October 2015 – Monthly Gaming PC Builds

Gaming PC Builds – October 2015

Jump to a specific budget build –

October 2015 Gaming PC Builds of the Month

Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:

If you’re looking build a PC that’s affordable and capable of playing any game out there, then you’ve come to the right place. Check out any of the three October 2015 gaming pc builds below in the three budget categories of $600, $1000 and $1500. Depending on what games you plan on playing or how much you have to spend on a PC will ultimately determine which build is best for you. And just in case it’s somewhere in between there is a table of hardware alternatives below each of the builds or you can ask in the comments section.

The October 2015 builds have been polished more from last months inclusion of the new Skylake processors in the $1500 and $1000 builds and the $600 build is just as strong as its been. The included processor in the top two builds is the brand new Intel i5 6600K and this month I’ve switched the motherboards to showcase some of the better reviewed and features included per dollar spent on each motherboard, both are great choices.

Learn more about which build would best suit yourself by reading through the overview descriptor below each build taking into consideration at what resolution your monitor will be, what games you’ll be playing, at what settings you want to play those games at and then how much you actually have to spend on your gaming pc build.

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

October 2015 PC Builds ( $1488 )

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1400 and 1920×1080 & 4K!

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $1488.06
Processor Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 3.50 GHz, 6 M Processor Cache 6 for LGA 1151 (BX80662I56600K) $270
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $30.74
Motherboard Gigabyte LGA1151 Intel Z170 ATX DDR4 Motherboards GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 $156.49
Graphics Card PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Graphics Cards VCGGTX980T6XPB-CG $649.99
RAM Kingston HyperX FURY Black 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 2133MHz DDR4 Non-ECC CL14 DIMM Desktop Memory (HX421C14FBK2/16) $99.99
Hard Drive *No HDD Included – Optional. See Alternatives Section.  –
SSD Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) $95.37 Samsung 850 evo
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2 80+ GOLD, 750W ECO Mode Fully Modular NVIDIA SLI and Crossfire Ready 10 Year Warranty Power Supply 220-G2-0750-XR $116.50
Computer Case NZXT S340 Mid Tower Case CA-S340W-W1 (White) $69.99
Optical Drive No optical drive – The NZXT S340 doesn’t support one.

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

This build is for those that pretty much want to play any game maxed, without worrying about much else. With the combination of the included Intel i5 6600K processor and the PNY GTX 980Ti graphics card you’ll be able to knock the socks off of any game from 1080p to 1440p resolutions without any difficulty while maintaining high fps. and you’ll even have little difficulty at 4K should you have a monitor to support it.

The included CPU is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler will help you overclock the 6600K cpu no problems once to ever. Moreover though, you need a cpu cooler since the Skylake processors don;t some with any stock cooler once so ever, so why not get one of the highest rated air coolers, especially considering its cost.

The graphics card included is a PNY GeForce GTX 980Ti, one of the best single cards out to date and is more then capable of maxing out any game 1080p + up to 4K resolutions no problem at all. The GTX 980Ti is much easier to come across now, and it’s actually lowered in price by about $20 over the past couple of months.

The new skylake processors require one of the new Z170 chipset motherboards. The included motherboard is the Gigabyte Intel Z170 GA-Z170X-Gaming 3, supporting DDr4, SLI and Crossfire, USB 3.1 and more including (Read more at Gigabyte.com):

  • Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel® USB 3.1 with USB Type-C™- the world’s next Universal connector
  • 3-Way Graphics Support with Exclusive Ultra Durable Metal Shielding over the PCIe Slots
  • Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connectors with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe & SATA SSD support)
  • 3 SATA Express Connectors for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
  • 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in Rear Audio Amplifier
  • Killer™ E2200 and Intel® Gaming Networks
  • High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ Technology

As per usual I have included a kit of 16Gb of RAM, but with the new skylake cpu / z170 chipset motherboard combo, we can now include DDR4 memory instead of DDR3. Included is 16GB (two 8GB sticks) of Kingston HyperX FURY Black 2133MHz, plenty of memory for this gaming pc build.

