October 2013′s $600 – $1000 & $1500 Budget Gaming PC Builds

Gaming PC Builds – October 2013

Choose your budget –

October 2013 PC Builds - Newb Computer BuildIntroduction:

Welcome to the Halloween edition of gaming pc builds here at Newb Computer Build. I debated adding in some sort of spooky vibe to the builds this month, but I digress. The builds have all changed this month major changes to the $600 build, a few hardware swaps in the $1000 build and a couple pieces of newly released hardware in the $1500 build.

The $600 build was lightly inspired by the Q3 Toms Hardware Builder Series $650 this month. I did choose the same less wattage PSU and less featured motherboard, however this did allow me to squeeze in a much more powerful Radeon 7870 graphics card; the last few months of the $600 have proven to get stronger and stronger.

If you are looking for a strong willed mid range gaming pc build this month, then the $1000 build should do the trick. The motherboard has been swapped from the last MSI Gaming Series board used for the last couple of months to an Asus Z87 Plus, which is a very similar board, just more affordable at the moment. Also, Zalman came out with a new tasty Zalman MS800 PC case – Zalman always seems to be able to squeeze in high end featured on a budget.

Corsair has had a few new releases in the last month and a couple of them are included in this months $1500 build. Included is the very new big and sleek Corsair 750D pc case and the very new power supply line, the Corsair RM series of power supplies – which have included monitoring software, are fully modular and very silent with a Zero RPM fan mode.

$600 Gaming PC Build of the MonthMonthly Gaming PC Build ( $601 ): October 2013

(Game at Smoothly with Medium – High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions)

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA) Scorptec.com.au(AUS) pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
 
Hardware Link
Estimated Price: $ 601
Processor 

AMD FX-6300 FX-Series Six-Core Processor Edition, Black AM3 FD6300WMHKBOX 

Price: $109.99

Motherboard
MSI Computer Corp. Socket AM3+ AMD 970 DDR3 SATA3 and USB 3.0 A&GbE ATX Motherboard 970A-G43
 
 
Price: $66.99
Graphics Card
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-Express 3.0 Graphic Card GV-R787OC-2GD
 
 
Price: $199.99 (Major upgrade in graphics)
RAM 

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 

Price: $74.99

Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKXPrice: $55.00
Power Supply 

Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply 

Price: $37.98

Computer Case 

NZXT Technologies Source 210 Computer Case (Black) 

Price: $34.23

Optical Drive 

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 (Black) 

Price: $20.95

Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build

Quite a few changes to the $600 build this October 2013. This build has been lightly inspired by the Q3 Toms Hardware Builder Series $650 build this month as I did decide to go with the same lower wattage Antec 450 watt PSU and the same MSI 970A-G43 motherboard. This allowed us to free up some cost and stick in a much more powerful graphics card – the Gigabyte Radeon 7870 2Gb graphics card as seen above. Overall, this would be a very solid purchase for the gamer on a budget as this card will play a ton of games maxed at 1920×1080, with some of the more intense games turned down just a little bit.

We still have the AMD FX 6300 processor which has an unlocked multiplier allowing it to be easily overclocked. 8GB of RAM is plenty for this gaming pc, the 500GB western digital fits in as perfect as usual and the new case for this build this month is the NZXT Source 210 case – which has been used before in the $600 pc buid.

Upgrades / Alternatives for the $600 Gaming PC Build:

Here you will find some hardware alternatives to the hardware already included in the build above. Keep in mind that these are alternatives and are all compatible with the current build. If you want some more suggestions for alternatives or additions to the current build, you just leave a comment below and I will respond back as soon as I can.

These upgrades are some alternatives to the above. If it were me and I had a little extra to spend, I would start with either the AMD FX 8320 processor or the Radeon HD 7950 graphics card. Although, for about $20 more you can get a much more spiffy case or for about only $10 more you could get double the hard drive space in a 1TB western digital blue hard drive.

