September 2015 – Monthly Gaming PC Builds

Gaming PC Builds – September 2015

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September 2015 Gaming PC Builds of the Month $600 - $1000 - $1500

Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:

September is a super exciting for the monthly gaming PC builds here at Newb Computer Build. With the recent release of Skylake, Intel’s 6th generation CPUs targeted at gamers and enthusiasts alike I’ve now replaced the $1500 and $1000 builds CPUs to include the new Intel i5 6600K and with that supporting motherboards sporting the new Z170 chipset. Skylake is definitely not worth tossing in the previous Haswell CPU builds, but it does come with some improvements such as DDR4 RAM support and improved power efficient and slight performance increases.

Both of the $1500 and $1000 builds now reflect the new CPU releases, however the $600 build does go unaffected since I was using the AMD FX 8320 processor for a few months now, it it still will stand strong in its current spot. There was a new GTX 950 graphics card released in the past month, which has gotten some great reviews; it just didn’t quite fit into the $600 budget as it should be closer in cost to the current card included in the build.

I hope that you enjoy yet another month of gaming PC builds and if you were waiting for a higher end gaming pc build,  I would say that its a better time then any. Please leave any questions, comments or conversational items in the comments section below and until next month!

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

September 2015 PC Builds ( $1481 )

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

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

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $1481
Processor Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 3.50 GHz, 6 M Processor Cache 6 for LGA 1151 (BX80662I56600K) $271.73
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) (Not optional, you will need a cpu cooler) $31.05
Motherboard MSI Z170 KRAIT GAMING ATX DDR4 3000 (o.c.) NA Motherboards Z170 KRAIT GAMING $149.99
Graphics Card PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Graphics Cards VCGGTX980T6XPB-CG $659.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200) DIMM 288-Pin Memory BLS2K8G4D240FSA/BLS2C8G4D240FSA $119.95
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003) $50.49
SSD Not included in base build cost: (Alternative or addition to the Seagate Drive Hard Drive above): Samsung 850 EVO 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) $70.78
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 $117.00
Computer Case Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, Black $64.66
Optical Drive LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B $16.79

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

This would probably be the top gaming pc build to consider if you’re wanting to game with any game on extreme settings and even game up to resolutions as high as 4K with ease. This month even includes the brand new Skylake Intel i5 6600K CPU – pair this with the included GTX 980Ti graphics card and you’re golden. Along with the new cpu release is a new Z170 chipset motherboard and when paired together there is now support for a set of 16GB DDR4 RAM, making this build vastly different from the previous builds from this year.

I generally include a cpu cooler in the base $1500 build and this month is no different, however unlike previous months, it’s no longer an option since the Skylake cpu don’t come with stock coolers. no matter though, using the included Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler will help you overclock the heck out of this thing.

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.

With the new cpus come the new Z170 chipset, which includes a whole bunch of new motherboards. The motherboard included in this build is the MSI Z170 KRAIT GAMING motherboard. This board, which not only looks great with its sleek jet black / white design it has some neat features as describes by MSI (learn more at msi.com)-

  • DDR4 Boost optimizing memory performance and stability
  • Killer E2400 ethernet – creating maximum networking performance when online gaming
  • Audio Boost 3 – high audio quality using 8 channel HD audio
  • USB 3.1 – Up to 10Gb/s (2x faster then USB 3.0)

There is still a total of 16Gb of RAM in the $1500 build, however this month we now have support for DDR4. The kit included is a 2x8GB kit of Crucial Ballistix Sport RAM.

I have included the hard drives a little differently this month – giving you, the pc builder the option as to which drives to include if you have only $1500 to spend on your build. The included hard-drives are the Seagate Barracuda 1TB, which is plenty of space for most gamers or a Samsung 850 EVO 120GB Solid State Drive. Both of these drives fit nicely into the build, given the choice though the SSD will significantly increase your boot / load times, while the Seagate drive will provide plenty of more space. Likewise, if you have the funds you could either purchase both drive suing the SSD as a boot drive, or purchase a larger size SSD (look in the alternatives section below).

The power supply used again is the 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.

For a case this September, I’ve included the mid tower Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, which has been around for a while now as a quality, reputable, affordable gaming pc case. for more information on this case please visit Antec.com.

$1500 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

If you have a little bit of extra cash now or in the future, then you might be wondering what else you could spend it on either over and above the $1500 budget.

Some may want to upgrade to an i7 processor if they do more then just game, such as graphics work, video work and the likes. Included below is a newly release Skylake Intel i7 6700K cpu, which may be a tad low on supply at the moment, but should be rapidly available soon.

The build you see above includes a mid tower case which does have plenty of room for the included hardware, but for those who think they need more upgrade space or breathing room for their gaming pc then perhaps a full tower case such as the popular Phantek Enthoo Full Tower PC case would be of benefit to you.

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 $659.99 or so.

Lastly, I’ve given a couple of options for storage solutions in the above build description by either including the SSD or Seagate 1TB drive, below you can also simply purchase a larger SSD such as the super faster SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB SSD.

Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 4.00 GHz 8M Processor Cache 4 LGA 1151 BX80662I76700K ($350 / TBA) – 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 ($659.99) – SLI with two GTX 980 Ti’s for some super graphics performance

Get a quality FULL TOWER PC Case (Tons of room for upgrades):Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower Chassis with Window Cases PH-ES614P_BK ($99.99)
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

September 2015 PC Builds ( $980 )

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: $980.38
Processor Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 3.50 GHz, 6 M Processor Cache 6 for LGA 1151 (BX80662I56600K) $271.73
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) (Not optional, you will need a cpu cooler) $31.05  
Motherboard Gigabyte LGA1151 Intel Z170 ATX DDR4 Motherboards GA-Z170-HD3P (*Crossfire, but no SLI) $124.99
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: *These two cards will perform similarly.

XFX Double Dissipation R9 390 1000MHZ 8GB DDR5 Display Port HDMI Dual DVI Graphics Cards R9-390P-F28M 

 

$329.99


$329.99

 


RAM $52.99
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003) $50.49
SSD *none – check the additions / alternatives section below for options!
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1 80+ GOLD, 650W Fully Modular 10 Year Warranty Power Supply 120-G1-0650-XR $83.99
Computer Case Antec Builder-Ready Case P70 $42.59
Optical Drive LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B $16.79

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

The past few months have included very few changes to the $1000 gaming pc build, this month however is a very different story. The $1000 build also includes the newly releases Skylake Intel i5 6600K CPU along with a new Z170 chipset motherboard and since we now have support for it, DDR4 RAM.

This build is for those wanting to game with high FPS’s using HD resolutions of 1920X1080 no problem and even for those that want to push their games to higher resolution of 2560X1600 – depending on the games played. Always remember to do a little research with regards to the collection of games and or other software you’re planning to play and at what resolution, if you have any questions please remember you’re always free to comment on the article below.

As stated, the included processor is the Intel i5 6600K processor, which is the same processor in the $1500 build and for a while has been the go to gaming pc build processor. Not without an option, included is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler,  this is because the new Skylake CPUs don’t include a stock cooler, so you definitely need one and it will help you easily overclock this CPU should you want to.

We now have a newly released motherboard with a Z170 chipset to coincide with the newly included Skylake CPU. The included motherboard is the Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P which has the following technical overview (to learn more please visit Gigabyte.com) –

  • Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Fast USB 3.1 with USB Type-C™ -The World’s Next Universal Connector
  • 2-Way Graphics with Premium PCIe Lane
  • PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connector with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe & SATA SSD support)
  • 3 SATA Express Connectors for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
  • 8-channel HD Audio with High Quality Audio Capacitors
  • Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • Realtek® Green GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ Technology

You may notice that I have two graphics card included in the build table above. The first graphics card included, is the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX and for the very same price I have included an alternative card for you to choose from, which is the XFX Double Dissipation 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. Both cards 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 for example.

With all the exciting talk about a new Skylake CPU and motherboard, comes the inclusion of some new DDR4 RAM. Included in the $1000 gaming pc build for September is a kit of 2x4GB 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 RAM.

The power supply unit being used again 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.

