Gaming PC Builds – March 2014
Choose your budget –
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $600 ): March 2014
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1000 ): March 2014
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1500 ): March 2014
Welcome to the new Gaming PC builds for March 2013 – with the $600, $1000 and $1500 builds. If you are here you are either a major PC building geek, wanting to build a new PC or just love to keep in the loop, so read away and remember if you have any questions or comments to leave them in the comment section below.
I did things a tad differently last time around and it has actually been a good two months since I have put out a monthly build article. This is because I did a combined Jan / Feb edition.
To start off – the ultimate determinate of all of the builds still has to do with the wonky price increases with mid range graphics cards. More specifically, with the mid range R9 270 family, which has now been affected along with the other R9 series cards. Nevertheless the builds below have been adjusted to accommodate for any changes and I must say they do kick ass. Also on a positive note, it does seem that RAM has finally decided to come closer to normal pricing. So without any further rambling, let’s get onto the build below
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $600 ): March 2014
(Game at Smoothly with Medium – High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions)
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
|Estimated Price:||$ 600.19|
|AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black Edition
|MSI Computer Corp. Motherboard North Bridge AMD 970 & South Bridge AMD SB950 Chipset ATX DDR3 800 AMD AM3+ Motherboards (970A-G46) Price: $79.99|
|EVGA EVGA GeForce GTX 750Ti Superclock w/G-SYNC Support 2GB GDDR5 128bit, Dual-Link DVI-I, HDMI, DP 1.2 Graphics (02G-P4-3753-KR) Graphics Cards 02G-P4-3753-KR Price: $169.99|
|Kingston Hyper X Blu 8 GB (2x4GB Modules) 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 XMP Desktop Memory – KHX1600C9D3B1K2/8GX
|WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache – WD10EZEX
|Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS (CX600)
|Rosewill Dual Fans ATX Mid Tower Computer Case FB-03
|LG Electronics 24X SATA Super-Multi DVD Internal Rewriter with M-Disc Support (Black) GH24NS95B
Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build
A few changes to the $600 build this month, with the major one being the graphics card. Back in Jan. & Feb. I included the R9 270, and believe it or not the price of the exact model I chose went up by about $100…yes what the heck? Good thing NVidia came out with its new awesome performing 60W graphics card – the GeForce GTX 750 Ti. This thing packs some juice for such a low powered card and it is price fairly well.
With the GTX 750Ti graphics card you can expect to get average framerates of 36.2 in games like Battlefield 4 (Toms Hardware – benchmark image), that is on Ultra Settings by the way at 1920×1080 – not too shabby for a $600 build. keep in mind that you may want to set the settings in a game like BF4 down a tad to get the best game play experience, however it does stand strong – check out the other benchmarks here – GeForce GTX 750 Ti Review (Toms Hardware).
We stay with the usual AMD FX 6300 and the same MSI motherboard as they do still fit the bill quite well. The RAM was switched to a 8Gb kit of Kingston HyperX Blu simply due to price. We do have a better PSU this month and one with more power, the Corsair CX 600W. All of that and we have 1TB of space with the Western Digital Blue Hard Drive and a very affordable Rosewill ATX PC Case.
Upgrades / Alternatives for the $600 Gaming PC Build:
The upgrades and alternatives this month include an upgraded eight core AMD FX-8320 processor, a Apevia X-Sniper mid tower case (a few more features then the generic Rosewill case included in the above build), better graphics quality with an Sapphire Radeon 270X graphics card, or a nice boot drive Samsung 840 Pro 128GB solid state drive.
These are here to act as hardware suggestions for those who has either a little more to spend or those who would like
|Processor Alternative: AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition ($149.99)||Alternative PC Case: Apevia X-Sniper 2 mid tower with large side window, front USB3.0/audio ports – Green ($57.51)|
|Graphics Card Alternative: Sapphire Radeon VAPOR-X R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP with Boost and OC Version (UEFI) PCI-Express Graphics Card 11217-00-20G ($229.99)
||Samsung Electronics MZ-7PD128BW 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA 6Gbps Solid State Drive($114.99)|
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $1022 ): March 2014
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
Capability: Game with Extreme settings at 1920X1080 resolutions and even High Settings in some games at 2560×1600
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )
We have a nice solid mid tower $1000 this month, although with very few changes. There is a new pc case and a very first from XFX used in this build. If you go with this $1000 build you should expect great gaming performance at 1920×1080 is most all games on their highest settings. For example you can play Battlefield 4 on Ultra, 1080p at 60+ FPS (example video – Battlefield 4 on GTX 760 Ultra 1080p (BF4)). This example is using the included graphics card the GTX 760, however I just want to note that if you do want to SLI in the future, to choose either a different motherboard (like the MSI G45) that supports SLI or get an AMD graphics card like the R9 270X or higher.
I have included the very first and new gaming chassis from XFX – the Type 1 Bravo. You can have up to three 5.25″ optical drives, as well as up to eight 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives. Inside you’ll also fit up to four dual-slot graphics cards thanks to eight expansion slots that can all be viewed through the side-panel window. The case can also house 140 mm fans as exhaust, which come pre-installed, as well as in the bottom. Up front, a 200 mm fan comes mounted as standard kit, though this can be replaced by a pair of 120 mm fans. Top exhaust can support either a single 200 mm fan or any size between 90 mm and 140 mm [XFX Introduces Type 1 Bravo PC Chassis].
