themselves as a leading memory manufacturer.

ADATA’s DDR3 1600MHz XPG Gaming Series memory is cost effective and will perform at an ideal level.

In fact, in most games and scenarios, going over 1600MHz really provides no significant performance increase.

So, this set of memory (as well as the other 1600MHz sets listed in this article) are plenty fast enough to play any game out there.

So, if you’re looking for a solid and affordable set of gaming memory, then ADATA’s XPG Gaming Series is definitely a worthy choice.

Features

  • 1600MHz
  • 9-9-9-24 Timing
  • Highest Standard for Stability and Efficiency

RECOMMENDATION: When deciding between the different memory options in this article, I’d honestly go with whichever one cost less at the time. The difference in in-game performance between the four options listed in this article are so slim, that none carry any noticeable advantage. So, if the ADATA memory is the most affordable, then go with it.

Corsair Vengeance MemoryCorsair Vengeance Memory
1600MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Of the four memory modules listed in this article, none are more recognized than Corsair’s Vengeance line of memory.

Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of the Corsair Vengeance line is their tall heat spreaders (which not everyone is crazy about). However, performance is not a question with Corsairs most established memory modules (which we have included in out article on the best gaming memory.)

While you will have to pay a premium for the brand, you do get a little tighter timings and that will lead to a small performance increase.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with a set of Corsair Vengeance. They offer everything you could ever want out of a kit of memory. And, since they make their modules in Low Profile (as seen in the image above) you can easily fit this set in a system with a bigger heatsink.

Features

  • 1600MHz
  • 9-9-9-24 Timing
  • Good Overclocking Modules

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re going with 4GB of Corsair Vengeance, then it’s actually more affordable to get the version with the heat spreader. If you can fit the heat spreader into your build, go with that one. For the 8GB kit, the low profile version and the heat spreader version cost the same. So, get whichever one suits your needs.

 

Crucial Ballistix Sport XTCrucial Ballistix Sport XT
1866MHz
DDR3
Budget Range: $300-$600

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One of the main benefits of the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3 1866MHz memory over the others listed in this article, is that for AMD APU builds, the higher frequency actually comes into play.

In non-APU builds, going with faster memory doesn’t yield a significant increase in performance and it’s not really necessary.

However, going with faster memory in an AMD APU-based build does provide a decent performance boost and it’s actually recommended.

So, if you’re planning on going with an AMD APU for your budget gaming computer, it’s definitely a good idea to get faster memory to get the most out of your system. And, the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3 1866MHz will definitely allow you to do so.

Features

  • 1866MHz
  • Will give a boost to AMD APU-based builds
  • 10-10-10-30 Timing

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend going with the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT if you’re building an AMD APU-based system, as the faster memory frequency will come into play. Also, the heat spreader on the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT is pretty large, so if you’re going to go with this memory, make sure you have enough clearance with your heatsink.

 

6.THE BEST BUDGET HARD DRIVES

Next up in our Good Cheap Gaming Computer guide we’re going to discuss the hard drive. For tighter budgets it’s best to stick with a 500 GB hard drive in order to allocate more of your funds to more important components. And, there are really only a couple of options (based on manufacturer) of budget gaming hard drives that make sense in an economical build.

Western Digital 500GB HDDThe hard drive in your computer is important because it will give you a place to store your games, files, programs, and operating system.

However, your hard drive will not have a significant impact on your in-game experience. It will not affect the quality of your picture, what settings you run your games on, or your framerate.

About the only thing in gaming that a hard drive will have an effect on is load times. And, once you’re in-game those don’t usually matter anyways.

With that being said, you still need a hard drive in order to store everything. So, it’s important that you choose one that is big enough to hold all of your games and that doesn’t cost a fortune. Luckily, 500 GB hard drives are pretty affordable and they will give you plenty of storage space.

In this article I will go over the two options that you have for budget gaming hard drives.

Budget Gaming Hard Drive Options

500GB Seagate BarracudaSeagate Barracuda Hard Drive
7200 RPM
500GB
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Seagate has been making hard drives since 1979. That’s a long history of producing PC storage devices.

And, with that history comes dependability.

The bottom line, though, when choosing between Seagate and Western Digital is price.

You really can’t go wrong with either manufacturer.

So, the best way to make your decision on your hard drive is just to choose which one is cheaper at the time of purchase.

I personally use Seagate hard drives because they have never failed me. However, there are just as many people who say the same thing about Western Digital.

If you have a preference between the two manufacturers, then stick with it. If not, choose the one that is more cost effective.

Features

  • 500GB
  • 7200 RPM
  • 16MB Cache
  • SATA 6 GB/s Interface

RECOMMENDATION: Choose your hard drive based on current prices or on the manufacturer you feel most comfortable with based on previous experiences. So, go with the Seagate 500GB HDD if it’s cheaper than the Western Digital drive, or if you’ve had a good history with Seagate.

500 GB Western Digital Caviar BlueWestern Digital Caviar Blue Hard Drive
7200 RPM
500GB
Budget Range: $300-$600

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Western Digital has been around even longer than Seagate. However, despite the fact that they were founded in 1970, they didn’t start making storage devices until 1980.

Still, though, that’s a long time in the game.

Basically, you’re going to get the same performance out of a Western Digital drive as you will out of a Seagate drive.

So, as mentioned above, the real determining factor is going to be price and possibly your previous experience with either of the companies.

If you’re just looking for a hard drive to get the job done, then go with the cheaper option between the two. Although, if you prefer Western Digital over Seagate, there’s definitely nothing wrong with choosing the WD drive.

Anyway you choose you will be fine.

Features

  • 500GB
  • 7200 RPM
  • 16MB Cache
  • SATA 6 GB/s Interface

RECOMMENDATION: Choose whichever budget gaming hard drive is the least expensive at the time, or choose from the manufacturer that you feel most comfortable with.


7.THE BEST BUDGET GAMING CASES

Your case is an incredibly important part of your gaming computer as it houses your components and plays a big role in the cooling process. So, today we’re going to look at all of the budget gaming case options you have. That way you can come away with a solid case for your solid cheap gaming computer.

As mentioned above, not only does a case protect your components, but it also plays a huge role in the cooling process of your components.

Air flow is crucial to keeping your components at an appropriate temperature level and therefore it’s vital that you choose a case that offers good air flow.

Also, for some gamers, the style of a case is very important. I often recommend going with the NZXT GAMMA Classic case due to its solid air flow for the price and option to add a bunch of different fans.

However, many prospective builders have written me to ask about alternatives because they don’t like the GAMMA Classic’s design. And, that’s completely understandable.

So, in this list I have tried to incorporate many different budget gaming case options, including stylish cases, and cases that provide good air flow.

Ultimately, you should pick a case that you like, as it is the one component that will be visible at all times.

Budget Gaming Cases Under $40

Rosewill Dual FansRosewill Dual Fans FBM-01
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Micro-ATX Computer Case

Budget Range: $300-$500

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At the very extreme low-end of the budget gaming case options you have is the Rosewill Dual Fans Micro-ATX Mini Tower Computer case.

It’s not the best case on the market, but since its price often drops to below $30, it is definitely budget friendly. And, since micro-ATX motherboards are your only option with a budget of under $400, this case will work perfectly.

So, if you need a really affordable budget gaming case, then the Rosewill Dual Fans is definitely a case that you should consider. It’s not the prettiest case or the best built tower, but it will be good enough to hold the components of your budget system.

Features

  • Micro-ATX Case
  • Comes With Two Fans: 1 x 80mm/1 x 120mm
  • 2 x 5.25″ External Bays/1 x 3.5″ External Bays/2 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Four Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Rosewill Dual Fans case is a good option for gamers who are working with an extremely tight budget. Since it’s often priced under $30 it’s incredibly affordable. It’s definitely not the most well-built case on the market, but it is good enough for entry-level systems.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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SilverStone Tek PS08BSilverStone Tek PS08B
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Micro-ATX Computer Case

Budget Range: $300-$500

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If size is a concern, and you want a case that is both affordable and compact, then the SilverStone Tek PS08B is a solid option.

Surprisingly, for roughly $35 the SilverStone Tek PS08B is fairly well built when compared to other similarly priced cases.

And, despite its small size, it will accommodate your components very well.

Also, this case does have USB 3.0 slots on the front panel, which is pretty awesome given its price. Ultimately, though, if you’re looking for a compact tower, this budget gaming case is a great option for your next cheap gaming computer build.

Features

  • Micro-ATX Case
  • Comes With 2 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Comes With One Fan: 1 x 120mm Front Fan
  • 2 x 5.25″ External Bays/4 x 3.5″ Internal Bays/1 x 2.5″ Internal Drive Bay
  • Four Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The SilverStone Tek PS08B is the perfect budget gaming case for gamers who want a well-built, affordable, and compact case for their solid cheap gaming computer build.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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NZXT GAMMA Classic SeriesNZXT GAMMA Classic Series
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $300-$500

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The NZXT GAMMA Classic Series case has been used a bunch on the lower-priced systems on EGC’s Gaming PCs page. The reason why I like this case so much is that for the price, it comes with the option to have up to seven different fans.

And, while it does only come with one 120mm fan in the rear of the case, the ability to add six other fans makes it a great option for anyone seeking maximum air flow.

The one downside of this case, though, is that not many people like how its styled. If you’re one of those people, then there are definitely other options out there.

However, if you don’t mind what your case looks like, or if you don’t think the GAMMA Classic Series case is that bad-looking, then it’s definitely one of the best options on this list.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Micro-ATX & Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Seven Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 4 x 5.25″ External Bays/7 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: In my opinion, the NZXT GAMMA Classic Series Mid Tower Case is one of the best budget gaming cases available due to how affordable it is (it periodically goes on sale for under $30) and how many fan options it presents. Definitely get this case if you don’t mind how its styled.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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NZXT Source 210NZXT Source 210 in White/Black
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $400-$600

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The Source 210 is another great NZXT case for budget builders. In fact, I used this case when building a computer for a relative and I was very happy with its durability and cable management.

Style-wise it’s not going to blow you away (but for some people, that’s a good thing). It comes in either black or white and it gives you plenty of options for storage and drives.

One thing that really stood out to me was the when using a micro-ATX motherboard in this case, there was a ton of room to play with. This is good as more room means better airflow and cooling.

Ultimately, there’s a reason why I am currently recommending the NZXT Source 210 in four out of the nine EGC Budget Builds. So, if you’re looking for an affordable, quality, and reliable case, then you can’t go wrong with the NZXT Source 210.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Micro-ATX & Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Seven Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 3 x 5.25″ External Bays/8 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t like the look of the NZXT GAMMA Classic Series case, then for a $5-$10 more you can get the NZXT Source 210, which has nearly identical features, but comes with a more simple design. 

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Cases between $40-$50

SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITESilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mini-ITX Computer Case

Budget Range: $400-$600

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If you’re looking for a decent-priced compact mini-ITX box, then the SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE is a good starting point.

This cases compact size makes it a great option for LAN gamers or for people who just don’t want their system taking up a ton of room.

However, while this cases small size does offer convenience, getting components that will fit inside of it will take a little work on your part.

For starters, it can only house a mini-ITX motherboard. Also, if you’re planning on adding a discrete video card, you’ll have to find one that is under 10″ long. And, finally, a tall heatsink is out of the question with this case, although you could probably get a liquid cooler in there with some modifications.

In the end, the SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE is a good option if you’re looking for a LAN box and/or you’re willing to work with the smaller amount of space and it is the most affordable mini-ITX case on the market.

Features

  • Mini-ITX Computer Case
  • Small and Lightweight — Perfect for LAN Parties
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Will House Mini-ITX Motherboards Only
  • Can Accommodate Seven Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 1 x 3.5″ Internal Bays/1 x 2.5″ Internal Drive Bays
  • Two Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The SilverStone Tek SG05BB-LITE is a good option for gamers who want to build a mini-ITX system that they can take to LAN parties. Just remember, though, that this case will only accommodate a mini-ITX motherboard (which rules out an AM3+ build since there are no AM3+ mini-ITX motherboards) and it should only be chosen by gamers who want to build a small and compact system.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Thermaltake CommanderThermaltake Commander
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $400-$600

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The Thermaltake Commander is another solid budget gaming case that gives you a lot of options.

There are a few different versions and editions of the Commander.

There is the regular edition (black), the MS-I Snow Edition (black/white), the MS-I Epic Edition (black/red), and the White Commander MS-I Snow Edition (white).

Despite all of the different editions you can choose from, the case is also roomy, provides a side window to show off your components, and has an excellent design for air flow.

So, if you’re looking for a moderately-priced budget gaming case that has a nice look to it and has plenty of features, then the Thermaltake Commander is definitely a good place to start.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Four Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Thermaltake Commander is one of many solid options for a budget gaming case between $40-$50. There are many different editions of this case so you have more than just the black case to choose from. If you like the look, then this case is definitely a good choice, because it has everything else a decent case should have.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Cooler Master Elite 430Cooler Master Elite 430
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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Another budget gaming case that has been featured a lot on Elite Gaming Computers is the Cooler Master Elite 430. In fact, I believe in it so much that I gave it away as a prize back in June and it is listed as our best case under $50 in our article “The Best Gaming Cases in 2013,” which can be read here.

You can check out the winner’s unboxing YouTube video review of it here.

Basically, the Cooler Master Elite 430 is moderately priced and comes with a lot of features.

For under $50 (and sometimes even under $40) you get the option to add up to six fans for maximum air flow and cooling.

The case also comes with tool-less drive bays and a side-window, two features that are usually found on more expensive cases. The bottom line is that this case kicks ass and it’s a great option if you can stretch the budget to get it.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Comes With One 120mm Front Fan
  • Can Accommodate up to Six Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Cooler Master Elite 430 is a great budget gaming case that brings some high-end feature and excellent air flow to the table. If you’ve got the budget for it, it’s definitely a case that you should consider, especially if you plan on utilizing the extra fan slots.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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nzxt tempest 210NZXT Tempest 210
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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NZXT has a knack for making good gaming cases.

The Tempest 210 is no exception.

With the option to house up to six fans, and the fact that this case comes with two of those fans already installed, the Tempest 210 has huge air flow and cooling potential.

Not to mention, the case already comes with filters pre-installed on the front intake fans, which is nice as most budget gaming cases don’t offer that.

Aside front the superior air flow and filters, the Tempest 210 also has good cable management features, a USB 3.0 port on the front panel, and it comes with tool-less drive bays for easy installation.

So, if you’re looking for a solid case for your budget gaming computer, the NZXT Tempest 210 is feature-rich and ready to go.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • One USB 3.0 Port on Front Panel
  • Comes With One 120mm Rear Fan and One 140mm Front Fan
  • Can Accommodate up to Six Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The NZXT Tempest 210 is another excellent budget gaming case option. When choosing between the cases listed in this article, I’d almost say to go with the one that you feel looks the best since they all have similar features.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Budget Gaming Cases Over $50

Antec OneAntec One
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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Antec is known for making high-quality products and their main budget gaming case, called the “One,” is definitely well-built and feature-rich.

This nice sleek-looking case has USB 3.0 front panel support, the option to hold up to five fans, tool-less drive bays, and a bunch of drive/storage bays.

With plenty of room for all of your components, the Antec One is an excellent option for a budget gaming case. So, if you’re looking for a solid case that looks good and will give you ideal cooling, then the One should definitely be considered.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Comes With Two 120mm Fans (Top and Rear Exhaust)
  • Can Accommodate up to Five Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Antec One is Antec’s most affordable case. However, that doesn’t mean it lacks quality. It has all the bells and whistles of a high-end case and it offers good air flow. And, with it’s attractive style, it would be hard to pass over this case.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Cooler Master Elite 130 AdvancedCooler Master Elite 130 Advanced
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mini-ITX Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

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As you can see by the fact that this is the second mini-ITX case listed in this article, LAN systems are possible at low budgets.

The Cooler Master Elite 130 Advanced is a new case from CM and it definitely has some pretty awesome features. For a mini-ITX case it offers superb air flow, plenty of space for storage devices, and can hold even the biggest video cards.

Not only that, but the case is big enough to house a water cooling system for even better cooling.

The case also has USB 3.0 front panel support, comes with two fans, and is compact enough to place it anywhere you want it to go. So, if you’re looking to build a mini-ITX system for LAN parties and you’re working with a budget, then the Cooler Master Elite 430 Advanced is definitely a case you need to look at.

Features

  • Mini-ITX Computer Case
  • Will Only House Mini-ITX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Comes With Two Fans Pre-Installed
  • Can Accommodate a Water Cooling System and the Largest Video Cards on the Market
  • Plenty of Storage Space
  • Two Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Cooler Master Elite 130 Advanced offers incredible features for a budget mini-ITX case. The fact that it can fit the largest video cards on the market and a water cooling system is impressive. And, the bottom line is that if you’re looking to build a powerful but affordable LAN gaming computer, then this case is definitely what you need.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Rosewill ChallengerRosewill Challenger
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

Read More
The Rosewill Challenger is another solid budget gaming case for you to consider. Coming in at right around $50, the Challenger offers plenty of storage space, three pre-installed fans, and the option to add two more fans.

The case also features a blue LED light on the front of the case, as well as the option for USB 3.0 front panel support. (There’s an option for USB 2.0 only, which costs less, and the option for USB 3.0, which is more expensive.)

The case also has good cable management options and tool-less drive bays for easy installation and setup. Ultimately, it’s a very solid case for its price and it’s definitely worth your consideration if you’re building a cheap gaming computer.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX and Micro-ATX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Comes With Three Fans Pre-Installed (1 x 120mm Front Fan, 1 x 120mm Rear Fan, 1 x 140mm Top Fan)
  • Can Accommodate up to Five Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Rosewill Challenger is yet another excellent budget gaming case. Its blue LED light might win over some gamers, but ultimately the Challenger is an all-around well-built and feature-rich case that is worthy of your consideration.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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NZXT M59 Classic SeriesNZXT M59 Classic Series
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case

Budget Range: $500-$600

Read More
In my opinion, the NZXT M59 has a really cool look to it and is tailored perfectly to gamers. With its unique design and its large window in the side-panel, the M59 will definitely make a statement through its appearance alone.

However, the NZXT M59 also has all of the features you would expect out of a high-end mid tower case. It comes with two fans with the option to go up to five total, and it comes with two filters to help prevent dust from getting inside.

It also has a ton of options for storage devices and its build quality is excellent. In the end, the M59 is stylish, has a ton of features, and is affordable. So, if you’re looking for those three things, then the M59 is definitely a good option.

Features

  • ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Will House Standard ATX, Micro-ATX, and Baby AT Motherboards
  • Comes With Two Fans Pre-Installed (1 x 120mm LED Side Fan, 1 x 120mm Rear Fan)
  • Comes With Two Filters
  • Can Accommodate up to Five Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Tool-less Drive Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The NZXT M59 is definitely a cool-looking case. In fact, it’s unique style might be its main selling point. However, that’s not all the case is capable of. It has all of the features you should expect out of a high-end mid tower case. So, if you’re looking for a cool-looking case that brings a lot to the table, then the M59 is right up your alley.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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8.THE BEST BUDGET POWER SUPPLIES

In this section of EGC’s Good Cheap Gaming Computers guide, we will take a look at the different options you have for your power supply. There are really only four budget gaming power supplies that I recommend, as I believe they are the four that offer the most value relative to their price.

Most first-time builders mess up when choosing a power supply. They think that a higher wattage rating means quality.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Quality power supplies are not determined by their wattage rating (which may or may not be misleading). They are determined by their build quality, their efficiency, and their ability to provide stable power for your system.

In fact, label wattage is not the number you want to look at when choosing your PSU. Instead, you should be looking at the amps available on the +12V rail(s). That is a much better indicator of what a power supply is capable of handling.

Listed below are four power supplies that will handle any combination of components that have been listed throughout this series. They are my choices for the best performance/price power supplies for system’s that cost under $600.

So, if you’re looking for a solid budget gaming power supply, these PSU options are your best bet.

Antec VP-450Antec VP-450
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $300-$600

Read More
I have a thing for the Antec VP-450… That’s why it’s consistently been used in EGC’s Builds and why we consider it the best power supply under $50.

For under $40, you can have one of the most efficient budget gaming power supplies on the market.

Sure, 450 watts seems low, but this PSU runs more like a 500-600W PSU than it does a 450W.

The main advantage of the Antec VP-450 is its dual +12v 18 amp rails. That’s a combined 36A on the two +12v rails, which will provide enough power to run an HD 7970… That’s insane for the price…

Ultimately, this PSU might be the best budget gaming power supply available, simply for the amount of power it will produce relative to its cost.

Features

  • 450W PSU
  • 36A Spread Across Dual +12V Rails
  • Can Handle Any Video Cards on This Page

RECOMMENDATION: The Antec VP-450 is my number one recommendation for building a solid cheap gaming computer. Its price is incredible when compared to the performance it delivers. Don’t focus on the 450w label it has on it, this one plays more like a 550w unit.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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SilverStone Strider 500W ST50F-ESSilverStone Strider 500W ST50F-ES
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $400-$600

Read More
The SilverStone Strider ST50F-ES is a decent budget gaming power supply.

With 34A on the +12V rail this budget gaming power supply can definitely handle any of the video cards recommended in this guide.

However, when compared to the Antec VP-450, it has less amps on the +12V rail, doesn’t come with dual rails, and costs almost $15 more. (Although it does come with a $10 rebate.)

The only reason why I use the ST50F-ES over the VP-450 in my $700 and $850 builds on the EGC Budget Builds section is because the ST50F-ES comes with the two 6-pin PCI power connectors necessary to run those video cards.

The Antec VP-450 will still run those systems fine and it would just need a molex-to-6-pin-connector to power those video cards, however, to minimize confusion, I use the ST50F-ES since it already has the connections needed.

The bottom line is that the ST50F-ES is a serviceable budget gaming power supply. However, unless you can find the ST50F-ES for a really good deal, then I’d recommend sticking with the Antec VP-450.

Features

  • 500W
  • 34A Single +12V Rail
  • Will Easily Handle Any of the Video Cards Listed Recommended in This Series

RECOMMENDATION: The SilverStone Strider ST50F-ES is a good option for a tight budget build. However, for less money, the Antec VP-450 is more enticing. I recommend going with the ST50F-ES only if it’s on sale and priced lower than the VP-450.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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Rosewill Capstone-450Rosewill Capstone-450
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $500-$600

Read More
If it’s high quality that you seek, then Rosewill’s Capstone-450 is your best bet.

At ~$60 it’s a little pricey for a budget gaming computer (especially when compared to the Antec VP-450), but it is definitely a well-built unit.

With 37A on the +12V rail, this Capstone power supply has plenty of power to accommodate any of the video cards in this series.

And, as an AnandTech Editor’s Choice Award winner, you can bet that it will deliver quality power to your system for a long time. So, if you’re looking for the best quality possible and you don’t mind spending a little more, then the Capstone -450 is definitely a good option.

Features

  • 450W
  • 37A Single +12V Rail
  • Will Accommodate Any Combination of Parts in This Series

RECOMMENDATION: The Rosewill Capstone-450 is a very well-built unit. However, it’s price to performance ratio is not nearly as good as Antec’s VP-450. If it’s the best possible quality that you seek, then this unit is a good choice. If you’re looking for the best deal and for a PSU that will power your solid cheap gaming computer, then the VP-450 is still the way to go.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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XFX Core Edition PRO 550WXFX Core Edition PRO 550W
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Non Modular

Budget Range: $500-$600

Read More
With a 550W rating and 44A on the +12V rail, the XFX Core Edition PRO 550W is definitely the biggest PSU on this list.

It will definitely give you enough headroom for moderate overclocks and it will allow you to install a high-end video card. (This unit can handle an HD 7970, and even a new GTX 780…)

However, as mentioned numerous times in this article, if you’re just looking to put together a combination of components listed in this series, the Antec VP-450 at ~$25 less is the better option since both PSUs will handle a budget gaming computer just fine.

Although, for overclockers, this XFX unit is the best option on this list as it offers plenty of power. So, if you’re looking to do some system tuning, then you might want to consider this power supply.

Features

  • 550W
  • 44A Single +12V Rail
  • Best PSU on this List for Overclocking
  • Will Handle Any Component Combination in This Series and Then Some

RECOMMENDATION: The XFX Core Edition Pro 550W power supply is a great option for gamers who are looking to overclock on a budget. I recommend getting this unit if you plan on overclocking. If not, the VP-450 is still my recommended choice.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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9.OPTICAL DRIVES

Optical drives are slowly becoming more and more obsolete. In fact, with the rise of digital downloads, an optical drive isn’t even necessary. It is entirely possible to build your system without one.

With that being said, I still include an optical drive in the majority of my builds, simply because it makes installing your operating system much easier.  If you don’t choose an optical drive for your build, you’ll have to install your operating system from a USB drive. This actually isn’t that difficult of a process and you can read a guide on how to do it here.

The good thing about foregoing an optical drive if you’re building a budget gaming computer, is that it will give you an extra $20 to put to better components. Though if you have a lot of older games on discs that you want to put onto your computer, you’ll want to get an optical drive. And, if you want to use your computer as a home theater as well, you’ll probably be interested in a Blu-ray player.

If you want an optical drive for your new build, here are some options to consider:

DVD/RW

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive

LG Electronics 24X SATA Super-Multi DVD Internal Rewriter

Samsung Optical Drive SH-224DB/BEBE

BD-ROM (Blu-ray)

ASUS Black 12X SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive

LG Electronics 14X SATA Blu-ray Internal Rewriter

There’s really nothing fancy you need to look for when choosing an optical drive. The only thing you might want to consider is the color of the front plate of the optical drive. If you’re going for style points, you’ll want to match the optical drive to your case.

If you’re choosing a Blu-ray drive just remember that you’ll need software to go along with it. In some cases the BD-ROM will come with the necessary software. However, in other scenarios (like with both of the BD-ROMs above) the software is not included. You can always download and install VLC for free. Or, if you don’t get the software with the BD-ROM you buy software like Cyberlink PowerDVD.


10.OPERATING SYSTEMS

You have to have an operating system if you want to actually use your gaming computer. Currently there are really only a couple of viable options for operating systems if you’re building a gaming computer: Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Both options are suitable for gaming, but both also have a couple of aspects that you might want to consider before buying…

Windows 8.1 (~$95)

Windows 8 launched to quite a bit of criticism. It had a ton of bugs, it completely changed its interface (which confused people), and it had upset Valve (who owns Steam) by releasing some restrictive licensing rules.

Now that the smoke has cleared a little bit and Microsoft’s new operating system has been out for over a year, there’s a couple reasons why you might want to choose Windows 8 for your next gaming computer.

First, off, with the 8.1 update a lot (not all) of the nuisances of Windows 8 have been fixed. 8.1 fully supports DirectX 11.1, while Windows 7 does not (at least not fully). And, in games like Battlefield 4, there is actually a noticeable performance increase when using Windows 8.1

Microsoft’s reluctance to provide updated support for Windows 7 is another sign for concern. It’s clear Microsoft wants everyone to be using Windows 8. This isn’t good news for Windows 7, as it is likely that in the future, Microsoft will stop updating it to support the latest advancements.

Ultimately, despite it’s many annoying problems, I’m now recommending Windows 8.1 for all new gaming computer builds, simply because I believe Windows 7 is going to be left behind in future updates. However, Windows 7 is still not a bad choice, and if it gets to the point to where your performance is being limited, you can always upgrade.

Windows 7 (~$90)

Windows 7 is definitely the more popular decision for operating systems among enthusiasts. It’s stable and much more familiar than the new Windows 8. And, in terms of performance, there aren’t many (but there are some, see above…)  instances where Windows 8 clearly pulls ahead. At least not as of yet.

As of right now, Windows 7 is still, perhaps, the best choice for an operating system. Though, that’s likely to change in the future, as it looks like Microsoft is going to stop releasing important updates for Windows 7 in an effort to get more people to switch to Windows 8.

In the end, the decision comes down to you. Do you prefer an easier-to-use and more comfortable operating system? Or, are you concerned about the future and want to make sure you have the best OS (performance-wise) going forward?


HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? POST THEM BELOW!

Comments

  1. Aidan Bennett says

    Hey, so I did the $600 build, but when I plugged the system into the monitor I got a little screen saying no signal and the little piezo speaker started beeping. Any idea how to fix this?

    • Chris says

      Which video output did you use, HDMI, or DVI? If one wasn’t working, then I would try the other. Sometime the video outputs are set to one output or the other. My last video card only worked with DVI, and not with HDMI until I set it up to output from HDMI by going into it’s settings. As far as the beeping goes, I dunno. Good luck!

    • Chris says

      Does the monitor work when you have it plugged in to the motherboard’s video output? Also check your BIOS to see if your motherboard is detecting your video card. You should be able to see what it’s currently using for the video output, and select the video card for video output instead. Then just update the video card drivers, and you should be set.

  2. Samson0722 says

    Hey Brent here are some fun questions!!! You are doing so great with this comment section so I decided to ask you some questions to get to know you better and for fun.
    How did you get introduced to gaming, when did you get into PC gaming?
    What games do you play?
    What is your gaming rig?
    When’s your birthday and how old are you? (you’re pretty legit man)
    Your articles are awesome, you write them wholeheartedly without bias. You also keep up with the comment section which is awesome. How did you decide to write articles for elitegamingcomputers?
    I’m pretty sure everyone who’s seen this comment section and how much you keep up with it, think you are a pretty awesome, and cool dude. I hope you have a great day man.
    Thanks for everything Brent.

    -Samson0722

    P.S: Are you related to Saxton Hale? I bet you are because you are such a boss.

    P.S.S: I appreciate the help on my questions on the 700 dollar build. I think i’ll get it. I’m not sure how to get the money but i’ll get it somewhere. Thanks for the support…

  3. Samson0722 says

    Hey brent just one more thing. Can you explain overclocking to me. I’m pretty sure it just makes it so that your cpu pumps out more frames or your graphics card. I’m not sure. All I know is that I can’t do it with the i5 core. That should be all I need to know to start buying and building. I know a few videos that show how to put it together. Thanks man for all the help and your dedication to this comment section. Love ya man.

  4. says

    Hey Brent,

    How are you??
    This is my first computer that i’m going to build, but I don’t know which parts are the best for a real cheap gaming PC. I have max 400 euro to spend, and i play games like League Of Legends and hearthstone. Should i just go with the 300 pre-build, or with some little more expensive components in the list? I just want a PC that can handle league of legends :)

    ps: This site is awesome! it really helps me as a starter :)
    ps: Does it really matter that i live in the Netherlands? Are the components the same price? or do i need to order components from the USA?

    • says

      Hey David, how’s it going?

      I’m not too familiar with computer component prices in the Netherlands and I’m not sure what Amazon you would buy from (amazon.de maybe?). Also, foreign Amazon sites don’t always have the same components as Amazon US, so you may not be able to get these builds exactly as they are.

      I would probably look and see if you can find the parts from the $400 build as that will allow you to max out LoL with no problems at all.

      Hopefully this helps you out! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • says

        Thanks Brent :)
        I could find almost every component, but not the Rosewill Dual Fan?
        Is did find another good case with build in ventilators.
        They only think I really want to know is: Do i need to buy a CPU cooler, because there isn’t one in the 400 dollar build list. Or does the case all te cooling?

  5. Samson0722 says

    Hey Brent I have another question about the specs of the $700 build. There is a build on this website similar to yours and i’m wondering if it is better than the one you listed. Here’s the specs.

    CPU Intel Core i5-4590
    MOBO ASUS H87M-E
    GPU XFX Radeon R9 280X
    RAM Crucial Ballistix 8GB
    HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB
    CASE Corsair Carbide Series 200R
    PSU XFX Core Edition PRO550W
    ODD Samsung 24x SATA
    The things i’m curious about is the graphics card and the Power source. Thanks man for the support.

    • says

      Hey Samson, how’s it going?

      If you have the extra money to go up to the $800 build on the “All Builds” page, then definitely do so.

      The R9 280x is going to offer a little more performance than the GTX 960 and the reason why the power supplies are different is because the R9 280X needs more power than the more efficient GTX 960.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Samson0722 says

        Thanks brent I think i’ll stick with your build. I like Gtx and intel better than AMD. Thanks for the support Brent.

  6. KrossT says

    This page is awesome! Everything is laid out professionally in a concise format. This saves me hours on end researching. Big Thanks!