The included PC case has been included recently and is a newer released budget case, the Antec Builder-Ready Case P70. This is a budget conscious case that fits nicely into this build. Antec describes this case as having quiet operation minimizing system sound leakage. To learn more please visit the PC case page at antec.com.

$1000 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

If one were to have a budget slightly larger then the specified $1000 build above or perhaps someone would like some suggestions for upgrade potential in the future, then the below hardware might fit into your needs.

You could SLI with two EVGA GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards, which would definitely be enough juice for extreme gaming at higher resolutions (2560X1600 & 4K for example), or even high resolution multi-monitor setups (*note: if you go with the AMD R9 390 graphics card, you can crossfire with another R9 390).

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 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.

The last upgrade suggestions includes the newer Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT liquid CPU cooler, which has an improved coldplate and pump design (learn more about Corsair’s new liquid cpus here).

Also, please *note that if you do decide to SLI with another GTX 970 (or Crossfire two R9 390’s), I would suggest you have at least a 750W PSU.

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 = (+ $128.84) – Crossfire your graphics card:(*Potential future proofing upgrade? – *if you went with the AMD R9 390 as there is no SLI support)XFX Double Dissipation R9 390 1000MHZ 8GB DDR5 Display Port HDMI Dual DVI Graphics Cards R9-390P-F28M ($329.99 – OR Crossfire with another R9 390 if you go with that card)
More Hard Drive Space With 2TB –Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001) Price: $72.99 Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060017-WW – Add a liquid CPU Cooler for quieter and more efficient cooling ($99.99)


$600 Gaming PC Build of the Month

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $605 ): September 2015

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

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $ 605.30
Processor AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition $141.88
Motherboard
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$79.99
Graphics Card MSI R7 370 2GD5T OC Graphics Card $149.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 (PC3-12800) 240-Pin UDIMM Memory BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00/BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 $41.23
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 3 Year Warranty Power Supply 100-B1-0600-KR $62.99
Computer Case BitFenix Computer Case Cases BFC-NEO-100-KKWSB-RP Black/Blue (Also available in White/Blue & White/Red & White/Silver & Black) $58.99
Optical Drive LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B $16.79

Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build

Even though the above builds have seen numerous changes for September, the $600 still holds a strong footing this time around. The $600 is more then capable of playing any game out there and perhaps can play some of them one higher settings at 1920X1080. Last month, there have been some significant changes to the $600 build when compared to previous $600 gaming PC builds of the month. Specifically, the graphics card, motherboard form factor and in turn the PC case sizing, all of which I will go into more detail below.

I have again included the new CPU addition to this build, 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.

The motherboard chosen this month is a full sized ATX motherboard – ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970.  This motherboard 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

For the graphics card, I’ve went with the MSI R7 370 OC card. You will get slightly better performance going with an AMD R9 380, but check out the hardware alternatives list below for details on that if you have a tad extra to spend. Likewise, another option for a graphics card could be the new GTX 950 graphics card that was released in he past month, which may performa similarly, but is priced a little high at the moment.

The included memory is  a kit of  Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB again and for the hard drive is a 1TB Seagate Barracuda, which should provide plenty of storage space.

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

For the second month in a row we have switched to a full ATX sized case for this build. This allows for easy installation for first timer, good airflow and room for expansion should you want to put more hardware in the future or re-use for a future build. The case for Septembers $600 build is the BitFenix NEOS – a spiffy stylish case that comes in several color combinations to fit your style and also has the followed features as described by Bitfenix (to learn more visit Bitfenix.com):

  • Enhanced Airflow
  • Ample Expansion
  • Easy to Build for First Time Builders
  • USB 3.0 Connectivity
  • Incredible Extras – Such as removable dust filters,

Upgrade Suggestions for the $600 Gaming PC Build:

If you have a little more then $600 for this build or want some suggestions to upgrade it in the future then check out the below hardware.

To get the most out of the AMD FX 8320 processor, you can overclock this cpu easily and to do so efficiently you will want a more efficient cpu cooler. The previous months needed a low profile cpu cooler, however I have now included the affordable and very reputable Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO cpu cooler.

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 a solid state drive such as the OCZ 240GB SSD you see below.

CPU Cooler:Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) ($31.05) Better Graphics Card (Sapphire Radeon R9 380):MSI R9 380 2GD5T OC Graphics Card ($199.99)
More Hard Drive Space With 2TB – Seagate Barracuda 2 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST2000DM001 Price: $72.99


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

The peripheral considerations are included as an attachment to the September 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 September 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 September 2015 Gaming PC Peripherals – Keyboards Mice and Monitors

Gaming PC Build Mice Keyboards and Monitors of the Month - September 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. 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 two will cost you and are either Windows 7 or 8.1 – 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 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 $89.99  
Windows 7 Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging) $89.98  
Windows 10 Upgrade Upgrade to Windows 10 Free with Windows 7, 8 or 8.1  Windows 10 PC Build
Ubuntu Ubuntu – Desktop Free Ubuntu Logo
SteamOS SteamOS Beta “Build your own Steam Machine” Free Steam Operating System OS

September 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+

56 thoughts on “September 2015 – Monthly Gaming PC Builds

  1. Hi Corey, following up on my last question for the $600 build, I had to replace the motherboard with a new one and got it working. The computer is great except for the CPU fan being super loud. I originally bought the Cooler Master you recommended for this board and case, but sent it back because I could not figure out how to mount it. All the offset screws that came with it were too big for the Mobo. But after listening to the fan that came with the AMD processor, I decided to reorder the Cooler Master fan. I just now took the stock fan and brackets off, and have discovered that this Cooler Master fan is TOO TALL for the case, and I still can’t get the bracket to work but that is besides the point. Even with no brackets, the Cooler Master sticks up to far to put the case side back on. So now I have to send the reordered fan back (and pay another $9 bucks restocking and shipping). Arg.

    Any suggestions on a fan that will definitely fit on this $600 build and be quieter than the stock fan. At this point, I am OK to spend a few more bucks to get one that works. Thanks!

    1. Hi Chris great to here you got the motherboard replaced with working one. Looking into the case it seems Bitfenix ahs been a little misleading with their max cooler heights being 160mm for the un-windowed versions of that case and 155mm for the windowed versions (Hyper 212 evo is 159mm), so I apologize for that as the 2cm or so on a windowed version would bend the siding with that cooler. My suggestion would be either a low profile one such as the Noctua NH-L12. Or go with liquid cooling, such as the Corsair H60 (both around the same cost)

  2. Hey Corey, first i’d like to say that this guide greatly inspired me and i’m about to actually buy these pc parts, however when it comes to the 600$ build cpu, could you tell me how the I3-4360 would perform against the Fx-8320 ? I’m kind of a newbie there but it seems to me that the I3 is worth the extra cash when it comes to gaming.

    1. Hi Guillaume,

      Great question and I’m glad to have inspired you to follow through.

      This has been debated greatly on which of those cpu’s to use. My opinion leans towards the Fx 8320 for modern and upcoming games and for multitasking in general. Overall though the major boost in gaming performance will be because of what graphics card you choose. My suggestions though would be to search any particular games you may be interested in using either the FX 8320 or the Intel i3 4360 and then go from there.

      Another suggestions I have would be that if you want to go the Intel route, to go with a locked Intel i5 4590. It would probably only cost you about $70 more in your overall build and you would only need to switch the processor and the motherboard to an H97 board, such as a budget ASRock H97 Anniversary, or a Gigabyte GA-H97-HD3.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for the great listing of parts for these builds. I purchased each item exactly on the list for the $600 Sept build and assembled this weekend. Turning it on the MOBO lights up, the fans spin, and the HD whirs, but there is no video out and there was no “beep” for the boot POST. Does this build have a speaker that should “beep” for POST? I have reviewed all the documentation and can’t find if it does, however the MOBO manual definitely talks about the POST beep. I am having a hard time narrowing it down to the MOBO or video card. I dis-assembled it and only had the MOBO, CPU, and HSF connected to the PSU. The manual suggested that there should be a POST beep even if no RAM was installed. Thanks for your help!

    1. HI Chris,

      Thank you and sorry to hear about the trouble there. There should be a POST beep. First thing is to check

      Quick article to read through for getting a No Post: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-steps-posting-post-boot-video-problems

      I would try every RAM configuration, including using one stick of each, then you can eliminate the cause of that. Make sure the graphics card power is plugged in snuggly etc. Could also try the graphics card in the x4 pci slot see if that works to get it booted up.

      If the CPU fan spins when starting the board, then I do suspect it’s the board, which you can notify Asus of and either get support or RMA the board – https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M5A97_R20/HelpDesk_Warranty/

      I hope this helps you out.

  4. Very impressed with this site. All the information needed to quickly put a computer a computer together. I will be checking back in when I build my next system.

  5. Hey Corey,

    Curious with the $600 build how she perform with MGS V: Phantom Pain?

    Currently running it fine with my Alienware 14 R4 laptop, but I want to play on my big screen.

  6. Hi Corey

    Love your site.

    I’m a build-your-own virgin gradually getting the confidence to jump in and do.

    I like the look of your $1.5k set up. However, can I ask a virgin’s question? What the difference between the manufacturers of the GeForce 980ti you recommend? There’s quite a big difference on Amazon here in the UK. see e.g.: http://www.amazon.co.uk/MSI-NVIDIA-GTX-Graphics-DL-DVI/dp/B00YF8L46C/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8#Ask

    Thanks

    1. Hi Jomesy,

      Welcome and thank you. Generally there isn’t a ton to worry about with the different manufacters, but there will be differences in clock speeds (some are factory overclocked), cooling mechanisms, video ports etc. The one I feature above is a little pricy on the UK site. Looking I did see the MSI GTX 980Ti to be at about 539 pounds, which would be a good card or even cheaper the Zotac GTX 980Ti is 529 pounds, both would be good. If it’s still a little too costly, you could also consider a regular GTX 980. Hope this helps!

  7. Been watching this site for a while. Finally got around to building a PC and used your $600.00 as a baseline and managed to upgrade most of the components and still stay below $725.00. Shameless plug, but I went to Micro Center and they helped me out a lot. They price matched everything, and even gave me a $40.00 discount on motherboard when I purchased a processor. He also looked up coupons that saved me $30.00. I ended up with a FX 8350, MSI 970A Krait edition MB, Corsair 200R case, EVG 600B power supply, 16GB Corsair Sport RAM, MSI Radeon R9 360 Armor 2x graphics, and a 250GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO.

    Thanks for making and maintaining this site. It helped a lot in getting what I wanted!

    1. Awesome stuff Jeff and you’re welcome. It sounds like you ended up getting a great build for the cost. Let me know how it goes and best of luck building!

  8. Hi Corey I going to build a US$ 600 computer i already have a I5-2400 3.10 ghz processor and a MSI 7673 motherboard could you recomend me a better motherboard and a good video card

    1. Hi Manuel,

      As for a motherboard, something like a ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 should be good. And for a video card, what I have suggested above, the MSI R7 370 should do the trick and keep you within budget.

      1. Thanks, I have a MSI 7673 motherboard, geforce gts 450 1gb, core i5-2400 3.10 ghz, 8 gb ram 4×2 kigsnton ddr3 1600, what do you recomend me to upgrade my pc but no to invest more than 400$.

        Besides that can i buy the memories you suggested above and use the one i have to get 16 GB.

        1. For about $400, assuming you have a case, hard drive, optical drive etc and are only upgrading the graphics card, ram (to 16GB, you won’t be able to use your current 2GB modules to add up to 16GB) and motherboard I would go with something like this and it will come just under $400:

          Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3
          RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3 16GB (2x8GB Sticks)
          Graphics Card: MSI Radeon R9 380

  9. Hey Corey great build. Im from Canada and the prices are way higher on amazon atm. Im new to building and I would like to get your thoughts on the parts im about to order. I went with your 600$ build but instead used the Ge-Force GTX 950 and currently trying to decide on either the processor you recommended or the AMD fx-6300 or the AMD fx-6350. The 6350 would save me 20$ while the 6300 would save me 70$. Im trying to save money wherever i can. (except for the graphics card) Thanks in advance for the help!

    1. Hi Cody,

      You’re right there is quite the difference right now due to the dollar. The FX 6300 would still be a great choice if you wanted to save the $70, which is significant. The GTX 950 would also be a great choice if its within budget and then if you do have more in your budget going with the FX 6300 then you could try for an R9 380, but that might make it tight. In One thing to note is that memoryexpress in Canada also has a price match program that will beat 10% of the cost of anything you find online or in stores. Hope this helps!

    1. Looks great! You can do without the thermal paste though, as the Hyper 212 EVO will come with some, but if you would rather use the Arctic Silver stuff, up to you as it’s not a huge cost.

  10. Hi Corey,

    I need some advice on which computer build is right for me. I’d really like to start doing some video work, such as recording content from Civ V, or Skyrim. I’ll also probably do some basic modification to the files with software such as Sony Vegas. Would the $1000 build be enough to handle this amount of processing, or should I keep saving for the $1,500? This will be my first computer that I build.

    1. Hi Abe,

      Honestly I think the $1000 build would work just fine for gaming / streaming. You’d be playing at 1080 which should stream fine. Even if you decide to do some minor editing in Sony Vegas or other video editors, you’ll still be fine. What would increase performance slightly more, especially if you decided to get really into video editor and rendering, then getting the i7 processor would make most sense, but for your sake its probably not a huge deal. The GTX 970 graphics card also has something called Shadowplay (part of nvidia’s software) – which actually can stream or record with little impact on performance ( http://www.geforce.com/geforce-experience/shadowplay )

  11. Hi,

    I think your articles are great help to a noob like me looking to do my first build! I am looking at the $1000 build, for this month, which sounds great for my needs! I cannot get the case at a reasonable price on the UK, please can you confirm if the NZXT Phantom 410 case would suit this build or not?

    Thanks a lot!
    Dan

    1. Hi Dan,

      You’re welcome and I appreciate the comment. The NZXT Phantom 410 is more then a great case and I used to recommend it quite a bit as you get a lot for what you pay for and it comes in several color configurations. And you bet, it will work for the $1000 build. Seems to be a few people from the UK this time around, welcome!

      1. Hi Corey!

        Thanks for your quick response! With regards to the RAM, would it be better to get the 2 x 4GB or the single 8GB stick?

        Sorry for the probably basic questions! As I said this is my first build and want to get it right!

        Thanks,
        Dan

  12. Thanks for your quick reply and advice Corey. I have looked online and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of price difference over here in the UK for the different GTX 960’s. also in a year or so i would be looking to either add another GTX 960 or upgrade to a single GTX 980, the only problem being that i have seen reviews for the MSI Z170 Krait Gaming motherboard saying that it is impossible to to add a second GPU without blocking the SATA ports. if so i would just have to upgrade instead of having the option to SLI. have you built with this board?

    1. Sounds good then. I was referring to a few I saw on the pcpartpicker link you’d sent. You are right the SATA ports are awkwardly placed and directly to the right of the second PCI Express 3.0 slot. I’ve only seen the motherboard and have not SLI’d or done much with it. What I’ve done though is I’ve just sent a support e-mail off to MSI themselves inquiring about whether or not I’d still have access adding in the second card, I suspect you might have to use right-angles sata connectors, but we’ll see what they have to say and I’ll report back.

  13. So, I’m a first time builder and I’ve been looking into getting the $1500 build (updating my list monthly until those big Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales come around.) However without too much knowledge on computers I had a couple questions on this particular build.

    So I can’t help but ask about how the cooler isn’t optional, does that mean that fan cooler is utmost recommended for the build or is the Corsair Hydro series liquid cooler you often recommend still a viable option as an alternative?

    Also the 240GB SSD included with the $1000 dollar build could that be used as an alternative to the SSD as well? (I only ask because its the same brand and I felt 1 TB was a bit pushing it as far as how much space I’ll need.)

    (ALSO one more noob question or favor but this one can be ignored, but is there a link or way you could summarize the benefits of using SSD and HHD simultaneously? (I’ve been trying to look into it, but most just point out the benefits of using an SSD over an HHD.)

    Anyway thank you for your time if you decide to read this it means a lot to me. (Especially since I have no idea what I’m doing. 😀 )

    1. Hi Corey,

      Great questions.

      What I mean by the cooler isn’t optional, is that the Intel 6600K doesn’t come with a stock heatsink (as the previous Intel 4690K I had in its spot), so you actually need to purchase a cooler for everything to work. Before I would also recommend the additional Cooler Master Hyper 212 since you would only need it to overclock as the stock heatsinks aren’t as good. Also, the cooler master H100i liquid cooler I usually have in the alternatives would also still be a good choice.

      Yep, you can use the 240GB in the $1000 build can be used in any of the builds. And there actually is no performance benefit to actually using an HHD and SSD simultaneously – I usually include both in the $1500 build as a cost saving factor, as a single 120GB or 240GB SSD usually isn’t a ton of space for some users who have lots of software / media, so by including both you get the benefits of using the SSD for very fast boot and load times (using it as your main drive with your operating system and most used games) and then having the 1TB HHD to store the rest (ie. old games, movies, music, photos software etc.) This is cheaper then actually purchasing a 500GB plus SSD as they are quite expensive right now. So, by all means if you can do without the 1TB drive I would say go for just the SSD!

      And by all means feel free to come back with any questions!

  14. Hey Corey, Im a first time builder and am currently saving up to build something for around £700-£800 ($1000). I have been taking bits and pieces from your site over the last 4-5 months and compiled a build on pcpartpicker. with the introduction of the skylake processor i have today switched a few things around am wondering if you could take a glance and maybe give a couple of tips or better alternatives for my parts? It would be a great help for an enthusiastic novice like myself.

    http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/darrynihle/saved/#view=bgtFf7

    Cheers
    Darryn

    1. Hello Darryn,

      Welcome to building! Your build looks great overall. I would look at the other 4GB GTX 960’s or 4GB Radeon R7 380’s as you can get some other good ones and save a little more, as I noticed your EVGA GTX 960 was a little pricy. Other then that, it’s looking like a great build 🙂

      1. Thanks for your quick reply and advice Corey. I have looked online and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of price difference over here in the UK for the different GTX 960’s. also in a year or so i would be looking to either add another GTX 960 or upgrade to a single GTX 980, the only problem being that i have seen reviews for the MSI Z170 Krait Gaming motherboard saying that it is impossible to to add a second GPU without blocking the SATA ports. if so i would just have to upgrade instead of having the option to SLI. have you built with this board?

    1. Hi Adam,

      I would say it would definitely be worth it to sell your current Radeon R7 250 for either the GTX 960 you linked or the R7 370 I’ve included above. I would get the one you linked if you can keeping in mind that it is about $50 more then the R7 370 I’ve linked. Likewise, a slightly higher performing card for the same cost to the GTX 960 is the Radeon R9 380, which is in the alternatives section of the $600 build above.

      Hope this helps!

      1. It seems that my current Radeon R7 is not working with the motherboard. Everything works fine, expect that its fan does not spin and no connection to the TV.

        Do I have to plug something in it? because I dont see anything

        1. No the Asus AMD Radeon R7 250 that you say you own doesn’t take any external power pcie, just plugs in. Make sure its nice and snug firs in the top pci express slot. It should have plenty of power with that psu. Make sure RAMs in proper slots, cpu power is plugged in etc. Can you boot without the graphics card?

          1. Everything lights up and spins. My motherboard does not have integrated graphics, and it does the lights do not flash.

            and in an off note. Is the Sapphire Radeon Dual-X R9 280X worth $150?

            1. also, will it be enough with the 600WAT power source, or should i return it and get the 750 for only a 10 dollar difference>

              1. Yeah the Sapphire Radeon Dual-X R9 280X would be a good price at $150. And even given a $10 difference, you’re not going to use the extra wattage so there is no point, unless you want to use it for another pc build in the not too far future.

    1. You bet, there’s enough clearance for everything and it’s a great case. Do keep in mind that the S340 doesn’t have a spot for an optical drive, so you won’t be able to keep that in there. You can however (if you need to install software via a DVD) temporarily plug an optical drive into the motherboard with the case open and then just store it if you needed to.

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