I have no longer included an HDD and have opted just for a Solid State Drive  “SSD”, which will perform much better helping with those load / boot times and reading speeds. The included SSD is the Samsung 850 EVO 250GB which will give you enough space for your OS and to store numerous games / software. If you find you will need more storage you can always add in a separate HDD such at that included in the Alternatives section below, or opt for an SSD with more storage.

The power supply used for many months is the highly rated EVGA SuperNOVA 750W G2 Gold Certified power supply, which is a high quality & efficient PSU and I highly recommend it and it should be more then enough for the $1500 build.

The gaming PC case included is the White NZXT S340, a sleek minimalistic mid tower case made of steel. It has great cable management, and a very simple interior layout. If you want to have a closer look and learn more, please visit nzxt.com.

Do keep in mind that the NZXT S340 doesn’t have room or support an optical drive, so if you need one you can still purchase one and simply connect to your motherboard and then close your case up when you don’t need it, or buy an external one.

$1500 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

The included hardware alternatives below are for those who either want future upgrade ideas, or for those that have a larger budget then $1500.

Along side the newly released and included i5 Intel 6600K Skylake, there was the Intel i7 6700K cpu released. If you do or want to do more then gaming on your PC and do video, graphics work for example, then you may want to consider getting an i7 processor such at the Intel i7 6700K.

As I stated in the $1500 gaming pc build overview above, there is no HDD included in the build  which shouldn’t matter for most unless you need lots of storage room. Included below is a Seagate 2TB HDD, for those that need the more space at a great cost. I have also included a larger SanDisk Extreme PRO 1TB SSD for those that may want the extra space, but also use one drive for ultimate speeds on an SSD; this however comes at a higher cost.

You could also really increase your graphics power by SLI’ing your GTX 980 Ti by adding in a second PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti, but it will cost you another $649.99 or so. This could also be a future upgrade idea to boost your gaming pc’s performance when you need it. If you do plan on going SLI’ing in the future or now, you should consider getting at least an 850W PSU such as the EVGA SuperNOVA 850W G2.

Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 4.00 GHz 8M Processor Cache 4 LGA 1151 BX80662I76700K ($409) – Do more then gaming? Like show off? – Then an i7 might be the right choice PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Graphics Cards VCGGTX980T6XPB-CG ($649.99) – SLI with two GTX 980 Ti’s for some super graphics performance.*If you want to SLI you should consider 850W psu such as the EVGA SuperNOVA 850W G2 PSU ($120.03).
Purchase a 2TB HDD for more storage: Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001) ($73.57) A very fast 1TB SSD: SanDisk Extreme PRO 960GB SATA 6.0GB/s 2.5-Inch 7mm Height Solid State Drive (SSD) With 10-Year Warranty- SDSSDXPS-960G-G25 ($419.99)


$1000 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

October 2015 PC Builds ( $1018 )

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Capability: Game with Extreme settings at 1920X1080 resolutions and even High Settings in some games at 2560×1400

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $1018
Processor Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 3.50 GHz, 6 M Processor Cache 6 for LGA 1151 (BX80662I56600K) $270
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $30.74  
Motherboard $138.49
Graphics Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0+ 4GB GDDR5 256bit, DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DP SLI Ready Graphics Card 04G-P4-3975-KR


 

Alternative Card:

*Potential for two R9 390’s in Crossfire in the future

 

 

$319.99


$329.99

 


RAM $55.68
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003) $50.49
SSD *Not included – Check the additions / alternatives section below for options!
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1 80+ GOLD, 650W Continuous Power, Fully Modular 10 Year Warranty Power Supply 120-G1-0650-XR $80.54
Computer Case $55.88
Optical Drive LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B $18.35

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

This build is probably the go to best bang for your dollar type build for a majority of gaming pc community. You should be able to squeeze high performance fps in most games at 1080p and 1440p using this build, which uses a combination of the new skylake Intel i5 6600K cpu and the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX or  MSI R9 390 graphics card.

 

This build also includes the highly rated Cooler Master Hype 212 cpu cooler, this helps tremendously when overclocking your unlocked Intel i5 6600K processor and since the Intel i5 6600K doesn’t come with a stock cooler, you need to purchase one anyways.