$1000 Gaming PC Build Additions / Alternatives
Below are some hardware additions should you have some extra cash and want to upgrade a specific piece to the above build.
The motherboard suggestions below is the MSI Z87 GD65, the highest in MSI’s Gaming series motherboards – I use this as an upgrade suggestions since it does come with quite a few more features, but also will support both SLI and Corssfire, whereas the included MSI G43 above does not. Likewise you could also get an MSI G45 motherboard, which is a tad cheaper.
The upgraded graphics card suggestion below is the GTX 770, which is significant upgrade over the already include GTX 760. We also have a 128GB solid state drive, which can act as a superb boot drive as well store a ton of your most used games / software. We also have a more efficient Noctua CPU cooler, should you feel the need for it.
|Add a SSD Boot Drive: Samsung Electronics MZ-7PD128BW 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA 6Gbps Solid State Drive= (+ $114.99) –||Upgrade your graphics card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler 4 GB GDDR5 256-Bit Dual-Link DVI-I/DVI-D HDMI DP SLI Ready Graphics Card 04G-P4-3774-KR ($409.99)|
|Better Motherboard – MSI G65 (Or MSI G45) – MSI Computer Corp. Motherboard ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z87-GD65 GAMING Price:$189.99||Add a more efficient air CPU Cooler: Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe with 140mm/120mm Dual SSO Bearing Fans CPU Cooler NH-D14 – Retail (Price: $74) – $10 cheaper
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $1533 ): March 2014
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1600
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )
A fairly similar $1500 for March 2014 – with the inclusion of the Intel 4670K and the Asus Maximus Vi Hero. I have debated using a less expensive motherboard for the $1500 build, however the Asus maximus is fantastic motherboard for overclocking & has some great audio; a perfect gaming motherboard.
I have also switched up to the higher quality Samsung PRO series SSD in this build, which is one of the best and trust me, if you still haven’t used an SSD you will never think twice again. This $1500 build has so much potential, and even at stock is a great gamin pc to play all games on ultra and even at 2560×1600 resolutions.
Furthermore, as I also like to do – I have included a brand new pc case. The case included in this $1500 build for March is the newer NZXT H440 Mid Tower case. This case comes in your choice of Matt Black / Gloss Red or Gloss white. For a decent review you can watch this NZXT H440 Case Review video by OC3d TV. This is really a nice case and it comes with so many cool features, even small ones like a bright led back light to see all your input / output ports on the back of the case (which I thought was relatively neat).
So if you like a nice slick, simple cool case with a ton of features, then this case is a great option.
The NZXT H440 has the following technical specifications – (From nzxt.com)
|Drive Bays||External 5.25″: 0
Internal 3.5″/2.5″: 6+2
|Cooling System||Front: 2x 140/3x120mm (3 x 120mm FN V2 Fans Included)
Top: 2x 140/3x120mm
Rear: 1x 140/120mm (1 x 140mm FN V2 Fan Included)
Bottom Front (Included)
|Radiator Support||Front 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
Top 2 x 140 or 3 x 120mm
Rear 1 x 140/120mm
|Clearance||GPU Clearance With HDD Cage: 294mm
GPU Clearance Without HDD Cage: 406.2mm
CPU Cooler: 180mm
Cable Management: Lowest Point – 17.7mm; Highest Point 32.5mm
|Dimensions||220mm x 510mm x 475.3mm|
|Material||SECC Steel, ABS Plastic|
|Motherboard Support||Mini-ITX, MicroATX, ATX|
|External Electronics||1 x Audio/Mic
I/O Panel LED On/Off
|Product Weight||9.75 kg|
|USB 3.0 Ports||2|
|USB 2.0 Ports||2|
$1500 Gaming PC Build Additions / Alternatives
If you have a little extra to spend on the $1500 build, then below are a few suggestions. For those of you who do much more then game, then an Intel core i7-4770K may be a worthy upgrade to ease video or graphics work. Or if you simply want to increase you graphics card potential, then you can SLI another MSI GTX 770 or purchase a single more powerful graphics card such as the GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB card. Or for those of you who want to dedicate more storage space solely to your SSD, then perhaps a larger 512GB Samsung PRO SDD is a worthy upgrade.
Also, please *note that if you do decide to SLI with another GeForce GTX 780 3GB graphics card, you may want to also upgrade the power supply unit to 850W (ie. Corsair RM 850 Watt)
Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.5 GHZ 8 MB Cache BX80646I74770K ($337.98) – Ideal for anyone who does video / graphics work etc. on top of gaming
||SLI with another – EVGA GeForce GTX780 3GB GDDR5 384bit, Dual-Link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI,DP, SLI Ready Graphics Card (03G-P4-2781-KR) (+$508.99)|
Get a better single Graphics Cards: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 3GB, 3072MB,GDDR5 384bit, Dual-Link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI,DP, SLI Ready Graphics Card (03G-P4-2881-KR) Graphics Cards 03G-P4-2881-KR($699.99) –
A Larger SSD: Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 512 SATA_6_0_gb Solid State Drive MZ-7PD512BW ($392.94) *lower price
March 2014’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video: