Top Gaming Computers for 2015

Top Gaming Computers 2015 Edition

For gamers who have a good-sized budget, this guide is going to take you through everything you need to know in order to build a top gaming computer. Throughout the sections in this guide, you’ll literally get a look at all of the components that are necessary for your top gaming PC. 

With modern PC games advancing at such a rapid rate, there is no surprise that there are multiple games on the market that most standard cookie-cutter computers can barely handle.

And, as PC gamers we like to have and experience the best… We like to play our games on the highest settings possible, with the highest framerate possible.

Fortunately, top gaming computers have never been more affordable…

Especially when you take it upon yourself to build your own gaming computer, which will ultimately save you a ton of money on the markup prices that you would’ve paid for a pre-built computer.

The good news is that building a computer is a very doable thing for just about anyone. Seriously… if you can operate a screwdriver and read, then I’m pretty confident that you can build your own gaming computer.

In this guide I’ll be going over all of the different options you have for each component if you’re building a high-end system. 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 top gaming computer that is capable of delivering excellent levels of performance.

To get started, let’s take a look at some pre-made part lists you can use as is or modify to your own needs…

i.PRE-MADE PART LISTS

For those of you who just want to get right into building your system, I’ve put together five different pre-made part lists so that you can bypass the component selection process and get right into playing on your new self-built gaming computer.

These part lists are updated with the top components at the best prices on a regular basis. So, if you’re looking at these builds you can bet they’ll give you maximum performance for the budget you’ve set.

*It should be noted that these builds do not include a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or operating system. However, I have made some peripheral recommendations for each build. You will definitely need an operating system to get your computer up and running. Also, if you’re building a high-end system, make sure you pick up a high resolution monitor so that you get the most out of your gaming experience.

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$1,000 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

For $1,000 you can expect to put together a system that can max out any game on 2560×1440 resolution. And, you can even expect a $1,000 gaming computer to serve as an entry-level 4K gaming computer.

The $1,000 mark is the sweet spot for building your own computer, as $1,000 in components is enough to provide optimal in-game performance while still maintaining a reasonable budget.

The following are the parts I currently recommend for a $1,000 DIY gaming computer:

Part List

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K

VIEW

FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

VIEW

MOBO MSI Z97 PC MATE LGA 1150

VIEW

GPU Gigabyte GTX 970

VIEW

RAM Crucial Ballistix 8GB

VIEW

HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

VIEW

CASE Cooler Master HAF 912

VIEW

PSU XFX Core Edition PRO550W

VIEW

ODD Samsung 24x SATA

VIEW

Grand Total: $980-$1,020

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

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$1,250 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

With a budget of $1,000 or more, you can expect to get a truly awesome gaming computer.

At this price range, you will be able to put together a machine that will be able to play any game on the highest settings on a 1440p monitor and will even be able to handle 4K gaming as well (though you won’t be able to max the more demanding games out at 4K resolution).

However, playing on the highest settings is just one of the many benefits you will receive when you drop $1,250 on parts for a gaming computer.

You can also expect your computer to stay relevant for a long time and you can be sure that you have high-quality components all throughout your build.

That means along with a great processor and excellent video card, you will also get a high-end motherboard and a well-built power supply.

The build listed below is based off of my extensive research. I have spent many hours evaluating parts and looking at prices and have come up with these parts for a $1,250 gaming computer:

Part List

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K

VIEW

FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

VIEW

MOBO MSI Z97 PC MATE LGA 1150

VIEW

GPU MSI GeForce GTX 980

VIEW

RAM Crucial Ballistix 8GB

VIEW

HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

VIEW

CASE Cooler Master HAF 912

VIEW

PSU XFX Core Edition PRO550W

VIEW

ODD Samsung 24x SATA

VIEW

Grand Total: $1,220-$1,280

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

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$1,500 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

For $1,500 you’re pretty much getting the same computer build as our $1,250 computer. The only difference? An upgraded motherboard and an unlocked Intel Core i7 processor.

While the i7 won’t give you any added benefit in most in-game scenarios, if you’re using your computer for any tasks that utilize more threads it will provide a boost in performance.

Ultimately, this build is capable of maxing out anything on a 2560×1440 monitor and will even serve as an entry-point to 4K gaming.

$1,500 will get you the following components:

Part List

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K

VIEW

FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

VIEW

MOBO ASUS Z97 PRO LGA 1150

VIEW

GPU MSI GeForce GTX 980

VIEW

RAM Crucial Ballistix 8GB

VIEW

SSD Crucial MX 100 128GB

VIEW

HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

VIEW

CASE Cooler Master HAF 912

VIEW

PSU XFX Core Edition PRO550W

VIEW

ODD Samsung 24x SATA

VIEW

Grand Total: $1,470-$1,530

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

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$1,750 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

For $1,750 the sky is the limit in terms of performance. Seriously, with dual GTX 970s this build is ready to push games at 4K resolution…

$1,750 will also give you plenty of other options as well.

For instance, if you’re planning on doing some system tuning, this kind of budget will allow you to hit some decent overclocks.

You will also get an SSD and 16GB of RAM. While 16GB of memory can’t be fully used by today’s games, you can use the extra memory to setup a RAM disc for even more performance out of your system.

This build comes with the following components:

Part List

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K

VIEW

FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

VIEW

MOBO ASUS Z97 PRO LGA 1150

VIEW

GPU Gigabyte GTX 970 (SLI x2)

VIEW

RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB

VIEW

SSD Crucial MX 100 128GB

VIEW

HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

VIEW

CASE Corsair Obsidian 750D

VIEW

PSU XFX PRO850W

VIEW

ODD Samsung 24x SATA

VIEW

Grand Total: $1,720-$1,780

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

X2

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$2,000 GAMING COMPUTER

Overview

So you’ve decided to go all out… You’re not spending a dime under $2,000 on computer parts for your new ridiculously awesome computer build. Alright… that’s cool…

I guess some people just have to have the best!

Fortunately, for $2,000 you can really max out your build. You can run dual top-end video cards. You can utilize an i7 processor and its advanced hyperthreading technology (which will really help you with stuff like video rendering and image editing.) And, you can leave yourself with a ton of options for upgrading in the future.

Through some serious research, I believe these parts will treat you well at $2,000:

Part List

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K

VIEW

FAN CM Hyper 212 EVO

VIEW

MOBO ASUS Z97 PRO LGA 1150

VIEW

GPU EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X

VIEW

RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB

VIEW

SSD Samsung 840 EVO 250GB

VIEW

HDD Western Digital Blue 1 TB

VIEW

CASE CM Storm Stryker Full Tower

VIEW

PSU Seasonic M12II-850

VIEW

ODD Samsung 24x SATA

VIEW

Grand Total: $1,970-$2,030

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

GET THIS PC »

I. HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

This guide is going to cover many of the components that enthusiasts use in their gaming computers. With so many components on the market, there are a ton of options you have. Therefore, this guide is ridiculously long.

In order to make this guide more readable I have included a Table of Contents (which can be found below) and each component has its own navigational guide. You can skip jump to the component section you’re most eager to read about, or you can skim through the entire guide using the scroll function on your mouse/keyboard.

At the end of the guide, I have put together five different high-end builds, ranging from $1,000 on the low-end to $2,000 on the high-end. These builds can be used as is, or they can be customized to your liking.

1.KNOWING YOUR BUDGET

The amount of money that you are planning on spending on your top gaming computer is going to determine the kind of performance you get out of it. Obviously, 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 that you are comfortable with and use that as a guideline for which components you can choose. For this guide, we’ll be looking at systems that come in over $1,000.

How Much Do I Need to Spend on Components to Max Out My Favorite Games?

By building yourself a top gaming computer, you’ll have a machine capable of playing all today’s top games on the highest settings. However, it’s important to note that if you’re looking for the most performance for the least cost, there is such a thing as spending too much on your system.

If you’re looking for a top gaming computer that can max out most of today’s games, you can easily achieve that with around $1,000.

*Although, that price point will change depending on the type of resolution you want to play on (1920×1080, 2560×1440, etc.) The higher the resolution you want to play on, the more you’ll have to spend.

So, while it may be fun to tack on money to your budget by setting up fully customized liquid cooling loops, running 4-way SLI/CrossFire setups, spending $500+ on your case, or adding any other expensive items/features, if it’s ideal in-game performance that you’re looking for, you don’t need to spend money on all of the extras. In my opinion, staying between $1,000-$2,000 on your build is a good idea if you’re main concern is maxing out today’s top games.

However, (and as previously mentioned) if you want to run your games on higher resolutions or run multiple monitor setups, you should expect to spend a littler more.

Ultimately, though, there is nothing wrong with going all out and building the baddest gaming computer around. If you do choose to build a ridiculously high-end gaming computer, just know that the difference in conceivable performance between a $2,000 gaming computer and a $4,000 gaming computer is not nearly as noticeable as the difference in conceivable performance between a $500 gaming computer and a $1,500 gaming computer.

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 top gaming PC. Each component is going to be broken down into a separate section.

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

2.The Top Gaming Processors

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

The processor you choose for your gaming computer is going to play a big role in how well your system performs.

It’s true that the video card is going to have the biggest impact on your in-game experience.

However, if you don’t choose a good enough processor, it won’t matter how awesome your video card is, because a low-quality processor will actually hold your entire system back.

The good news is that there are plenty of high-end processor options you have if you’re building a top-notch gaming computer. Typically, for a top gaming computer, you’ll want to spend at least $200 on your processor.

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

Any of the processors listed in this article will give you ideal in-game performance and will not bottleneck your video card.

Top Gaming CPUs for AMD’s AM3+ Socket

While AMD’s AM3+ socket has been the subject of much scrutiny over the past couple of years, it does support one capable high-end gaming processor: the FX-8350.

While there are definitely other capable processors in the AM3+ socket (FX-4130, FX-6300, FX-8320), those processors are better suited for budget gaming computers.

So, if you do want to go with a top gaming computer based off of AMD’s AM3+ socket, then the FX-8350 is your best bet. And, while I’d definitely recommend the Intel alternatives for new system-builders, the FX-8350 does bring some unique performance to the table.

AMD FX-8350AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: AM3+
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It’s true that in single-core performance, AMD’s  FX-8350 eight-core CPU isn’t the best gaming processor on the market. However, with its eight cores, the FX-8350 has some serious multithreading performance.

And, while most games don’t take full advantage of multithreading just yet, you can bet that in the future they will start to. So, if you’re looking to the future and you’re counting on games becoming more and conducive of multithreading, then the FX-8350 makes sense.

Another great thing about the FX-8350 is its overclocking potential. With a high clock rate right out of the box, you can take the FX-8350 to some pretty high levels. Ultimately, the FX-8350 is a great option for a top gaming computer.

However, in my opinion, as of right now the Intel options in the ~$200 range are the better choice.

Features

  • Eight-Core CPU
  • Socket AM3+
  • 4.0GHz Base Clock Rate
  • Unlocked and Overclockable
  • Good Enough for High-End Gaming PCs

RECOMMENDATION: For AMD diehards, the FX-8350 is your best bet for a high-end processor option. However, for everyone else, I’d recommend going with the Intel alternative (the i5-3570K or i5-4670K.)

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Top Gaming Processors for Intel’s LGA 1150 Socket

Intel’s latest CPU micro architecture, Haswell, has completely changed sockets. Whereas the previous lines of processors used the LGA 1155 socket, Intel has now moved to the LGA 1150 socket.

While Haswell processors were ridiculed when they were first released for not offering as much overclocking potential as Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge, their ~10% performance increase still makes them the better option for anyone putting together a new system.

There are four different LGA 1150 processors that I recommend looking at if you are building a top gaming computer. They are listed below.

Intel Core i5-4670Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1150
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For those of you who are looking to build a gaming computer that is capable of maxing out any game, but who don’t want to get involved with any kind of system tuning, you won’t need an unlocked processor, and the Intel Core i5-4670 is your best bet.

The i5-4670 is plenty fast enough at stock speeds to run any game at ideal settings. And, while you won’t save a ton of money by choosing the i5-4670 over the unlocked version (the i5-4670K), you will save a little bit and you won’t need as expensive of a motherboard as well.

So, the bottom line is, if you’re working with a decent budget $1,000-$1,500 and you don’t need to overclock, then this processor is right for you.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Plenty of Processing Power for Gaming
  • Very Efficient CPU
  • Will Be Relevant for A Long Time

RECOMMENDATION: Use the Intel Core i5-4670 if you don’t plan on overclocking. If you’re using your computer for other things like video editing/graphics design work, then the hyperthreaded Intel Core i7-4770 would be the better choice.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Intel Core i5-4670Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1150
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The only real difference between the Intel Core i5-4670K and the Intel Core i5-4670 is that the “K” version is unlocked and can be overclocked.

The Intel Core i5-4670K is generally regarded as the best gaming processor on the market. This is due to many reasons, but mainly because it can be overclocked, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and it is plenty powerful enough for any game on the market.

There are alternatives like the i7-4770K that offer hyperthreading technology. However, hyperthreading isn’t well-used in most games, which makes it somewhat of an obsolete feature for gamers.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with the i5-4670K, as it has everything a gamer and enthusiast could want.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Will Run Any Game
  • Very Efficient CPU
  • Can Be Overclocked for Even More Performance

RECOMMENDATION: The Intel Core i5-4670K is the best gaming processor on the market. So, if you want to have the option to overclock, then the i5-4670K is the CPU you want.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Intel Core i7-4770 ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–click here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,000-$2,000
SOCKET: LGA 1150
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One thing that the Intel Core i7 processors bring to the table that the i5 processors don’t, is hyperthreading technology. Basically, hyperthreading allows your processor to operate more efficiently, thus giving it a small overall performance increase.

However, in order for hyperthreading to work properly, the programs you’re using have to utilize it. And, unfortunately, as of right now, most games do not take advantage of hyperthreading.

That doesn’t mean that the Intel Core i7-4770 is not for you, though. If, aside from gaming, you will be using your computer to carry out CPU intensive tasks (like video editing/graphics design work) the hyperthreading will give you a very noticeable boost. And, if that’s the case, then you’ll definitely want to consider the Intel Core i7-4770.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Plenty of Processing Power for Gaming
  • Very Efficient CPU
  • Comes With Hyperthreading Technology
  • Will Be Relevant for A Long Time

RECOMMENDATION: Go with the Intel Core i7-4770 if you aren’t going to overclock and you plan on using your computer for other CPU-intensive tasks.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Intel Core i7-4770K ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,250-$2,000
SOCKET: LGA 1150
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The Intel Core i7-4770K offers the very best of all worlds for the LGA 1155 platform. It is the perfect processor for those who are looking to build a system with absolutely no limitations.

The i7-4770K is good enough to run any games on max settings, can be overclocked to achieve higher levels of performance, and features hyperthreading technology for improved multithreaded performance.

So, if you’ve got the money to spend and you’re going to use your computer for other CPU-intensive tasks, then the i7-4770K is the best LGA 1155 processor for you.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Plenty of Processing Power for Gaming
  • Very Efficient CPU
  • Hyperthreading Technology
  • Will Be Relevant for A Long Time
  • Can Be Overclocked for Even More Performance

RECOMMENDATION: Choose the Intel Core i7-4770K if you have a larger budget, you want to overclock, and you can make use of Intel’s hyperthreading technology.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Top Gaming Processors for Intel’s LGA 1155 Socket

Despite the fact that Intel has come out with the newer Haswell architecture and the LGA 1150 socket, Ivy Bridge processors on the LGA 1155 socket are still very viable options for gamers looking to build a top gaming computer.

While Haswell CPUs tend to operate, on average, at a rate of about 10% higher than Ivy Bridge CPUs, the Ivy Bridge processors are known for having more overclocking headroom due to the fact that they operate at lower temperatures (and so they can close a little bit of that 10% performance gap), they are priced lower, and they are still plenty capable of running any game at max settings.

So, if you’re not interested in squeezing out every ounce of performance and you want to redirect a little bit of money to other parts of your build, then these four LGA 1155 processors will definitely do the trick.

Intel Core i5-3570Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1155
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The Intel Core i5-3570 is a great CPU option for any gamer who isn’t looking to overclock.

Despite the fact that it will perform at a rate of about 10% less than the Intel Core i5-4670 will, the i5-3570 is about $10 cheaper and it is still powerful enough to run any game on max settings.

So, if you’re not looking to overclock, you want to save some money, and you still want to get a capable processor for gaming, then the i5-3570 is your best bet.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Will Provide Ideal Gaming Performance
  • Can Easily Be Upgraded to an LGA 1155 Intel Core i7 In the Future
  • Despite Not Being the Newest Architecture, It Will Still Be Relevant for a Long Time

RECOMMENDATION: Choose the Intel Core i5-3570 if you don’t want to overclock and you want to used the little bit of money you’ll save on other components.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Intel Core i5-3570Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1155
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You can actually save around $20 by choosing the Intel Core i5-3570K over the newer Intel Core i5-4670K. Not to mention, Z77 motherboards are less expensive than Z87 motherboards so you’ll save a little bit there as well.

This means that by choosing the i5-3570K you’ll have more money to put towards other components (like a video card) and you still won’t see a significant in-game performance drop.

In my opinion, it’s a toss-up between the i5-3570K and the i5-4670K as the optimal choice for gaming processor. The i5-3570K has the price/performance going for it, while the i5-4670K has pure performance on its side. Either way you choose, you won’t go wrong.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Will Provide Ideal Gaming Performance
  • Can Easily Be Upgraded to an LGA 1155 Intel Core i7 In the Future
  • Can Be Overclocked for Even More Performance
  • Despite Not Being the Newest Architecture, It Will Still Be Relevant for a Long Time

RECOMMENDATION: The Intel Core i5-3570K is the right gaming processor for those of you who want ideal gaming performance, who are going to overclock, and who want to save some money to put towards your other components.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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i7-3770 ReviewIntel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,000-$2,000
SOCKET: LGA 1155
Read More

Even though the Intel Core i7-3770 is only $5 cheaper than the Intel Core i7-4770, you will still be able to save some money with your motherboard selection.

However, without the ability to overclock, the 10% performance advantage the i7-4770 has over the i7-3770 is even more significant.

Ultimately, though, and as previously mentioned, Ivy Bridge CPUs are still more than capable of handling any game on max settings. So, if you want to save some money on your motherboard and if you want the hyperthreading, the i7-3770 is still a very viable option.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Will Provide Ideal Gaming Performance
  • Very Efficient CPU
  • Hyperthreading Technology
  • Despite Not Being the Newest Architecture, It Will Still Be Relevant for a Long Time

RECOMMENDATION: Grab the Intel Core i7-3770 if you want to save some money on your motherboard and you want to utilize Intel’s hyperthreading technology.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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Intel Core i5-3570Intel Core i7-3770K 3.4GHz Processor
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,250-$2,000
SOCKET: LGA 1155
Read More

While the Intel Core i7-4770K outperforms the Intel Core i7-3770K, you can save quite a bit of money by choosing the i7-3770K over the i7-4770K.

Not only is the i7-3770K $25 cheaper, but there are a lot more affordable Z77 motherboards than there are Z87 motherboards. And, that will allow you to save even more money (and put it into other components, like your video card).

If it’s all about getting the most performance, then the i7-4770K is your best option. If you want to spread your budget out and put your money where it will best be utilized, go with the i7-3770K and put the saved money into your video card.

Features

  • Quad-Core CPU
  • Will Provide Ideal Gaming Performance
  • Can Easily Be Upgraded to an LGA 1155 Intel Core i7 In the Future
  • Hyperthreading Technology
  • Can Be Overclocked for Even More Performance
  • Despite Not Being the Newest Architecture, It Will Still Be Relevant for a Long Time

RECOMMENDATION: Go with the i7-3770K if you need the hyperthreading technology non-gaming related tasks and if you’re looking to maximize every dime of your budget.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CPU ON AMAZON ]

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3.The Top Gaming Motherboards

In this section of the Top Gaming Computers guide I’m going to list all of the viable motherboard options you have if you’re going to be building an awesome gaming computer. These motherboards are top quality and they have all the bells and whistles.

The motherboard you choose for your gaming computer will have a big impact on the overall quality of your system.

Your motherboard basically sets the table for your whole system.

It determines what parts you can and cannot choose and it dictates what kind of performance you can get out of your components.

So, if you’re looking to build a top gaming computer, you need to make sure that you get a motherboard that is capable of supporting the features and performance you want.

The good news is that there are a ton of different motherboard options you have if you’re looking to build a high-end system.

This section has been broken down to give you the best motherboards for the following sockets: AM3+, LGA 1150, and LGA 1155.

Top Gaming MOBOs for AMD’s AM3+ Socket

While the AM3+ socket may not be the first choice among gamers, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go with an AM3+ build and not get ideal in-game results.

Despite the fact that Intel’s LGA 1150 and LGA 1155 sockets get all the love, an AM3+ build with an FX-8350 (and a high-end video card) is definitely good enough to max out any game on the market.

And, while I ultimately recommend an Intel-based build if you have a large budget, there’s definitely nothing wrong with going AMD.

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: AM3+
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If you want to overclock your FX-8350 you’re going to need an AM3+ motherboard with the 990FX chipset.

The 990FX chipset is AMD’s prime overclocking chipset for the AM3+ platform. Fortunately, AMD has some very affordable high-end motherboards. The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 is one such board.

With all the features and support of a high-end board and a decent price, the GA-990FXA-UD3 is the perfect option for gamers who have a decent budget, but who do not need all extra fancy bells and whistles that come with the expensive AM3+ boards.

Features

  • Great Overclocking Board
  • Advanced 8+2 Phase CPU VRM Design
  • Four USB 3.0 Ports
  • 2-Way CrossFire/SLI Compatible
  • 8-Channel HD Audio

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend getting the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 if in-game performance is your main aim. While there are more expensive boards on the market, this one has everything you need and you don’t have to pay a premium.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ASUS 990FX SabertoothASUS Sabertooth 990FX
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,000-$2,000
SOCKET: AM3+
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Sometimes you just gotta have more. And, with the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX you get more… a lot more.

While the Sabertooth motherboard has all of the standard features you should expect from a high-end motherboard, it also has some other cool features as well.

One thing that really makes this board stand out is its superior cooling capabilities. Not only does it give you incredible control with 10 different hardware sensors, but it also has incredible heat dissipation.

On top of all that, the Sabertooth has one of the best build qualities on the markets. ASUS made no exceptions with this board and their 5-year warranty shows that they have full faith in this board working for a long time.

Features

  • Excellent Overclocking Board
  • TUF Thermal Radar
  • Military Standard TUF Capacitors
  • Excellent Board Quality Makes This Board Very Durable
  • Backed By A 5-Year Warranty

RECOMMENDATION: The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX may not be the best option for gamers who want to ensure that their system has the most in-game performance possible. However, if money is no problem and you want an extremely well-built motherboard, then get the Sabertooth.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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asus-crosshair-v-formula-zASUS Crosshair V Formula
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,250-$2,000
SOCKET: AM3+
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The ASUS Crosshair V Formula is another high-end motherboard that brings a ton of really cool–but perhaps not very necessary–features to the table.

With excellent support for overclocking, enthusiasts who want to take their gaming computer to the next level will love the array of system tuning features this board has.

And, despite the premium that you will have to pay to get the Crosshair V Formula, the board is of the highest build quality.

So, if you have the money and you want top-notch quality, the ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard is right up your alley.

Features

  • Excellent Overclocking Motherboard
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus Built-In
  • Extreme Engine Digi+
  • SupremeFX X-Fi 2 Surround Sound
  • Has 6 x USB 3.0 Connections
  • SLI and CrossFire Support

RECOMMENDATION: The ASUS Crosshair Formula isn’t for everyone and it does come at a premium. However, if you can afford this motherboard, you won’t be disappointed.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Top Gaming MOBOs for Intel’s LGA 1150 Socket

If you’re looking for the most performance as humanly (or computerly) possible out of your high-end gaming computer, without going into the realm of ridiculous prices, then Intel’s LGA 1150 socket is what you should be looking at.

As the newest microarchitecture from Intel, Haswell currently offers the most processing performance for gamers (outside of the extreme CPUs on the market). However, there are two downsides to Haswell CPUs.

First, due to running a little hotter than Ivy Bridge processors, they don’t have as much overclocking headroom. And, secondly, they do cost more than Ivy Bridge processors (which is to be expected).

Haswell does bring a ~10% performance advantage over Ivy Bridge, but since that advantage is not drastic in terms of the in-game experience, it doesn’t make the new architecture a must-have. With that being said, I’d still recommend Haswell for any new setups, with Ivy Bridge being a close second. It really all depends on if you want to spend a few extra bucks for the new architecture and small performance gain.

MSI H87-G43 MotherboardMSI H87-G43 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate-check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1150
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The MSI H87-G43 LGA 1150 motherboard is a solid option for gamers who are going with the Intel Core i5-4670 or the Intel Core i7-4770.

By choosing either of those locked processors, you probably won’t be looking to overclock (and if you are, you need to change your CPU, because those two CPUs won’t let you!) And, if that’s the case, then you can save some money and go with this H87 motherboard from MSI.

In the end, the MSI H87-G43 has everything you need to build a top gaming computer.

Features

  • Military Class Quality and Stability
  • Will Support 2-Way CrossFire
  • Comes With Two USB 3.0 Ports
  • BIOS Allows for Easy System-Tuning

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend going with the MSI H87-G43 if you’re choosing either the Intel Core i5-4670K, or the Intel Core i7-4770K.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ga-Z87-d3hpGigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1150
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One of the most affordable and well-built Z87 motherboards on the market is the Gigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP.

In fact, I like this motherboard so much (especially for the price) that I use it in every build from the $850 build to the $1,500 build in our featured gaming computer builds section.

The bottom line is that this motherboard has everything you need in order to support a top gaming computer and it doesn’t cost as much as some other standard Z87 motherboards.

So, if you’re looking for a good affordable Z87 motherboard, the GA-Z87-D3HP is your best bet.

Features

  • Good Overclocking Board
  • IR Digital CPU Power Design
  • SLI and CrossFire Compatible
  • Gold Plated CPU Socket for Added Durability
  • Ten USB 3.0 Ports

RECOMMENDATION: The Gigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP is the perfect motherboard for gamers who want to balance performance and affordability. This board is capable of hitting good overclocks and will work well in any high-end machine.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ASUS Z87 PROASUS Z87 PRO Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,250-$2,000
SOCKET: LGA 1150

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If you’re looking for a few more features than what the standard Z87 motherboards offer, you could always pay a little extra and get the ASUS Z87 PRO LGA 1150 motherboard.

While the extra money you spend on the Z87 PRO won’t get you any extra FPS while gaming, it does have quite a few helpful features for enthusiasts and system tuners.

The BIOS is very easy to use and is made to make system tuning incredible simple. The board also offers a ton of different fan controls so that you can customize the way your system is cooled.

Ultimately, this is one of the most feature-rich Z87 motherboards under $200. And, that’s why I include it in my $1,750 build.

Features

  • Excellent Overclocking Board
  • Easy-To-Use BIOS Makes System Tuning A Piece of Cake
  • SLI and CrossFire Support
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked to As High As 3000MHz

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend going with the ASUS Z87 PRO motherboard if you plan on doing some heavy system tuning. This motherboard will pair well with either the Intel Core i5-4670K or the Intel Core i7-4770K.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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asus maximus vi extremeASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,750-$2,000
SOCKET: LGA 1150
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If you’ve got some money to spend and you want to do some serious system tuning, then you might want to take a look at the ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME LGA 1150 motherboard.

While this board does come in at a steep premium, it definitely does have enough features to make it worth it for those certain individuals who like to push their system to the absolutely max.

The ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME is not for everyone. However, it is the perfect board for anyone looking to build an over-the-top LGA 1150 overclocking rig.

Features

  • Top-Of-The-Line Overclocking Motherboard
  • Will Support 4-Way SLI/CrossFire Setups
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked Up to 3000MHz
  • BIOS Has A Ton of System Tuning Options

RECOMMENDATION: Get the ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME if you have an enormous budget and you want to do some serious system tuning. Otherwise, save your money and get the ASUS Sabertooth, ASUS Z87 Pro, or the Gigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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Top Gaming MOBOs for Intel’s LGA 1155 Socket

Despite the arrival of Intel’s new Haswell architecture, Intel’s older Ivy Bridge line of CPUs are still very relevant gaming processors. And, due to heat issues with Haswell chips, Ivy Bridge CPUs can bridge some of the performance gap (but not all) that exists between the two architectures.

The main reason why you’d want to choose an LGA 1155 CPU over a similar LGA 1150 CPU is price. A few of the high-end Ivy Bridge CPUs can be had for $20 less than their Haswell equivalents.  And, with LGA 1155 motherboards being cheaper, on average, than LGA 1150 motherboards, you can save a good chunk of change by sticking with an Ivy-Bridge-based build.

Either way you choose, though, you can’t go wrong, as both architectures have processors capable of giving optimal in-game performance.

msi h77ma-g43MSI  H77MA-G43 Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1155
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A good H77 motherboard that you can use to go with your locked LGA 1155 processor (Intel Core i5-3570 or Intel Core i5-3770) is the MSI H77MA-G43 LGA 1155 motherboard.

This board is ideal for gamers who want all of the features necessary to support their top gaming computer, but who aren’t planning on overclocking.

The H77MA-G43 is also a micro-ATX motherboard… so it will fit in a smaller case if you want to build a more compact gaming computer. Overall it’s a great board for anyone who wants the features and who wants to put more money into their video card.

Features

  • Micro-ATX Form Factors Means It Will Fit in Compact Case
  • Supports Up to 32GB of DDR3 Memory
  • Four USB 3.0 Ports
  • Supports CrossFire/SLI Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: The MSI H77MA-G43 is a good motherboard option for anyone choosing the Intel Core i5-3570 or Intel Core i7-3770.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ASRock Z77 PRO4 MotherboardASRock PRO4 Z77
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1155
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ASRock always has affordable motherboards with a good amount of features. This is just as true for the ASRock PRO4 Z77 LGA 1155 motherboard.

The ASRock PRO4 is the perfect board for gamers who want to do a little overclocking and possible run a 2-way SLI/CrossFire setup in the future, but don’t want to pay a premium.

The bottom line is that it’s a solid, affordable motherboard that will do its job in a top gaming computer.

Features

  • Good Overclocking Board
  • 8 Channel HD Audio
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked to As High As 2800MHz
  • Will Support CrossFire/SLI Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: The ASRock PRO4 Z77 is the perfect motherboard for gamers who want to do a little overclocking without having to spend a ton of money. This board will suit any top gaming computer and will allow you to put more money into your CPU and video card.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ASRock Z77 EXTREME4ASRock EXTREME4 Z77
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,000-$1,500
SOCKET: LGA 1155
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Another good ASRock motherboard for overclockers is the EXTREME4. It’s affordable and it has the features to support some serious system tuning.

With six USB 3.0 ports, support for SLI/CrossFire configuration, an 8+4 phase power delivery, and an easy-to-use BIOS, the EXTREME4 is a great choice for anyone building a top gaming computer based off of the LGA 1155 socket.

So, if you’re looking for good balance between price and features, the EXTREME 4 is definitely a good board to consider.

Features

  • Good Overclocking Board
  • 8+4 Phase Power Delivery
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked to As High As 2800MHz
  • Will Support CrossFire/SLI Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: The ASRock EXTREME4 Z77 motherboard is a solid and affordable option for gamers who want to do some overclocking. It has all of the features necessary to support a top gaming PC.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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ASUS P8Z77-V MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V Motherboard
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,250-$2,000
SOCKET: LGA 1155
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The ASUS P8Z77-V is an all-around excellent LGA 1155 motherboard with a ton of features.

It is priced a little more than some of the other Z77 motherboards, but it definitely makes up for that price with good build quality and a ton of system tuning options.

This motherboard has six total USB 3.0 ports, an 8+4 phase power delivery, and will support CrossFire and SLI setups.

Overall, the ASUS P8Z77-V has a ton of features and will keep you happy for a long time.

Features

  • Good Overclocking Board
  • 8 Channel HD Audio
  • Six USB 3.0 Ports
  • Very Easy-To-Use BIOS for System Tuning
  • Memory Can Be Overclocked to As High As 2600MHz
  • Will Support CrossFire/SLI Configuration

RECOMMENDATION: The ASRock PRO4 Z77 is the perfect motherboard for gamers who want to do a little overclocking without having to spend a ton of money. This board will suit any top gaming computer and will allow you to put more money into your CPU and video card.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOARD ON AMAZON ]

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4.The Top Video Cards

Next up in the Top Gaming Computers guide is video cards. In today’s article I’m going to take a look at all of the high-end video card options that you have for your extreme 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 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 over $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.

Top Video Cards $200-$300

Gigabyte R9 270XGigabyte Radeon R9 270x
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card
Budget Range: $800-$1,000
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At the $200 price point, no video card can compare to AMD’s R9 270X. For the price you’ll pay for it and the performance you’ll get there really is no competition.

The R9 270X is capable of playing pretty much any game on max settings at 1920×1080 resolution and will even allow you to play some games on 2560×1440 resolution. That’s pretty good considering its $200 price tag.

Overall, the R9 270X is at the bottom of the totem poll when it comes to high-end video cards. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s good enough for any 1920×1080 setup.

Features

  • Will Max Out Any Game on Max Settings At 1920×1080
  • Capable of Some 2560×1440 Gaming
  • Gigabyte’s R9 270X Comes With Their Windforce Cooling
  • AMD Eyefinity Ready

RECOMMENDATION: The R9 270X may not be the best-performing card in the $200-$300 range, but it definitely has the best price/performance ratio and it is extremely affordable. So, if you’re just looking to play on 1920×1080 and you want to save as much money as possible, then the R9 270X is your best bet.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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evga geforce gtx 760EVGA GeForce GTX 760
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card
Budget Range: $800-$1,000
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Right in the middle of the $200-$300 range for video cards is the GeForce GTX 760. As far as performance goes, the GTX 760 is  ahead of the R9 270x and a little behind the R9 280X and HD 7970.

With features like Shadowplay and PhysX, there are definitely good reasons to choose the GTX 760 if you’re looking for a video card in the $200-$300 price range.

Also, when choosing a video card for your build, it’s a good idea to take your favorite games into consideration. Often, games are specifically designed to work with either AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards. And, so, if you mainly play a game that has better support for NVIDIA cards, the GTX 760 would be your best bet.

Features

  • Will Max Out Any Game on 1920×1080 Resolution
  • Can Handle Many Games on 2560×1440 Resolution
  • EVGA Version Comes With Their ACX Cooler
  • Features NVIDIAs PhysX
  • NVIDIA Surround Ready

RECOMMENDATION: The GTX 760 is a great choice if you’re looking to spend between $200-$300 on your video card. While there definitely are better performing cards in this price range, depending on the games you play and whether or not you want to utilize Shadowplay and PhysX, the GTX 760 is definitely worth your consideration.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Sapphire HD 7970Sapphire HD 7970 OC Boost
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card
Budget Range: $800-$1,000
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As a card that originally hit the market at $460, it’s hard not to like the $260 HD 7970… especially considering that it still delivers high-end performance.

While the R9 280X does give a little more performance than the HD 7970, it also costs nearly $40 more. And, the difference between the two is slim enough to where nobody would knock you (nobody sensible, anyways) for choosing the HD 7970 over the R9 280x.

The other good thing going for the HD 7970 is that it isn’t the newest line from AMD. That means that in order to clear stock, you may see prices drop even lower than they already are.

Features

  • Will Max Out Any Game on 1920×1080 Resolution
  • Can Handle Many Games on 2560×1440 Resolution
  • Sapphire Version is the Factory Overclocked Boost Edition
  • AMD Eyefinity Ready

RECOMMENDATION: The HD 7970 is a hard video card to pass over in this price range when it’s priced right around the $250 mark. If you’re looking for high-end performance at a great price, the HD 7970 is currently the card to get.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Top Video Cards $300-$400

XFX Radeon Double D R9 280XXFX Radeon Double D R9 280X
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card
Budget Range: $900-$1,250
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The first card in the $300-$400 price range is the Radeon R9 280X. Coming in right at $300, the R9 280X may be the best video card on the market in terms of what it brings to the table compared to what it costs.

With the R9 280X you have the ability to play even the most demanding games on 2560×1440 resolution. And, of course it will easily max anything out on 1920×1080 resolution. That’s excellent for a card that comes in right at $300.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for the most affordable 2560×1440 capable video card on the market, then the R9 280X is definitely the one you want.

Features

  • Easily Maxes Out Games on 1920×1080 Resolution
  • Good 2560×1440 Video Card Choice
  • XFX Enhanced Double Dissipation Cooling
  • AMD Eyefinity Ready

RECOMMENDATION: Get the R9 280X if you’re looking for optimal performance and the possibility to play pretty much any game on max settings at 2560×1440 resolution.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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EVGA GeForce GTX 770EVGA GeForce GTX 770
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card
Budget Range: $1,000-$1,500
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Performance-wise the GTX 770 and the R9 280X trade blows. So, why would anyone pay the extra $35 for the GTX 770?

Well, for starters (and as previously mentioned), most games are developed to work better with either AMD or NVIDIA. So, depending on your favorite game, it may make more sense to choose NVIDIA over AMD, or vice versa.

Another thing NVIDIA has going for them is their PhysX technology. And, in games that utilize PhysX, the difference is definitely clear.

So, ultimately, I would definitely recommend choosing the GTX 770 over the R9 280X if you play an NVIDIA based game that uses PhysX. Otherwise, go with the R9 280X.

Features

  • Easily Maxes Out Games on 1920×1080 Resolution
  • Will Run Most Games on Max Settings with Decent FPS on 2560×1440 Resolution
  • Comes With NVIDIA’s PhysX Technology
  • Comes With EVGA’s ACX Cooling System
  • NVIDIA Surround Ready

RECOMMENDATION: In the $300-$400 price range, the GTX 770 is the card to get if your favorite games are NVIDIA based and utilize PhysX. Otherwise, for the price, the R9 280X is just as good.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Top Video Cards Over $400

XFX Radeon R9 290XFX Radeon R9 290
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card
Budget Range: $1,250-$1,600
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AMD has been on fire with the pricing of their new series of video cards. Just as the R9 280X was priced incredibly well, so, too, is the R9 290.

In fact, at ~$400 there is no real competitor of the Radeon R9 290. And, with the performance it delivers, it’s not crazy to think of the R9 290 as the best price/performance video card on the market.

How good is the R9 290? Well, it trades blows with the GTX 780 in most games and since the 780 is priced at $100 more, we think that’s a pretty good deal.

Ultimately, if you have a big budget, but not so big that you can afford anything and everything, you’ll probably want to look into getting one of the R9 290s.

Features

  • The R9 290 Has No Real Competition in Its Price Range
  • Best Price/Performance Ratio Among 2560×1440 Video Cards
  • Comes With 4GB of Dedicated Video RAM to Handel Higher Resolutions/Multiple Monitors
  • AMD Eyefinity Ready

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re looking for the best performing video card at 2560×1440 resolution for the cost, then the R9 290 is the hands-down winner.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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Sapphire R9 290XSapphire Radeon R9 290X (~$550)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card
Budget Range: $1,500-$2,000
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While AMD’s R9 290X had some initial problems with their retail cards, there is no doubt that their price positioning relative to their performance is phenomenal.

Initial benchmarks shows that the R9 290X actually performs on par with NVIDIA’s GTX Titan… the only difference? AMD’s R9 290X costs well over $400 less.

While it’s true that NVIDIA’s GTX 780 Ti is the fastest single GPU on the market, the R9 290X’s price still makes it just as good, if not better, value.

If you’re looking for the fastest card there is without regards to price, the 780 Ti is the best choice. However, if you are even slightly concerned about price, the R9 290X performs only slightly lower than the 780 Ti and is about $150 less.

Features

  • Price-Wise The R9 290X Wins Hands Down Against its Competition the GTX 780
  • Excellent High Resolution Performance
  • Performs On Par With NVIDIAs GTX Titan
  • 4GB of Dedicated Video RAM Make This Card Excellent At High Resolutions or With Multiple Monitors
  • AMD Eyefinity Ready

RECOMMENDATION: The Radeon R9 290X isn’t the fastest single GPU on the market. However, it is pretty darn close. And, when you bring price into the equation the R9 290X may be the better deal compared to the GTX 780 Ti.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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EVGA GeForce GTX 780 TiEVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
NVIDIA Video Card
Budget Range: $2,000+
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As far as performance goes, there is no single GPU video card faster than the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. And, while in the past you could expect to pay ~$1,000 for the best video card on the market, NVIDIA has released the 780 Ti at $700, probably in an attempt to stay competitive with AMD’s new cards.

This is good news for enthusiasts, as owning the most ridiculous video card on the market has never been more affordable.

Ultimately, though, the GTX 780 Ti is the card to have. And, even though the R9 290X may be the better overall option considering its price and the relatively small margin in performance between the two cards, the 780 Ti is still the card for anyone who wants ultimate speed.

Features

  • Excellent Performance at High Resolutions
  • Fastest Single GPU Video Card on the Market
  • NVIDIA PhysX Technology
  • Outperforms the Higher Priced GTX Titan
  • NVIDIA Surround Ready

RECOMMENDATION: If you have to have the best of the best, then the GTX 780 Ti is the card for you.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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HIS Radeon HD 7990HIS Radeon HD 7990
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
AMD Video Card
Budget Range: $2,000+
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While the GTX 780 Ti is the fastest single GPU video card on the market, the Radeon HD 7990 is still the fastest video card overall. However, the HD 7990 is not without its problems…

With dual GPUs on board, the HD 7990 performs like two HD 7970s in CrossFire… both performance-wise, and problem-wise. With micro-stuttering and in-game support, dual video cards aren’t always the best solution. So, while on paper the HD 7990 out-benchmarks all other video cards, it is not without its problems.

However, the HD 7990 does have serious potential. And, if AMD gets their CrossFire drivers working better, the HD 7990 might be a viable option.

The importance of the HD 7990, though, should not go unnoticed. It’s pretty reasonable to think that multi-GPU video cards are the future, and if that’s the case, then that makes the Radeon HD 7990 a pioneer.

Features

  • Dual GPU Video Card
  • With Better Support, It Could Be the Best High-End Card on the Market
  • On Paper, Outperforms Every Other Video Card
  • AMD Eyefinity Ready

RECOMMENDATION: The GTX 780 Ti and the Radeon R9 290X are better options than the HD 7990. However, if AMD’s CrossFire support improves, the HD 7990 may become an interesting choice… But for now, I’d stick with the 780 Ti or the R9 290X.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS GPU ON AMAZON ]

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5.The Top Memory

Now we’ll take a look at the RAM options you have if you’re building a top gaming computer. The memory options in this section are all capable of doing their part to help you secure an ideal in-game experience.

kingston hyperx bluOne thing that gamers who are building a top gaming computer often ask, is whether or not faster memory has any effect on in-game performance. The answer to that question is pretty simple: no, it does not.

There are plenty of benchmarks all over the world wide web that point to the fact that, in gaming, faster memory just doesn’t offer any significant performance advantage.

Now, of course, there is an exception to that. And, that exception has to do with systems that are using integrated graphics. In systems that utilize integrated graphics (especially AMD’s APUs), faster memory does actually have an effect.

However, since you’re building a top gaming computer, you will be using a discrete video card and therefore will not gain any real advantage by choosing faster memory.

So, how then should you choose your memory?

Well, that’s actually pretty easy… choose the most affordable memory from a reputable brand that offers a good warranty and has a color scheme you like. You’ll also want to choose enough RAM to suit all your needs.

In the past, I would usually avoid recommending more than 8GB of RAM unless you were doing some video editing or carrying out other intensive operations. There just aren’t any games out there that are going to use more than 8GB of RAM. However, with the growing popularity of RAM discs and the cool benefits they offer, it may be time to ditch the popular notion that 8GB is all you need for gaming…

With that being said, I recommend at least 8GB of RAM and if you are planning on doing any video editing, or you want to setup a RAM disc, then I recommend going with either 16GB or 32GB. Below you’ll see all of the brands of memory I recommend buying.

*On a side note, some kits of memory have tall heat spreaders on them and, as such, can get in the way of your CPU cooler. So, make sure to take that into consideration when choosing your RAM. (For the most part I’ve only chosen memory kits without tall heat spreaders.)

Top Memory Options

kingston hyperx bluKingston HyperX Memory
DDR3 1600MHz
Budget Range: $800+
Read More

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

How Much RAM Do You Want?

adata gaming seriesADATA Gaming Series
DDR3 1600MHZ
Budget Range: $800+
Read More

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

How Much RAM Do You Want?

corsair vengeanceCorsair Vengeance Memory
DDR3 1600MHz
Budget Range: $800+
Read More

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

How Much RAM Do You Want?

crucial ballistix sportCrucial Ballistix Sport
DDR3 1600MHz
Budget Range: $800+
Read More

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

  • 1600MHz
  • Will give a boost to AMD APU-based builds
  • 10-10-10-30 Timing

How Much RAM Do You Want?

6.The Top Hard Drives

Next we’ll take a look at some hard drives. Hard drives aren’t the most difficult components to choose as there are really only two main decisions you have to make: what brand you want and how much storage space you need.

western digitalThere are really only two hard drive manufacturers that you should consider… Western Digital and Seagate.

After that, you just need to decide whether you want 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, or more of storage space. And, with the rise of SSDs, choosing a faster hard drive (like the Velociraptors) is kind of pointless.

Ultimately, your best bet is to get enough storage to hold all of your files and then get an SSD to store all of your important programs/games. Below is a look at the two hard drive manufacturers you have to choose from…

Gaming Hard Drive Options

seagate barracudaSeagate Barracuda
1TB-3TB 7200 RPM
Budget Range: $800+
Read More

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

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

How Much HDD Space Do You Want?

western digitalWestern Digital Caviar Blue
1TB-3TB 7200 RPM
Budget Range: $800+
Read More

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

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

How Much HDD Space Do You Want?

7.The Top Cases

Not only is the case you choose the first thing anyone will see of your system, it’s also critical in the cooling process, and it dictates the size and the amount of components you can use. Therefore, it’s important that you take time in order to ensure that you choose a case that meets the demands of the system that you want.

The good thing about having a large budget when building a gaming computer is that you will likely have enough to spend on a nice-looking high-end case.

Cases serve multiple purposes…

A case’s size will dictate what kind of components you can have and how portable it will be.

Cases also play a huge role in the cooling process and the better they are designed to promote airflow and the more options they give you for a cooling system, the cooler and better off your system will be.

Cases are also what makes your gaming computer stand out. So, if you want to show off how awesome your gaming computer is, there is no better way to do so than to put your system into a badass looking case.

In this section, I’m going to take a look at all of the high-end case options you have. Some of these cases are monstrous, while others are portable, making them perfect for LAN gamers. No matter what kind of style you like, there is definitely a case here for you.

I’ll go by each high-end case from the different reputable and well-known case manufacturers. I’ll feature two cases from each manufacturer and link to all of the other viable case choices each manufacturer presents.

Antec Cases

antec three hundred twoAntec Three Hundred Two
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $800-$1,250
Read More

The Antec Three Hundred Two is a great sub-$100 mid tower case. It has a ton of storage bays and plenty of room for the biggest and baddest components (including liquid cooling setups).

With a simple straight-forward design, this case is perfect for those gamers who don’t want all the flashy lights, but still want all the high-end features.

And, with great airflow and plenty of fan options, this case will not only look good and give you a bunch of room, but it will also help you keep your components cool.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable solid mid tower case that can hold your high-end components, the Antec Three Hundred Two is definitely a good option.

Features

  • Mid Tower Case
  • Comes With Two Fans: 1 x 80mm/1 x 120mm
  • 3 x 5.25″ External Bays/6 x 3.5″ Internal Bays/2 x 2.5″ Internal Bays
  • Eight Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Antec Three Hundred Two is a well-built mid tower case with a sleek, but not overpowering design. It’s perfect for gamers who want an affordable nice  looking case that can hold all of their high-end components.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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antec twelve hundredAntec Twelve Hundred V3
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Full Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $1,250-$2,000
Read More

If you’re looking for a full tower case, Antec’s Twelve Hundred V3 is a good one to consider.

With a side window and a number of blue LED lights, the Twelve Hundred V3 does not try to be subtle. So, if you’re looking for a simpler design, you should look elsewhere.

However, if you’re looking for a more flashy design and you want all the features of a high-end full tower case, the Twelve Hundred V3 has all of that and then some.

With 13 drive bays and a ton of room for all of your components, there’s really nothing lacking with this case.

Features

  • Full Tower Case
  • Comes With 3 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Will Hold Up to Eight Fans
  • 12 x 5.25″ External Bays/9 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Antec Twelve Hundred V3 is a formidable full tower case. I recommend choosing it if you need a full tower chassis and you like the design/color scheme.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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More Antec Cases

Antec Sonata Proto Black ATX Mid Tower (~$70)

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower (~$90)

Antec P280 Black ATX Mid Tower (~$100)

Antec Eleven Hundred Black Super Mid Tower (~$110)

Antec Sonata III 500 Quiet Super Mid Tower (~$120)

Antec Sonata Series SOLO II Black ATX Mid Tower (~$130)

Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 Black ATX Mid Tower (~$130)

Cooler Master Cases

Cooler Master HAF XB EVO Test Bench and LAN BOXCooler Master HAF XB EVO
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
LAN/Test Bench Computer Case
Budget Range: $800-$2,000
Read More

The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is a pretty unique computer case. It abandons the traditional long rectangular tower-shape for a more cube/box shape, which gives it a different feel to it.

With two handles and a removable top, the HAF XB is great for LAN gamers or for enthusiasts looking for a test bench computer case.

Aside from its unique design, the HAF XB offers all of the features of a high-end case. It will fit a standard ATX motherboard, it’s capable of supporting multiple video card setups, and it has plenty of storage space.

Features

  • Cube Style LAN/Test Bench Case
  • Will House Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, & Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Comes With Two 120mm Front Fans
  • 2 x 5.25″ External Bays/4 x 3.5″ External Bays/ 4 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Cooler Master HAF XB EVO is a great option for LAN gamers or for enthusiasts who want to use it as a test bench. However, even traditional desktop gamers can use this case, as it has everything you could ever want and need.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Cooler Master Cosmos IICooler Master Cosmos II
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Full Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $2,000+
Read More

Cooler Master just knows how to separate their cases from the pack. The same is true for their Cosmos II Ultra Full Tower computer case.

With a race car inspired design, the Cosmos II definitely stands out from the crowd. However, the eye-catching design is just one of many features to like about the Cosmos II.

For starters, the case is gigantic. It can support even the most complex water cooling setups, as well as quad-GPU configurations, and it will hold an XL-ATX motherboard.

Ultimately, the Cosmos II is a must-have case for enthusiasts as it can hold the most extreme setups imaginable.

Features

  • Ultra Full Tower Case
  • Can Hold XL-ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Ten Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 3 x 5.25″ External Bays/13 x 3.5″ Internal Bays / 11 x 2.5″ Internal Bays
  • Eleven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The Cooler Master Cosmos II is a case designed for extreme enthusiasts who want the best of the best. If you need to build the biggest and baddest gaming computer around, the Cosmos II is definitely a good place to start.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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More Cooler Master Cases

Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower (~$60)

Cooler Master HAF Stacker 915R (~$70)

Cooler Master HAF Stacker 915F (~$70)

Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 Full Mod-Tower (~$170)

CM Storm Enforcer Mid Tower (~$90)

CM Storm Scout 2 Advanced Mid Tower (~$95)

Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower (~$110)

Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower (~$160)

CM Storm Stryker Full Tower (~$170)

Corsair Cases

Corsair Carbide 400RCorsair Carbide 400R
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
Read More

Corsair’s Carbide series of cases have a lot to offer gamers and enthusiasts alike. The Carbide 400R case sits right in the middle of the Carbide series and offers affordability, functionality, plenty of features, and a nice sleek design.

With room for 240mm dual radiators and support for up to ten fans, the Corsair Carbide 400R offers the ability to reach superior air flow and cooling. This case also has plenty of storage space.

Overall, the Corsair Carbide 400R Mid Tower case is a solid all-around case that is worthy of any top gaming computer.

Features

  • Mid Tower Case
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Will House Micro-ATX and ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Ten Total Fans for Maximum Air Flow
  • 4x 5.25″ External Drives / 6 x 3.5″ Internal Bays
  • Eight Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: Get the Corsair Carbide 400R if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a case, but you want all the features and the high build quality of a top-of-the-line case.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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corsair obsidian 900dCorsair Obsidian 900D
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Super Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $2,000+
Read More

For those of you seeking a monstrous case, the Corsair Obsidian 900D Super Tower computer case will fit the bill perfectly.

The Corsair Obsidian 900D was designed for extreme enthusiasts who want an enormous case to house their dream gaming computer.

With excellent air flow, room for up to 9 hard drives/SSDs (15 if you add additional drive cages), and an exception build quality, the Corsair Obsidian 900D is the perfect case for gamers who want to go all out.

Features

  • Super Tower Case
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Ports on the Front Panel
  • Will House Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Can Accommodate Up to Five Radiators and Fifteen Fans
  • Ten Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: Choose the Corsair Obsidian 900D if you have a huge budget and you want one of the biggest, most feature-rich cases on the market.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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More Corsair Cases

Corsair Carbide Series 200R Compact ATX Case (~$60)

Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid Tower (~$70)

Corsair Graphite Series 230T Compact Mid Tower (~$80)

Corsair Obsidian Series 350D Performance Micro-ATX (~$90)

Corsair Vengeance Series C70 Black Mid Tower (~$120)

Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Mid Tower (~$120)

Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower (~$130)

Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Cube Case (~$140)

Corsair Graphite Series 600T Mid Tower (~$160)

Corsair Obsidian Series 650D Mid Tower (~$180)

Fractal Cases

Fractal Design Define R4Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
Read More

If you’re a minimalist looking for a solid mid tower computer case, then you might want to check out Fractal Design’s Define R4 case.

The Define R4 offers a “minimalistic” Scandinavian design and it was also made to significantly reduce sound, as well as to provide ultimate functionality.

Fractal Design has made waves with their simple-looking, yet well-designed cases, and if you’re someone who doesn’t need a flashy case, but rather something that is just functional, the Define R4 is for you.

Features

  • Mid Tower Case
  • Will House Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Made From High Density Sound-Reducing Material
  • Can Accommodate up to Seven Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: If you prefer more a more simplistic designed case that has a ton of features and good functionality, then the Fractal Design Define R4 is a case you should consider.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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fractal design arc xlFractal Design Arc XL
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Full Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $1,000-$2,000
Read More

Another gem from Fractal Design is their Arc XL full tower case. For starters, this Fractal Design case is just like all of the others… it’s extremely well-built.

Aside from that, it has a sharp-looking design that isn’t over-the-top and, therefore, would suit most minimalists perfectly. And, just like other Fractal Design cases, it’s main upside is its functionality…

The case has simple-clean dust filters, a built-in fan controller, flexible hard drive mounting, and a windowed side-panel to show off your components.

Overall, the Arc XL is an exception case that should appeal to many gamers.

Features

  • Full Tower Case
  • Will House Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, and XL-ATX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Port on Front Panel
  • Can Accommodate up to Seven Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Nine Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: If you like the Fractal Design Define R4 but you’d prefer something a little bigger, then the Arc XL might be the better choice. The Arc XL is a well-built case that will suit any gamers needs.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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More Fractal Design Cases

Fractal Design Core 3000 (~$70)

Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Hybrid (~$90)

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (~$110)

Fractal Design Define XL R2 (~$130)

Lian Li Cases

lian li pc-9nbLian Li PC-9N Black Aluminum Mid Tower
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
Read More

There aren’t too many fully aluminum cases on the market coming in at under $100. However, Lian Li’s PC-9N case does just that.

Aside from the all-aluminum construction, there isn’t anything that makes this case jump out. However, that’s not a bad thing, as this case does exactly what its designed to do.

It has plenty of room for any kind of setup and it also has very good air flow. So, if you’re looking for a sturdy case with ample room and plenty of features, then you might want to consider Lian Li’s PC-9N aluminum mid tower case.

Features

  • Mid Tower Case
  • Full Aluminum Design
  • Will House Micro-ATX and Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Can Accommodate up to Five Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Eight Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: You don’t see too many fully aluminum cases for under $100. Therefore, if you want an affordable aluminum case that has plenty of space and good airflow, then the Lian Li PC-9N is a good option.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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Lian Li PC-7FNWXLian Li PC-7FNWX Black Aluminum Mid Tower
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Mid Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $1,250-$2,000
Read More

Lian Li doesn’t mess around when it comes to build quality. And, that build quality is represented by the price of their cases. Take the PC-7FNWX, for example. It’s a mid tower that doesn’t appear to have any special qualities to it, yet it’s priced more like a full tower case.

So, yes, you do have to pay a premium to get one of Lian Li’s aluminum cases. Is it worth it? That’s probably an answer that varies from person to person.

However, if you do want to go with one of Lian Li’s high-quality aluminum cases, the PC-7FNWX is a nice-looking case with a large side-window. And, of course, it features Lian Li’s excellent aluminum design.

Aside from that, the PC-7FNWX has plenty of room for a high-end system, good cooling options, a 100% tool-less design, air filters, and plenty of storage space.

Features

  • Mid Tower Case
  • Fully Aluminum Design
  • Will House Micro-ATX and Standard ATX Motherboards
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Can Accommodate a Water Cooling System and the Largest Video Cards on the Market
  • Plenty of Storage Space
  • Eight Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind paying a premium for top-notch quality, then Lian Li’s PC-7FNWX is a good case to check out. With it’s aluminum body and excellent build quality, this case definitely stands out.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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More Lian Li Cases

Lian Li PC-K59 Mid Tower (~$70)

Lian Li PC-K57 Black ATX Mid Tower (~$75)

Lian Li PC-A05FNB Black Mid Tower (~$105)

Lian Li PC_TU100B Black Mini-ITX Tower (~$105)

Lian Li PC-V351B Black Mini Tower (~$110)

Lian Li PC-9F ATX Mid Tower (~$110)

Lian Li PC-100 Black ATX Mid Tower (~$150)

Lian Li PC-A76X Black EATX Full Tower (~$215)

NZXT Cases

NZXT Source 530 Full Tower CaseNZXT Source 530 Full Tower
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Full Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $800-$1,500
Read More

NZXT has become quite the popular case manufacturer over the past few years. And, one of the big reasons for that was because of their affordable Phantom full tower case.

However, they’re now making owning a full tower case even more affordable with their Source 530 case.

Coming in at around $90, the NZXT Source 530 is a steal for the price. While not as big as other full tower cases, it is big enough to hold any setup and it doesn’t lack for features.

It can hold up to 9 fans, as well as a full liquid cooling setup, and it has plenty of storage options (including the ability to remove hard drive cages for more room). Overall it’s a great case and there aren’t many other options in its price range that can compete.

Features

  • Full Tower Case
  • Will House Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, Standard ATX, and EATX 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 Nine Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Eight Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re looking for an affordable, well-designed, and feature-rich full tower case, the NZXT 530 is the best option. Especially when you consider that it has no real competition in its price range…

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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NZXT Phantom 820 Full TowerNZXT Phantom 820 Ultra Tower
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Ultra Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $2,000+
Read More

It might just be me, but I think the black NZXT Phantom 820 is one of the best-looking cases on the market. Looks aside, though, the Phantom 820 is one monster of a case and it definitely doesn’t lack for any features…

Aside from it’s spectacular design, the Phantom 820 is designed for high air flow (option to add up to nine fans) and optimal cooling (can support a full liquid cooling setup), as well as for providing ample space for a high-end system.

Overall, the Phantom 820 is an excellent full tower option with more features than most gamers will be able to make use of.

Features

  • Ultra Tower Case
  • Will House Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, Standard ATX, XL-ATX, and E-ATX Motherboards
  • Ten Total Drive Bays
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Can Accommodate up to Nine Total Fans for Great Air Flow
  • Nine Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The NZXT Phantom 820 Ultra Tower case is a real beast. If you’re looking for a high-end full tower case, the Phantom 820 is definitely a solid option.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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More NZXT Cases

NZXT Guardian 921 RB ATX Mid Tower (~$60)

NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower (~$85)

NZXT H2 Classic Silent Mid Tower (~$100)

NZXT Phantom ATX Full Tower (~$100)

NZXT SWITCH 810 Full Tower (~$145)

NZXT Tempest 410 Steel Mid Tower (~$60)

NZXT Phantom 530 Full Tower (~$130)

NZXT Phantom 630 Full Tower (~$175)

SilverStone Cases

silverstone grandia gd08SilverStone Grandia GD08 HTPC Case
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
HTPC/Gaming Case
Budget Range: $1,000+
Read More

Who says you can’t use an HTPC case for your gaming computer? While you may not get as ideal cooling in an HTPC case, that doesn’t mean it won’t work. And, if you do like the small compact size of an HTPC case, there are measures you can take to keep your system cool…

However, it should be noted that the Grandia GD08 HTPC case from SilverStone is not your ordinary HTPC case. This thing has a ton of room in it…

It can fit a standard ATX power supply and all the way up to an extended-ATX motherboard. Not to mention, it has plenty of room for even the biggest video cards on the market.

So, if you like the compact nature of an HTPC case, or if you want to build an awesome HTPC/gaming PC hybrid for your living room, the Grandia GD08 is definitely a good choice.

Features

  • HTPC Case
  • Will House Micro-ATX, Standard ATX, and E-ATX Motherboards
  • Up to Eight 3.25″ Drive Bays
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Can Accommodate up to Four Total Fans for Good Air Flow
  • Seven Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: The SilverStone Grandia is an excellent case for anyone who wants the compact size of an HTPC case, or who wants to build a high-end HTPC/gaming PC hybrid.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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silverstone tj11-bwSilverStone Temjin TJ11-BW
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Full Tower Computer Case
Budget Range: $2,000+
Read More

The Grand Daddy of all cases, the SilverStone Temjin TJ11-BW stands alone in both price and features.

With the ability to install two different power supplies and a ridiculous amount of room, I’m sure you could mod two computers inside of this beast. Why would you want to put two systems into this case? I have no idea… But it just sounds cool.

The TJ11-BW is an extreme enthusiast and modders dream. It has plenty of customization options that make it ideal for anyone who is looking to build a ridiculously powerful gaming computer.

Features

  • Full Tower Case
  • Will House Micro-ATX, Standard ATX, and XL-ATX Motherboards
  • 90 Degree Motherboard Mounting
  • Fifteen Total Drive Bays
  • Two USB 3.0 Ports on Front Panel
  • Very Flexible for Liquid Cooling Setups
  • Nine Expansion Slots

RECOMMENDATION: If you have to have the absolute best in every area of your life, then you probably won’t mind spend truck loads of money to get the Temjin TJ11-BW full tower case.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS CASE ON AMAZON ]

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More SilverStone Cases

SilverStone Tek Redline Series ATX Mid Tower (~$60)

Silverstone Tek SG09B Mini Tower (~$80)

SilverStone Temjin Series SST-TJ04B-E Mid Tower (~$150)

Silverstone Temjin TJ04-EW Mid Tower (~$160)

Silverstone Tek RV02B ATX Full Tower (~$180)

SilverStone FT01B-W Mid Tower (~$185)

Silverstone Tek RV01B-W-USB3.0 Full Tower (~$205)

8.The Top Power Supplies

In this section we will cover the different high-end power supply options you have if you’re building a top gaming computer. I’ve broken down the power supplies by price range. For each price range you’ll see two features power supplies and a list of others below it.

If you’re building a top gaming computer, you’re going to need a lot of power to ensure that it runs at its full capacity.

Unfortunately, power supplies are the least understood and most wrongly picked components.

A lot of gamers end up picking cheap power supplies that have high wattage ratings thinking they got a steal of a deal…

This couldn’t be further from the truth…

More often than not, the no-named manufacturers of cheap power supplies put much higher wattage ratings on their units than the unit actually deserves. They do this, of course, to sell more of their product.

However, for anyone expecting to power a top gaming computer with a cheap power supply, you run the risk of seriously damaging your system.

If you’re going to build a top gaming computer, you need to use a high-quality power supply to power it.

And, while better quality power supplies do cost more upfront, they are much more efficient, and fail far less often than cheaper units. So, in the long run you save money by buying a better power supply now.

Listed below are a number of power supplies I recommend if you are building a top gaming PC.

Top Power Supplies Under $100

XFX Core Edition PRO 550WXFX Core Edition PRO 550W
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,000
Tier 2A PSU
Read More

If affordability and reliability are what you want out of your power supply, perhaps no unit can offer that better than the XFX Core Edition PRO 550W.

While the wattage may seem a little low for a top gaming computer, with 44A on the +12V rail, this power supply has plenty of power to accommodate most single video card setups.

Overall the PRO 550W PSU from XFX is a great unit that doesn’t cost a ton of money. So, if you aren’t planning on running dual video cards, running an HD 7990, GTX 780 Ti, or overclocking to extreme levels, this unit should do the trick.

Features

  • 550W PSU
  • 44A On Single +12V Rail
  • Can Handle Most Video Cards on the Market

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend getting the XFX Core Edition PRO 550W power supply if you’re not building an over-the-top system and you want to save a little money.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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seasonic m12ii-620Seasonic M1211 620W Bronze
(Prices fluctuate–check here for more pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$1,000
Tier 2A PSU
Read More

Sea Sonic is one of the premier manufacturers of computer power supplies. In fact, many of the high-end Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, and XFX units on the market are actually built by Sea Sonic.

So, it’s no surprise that their M12II-620W Bronze unit would make this list. Not only is this unit more than capable of powering just about any high-end setup, it also comes in at well under $100.

With dual 24A +12V rails, the SeaSonic M12II-620 can handle just about any video card on the market and it gives enough headroom to make serious overclocking a reality as well. Overall the unit is well-built and backed by one of the most reputable PSU manufacturers around. You can’t go wrong with this unit.

Features

  • 620W
  • Dual 24A +12V Rails
  • Semi-Modular
  • Will Easily Handle Any Single Video Card Setup

RECOMMENDATION: The SeaSonic M12II-620 Bronze power supply is a good option if you want a high-quality unit that you can count on lasting for a long time. It will power just about any single card high-end setup.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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More Top Power Supplies Under $100

Antec NEO ECO 520W (~$65)

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W (~$70)

OCZ ZT Series 650W (~$75)

Antec NEO ECO 620W (~$80)

Corsair TX650 Enthusiast Series (~$80)

OCZ ZT Series 750W (~$80)

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (~$90)

OCZ Fatal1ty 750W (~$90)

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III Series 600W (~$90)

Top Power Supplies Between $100-$150

xfx xxx 750wXFX Black Edition PRO 750W
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $800-$2,000
Tier 1 PSU
Read More

The XFX Black Edition 750W power supply is another steal of a deal. It’s not often that you find a Tier 1 power supply priced so close to $100. But that’s what you get from this unit…

With SeaSonic as the OEM of this power supply, you can rest assured that you’re choosing a high-quality unit. And, with 750W and 62A on the +12V rail, this unit has enough power to hold most 2-way SLI/CrossFire setups.

So, if you’re looking for SeaSonic quality for your high-end build and you don’t want to pay a premium, then this unit fits the bill perfectly.

Features

  • 750W
  • 80 PLUS Gold
  • 62A Single +12V Rail
  • Fully Modular
  • Can Handle SLI/CrossFire Setups
  • 5-Year Warranty

RECOMMENDATION: Choose the XFX Black Edition PRO 750W if you’re looking for a high-end power supply that will allow you to setup dual video cards in the future.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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pc power & cooling silencer mkiii 750wPC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 750W
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,000-$2,000
Tier 1 PSU
Read More

The XFX Black Edition 750W unit and this PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 750W unit are pretty similar in specs. What the Silencer MK III unit brings to the table is a 7-year warranty as opposed to the 5-year warranty that the XFX unit has.

Is that enough to sway you to this PC Power & Cooling unit? That all depends…

Do you prefer the comfort of having two extra years of protection? Or would you prefer to have a similarly performing unit that’s fully modular for less money? If it were up to me I’d go with the XFX Black 750W unit… but that doesn’t mean the Silencer MK III 750W isn’t worthy.

Features

  • 750W
  • 80 PLUS Gold
  • 62A Single +12V Rail
  • Semi-Modular
  • Can Handle SLI/CrossFire Setups
  • 7-Year Warranty

RECOMMENDATION: I’d go with the XFX Black Edition 750W unit over this one. However, the Silencer MK III from PC Power & Cooling is still a solid power supply. And, if you can find it on sale or for a lower price than the XFX unit, jump on it.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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More Top Power Supplies Between $100-$150

XFX XXX Edition 750 Watt (~$110)

Corsair Enthusiast Series 850-Watt (~$120)

Corsair RM Series 750 Watt (~$130)

Antec High Current Gamer 900 Watt (~$130)

SeaSonic X650 650 Watt (~$130)

XFX XXX Edition 850 Watt (~$135)

Top Power Supplies Between $150-$200

seasonic x series 850wSeaSonic X Series 850W
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,500-$2,000
Tier 1 PSU
Read More

The X Series 850W power supply is another stellar unit from SeaSonic. With 850W of power and 70A on the +12V rail, the X-850 is a real monster.

And, with 80 PLUS Gold efficiency this unit is primed to deliver optimal power to your top gaming computer.

This unit is also fully modular and is backed by a 7-year warranty. Overall, it’s a very powerful power supply capable of handling even the most extreme setups.

Features

  • 850W
  • 80 PLUS Gold
  • 70A Single +12V Rail
  • Fully Modular
  • Can Handle SLI/CrossFire Setups
  • 7-Year Warranty

RECOMMENDATION: Go with the SeaSonic X Series 850W power supply if you want the option to run multiple video cards and/or turn your gaming computer into an extreme enthusiast rig.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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Corsair AX860Corsair Professional Series AX860
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $1,500-$2,000
Tier 1 PSU
Read More

Corsair is no stranger to the power supply world… With their Professional Series AX 860W unit, they deliver a fully modular power supply with an 80 PLUS Platinum rating. And, for just under $200 that’s a pretty good deal.

Ultimately, the Corsair AX860 will live up to meet your demands just as long as you aren’t planning on running quad GTX 780 Ti’s and overclocking your system to insane levels.

So, if you’re in the market for a high-end power supply for your top gaming computer, you may not find a better option below $200.

Features

  • 850W
  • 80 PLUS Platinum
  • 71.6A Single +12V Rail
  • Fully Modular
  • Can Handle SLI/CrossFire Setups
  • 7-Year Warranty

RECOMMENDATION: Get the Corsair AX860 if you need a ton of power and maximum efficiency and you want to stay under $200.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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More Top Power Supplies Between $150-$200

Corsair RM Series 850 Watt (~$155)

Corsair Professional Series  HX 750 Watt (~$160)

Corsair Professional Series 760 Watt (~$160)

PC Power & Cooling 850 Watt Silencer MK III Series (~$170)

Corsair Professional Series  HX 850 Watt (~$175)

Corsair RM Series 1000 Watt (~$195)

Top Power Supplies Over $200

silverstone st1500SilverStone Strider ST 1500W
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $2,000+
Tier 1 PSU
Read More

If you want to talk about a behemoth, let’s talk about the SilverStone ST 1500. With eight 25A +12V rails, there are not too many power supplies around that can match the output of the ST 1500.

What it all comes down to is how crazy do you want your system to get? Do you want to run Quad SLI/CrossFire and overclock your system to extraordinary levels? This power supply will handle it… no problem.

The only thing you really need to worry about with this monster is your power bill.

Features

  • 1500W
  • 80 PLUS Silver
  • Unheard of Eight 25A +12V Rails
  • Fully Modular
  • Can Handle Quad SLI/CrossFire Setups
  • 3-Year Warranty

RECOMMENDATION: Choose the SilverStone ST 1500W power supply if you are building an overkill gaming computer.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

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lepa g 1600LEPA G Series 1600W
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)
Budget Range: $2,000+
Tier 1 PSU
Read More

Oh I’m sorry, 1500W isn’t enough for you? Fine… Here’s a 1600W monster to shut you up.

The only way I’d recommend getting this unit is if you want to run Quad SLI/CrossFire setups… or if you want to power a small military compound…

No, but seriously, this power supply is ridiculous. It’s literally the most powerful power supply on the market.

*Warning - Before you setup a gaming computer that will require this power supply, check with an electrician to make sure the wiring in your house can even output enough to run your system… This isn’t a joke.

Features

  • 1600W
  • 80 PLUS Gold
  • Six +12V Rails
  • Fully Modular
  • Can Handle Quad SLI/CrossFire Setups
  • 3-Year Warranty

RECOMMENDATION: Choose the SilverStone ST 1500W power supply if you are building an overkill gaming computer.

[ CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS PSU ON AMAZON ]

« Go Back to Main Menu » « Go Back to Power Supplies »

More Top Power Supplies Over $200

Seasonic X-Series 1250 Watt (~$290)

Antec HCP-1000W PLATINUM (~$290)

Enermax MaxRevo 1350 Watt (~$305)

Enermax MaxRevo 1500 Watt (~$335)

Corsair Professional Series AX 1200 Watt (~$345)

9.Optical Drives

For gamers with a higher budget, optical drives are just more of throw-in components due to their convenience. In all reality, optical drives are slowly dying. With games and software moving to a digital download format, the optical drive isn’t nearly as important as it once was.

However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need an optical drive for your system. If you have older games in disc format that you’ll want to put on your new system, or if you want to use your PC as a home theater where you can play Blurays/DVDs from Red Box, or from your home collection, then you’ll need an optical drive.

And, while it’s not 100% necessary, having an optical drive makes installing your operating system a little 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 bottom line, though, is that if you have a larger budget, throwing in a $15-$20 optical drive isn’t going to hurt you any. So, you might as well include one.

Here are a few options:

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 System

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. Marshall says

    Hey Brent

    Hey man

    I’m looking at getting that $1250 unit, looks mean, but just a couple queries:

    I cant get that motherboard with it because of the shipping from Amazon doesn’t allow it out of the US, whats another good motherboard I could put in to replace that one??

    Also bro will that power supply be compatible with a 50hz frequency that we run in New Zealand, rather than that wack voltage US runs haha

    Last thing man I swapped out the case for another mid tower, more aesthetic!
    Will she work with all this gear?
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NGMIBXC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3AFCSA6JU2B0W

    Cheers man, thanks for putting all these builds together!

    Regards, Marsh

    • says

      Hey Marshall, how’s it going?

      I’m not completely sure how that works with the power supply, but you might want to look into buying your PSU and motherboard (if not all of your components, depending on the price) from a New Zealand or Australian retailer.

      http://www.ascent.co.nz/
      http://www.mwave.com.au/

      My guess is that you’ll have an easier time buying a compliant PSU from these and the shipping costs will likely (I think) be lower than if you bought from Amazon US.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  2. PRASUN says

    i want a setup for samsung UN65HU8550 ….will that $2000 setup run the top end games at ultra high settings in this tv….or i have to spend more….please email me….

    • says

      Hey PRASUN, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes, the $2000 build will run games on a 4K TV. However, I need to update the video card from two GTX 980s to a single GTX Titan X. It’s actually cheaper and will handle 4K gaming better.

      So, if you’re going to get the $2,000 build, just make sure you swap out the two GTX 980s for a GTX Titan X.

      And, also make sure you set the monitor’s refresh rate to 60Hz if that is not what it defaults to when gaming.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  3. Dave says

    Hi Brent
    I’m getting new pc for Birthday
    I bit changed the 1500$ build and aren’t there any problems?

    CPU- Intel core i7-4790k
    Mobo- Asus Maximus VII Hero
    CPU Cooler- Coolermaster V8 GTS
    GPU- Evga Geforce GTX 980 (Titan Look)
    RAM- Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 1600
    HDD- WD Black 1TB
    SSD- Crucial MX100 256GB
    Case- Coolermaster Storm Trooper (rev.2)
    PSU- XFX PRO850W Core Edition (Will add second GTX980 In future)
    ODD- Samsung SH224

    Thanks.

      • says

        Hey Dave, how’s it going?

        Yeah, if the debate is between two GTX 980s or a single Titan X, I’d go with the Titan X (I need to update the $2,000 build to include a single Titan X). If the debate is between a single GTX 980 and a single Titan X and you have the money to get the Titan X, then go with the Titan X.

        Of course, this is all assuming you’re planning on playing at 4K resolutions. If you just want to play on a 1920×1080 monitor (or three) then, a single GTX 980 is way more than enough power.

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

        Best,
        Brent

  4. Avishka says

    hey Bret ,

    hows it going??
    I’ve been a pre-computer user & needless to say this whole site is simply the truth. building a pc is better than buying a bullshit over expensive pc,
    i’ve been surfing around trying to assemble parts which are compatible, and this artical has proven more than usefull…. Alien ware’s , alien fx software has always amazed me… i will be putting together a pc and i was just wondering if you could inform me, if i can do the same thing that alien fx does… just with my home made pc, i hope you could be able to provide me with a Software & Hardware solution….

    oh & can i use 2x MSI GTX 970 in the 2000 $ setup, and later upgrade it with a gtx 980 and make the three work togethed..

    and well i’m not a hardware tech genius so i’ll be posting around to get answeres for questions about building a pc at home….
    thanx for all the help !! now & the future ;)

    • says

      Hey Avishka, I’m good, thanks for asking!

      I’ve never had any experience with Alienware’s software but you’re not the first person to ask me that. If I remember correctly, I think it was determined that you can’t get Alienware’s OS unless you have an Alienware computer.

      Yeah, you can definitely go with two GTX 970s to start, but it’s not possible to SLI two different GPUs (970s and 980s) unless there’s some crazy hack to make it work that I haven’t heard about.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  5. Racerjr2387 says

    Brent I need help with choosing a pc. I have a $1000 budget and I would like to buy the $1000 build you recommended but I would not have enough for anything and $900 isn’t bad for a gaming pc but I would like to get a high quality gaming computer. What do you recommend?

  6. Adrian Ibarra says

    Hey Brent, I got the $1k setup (with a different case)and ive got it all plugged in but nothing shows on the monitor? any sugestions or a build log?

    • Kris says

      Is your monitor plugged into your gfx card? I’ve made the mistake and plugged into the motherboard on accident. Nothing will come up unless u have integrated gfx.

    • says

      Hey Adrian, how’s it going?

      Check what Kris mentioned as this is sometimes the case. Both your motherboard and video card will have video inputs on the back of the case. Your video card will be lower down. If you plugged the monitor into the motherboard you will not get a video signal.

      Hope this helps! Let us know if that was the problem or not and, if not, we can go from there.

      Best,
      Brent

  7. Micah says

    Sorry for the dumb question, Would 16 gigs ram help? in the 1k build or would it help in a different build at all? Or not help at all?

    • says

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

      If you’re just gaming then 16GB of RAM won’t have much (if any) impact on your performance. Most games can’t even utilize 4GB of RAM fully, so 8GB will be plenty.

      However, if you’re doing any kind of intensive work-related tasks (like video editing, CAD work, graphics design, etc.) you may benefit with more RAM.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  8. Tim says

    Hey Brent, how’s it going?

    I was just a little concerned about the ram used in the builds. You know it’s CL10 right? Wouldn’t CL9 be better, since you can get it for about the same price?

    • says

      Hey Tim, I’m great thanks for asking. How are you?

      Thanks for the heads up on this. Typically, I don’t worry about whether it’s a CL10 vs CL9 kit. I’m usually looking for whatever reputable manufacturer has their DDR3 1600 MHz RAM for the lowest cost. It was the Kingston HyperX Fury for awhile and so that’s what I went with.

      But, in my opinion, the difference between CL9 and CL10 in real-world scenarios is so small that if there is $10 to be saved by going with a CL9 kit then I will do that so I can put that towards getting closer to a video card upgrade. However, seeing as Crucial Ballistix has their RAM (which is CL10) $12 cheaper than the HyperX Fury, that’s definitely the better buy.

      Thanks for pointing that out, though, as the deal on the Crucial Ballistix RAM is awesome right now. I’ve added their 8GB kit to all of the builds.

  9. Masaru says

    Hey Brent

    Thanks for this awesome guide! I’ve modified the 2000$ build and i’d like to know if it’s viable…

    CPU – Intel Core i7-4790K
    FAN – CM Hyper 212 EVO
    MOBO – ASUS ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97-PRO (Wi-Fi AC)
    GPU – 2x ASUS STRIX-GTX980-DC2OC-4GD5
    RAM – Dominator Platinum DDR3 1866MHz 16GB
    SSD – Samsung 840 EVO 500GB Basic
    CASE – CM Storm Stryker Full Tower
    PSU – Corsair AX860i Digital
    ODD – ASUS BC 12D2HT

    Thanks in advance for your reply

    • says

      Hey Masaru, thanks for reading and commenting.

      Yes, that is definitely a powerful build and everything is compatible and looks good! Enjoy the monster and let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,
      Brent

  10. newtothis says

    Hey Brent! Thanks for all these guides, I’m sure you’ve already heard this from all the other people that have commented on this, but I really appreciate you taking the time to put this all together into one comprehensive website. However, I do have a few questions. 1) I would like to do the $1000 build, but I am probably going to be a very casual gamer, do I really need a whole TB of storage? 2) I’m going to need a monitor for this, what size would you recommend?

  11. PrePost says

    Hi, I’m buying my own gaming PC in a few more days and I only have a budget of $900. I want it to be able to run the upcoming MMORPG game black desert online on full settings. can you recommend me a PC build or make one for me? I would also prefer if the gaming PC was upgradable.

  12. Oblivions says

    Hey Brent,

    Thank you so much for this post. I have really learned so much and i am ready to build my first Gaming PC! I am still deciding on whether i should go with the $1,500 build or the $1,750 build, maybe you can help?

    I will be doing a lot of hardcore gaming playing the most demanding and newest games out there. I will also be streaming and i want to be able to play at max settings on all games while still getting high FPS and having the smoothest game play. Also, should i go with a 2560×1440 or 1920×1080 screen?

    On the $1500 build i changed a couple things, how does this look? And also are you sure i will not need a water cooling system? Also, the Power Supply seems a little low, no? maybe 600w+?

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K

    FAN: CM Hyper 212 EVO

    MOBO: ASUS Z97 PRO LGA 1150

    GPU : EVGA GeForce GTX 980

    RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB (Switched to) —> Kingston HyperX FURY 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 1600MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM – Blue (HX316C10FK2/16)

    SSD: Crucial MX 100 128GB

    HDD: Western Digital Blue 1 TB

    CASE: Cooler Master HAF 912

    PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO550W

    ODD: Samsung 24x SATA

    So, will i be able to max out on all games and play at the smoothest possible while also streaming sometimes, or should i get the $1750 build? And will this PC last? And how will the airflow be throughout the case while i am playing 10+ hours a day?

  13. JakeH says

    I am going to build the $1,750.00 model but wanted (due to bills) to do just a single nvidia 970, no SSD, and was wondering if setting it up w/o dual SLI to begin w/ and no SSD to begin with will impact me in any major way when I am able to order the 2nd g-card and the SSD. Also changed the case on it to the NZXT Phantom 820.

    Other question I have is eventually I wan’t to get x3 Asus monitors connected via HDMI is that going to be a problem?

    • says

      Hey Jake, how’s it going?

      Yes, you can definitely start with one 970 and add a second one down the road, as well as foregoing the SSD now.

      It’s hard to say whether or not you can run triple monitors all from HDMI… I’m not sure if there are any GTX 970s out there that have three HDMI ports on them. You could probably do it if you got to three cards. However, you could always just run some combination of HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort connections.

      You can use this tool to give you a good idea of how to setup a GTX 970, or dual 970s, to run multiple monitors:

      http://www.geforce.com//hardware/technology/surround/system-requirements

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

      Best,
      Brent

  14. Kris says

    Hey Brent,
    Thanks for the guide very well done and easy read. Taught me a lot in a short amount of time. One question though. How does going with a couple gtx 760’s compare to the latest gtx 980’s? The latest optimal card is like $600-$800 but two 760’s would be around $400 even less for me because I own one already. In other words will the latest gfx card always be better than two or more of the outdated cards? and if thats the case why have sli/crossfire?

    • says

      Hey Kris, thanks for reading and commenting.

      Typically, I recommend that people either go with one big single GPU and if that’s not enough (and they have the money) then go for two big GPUs.

      The problem with running dual cards is that they cannot be utilized in certain games and they aren’t always easy to configure.

      However, in certain scenarios, multiple GPUs are necessary… For instance, if you want to run games at 4K resolution, then you will need at least two higher-end cards. Since 4K gaming isn’t very mainstream and it’s so much more demanding than the middle-tier (and even higher-tier) video cards can handle, it’s one of those rare scenarios where having multiple video cards is actually necessary.

      Ultimately, it depends on what kind of setup you want to have, how many monitors you want to play on, and what games you play. If you’re just planning on playing games on a 1920×1080 or 2560×1440 monitor, then I’d go with a single 980. If you want to get into 4K gaming, I’d still go with a single GTX 980 and add a second one when you have the money to do so.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  15. MicahDeWitt says

    I am truly grateful for you list of awesome computer parts, I have two questions I am very dumb at this kind of stuff, 1 is their a wireless internet motem thing to use internet on your pc, and does this come with a windows operating system?
    Sorry for your time you must be a busy man.

  16. Paul says

    Hello Brent, thank you for these wonder guides! I was thinking about building your recommended $2,000 but I was wondering if it would still work if I only used one gpu instead of two from your guide. Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Hey Paul, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes, the $2,000 build can definitely be run with only one of the video cards.

      If you go with a single GTX 980 instead of two, you could also drop to a ~550W power supply as well to help you save some more money.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  17. Justin says

    Hi Brent,

    First of all I would like to say thank you for putting this information out there for everyone to see, much appreciated! Anyway I was thinking about the 1500 or 1750 builds. Ive been told the 1TB Western Black is better for gaming though compared to the blue, I was wondering if you could explain your choice for blue over black?

    Also, I am interested in streaming games at a high resolution. I run two monitors, and want to get back into some FPS games such as battlefield. How would those builds hold up, and would you recommend any changes to them for someone who wants to play and stream?

    Thanks again!
    -Justin

    • says

      Hey Justin, how’s it going?

      Personally, I would just go with the cheaper Blue drive. The difference in performance between the two drives is insignificant and you likely wouldn’t be able to notice it. Both the $1,500 and $1,700 drives come with SSDs as well and if you want a particular game to load faster, you could just install the game on there.

      And, as for streaming, both of those builds will easily stream Battlefield and other demanding FPS games on max settings on a 1920×1080 monitor.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  18. Luis says

    Could you please tell me if all this would work? looking at building a gaming PC.
    Thanks in advanced.

    Samsung SATA 1.5 Gb-s Optical Drive, Black SH-224DB/BEBE
    XFX TS 550w Full Wired 80+ Bronze Power Supply – P1550SXXB9
    WD Blue Desktop Hard Drive 1TB, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/sec
    Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K
    Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – VENGEANCE MX Red, RED LED
    Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM – Red (HX316C10FR/8)
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-​R2)
    MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Cards GTX 970 GAMING 4G
    MSI ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97-G45 GAMING
    Corsair Graphite Series 230T Black with Window Compact Mid-Tower Computer Case

    http://amzn.com/w/1ZHSSEIUOE6D7

  19. Jaris says

    Hello, I would like to say “thanks” to the people who prepared this guide; I already bought all the components (at $1500) in order to build the system by myself, it took me no more than 3h to build my new gaming computer and it was possible because I read this guide and I got most of tips from here. Thanks again and this is the list of my computer’s components, I’m really very happy.

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790k
    FAN: Noctua NH-­U12S
    MOBO: ASUS MAXIMUS VII HERO Z97
    GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Overclocked 4GB GDDR5
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz
    SSD: Crucial MX100 256GB SATA 2.5″
    CASE: Corsair Graphi te Series 230T
    PSU: Corsair RM Series 750
    ODD: Asus 24x DVD­RW Serial ­ATA

    Regards!!!

    • says

      Hey Jaris, thanks for commenting and I’m glad the guide was able to help you!

      That’s definitely an awesome setup! If you get a chance, we’d love to see pictures of your build in the forums.

      Enjoy your new beast!

      Best,
      Brent

  20. jeff says

    Brent,
    I’d like to say thank you for your builder guide and the parts list guide.
    Yesterday my 16yr old son and I followed your guide and built a computer from the $1000
    Parts list. My son was under the impression that he had to have an Alienware computer.
    He had been saving for a year and was still only half way to the overpriced AW product.
    After repeatedly promising him that we could build him a great gaming rig ourselves for a $1000
    He finally relented . (With Mom guaranteeing a different comp if dad was wrong)
    Not only did he have to say how right I was (miracles do exist) he admitted that we had a great time
    Building it together!
    Once all was ready to go he went online and downloaded his Tank battle game. Then went through and changed all the settings to max. Then he positively giggled as we averaged 124 FPS! A far cry from a computer I built 6 or 7 years ago where all the settings were at the minimums
    And it was under 15 FPS. Not only did you make me look good to a teenager, a miracle in itself
    We had a great time! With an added bonus that this thing rocks!
    Thanks again for all of the great no BS info!

    • says

      Hey Jeff, thanks for coming back and sharing your build!

      I’ve been getting quite a few more parents showing up and telling me about their build with their sons and as a new father myself that’s probably the coolest thing ever.

      I’m also glad you showed your son the light and got him to build his own setup. I think it’s a great way to bridge the gap between gaming and an interest in the technical side of things.

      Have fun with the new build and if you guys have some free-time definitely post some pictures in the forums in the Show Off Your Build section!

      Thanks again for sharing your build with us!

      Best,
      Brent

  21. poji says

    I am not much on gaming (sure will do sometimes). The specs will be video editing PC for my office.

    please advise

    CPU Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core
    CPU Cooler liquid cooler
    Video card GTX 980
    RAM 32GB DDR4 (4 x 8 GB)
    Motherboard X99
    PSU 800-900 watt
    Storage SSD 240 GB
    HDD 2 x 500 GB WD velociraptor (10000 rpm)
    HDD 1 TB WD black (7200 rpm)
    ODD DVD-RW,
    Mechanical keyboard
    Mouse sensor & DPI : laser, 250-5500
    Operating System Windows 7 (64 bit).
    Software bundled Adobe Premiere Pro CC
    Speakers Stereo + sub-woofer (2.1) 60-100 watt peak power
    Monitor 24″ IPS Monitor, Full HD 1080p

    • says

      Hey poji, how’s it going?

      How much video editing will you be doing? Your setup is definitely powerful enough to handle heavy video editing. The only thing I would say is that you could probably cut costs if you’re only doing light editing.

      Otherwise, this setup is great.

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

      Best,
      Brent

      • poji says

        I will do HD video editing. i am sure one day the job will require good machine to handle heavy editing.
        is this setup looks overkill?
        if need to lower a bit or cut cost .. i can start with 16GB RAM, storage 2 x 1TB WD blue only and u may suggest suitable video card.
        but i7-5820 & x99 are must have in the system.

        thanks

  22. Sky Love says

    Hi, I built the $1000 build, but when i turned it on it won’t display. I have done everything i could think of, (i used anti-static), reset CMOS, reseated everything( but CPU), switched the ram stick to different slots, tried hmdi and vga. I can’t think of anything else to do.

    • says

      Hey Sky Love, sorry for the delayed response. Have you sorted the issue out yet?

      Sometimes, the common solution to the no display problem is that you may have plugged the monitor into the motherboard, rather than the video card.

      If that’s not the issue and you’re still having problems, you can email me directly at bhale@elitegamingcomputers.com and I can try and walk you through some troubleshooting tests to see if you received a bad part or if it’s something we can fix.

      All the Best,
      Brent

  23. Archie says

    Hello,
    This was a nice guide however I am a little unsure with some decisions. I am planing to get a system that would last me a while and cost roughly $1750 however I am a little unsure if it is worth the money to get a system with DDR4 RAM or not. I was thinking that it would be nice to have a DDR4 system however the cost would rise a lot due to the required motherboard and CPU. Secondly I don’t know if it is recommended to get 2x GTX 970 or a single GTX980. I currently don’t have any monitors so I will either be buying a 27″ 1440p monitor or 2x ~23″ 1080p monitors. What would be smarter (as a casual gamer)?

    • Archie says

      *Correction, not as a casual gamer but an all round gamer. I want to play Battlefield 4, Assassins Creed Unity and some more games.

  24. J.D says

    Help on My Build will this be all compatible?

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K
    Fan: CM Hyper 212 EVO
    Motherboard: ASUS MAXIMUS VII HERO Z97 ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 MAXIMUS VII HERO
    Video Card: MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Cards GTX 970 GAMING 4G (1 for now)
    SSD: Crucial MX 100 256gb/Samsung Evo Pro 256 ( i have the samsung one in my laptop so is the crucial at similar speed or is higher?)
    HDD: Western Digital Blue 1 TB
    Case: Sentey® Gaming Case Optimus Gs-6000r – Black and Red ( will this case be compatible? )
    PSU: XFX PRO850W
    ODD: Samsung 24x SATA

  25. Chris says

    Hi there Brent!

    First off, I just want to say thank you for the affordable custom computers you have on this site (helps newbies like myself). As I was looking through each build, the $1500 gaming PC caught my attention, and I just wanted to ask you a couple of quick things. Firstly, I chose the EVGA GTX980 that you had listed, expect I didn’t overclock/super clock it. I simply did this because I’ve gotten mixed reviews about how overclocking a gpu can sometimes cause it to not run as efficiently over a period of time, along with overheating. Also, I took the Crucial MX100 SSD (128 GB) and bumped it up to 256 GB because I plan to save most of my larger games on there. So, I was just wondering whether you think this is an ok decision. One last thing, the $1500 gaming build you have setup, all the parts fit properly correct? I apologize for asking, but I just want to make sure since this will be the first computer that I ever assemble. Have a good day, and thank you once again for your work, I really appreciate it!

    Sincerely, Chris

  26. Ollie says

    Hey there Brent, how are you?

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this in-depth guide on how to find the best gaming pc components based off of your chosen budget.

    Since I am kind of a “noob” with basically building PC’s, I wanted to learn what the benefits are and what would be best to buy. This guide has it all and I am so pleased and thankful for what you have done here.

    I just wanted to ask one question though as well. I like to Twitch stream as many other people like to do. I hold a pretty good reputation over there and I wanted to expand my arsenal for when I stream live gaming. I would be streaming games such as CS:GO, MMOs and other various high-quality games. I just wanted to ask your own personal opinion as to whether the $2,000 PC has either enough or too much hardware for this dream to come true? All without lag and delay would be prefect as well.

    Sorry to ramble on but I just have one tiny question left! I know this is not the site for it but could you possibly recommend me some decent gaming/high-quality monitors? I was thinking of delving into ASUS or BENQ monitors but I am unsure of which ones to look at. My price budget for these would be enough to acquire three monitors, preferably of the same model.

    Thank you so much for reading Brent and I really can’t thank you enough for this post. You have no idea how much this has helped me and my thoughts.

    Good day from the UK and I hope all is well,

    Ollie

  27. Usama says

    I am going to build the following PC build:

    CPU: i5 4690(or i7 4790)
    GPU: MSI Gaming Gtx 970
    MOBO: Gigabyte B85M-D3H
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB 1600 MHZ
    PSU: AcBel API4PC24 550W Gold
    Casing: Gigabyte GZ-G1 plus
    Hdd: Seagate SATA 1 TB

    Are all the parts compatible with each other?

    • says

      Hi Utkarsh, thanks for reading and commenting!

      As to your questions, take a look at these benchmarks:

      http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/cpu-cooler-roundup-2013-q1-review,8.html

      Water cooling is really only beneficial if you’re building your own custom loop, otherwise a closed loop cooler doesn’t really offer much of an advantage over a good air cooler. So, why spend an extra $60 on the H100i when you can use that money to double your SSD storage, get a bigger case, upgrade your motherboard, get a bigger PSU, add more system fans, etc.?

      Ultimately, a difference of 8-9 degrees in temperature at load is not going to make that big of a difference, especially when you consider that with a stock cooler, the i7-3770K (using this CPU because of the benchmark above) would be considered normal if it were operating at 76 degrees Celsius. The Hyper 212 EVO is able to take the 3770K OCed at 4.2GHz to 50 degrees Celsius… So, I just don’t see any reason to add a more expensive closed-loop cooler when the temperature gains are marginal at best.

      Hope this helps clarify why I chose the 212 EVO.

      Best,
      Brent

  28. says

    Hi Brent,

    This is a great post! I’ve been thinking about a new gaming computer, now it’s just to figure out my budget and the best components, which you’ve made quite easy, thanks!

    I actually found your site on the easyazon plugin comments, it looks to be working fantastic on this page! I’m from the UK and everything goes to amazon.co.uk, job done! :)

    I’ll be sure to visit your site again, keep up the good work!

    Thanks,
    GazRevs

    • says

      Hey Gaz, how’s it going? Thanks for reading and commenting and I’m glad the site has helped you out.

      Yeah, the EasyAzon plugin has worked well in getting visitors outside the US to the right Amazon page. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for the lists of components… perhaps I’ll figure out a way to do that in the future.

      Anyways, thanks again for stopping by!

      Best,
      Brent

  29. Stewart says

    First thing first, thanks for putting this info out here for all to see. Now the question I have is in regards to running a driving simulator such as iracing with 3 monitors and possibly motion controls down the road. What computer would you recommend for this application. Thanks for any input you may have in this regard.

    Thanks,

    Stew

    • Stewart says

      One more thing, this thing will also need to have the option for 3 sound cards due to multiple transducers in the future. Thanks again!

        • says

          Sorry for the delayed response, Stewart!

          Any of the builds listed above could handle iracing on triple monitors. As for having the option to run three sound cards (I didn’t even realize that was a thing), you’re going to need a motherboard with a ton of PCI slots.

          I think this could be achieved with the ASUS Z97 Pro. So, if you wanted to, you could go with the $1,000 build and put the ASUS Z97 Pro in there to save some money.

          Hope this points you in the right direction! Let me know if you have any other questions.

          Best,
          Brent

  30. Kevin says

    Hi!
    Im looking to get a new gaming PC, but im not into the different components and stuff.
    I dont’ know how but I ended up getting to this site and I saw the 1750 dollar pc build at the pre-made part lists. I have been looking at pre-build PCs but most have been missing parts I would like in my set-up, so I have chosen to try building it myself.
    My question is: Is it possible to get the parts from the 1750 dollar pre-made build on amazon.co.uk instead of amazon.com or does .com have some advantages? Im from europe and would prefer not paying the toll which is added from buying stuff outside of europe. Im hoping you can help me. :)

    • says

      Hey Kevin, how’s it going?

      I’m based in US and that’s where the majority of my audience comes from, so as of right now my lists just point to Amazon.com.

      I haven’t figured out an effective method of creating a UK list for each of the builds yet, but in the meantime you can search UK for the parts listed above. And, if Amazon UK is missing anything just let me know and I’ll try to find a viable replacement.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  31. Niels says

    Looking to put a powerfull yet fairly affordable gaming pc together (ideal budget between 1500-2000 but could potentially go up to 2500 euros) im intending to play on 1920×1080.