The included z170 chipset motherboard we have this time around is the affordable ASUS Z170-K Z170 motherboard. This motherboard is one of the newer ones released in the last couple of months and for a more affordable motherboard, it still comes with USB 3.1 and more including (learn more Asus.com) –

  • 5X Protection II – Advanced hardware safeguards for all-round protection
  • DDR4 memory overclocked to 3466MHz
  • Onboard USB 3.1 Gen 2 for 10Gbit/s data transfer speeds
  • Lightning-fast M.2 with PCIe® 3.0 x4 interface
  • Epic gaming audio with LED-illuminated shielding
  • Media-acclaimed UEFI BIOS with EZ Flash 3
  • Fan Xpert 3 advanced fan controls for ultimate cooling and silent performance

*One thing to note that is you can’t do SLI with this motherboard, but you can Crossfire.

Again this month, there are two graphics card included in the build table above. The first graphics card included, is the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX and for a slightly difference price I have included a Gigabyte R9 390. Both of these cards will perform very similarly, so I’ll leave the choice as to which you would like to go with. Either graphics card will max any modern game at 1920×1080 and even in resolutions beyond that up to 2560×1400. I would like to note though, that if you have a specific set of games in mind, try searching specific benchmarks for either the GTA 970, or AMD R9 390 as they might perform slightly better then one or the other in a specific game (YouTube can be great for looking up specific gaming hardware benchmarks).

We have some new quality DDR4 RAM. Included in the $1000 gaming pc build for October is a kit of two 4GB totalling 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 RAM.

The power supply unit used is the EVGA SuperNOVA G1 650W power supply, which is a great PSU with all modular cables and it provides the perfect amount of power for this build along with room for some upgrades.

For a gaming PC case, I’ve included the Thermaltake Versa N21 Windows Mid Tower PC case, a cool looking newer case that has a sleek mirrior pane design and plenty of space for expansion. Learn more at thermaltakeusa.com.

$1000 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

Sometimes you may want upgrade ideas for the future, or have a bit extra to spend on your gaming build, so below is some hardware you could consider for the $1000 gaming pc build.

If you want more graphic power in the future you could potentially Crossfire two R9 390’s. If you go this route, then you will also need a stronger power supply, as much as 850w, which I have included along side that recommendation below.

Since there is no SSD included in the base $1000 build, I do highly suggest considering one. An SSD makes a world of a difference in boot / loading speeds. Featured below is a super fast quality SSD, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 240GB SSD – or maybe you have tons of media or simply need extra space, so you could upgrade to the 2TB version of the Seagate HDD. If you think you won’t utilize the entirety of a 1TB hard drive, then you could also ditch that drive and just get a single SSD. Or if you simply need more space, you could go the more affordable option with a 2TB Seagate HDD.

You could also  go with a liquid cpu cooler such as the Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX. This could help keep things quiet and a tad cooler when overclocking (Learn more about the Corsair h100i at Corsair.com).

Add a Fast Quality SSD Boot Drive: SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5-Inch 7mm Height Solid State Drive (SSD) With 10-Year Warranty- SDSSDXPS-240G-G25 = (+ $119.65) – Crossfire your graphics card:
(*Potential future proofing upgrade? – *only if you went with the AMD R9 390 as you can SLI and have two GTX 970’s) –Gigabyte AMD R9 390 512 Bit GDDR5 8GB 2xDVI/HDMI/3xDP G1 Gaming Graphics Card GV-R939G1 GAMING-8GD ($329.99) – If you plan on doing Crossfire you will probably want at least an 850W power supply such as – EVGA SuperNOVA 850W G2 PSU ($120.03).
More Hard Drive Space With 2TB – Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001) Price: $73.57

Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060021-WW – Add a liquid CPU Cooler for quieter and more efficient cooling ($109.99)


$600 Gaming PC Build of the Month

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $608 ): October 2015

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

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $ 608.78
Processor AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition $139.99
Motherboard
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$93.99
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 950 Ref Graphics Card 02G-P4-2951-KR $159.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2K4G3D169DS1J $38.99
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003) $50.49
Power Supply EVGA 600 B1 80+ BRONZE, 600W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply 100-B1-0600-KR $62.99
Computer Case BitFenix Computer Case BFC-COM-100-KKXS1-RP $48.99
Optical Drive LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B $18.35

Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build

The $600 gaming pc build is for those that just want to get into gaming at a reasonable price. Even though this is the lowest budget build here, it’s a fully capable 1080p gaming machine that you can expect to play a variety of games maxed out with decent fps.

Included is the AMD FX-8320 8 Core Black Edition processor, which provides significant potential for a $600 budget gaming PC and this processor is also unlocked and easily overclockable (to get the full potential of overclocking I do suggest upgrading the cpu cooler, such as the one seen in the alternatives table below).

The motherboard chosen for another $600 monthly gaming pc build month is a full sized ATX motherboard – ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970.  This board is a full ATX boards and has the following specification according to (read more at asus.com):

  • Dual Intelligent Processors – TPU + EPU.
  • Remote GO! – One-stop PC Remote Control and Home Entertainment
  • USB 3.0 Boost – Faster USB 3.0 Transmission with UASP
  • Network iControl – Real-time Network Bandwidth Control
  • DirectKey – A Dedicated Button to Access the BIOS Directly
  • USB BIOS Flashback – Easy, Worry-free USB BIOS Flashback with Hardware-based Design
  • UEFI BIOS – Flexible & Easy BIOS Interface

There has been an upgrade to the included graphics card this month to the newer released GTX 950. Included in the $600 pc build is the EVGA GeForce GTX 950, which does perform better then our similarly priced previous R7 370. If you have a little extra to spend, you could also consider an R9 380, which is included in the hardware alternatives table below.

The included memory is  a kit of  Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB, which should be enough memory for this gaming pc and again and for the hard drive is a 1TB Seagate Barracuda.

The power supply used again is the  EVGA 600B 600Watt power supply, this is a great budget PSU and more then enough power for this build and more.

For a PC case, featured above is a black BitFenix Comrade mid tower PC case. This case also comes in white, has a great look for a budget case and is very easy to build in.

Upgrade Suggestions for the $600 Gaming PC Build:

If you want some suggestions for upgrades or some hardware alternatives to those in the gaming pc hardware in the $600 build above, then you may be interested in some of the suggestions below.

I would suggest a CPU cooler other then the included FX 8320 stock cooler if you want to take full advantage of overclocking, such as the Noctua NH-L12 below. I would recommend the Hyper 212 EVO, by it’s a few cm too tall for the included case..

The second choice here is a better graphics card, such as the MSI R9 380. Purchase this if you have a little more cash to spend, which is worth the investment for a little more fps while gaming.

If you need more hard drive space it doesn’t cost too much more to get a 2TB Seagate Barracuda, likewise you can also speed up your read and write times with an affordable budget solid state drive such as the 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO you see below.

CPU Cooler:Noctua NH-L12 Low-profile Quiet CPU Cooler with 120/90mm Dual PWM Fan($59.99) Better Graphics Card (Sapphire Radeon R9 380): MSI R9 380 2GD5T OC Graphics Card ($199.99)
More Hard Drive Space With 2TB –Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001) Price: $73.57


October 2015 Gaming PC Build Mice, Keyboard & Monitor Peripheral Considerations

The peripheral considerations are included as an attachment to the October 2015 gaming pc builds of the month. The builds above include the essential hardware to build a gaming pc, however you do need peripherals in order to control your gaming pc. So if you already don’t have a mouse, keyboard, monitor or OS, then you may want to check out the following article for some suggestions on gaming specific peripherals.

The October 2015 gaming pc peripherals article is separated into three separate categories including each in a higher end, mid-range and basic peripheral category.

To view this months peripheral suggestions please visit October 2015 Gaming PC Peripherals – Keyboards Mice and Monitors

Gaming PC Build Mice Keyboards and Monitors of the Month - October 2015

Operating System Options

If you don’t already have an operating system for your new gaming pc build, then you’re going to have to either invest in purchasing a standard OS such as Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 with the option of upgrading to Windows 10 or the option of purchasing Windows 10. Otherwise, there are some free alternatives that you could consider.

The following are some operating systems you can consider installing upon putting your Gaming PC build together. The first three will cost you and are either Windows 7 or 8.1, or 10 – I have no opinions here so I’ll leave the purchase of these up to the discretion of yourself, but do keep in mind that either way you do have the option of upgrading to Windows 10 for now. I have also included two other operating systems that are both currently free. Ubuntu is a Linux based operating system. The last OS is SteamOS, which is also a Linux OS being developed by Valve Corporation and is being made to be used for a Steam Machine game console.

OS Link Price Image
Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit $99.99  
Windows 7 Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging) $89.00  
Windows 10 Upgrade Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit System Builder OEM | PC Disc $98.99 or Free upgrade with Windows 7, 8 or 8.1  
Ubuntu Ubuntu – Desktop Free Ubuntu Logo
SteamOS SteamOS Beta “Build your own Steam Machine” Free Steam Operating System OS

October 2015’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+

61 thoughts on “October 2015 – Monthly Gaming PC Builds

  1. Hello Corey
    For $1000 Build you suggested the ASUS Z170-K Z170 motherboard but if i replace it with Gigabyte Intel Z170 GA-Z170X-Gaming 3, is it worth it? Because the Gigabyte is $56 more than the Asus where i live and I’m too noob to get the real difference between those two. Thanks a lot

    1. Hi Djunaidi,

      I would just go with the ASUS Z170-K Z170, the biggest of differences is that it supports more then 1 nvidia graphics card in SLI, which is only a concern if you want 2 graphics cards that are NVIDIA, which probably isn;t too many people.

      Please let me know if you have anymore questions!

      Corey

  2. hey Corey I built the 600 dollar pc but I put a FX-8350 and gtx 970, my cpu temp is 40c at idle is that normal and can I put four more fans in the case with the 600 b1 or will I run out of voltage

    1. Hi Chris,

      That’s normal for the fx 8350 or 8320 – given you’re probably using the stock cooler right? Have you tried seeing what you get when gaming or putting it under stress? You should be good even up to 60c, but if you are getting higher it might be worth adding in either another cooler or like you said some case fans. The Bitfenix Comrade will support up to three 120mm fans (should have come with one in the exhaust), so you can get two more for the front pushing air into the case. Likewise a different cpu cooler like the the one in alternatives or a Hydro Series H55 like in Novembers build – I have also heard good things about the CRYORIG H7 air cpu cooler. Let me know if this helps.

      1. Thanks for answering that for me i was worried I messed up, I’m getting the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO and some more fans to keep it cool. I could not stress test it because I waiting on the os and cd drive.

        1. Hi Chris – just a quick note that the Hyper 212 may be a tad tall for the case included above from the $600 build, which is why I suggested the CRYORIG H7, which is similar and at a similar price.

          1. Ok, thanks for the heads up on that it will be hear in about 3 days so if it does not fit all return it and get the CRYORIG H7 and again thanks for the advise.

  3. Hey Corey.
    I bought all the components for the $1000 build and just finished setting it up a few days ago. The machine performs like a complete beast. It was my first time building a computer and wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Thanks for listing the components for an awesome build. It really helped me out. Cheers.

    1. Hi Jonathan – no problem and thank you for coming back and sharing your success – it is really rewarding isn’t it? And definitely not too complicated, generally it’s the initial figuring out the numerous hardware to actually piece together. Best of luck!

  4. Hey Corey, Wanted to let u know i ordered the $600 PC, Me and my little boy are gonna put it together lol. I did end up with everything the same except i didn’t get a optical dive because i got a external im gonna use, also went with the september case the bitfenix. and the GPU with the geforce gtx 960 ssc 2gb which went down to $189. That should still be a pretty mean system right? Gta V, iracing, arma2 just some games we like 2 play gta v not so much the little boy tho lol

    1. Hi Josh,

      This is so great to hear, thanks for sharing! I’m sure your kids going to be ecstatic and it’s for sure a fun project to do with your son. The GTX 960 is a great card and at $189 that’s even better, so I hope it works out great for the two of you.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Without maximizing your budget the The MSI Z170A GAMING M7 is a good higher end overclocking board. Another board worth mentioning in the same range would be the Asus MAXIMUS VIII HERO or even the GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z170X-Gaming 7. All of those may leave you with a few extra bucks to plug into a larger hd or something, but not by much.

  5. Hello, I recently built a build from this site and I am extremely satisfied, but now I need a new laptop since mine is 4 years old and can’t do shit anymore, can you give me some tips on where to start? If you have a gaming laptop can you tell me what brand it is? Thanks!

    1. Awesome Alex, glad to hear it and welcome back! I’m a little behind on the gaming laptop market right now, so I honestly couldn’t give you an honest valid up-to-date recommendation for a gaming laptop and plus, I don’t game on laptops too often. I know pcmag sometimes has recommendations, I’ve also heard good things on these – http://www.sagernotebook.com/Gaming-Notebooks/ Some of the gaming laptops are using i5 6600K’s / i7 6700K’s, NVIDIA 970M graphics, 8-16GB DDR4 Ram.

      1. Wow! The Sager/Clevo laptops certainly seem to have the most value by far! If you compare them to almost any other brand you really get much more value and customization as well! Thanks! 🙂

  6. I haven’t built a gaming machine in 10+ years (yikes) and am looking to get back in the game. For a build like this (or any typical $600-$800 gaming build these days), should I buy a 144Hz monitor over a 75Hz? I am willing to spend the extra money, but don’t want to do so if the difference in performance isn’t too noticeable. I’ll probably start with games like GTA V and Diablo 3 and maybe Witcher 3. Thanks.

    1. Always a tough question, but I would say yes and no. Such as games like Diablo 3 perhaps not, but in a fast paced GTA V yes / maybe, but with a $600-800 pc you may not be pushing much over 60fps in the most demanding of games, although in other games you will where a 144hz monitor would shine. It’s one of those things too, once your used to a 144Hz monitor, its like your eyes adjust and then using the 60Hz one is straining and not as pleasant. I would say if you currently had a 1920×1080 60hz / 75hz monitor to just keep using it, but if I were purchasing new, just go with 144hz, the price bump isn’t hugely significant and you may be using the same monitor for a few years. The ASUS VG248QE would be a great affordable choice for a 144hz monitor. All in all it comes down to what would be worth it for you though, and perhaps you find an affordable lower refresh rate monitor for $50-100 less, then by all means you’ll still have a great gaming experience.

      1. Perfect! Thanks for such an informative and speedy answer. I’ve been googling the past couple of days on a number of gaming build topics and it’s difficult to find good/current/relevant information that I feel is coming from a well-informed source. This is super helpful. Thanks again.

  7. Quick question bout 600 dollar build the asus M5A97 has a pci-e slot 2.0 x16 but the GPU is a pci-e 3.0 x16 wouldnt you loose some GPU performance Cory? jw i want to go with the gfx 960 ive heard that card is great!

    1. Hi Josh,

      You’re correct, but the performance difference is negligible. And you’re right the GTX 960 is a good card as well, but will cost a tad more. Likewise, the R9 380 can go head to head with the GTX 960 too, so don’t totally discount that option.

  8. hi Corey my friend wants to get into pc gaming and wants to know if the 600 pc can play project cars and if so what graphic settings and fps

  9. Quick question. I was once given this advice a long time ago that you should achieve the amount of ram you want with as many sticks as possible. I.E. if you want 8 gigs of ram and your motherboard has 4 slots then you should get 4 2 gig sticks. Does this advice have truth to it or should I just stick with the 2 sticks listed?

    1. Hi Brent,

      For some platforms and years ago I believe you are right. However, this rule of thumb changes depending on the type of RAM and platforms nowadays, and honestly when all said and done the performance in the end is negligible, but there are differences in what specific motherboards support.

      For the above 1151 motherboards, they support dual channel memory, which will support either 2 or 4 sticks of ram at a time. Technically dual channel memory works best with two channels, but real world performance is negligible. You’re best in my opinion to get two sticks of 4GB for 8GB, and then you have two ram lots open for 16GB should you need the upgrade.

      1. Alright thank you. Yeah the advice was given to me years ago so I was wondering if it still applied. I’m going with the $600 build since it meets what I need and is within my price range.

  10. Hi Corey I’m interested in building the 1500 pc but is there a case that has an internal Optical Drive that you could recommend thanks

    1. For around the same price you could try the Thermaltake Chaser A31, the Corsair 300R or even the Corsair SPEC-02 to name a few. These would all be cases that would fit within the budget.

      1. Ok thanks corey I think all go with the Thermaltake Chaser A31 case. One more question is there a good monitor you could recommend, I plan on playing mostly first person shooters.