  7. Nathan says

    Hey Brent,

    I am planning on doing a build this summer on a $600 budget.(just for the computer, no peripherals)

    I was wondering if there was any other GPU’s you’d recommend other than the EVGA GTX 960. I’ve read there could possibly be bottlenecking with the FX 6300 CPU. Is that true? If not I would most likely stick to the EVGA GTX 960 but would still like to know of any GPU’s you’d recommend with the FX 6300. I am using the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 motherboard.

    Thanks!

      • Nathan says

        Thanks Chris,

        Would you recommend the EVGA GTX 960 with the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 motherboard and FX 6300 cpu? or is there another GPU that would perform better? This is my first build so i’m not completely sure on what my best options are.

        Thanks for your help!

        • Chris says

          Not within that price range, and not with that PSU. The GTX 960 is a solid card. You should grab that build. It doesn’t get much better in that price range. I would put in a little more and get a 128gb SSD card for faster loading times. There are well reviewed ones on amazon. Like the crucial brand is well priced and good ratings.

          • Nathan says

            Awesome! I was looking into those for the future. Thanks for the advice Chris, it’s much appreciated.

    • says

      Hey Nathan, thanks for reading and commenting. Chris has given you great advice, but I through I’d throw in something else…

      If you’re building your system this summer, then AMD will likely have released their R9 300 series of video cards by then. So, when it comes time for you to build, the market for video cards will likely look a little different.

      Just something to keep in mind!

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  8. Nate says

    I have a question, I want to have a gaming pc that will be able to run all the new games coming out for the next couple years at a solid playable fps. I have never built a computer before and have zero experience buying parts and I do not know what’s good. Could you suggest a build that I shouldn’t have difficulties putting together and refer me to a guide for putting the parts together?

    • Chris says

      Nate – The $1000 build or higher should be sufficient to run any game now or for the next few years at good frame rates at 1080p graphics or better. The more you spend, the better gear you will get, and the longer it will last. The Dire Wolf build which runs around $1250 would easily last you 5 years for any game you throw at it, and give high frame rates with the newest games. It’s completely overkill for 1080p resolution right now. I’m actually thinking about building that one myself, as the i5 4690k is the highest rated gaming processor right now. You can get an i7, and experience faster processing, but pc games don’t take advantage of the hyper threading yet, so i7 processors give very little gains compared to the 4690k for how expensive they are. The GTX 980 is the best processor you can get for high end cards. There are a few that are slightly better, but are 2 or 3 times the price(sometimes more). The $1250 build doesn’t do SLI (meaning 2 of the same graphics cards on the motherboard) so you won’t need any special cooling or fans, etc. If you want an easy straight forward pc build, the best dollar/performance high end pc that will handle pretty much anything, you will want to go with the $1250 build. Plus, it has an SSD card where you will load up Windows, and you install you games, and that will give you lightening fast loading times. Your pc will boot up in like 7 seconds and be ready to go to play games. Game loading times will drop significantly too. Anyway, here’s the page to the other builds on this site. Only hardcore gamer/pc builders would need anything past the $1250 build. Good luck!

      http://elitegamingcomputers.com/gaming-computers/

    • says

      Hey Nate, thanks for reading and commenting. Chris has already given you great advice but I’ll throw in my two cents as well.

      Building a computer isn’t as hard as you would think and there are plenty of guides out there to help you through the process.

      For starters, you can download our free building guide by signing up for our newsletter here:

      http://elitegamingcomputers.com/how-to-build-a-gaming-computer/

      Additionally, if you’re more of a visual learner, this step-by-step video guide is probably the best one out there:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIF43-0mDk4

      As for the parts you should choose, it really depends on what your maximum budget is. On this list, the $700 build would be your best bet for future-proofing, but there are more expensive builds here and here that may be a better option depending on what your budget is.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  9. Chris says

    hi brent or who ever can help. I am building the $600 system on here and I found a different case was just wondering if this case will still be able to work with this build, here is the info for the new one(Sentey® Gs-6050 Halcon II Gaming Computer Case / Black Secc ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Removable Aluminum 3.5″ Drive Tray / Transparent Side Window / 1 X USB 3.0 / 3 X USB 2.0 / Hd Audio / Extreme Division / Computer Case – Best Pc Gaming and Desktop Mid Tower – Support Cheap and Expensive Video Cards AMD and Nvidia Ultra Pro Systems) any word would be appreciated thanks..

  10. Bill says

    Hey Brent
    I was just wondering what monitor would you recommend for the $500 build. I am looking to spend under $100. Thanks

    • Bill says

      A small follow up to my question
      I am also looking for a keyboard, and I want to keep the budget under $600-$700 (with the $500 build included and windows 8 and all that jazz.)
      Thanks Again

    • says

      Hey Bill how’s it going? Thanks for reading and commenting!

      For under $100, I would get this 1920×1080 monitor:

      Acer S220HQL Abd 21.5-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor

      As for a keyboard, with the monitor and copy of Windows, you don’t have much room left over. However, the first handful of keyboards on this list are under $30 each. They’re not the greatest gaming keyboards, but they should be able to hold you over until you can save up for a better one.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  11. Prithvi says

    Hello Brent. I am going to build my first computer so I was wondering what model suits me.

    What Games would run a little bit below or higher than 60 FPS on the computer:
    Cites Skyline
    Starcraft Games
    Counterstrike: Global Offense
    Dragon Ball Xenoverse
    GMOD
    The Sims 4
    Various RPGS

    • Ryan says

      Looking for a build I will be able to live stream from xbox one on and do some editing.
      I have $630
      As of now here is what I have planned.
      $90 Windows 8
      $99 Monitor
      $400 build
      $70 Capture card

      I am a little over budget and was wondering if I went down to the $300 build would I be able to upgrade?
      Also, Unfortunately I will not have wired connection. Will I have to buy something to connect wirelessly? If so can you leave a link of what you would reccomend.
      If I buy the $300 build will I be able to upgrade the Ram?
      Would you reccomend going up to 8gb of ram in the $300 build?

      This is my first PC build please help!

    • says

      Hey Prithvi, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Fortunately, those games aren’t very demanding. So, if you wanted to save some money you could get away with using the $400 or $500 builds. Of course, you’re not limited to those, but they will both be able to get you the FPS you want in those games.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  12. Wcallum says

    Hello, i was wondering if someone could tell me is there is a sertan case for the 700 dollar computer or if all of them would fit it. this would be my first built computer and i was wondering about it, and if any one has any spare time could they reply with some of these parts from the UK.
    I was also wondering if the 700 doller computer could run ARMA on high (ish) graphics, thanks for the help.
    thanks.

    • says

      Hey Wcallum, for the case you just need to make sure it will fit the motherboard you choose. Most mid tower and full tower cases will fit the components from the $700 build.

      And, yes, the $700 build should run Arma on higher settings with a good frame rate.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  13. Kay says

    Hi Brent,

    I did your 600 dollar build and I’m having this issue when I play graphically demanding games where the computer does a hard shut down, as if I just pulled the power plug, right in the middle of game play. That’s the only time it happens, and there’s no warning, no hitches in the graphics beforehand, and I’ve done careful monitoring of my temps for the entire system (cpu, gpu, mobo) before and after a shut down and they’ve never gone higher than what is recommended for idle or load, so I’m assuming it’s not a thermal issue. I’ve reseated all the components and carefully checked all the cables. After one of the shut downs, the power button no longer works, and I always have to reset the power switch on the psu before I can turn the pc back on, so I guess my question is if you think there is a problem with the psu? Thanks so much for any help!

    • says

      Hey Kay, sorry you’re having problems. What was your exact part list (these change on a weekly basis)? What PSU do you have?

      More than likely it sounds like the PSU is bad. How long ago did you get the parts and build the system? If you purchased it from Amazon within the past 30 days you can return it and get a new one.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Kay says

        Thanks so much for the reply! I got the AMD FX-6300, Asus M5A97 LE R2.0, Evga GTX 960, Crucial Ballistix 8 gig, with the WD HDD, and I picked up a Corsair builder series 600 watt psu so that I could expand in the future if I wanted to. I got the parts Wednesday and finished the build the same day, and I did buy from Amazon, so luckily I can get the psu replaced pretty quickly. Hopefully that will resolve the issue! Thanks again for the reply!

        • says

          No problem! I feel bad it’s not working as it should. As a last-ditch effort you can try to reseat and reconnect everything, and also make sure you have all the latest drivers (and have deleted the old ones). Maybe it will work… however it really sounds like you got a faulty PSU.

          Fortunately, Amazon is really good with letting you return stuff so you should come out good either way. Just sucks you have to wait.

          Best,
          Brent

  14. Dracias says

    Hello and thanks for great guide ! I have been reading through all of it and seems like the 700$ build is great for me but I did a bit of different research lately too. I heard that AMD is going to put up their r9 3xx series very soon so it it worth to wait for it and change the gtx 960 for it ? I believe they will offer more since there wasnt much difference between 760 and 960. Also other thing what about the 4gb 960 ? is it possible to put it inside the 700$ build when it comes out without changing anything else ? Thanks again!

    • says

      Hey Dracias, how’s it going?

      AMD’s CEO confirmed a Q2 release. So, that could be anytime between April and June. If you can hold out that long it may be worth it, but if you can’t wait then the GTX 960 is definitely powerful enough to play any game on max settings on a 1920×1080 monitor.

      And, yes, you’ll be able to put the GTX 960 4GB version in the $700 build without any upgrades.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  15. Chris says

    I have a few ?.. my limit is about 5-7 hundred $ And i would like to play with decent fps for games such as Day Z, Arma Most of the popular Games as well basicly anygame that has come out before 2015.. would really appreciate it if someone could help me decide what to do. i can build pc’s but i am a little unknowledgeable when it comes to buying the right hardware.. So Any help would be very appreciated! also like the lights in base. thanks

    • says

      Hey Chris, how’s it going?

      If you want to play Day Z and Arma on max settings (or at least higher settings) then I would say go with no lower than the $500 build (or some alternate form of it) on this list, and it would be better if you went with the $600 or $700 build. However, if you need an OS and a monitor to go along with it, you’ll need to go with the $500 build to stay under budget.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  16. Trevor says

    Will any of these builds require soldering? Or will they just snap into place? I’m considering the 500$ or 600$ build for streaming and if it requires soldering I might just buy the 500$ and have someone build it for me (or maybe 600$ if my neighbor can).

    • says

      Hey Trevor, how’s it going?

      Nope, no soldering necessary. Every component/cable has it’s own specific port it needs to go into and it’s just a matter of plugging it in.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  17. CJ says

    If I plan on purchasing an optical drive for the $500 build, should i purchase a higher wattage power supply? And if yes, what kind.

  18. Samson0722 says

    Any idea what the fps is for CS:GO and BF4 on the $700 build. And possibly dayz. All maxed out at 1080p or higher. Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Samson, how’s it going? Thanks for reading and commenting.

      The $700 build will be able to max out CS:GO easily, and you should get anywhere from 40-60 FPS in BF4 with it.

      You should be able to max out DayZ as well, but DayZ can be hard on any system when in populated areas. Still, though, higher to max settings would be reasonable the majority of the time.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  19. Bryan says

    I’m putting together the $600 build and when given power, the fans on the graphics card run for a second, turn off, and then start to “jiggle” every few seconds. Any clue why it would be doing this?

    • says

      Hey Bryan, how’s it going? Sorry you’re having problems. More than likely one of the cables in your build is loose.

      I’d go through and reconnect everything. Re-seat your RAM and video card, and reconnect your CPU, power to the motherboard, etc. Make sure everything is connected.

      Let me know if that fixes the problem and if not we can go from there.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Bryan says

        I tried all this and no fix. I have tested the graphics card in another set-up just to be sure there was no issue with it and it worked fine.

        • says

          Unfortunately, then, it sounds like one of the components you received is bad. If you can, try testing the power supply out in another setup to see if that’s the culprit. If it’s not the PSU, then it’s either the motherboard or CPU.

          If you purchased everything through Amazon they have 30-day return policies.

          Sorry again for your troubles. Components can get damaged in shipping or can just be bad from the get-go. Fortunately, you should be protected by a return policy.

          Best,
          Brent

  20. Daniel says

    Is there any chance you would consider doing some rigs in English currency? I looked at the $700 rig you have and converted all the parts on amazon to the UK version, and it comes to just shy of £1000. (compared to the £500 it would be if i could buy straight from the american amazon) alot of the parts suggested seem to be a little dearer here so i was wondering if you would be doing any. thanks.

    • says

      Hey Daniel, how’s it going? I’ve considered doing that in the past, but it would take some time learning the UK market, as the prices and products on Amazon UK don’t correlate to the products and prices on Amazon US.

      I also can’t access Amazon UK’s listmania to group all of the parts together unless I buy something from them.

      Ultimately, I just need to find some spare time to sit down and set it all up.

      Thanks for the suggestion and I will definitely look into it more in the near future.

      Best,
      Brent

  21. William Barth says

    Hey Brent, I was going to build the 400 build but I was just wondering can i max out the settings on games like TF2 and DotA and still get like 40 and above fps with that system? or can I even go lower to the 300 build and get that performance? I think i’d like to keep my budget for everything(monitor, headset, keyboard, and computer parts)(I have a razor mouse) a max of 600.

    P.S. can you suggest a good monitor for 80-120 range? size doesn’t have to be massive, thanks man!

    • Chris says

      Sorry I recieved an email alert. I’m not Brent will I will do my best to answer our question. :)

      With the $400 system you will definitely be able to run those games at 40 fps or higher on max settings, 1080p resolution. That 750ti is a great card. It runs SWTOR at Ultra settings 1080p, and my processor is only a 3rd gen intel 2.6ghz.

      You should also be pretty safe buying the $300 system, but you will probably need to turn the graphics down a bit, and most likely will need to play on a lower resolution to get 40-60fps. I would definitely recommend getting the $400 system as the 750ti will let you play all games that have been released up to this point, even games like Farcry 4 will play on medium settings with a playable amount of fps.

      As far as a cheap monitor. Try second hand… Go to craigslist. Call around your local thrifts stores. Post on your Facebook that you need one and see if somebody you know might have an extra one in their closet. For new monitors, Amazon, TigerDirect for online shopping. Best Buy, and Walmart are the cheapest where I live locally.

      You can get a keyboard for less than $20 on amazon. There are headsets you can buy too. You will want something with a mic. You don’t have to buy a “gamin” headset. Just search for PC headsets and you will find plantronics headsets for cheap. I get all my pc stuff from amazon. The best thing to do is to only buy stuff that has a high start rating (4 or more stars).

      Like I have this one, it was only $10. It’s cheap, but it works, and it’s worked for 2 years.

      http://www.amazon.com/Plantronics-Audio-326-Stereo-Headset/dp/B001S2RCXW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1426488653&sr=8-3&keywords=pc+headset

      Or you can get something like this, that looks a little bit cooler, but still on a budget:

      http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-G230-Stereo-Gaming-Headset/dp/B00BFOEY4I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1426488653&sr=8-2&keywords=pc+headset

      Anyway, I’m not affiliated with Brent in any way. Just a random stranger trying to be helpful, so I hope that helps! :)

      • William Barth says

        It’s no problem! I just thought Brent ran the site and such :) But thank you a lot, this is great and just what I needed to know :) I think i’ll go for the logitech headphones,look a little more comfy. And about the monitor I have and old one but reading through all these fourms I thought it was really important to have a really nice one. I am wondering if i can just use the 16 inch on my g7 Pavilion i’m on right now? As for the build I want to try new games for sure, my laptop now just limits me to less intense games so I rather go for the 400 so I have the option. And finally the keyboard i’m always picky about, I like keyboards like macs have with really small, short keys. You know of any gaming keyboards that have that? Thank you again:)

    • says

      Hey William, how’s it going? Chris gave you good advice. The $400 build will definitely be able to handle TF2 and Dota2.

      As for a monitor, I’d recommend going with something like this:

      Acer S220HQL Abd 21.5-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor

      It’s a 21.5″ 1080p monitor and it’s just under $100 so it should fit into your budget nicely.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  22. Marc Manaois says

    Hi Brent,

    I was wondering as to why you changed the MoBo on your $600 build from the MSI to Asus. Just curious, was it due to performance or was it just the better bang for your buck? Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Hey Marc, how’s it going? Thanks for reading and commenting.

      On the last update I was able to come quite a bit under budget due to some price drops and since the ASUS motherboard is a better overall motherboard I upgraded to it.

      The MSI motherboard is still capable, I just had some extra money and used that money to make the build better overall.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  23. Austin says

    Hello, I’m going for your amazing looking $700 build. I was wondering, do i need to also purchase a fan for the CPU? Do i need to purchase a Operating system too, like windows 8? I have no idea what i need or what is here, just wondering if i need to buy anything that wasn’t listed here to make it run (I have a monitor/mouse/keyboard and cables)

    • says

      Hey Austin, how’s it going?

      Yes you will need to purchase a copy of Windows along with the build (the System Builder edition), but the build will come with a CPU fan and all he necessary cables.

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  24. Carlos says

    Hey brent.

    If you still follow this post, (wich is great) id like to know if the 700 build is still up to date 2015/03 and if i should i a solid memory with the HDD.

  25. Samson0722 says

    Thanks man for the fairly quick reply. Just the info I needed.
    Another thing is should I get Windows 8 or 7? I know that 8 runs better for pc games but I know Windows 7 better than 8, so I was wondering if Windows 8 is easy to pick up and learn. I really am familiar with 7 so i’m not sure. What’s your preference?

    Btw I prefer Nvidia instead of AMD, and an intel cpu and it’s fantastic that the $700 build has all of that. I really think that’s great.

    Also I added up all of the prices for the $700 build and it comes to about $704. How much extra would a monitor, keyboard, and about $60 for the mouse and pad? The monitor should be fairly decent and i’m not worried about the keyboard. Thanks for the quick reply. I appreciate the support Brent.

    Have a good day man.

    stephenrenzi25@gmail.com

    • says

      Hey Samson, thanks for reading and commenting.

      I prefer Windows 7, but Windows 8.1 isn’t too bad. Ultimately, I’d go with the newer operating system, simply because Microsoft has shown reluctance in the past to update their older operating systems with the newest directX updates (which impact gaming performance.)

      So, I’d get Windows 8.1 and adapt to the new interface. If you can’t stand Windows 8.1, then Windows 7 is still a viable option. Windows 10 will be out this Summer though, so that’s something to keep in mind.

      For a monitor, keyboard, and mouse/mouse pad, you can get a 21.5″ 1080p monitor for $100 and the keyboard and mouse for anywhere from $20-$200 depending on what kind of features you want. So, as little as $120 to as high as $200+ for the peripheral items.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  26. Samson0722 says

    Hey Brent how are you?
    Anyways I’m new to computer gaming and already own a few games, which I play on a laptop that gets terrible framerates and has a intel pentium.
    So I decided to upgrade and try to get some money together to get a gaming PC.
    I would really like to build it because it is cheaper and I would enjoy building it.
    I would like to know your opinion on which would be a better buy?

    The $700 dollar Pc Grizzly build
    OR
    The $600 dollar Jackal

    Games I own or would like to play:
    -Rust
    -Planetside 2
    -Star Citizen
    -Bioshock Infinite
    -Dayz
    -CS:GO
    -TF2
    -Payday 2
    -BF3/4
    -Amnesia:The Dark Descent
    -Outlast
    -Garry’s mod(no problem i assume)
    -GTA 4/5
    -Arma 2/3
    -COD
    -Left 4 Dead 2
    -H1Z1

    Mostly BF4, Rust, CS:GO, Dayz, and Payday 2.
    I would like to get at least 50-60 on all of these games. If you could tell me if the 600 dollar one will run these at this or should I get the 700 dollar one. Thanks man.

    Have a good day.

    stephenrenzi25@gmail.com

    • says

      Hey Stephen, how’s it going?

      With that long list of games, there are definitely some demanding titles on there. Because of that, I’d go with the $700 build, as I know DayZ can be pretty taxing on the CPU in populated environments and BF4 as well in big online battles.

      Star Citizen is also expected to be incredibly demanding (haven’t played any of the Alpha yet so you may know better than me) and will be tough for a lot of systems to max out.

      So, ultimately, I’d go with the $700 build now as that will allow you to max pretty much all of those games out on a 1920×1080 monitor with good FPS.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  27. Chris says

    Hi Brent, I am doing the $700 build and would like to know if purchasing extra fans for the case is recommended? I will be doing mostly gaming and am already buying a cpu cooler from Cooler Master.

    • says

      Hey Chris, how’s it going? Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Adding extra fans to the case won’t hurt, but the temperature gains will only be marginal. Fans aren’t expensive, though, so if you want to add a little more cooling you can definitely do so.

      But, ultimately, it’s not necessary.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • grant says

        Hi Brent I was just wondering if you, your self had any suggestions on and Build that that can max out any game and what kind of monitor I could use for it. My Budget is about in the 800$ range and this is my first build and I don’t want to make a mistake and having to upgrade my card or something because it didn’t have enough Stuff the make the game run MAXED OUT or something like that I bet u know what I mean and hope u can help me out and I see the pre Builds and everything but am just not sure what I should do. p.s something that can overclock to PLEASE and THANKYOU for your time :)

        • says

          Hey Grant, how’s it going?

          Does your total budget include the cost of a monitor, too?

          If so, go with the $600 build on this page, throw in a $100-$120 1920×1080 monitor and a copy of Windows and you should be good to go.

          If not, go with the $700 build, but upgrade the CPU to an i5-4690K and the motherboard to a board with the Z97 chipset so you can overclock.

          Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

          Best,
          Brent

  28. nathan says

    Hello again brent.
    I have decided to get the i5 4590 processor but I don’t notice any recommended motherboards with the lga 1150 socket above. Only recommendations for the lga 1155 socket. What mobo would you recommend around the 50$ price range. And will the corsair cx430 still be good?

    • says

      Hey Nathan, how’s it going?

      Some of the material below the recommended builds needs some updating. You’re going to have a tough time finding a decent LGA 1150 motherboard in the $50 range. You’d have to go with the more limited H81 chipset to do so, which would be fine if you don’t have any plans on adding a bunch of hard drives/SSDs, or a second video card in the future.

      These motherboards will work:

      H81 Motherboards

      And, yes, as long as you’re going with a GTX 960, the CX430 will get the job done.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  29. Billy says

    Hello Brent (or anyone who can give me an answer :P), i have a question about the 400$ build. I am new at bulding pc’s so i want to ask you one (or two) things :P
    1- The 400$ build will be able to run League of Legends at the highest settings? :P
    2- Will it be able to stream LoL? (I can even demote the graphics to the lowest if needed)
    Thanks in advance and i am really sorry about my english :(

    • says

      Hey Billy thanks for reading and commenting!

      Here’s the answer to your questions:

      1. Yes, the $400 build will easily be able to max out League. It’s not very demanding and the GTX 750 Ti is more than powerful enough to handle league.

      2. You should be good streaming League with that setup as well. At the worst, you’d have to turn down the graphics settings a bit. I know NVIDIA was introducing Shadowplay (a feature to help minimize FPS loss while recording) for Twitch to help with streaming but I don’t have much experience with it. Either way, though, you will be goo to go streaming LOL with the $400 build.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  30. Gage Lawrence says

    I was going to build my first PC (probably the $400 one) and was wondering if there was a guide to help me actually build the physical computer when I get the parts? Thank you in advance if you answer

  31. nathan says

    I’m building the 600$ build with a couple changes. Anybody have any reviews on it? I have about 3tb’s I’m going to use. I have a optical drive. I’m using Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB. And I want to know if this case will work? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PJ5QD4I?psc=1

    How does the 600$ build perform? Can it play everything like it says?

    • says

      Hey Nathan, thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re looking to get a good idea of how the $600 system will perform, you can check benchmarks of the video card included in the build (since the video card is the biggest determining factor in in-game performance).

      Here’s a benchmark on Tom’s Hardware showing a GTX 960’s performance in Battlefield 4:

      http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-960,4038-4.html

      Basically, the GTX 960 gets about 45-55 FPS in BF4 on max settings at 1920×1080 resolution. So, as long as you’re playing on a 1920×1080 monitor you should be able to max any game out you throw at it (with a few exceptions.)

      Also, nobody has posted yet about building the $600 build, but if you scroll down to around the February 6th mark in the comments, Dave wrote about his positive experience with the $500 build:

      “I can’t thank you enough for the info you provided on this site. I built a PC just after Christmas from your 2014 list of cheap gaming computers that is very similar to your $500 build here. I had no experience with building computers and was able to build it. I did ALOT of reading from both your install guide and other sources on the web (and watched quite a few YouTube videos). By far, the most difficult thing for me was cable management. The case was a mini, and it was difficult to fit all of the unused cables from the power supply into the case. Anyway, once it was built and connected to a nice new monitor, my son couldn’t have been happier. He went from getting 10-20 frames per second on a Dell laptop to 200 frames per second on this new desktop. Pure heaven for him.”

      And, yes, that case will work.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • nathan says

      Thank you Brent for all the information. This will be my first gaming pc and custom built pc. Everything is upgradeable in the future correct? And you can add a 2nd video card right? Now after some reading I might want to spend more on the processor. Like 200$ what would you go for around the 200$ price range? I have been hearing that intel is much better then and. Thanks for the help and sorry for having so many questions.

  32. KJ says

    Brent,
    I have an urgent question that needs answering please and thank you, does the motherboard for the $400 build support 8GB 2×4 sticks of ram? instead of just 4gb?

    • says

      Hey KJ, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes, the motherboard on the $400 build will support 8GB and I believe a total of 16gb max.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  33. Tim says

    OK, built the $600 system using the Antec PSU as I read somewhere in comments that the graphics card etc will work fine with that PSU. On first boot get mobo splash screen, a notice saying ‘no detectable devices’ but I can’t access BIOS. Any thoughts on what is wrong? Is the mobo cooked? pulled system apart, resat the CPU, wiped the CMOS. Monitor running through the graphics card, but no BIOS

    • says

      Hey Tim, how’s it going?

      Sorry, you’re having trouble. Will you post your full system specs as the builds change on a weekly basis?

      Technically there is a number of possibilities for something like this. Have you checked your optical drive/hard drive to make sure they’re plugged in properly?

      • Tim says

        Problems sorted. To everyone out there in the ether, I put my problem up on the forum, Brent and others helped me solve it. It was awesome! Can’t recommend these guys enough. System purring like a kitten.

  34. Shay says

    Hi Brent,

    I went with the $300 build with the exception of the HD. I had a brand new 2TB Hitachi SATA drive I bought 3 years ago but never used until now. The drive is not detected by bios and I am unable to install windows. I plugged in a DVD drive to test connections and it is detected. The drive sounds like it is constantly cycling, but when I looked that up online people said that’s what the drive sounds like sometimes when it’s idle.
    I do not have another computer to plug the HD into to test, or another HD to plug in and test. Any ideas of how I can test if the HD is good or change settings to make it show up?

    Thanks

    • Matthew says

      Hey so i’m saving and half way to the 600 dollar pc. I was wondering if I could get some tips on how to build my first pc of this and should I wait for a holiday to get these prices to drop lower???? or just buy it once I can, thank you.

    • says

      Hey Shay, thanks for reading and commenting. Sorry for the delayed response. Hopefully by now you have figured out the problem.

      If not, unfortunately, there is no simple way to test whether a hard drive is bad or not unless you have special equipment, take it into a shop who has the equipment, the drive is detectable and therefore can have diagnostics ran on it, or if you have another drive to cross-reference it with.

      Sorry that isn’t much more helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  35. Nick says

    Brent,

    If I changed my APU on the $300 build to an a10-7800k APU, would I need to change or swap anything?
    Please reply, thanks :)

  36. Shea says

    Hey Brent, I’m going to get the $700 build so I checked the prices. I found out that there’s only a dollar difference between the Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM and 1866MHz. Which is better for the $700 build? Thanks :)

  37. Lane says

    Hi Brent, I was wondering if i could swap the ram on the 500$ build with the Corsair Vengeance 8GB (1x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz. Its on a great sale on Amazon (77%, $60 – Original price $270). Thanks Brent. :)

  38. Lane says

    Hi Brent, its Lane again, i was wondering if i could swap the ram on the 500$ with the Corsair Vengeance 8GB (1x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz. I

  39. Jason says

    If I purchased all the things you have listed, for any of the systems, do they come with cables, screws, and everything needed to put together a fully functioning tower?

    • Jason says

      Oh hey,

      I was also wondering how I would know if the chip set can run a 64 bit system. Google searches have turned up nothing.

  40. Cody Davidson says

    Hello Brent! Thanks again for your responses to my last 2 questions!!

    I did go ahead and purchase the $600 build and I do have a couple questions to ask to see if you or anyone else on here can help me out on.

    1.) I added an extra 4gb stick of ram for the MOBO. So now I am running a 8gb stick and a 4gb stick for the MSI MOBO that’s listed in the $600.00 build. Is that ok?
    2.) I’m also thinking about going through and upgrading the heat sink fan on the AMD processor and moving up to this setup. Would this be ok for the processor fan?

    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-20PK-R2/dp/B005O65JXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424967308&sr=8-1&keywords=hyper+212+evo

    3.) Lastly, I’m looking for a good affordable gaming keyboard and mouse. Could anyone help me out on a good system.

    With everything that I did, does this sound like a good setup with the extra additions for the $600 build?

    I understand that Brent is a busy man, so if anyone could go through and help me out on this as well it would be greatly appreciated!!

  41. SwaggyNinja says

    A few questions:
    1. Which computer would be best for youtubers on a tight budget?
    2. Is it ok to go with the $300 build, then upgrade to 22 gigs of ram (2 4g sticks and 2 8g sticks),
    then also get a decent graphics card?
    3. Which has the most usbs, because i need at leat 4?
    4. Do they all have a mic and headphone jack?
    5. What is a cheap hard drive with lots of memory?
    Thanks for the article Brent! :D

  42. Jesus Ponte says

    I am really interested on the 300$ budget pc, but i want to know what is the difference between the processor of the 300$ and the 400$? Because now i found the processor of the 400$ is cheaper in amazon, can i get all of the 300$ pc but change the processor? And can i add a gpu later for the 300$ pc? Thanks for your help.

  43. Nick says

    Hey Brent

    I was wondering what games could the beginning PC build ” $300, ” run. For instance, I am not looking to run at the highest graphic settings, just at low settings.
    If you can let me know some games that will at least run at about 30 FPS and that are pretty demanding at low settings that would be great Brent.

  44. Chrisitan says

    Hello Brent, I just recently built one of your builds :p.. Works great! But i want to change the mobo.. I plan on doing it in a week or so but from what i have been seeing I would need to do some re-install of windows completely! I have came to you with this problem because you have not failed me yet with any pc related problems. If you could explain what i need to do or send me a link in the right direction it would be much appreciated.

    -Christian

    • Chrisitan says

      Oh forgot to mention the mobo i currently have is a ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ and the one i want to upgrade to is a MSI ATX DDR3 2133 Motherboard 970 GAMING

  45. Eddie C. says

    Hi Brent. I want to build your $700 Grizzly. But I kind of wanted to switch out the currently recommended antec one case with the Cooler Master Elite 430 cause it looks cooler IMO. I don’t mind spending a few extra bucks. My question is will switching the case affect your currently recommended set up? If so what parts would you recommend for the $700 build using the Cooler Master Elite 430 case? Also do I need to purchase extra fans?

    • Lane says

      Yes that case will work with the parts in the build. The case is a Micro Atx and so is the MOBO. Hope this helped you out. :)

  46. Allen A says

    Hi Brent,

    I love this guide, it’s everything I could ever want! I also love how you reply to so many comments. But how long do you think you will be do so? I really want to build the $500-$600 computer. I just don’t have the money yet. It might take me like another month. I am also a student so I wouldn’t be able to use it too much until July. So would you think it would be best just to wait until July to build it? Or get it as soon as I can (my perferd option) ? My only fear is that if I get it now I could miss out on better parts for cheaper that I could have used. (like if they become cheaper in July)

    Thanks

  47. Trae says

    Hello,
    My house doesn’t have Ethernet, and me computer is far away from my router, so I need wifi. How do I get one of these computers compatible with wifi

  48. Aigars says

    Hi,

    I got one Q.
    Does my build will work, its mainly 500$ build but not all components are from that build?!
    Build:
    1) AMD FX-Series FX-6300 SAM3+ BOX FD6300WMHKBOX (CPU) = 105.90 €
    2) Asus M5A78L-M LX3 (MOBO) = 44.21 €
    3) Deepcool XDC-SMARTER Black (Case) = 19.25 €
    4) Gembird ATX/BTX 2.2 POWER Series CE 500W CCC-PSU6X-12-B (PSU) = 30.82 €
    5) Kingston 8GB DDR3 PC14900 CL10 DIMM HyperX Fury Red Series HX318C10FR/8 (RAM) = 65.64 €
    6) Seagate BARRACUDA 7200 1TB SATA 64MB ST1000DM003 (HDD) = 55.90 €
    Can you advise some good gpu for me?

  49. Dillon says

    Hey Brent, First off thank you for the help youv given me.
    Secondly, my previous build seemed like it was overkill for what I planned on using it for. So I came up with this build. Its very similar to the 500$ build but with a different Motherboard an case. What I wanna know is if this build can run games like WOW:Warlords of Draenor,Runescape 3,Minecraft,Hearthstone on their max settings?
    An also what kind of settings would this build be able to play games like Battlefield HardLine,Dragon Age inquisition, an other triple A games?
    Also note that I chose that specific Motherboard because I plan on using my HDTV for a monitor. The PC should function properly with my HDTV.
    If there’s anything in here that you think would be a better piece for what I’m asking to do with this PC. Please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading & replying.

    CPU: AMD FX-6300
    MOBO: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Motherboard
    GPU: EVGA GTX 750 Ti
    RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB
    HDD: Western Digital Blue 1 TB
    PSU: Antec VP-450
    Case: Sentey GS-6008
    This is the case

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PWM49G2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=WKN5845NPGOZ&coliid=I18VSUPIIEAEDL&psc=1

  50. Matt says

    Hi Brent,

    I bought the $700 build about a week ago. I have it fully assembled with the wires managed very well and everything works perfectly. But there is one problem: I have 2 fan ports on the MOBO and I have 3 fans. I’ve never done this before but I assume I can somehow run 2 fans from one port by messing with the wires a little bit. Have you ever worked around this issue before? If so will you tell me what you did?

    Thanks,

    Matt

    • Taylor says

      On my build, I had to connect one of my fans to the power supply. Most power supplies will come with extra cables for extra fans.

    • says

      Hey Matt, how’s it going?

      Taylor is right. Use one of the 4-pin molex connectors on the PSU to hook up the third fan.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  51. Dillon says

    Hey Brent, I love the guide an am gathering all the parts into my shopping cart but I’m having an issue with finding the right Mono. The build I’m going for is as followed
    GPU: Evga gtx 750ti
    Ram: Kingston HyperX Fury 8gb
    HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB
    CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 LGA 1150
    ODD: Samsung 24x Sata
    Psu: Corsair CX 430
    Case: it’ll be suited to all the items listed above. Haven’t picked it just yet. I have it narrowed down to 3 have yet to pick a winner but they’ll work for Atx & M-Atx Mobo.

    So can you help find a good mobo that will match this build an give great performance? Iv heard an looked around a bit an it seems Asus motherboards are top notch an are easier on install process with their Q design? But if there are others out there with same quality an little bit cheaper then I’m good with that. Also will the Pcu for this build work correctly? It seems that some people have been having issues with the pcu in some of the builds an I wanna make sure I’m getting the correct one.
    Thank you for reading an I await your response eagerly.

    • says

      Hey Dillon, how’s it going?

      For your motherboard, the MSI H97M-E35 is a good choice.

      I typically go for ASUS motherboards out of loyalty, but I have also used MSI motherboards, Gigabyte boards, and ASRock boards. If you feel more comfortable getting an ASUS board, definitely do so. The reason why I recommend the MSI motherboard is simply due to cost. Gigabyte and ASRock also have ~$80 H97 motherboards on the market as well.

      In most builds, the Corsair CX430 wouldn’t provide enough power. However, the GTX 750 Ti is so energy efficient that it doesn’t even need to be connected to the PSU, but rather draws its power solely from the motherboard. This means that you don’t need a high-end power supply at all making the Corsair CX430 is an excellent low-budget unit for your setup.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  52. Steve says

    Hey, I’m ordering the $600 build but my dad is going to help me put it together (he knows how to build one). Okay so I know I have to add an OS to the build (I chose 8.1) but are there any cables or wires that I need as well? Also do I need that thermal compound as well? I’ll admit I’m a little embarrassed to ask my dad these questions.
    ~Thanks for your time.

    • says

      Hey Steve, how’s it going?

      Other than the OS, the components that come with the build will have everything you need. You can even skip the thermal paste if you want, as the stock cooler comes with a thermal “pad” pre-attached to it.

      Still always a good idea to do the thermal paste yourself, though.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. And, if not, good luck with the build and have fun!

      Best,
      Brent

  53. Cody Davidson says

    I think I have wore out my welcome lol….

    I have actually answered all of my questions, and you have been a great help! However, I do have a couple technical questions that I would like to ask you..

    1.) In the $600.00 build, it list’s standard a (MSI 760GMA-P34 AM3+) mobo.
    Can I upgrade to a ASUS H87M-E (the $700 build) without having to change anything??
    2.) Instead of the regular case, I wanted to upgrade to this one… Would this be an issue at all??
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FL2WQRM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A20O7ZIM03RW46

    Any and all help would be much appreciated! I posted this morning, so disregard those questions. I have got it all figured out now except for those two things. Looking forward to your response! Keep up the good work!!!!

    • Taylor says

      I am not brent but I will help you. The ASUS M87 will not work with the processor in the $600 build as it uses the intel based processor socket (LGA 1150). The $600 build uses one of the AMD based processor (AM3+) socket. You would have to switch the processor in the $600 dollar build to the recommended Intel processor in the $700 build too.

      The case should also fit your build. Make sure you look at the clearance for gpu or graphics card when searching for a case :).

      • Cody Davidson says

        Thank you so much! I ended up just sticking with the MSI Mobo, and going with the challenger case since it seems to be quite the popular build on the $600 line-up! Thanks for all the help!

    • says

      Hey Cody, as Taylor said (thanks Taylor!), the H87M-E board won’t work with your build because it is an Intel-based motherboard and the $600 build is an AMD-based build.

      And, yes, that case will work as well. It was actually the case I had for the $500, $600, and $700 builds before the last update, but it went out of stock. Now that it’s back in stock (although it is a bit more expensive now) it’s a good choice.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  54. Cody Davidson says

    Hello Brent!

    Looking into purchasing my first gaming computer. I was really looking into the $600.00 build, and I have had a couple people say that will be plenty sufficient for what I’m looking into doing. I do have a few questions though…

    1.) Other than the items listed on the build, is there anything else that I will be needing?
    2.) Is this pretty much a plug and play system? Or is there extensive fabrication needed?
    3.) Is there any games that is going to not work with this system? i.e. (minecraft, battlefield, call of duty, grand theft auto, etc.)?

    I am trying to be open about this, and can go up to the $700 build, but with this being my first gaming computer, I really don’t want to take a plunge and be investing a lot of money other than what is listed. I am seeing comments that I will have to buy a interne

    • Cody says

      For some reason, my last post cut off. What type of direct Ethernet port will I need? I know that I will have to run Window’s 7 or 8, but is there anything else?

    • says

      Hey Cody, how’s it going? Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Here are the answers to your questions:

      1. The only other thing you’ll need aside from the components in the build is an Operating System (preferably Windows) and a screwdriver (and a WiFi adapter if you want it to connect wireless). All of the cables and screws and everything else necessary come with the components.

      2. It’s a fairly plug-n-play experience once you have it running. You do need to install all of the drivers for the GPU and motherboard, though, once it is setup, though, (which can either be done through the discs that will be provided with most of the components, or manually through the component’s website.)

      3. The $600 build can handle any game out there if you’re using a 1920×1080 monitor. It will even hang with a 2560×1440 monitor as well. You may not max out every game you throw at it, but expect to play most games on higher settings.

      4. The motherboard will have an Ethernet port on it. If you want to make your computer wireless, you’ll need a WiFi adapter. To make things easy, a USB WiFi adapter, like this one, is a quick and simple solution.

      Hope this helps! I’ll also get to your questions above as well.

      Best,
      Brent

  55. Berndan says

    Brent, amazing information. I have had great anxiety in building my first gaming computer to make sure I did it right the first time and your post has made everything much easier!

    For a wireless internet connection on the 500 and 600 builds, will I need to purchase an additional piece of equipment? Do the cases included in those builds have room for a wifi part? Thank you!

    Brendan

    • says

      Hey Berndan (or Brendan?), how’s it going?

      I’m glad this post has helped you out. The first build is always a little nerve racking but in most cases, once people get through it, they realize how easy it actually is.

      To make the build wireless you have two options. You can either A) get a PCI WiFi adapter that plugs into your motherboard, or B) use a USB WiFi adapter.

      Going with a PCI adapter will give you a little bit stronger and more reliable signal, but using a USB adapter is much more quick and convenient. I would say just go for the USB adapter. Here are two good choices for either way you choose:

      Panda 300Mbps Wireless-N USB Adapter

      TP-LINK TL-WN881ND Wireless N300 PCI Express Adapter

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  56. Dominique says

    Hi Brent,
    first of all, thank you very much for this wonderful guide. I wanted to ask if the 400 dollar build was powerful enough to stream games on twitch in good quality? It’s one of the reasons I was looking to get a new computer in the first place. I wouldn’t be streaming any FPS games, mostly just 2D platformers or other not very graphically demanding games, Dota at most.

    • says

      Hey Dominique, how’s it going?

      If you’re just streaming non-demanding games then the $400 build will be suitable for your needs. NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay has support for streaming to Twitch as well and that should help take even more of the load off of your system. So, you should be good to go.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • says

      Hey Robert, how’s it going?

      Yes, you could absolutely buy more RAM. The maximum amount of RAM that the motherboard in the $400 build can hold is 16GB.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • says

      Hey Jim, how’s it going?

      Unfortunately, that motherboard will not work with the $600 build without upgrading the case to a standard ATX mid tower case.

      However, if you upgrade to a mid tower case then you can definitely fit it. Something like the Antec One, Rosewill Galaxy-02, Corsair Carbide 200R, Raidmax ATX-402WB, are all semi-affordable mid tower options that will work with the $600 build and that motherboard. There are plenty of others out there as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  57. John says

    Hello I’m thinking about buying the hornet build because i’m on a strict budget and I was just wondering is it good for editing and streaming?

    • says

      Hey John, how’s it going?

      It really depends on what kind of games you’re playing and what kind of settings you want to stream at. If you’re planning on streaming more demanding games, realistically, it wouldn’t be a great option.

      If you’re playing non-demanding games (like Minecraft or League of Legends), then it would definitely be doable.

      As for recorded videos, it’s going to lack a little there, but if you’re just doing light editing, you could probably get by with it.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  58. Mike says

    Hey Brent

    I was just wondering if there is a way to incorporate liquid cooling into the 500$ build? I only ask because its crazy stupid hot where im living right now and my old laptop used to hit 97+ C* on its gpu(i understand that towers run cooler but i still want it to last for as long as possible, so spending a bit more on added cooling is a good investment in my mind). Im looking mostly to play League, World of tanks, Planetside, and the like.

    Thank you in advance.
    Regards,
    Mike

    • says

      Hey Mike, how’s it going?

      I wouldn’t recommend putting liquid cooling in the $500 build. With a micro ATX case, you’ll be limited on space.

      You should be fine on temperatures even with stock cooling and living in a warm climate, however if you want to add something to keep the CPU temperatures down, you could always upgrade the case and get an aftermarket air cooler.

      Some air coolers, like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (good) or the Noctua NH-D14 (better) will give you similar cooling to the available closed-loop coolers on the market.

      And, yes, the $500 build will allow you to run dual monitors. You’ll just need to hook one monitor up with either HDMI/DVI/DisplayPort and the other monitor with with one of the other ports you didn’t use on the first monitor (if that makes sense).

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Mike says

        Hey Brent thank you for the quick response. I will have a look into that extra cooling you suggested. I was only looking at liquid cooling due to the air temp and the dust in my current location. Im contemplating using your 500$ build as a base point, maybe change out the micro ATX for a full size mobo and go for a mid tower or something of the like.

        P.s. the bit about the screens makes perfect sense thank you.

        Regards
        Mike

    • says

      Hey Nate, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yep, you can definitely use that case with the $700 build.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  59. Shay says

    Hi Brent,

    I am interested in doing the A10-6800k PCU, but I was wanting a motherboard with a DVI connector. It looks like every FM2 MB listed here is no longer in stock on Amazon and the few that are are being sold at double the list price. Do you have any other recommendations on good FM2 motherboards?

    • says

      Hi Shay, how’s it going?

      This motherboard here has a DVI connection:

      MSI A78M-E35 FM2+

      The motherboard section below is a bit outdated and needs to be updated. However, that MSI motherboard as a DVI port and should suit your needs. There are more expensive FM2+ motherboards as well if that is what you’re looking for.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  60. Brittany says

    Hey Brent, I just have a small question. On the $400 build, is it possible to swap out the GTX 750 for a AMD Radeon HD 7750 or any one from the 77xx series?

    • says

      Hey Brittany thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes, you definitely can swap the 750 out for any of AMD’s 77XX cards.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • says

      Hey Matt, how’s it going?

      The GTX 960 is the newer “version” of the GTX 760. It doesn’t take as much power to run as the 760 and performs slightly better in games as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  61. Lane says

    Hello Brent, I was wondering if i could you the EVGA GeForce GTX 960 with the 500$ build. Of not What other Graphics cards could i use that is an upgrade from the R9270. Thankyou, Lane

  62. Patrick Shefchuk says

    love the article, helps a lot. I’m just starting to mess with computers and had a question or two. I’m thinking go going with the 700 build is there any operating systems, monitors, or security protection etc. that won’t work on those builds? any info will help thanks

    • says

      Hey Patrick, how’s it going?

      The $700 build will be compatible with any software/monitor you want to put on it, though I would recommend getting either Windows 7 or 8 (or some form of Linux if you mostly want to play Steam games), for your operating system, a 1920×1080 (or 2560×1440) monitor, and whatever antivirus/security software you use. I personally use Webroot because it has moved to the cloud and it takes up little to no system resources.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  63. Michael says

    Hi Brent,

    Great guide man! I just have one question. Instead of buying a whole new computer I decided to use my old one and start replacing the parts when I have the money for it. I figured the first 3 things I’m going to change are the motherboard ( into a Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P AM3+), the processor (into a AMD fx-6300) and the video card( into a GeForce 750 ti).

    Now I have checked their compatibility and these are fine. The only worry I have is if the motherboard is going to fit in my computer case which is an old HP compaq dc7700p Convertible Minitower, and if the power supply and its pins are compatible. My power supply has 4 pins and an ‘hp part no.': 416224-001. (Sorry, this is the best I could do to figuring out what power supply I have since I don’t have the boxing of it any longer :(. )

    Thanks for helping me build my pc :)

    Kind regards,

    Michael

    • says

      Hey Michael, thanks for reading and commenting!

      I’m assuming that you’ll be fine. The GTX 750Ti doesn’t even need direct power from the PSU as it is so energy-efficient that it can run off of the power that goes to the PCIe port alone.

      So, that was actually a great video card choice on your part for a project like this.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Best,
      Brent

      • Michael says

        Hi Brent,

        Thanks for the answer, it really helps me out a lot.
        So now that the PSU problem is out of the way, I have a final question.
        Let’s say I buy the motherboard and find out it the screw holes in the computer case aren’t alligned with the motherboard screw holes. Do you think it would severely damage my pc as a whole, if I would drill holes in it to help secure the motherboard?

        Thanks again man, you are a life saver!

        Michael

  64. Max Colt says

    Brent,

    My 13 year old son and I have already built one budget gaming machine from an old Dell Inspiron 530 with a quad core Q6600 2.4Ghz. CPU upgraded memory 6Gb, OS to 64-bit Windows 7, and put in a new NVidia graphics card. The case is big and easy to work with so cable management wasn’t any issues. He has used it for about 2 yrs and has two monitors hooked up and works pretty good but he is looking to upgrade and build a new one that is how I came across your site.

    Great information and I know just enough to be dangerous but I still need to read up on how to make sure everything will work the way we want it too. One thing I’m not sure about is how to get more then 2 monitors to work with a system. When we build a new gaming machine, do I have to find a motherboard that will handle more then one graphics card (additional PCI express slots) and see both at the same time, or is this something the graphics card itself will have additional inputs for monitors. My son would like the ability to have 3-4 monitors hooked up at the same time…need some advice.

    Thanks again for all your information I have already absorbed,

    Max Colt

    • says

      Hey Max, how’s it going?

      Awesome to hear yet another parent helping their child build their own computer!

      Actually, getting dual monitors to work is as simple as plugging them in and detecting them through he Screen Resolution on your desktop.

      Three or more monitors is a little bit more tricky, but still not that hard to setup. First, if you’re going with an AMD video card, for three or more monitors, you need to make sure the card you choose has a DisplayPort port on it. And, for every additional monitor you want to add after the third monitor, you’ll need an additional DisplayPort port.

      In the past AMD definitely has better support for three or more monitors and I believe they still do (unless NVIDIA made some changes in the past year or so that I wasn’t aware of.)

      But I’m pretty sure NVIDIA’s requirements are similar. There’s this article on NVIDIA’s website, but that may be outdated since they’re talking about the launch of the GTX 680:

      http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/how-to-correctly-configure-geforce-gtx-680-surround#1

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • says

      Hey Tanner, how’s it going?

      Unfortunately, you cannot swap those two motherboards. The $700 build is an Intel-based build and the $600 build is an AMD-based build and as such the motherboards are not compatible with the other processors.

      If you want an ASUS motherboard to go with the $600 build you can look at this one:

      ASUS Micro ATX AMD AM3+ Motherboard M5A78L-M/USB3

      That’s similarly priced to the $700 motherboard as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  65. Dave says

    Brent,
    I can’t thank you enough for the info you provided on this site. I built a PC just after Christmas from your 2014 list of cheap gaming computers that is very similar to your $500 build here. I had no experience with building computers and was able to build it. I did ALOT of reading from both your install guide and other sources on the web (and watched quite a few YouTube videos). By far, the most difficult thing for me was cable management. The case was a mini, and it was difficult to fit all of the unused cables from the power supply into the case. Anyway, once it was built and connected to a nice new monitor, my son couldn’t have been happier. He went from getting 10-20 frames per second on a Dell laptop to 200 frames per second on this new desktop. Pure heaven for him.

    Thank you very, very much.

    Dave

    • says

      Hey Dave, thanks for telling us about your build for your son and I’m glad this guide could be of some assistance!

      Cable management is an art and I must admit that it’s not my strongest ability. Sometimes I’m baffled at how well people can make the inside of their cases look. I would say the majority of first-time builders find cable management as the most frustrating part, so you’re definitely not alone on that.

      Again, glad to hear that your son is enjoying his new setup! If you have any pictures, be sure to post them in the forums. We’d love to see the rig.

      Best,
      Brent

  66. dyer001 says

    Hello Brent,
    Really loved your guide on cheap gaming builds. It was exactly what my son and I were looking for. We used your $700 gaming build a gamer for my son and ran into some issues I thought I would share. We ordered the kit through Amazon. The memory, hard drive and motherboard did not work for us. In fairness, a bad memory stick could have been the motherboard issue. ASUS support said it speculated the motherboard issue was because my processor was a newer one and the motherboard need to flash the BIOS to read it, which we could not do without an older processor. Fry’s offered to flash the motherboard for $30 and to do a diagnostic and report back for $70. Their diagnostic caught the bad memory. With a new memory stick and updated BIOS we achieved POST. Next we found the hard drive issue. We could partition but could not format it with the OS tools or ultimate boot disk linux tools. I bought the exact same hard drive at Fry’s and it formatted in minutes after days of attempting on the Amazon shipped drive. I think your build list was great. Just wanted to share the experience in hopes someone having similar issues could get fixed faster.

    • says

      Hey Dyer, thanks for commenting. I’m sorry you had trouble with your parts.

      The unfortunate part about buying individual components is that, on average, the dead-on-arrival rate is about 0.5% (varies from component to component). Still, seems odd that all of all three of those components were bad. I wonder if they were damaged during shipping.

      Hopefully you were able to return them to Amazon and get your full refund and I’m glad you were able to get it all sorted out.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Michael says

        Brent,

        Thanks for the reply, all ended well. Amazon stood behind their return policy. I too think shipping the most likely issue. The parts list was extremely helpful! Appreciate you work and sharing there. My son ended up happier anyway as I upgraded his memory. With your build list, upgraded to 16 GB of RAM, he is thrilled at the performance. Was a great experience for him.

        Keep up the great site!

        • says

          Hey Michael, I’m glad to hear Amazon backed their return policy and that your son now has an awesome rig! If you guys get a chance, we’d love to see some pictures on the Show Off Your Build section in the forums!

          Best,
          Brent

  67. Jim says

    Hey Brent, I like the builds you have here. I am new to building computers, and would like to ask someone with more experience before I purchase something. Will the GPU from the 600$ build work with the 500$ or 400$ build? Will It make any substantial difference, or will it be held back by other components being too slow?

    • says

      Hey Jim, how’s it going?

      The video card in the $600 build WILL work in the $500 and $400 builds.

      However, in past editions of the builds that wasn’t so, because I was recommending an R9 280 and that required a bigger power supply than the $400 build could handle. But the new GTX 960 is extremely energy-efficient and so you can actually use a 400W power supply to power it.

      So, yes, you can use the GTX 960 in the $400 (and $500) builds.

      As far as performance goes, the GTX 960 is going to give a huge boost in performance over the GTX 750 and a moderate boost over the R9 270.

      It won’t be held back by your other components in most cases, but ultimately it really all depends on what games you plan on playing. The R9 270 can handle most games on max settings on a 1920×1080 monitor.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  68. Donovan says

    Hey Brent, I was curious about the $700 PC build.

    1.When I click “Yes I want this PC”, at Amazon it shows me a different graphics card then the one on the list.

    2.Any wireless adapters you recommend?

    3.What tools are needed to build the PC?

    4.Finally,will this rig be able to play Rust, CS:GO, DayZ(standalone), PAYDAY 2, and Space Engineers with smooth FPS on the higher side of the graphic option?(and maybe GTA V on decent settings?) The reason I ask is because I don’t really know what is better than what when it say’s “recommended” on Steam.

    Thank you for your time,
    Donovan.

    • Dave says

      I’ll let Brent give you the final answer, but I can tell you that my son plays CS:GO on something very similar to the $500 build and has no complaints. My son’s PC has the AMD FX6300 and the R9 270 X video card (the $500 build above has the AMD FX6300 and the R9 270 without the X).

      • Donovan says

        Thank you, I’ve been checking back constantly for a answer because my dad is leaving to work in Africa and I wanted to build it with him before he left(He leaves on the 16th). So thank you so much Dave,as that is the one of the main games I play.

        Thank you!!!!
        Donovan.

    • says

      Hey Donovan, sorry for the delayed response. Here’s the answers to your questions:

      1. I update this list on a weekly basis and I think I accidentally forgot to update the parts on Amazon. It should all be up-to-date now, though.

      2. For a wireless adapter, it would depend on where you computer is in relation to the router. Are there a bunch of walls in between? In most cases a USB wireless stick will be good enough to get the job done. If you need something more powerful you could get a PCI wireless adapter. Something like this would work good in most scenarios: Panda 300Mbps Wireless-N USB Adapter

      3. To build a PC, all you really need is a Phillips Screwdriver.

      4. Yes, the $700 build will be able to handle all of those games fairly well. As Dave said (thanks for helping Dave!) CS:GO will run with no problems. The only game that might give you a little bit of trouble is DayZ Standalone when you’re in a highly populated area… but then again, a lot of machines struggle to run that game in that situation. You should still be able to run DayZ on high settings, though.

      Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, let me know!

      Best,
      Brent

      • Donovan says

        Thank you soo much, I am really excited to build it, and as you said the only game I may worry about is DayZ,GTA V is ok?

        THANK YOU!!!
        Donovan

        • says

          Hey Donovan, like I said, DayZ is pretty demanding when you’re in a highly populated area.

          However, the $700 build should still handle it on higher settings just fine.

          As for GTA V, the $700 build definitely meets the recommended system specifications put forth by Rockstar games, so my guess would be that you can run it fine. It does appear to be a pretty demanding game, though, but overall you should be good on higher settings there as well.

          Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

          Best,
          Brent

          • Donovan says

            Due to some complications,can the $600 do all the same, what are the main differences between the two and is the $700 worth it in the long run,I need this info asap so the quicker the better.

            Thank you,
            Donovan

          • Donovan says

            Also is Intel and ASUS considerably better than msi and AMD,and i’m unsure if I was clear about will $600 do the same as the $700,I mean the games i listed>

            Thank you again!
            Donovan.

          • says

            The $600 build will get you similar performance in most scenarios. However, as I mentioned that DayZ will take a hit in populated areas, it would likely do so even more with the FX-6300.

            I still think you should be able to play on higher settings, but the more powerful Intel Core CPU would be better at handling the more demanding nature of a populated DayZ area.

            Over the long run, the $700 build is definitely better. It has more upgrade potential at the CPU and it has the better motherboard. However, in both cases you would need to upgrade to a bigger power supply and case to upgrade your video card.

            I, personally, prefer Intel CPUs over AMD CPUs if I have the money to do so, but I’ve built budget computers with AMD. I’d also choose ASUS over MSI, but a lot of times MSI has better prices on Amazon. I’ve built with both motherboards and had no problems with either, but I believe that MSI does have a slightly higher Dead-On-Arrival rate than ASUS.

            Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

            Best,
            Brent

  69. Ivanglez says

    Hey Brent. Thank you so much for making this. I had been wondering for a long time what kind of parts to dive into and what I should buy. With income check coming in I want to put some money towards a good gaming PC. I have a budget of 700$ but as I am a college student I am willing to go down in price as well. I am a computer science major and work on making games on C++ and also play lots of video games daily. My main focus for getting a PC is to play League of Legends and stream as well. Will the 600-700$ PC’s be able to run League and stream at the same time with solid frames and high settings? And how would the PC handle against other current games while streaming as well? You’re reply would greatly help me on my decision and thank you again for this amazing website.

    • says

      Hey Ivanglez, thanks for reading and commenting! Sorry for the delayed response, hopefully this still finds you in time.

      The $700 PC will easily be able to handle streaming League of Legends as that’s not too demanding of a task.

      In fact, the $700 PC is powerful enough to stream most games at higher settings on a 1920×1080 monitor, so if you ever wanted to stream other games you could definitely do so.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  70. Thomas says

    Hi, First of all I want to say that this page is absolutely amazing for beginners like myself, thanks so much for making this. I was looking to buy the 500$ build and I was wondering if it was still possible to add an optical drive to it since I plan on installing many older games on my computer. If so, could you please link me an ideal cheap optical drive that would fit in well with the 500$ build so I can install my old games. Thank you

  71. Quilcerin says

    Hey so I see you stop at 700, What about a 800-900$ budget? Also I love gaming and probably play at least 8 hours a day and this old 2003 isn’t getting much value for me now with a lot of the new games coming out so i need to upgrade but at the same time I’m not “tech savvy” so my idea was just to go on new egg and buy a pre-built but even than i don’t know what I’m looking at, any suggestions?

  72. Frank says

    Hey Brent,
    I just wanted to know what is the main difference between the $600 and $500 build? I noticed that they only have different graphics cards, as far as performance goes, how does the $500 build compare to the $600.
    Thanks

    • says

      Hey Frank, thanks for reading and commenting!

      You’re right, the main difference is the video card. In this case, the R9 280 ($600 build) will get you about a 5-10 FPS difference over the R9 270 ($500 build).

      However, the $600 build also comes with a better case and an optical drive (which you may or may not need depending how comfortable you are installing your OS from a USB drive.)

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Frank says

        Just a small follow up question,
        Say if I were to buy the $500 build, later on could I just buy the 280 graphics card, or will I experience problems?
        Thanks again.

        • says

          Hey Frank, how’s it going?

          Yes, you definitely could. However, it’s such a small upgrade I would wait a little bit until a better upgrade became available.

          Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

          Best,
          Brent

          • Frank says

            Thanks for the response!
            How would the $500 build be able to run newer games like Assassin’s Creed Unity, GTA 5 and NBA 2k15? And also could I get the $500 build, and later down the line upgrade to the $700 build and not have to worry about getting a new case and the basic things, (so just basically swapping a few of the parts)
            Thanks
            Frank

  73. Sang says

    Hey Brent,
    Thanks for all the useful information. I was looking at the $700 build and hoping this would take care of all my gaming needs for a few years. This would be my first PC that I build myself. I was told to make a few changes and was hoping to get your input on these. I’d really prefer to stick towards your set up because it’s right around my budget cap. The games I’d like to max graphic settings are Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas, but the biggest game demands will come from Witcher 3 coming out in May.

    The RAM suggested is Crucial Ballstix Tactical Low Profile 8GB kit. (4GBx2) DDR3-1600 1.35VCC8 ($79.99)
    The Case suggestions were Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 ($79.99), Cooler Master Silencio 352 ($82.99) and Micro ATX Silent PC ($104.99)
    The GPU suggested looks almost exactly like yours, R9 280xOC Windforce 3x ($269.99)
    The CPU suggested was the Intel Xeon E3 ($249.99)

    If I made these changes my budget of $700 ($720 on Amazon currently) would turn into $850 pretty much. Are these changes needed in order to run these games on max settings and hopefully get a hand full of years out of my PC?

    • says

      Hey Sang, how’s it going?

      The RAM and case suggestions aren’t necessary.

      However, if you want to play The Witcher 3 on higher settings, you’ll definitely want to look at the R9 280X or the R9 290, as the game recommends having an R9 290.

      If you do go to the R9 280X, the XFX one I have listed above is $10 cheaper and comes with a $30 mail-in-rebate. And, whether you upgrade to the 280x or a 290, the Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus listed in the $700 build will fit either of those cards.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  74. says

    The video card from the $500 dollar set is about the same price as the one from the $400 dollar set, so why buy the one from the lesser set? IS it because it is not compatible with the rest of the $400 set? How can you tell which parts will fit together? Thanks

    • says

      Hey Oliver, how’s it going?

      At the time of the last update, the video card from the $400 setup came with a $20 mail-in-rebate and it didn’t require as big of a power supply as the video card from the $500 build.

      So, while they’re similar in price, the $20 mail-in-rebate helps and the fact that you can save about $20-$30 on the PSU as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  75. Jorge says

    Hello Brent i hope you still read the comments on this post. I am very interested in building the $700 set up and was wondering if with the components included in the set up i would be able to use dual monitors. I would be using one monitor to play and the other to keep up with my twitch stream and streaming software etc… Would I need more than 8 gigs of ram for that?

    Right now i do wonders with an I5 LAPTOP, haha. So this ‘grizzly’ set up seems like it would handle it just fine.

    • says

      Hey Jorge, how’s it going?

      The $700 will easily handle dual monitors and setting it up doesn’t require adding anymore RAM. So, you’re good there.

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  76. peter costello says

    We just built the Jackal. It is working great. However, the Antec case has USB 3.0 in front and I cannot find a USB 3.0 slot on the ASUS mother board. Also, the case has two fans and the motherboard only has one fan plug in. I assume we plug the second fan into the psu, but what do we plug the USB 3.0 into. Thanks.

  77. Matt says

    Brent,

    Thank you so much for putting all of this together. Right now I am looking to build a PC that will run The Elder Scrolls Online on the highest possible quality settings. Will this be possible with your $700 version? Also, is there anything not listed that I will need to buy? Besides keyboard/mouse/moniter/speakers of course.

    Thanks in advance,

    Matt

    • says

      Hey Matt, how’s it going? Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Yes, the $700 will be able to handle ESO fairly easily. And, like James said, you will need some kind of operating system, preferably Windows.

      So, either Windows 7 or Windows 8.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • says

      Hey Brian, how’s it going?

      Yes, you will need either a copy of Windows 7 or 8, or if you’re just playing Steam games you could always go with a free option like Linux… but ultimately Windows will be your best bet.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  78. Austin says

    Hi Brent. I thought your article was very helpful but I have a few questions. I was wondering if you have built any of these pc for a 100% answer of what the pc can do. I am looking more into the 400 dollar range because i am in my early teens and have no real source of income. I would like to build a pc capable of playing games like rust,dayz, and other modern games proficiently. I under stand that a pc 400$ is not going to play these games at the highest setting but will it play it at medium quality settings smoothly. Thank you for your time.

    • says

      Hey Austin, how’s it going?

      I have not build all of these computers as I change the parts on a weekly basis and rebuilding them every week, while it would be fun, it would be extremely expensive.