    The thing is i feel i might be overdoing it with certain components, my main goal is being able to run games like far cry 4 on max settings without issues.

    While my goal IS a powrfull gaming pc, i was wondering if there were anny thoughts or comments on the components.
    My main concern is overdoing it and paying for an extremely high end component while an older cheaper version performs the same way.

    i was preparing for the following:

    Cpu : intel core i7-4790k
    Motherboard : ASUS Z97 PRO LGA 1150
    Video card : Geforce gtx 780 ti
    Memory : Corsair vengeance memory 16g
    Hard drive : seagate barracuda 1t
    Ssd : samsung 500g
    Case : Nzxt phantom 820 ultra tower OR CM Storm Stryker Full Tower
    Power supply : Silverstone strider st 1500w
    Optical drive : Samsung optical drive sh-224d/bebe
    Operating system : windows 7

  32. Sep says

    First off happy new years!
    Second, amazing site, i have been looking to get a new pc and this site and the comments really helped me get a good idea of what i want (me being the amateur that i am pc spec wise, thats saying alot :D)

    So ive been looking to make a relatively affordable pc (1500-2000 ideally) that can run new games like far cry 4, dragon age inquisition etc on max settings without anny fps dips or other issues (on 1920×1080)

    Going by a previous post that seemed to have a pretty good build and the information offered by this site (again, awesome site) ive come up with the following:

    — CPU : intel core i7-4790 K
    — MB: : Asus maximus ve extreme or asus pro z97 pro coa 1150
    — Video card : Geforce GTX 780 TI
    — Memory : Corsair vengeance m emory 16G
    — Hard drive : Seagate barracuda IT
    — SSD : Samsung 500G

    — Case : NZXT Phantom 820 ultra tower (though the CM Storm Stryker Full Tower is looking reall good to me as well, though i have no idea if its even possible in this build)

    — Power supply :Silver strider ST 1500W (i was told this was excessive but id rather have a little overkill then a blown power supply)

    — Optical drive : Samsung optical drive SH 224D/BEBE

    In terms of cooling im still looking for one that can handle this build and then some just to be sure (anny tips would be most welcome)

    Again im hardly an expert at this, so i was hoping for some feedback on this build in terms of budget and wether or not its good enough (or not good enough) to handle the aforementioned games without anny hiches

    • says

      Hey Sep, how’s it going?

      Everything looks great, but honestly, if you’re playing on a 1920×1080 monitor, the $1,000 build listed above will give you more than enough power.

      If you want to stick with your setup, I’d say drop the 780 Ti and go with the GTX 980. Also, I’d go with a quality 600W PSU for the GTX 980. That would save you a ton of money and it’s plenty of power for your setup.

      If you want to run dual 980’s in the future, then go with a quality 750W-800W PSU.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  33. Brian says

    This might be a stupid question, but does the hard drive matter for the $1000 build? What hard drives could I use and would you recommend for it that are 2 tb instead of 1 tb? This is the link for the hard drive I was thinking of getting instead of the 1 tb one as my current pc has 1 tb and I would like a little bit more space. I’m really excited to try the $100 build and any other tips would be really appreciated thanks. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006GDVREI/ref=twister_B00DI12KRO?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    • says

      Hey Brian, how’s it going?

      I would go with the hard drive listed in the builds as it is faster. The Caviar Greens are meant to be more energy efficient drives at the expense of speed.

      If you want a 2TB drive, take a look at Seagate’s 2TB HDD:

      Seagate Barracuda 2 TB HDD

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

      Best,
      Brent

  34. Daniel says

    Hi Brent.

    I would like to know which of these processors would help me to have a best performance for gaming and video editing:

    Intel Core i7-4790K
    Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core

    Thanks.

    • says

      Hey Daniel, how’s it going?

      It depends on how much video editing you’re doing. If it’s a heavy amount I’d say pony up the little bit extra to get the i7-5820k (and a corresponding LGA 2011 motherboard), if it’s a moderate amount of video editing or less, then I’d say stick with the i7-4790K.

      Either are more processing power than you could ever need for modern gaming.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  35. Hao says

    for the 1750 computer can i use two MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Cards GTX 970 GAMING 4G instead? whats the differnce?

  36. says

    This blog is a must read for all gaming buffs. An extremely well-written blog with all the required technical inputs required for building the top-gaming computers, Brent.

  37. Joshua says

    hey there I’m looking at different builds for a PC with relatively the same budget and so I wanted to ask what you think about this build:
    (1) Processor: Intel Core i7-4790K
    (2) Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H Black
    (3) Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4GB
    (4) Memory: Patriot 2x8GB DDR3-2133
    (5) Solid-State Drive: Crucial MX100 512GB
    (6) Hard Drive: Toshiba 3TB 7200RPM
    (7) Case: Corsair Carbide Air 540 Silver
    (8) Power Supply: EVGA Supernova G2 850W
    (9) Optical Drive: Samsung 24x DVD Burner
    (10) Operating System: Windows 8.1
    (11) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S

  38. william says

    Hey Brent,

    I’m looking to make a build that can run games like Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen, etc…
    I’m kind of tight on a budget (1000 to maybe 1300). I was wondering what build you would recommend for being able to play these type games on the highest settings and still be able to plan for future upgrading and maybe 4K possibility. I am new to these so i might not even be able to afford that kind of capacity but I dont know any better. Thanks and I hope you reply!

  39. Yiking says

    Hi Brent great range in your listings for any specific needs.
    By the way when are we all going to need a 4k ready system, before we get flooded with 4k games?
    I also am planning on getting a new gaming rig, should never have sold my 2k $ antec 1200 looking pc a few years ago for a laptop….
    Heres what i’m considering at the moment to get back in the ”game”, racing, fps, etc
    -Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 High Airflow
    -Cooler Master GXII 650W
    -ASUS SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1 LGA1150
    -Intel Core i5 4690K
    -Cooler Master X6
    -Corsair Vengeance 8GB Kit (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24
    -eVGA GEFORCE GTX 970 SUPERCLOCKED ACX
    -Samsung 840 EVO 120Gb sata SSD
    -ASUS DRW-24F1ST 24X DVD±RW SATA
    -Microsoft Windows 8.1 64bit
    My budget is around 1700$CAN, more or less. But less then 2k. Now before you ask, the case and mobo, i choose for longevity of all components, cooling, dust freeness and looks. Didn’t mind putting some money there instead of more performance. Maybe i’m missing another hard drive. thanks!

  40. Clint Reagan says

    Brent,
    Such a helpful site. Your discussions about building over buying are swaying me and I hope for it to make for a better machine and better bank account afterwards. So thank you for all of your great advice and efforts.

    I am thinking that I will start with the Pegasus build but there are some modifications I was interested in getting comment on. I do heavy Maya, Motionbuilder, Premiere and After Effects work and am now moving into Oculus work and real time work with Cryengine, Unreal and Unity.

    I would like to start with 32GB RAM and one GTX 980 and have the ability to later expand to 64GB and a 2nd GTX 980. It looks like I will need an Asus X99-A ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard in order to have that expandability. Though I dont understand the major differences between the other X99’s.

    Do any of the other parts in the Pegasus build falter with this motherboard? Or do you have additional thoughts to help me accomplish goals for this machine.

    Thank you much for your help and efforts. Merry Christmas.

    Clint

  41. says

    Hi —

    My son is going to build your $2000 computer. I have two questions…

    1. He always has trouble with overheating. Is there a different or upgraded component needed to
    keep this build cool (when it’s on for, like a bazillion hours?)

    and

    2. He also records and mixes music. Is there something else we should be buying that would help
    that? Sound card?

    oop. I guess I have 3 questions.

    3. Will he be able to plug speakers into the $2,000 build? It takes an act of god right now to find a way to get music out of the computer he has. Do we need to buy something else so he can have speakers??

    Thank you so much for your help. Please understand… I know NOTHING about this stuff — so patronize me as much as you like!!

    thanks, Susan

  42. Ryan says

    Hello,

    I don’t know much about hardware.
    Can you tell me which are the gaming hardware that go inside people you are gaming with, rather than inside the desktop case?

    It would be good to start an email conversation with you guys.

    Thankyou,

    Ryan

    (repeated with follow-up notification activated)

  43. Niel says

    HI Brent

    I am from South Africa, and I must say I like your site. Some interesting combos here and increased my insight in regards to performance setups.

    I am building a PC right now for R32000. To put that in perspective 1$ is R11.18
    That puts my build at R2862.64

    The build is:

    1. Intel 2011 Haswell-e i7-5930K

    2. Motherboard – ASUS RAMPAGE V EXTREME, LGA2011, Intel X99 Chipset, E-ATX

    3. Memory – Corsair LSC Ram CMK16GX4M4A2666C16 D4 Lp 4Gx4

    4. CPU Cooler – Corsair Hydro Series H90 High Performance CPU Cooler

    5. Gigabyte GV-N970G1-GAMING-4GD , with WindForce3x – 3 fans design with Triangle R6,031.00
    Cool , Ultra Durable 2 ( with Low RDS(on) MOSFET + Low Power Loss – Ferrite Core
    Choke All-Solid Capacitor ) , gold plated

    6. RAIDMAX AE SERIES 1200W PSU

    7. Corsair Force LS, 240GB, 2.5″, SATA6G, 560/535MB/s

    8. HAF X 942 E-ATX

    Let me know what you think of this build. I am receiving it in 4 days.

    I will be Running Windows 7 on it.

    Thanks

    • says

      Hey Niel! Howzit? (I spent the summer of ’08 in South Africa. Best trip ever.)

      The build is great as is, but if you are still able to make changes, I would recommend going up to a GTX 980. It’s such a high-end build, so you might as well go with the best single-GPU video card on the market.

      If you need to make room in the budget for the GTX 980, you can come down quite a bit on the power supply. Even a 800W PSU will allow you to run dual GTX 980s in the future.

      You can also drop from the LGA 2011 platform down to a Z97 setup (i7-4790K and Z97 motherboard) and you won’t see an in-game performance dip.

      So, ultimately, my suggestion would be to bump up to the GTX 980 however you can.

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

      • Niel says

        Hey Brent

        Thanks for the response.

        I know the GTX 980 is a awesome card, But i had a $2800 Cap on my spending for my PC.
        This is the best I could build, it leaves a lot for upgrading, and I wont be using the computer for anything more than gaming.

        My wife uses Maya and does some rendering when she does 3D animations but even the current AMD Phenom I got 5 years ago does a decent job at that.

        The problem here is that I will drop 40$ in price with the PSU but still need to make up the $200 difference of the GTX 980. I would like to keep the MB i suggested as that is currently one of the best boards. Which enables me to Run the new CPU. The 4 Series of Intel doesn’t give the same lanes as the new 5K range which helps with running 2 cards at full capacity. I can always sell and change the MB, but having this current setup will allow me to upgrade in the near future and keep the latest tech,

        SA is a wonder place, just a shame its run by the most greed/ blind/power obsessed parliament. Such Potential to be a awesome place. I wont change this place for any other but for the sake of my future and my kids it has become a necessity to look abroad for work.

        Take care dude

      • Niel says

        Hey Brent

        Thanks for the response.

        I know the GTX 980 is a awesome card, But i had a $2800 Cap on my spending for my PC.
        This is the best I could build, it leaves a lot for upgrading, and I wont be using the computer for anything more than gaming.

        Check this link for more info on the GPU:
        http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

        My wife uses Maya and does some rendering when she does 3D animations but even the current AMD Phenom I got 5 years ago does a decent job at that.

        The problem here is that I will drop 40$ in price with the PSU but still need to make up the $200 difference of the GTX 980. I would like to keep the MB i suggested as that is currently one of the best boards. Which enables me to Run the new CPU. The 4 Series of Intel doesn’t give the same lanes as the new 5K range which helps with running 2 cards at full capacity. I can always sell and change the MB, but having this current setup will allow me to upgrade in the near future and keep the latest tech,

        SA is a wonder place, just a shame its run by the most greed/ blind/power obsessed parliament. Such Potential to be a awesome place. I wont change this place for any other but for the sake of my future and my kids it has become a necessity to look abroad for work.

        Take care dude

  44. luka says

    Hi. Im luka and I am wondering what pc is good for Minecraft shaders. I might tweak them so they have hardcore graphics. Look up for minecraft shaders. I might have grammar errors because im on phone. Please reply.

  45. Daniel says

    Hi Brent.

    Congratulations for this site and thanks for the help you are giving us.

    I just bought a SAPPHIRE TRI-X Radeon R9 290 GPU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202080)

    I wonder if I can use it with the rest of the components listed in your $1.500 build, changing the hard drive for this one:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=22-236-604&utm_medium=Email&nm_mc=EMC-GD110514&cm_mmc=EMC-GD110514-_-index-_-Item-_-22-236-604

    Have a nice week and thanks again.

    • says

      Hey Daniel, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes, you can absolutely substitute both of those into the $1,500 build.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Daniel says

        Thanks for the answer Brent.

        Just one more thing: I’m planning to work on Cryengine and Blender and use it for gaming too (Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, No Man’s Sky, Alien: Isolation, Dragon Age and The Witcher 3).

        Do you think this build will do it?

        Regards!

  46. Bob says

    Excellent guide! Thank you so much for putting it up!.

    Just of the top of your head, is there a monitor you would recommend for the 1250$ gaming PC?.

    • says

      Hey Bob, how’s it going?

      I would definitely look at gettin a 2560×1440 monitor for that build in order to get the most out of it.

      Something like this would be an affordable 2560×1440 option:

      Acer K272HUL 27-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) Widescreen Display

      But then again with Black Friday and Cyber Monday upon us, it would be worth it to look around Amazon, Newegg, TigerDirect, and some of the other online retailers for the best deal.

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

  47. Oscar says

    Hello,
    I am looking to build a gaming computer for my son. Right now, he’ll only be playing Minecraft, but I’d want it to still be solid a few years down the road. I’d also want enough power to do video editing as well as word processing. Would the $1000 setup be the best option? or is there a better configuration? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • says

      Hey Oscar, how’s it going?

      If your son is just playing Minecraft and you’re doing some video editing, you can definitely get by with something more affordable.

      I’d look at either of these builds:

      http://elitegamingcomputers.com/good-cheap-gaming-computers/#23
      http://elitegamingcomputers.com/gaming-computers/#3

      If you’re doing some heavy video editing, then you could always upgrade those processors to an i7-4790 for the hyperthreading. But, if you’re not getting to crazy with your videos, both of those setups will be fine… in fact, if your video editing needs aren’t too serious, you could get by with the $400 or $500 builds on the first link provided.

      As far as longevity goes, the two builds I linked to will hold up for at least 3 years–and will more than likely be relevant for 5 or so–playing the more demanding games on the market.

      But since your son is primarily playing Minecraft, those setups would give him more performance than he could ever need.

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

  48. Ahmid Abbas says

    I NEED UR HELP immediatly plz read
    i am extremely interested in the 1500 dollar computer and i was wondering is it all built when it gets shipped or when it arrives i need to build it plz answer

  49. Allen says

    Hi,

    What do you think about this configuration?
    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790k
    Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
    MBO: ASUS Z97-A LGA 1150
    GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 970
    RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB
    SSD: Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB
    HDD: WD Blue 1 TB
    PSU: XFX TS 550w
    Case: Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01
    ODD: Samsung 24x SATA

    I essentially mixed and matched with the 1,000 computer as my base. I plan on gaming, editing videos, and maybe streaming some. Want the computer to last awhile but have room for improvement in the future. Don’t need/want mind blowing graphics. I’m fine with pretty good graphics. I plan on getting 2 of these monitors – either http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AVYNS7M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER OR http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GMGHCVG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER) with the possibility to expand to three at some point.

    Do you have any suggestions on improving the setup? Do I not have enough or not enough of some aspect?

    Also I see there is a CPU fan included in your list, do you think I will need to get additional fans for the case? If yes, how many would you suggest?

    Any advice would be much appreciated,
    Allen

    PS. thanks for all the great work on the site. Much help for a noobie like me.

    • Allen says

      Actually thinking about going with a Corsair CX Series CX600M 600 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply. Found it for the same price and hopefully will remove some of the clutter :)

      • says

        Hey Allen, thanks for reading and commenting!

        Yep that system looks great and either the XFX 550W or the Corsair CX600M will do the trick. Both monitors look good, too.

        Overall it’s a very solid setup for what you’re looking for. And, even though you don’t need mind blowing graphics, the GTX 970 will definitely deliver that for you. So, you’re stuck with it whether you need it or not!

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

      • says

        Oh, and as for the fans, the stock fans that the Carbide Spec-01 comes with should be more than enough to keep your system within the recommended temperatures.

  50. Tony says

    /Sorry if this is a repost.

    Great site. Great info.

    I’d like to build a system for X-plane. Starting with one monitor, maybe three total at a future date.

    What pre-set parts list do you recommend from your site? Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hey Tony, no worries. I answered your question on the Good Cheap Gaming Computers post, but I’ll just copy and paste it here as well:

      “I’m not familiar with X-Plane, but looking at the requirements (found here) I’d say you could run it with most of the builds listed above.

      However, the requirements seem kind of vague. Game debates requirements suggest that you don’t need too high-end of a video card… but those requirements aren’t always spot on.

      My gut feeling says you’d be fine with the $500, $600, and $700 builds. And, you can definitely add more monitors to those later on.

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

      For that answer I was assuming your budget was $700 or lower. Any of the builds listed on this page should get the job done as well.

        • says

          Hey Tony,

          If you absolutely don’t want to build it yourself, you could go with that setup. I’m sure it will be plenty powerful enough to run X-Plane.

          However, if you want to spend that much, I’d recommend building it yourself. You could get similar performance to that for about $1,000, and that leaves you with almost $800 to spend on monitors, and other peripherals.

          Either way you go, (building it or buying that pre-built system) you should be able to run the game on max settings fairly easily.

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

          • Tony Fletcher says

            I definitely want to build my machine. I wanted to you to see that X-Plane build to see if it changed your recommendations at all. It appears to include a pretty heavy-duty video card.

            Are you thinking that I would get a similar machine/performance with your $1000 build? Thanks! Tony

          • says

            Hey Tony, how’s it going?

            Yes, the $1,000 build will actually outperform the build they suggested. If you take a look at these GTX 970 benchmarks (or any other site’s 970 benchmarks), you’ll see that the 970 actually outperforms the GTX 780:

            http://www.anandtech.com/show/8568/the-geforce-gtx-970-review-feat-evga/4

            The only thing that the X-Force PC has more of, is memory and storage space. But with an extra $700 to play with you can easily add these things in and still be well under their $1,700 price tag.

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

          • Tony Fletcher says

            Thanks, Brent. I’m going to order the parts for the $1,000 build. He we go! Thanks for all your insight.

  51. Taylor says

    Hey Brent,

    Amateur computer builder, hardcore gamer here. First off amazing site, your site has been a large influence on what I’m plan on buying.
    For the last two months I’ve been researching on what parts I should buy for a gaming desktop that will be able to run anything and everything on max settings for the next few years.

    I’ve been looking at the sexy $2,000 beast on your site
    http://elitegamingcomputers.com/top-gaming-computers/#23
    but I’ve also noticed your list of “Best High-End Processors, Motherboards…ect
    Now I’m lost on if I should buy the $2,000 machine or start my research on what you consider to be the Best High-End products.

    The main uses of my desktop is gaming, watching movies and listening to music while surfing the net and sometimes a bit of work. It is very common for me to have YouTube going while playing a graphic intensive game and jump back and forth between 7-10 different programs
    I have two 24″ resolution1920 X1880 Dell monitors, I would like to have a total of four with this new computer.
    The games I play such as: Call Of Duty, Far Cry 3, The Witcher 2, -Rage -, Battlefield, Sim city 5, along with a mix of different games.
    I think the most graphic intensive game I play is modded Skyrim. I’ve tried running Skyrim on low with some of my mods, but my old but reliable machine just can’t keep up.

    I’m trying to stay within the $2,000 range unless an extra $200 will really push it to the next level. My question to you is do you believe the $2,000 machine mentioned above will be able to fulfill my needs or do I need to look for alternative products?

    Thank you so much for all the time you put into the website.

    Taylor

    • says

      Hey Taylor, how’s it going?

      For what you want to do, yes, the $2,000 build will be more than enough. And, depending on your monitor’s resolution, it may even be overkill.

      For instance, if you’re planning on playing on a 1920×1080 or 2560×1440 monitor, I’d recommend looking at the $1,500 build as that will allow you to max those games out with ease at those resolutions.

      If you’re looking into getting a 4K monitor, then I’d stick with the $2,000 build.

      So, I guess it all depends on whether or not you have a monitor, and if so, what resolution that monitor is.

  52. Ranik says

    Hi Brent!
    Can you recommend me a Monitor for the 1250 $ Build?
    Also, do you know about the soundquality of headphones?
    If i would use a Beats Pro or a Gaming headset?
    Thanks!!

    • says

      Hey Ranik, how’s it going?

      For the $1,250 build, I’d go with at least a 2560×1440 monitor. Something like this would be great:

      ASUS PB278Q 27-Inch Professional Graphics Monitor

      Though, depending on what games you play, the GTX 980 will serve as an entry-point for 4K gaming. However, if you play more demanding games like BF4, Crysis 3, DayZ, etc. you probably won’t get the performance you’re looking for.

      So, I’d say a 2560×1440 monitor–like the one linked to above–is your best bet, but 4K gaming is a possibility if you want to go that route. You just won’t be able to play the more demanding games on max settings.

      • Ranik says

        When would a Performance of These Games, Flow without lagging?
        1750 $ Build?
        And if so, should i stay with that mentioned Monitor of yours then?

        thank you for your reply. :)

        • says

          It depends on what resolution you want to game on. 4K resolution is about the highest you can get right now, but it’s not fully optimized and is more of a hassle to run at max settings.

          If you’re looking for a hassle-free experience, I’d go with the $1,250 build plus the monitor I recommended. 2560×1440 resolution is still very impressive.

  53. Jake says

    Hello Brent,

    I have been going crazy the past couple of months trying to figure out what components to go with. I will have a budget of exactly $2,000, due to an insurance claim with FedEx destroying my $4,300 extreme water-cooled PC but, my fault for not isuring it for its full value. Anyways, I think I am just confussing myself with the more I research parts. This will be my third build but, I have been out of the game of current technology for about five years. What is the bennifit of a Z97 platform vs. an older platform, also is 2400MHz memory overkill for gaming? Questions such as those. Here is a list of the parts I have narrowed it down to. I just need some help with your expertise to let me know if anything is lacking or vise-versa, too overkill and could be scaled back to get a better monitor.

    Corsair Graphite Series 760T Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Windowed Gaming Case. $180
    Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor. $339
    ASUS MAXIMUS VII HERO LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard. $204
    ASUS STRIX-GTX970-DC20C-4GD5 Graphics Cards. $349.99
    Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 2x8GB DDR3 2400MHz PC3 19200 Red Desktop Memory $183
    Corsair Professional Series 860 Watt Digital ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Platinum Power Supply AX860i. $220
    Corsair Neutron Series GTX 2.5-Inch 240GB 6Gb/s SATA 3 Exclusive LAMD LM87800 Toggle SSD. $205
    Western Digital 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive. $75
    ASUS ROG Front Base Dual-Bay Gaming Panel. $75
    Asus Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-Ray Drive. $58

    As you can see I am going with a red/black themed build. As for the monitor, I am unsure as to what to get, whether it be a TN/ISP or either of the two in 4k. Any recommendations on that would be much appreciated also. As for what this system would be used for, would be, gaming: WoW, BF4, Crysis, SWtoR ect, and Programming: Java and C, college engineering applications etc. For me it is more about the fun in building a good looking PC than it is the actual best price on the parts. I just want to make sure it is not too overkill.
    Thanks for your time! Sorry for the LONG post, Jake.

    • says

      Hey Jake, how’s it going?

      That build looks good, and since you’re sticking to a red and black theme I don’t really have too many recommendations.

      However, if you’re looking to play games like BF4 and Crysis on 4K resolution at max settings you’ll want to modify your build or stretch your budget to include one or two GTX 980s. A single 970 just won’t max those games out at 4K.

      You could also drop down to a 1440p monitor and be fine.

      As for Z97 versus older platforms, I’d stick with Z97 simply because it’s the newer chipset, which means it has better support, and it’s pretty similar in price anyways, so there’s no reason not to go with it.

      And, 2400MHz really isn’t going to give you a noticeably boost in in-game performance. So, in my opinion it would be best to save some money and stick to 1600MHz.

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

  54. David says

    Hi Brent I’m a little tease by this guide to try to build my own computer even if it is a little scary. From what I look at I think I’ll go with one of the pre-build you made and it would be The Kraken build. I was thinking to not need to buy any new screen to use my 40inch LED TV as the screen through the HDMI port. Could it work ? or since the max resolution of the screen would be 1920×1080 in 1080 24p would be wasting the ability of the build ?
    Of course I was thinking to replace the current optical drive with a blue ray driver so I can play film on the LED TV what would be a good optical blue ray driver in this case ?

    • says

      Hey David, how’s it going?

      Yes, The Kraken would be a little overkill for a single 1920×1080 monitor. You could easily get away with the $1,000 build and max anything out on your TV at that resolution.

      And, yes, definitely use a Bluray drive if you want to play Blurays on your PC, but if you’re using Windows make sure you have the appropriate software to play the Blurays, because a Bluray drive alone won’t work.

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

    • David says

      Thanks for the reply, ok so maybe I could just keep the kraken and take one month later another screen so the kraken wouldn’t overkill like a nice ASUS PB278Q 27″. I guessed that the kraken would be able to play future game like Assasin’s creed Unity or some heavy graphics game near max settings too ?

  55. jody says

    i am a beginner when it comes to building a gaming computer .
    i play wow and swtor so tired of playing on minimum specs i want to build a gaming desktop where im gonna be blown away by the performance i only have 1,000 to do this is there any advice ? i do not know too much so i admit im a noob when it comes to building any help would be great , and since i cant find any good gaming computer i figure i would have to buy and build
    ty in advance for your help……..

  56. Tassos Greece says

    Hey there Brent thanks for sharing all this usefull tips with all of us.
    I would like you to suggest me a pc build is possible.
    I just play dota 2 / lol / lineage 2 / wow / aion / warhammer 2
    Mostly rpg online games.
    I would love to read your reply

    thanks in advance

  57. Tim says

    First of all, great site! There is so much information on here yet it is easy to read and is not overwhelming. It has been a great starting place for me as I do my first build. Anyway, I want to build a moderately priced gaming rig (around $1000 for hardware since I have to buy OS and monitor too) to run games like Battlefield 4, Assassins Creed 4+, and similar games at max 1080p and here’s what I have so far:

    -Intel i5 4690k 3.5Ghz
    -MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
    -Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    -Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive + WD Caviar Blue 1TB 7200
    -EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked ACX Video Card
    -NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition (White) ATX Full Tower Case
    -XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply

    Is there anything I should consider changing? In particular, I am not sure about the motherboard and how different motherboards compare to each other. Also, for the GTX 770, does it matter what brand it is (MSI/ASUS/EVGA)? The prices are all different on them but I’m not sure if they would perform any different. Thanks in advance!

  58. Fahim Hoque says

    Hi! I wanted to know what parts I should buy for my first build.I have a budget of $4000 and want the absolute best parts. But they should work in a perfect sync so that I could get as much as fps as possible and also want to have the very best gaming experience. Please help!

    • says

      Hey Fahim, how’s it going? What games are you planning on playing? Are you looking to game on a 4K monitor?

      You might want to take a look at this build.

      It’s a little out of date, but you’d just need to swap out the i7-4770K and the Z87 motherboard for an i7-4790K and a Z97 motherboard.

      If you’re not planning on playing on a 4K monitor, though, there’ no reason to spend $4,000 on your build. So, it really all depends on that.

  59. Giordi says

    Hello there! i wanted to ask you if u can suggest a build for me. I am going to play the next expansion of WoW and i want to be able to play in ultra at 1080p with 60 fps in 25 man raids. I have heard that WoW is one of the CPU intensive games and the GPU does matter as much… what is your opinion? should i look to make your 1000 dollars build but with a 47970k or a 4790k instead? Bare in mind that I am in greece and prices are a bit higher than in the US (meaning your 1k rig would be like 1k euros wich is like 1.3k usd). thanks in advance mate

      • Giordi says

        A friend of mine had trouble playing with an amd cpu in raids. His fps was dropping to 30 in most raids. Do u think it is worth going at the 1k build and swapping for a Sapphire r9 280 and going for an i7 4790k instead? And that because i agree that it is more cpu intensive than gpu… what gpu would u suggest to go to a build like the one i described? Keep in mind that i will play in 1080p and not more… and do u suggest corsair psus? That’s all i think :P

        • Mario says

          As a fanatical MMO player, I can tell you there is a lot of truth to that comment although most gamers who don’t engage in large scale MMO PvP are not aware of it.

          As an example, I have a build that uses an i5-4690K, 16GB of Geil 1600 RAM, and a GTX 780Ti. I can run Skyrim at Ultra settings with high res textures and all sorts of texture mods at 1080p with a constant fps > 100 thanks to that 780 Ti. The card is a beast.

          In ArcheAge, I run 120 fps all over the wild. But if I get into a crowded city, my fps can drop to 45. Same goes for large scale PvP. The numbers in Wildstar were even worse. Large scale PvP in MMOs is very CPU intensive. The standard party line that an i5 can handle any game is sort of true in that I still get fps > 30 in all cases. But there is zero doubt that my i5 is the bottleneck for me in those situations.

          If I had it to do over again, I would get an i7 and if you can afford the upgrade and are running a good graphics card like a 290 or 780 I would suggest you do the same. CPU power is essential to performance in MMOs — especially if you like large scale PvP. Don’t sacrifice your graphics card to get it — but don’t ignore it either.

          • giordi says

            Thing is that only games i am gonna playis the new expansion of wow and football manager… So ithink that anything more than an r9 280 is an overkill… I just found the r9 280x tri-x oc ina very good price for the standards of the Greek market (330 usd) and i think it is by far the best i can get for thatamount of money. Imagine that it is even cheaper than the good gtx770… Now my only question is… Should i go for the i5 4690k or the i7 4790k? T get the i7 i am gonna have to stretch my budget a bit… Aa and i forgot. What psu brand do u reccomend? I was thinking of corsair cx750m but i have read many negative comments about it…. Do u suggest an xfx pro 750? Also found the superflower gold in a better pric than the xfx which is bronze plus

  60. Ashley says

    Hello, Brent! :)

    My name is Ashley and I’m in the process of building my very first gaming pc (yay!).

    I was looking at your $1250 and your $1000 builds and wasn’t sure which was right for me–or one that might need slight tweaking.

    I want to be able to play Skyrim on ultra settings, as well as mods such as environment/textures, which I know will probably need 3-4 GPU GB rather than 2GB I’ve been told.

    I also would like this computer to last me a bit for the future as well, both with new games and longevity.

    I’m sure the cases you’ve listed have good ventilation, but do you have any suggestions for a “blue” themed build? Meaning LED lighting, fans, etc?

    Thanks, and sorry for the questions, just a bit confused by it all.

    -Ash :)

    • says

      Hey Ashley, sorry for the delayed response. Hopefully this is still applicable to you.

      I’d say you’d be fine with the $1,000 build. It will easily handle Skyrim on max settings and has extra VRAM for added mods.

      As for future-proofing, it should hold up fine for quite awhile and it can easily be upgraded if necessary.

      Also, on the last update I did I included a Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus in the $1,000 build, which has blue LEDs.

      Hope this is still relevant! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  61. Rowan K says

    I looked up and “built” all the recommended parts in the $1250 build on PC Part Picker, but it told me there were two compatibility issues with the build. It told me that “In order to fit, the Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X 4GB WINDFORCE Video Card may require removing drive bays from the Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case. The case only supports video cards up to 270mm in length without removing drive bays, while the video card is 294mm long.” and that “the Asus Z97-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard has an onboard USB 3.0 header, but the Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case does not have front panel USB 3.0 ports.”

    Are these issues trivial, or did I put together the wrong parts?

    • says

      Hey Rowan, how’s it going?

      Yes, that is an error that I need to fix. The build will still work fine with the HAF 912, but you will have to take out the hard drive cage to get the video card to fit. And, you’d only be able to use the USB 3.0 ports on the I/0 panel with that case.

      The Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus would be a similarly priced case that has one front panel USB 3.0 port and can accommodate the Gigabyte R9 290X.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  62. Rowan K says

    On PC Part Picker.com, it says that the graphics card is too big for the case in the 1250$ build, and that the Asus Z97-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard has an onboard USB 3.0 header but the case has no front port for USB 3.0.

    Is this a problem, or did I just put together the wrong parts?

  63. Daniel Rojas says

    Hi Brent.

    Going through your website I managed to pick some parts to make my killing gaming and designing machine, though I’m not sure if I can put all this together without having any technical issue. Can you tell me if this is a good combination and how much could it cost?
    Thanks.

    – Processor Intel Core i7-4930K, 64 bits.
    – ASUS Maximus VI EXTREME LGA 1150 Intel Z87.
    – Dual EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 3GB.
    – RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3.
    – DD Westerm Digital WD Blue 3 TB Desktop.
    – Ssd Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB.
    – Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.
    – Corsair RM Series 1000 Watt ATX.
    – Drive Asus Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-Ray.
    – CM Storm Stryker (negra).

    • says

      Hey Daniel, how’s it going?

      Everything looks good except the motherboard. the i7-4930K is an LGA 2011 CPU and the motherboard you have chosen is an LGA 1150 motherboard.

      So, you’d need to switch that.

      However, before you do, there are reports that the new Haswell-E CPUs will be out later this month. So, if you want an Intel Extreme processor, you might want to wait a couple of weeks, because they’re bringing 8-core CPUs and the new X99 chipset out.

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

      Best,
      Brent

  64. George says

    Hi there Brent. I was looking at your pc build for around 1000 dollars. I am in greece and prices in computer parts are way higher than in the US somi wanted to ask u if it is worth putting 100 usd on top to get a cm haf912plus and i was thinking of putting the sapphire r9 280x triple oc instead of the r9 280x you have in your build. What do u think? Could u suggest me. A couple of cheaper towers with good cooling instead of the haf?

    • says

      Hey George, how’s it going?

      I probably wouldn’t spend an extra $100 to upgrade the NZXT Source 210 to the Cooler Master HAF 912. You won’t notice that much of a difference.

      It depends on how much the Sapphire R9 280X TRI-X OC is priced in Greece. If it’s significantly higher, I wouldn’t get it over one of the standard R9 280Xs. If they’re similarly priced, then yeah I’d jump on it.

      As for some cheaper cases, you can look at the NZXT 210 (or 220), the Cooler Master Elite 430, or the Thermaltake V4 Black Edition. The Antec One is another solid option, but it’s usually the same price as the HAF 912.

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

      Best,
      Brent

      • George says

        Hello again m8. well i was checking now and prices are very different from last time i checked… well me give u a list of the gpus i am thinking of and u can give me your opinion…
        first of all for ati gpu i would choose the sapphire ones cause i think they are the best so i will be talking about these.
        R9 280 sapphire is 195 eu
        R9-280x starts at 240 and i can’t find the triple x oc any more. the dual x oc costs 260 eu.
        R9-290 tri-x oc is 360 and the vapor x is 430
        Prices in Nvidia cards have dropped significantly here in greece as we are speaking but still think the 780 is a bit more than my budget and i also think that the 770 is worse than the r9 280x or the r9 290 but let me give u prices anyway
        GTX 780 gigabyte oc is 435
        GTX 780 asus oc is 445 and Zotac which i don’t know if they are good is same price as asus
        GTX 780 sc oc EVGA is 455
        GTX 770 oc are from 275 till 330 for the evga sc acx dual bios

        • George says

          I forgot to ask one last thing. a friend of mine reccomends going for a full towers so that i will have much lowers temperatures. i think that the difference ain’t that big but please also tell me what u would choose between the following towers.
          NZXT source 210 for 60 eu
          NZXT phantom 240 for 85
          NZXT source 530 for 98
          NZXT phantom 410 for 98
          the source 530 is the same money with the phantom but it is a full tower so gimme your thoughts there

  65. Preston Brown says

    Hey Brent, thanks for the guide. This is going to be my first computer build and I was just wandering if all the parts in my set up work together and what your thoughts are on it as a whole. Thanks

    Cpu: intel core i7-4790k

    Motherboard: Asus Maximus v1 extreme

    Video card: Geforce gtx 780 ti

    Memory: Corsair vengeance memory 16g

    Hard drive: seagate barracuda 1t

    Ssd: samsung 500g

    Case: Nzxt phantom 820 ultra tower (white)

    Power supply: Silverstone strider st 1500w

    Optical drive: Samsung optical drive sh-224d/bebe

    Operating system: Windows 8.1

    Monitor: Asus pb278q 27″ 2560×1440

    Thanks again,
    Thankfully Preston

    • Preston Brown says

      Also I was wandering which would be better for my build the: asus maximus vi extreme or the asus maximus vii formula

      • says

        Hey Preston, how’s it going?

        Yep that setup is all compatible and is very beastly.

        Either of those motherboard will work, but I’d look at a Z97 motherboard for the updated chipset. The Extreme and Formula are Z87.

        The Sabertooth Mark1 Z97 and ASUS Z97-PRO would be good options. Also, make sure you throw in a good CPU cooler since it looks like you’ll be doing some decent overclocking.

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

        Best,
        Brent

        • Preston brown says

          I believe the Asus maximus vii formula has a z79 and the asus maximus vi extreme has a z87. So im going to get the formula. Also for my cpu cooler im thinking of a Phanteks PH-TC14-PE. Tell me what you think Brent? Thanks again

  66. MuslimGamer says

    Hey Brent, great website you got going here. Here is build I am thinking of going with, I am interested in maxing out any game on 1440p one a monitor setup, In game performance is my primary concern.
    1.CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz
    2.Motherboard: ASUS Z87 PRO
    3.CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler H60
    4.GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
    5.RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB
    6.SSD: Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB
    7.HDD: Western Digital Blue 1 TB
    8.Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
    9.Power Supply: Seasonic M12II 620W
    10.Optical Drive: Pioneer Internal Blu-Ray Writer

    Are all these parts compatible ? also I have a question about cooling, is liquid cooling the best for this particular system and should I use the H80 instead of the H60 ? Lastly would you recommend that SSD from samsung ? I’ve heard it is slightly faster than the one you suggest for a very similar price

  67. Justin says

    Hi Brent,

    This is the first time i have ever attempted to build a computer and would like some help. I would like you to look at the 1500$ build i would like to build and see if there are parts that would work better than the ones i am thinking of installing:

    Processor: Intel Core i5-4690K
    SSD: Intel 300 Series 180GB SSD
    MoBo: MSI Z77A-G45 motherboard (not too sure about this one)
    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 3TB hard drive
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 RAM
    PSU: Corsair GS700 power supply (not too sure about this one but it has red lights)
    CPU Cooler:Corsair H100i
    Fans: Corsair SP Quiet fans
    Case: Cooler Master CM Storm Scout II

    I based my build off a video from a year ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roFb3TNePIg) then modified the build with some of the newer parts from the 1500$ build section of this build guide. The theme I am going for is a black computer with bits of red here and there almost like red trimming. My goal is to be a stylish 1500$ computer that is as money efficient as possible, can play any high end game moderately well, and will last a long time.

    Any feedback would be great and i would love to hear what you think of my build.

    • says

      Hey Justin, how’s it going?

      Everything in that build looks good except for the motherboard. The Z77 chipset features the LGA 1155 socket, whereas the i5-4690K is an LGA 1150 CPU.

      Not too difficult of a fix, though. You can swap that motherboard out for this one:

      MSI ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97-G45 GAMING

      That has the same black and red color scheme as well.

      The power supply is a good choice as well, but I do believe it has quite a bit of blue in it. Might be better off going with something like an all-black PSU like the XFX Core Edition PRO650W unit if you want to maintain the color scheme.

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

  68. Tucker says

    Hey there. This guide is great what I’ve read so far. I’m a computer noob though and don’t know much beyond basics. So my question is that I need a computer that can be built to handle live streaming while playing League of Legends without lag or video issues. Thank you!

  69. Aaron says

    Hey Brent, this article really opened up my eyes, such a great article. I’m really into pc gaming and I’m thinking of going for a $2000+ rig. Will the dual 290x’s on the $2000 build get me max settings with a 1920×1080 display with good frame rates, was also considering samsung 4k monitor. Will this build have good 4k capability as I don’t mind future proofing the rig. Any modifications and build suggestions from you would be awesome. Sorry for long comment, really excited.

  70. demandred says

    Hi Brent

    If i take the 2000$ setup but
    modify it a little bit like:

    motherboard: ASUS sabertooth z97 mark 1

    corsair hydro h100i
    instead of the hyper 212 cpu cooler

    a NZXT 820

    I don’t know if i’m fine with

    a 850w psu
    or should i take
    a 1000w psu

    maybe for upgrades in the future
    i need the 1000w
    what’s your opinion?…

  71. Andrew H. says

    Hey there Brent! First of all, I’ve got to give you props for all the research you’ve done, your guide is going to save me a lot of money when I go to purchase my computer parts! Anyways, I have a question about the $1,250 build. The current graphics card you recommended was the Gigabyte R9 290X, but I also have the GeForce GTX 780 in mind. I have a few questions about these two graphics cards, and I’d appreciate it if you could give me some insight.

    1. Which one of the two are better?
    2. If the GeForce GTX 780 is better, is it compatible with the rest of the components of the $1,250 build?
    3. Ultimately, which one do you suggest out of the two?

    • James Storer says

      Andrew, the GTX 780 ti is a more powerful card than the R9 290X, so if you just want the best gaming GPU, get that. The R9 290X, however, is better value, in the sense that the ratio of what you pay to what you get is better than the more expensive GTX 780 ti. One other thing to consider, though, is that the R9 290X will put out a lot more heat than a GTX 780 ti, so depending on the rest of your components and the ambient temperature of the room in which you’ll be running it, that could be an important factor. For example, if I knew I was going to be putting the computer in a hot city apartment that gets above 85F during the summer, I might not go with the R9 290x.

      Personally, when I build my computer recently, I went with two GTX 780 cards in SLI (which is overkill, to be honest), but if I had decided to go with a single card solution it would have been a GTX 780 ti.

  72. Thomas Blackmore says

    Hey man firstly your website has been the biggest lifesaver especially as a new builder so thank you very much! I’ve seen you haven’t chosen the asus maximus vii hero at all instead going for the z97 pro, what would you recommend? And any equivalent level alternatives?

    • says

      Hi Demandred, thanks for reading and commenting!

      I have not specifically built inside of an NZXT H440, but I have built in NZXT cases and I’m positive that it won’t be much more difficult to build inside of than the HAF 912 is.

      While on first appearance the drive cage area and PSU slot look a little unorthodox, if you look at an open view of the motherboard-backplate side, you can see that everything is inserted from the back, rather than the front.

      I recommend watching a video or two of people building in it to get an idea of what it’s going to be like. Here’s a video PCPartPicker did with the H440 in February:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCbxJYTeBN0

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

      Best,
      Brent

  73. Neocyte says

    I have ordered all of these parts on amazon with the exception of an i5-4690k instead of the i5-4670k. I am extremely concerned about the 550w PSU you have recommended. The manufacturer of the GPU recommends a minimum wattage of 600. Are you sure that the 550w PSU will not cause any issues for the $1000 build?

    • says

      Hey Neocyte, thanks for reading!

      When getting a power supply for your system, the most important thing to look at is the amperage rating on the 12v rail. An R9 290 requires a power supply with at least 31 amps on the 12v rail. The XFX Core Edition Pro550W has 45A on the 12v rail.

      The manufacturer may recommend a minimum of a 600W PSU, but that’s mostly to protect themselves from users who purchase cheap PSUs that claim to have a high wattage, but are poorly built.

      The XFX Core Edition is a Tier 2A unit and has received excellent reviews from trusted sources (like Jonny Guru). Even if you’re planning on overclocking the 4690K, you’ll still be fine with that unit.

      However, if you want to CrossFire two 290s in the future, then you will need a high quality 800W PSU or so.

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

  74. Ryan M says

    Hi there

    Here’s my setup. All I care about is in-game performance. No video editing or graphic design or anything like that.

    Intel i5-4670K
    Gigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP
    Sapphire Radeon R9 290X
    Kingston Hyper X Blu 8G
    Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD
    Antec Three Hundred Two
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Silencer MK III
    Asus 12X BD-ROM

    A couple questions:

    1. Most important: will this setup be able to play the most demanding games on the highest settings, even higher than 1080p?
    2. Are all of the parts compatible?
    3.Would it be wise to include a cooling system? Can I get by without it?
    4. If I wanted to add a second 290X in the future, would I need to upgrade other parts as well?

    Sincerely,

    Ryan M

    • says

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

      1. Yes, this setup will max games out on 1080p and 1440p. However, on a 4K monitor you will not be able to max out the more demanding games. For that you need a multi-card configuration. It will max out non-demanding games on a 4K monitor, though.

      2. Yep, all the parts are compatible. You might want to look at a Z97 board, though, for the updated chipset.

      3. Yes, I’d add an aftermarket heatsink or liquid cooler to the build if you want to overclock. On the cheap end you can pick up a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO and that will give you adequate cooling for moderate overclocks. If you’re looking for something to hit higher overclocks, try a Noctua NH-D14 or pick up a Hydro series liquid cooler.

      4. I wouldn’t recommend that PSU for dual R9 290Xs plus overclocking. Maybe look at an 800W unit with at least 65A available on the 12v rail.

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

    • says

      Hi Andri, thanks for reading and commenting!

      The i7-4960X is way too expensive for most users and I wouldn’t recommend it for a gaming rig unless you have an unlimited budget and don’t mind overpaying.

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

  75. Jernoble says

    Hey Brent i wanna build a pc that can play Call of duty while i record it then afterwords be able to edit and render the video. i have a 2000 budget and was wondering if the pc that you put on the article for 2000 was good for that. thx

    P.S. can you also tell me if i need to buy 2 of anything on that list this is my first time XD

  76. Rupert says

    Hi Guys,

    I have been doing a lot of reading online on what computer to build(this is my first build)….and this page is by far the best. So thank you very much for the info.

    I was wondering what you thought about the following rig.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tkCTzy

    • says

      Hey Rupert! How’s it going? Thanks for stopping by!

      The build is solid as is, but it really all depends on what you’re planning on doing with your computer.

      If you want the most in-game performance possible, I’d suggest dropping the CPU to an i5-4670K (or 4690K), the RAM to 8GB, and the power supply to a quality 550W unit (like the XFX Core Edition PRO550W) and then upgrading your video card to an R9 290X or a GTX 780.

      However, if you’re also planning on using the computer for things like editing video, or graphics design work, then sticking with the extra RAM and i7 processor isn’t a bad idea.

      And, unless you’re planning on running dual video cards in the future, I’d recommend dropping down a 550-600W PSU.

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

      Best,
      Brent

    • James Storer says

      One thing to consider is that the new i7-4790K is an upgrade to the older i7-4770K (the main difference is that it runs cooler and the stock clock is faster), but it only costs $20 more on amazon right now. I also believe that despite the rumors that it would require a new Z97 motherboard it actually will work with a z87 motherboard like the one you picked.

      That being said, you could also consider going for a z97 motherboard, which has a newer chipset and therefore more forward compatibility. The asus z97 pro is again only $20 more expensive than the older z87 pro on amazon right now.

      You should use the EVGA supernova 850w power supply instead. It costs the same, but quite frankly its just plain better, and it has a 10 year warranty, which is fantastic.

      Personally, I just built a system a few weeks ago with the asus z97-A, an intel core i7-4790k, and the CM storm stryker, and I can whole heartedly recommend those components. The case is a really good pick and easy to build in. I recommend rotating the front drive cage and fans so that the fans pull air in from the front of the case, not the side, as it will give you better airflow. The instructions for how to do that are included in the case manual.

      You could consider a better air cooler considering that your components will allow it. For my build, I went with a noctura NH-D14 CPU cooler, and it works REALLY well in this set up. The case is roomy enough to allow a massive air cooler like that, and the noctua is better than the EVO 212, although it is 40 bucks more expensive.

      If you decide you like the noctua, just make sure your RAM fits under it. A double tower cooler will overhang the RAM slots, so you need low profile ram. The corsair RAM you have picked won’t fit, but you can get comparable RAM, like crucial balistix sport 2x 8GB, that will perform the same.

      So basically I would recommend spending an extra 80 bucks. 20 for a newer version of the CPU, 20 for a newer version of the motherboard, and 40 for a better CPU cooler. Considering your price point, thats not too much of an increase but it will give you better performance and more options for the future due to having the newer intel z97 chipset. I also recommend switching to the power supply I mentioned, and switching your RAM to low profile RAM if you think you like the Noctua cooler.

  77. James says

    I have a question about the CM storm stryker case you mention in this guide. I really like it and it seems to have great reviews, but my one concern is that because it is a larger case the cables that come with the power supply you recommend for the case (Seasonic M12II 850) might not be long enough to reach the motherboard or graphics card. This concern is based on some reviews of that power supply on newegg that mention this kind of problem. Any thoughts? If I did run into this problem, are there extension cables I could buy? Any help would be appreciated, I am very new to this.

    By the way, I’ve been wanting to build a PC for a long time now, and this is the best written guide BY FAR that I’ve come across, so thanks very much.

  78. David Moore says

    Hello,
    thanks for the article, great help, but I have a question, being aware that the price would be pushed up, could I possibly switch out the Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4 GHz from the $1000 rig for the one on the $2000 rig? If so, would it still fit the socket and the case, etc?

    Respectfully,
    David Moore

  79. Dan says

    Hi, I noticed for the last two build’s you has two video cards, does that mean I need to buy two if I wanted to build this or was that a typo, also if I was to build this, could I use two MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti’s instead?

    • ThePunisher says

      Usualy two GPU’s give better performance for money and you dont need to put two if you dont want.And yes you can use MSI ones it depends wich ones you prefer and MSI twin frozer has a good cooling

  80. ThePunisher says

    Hi guys so its my first time building a pc and i came up a list of thing is would like to get
    -Intel i7 4770k
    -Asus sabertooth z98 mark 1
    -Evga geforce gtx 780 x2 sli
    -Corsair hydro H100i (CPU liqui cooling)
    -Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance black 1600
    -Samsung 840 EVO 250GB (SSD)
    -WD 1TB cavari blue (HDD)
    -Corsair RM850 (psu)
    -Corsair 750d (case)
    With all these components beeing listed im not sure should i go for dual 780’s or mybe single
    780ti or even Titan.And for PSU not really sure if its enough if im gonna use duals and Corsair RM850 and RM1000 are like 40 bucks diffrence and i would like to OC the hole system probably to its max.If you guys have any reccomendations or point out some stupid choises i made would like if you could post them.Thank you

  81. Tobias says

    Hey Brent,

    Thank you for this magnificent article and the effort you have put in it.
    It really helped me a lot and it reads very fluent.
    After reading it i’ve decided to go for it and build one my own PC.

    These are the components that i would like to put together:

    -ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0
    -AMD FX-8350 BLACK EDITION
    -MSI GEFORCE GTX 780TI GAMING 3G/Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 WindForce OC 4GB
    -CRUCIAL BALLISTIX SPORT 16 GB DIMM DDR3-1600
    -WD BLUE WD10EALX 1 TB
    -COOLER MASTER HYPER 212 EVO
    -XFX PRO 750W
    -CRUCIAL M500 120 GB
    -case:(not decided)

    I still have my doubts about 2 things tough:

    You’ve recommended not go for the Fx-8350 if it’s your first time build but i really like the fact that it has eight cores(for multithreading and next- gen gaming). So is it really a bad idea to do this?
    Next one is the video card. I am a gamer but not a hardcore one and high frame rates aren’t the most important thing for me.
    The only thing that i do care is that i can’t see a notable difference on the monitor an that my gaming card wouldn’t get outdated in a long time
    That’s why i’m wondering if i should go for ‘the epic beast 780ti card’ or the Radeon R9 290 WindForce OC 4GB and maybe in the future upgrade to crossfire ( with the Radeons).
    I’ve read about the Physx on the Nvidia cards but is it really worth it?
    And with worth it i mean like paying 250 dollars( I live in Europe so hardware like this is more expensive) more for an Nvidia card :) .

    Any suggestions and help are most welcome!

    All the best,

    Tobias

    • says

      Hey Tobias! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      There’s nothing wrong with going with the FX-8350 over the Intel Core i7-4770K. I typically recommend Intel processors for their added efficiency, but for in-game purposes, an the i7-4770K/i5-4670K aren’t going to give any noticeable performance increase over the FX-8350 and vice-versa.

      So, you’re fine getting the FX-8350.

      As for the video card, it really depends on what games you play… If you’re not a hardcore gamer and frame rates aren’t super important, then I’d say you could spend a lot less total on your build. (Under $1,000, in fact.)

      You have the budget to max anything out on 1440p resolution, but if that’s not important to you, then you’d might prefer saving quite a bit of money by going with a less-expensive build.

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

      • Tobias says

        Well i’m planning to play Witcher 3: Wild hunt, The Division, Far Cry 4,Mass effect, Max Payne 3, Deadspace 3 maybe Total War,Hoping new Borderlands… and al the other epic games that you can play. I want ultra setting on al of these games with a 2560×1440 monitor and good frame rate that won’t be slacking down.This for the next 4-6 years. Will crossfire wit the Radeons give me that? Or should i invest in a more expensive video card? The most important thing for me is that it isn’t going to lack down behind next- gen consoles

  82. PcBuilder65 says

    Im planning on building a gaming computer. I created a list of what to buy, i want to max out games on 1080p like Battlefield 4, call of duty black ops 2, Grand Theft Auto 5 when its released..

    Here is the list:

    – Cooler master Haf Xm mid tower
    – 60 gb sandisk ssd (for fast bootup only)
    – Western Digital 2 Tb black series 7200 Rpm
    – Corsair 600W Bronze 80 plus certified
    – Asus z897 pro motherboard
    – Kingston ddr3 1600 mhz 8 Gb
    – Saphire r9 270x dual x 2gb ddr5
    – Intel Core i7 4770K
    – Corsair H80i Dual fans for liquid cooling

    Good build?

    • says

      Hey PC Builder! How’s it going?

      That build will get the job done, however, I’d drop down to an i5-4670K (or the 4690K when it’s released in a week) and then upgrade to an R9 280X/GTX 770. Unless, of course, you’re also doing a good bit of streaming/video editing.

      Also, I’m assuming you’re going with the Corsair CX600? I’d advise getting something like the OCZ ZT 550 or XFX Core Edition PRO550W, as they are better units and cost the same or less.

      All in all, though, that build will get the job done. But the GPU upgrade makes more sense in my opinion.

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

  83. Jsteve says

    hey,
    out of almost 100 sites that I’ve been through, this is the one website I think would help everyone, not only for those who are starting.

    So okay, I am new to building a computer, BUT I’m starting now. I’m a real fan and an enthusiast of computer in every way, I just didn’t get the chance to acutally think of building one.

    So, I love to play MMORPG games and at the same time, I love to edit videos and other multimedia stuffs.

    can you help me build something that would suit my lifestyle but the same time, Since I am starting to learn building my own computer, something that is fully flexible for upgrades.

    My starting would be like around $1250-1500.. I’d like to start from the bottom but at the same time I want it to be able to do everything that I needed it to do.

    I’m really looking forward for this.

    Thank you very much! :)

    • says

      Hey Jsteve, how’s it going? I’m glad you like the site!

      Since you’re into editing videos I’d recommend going with either the $1,250 or the $1,500 builds and then adding an i7-4770K (or i7-4790K when it’s released in a few days).

      If you want to save money, you could even go with the $1,000 build (and add the 4770K/4790K) and be completely fine, seeing as MMORPG’s typically aren’t very demanding.

      All three of those builds have plenty of upgrade potential as well. Though if you plan on running dual video cards in the future, you might want to consider a high quality 700-800W power supply.

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

      • Jsteve says

        Brent,

        So, I really do a lot of multi tasking, just my nature. Like while I’m editing a video in a minute, next thing you know I’ll be playing a game on alt+tab. Will this builds allow me not to have any freeze or lag?

        Again, thank you!

        • says

          Well, it depends on how much you’re doing at one time. Video editing while gaming at the same time will be taxing for most systems, but this setup has the extra threads to handle those kinds of situations better.

  84. Tom Harris says

    Hey i was wondering what is the most ideal rig for Star Citizen because its release date is possibly years away with modules coming out that i cant handle. First i am on a 2000$ Dell inspiron laptop from late 2012. i cant even run it on default res for my laptop which handles ultra graphics pretty well. I am looking to get a PC max budget is 3000$ atm is 3000 to high or is 2500-2000 pretty much the same? thank you for reading this

  85. Sorkary says

    Hello,

    I need some help and Iknow this question is a little dumb. I’m planning to play the game Black Desert once it releases but I will need to buy a new computer. Taking in count my budget I was looking at your 1.750 dollar gaming computer and I want to know if the game will play decently in that computer.

    The game requirements I know are the following:
    – Intel Core i5
    – 40 GB of disk space
    – 6GB Ram
    – GTX 650 / GTX 550 Ti / Radeon HD 7770 / Radeon HD 6770

    • says

      Hey Sorkary, how’s it going?

      Yes, the $1,750 rig will handle Black Desert just fine. It meets and surpasses every category with ease. So, you’re good to go.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  86. Mahavir Jain says

    Hey which z97 board to consider for 200$ ..with i5 4670k and suggest me PSU for 660 ti graphic card nvidia ..please help me with this confusion ..

  87. Wren says

    I like this whole guide, very thorough, I have never put together a computer but this helps. I feel I still need help in actually putting it together and making sure the components work together, this worries me. Do you have any recommendations? Here is what I have picked so far

    -NZXT Phantom 820 case.
    -i7-4470k processor
    -I’m going to put in an optical drive and I know it doesn’t matter which one.

    I just need to find out what motherboard and graphics card will work with this processor and with each other, and which power supply would be best, I was thinking the XFX black edition I’m just confused on compatibility

    • says

      Hey Wren, how’s it going?

      You can download our guide for the step-by-step directions, or use a video like this one to help you through the build itself:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls&feature=kp

      As for the components you’ve selected, those are great options. However, if you’re just gaming, you can drop down to the i5-4670K and put the extra $100 into your GPU.

      For your motherboard, you’ll want to look at a Z87/Z97 motherboard. And, your power supply depends on the GPU you get, but if you’re running a single GPU setup with no plans of running dual video cards in the future, a solid 550W or 600W PSU will do the trick.

      If you need additional help, you can either post in the forums with your total budget, or email me directly at bhale@elitegamingcomputers.

      All the Best,
      Brent

  88. Joe says

    Hey i’m looking at creating the very best rig i can with $2000+ but am getting far too confused with people around me saying what i should and shouldn’t get. I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction. Like i say i have more than $2000 to spend and am just looking for the smoothest and fastest gaming rig that i can also use for movies and downloads like MMOs that i could possibly ever need.

  89. Hero887 says

    I am building a HTPC and I was curious if I could use the Mac OS on a AMD build. Is that possible? (I understand that Mac OS does not play many video games and Windows is king when it comes to PC gaming, but I plan to dual boot.) If it’s not possible on an AMD build, is it possible on a Intel build to install Mac OS?

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