Processor Alternative: AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core Processor Black Edition AM3+ FD8320FRHKBOX ($153.61)
Alternative PC Case: NZXT Guardian 921 RB ATX Mid Tower Case, Black 921RB-001-BL ($59.99)
Graphics Card Alternative: XFX Double D HD7950 925MHz 3GB DDR5 2XMiniDP HDMI DVI PCI-E Graphics Cards FX795ATDKC ($269.99) WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache – WD10EZEX ($64.95)

$1000 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $1002 ): October 2013

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Capability: Game with Extreme settings at 1920X1080 resolutions and even High Settings in some games at 2560×1600

All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA) Scorptec.com.au(AUS) pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
 
Hardware Link
Estimated Price: $ 1002
Processor Intel Core i5-4670K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.4 GHZ 6 MB Cache – BX80646I54670KPrice: $229
Cooler *none – as it pushes this build over budget, however I would recommend the Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler – especially before you start overclocking the Intel 4670K processor.
Motherboard Asus Z87-PLUS DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 MotherboardPrice: $144.99
Graphics Card

Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC with Boost 3GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11197-03-40GPrice:$309.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00
Price: $74.99
Hard Drive WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache – WD10EZEXPrice: $64.99
SSD *none – check the additions / alternatives section below for options!
Power Supply 

XFX PRO650W Core Edition 80+ Bronze ATX 650 Energy Star Certified Power Supply 

Price: $76.49

Computer Case Zalman ATX Mid Tower Case – Black MS800 

Price: $79.99

Optical Drive 

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 (Black) 

Price: $20.95

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

The $1000 build this month has had a few changes, this includes the inclusion of the ASUS Z87 Plus motherboard, which is very easy to overclock with, good on-board audio and tons of expansion. The change to the Sapphire Radeon 7970 3GB card was to match the price of last month 7970, as that did raise in cost. Lastly, Zalman release a nice new case – the Zalman MS800 Plus. What I like about Zalman is that they always seem to be able to squeeze in pricey features into a affordable budgets. The Zalman case has room for plenty of fans with 4 included, along with a great ventilation system. There is also a cool multifan controller at the top of the case and a PSU dedicated cooling system. To read more on the Zalman MS800 Plus case visit the Zalman MS800 features page for this case.

Along with the changes above we have included the Intel 4670K processor again with 8Gb of Crucial Ballistix RAM and the same XFX 650 Watt PRO power supply.

$1000 Gaming PC Build Additions / Alternatives

The following are additions and or alternatives to pair with the $1000 PC build above; each of the hardware are compatible with the $1000 build. If you have any questions for further additions / hardware alternatives, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

If you have an extra $30 or so, I would highly recommend the purchase of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO  CPU cooler, which will give you the adequate cooling needed to efficiently overclock your Intel 4670K processor.

Add a SSD Boot Drive: Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2= (+ $105.24) –
Upgrade your graphics card: MSI Computer Corp. Video Graphics Card N770 TF 2GD5/OC ($399)
Crossfire with another Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC with Boost 3GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11197-03-40G Price:+$309.99 Add a CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1) (Price: $33.24)

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer BuildMonthly Gaming PC Build ( $1506 ): October 2013

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1600

All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA) Scorptec.com.au(AUS) pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
 
Hardware Link
Estimated Price: $ 1506
Processor Intel Core i5-4670K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.4 GHZ 6 MB Cache – BX80646I54670KPrice: $229.99
Cooler 

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) 

Price: $33.24

Motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 MotherboardPrice: $207
Graphics Card 

MSI Computer Corp. Video Graphics Card N770 TF 2GD5/OCPrice: $399.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2CP8G3D1609DS1S00 

Price: $119.27

Hard Drive WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache – WD10EZEX 

Price: $64.95

SSD 

Samsung Electronics MZ-7PD128BW 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA 6Gbps Solid State DrivePrice: $131.49
Power Supply Corsair RM Series 750 Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified Power Supply – CP-9020055-NA RM750 

Price: $129.99

Computer Case 

Corsair Obsidian Series 750D Performance Full Tower Case CC-9011035-WW 

Price: $159.99

Optical Drive 

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 (Black) 

Price: $20.95

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

The $1500 has had a couple of new additions this month and they are primary from Corsairs release of a few new products. Corsair has had a few new releases in the last month – included is the very new big and sleek Corsair 750D pc case and the very new power supply line, the Corsair RM series of power supplies – which have included monitoring software, are fully modular and very silent with a Zero RPM fan mode.