      However, the GPU is going to be the biggest determining factor on how well a certain build is going to be able to run a certain game. So, since I have a good idea of how current video cards benchmark, I can pretty safely determine how well each of the builds will perform on any given game.

      As for your questions, DayZ is a pretty demanding game so the $400 build might struggle with it even on medium settings, especially when you enter highly populated areas. However, on low-to-mid settings it should be fine. And, Rust is not too demanding so you will be able to run that as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  79. Catishcat says

    Hi Brent! Can $700 build max out GTA V on FullHD monitor with 60FPS? If it will, then I should not worry about other games, that I will play.

  80. Kyle says

    Hey Brent. Great article. I was wondering if you could substitute the AMD FX-8310 into one of the higher priced builds and get nearly the same performance as the FX-8320. Thanks!

  81. Calvin says

    Hey
    I was just wondering if the $500 build would be able to run some of the next gen games like GTA 5, NBA 2k15, and Assassins Creed Unity.
    I heard there has been a lot of issues with Unity even though people have good computers, so that would be my main concern.
    Thanks.

  82. Kyle Kissel says

    Hello if I were to get the 700 dollar build could I replace the GPU with the one in the 500 dollar build. If I can how much of a difference would it make?

    • Justin says

      Hey, sorry for pressing reply but i simply cant find the comment button, would the $500 build be able to run gta 4 on full graphics and everything without any lags? Also possibly the next-gen gta 5 coming out for pc?

      Thanks

      • Justin says

        Ok forget about gta 5 now that i’ve seen the now released requirements.

        is it possible to run dual processors, and how to?

  83. Kyle kissel says

    Hello I am planning on building the 600 dollar pc will I be able to run arms 3, DayZ, or advanced warfare on this computer? If so what fps do you think I will be getting. Also can I run the 600 dollar computer into my tv instead of a monitor?

  84. adam says

    First time building a computer, was wondering on thoughts of my setup and if it will all run well together, trying to keep it as close to $600 as i can, i already have an optical drive and a hardrive i am using from old comp.
    i took inspiration from the 600 dollar list on here and built from it, any help would be great
    Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD
    graphics:Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB Dual-X Video Card
    cpu:AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor
    memory:Kingston Fury Red Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600
    case:Cooler Master HAF 922 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
    power:XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply
    storage: i think its a seagate or western digital 1tb
    optical drive: no idea, rarely use it…
    OS: probably windows 7 since i dislike 8, whatever i can get from my friend…
    bascially a budget gaming rig for around 600
    any help is appreciated! thanks

  85. Amanda says

    Hey there just have a quick question i am looking at either the 500 or 600 build. I am just curious which one will be the best to run World of Warcraft on ultra settings and have no lag, good fps, etc. I want the best performance i can get out of Wow as this build will be the one i use for a long time thanks any help is greatly appreciated! :)

    • Donovan says

      Hey, I have been saving up for the $500 computer for a while,I was curious if it would run DayZ standalone, Counter Strike:Global Offensive, Insurgency, and maybe some Arma 3 or Payday 2, all at good fps,doenst have to be on max or “ultra” setting, though it would be very nice. I’m new to PC so I don’t know how to compare the specs to what I need.

      Thank you in advance,
      Donovan

  86. Buddy says

    Hey! Since I don’t live in the US I switched out the motherboard since it wasn’t available in my store.

    ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS was switched into an ASUS H81M-E – mATX / H8.

    I’m a beginner when it comes to building your own PC so I am wondering if this switch is okay?

    • says

      Hey Buddy, how’s it going?

      Unfortunately, that switch won’t work unless you switch to an Intel Core CPU. The ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS is an AMD specific motherboard and the ASUS H81M-E – mATX / H8 is an Intel specific motherboard.

      What country are you located in? I’ll try and help you find a similar motherboard.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Pappah says

        Thank you for the reply Brent. After some research and your suggestion. I came across this: Sapphire Sapphire Radeon R7 265 2GB GDDR5 DVI-I. Would this fit well for the 500 dollar budget as a computer graphic card?

  87. Pappah says

    Hello Brent,

    I’m currently building the 500 dollar build, is there any other graphic cards that you may recommend beside the XFX R9, that work just as well? If not, its okay. Thanks for the guide. It’s helping me tremendously. :)!

    • says

      Hey Pappah, how’s it going?

      You can use any of the other R9 270s, so, either the ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, Sapphire, etc. will do.

      The comparable NVIDIA GPU to the R9 270 is the GTX 750 Ti. You can use that as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • chris says

        (sorry if this isn’t a comment just a reply can’t find the right button) can the $500 set run games like gta 4 and kerbal space program?

        • says

          Hey Chris, how’s it going?

          Yes, the $500 build can easily run those games as they aren’t too demanding.

          Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

          Best,
          Brent

          • Chris says

            Thank you for your fast answer, but I have a few more questions,
            a: is there a tutorial on how to build the models

            B: are all the parts neccicary to build it on that Amazon list?

    • says

      Hey Jeremy, how’s it going?

      That case will work, but it’s a little overkill for the $500 build, as the money you spend on the Phantom case would be better spend on more important components, like your GPU, CPU, motherboard, etc.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • says

      Hi Zivan, how’s it going?

      The $500 build will max any of those games out on a 1920×1080 monitor with a minimum of ~40ish FPS in BF4 and COD. And Dota 2 isn’t too demanding so you’ll be fine there as well.

      So, you shouldn’t have to worry about it handling your games.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

    • says

      Hey Taylor, how’s it going?

      The build looks good, but your motherboard won’t fit in that case and I believe you can make the build better with these changes:

      1. Drop from 16GB to 8GB. This will allow you to put about ~$70 into different components and most games barely utilize 4GB of RAM nowadays anyways.

      2. With the extra $70 upgrade your video card to an R9 270X and change your PSU to an XFX Core Edition PRO550W and your case to a Corsair Carbide Spec-02. Then you can keep the same motherboard you originally added.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Taylor says

        Thank you for your reply. I ended up going with a different Case. I found the motherboard and a few other of the parts cheaper on newegg too. Would you recommend me buying one stick of 8gb or two sticks of 4gb each? I have read that the two sticks will work better due to dual channel.

        • Taylor says

          Ok one last question. The R9 requires at least 500w of power. Will 550w PSU be enough for the system? Or should I go for a more power? How much power will the graphic card actually use is I guess the question I am asking. Thanks again

    • says

      Hey Skyler, how’s it going?

      According to NZXT that case will fit a video card that is 10.43 inches long. The video card itself is 10.315 inches. So, it would be a pretty tight fit unless you remove the drive bays…

      You could always go with an NZXT H230 for the same price. It will hold a video card as long as 11.4″ with the HDD cages still in place.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

      • Skyler says

        Hi Brent,
        Thanks for letting me know about the H230! I will probably end up getting it. I do have one more question, though. A friend told me to get either a motherboard or graphics card with NVIDIA to increase performance. Is this necessary, and if so, what should I get? I don’t want to be spending a whole lot of money on something I don’t need. I don’t know if this is necessary, because I have seen many builds without one. Also, if they are way more expensive than one without NVIDIA, would I be able to put one in later? This is my first build, so I don’t know a whole lot about the different components, so you giving me advice really helps!

        Thanks for all the help,
        Skyler

  88. Luis Martin says

    Hey!
    I need to know if this would be a possible build
    Case: Aerocool EN52216
    PSU: Corsair CX500M
    HDD: WD 1TB
    RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB
    CPU: I3-4160
    MOBO: Asus B85M-G
    GPU: Sapphire DUAL-X R9 270X OC
    And I’d like to know if i can cut back on RAM without losing performance

    Thank you,
    Luis Martin

    • says

      Hey Luis, how’s it going?

      Yes that build is compatible. You could cut back on RAM and you probably wouldn’t notice a performance drop in most games.

      Notice, though, that I said most games. There are some more demanding multiplayer games out there that will use over 4GB of RAM in certain situations.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  89. Phil says

    Hi Brent,
    I am looking into investing in the jackal build and I was just wondering if the pc came pre-built or in all its separate parts.
    Thank you.

    • says

      Hey Phil, how’s it going?

      The build would come in separate parts as I always recommend building your own system before buying one pre-built.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Best,
      Brent

  90. Christian says

    Hello Bret. I have a some questions for your 500$ build. 1. Does the AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black Edition come with thermal paste or will i have to get some? 2. Any good videos you recommend for a first pc build? And what upgrades do you recommend for this build for the future? Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Christian, how’s it going?

      1. It will not come with thermal paste, but if you use the stock cooler, that will have a thermal “sticky” pad on it and you can use that.

      2. Newegg just updated their “How to Build a PC” series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIF43-0mDk4

      As for future upgrades, you can go up to an FX-8320 or -8350, but you’d probably want to get a better motherboard to support those CPUs and you can also upgrade the video card as well.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      All the Best,
      Brent

      • Christian says

        Hey Brent, I’m doing well.

        Thank you for the fast reply i just have a few more questions :) 1. Will you be updating the 400$ build anytime soon in the next two months or so? I say this because i dont have the money at this moment and I am buying the parts one by one over the course of two months. I have just recently bought the case. 2. What recommended graphics cards do you recommend for a upgrade in the future? 3. Is 4gb of RAM good enough for the 400$ build i don’t want to be browsing the net and it’s slow. 4. I have a steam library of 100+ games and my current laptop only has 450gb of storage should i switch to the 1TB for more storage? Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Bigmoco, how’s it going?

      Everything looks good, except I would change out the EVGA PSU for the Antec VP-450 as it costs less and is a better quality unit.

      Other than that though, the parts look good for your budget.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  91. says

    Go to my website/twitter account to see my PC finished!!! It works like a charm and is probably one of the best PC’s I have ever used. THANK YOU SOOO MUCH BRENT!!!!

  92. Jack says

    Hey Brent,
    I have finally finished building my computer.. $700 build…. I have been trying to install windows 7 on my computer but it’s not working properly. It will install but then it won’t load when it’s at the starting windows screen… Any ideas?? Thanks.

  93. Corbin says

    I’m thinking of getting the 400$ setup but with the Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB instead of the Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB. Do I really need the extra 4GB to play modern games at medium-high (mostly medium) settings? Can I run a game like Dayz or Arma 3 on medium to high settings with a solid 30+ on the 4GB card or do I need the 8GB? First time building a computer. Thanks.

  94. Marcus says

    Hey Brent,
    I was looking at the motherboard in the 500$ build and decided to switch it to theGigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard would that still be compatible with the Rosewill case?

  95. Brent this is a concidience says

    Good afternoon,
    I am hoping to get a computer for minecraft that would haveabsolutely no lag. Should i get the 700 dollar computer and if not what computer should i get?
    Thank you for your time and help!

  96. Eric says

    Hey! How’s it going? :D I just started building the 700$ build and I was just wondering… the video card on that build requires 600W power supply, and the power supply on the build says 550w, what’s up with that?

  97. Allen says

    Has anyone actually used all the components listed on any of the builds to make their computer? (more specifically $500-$600 range). If so what games do you usually use? Anyone use BeamNG or any of the Amras ? BTW I really like this guide, it is the best one if have found yet. Sorry if this question was already asked in another comment, I didn’t see it. Thanks.

  98. Clay says

    Hey just want to say thanks for taking your time to post all this. I haven’t built a computer since the Doom 3 craze. Back then i had a pentium d and a nvidia 7600gt!!

    Anyways i chose the “the hornet” build, i kinda tweaked it. I added 8gb of ram and im putting a Sapphire r7 265 gpu in it. Im mainly wanting to play Dayz, maybe a few other games.

    With monitor, keyboard, and OS. It came out to $700. Thats a deal in my book, cant wait to start the build. Thanks again!!!

  99. Jake says

    Hello Brent . Well I was going to save up the ash for a build around $500 but I ended up getting laid off. so now I only have a budget of 200$ to do something with. I have this older Hp Pavilion p6000 series desktop that I was wondering if I could do anything with so I can mess around on games like Rift without my frame rates being horrid for around my budget.

  100. Jack says

    Hey Brent,
    Its me again, I have successfully installed my CPU onto my motherboard. Now, I didn’t realize until now that I didn’t have to apply thermal paste onto the CPU before I installed the fan, because apparently the fan has thermal paste pre applied to it. Will it matter that I applied extra thermal paste onto the Possessor or is this perfectly fine?
    Thanks a lot!
    – Jack

  101. James says

    Hello Brent on the $500 dollar gaming PC would it be ok to get the ASUS R9270X instead of the ASUS R9270 because at the moment it’s only $10 more for it and as for the power supply it just went from $59.99 to $80 is there another power supply I could get?

  102. JackieM says

    Hi Brent,

    I am in the process of ordering the pieces for the $700 build. Prices have gone up a bit over the past few weeks on Amazon (as I twiddled my thumbs) so I am trying to order some parts at my local Microcenter. Questions so far:

    Can I replace the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 RED LED Black ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case with the SPEC-02 which I found cheaper? And if so, would anything need to change in the rest of the list?

    Also can I replace the Intel Core i5-4460 LGA 1150 CPU – BX80646I54460 with the Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz LGA 1150 Boxed Processor 6MB level 3 cache, integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600, which I found cheaper, and again, would anything need to change in the rest of the list?

    Thank you!! You’ve given me the courage to try to build for the first time!

  103. Jay says

    Hey I bought the $600 build and I’m having some issues. One of the things on there was the Seagate Barracuda 500 GB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 16MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST500DM002. When I put everything together I tried to install Windows 8 on it but I got this message, “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.”
    Does this mean I have to buy a new drive, if so which one will work?

  104. Max says

    Hey Brent!

    I just put together my first custom desktop, and found this guide really helpful. I’m using the panda wireless USB thing you recommended in one of these other comments, but I’m finding that though it recognizes and connects to my wireless network, the internet connection itself is sporadic at best. Chrome often shows a: “the website cannot be displayed” page and if it does succeed in loading, it’s often after long delay. I think I’ve updated the drivers properly– used the disk the USB came with & then checked their website for an update. Not sure what to do!! Any ideas?

    Troubled,
    Max

    • says

      Hey Max, how close is the computer to the router? And, how many bars does it say you’re getting?

      Networking issues can be caused by a variety of things, so it could be that the wireless adapter isn’t powerful enough, or a number of other factors could be causing you problems.

    • Jack says

      Yeah, I would also go to this website http://www.speedtest.net

      Check how fast of an internet speed you are actually getting and either move you pc and router closer together or upgrade your wifi speed. These are the best ways to get the fastest speeds. Hope this helps
      – Jack

  105. Kyle H says

    Hi Brent,

    My PC just died today, I have an older PC with a pretty old card (NVidia 9800GTX) and I know my Gateway GT5200 that it’s in had a inboard card which was awful, but I got the PC back in 2006.

    Just curious, for the $300 build, would I be able to add a graphics card if I wanted or would I be stuck with the inboard graphics?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Kyle, how’s it going? Sorry to hear about your PC dying.

      Yes, if you go with the $300 build you can add a video card to it down the road. The integrated graphics on the A10-7850K should be good enough to get you by on most games (on medium/low settings) for now.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

    • Chris Schwinn says

      The mobo has 1 PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot, so you could put a really good video card in there, like the GTX960 and be able to play any game that is out right now on max graphics. Games like Farcry 4 may have some frame rate drops, but other then that the 960 is only about $200 on amazon so it’s by far the best card for your money right now. This is all assuming you play at 1080p resolution or lower. I usually dont assume people are playing 4k as it’s kind of a huge luxury still at this point. Give 4k another 5 years and it might become the norm because there will be something even better. 4k will be much cheaper when that happens. :P

  106. KOSTAS says

    Hi Brent ,

    I am a fan of the game Company of heroes 2006 , my motherboard crashed so i am thinking to build a new pc .

    i am thinking to buy a 4k tv , so i would like to build a pc to play 4k & 23 inch monitor tv .
    i like nvidia graphic cards .

    Appreciate your reply and your suggestion .

    • says

      Hey Kostas, how’s it going?

      It really depends on what your total budget is and what games you play. You need a pretty high-end machine in order to max games out the more demanding games at 4K resolutions.

      Company of Heroes isn’t too demanding, though, so you may be able to get by (assuming the game supports 4K).

      As for AMD versus NVIDIA, there isn’t a huge performance difference at most price ranges, so I typically make my choices by price. So if you want to go with an NVIDIA card, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.

      Let me know what your budget is and I’ll be able to help you a little better.

  107. Natalie says

    Hey Brent!
    Since Christmas is coming around, I was thinking of purchasing the $500 build. I have two main things I would use it for: Photoshop and Minecraft! I was wondering if it would be able to run Minecraft on high settings, and run Photoshop smoothly.
    Also, are there any monitors you recommend for this build? I’m trying to keep the budget under 700!
    Thanks!

  108. Henry Clark says

    Brent et al,

    Thanks so much for all the information thus far, you all have been a wealth of information leading up to this, my first crack at a system build from the “ground up” so to speak.
    Well, my progress so far (purchase-wise anyway) and of course from links on your website are:

    CPU — AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition
    GPU — Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP Dual-X with Boost and OC Version PCI-Express Graphics Card 11217-01-20G
    RAM — Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB 1866MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM – Black (HX318C10FB/8)
    PSU — XFX TS 550w Full Wired 80+ Bronze Power Supply – P1550SXXB9
    CASE — CASE FRACTAL DESIGN|FD-CA-DEF-R4-BL (Fractal Design Define R4)

    Initially, and as we’ve been communicating periodically back-and-forth my only goal for this systems has been to play World of Warcraft Warlords of Dreanor at high to Ultra quality with good frame rates allowing me to raid without the machine holding back my performance or personal pleasure. I think with the list of component I may have gone a bit more than initially intended (bit more than just a bare bones budget job). With this in mind, my question now would be what would you consider to be an ideal mother board to fit this system and would i benefit from not only having a hard disk drive but possibly a 120GB SSD. I did save a considerable amount of money on these pieces this past week with discounts and rebates, enough to purchase a mother board that will be reasonably future proof and maybe allow me to tinker with OC’ing this PSU (I read that it is relatively easy to do with this one and is advisable since WoW is more CPU dependent than it is GPU.) Also, with your indepth knowledge of gaming and building systems, what do you think the best OS will be for me to go with — WIN 7, 8, 8.1 etc.? And lastly, do you think I made a wise choice with my purchasing desisions so far?
    Thanks again for your much needed and appreciated assistance.

    • says

      Hey Henry, how’s it going?

      Everything looks great so far! As for a motherboard, if you want to OC in the future, I’d look at one of the 990FX AM3+ motherboards. This one is not bad after the $20 MIR:

      ASUS M5A99X EVO R2.0 AM3+

      If you don’t want to spend that much you could go with one of the better 970 boards, like this one:

      Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3P

      That board will allow you to mildly overclock your FX-8320.

      If you can afford to put an SSD in your build, definitely do so. It won’t give you an in-game performance boost, but you’ll load instances faster and your system will run faster.

      As for Windows, I’d say just go with Windows 8.1. It’s newer and there’s been too many instances where Microsoft has hinted at not supporting DirectX updates for Windows 7. Fortunately they haven’t yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they do in the future.

      If you can’t stand Windows 8, though, 7 will still be fine.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  109. Marcus Good says

    Hi Brent,
    Just wondering on the 500$ build are their any monitors in particular that do good with that computer? Also could you include any of the monitors that have good prices?
    Thanks,
    Marcus

  110. Michael says

    Hey Brent,

    I am trying to buy computer parts that I can combine together for a decent amount of money now but I can upgrade and make it excellent later. What computer parts would you recommend to start with then upgrade to later. My budget right now is 250 to 420 dollars.

    • says

      Hey Michael, how’s it going?

      It really depends on how much performance you want to get right now and if you can live with playing on lower settings for awhile.

      If you can’t live with playing on lower settings, I’d say look at the $400 build (it would stretch to about $490 when you add an Operating System).

      That build will give you medium to high settings on most games at 1920×1080 resolution and the video card can be upgraded in the future if you wanted more performance.

      If you can live with playing on lower settings, I would go with an Intel-based build and forego the video card for now.

      So, something like the $400 or $500 build, but get rid of the CPU and motherboard and replace them with an Intel Core i3 (or i5 if you can afford it) and a solid H97 motherboard.

      That route will allow you to easily add a high-end video card down the road and if you start with an i3 CPU you can always upgrade to an i5/i7 later.

      Going with the $400 build above, in my opinion, is the better option as you’ll be able to play on higher settings now and still be able to upgrade a little later.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  111. Dave says

    Brent,
    Hi. Great information. I just want to verify a few things:
    (1) For the Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB, is that supposed to be one 8GB stick or two 4GB sticks?
    (2) For the ASRock H97M PRO4, that’s a micro ATX, so do we want that one or the H97 PRO4 (without the M)?
    (3) In general, will things still be compatible if I bump a component up 1 level (for example, using a Radeon R9 290 instead of a Radeon R9 280).

    Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Dave, how’s it going?

      1. It’s supposed to be one stick. One stick typically costs less than a 2X4GB kit and there isn’t too much of a difference performance-wise.

      2. Even though it’s an H97M it is in fact a regular ATX motherboard. But if you want to save some money and get a micro-ATX board you can. You’ll just have less PCIe slots.

      3. Yes, that build can handle an R9 290, so if you want to jump up you definitely can.

  112. Marien says

    Could I replace the Sapphire Radeon R9 270X with the XFX Radeon R9 280 in the $500 build? Would it still be compatible with the motherboard?

    Thanks in advance

  113. Nicholas D. says

    Would the 700$ build be able to run games like Arma 3, FarCry 4, Battlefield 4, and The Dayz mod (Not stand alone), on max settings? Thanks for your time.

  114. Ben Spaulding says

    Hello Brent,

    I’m an almost exclusively single player gamer, primarily strategy and rpg titles, and I’ve been looking to get something that could run the recent Total War titles (Rome II, Shogun II, maybe Attilla) and also Skyrim. How would the $500 dollar build perform for these games? Also could you suggest any improvements that might boost the performance without blowing the price up?

  115. Sean says

    I am thinking of building your $700 dollar computer and while looking through your other builds I noticed the graphics card on the $500 computer is cheaper and is better. Should I get that graphics card instead? Also with black friday and cyber monday coming up will it be better to buy on black friday or cyber monday. Also will you update the site for black friday and cyber monday?

  116. Anthony says

    Hi!

    First I’d like to thank you for this article, it was incredibly useful. Basically, I’m running on a really tight budget. I enjoy playing games such as league of legends and TF2, and I enjoy recording videos of those games. Would the $400 computer be able to handle those things? It’s really my only option at this point considering I would still need the monitor, keyboard, wireless adaptor, and operating system.

  117. Sam says

    Hey Brent,
    Will the $700 build be able able to run games like Arma III, Dayz, Farcry 4 and games like that at High settings? i am going to build pc over time as i get the money for different parts, so may have a few extra bucks lying around, would you reccomend any extras or slightly higher grade components to improve performance and such?
    Thanks, Sam

  118. Dylan says

    Hi Brent,

    I’d just like to say that the 500 dollar package motherboard does not come with a heatsink or fan so that needs to get added to the list of parts on Amazon. I’m learning this now as all my parts arrive and I am unable to start my build! Please spread the word or add to the parts list! Thanks.

    Dylan

  119. Rodrigo Amaral says

    Hi Brent,

    I just want to ask if the 700 computer will handle recording and streaming most of the games. If not, what should I change?
    Sorry for my bad english im portuguese.

    • says

      Hey Rodrigo, how’s it going?

      Yes, the $700 build will handle recording/streaming most games on a 1920×1080 monitor. Though, you might want to look into getting a GTX 760 instead of the R9 280, as the GTX 760 comes with Shadowplay and will help take the load off of your system when recording.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  120. Sean says

    Hi i am just a beginner and I was looking at your $700 dollar build computer and I was wondering when building it do I have to get an extra Cpu cooler, wireless network adapter and sound card. Also with the sound card what does it actually do? Would there be no sound at all from the computer or anything like that?
    Thanks

    • says

      Hey Sean, how’s it going?

      You won’t need to get an extra CPU cooler as that will come with the processor. And, most motherboards have good enough onboard sound, so you don’t really need an aftermarket sound card either.

      As for the wireless network adapter, yes, you will need one. Something like this will be easy to use and it will get the job done:

      Panda 300Mbps Wireless-N USB Adapter

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  121. Casey says

    Hey I was wondering, since I’m getting the $400 com., will i be able to run games like Arkham Origins or Skyrim? And if not, what can I change in the com. to play games like those? Are parts interchangeable? Thank you!

    • says

      Hey Casey, how’s it going?

      Yes, you should be able to play both of those games on higher (though probably not max) settings with that setup as long as you’re playing on a 1920×1080 monitor, or a lower resolution monitor.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  122. Wesley Joubert says

    Hey Brent! I’m new to the whole gaming computer scene. I’ve been a big gamer, and I’ve been thinking about moving from consoles to pc. However, I would like to play modern games, as well as ones coming out in the future with $400. Will you update the list for Black Friday/Cyber Monday? I know it’d be a huge job, but if you do, I’d love to see the post! Thanks for all your help!

    • says

      Hey Wesley, how’s it going?

      Right now I have a Deal Tracker page up that is tracking all the top deals through Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

      http://elitegamingcomputers.com/deal-tracker/

      I’ll probably look to update the builds on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it will be tough, since a lot of those deals go quickly due to people buying them up fast.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  123. Jack says

    Hey Brent! Its me again! I have all my parts now for the $700 build. I’m going to start building soon. I have a problem/question though. I want to be able to play my PC wireless. I was just wondering if you know how what the best part to buy for this.

  124. Barry says

    Hi Brent,

    Great article you have there! I was a technician for quite sometime and currently working in IT industry for the last 5 years, however, I think I still need some expert advise in building a new gaming PC at the same time my wife’s working station since she has decided to work at home, at a very low cost possible that matches my gaming needs(I play a lot of heavy games and am a heavy player too).

    Here’s my Build similar to your $700 build but I’ve changed some parts.

    Raidmax Viper GX (Optional-I can get any for a lower price as long as it has good air flow)
    HEC 550W 80+
    Asus B85 pro gamer
    intel i5 – 4460
    Adata 4GB 1600 (for now, will upgrade by adding 3 more in the future).
    1TB WD
    Powercolor R7 260x 2GB D5 (for now, I’m planning to do crossfire in the future, which is the part i’m not sure. Been doing a lot of research but just got info overload with millions of options available.) Will get my build in 2 weeks from now.

    Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Barry, how’s it going?

      I would stay away from the HEC power supply as HEC units can be pretty hit or miss on quality.

      Other than that, if you’re set on the Intel CPU, it looks good. However, the FX-6300 is a good option that will allow you to get a better video card. But that depends on what kind of games you’re playing and how demanding they are.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  125. Dylan says

    Hello,

    I’m looking to buy the $500 package but had a few questions real fast. I have an NVIDIA GTX 650 card in the box that I got a while back. Will all the parts in the package work fine with this card until I get a newer better card in the future? Thanks!

  126. Henry says

    Brent,

    Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to post the ever changing components available at discount as we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday. When I asked for it I was in hopes you would actually “build” a system with the discounted parts to see if your readers could save some money on your say 500 dollar build. Now, that I think more about it, the task would be rather daunting with the constantly fluxuating sales. Something that may be much easier would be possibly to add in the verabage what part in which budget build that particualar component could be substituted for. For example, could the XFX Core Edition 550W PSU be a suitable substitute for the Corsair CX series in the $500 build. I know that would help me out tremendously as I’m buying components for the build in the next week or so. I hope that it would help many other readers as well. Thanks again for all your valuable knowledge and I’m going to definitely buy the components though this website to support your company any way I can. Have the happiest of holidays.

  127. Ralph Gordon says

    Hello Brent!

    I stumbled onto your site by accident, it was the best accident I’ve ever had! You provide the best do-it yourself PC advice available! Thank You!

    I am looking to build my own PC. I do not want to compromise with a ready made Tower. I want to build good, powerful PC as I do a lot of photo editing, some video editing and want to get back into some gaming for fun. (Haven’t done any gaming other than flight simulator since the original HALO! My current tower is an old Vista OS box! I am a user of Windows 8.1 64 bit on my laptops however.

    I have some parts on hand and would like to utilize them in my build. I have the following on hand: Rosewill Patriot Full Tower, Rosewill Photon 550 watt power supply, Kingston Hyper X Genesis RAM 8GB X2 – 1600. LG DVD multi-drive. Various keyboards and mice. and a great sounding Boston Acoustics sub-woofer/satellite speaker system.

    I plan on using a Crucial 240GB SDD and a Seagate 3TB HDD. I am considering AMD FX-6300 or 8350 as my starting CPU, and either an ASUS Sabretooth or Crossblade MoBO and I am not sure what GPU to use as I’ve always had on-board GPU’s before. Any advice?
    Thanks again!

  128. Logan says

    Hey Brent awesome web page for cheap computer builds!

    I also had a question. I already have a list on the computer i want to build, but the price for it is very steep and I believe that its not the computer i want. Yet straight to the question. I was thinking that the 500 – 600 $ build would be great for me, and i don’t play to many graphically demanding games, but in the future i might play some high graphic and fps shooting games like battle field. Would this be a good build range for me? Also the only thing I’m looking in a computer build is being able to play most games on high graphic settings without fps dropping like crazy and just wondering if the 500 – 600$ is good because it will literally cut my price for the previous computer build in half.

    Thanks again !

    • says

      Hey Logan, how’s it going?

      The $500-$600 builds will definitely play non-demanding games on max settings. The only problem you may run into with those setups is on games that are demanding on the CPU, typically in situations where there are a lot of online players in one area.

      However, for the most part, both of those builds will max out games like BF4 fairly easily. If you do play graphics-intensive online games where there are a lot of online players in the same area (like DayZ in populated areas, or large BF4 matches) you might want to consider the $700 build to get the stronger Intel CPU.

      If you don’t mind turning down the settings a bit in those situations, then either of those builds will be fine.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Logan says

        Thanks Brent!

        One more question if you don’t mind. Are the prices for the parts of these pc builds are gonna be on cyber Monday? Because if most parts will be on cyber Monday I would be able to get the 700 or 600$ cheaper which would be great and easy to fit in for my parent’s christmas budget and allow me to fit in the screen, keyboard, etc

        Thanks Again!

  129. Samuel says

    Hello,

    Had some questions about the 400 dollar budget game pc. If I put a 8 gb single ddr3 1600 instead of the 4 gb version, and a Seagate Barracuda 7200 500 gb harddrive instead a 250 gb version, do I need to change the other parts too? Or could I just use the same motherboard, power supply and mini tower?

    Look forward to the answer!

    Thanks in advance.

    Samuel

  130. says

    great artical by the way,but i have a couple of questions .

    1 Does the $400 build cpu come with a heat sink and if not is one needed?

    2 Is the $400 build compatible with the SilverStone Tek PS08B case?

    3 I was looking at the $400 builds gpu on you tube which could play battle field 4 on ultra settings but would the rest of the computer be able to ?

    4 What good wifi card could you recommend thats compatible with the $400 build

    Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hey Oscar, how’s it going?

      1. All CPUs will come with a stock CPU cooler. You can add an aftermarket heatsink/CPU cooler if you want, but it’s not necessary unless you’re planning on overclocking. But since the $400 build doesn’t come with an overclocking-friendly motherboard, I’d say you’re fine without an aftermarket heatsink.

      2. Yes, you can put the $400 build in the Tek PS08B case.

      3. The $400 build could probably run BF4 on high in certain situations, but my guess is that medium settings would be the more stable settings to run that game at. It also depends on your monitor resolution. The $500-$700 builds would be the better bet if you’re looking to run BF4 on Ultra on a 1920×1080 monitor.

      4. I would go with something simple like this:

      Panda 300Mbps Wireless-N USB Adapter

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  131. Richard says

    Say i wanted to be able to run World of Warcraft. I use my computer on a daily basis and use about 5-6 programs downloaded. How can i build a computer that will maximize the smoothness in game with out Internet windows like youtube suffering ? (etc. wow head)

    • says

      Hey Richard, how’s it going?

      It depends on what your budget for a new computer is. World of Warcraft isn’t super demanding as long as you’re not running in a big raid.

      However, anytime you’re running a bunch of programs at once, you’re going to see a loss in performance. Typically the stronger your CPU is, the better able it will be to handle multiple programs at once (depending on those programs.)

      My suggestion would be to look at the $700 build listed above as it has the stronger and more efficient Intel CPU.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.