      2. Hey Corey, appreciate all the builds. Im a newb to this and was thinking of doing the 1500 build with this case: Thermaltake Core V71 E-ATX Full Tower Gaming Computer Case CA-1B6-00F1WN-00. Will that work with that build?

  11. Hi Corey I just bought everything for the $600 build for October but Amazon didn’t have the case in stock so I bought the case from Septembers build. Will that case be ok to use for everything from the October build? Like I said all parts are from the October build just not the case which I used Septembers case since Amazon didn’t have the one you suggest for October also went with cause it’s bigger and this is my first time building a computer so I figured it’d be easier just wanted to know if the September case would be ok for Octobers build. Referring to the $600 builds for both months

  12. Could I switch either of the graphics cards on the $600 build for a Gigabyte GTX 960 Overclocked 2GB? Would it require more watts or cooling? Would it even fit in the tower?

    1. Yeah that card is stated as being 25.7 cm in length and the case supports up to 30cm length graphics card. Any of the GTX 960s don’t require much wattage as they are very efficient card, so you’d still be good.

        1. The $600 build has been pretty standard for a while. The main difference is the graphics card – should try and push for R9 380 and the motherboard is a tad better.

  13. Hello!
    For 1000$ Build you suggested the EVGA GeForce GTX970 graphics card. I have got an offer for the “ASUS STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5, GeForce GTX 970” for 299 € and I’m too noob to get the real difference between those two cards.

    I’d appreciate your input on this subject 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

    1. That Asus Strix GTX 970 is also a good card. Some difference in clock speed, but that’s about it nothing noticeable. I’d say if you can get that one for cheaper then go for it!

      1. Sweet, thanks for your reply 🙂

        Final question then I will stop annoying you: Do you think the Antec True Power 550C power supply would be enough to power the 1000$ system?
        I’m thinking it could work considering the TDPs of the CPU and graphics card but I’m always a bit uncertain there.

        If so I could use my current power supply and invest the saved money into a better case (Thermaltake Versa N21 isn’t available where I live but it looks sooo cool).

        1. Hey no problem ask away. If you are going with that GTX 970, then your current 550W power supply will work. If you went with the R9 390 graphics card, it uses more power and a min 650W psu is recommended since it draws more power. Assuming you are going with the Asus GTX 970 you mentioned above, then I’d say you’re good to spend the money elsewhere!

  14. I got bored so I went ahead and bought this setup. My build had some ups and downs but it works like it should “mostly”. I had two issues with it.

    First I bought two fans for the front of the case and the bottom fan can’t plug in to the board without an extension…No worries. But the Second issue is. No audio from the computer. I get sound when I use an hdmi cable but that’s it. Ordered a sound card to resolve that issue.

    If anyone wants to know what the Windows Experience Index is…. Without overclocking.
    Processor: 7.7
    Memory: 7.7
    Graphics: 7.9
    Gaming Graphics: 7.9
    Primary Hard Disk: 5.9….Don’t judge me for not using a SSD! lol

    1. Thanks for sharing and checking in Jason, not too shabby of scores for the $600 build and no judgement on the lack of ssd 😛 I wonder why you had no sound output though, seems strange.

      Best of luck using the pc, using any particular games?

      1. I hear it’s a board issue, but can’t say with for sure. And I have absolutely no idea what games I should/want to play. I am pretty old school and like games that this build is wasted on, but I guess it’s never too late to try something new. This build gives you two free games, but can’t think of the names right now.

  15. Hey Corey, it’s Guillaume again, i’m definitly getting this build, however, since i live in a tropical region ( New caledonia ) we tend to have some hot summers, would you consider the cpu cooler mandatory to avoid any heat related problem ?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi again!

      It’s not entirely necessary, but if you decide you want to start overclocking the $600 build it will be. If adding another cooler is out of your budget right now, you could always just use the stock cooler and then see how how hot your temps get and then go from there. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is an affordable high quality air cooler though.

      1. Oh right, it is! I didn’t catch that on first glance when you linked that. The LE version of the ASUS M5A97 is actually not as good as it isn’t the greatest for overclocking on and has less features overall. Still would work, just not as well in my opinion. Thanks for pointing that out.

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