Learn more about the Corsair 750D Full Tower Chassis or Learn more about the Corsair RM Series Power Supplies

Again I have included the ASUS Maximus VI Hero motherboard. This motherboard is a very friendly overclocking motherboard that has a fantastic detailed BIOS and overall this motherboard is definitely one of the best value motherboard for what you get with it.

Some other features of the ASUS Maximus IV Hero include –

  • SupremeFX – Supremacy through discrete-caliber audio
  • Sonic Radar – Scan and detect to dominate
  • Extreme Engine Digi+ III – Hardcore power delivery with premium components
  • GameFirst II + Intel LAN – Put Your Frags First

To learn more visit the ASUS Maximus IV Hero webpage

$1500 Gaming PC Build Additions / Alternatives

The following are additions and or alternatives to pair with the $1500 PC build above; each of the hardware are compatible with the $1500 build. If you have any questions for further additions / hardware alternatives, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Included is a new Haswell i7 4770K for anyone that wants that extra CPU boost. I also include the reccomendation of SLI with another GTX 770. If you feel you are not comfortable with the SLI option, you can always just purchase a single GTX 780 instead and still get great performance! Also, do you want more SSD space, then opt for a 512GB Samsung PRO series solid state drive.

Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.5 GHZ 8 MB Cache BX80646I74770K ($338.98)
SLI with another –
MSI Computer Corp. Video Graphics Card N770 TF 2GD5/OC (+$399)
Get a better single Graphics Cards: Gigabyte GTX780 GDDR5-3GB 2xDVI/HDMI/DP OC Graphics Card GV-N780OC-3GD REV2.0 ($649.99)
A Larger SSD: Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 512 SATA_6_0_gb Solid State Drive MZ-7PD512BW ($430.79) – Price drop (~$20)


Concluding October 2013’s Gaming PC Builds:

Thank you for reading another month of the Newb Computer Build Gaming PC Builds of the Month. If you are building this month or have any questions / comments then please feel free to leave them below – we always love to share ideas and converse!

Good luck building 🙂

October 2013’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video:

Corey

Hello, my name is Corey and I run Newb Computer Build - A site where you can come learn about the Gaming Hardware you need in order to run the latest PC games: Check out the Monthly Gaming PC Builds. If you have any input or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments. Google+

38 thoughts on “October 2013′s $600 – $1000 & $1500 Budget Gaming PC Builds

  1. Hi Corey,

    Just bought all the components for the October $600 build with an upgrade to the hd7950 video card and the NZXT 921 case.

    So far I’m excited about this build but have run into a hitch. The Antec vp-450 doesn’t seem to have the needed connectors to power the hd7950 video card. It does have a 6 pin pci-e power connector but the video card needs that plus an 8-pin pci power connector, which the vp-450 doesn’t have.

    So here’s my question: would it be feasable to get some sort of an adapter cable to use either the 4-pin molex connectors or the 2 @ 4-pin ATX connectors and get an adapter to connect them via 8-pin pci to the hd7950?

    I was assuming that the build and upgrades would all play nicely together as specified in your article and am hoping you could make a suggestion as to how I could most eff9iciently get this system up and running.

    Thanks!
    Dave

    1. Hello Dave,

      As I’m not 100% sure, does the Radeon 7950 come with another adapter – something like a 4-pin to 6/8 pin PCI Express adapter? If it does you can use that. You can always get a 6 – 8 pin connector ( http://www.svc.com/cab-97.html ) if it doesn’t. I do apologize if all the necessary components were not included for the upgrades, however sometimes it’s hard to determine everything that may come with a particular product like the graphics cards – so many variables!

      1. Thanks Corey. No adapter was included with the Video card so I ended up buying a 2xmolex to 8-pin PCIe adapter.

        Unfortunately, when I fired everything up, all the fans and lights came on but nothing happened on my monitor. It just remained black. I tried moving the video card to the other pci slot, disconnecting power to everything but the motherboard and video card, multiple different hdmi and mini display connectors and 2 different monitors. Unfortunately I was unable to get even a flicker from a monitor.

        This is very frustrating, as you might imagine. I’m fairly confident it was assembled correctly and have checked and rechecked virtually everything. My first instinct is that it’s a bad video card.

        However, I’d like to verify that after assembling everything I should be able to fire up the system and see the BIOS info (or at least something) on the monitor. Is that correct?

        Any advice or suggestions you could provide to help would be greatly appreciated!

        1. Indeed frustrating! You should definitely get something to the monitor if the video card is working, keep in mind though that MSI motherboard and the CPU do not have onboard or integrated graphics, so we are relying on the video card here.

          Does the graphics card seem to be powering (ie fans spinning)? Do you have a separate graphics card by any chance? Is the hard drive spinning? Is your hard drive plugged into both the motherboard and the power supply?

          1. Thanks Corey!

            Yes, all fans (video card, cpu, ps and case) have been spinning and both the dvd and hd have been getting power. And both were plugged into the mobo.

            I put in a windows 8 install disc and pressed delete on startup and could hear the drive spinning.

            The Harddrive is completely blank and unformatted.

            Unfortunately, I don’t have another video card to try out.

            I read somewhere that in this situation I should disconnect power to all but the video card and the mobo in case it’s an underpower issue. I did that and no luck.

            The video card does suggest a >500w ps but using extreme power supply calculator lite (extreme.outervision.com) I calculated a PSU wattage of 391w for this system, so I highly doubt inadequate power’s to blame.

            In any case, you said that I should definitely get something to the monitor if the radeon is in fact working. Well, despite its spinning dual fans, there’s been no sign of life whatever on either monitor on the multiple times I’ve tried to fire this system up.

            So all things being equal, does this seem likely that I may have gotten a video card that was DOA?

            1. Hello David,

              Yeah I would come to the conclusion then that the video card is the culprit. And I did do the same as you and calculate the same 390 or so wattage, so I would say you have a definite good amount of power. I would also see if you can get anything from the Video Cards support at XFX to see if they have anything to say about it. I feel for you!

  2. Hello,

    I really like your site and have been referencing it while selecting parts towards building a computer that can handle Battlefield 4 on High settings. So far I’ve acquired a suitable fan, hard drive, optical drive, and case. I have a budget of about $600 – $800 (other than what I’ve spent on parts already) and was wondering what changes, if any, you would recommend to your $600 build with my goal and price range in mind. Thanks for any input and great job on your builds.

    ~Wynand

    1. Hello Wynand,

      Thanks for the comment and Battlefield 4 does seem to be the theme of builds as of late. As I was discussing below with Douglas, your best bet would be to reference these benchmarks for video cards – http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-4-graphics-card-performance,3634-8.html

      Basically, get the best card you can on that list that will fit into the budget. And I would pair that with either of the CPU’s in the $600 build ( The FX 6300 or 8320). This should be fairly achievable within that budget over and above the components you already got.

      However, keep in mind as you go up in video cards you will need more power supply juice – which you can look at the $1000 build for an example that would fit nicely into most single card setups (the XFX 750 watt one).

      Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

      1. Thanks! I ended up going with the 750 watt power supply and the 8320 CPU like you recommended. Those parts paired with the 7870 graphics card and 16 GB of RAM has me running the game on High settings with really stable frame-rates. The larger power-supply has me feeling confident for future upgrades as well. Thanks for all of your advice.

  3. Hello Corey,
    First off, I just want to let you know that I have been staying active to this site since early 2012. I have gained a fair amount of knowledge since then about PC parts in general. Now due to my birthday and holidays coming up, it is finally about time for me to purchase parts and build my own PC.

    My budget was originally $1000 (CAD). I have a set list of parts that I want to include in my build. The problem is, I am exceeding my budget. I am quite picky and ignorant when it comes to certain PC parts, as I like to have a certain color theme and feel to my build. I was wondering if you could help me decide where I can save some money in my build to get closer to my budget cap. I will include a PCPartPicker link of the components I have planned, and a list of the parts with TigerDirect.ca pricing in this message, so you know how much it would actually cost me.

    PCPartPicker Link: http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/partlist/

    TigerDirect.ca Price (What I would be paying):

    Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processorr – $234.99
    Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler – $99.99
    MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard – $159.99
    Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory – 99.99
    Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive – $69.99
    MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card – $259.99
    Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case – $99.99
    Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply – $119.99
    Samsung DVD/CD Writer – $19.99
    Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) – $89.99

    Total Price Not Including 13% TAX (CAD): $1,254.99

    There it is, PCPartPicker List, and TigerDirect.com actual price list. Like I said, I am picky and ignorant when it comes to some components. Although I would like to see where I can save some money (while still getting top notch performance), I would not like to change these components as I would really like them in my build:

    Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processorr – $234.99
    Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler – $99.99
    MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard – $159.99
    MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card – $259.99
    Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case – $99.99

    I do realize that some of those components are rather expensive, but like I said, I would like to stick to my Black and Red, MSI themed build. If you could, try not to switch these parts out since I do have my mind set and locked on them.

    When it comes to the Power Supply and RAM, I do not really understand which is good or bad. So maybe I can change something there.

    I want to let you know that this my first ever build, so I really need all the tips I can get. This build should last me a while, with room for upgrading in the future. I have spent hours upon hours looking at different parts just to ensure that my build is reasonably good.

    I apologize for the long message, but I hope you can help me with my problem ,Corey. I just want to say keep up the good work, you do a great job managing this site and helping others out.

    Thank you, Nik.

    1. Hello Nik,

      Wonderful to hear you have been around since early 2012! And I am sorry for a 6 day delay in my response, so hopefully I’m not too too late.

      I love all of the hardware you chose (however you PC Part Picker link seemed to be empty for me).

      First, right off the top I would skip the liquid CPU cooler. I know it’s in the list you will not change, but you can skip getting a cooler altogether right now and purchase when you save a tad more. I say this since,, it isn’t a must for the build since the 4670K does come with a stock cooler and unless you want to overclock the heck out of this thing directly out of the box, you won’t need it right away; I assume since this is your first build, that this is probably not the case.

      Using Tigerdirect.ca

      You can save some on RAM with this http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8033819&CatId=4534 ($68 with rebate) and it will perform the same (plus its black)

      For a PSU this XFX 650 will be perfect and is only $93 right now – http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=125450&CatId=5432

      Other then that there isn’t much to change from the components you have already settled on. Do attempt to check prices at the big three for Canada – amazon.ca – memoryexpress.com tigerdirect.ca & newegg.ca. Looking at tiger express right now it does look like they are offering free shipping.

      Hopefully this helps a tad, let me know if you have anymore questions or how it goes!!

  4. Hello Corey. I have a fairly decent PC at the moment but with the release of battlefield 4 I was wanting to beef up my graphics card. I’m currently using a NVIDIA GeForce 560 Ti and was wondering what the smart choice was. I’m interested in buying NVIDIA again as they are offering the new assasins creed and splinter cell games with the cards. I’m not wanting to spend more than what the GTX 760 comes in at. Do you think it’d be best just to go for the top price NVIDIA GTX 760 card in my price range?

    1. Hello Douglas,

      I would say if your goal is to maximize FPS on Ultra settings at 1920×1080, then yes I would go with the NVIDIA GTX 760. Some benchmarks here ( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-4-graphics-card-performance,3634-8.html ) Compare the GTX 760 to the GTX 670 and Radeon 7950 to get an idea of what I mean – which is 38 – 42 FPS at those settings and even better on High Settings. If you do plan on playing High settings at 1920×1080 then it looks like a GTX 660 would be your next best bet.

  5. Hello Corey,
    After years of purchasing PCs for gaming, I have decided to finally build one for my wife. Her system was still running Vista which tells you that the need was long overdue. Fortunately, I have friends and family who have built their own systems so they were able to provide us with some insight and spare parts. While doing my own research, I came across this site, and found a lot of the suggestions were similar. So, I went into the venture with a $700 budget, and hit the number almost exactly… $699.95 (thanks mostly last Saturday’s roadtrip we took to Delaware, where sales tax is $0). In the end, we walked away with an i5-4670K processor, an Asus Z87-A motherboard, a Radeon HD 7850 graphics card, a WD blue 1TB 7200rpm HD, and a Kingston HyperX 2x4GB DDR3 RAM bundle. She jumped from barely 5-10fps to 80fps in a day. Phase II of her system will be to include a 64GB SSD boot drive, and 16GBs of additional RAM. Of course, the first priority of the new year will be to build a system for myself. Thank you again for your insight.

    1. Hello Steve,

      I would agree with you in saying that your Wife’s Vista system was probably long overdue. Awesome job hitting it right on the $700 budget – and with some great hardware to match. I believe this is a prime example of why one should plan and shop around for what they want as you squeezed much more into a standard $700 build making it well worth it. I’m glad to have provided some insight and wish you luck with building your own in the coming new year 🙂

  6. Thanks! Actually, I was also wondering if you could provide me with some insight as I am debating whether i should choose the FX-6300 or the FX-8320 for my $600 build.

    Some benchmarks indicated that that FX-6300 generally isn’t too far behind the FX-8320. How much faster actually is the FX-8320 and is it really worth the extra $40 when it comes to raw speed and power?

    Also, will the FX-8320 likely be a better investment in the long term? I want a computer that will last me awhile and hopefully stay relevant as long as possible.

    If I do end up getting the FX-8320, will overheating be a problem (without overclocking) with only the stock cooling system and fans included with that NZXT Source 210 case? I’m asking this because I was looking at some reviews on amazon and newegg and I got worried as a saw multiple people say that they had problems with it getting too hot.

    I really appreciate your help so far!

    1. Hey,

      I would personally just go with the FX 6300, as it really is a good processor – especially if you have gaming mainly in mind. The cool thing about the 8320 is that it is an eight core processor – which may prove useful going into the future, but probably not so much for gaming (just a guess). Either way, I wouldn’t fret too much about anything overheating without overclocking. Even the Intel 4670K’s included in the other two builds have similar reviews depending where you read. If things get hot, you can always buy a $20-30 cpu cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212.

      The NZXT Source 210 is by no means a top end case, but it will get the job done perfectly well. It comes with the one rear fan, although it has the option for many more. If you wanted to get one more for safe keeping, you can always get a cheap 120mm and stick it on the top ($5-6).

  7. Hey Corey, great and informative post. Unfortunately for me though, I’m in the UK, and everything listed on this page is much more expensive than the price you’ve put, so I was wondering if you knew of any cheaper motherboard alternatives for the $1000 build? The Z87 PLUS would cost me about $200, which is bumping up the price of the overall build a bit too much.
    Also, any cheaper case alternatives? The Zalman MS800 costs $100 here in the UK, which is a little too much for a case.

    Thanks for the great articles every month 🙂

    1. Hello Andrew,

      Yikes, sorry there is such a discrepancy in prices. First motherboard wise I would check all of the ones that are very similar to the Asus Z87 Plus to see if they are lower then the one you found. These include – Asrock Z87 Extreme4, Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H, MSI Z87-G45 Gaming and Biostar Hi-Fi Z87X 3D. If those prove to be just as expensive then a couple of other recommendations of mine would be something like – The MSI Z87 G43.

      Let me know if those prove useful, otherwise I’ll dig some others up.

      As for a case, looking at anything that is reasonably below $100 – The Antec Three Hundred, Coolermaster HAF 912, Corsair Carbide 200R, NZXT M59 (there are also tons more affordable NZXT cases). And you can also look up other Zalman cases as well as the one I chose is relatively newer which may account for its cost.

      Good luck!

      1. Hey, thanks for the response. Yeah I dunno why everything’s so much more expensive here but it REALLY sucks.
        I just did some quick searches on ebay, Amazon and finished it off with Google Shopping for each of those motherboards, and most of them are more expensive than the original Asus, with some of them reaching up to £160 ($260).
        However, for almost all those motherboards, the Z87M version is around £80 ($130), which is a much more realistic price point for me. Could you tell me what exactly the downsides are of getting a micro over a standard-sized motherboards? Would I be better off spending more and getting a standard size?

        The MSI Z87 G43 is also a much more manageable price, at £80 ($130), like most micro boards. But why did you mention it as an afterthought? And why is it so cheap? Is it really that bad?

        Thanks for all those case recommendations, some of those are a good price so I’ll definitely look into them more.

        Wow, this was an essay of a post, sorry about that.

        1. Actually there isn’t a whole ton of a difference getting either of the Micro ATX motherboards. The downsides usually are it size, which in turn leaves less room for adding stuff. Also there are two MSI g43 motherboard (The g43M and g43) Below I will put a link to Newegg.com comparing all of those boards, which should give you a better idea of finite differences.

          The two higher end ones (Asus z87 plus and MSI Gaming G45) you can see that they will support multiple graphics cards for crossfire / sli, while the others don’t – not a big deal if you never plan on doing this. They all have 6 SATA6GB/s ports. Some of the Audio Chipsets are better, more USB 3.0 ports on the higher end, as well the included ‘features’ all differ. So overall, you lose the ‘extras’, but can still get the similar performance going with a Micro ATX.

          Link to comparison – http://goo.gl/LJkbCG

  8. I am looking at the $600 build and I am looking for a lower end graphics card. Any cheaper alternatives that will still be adequate for everyday use like streaming YouTube and less intensive gaming? Should i just get an entirely different motherboard?

    1. Hey you bet! Some options – (average prices)

      Radeon 7850 – $170
      GTX 650 Ti – $170 (about the same ^)
      Radeon 7790 – $120
      Radeon HD 7770 – $109

      Any of these cards will still game pretty good in my opinion. Let me know if you have any questions.

    1. Hey! Very nice. I know…4 day delay I’m just not getting notification for comments. To answer your question, you will need an adapter for wifi. There are a few options ranging form PCI cards to USB sticks.

  9. Looks good! Btw, how long do you suppose it will be before the newly announced Radeons start to drive down the prices of the current ones?

    1. I would say they already have – HD 7990 is about $40 cheaper, Radeon HD 7970 is about $30 cheaper and the Radeon HD 7950 is also about $20 cheaper. It can only get better I would presume!

  10. Hi! I’m trying to make myself a 800$ build so I changed the cpu of your 600$ and used your upgrades except for the case. I would like to know if the FX-8350 is worth it and how this build would run games. (Sorry if I made some mistakes but I’m speaking French from Quebec)

    1. Hello Tom, that build looks good to me! And you made no mistakes as far as I’m aware. Sorry about the few day delay, I don’t seem to be getting notifications lately when comments are left. That should be a pretty solid $800 AMD build.

      1. Thanks 😀 I bought this build and I’m now waiting for the shipping. This will be my first build so I’d like to know if I need to buy anything else (ex:cables).

  11. Great builds man! Great builds.. It’s awesome to see now that the $600 build is one of the most versatile 720p gaming rigs around with the inclusion of the HD 7870. Awesome man! 😀 😀
    Keep up the great work Corey! I would like to suggest the Corsair 350D for the $1000 dollar build.. 😀 😀

    1. Why hello Aedan! Love the enthusiasm, it’s awesome. I know I was actually quite excited to be able to include the HD 7870 and I would hope that anyone considering the $600 will not be disappointed performance wise. And I agree, the Corsair 350D is such a nice case…I love Micro ATX cases – I dunno why.

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