The Best Gaming PC Builds of the Month February 2018

February 2018 Gaming PC Builds of the Month

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Gaming PC Builds – February 2018

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The Best Gaming PC Builds of the Month February 2018

February 2018 Gaming PC Builds of the Month

Welcome one and all to the February 2018 edition of the gaming pc builds of the month here at Newb Computer Build. We have been doing these monthly updates for a long while now, and without a doubt (*hold for dramatic effect), this is probably the hardest point in time to affordably build a decent gaming pc. There are numerous factors, but the main one is that high-end graphics cards are simply just not affordable or even in stock at the moment. This dramatically effects the build a pc market since graphics card are one of the more pieces of hardware needed and given their limited availability means prices that are way higher than they should be.

So what can you do to affordably build a pc right now? Well You can try setting up price or stock alerts for higher end graphics cards, and one such tool to do this is with a tool such as nowinstock.net — and set an altert for the card you’re interested in. You can also try buying directly from NVIDIA and have them alert you for some of the cards included in this article, such as with the GTX 1080 or GTX 1070 or 1070ti.

Now with that out of the way you can still build relatively well with mainstream graphics card (see the $600 gaming pc build below), or buy through channels like ebay, so don’t be discouraged!

This month I have accounted for prices shifts, new hardware releases and more. If you have any questions or need help when  planning your pc builds, then please don’t hesitate to comment below.


Visit the Best Gaming PC Builds for 2018 Page to Keep up to Date With the Monthly Gaming PC Builds


Gaming PC Builds 2017 - High End Level

$1600 Best Gaming PC Build 2018

Performance: Game with Extreme settings and High FPS at resolutions of 1920×1080 (1080P) & 2560×1440 (1440p) + good gameplay at 4K

*This PC Build is powered by the Intel Coffee Lake i7-8700K CPU and GTX 1080 GPU

Hardware Link Price Image
Processor

Intel BX80684I78700K 8th Gen Core i7-8700K Processor

$374.89
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan $29.99
Motherboard ASUS TUF Z370-PLUS GAMING LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI DVI M.2 Z370 ATX Motherboard $149.99
Graphics Card From NVIDIA.com: GTX 1080

From Amazon (*If Available): MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X SLI DirectX 12 VR Ready Graphics Card (GTX 1080 ARMOR 8G OC)

$549.99
RAM $171.99
SSD SanDisk SSD PLUS 480GB Solid State Drive (SDSSDA-480G-G26) [Newest Version] $134.99
Power Supply Corsair RMx Series, RM750x, 750W, Fully Modular Power Supply, 80 PLUS Gold Certified $109.89
Computer Case NZXT S340 Mid Tower Computer Case, Glossy Black (CA-S340W-B1) $69.99
Estimated Price : $1592 – (2018)

 

Overview: Best Gaming PC Build for $1600

The high-end gaming pc build is for those who want to expose the limitless potential of their gaming rigs FPS — that is those gamers who want to game comfortably at 1440p on high refresh rates monitors while gaming at the highest settings. The included CPU is probably the biggest change as of a month ago as we have now included Intel Coffee Lake i7 8700K CPU.

*Note: The graphics card recommended for this gaming pc build is the GTX 1080, however due to recent supply (see article introduction), it may be tough to get this card at the moment. So looking at the pc build table above, you can try to procure this card directly from NVIDIA themselves or set up price alerts. If you think you have a little extra to spend you could also consider the GTX 1080 ti graphics card as well, which would also give you more of a performance punch.

The motherboard we have for the high-end gaming pc build is the Asus TUF Z370-PLUS GAMING board, which is a solid Z370 motherboard with Aura Sync RGB lighting and at a reasonable price for these newer boards. The Z370-PLUS GAMING board has the following specifications (Learn more at Asus.com – Z370-PLUS GAMING):

  • ASUS OptiMem: Careful routing of traces and vias to preserve signal integrity for improved memory overclocking
  • Exclusive DTS Custom audio: Delivers positional cues to stereo headphones, helping you to pinpoint enemies and action
  • TUF Protection: SafeSlot, ESD Guards, DDR4 overvoltage protection, Digi+ VRM, and stainless-steel back I/O for long-term reliability
  • TUF Components: TUF LANGuard, TUF Chokes, TUF Capacitors, and TUF MOSFETs for maximum durability
  • Fan Xpert 4 Core: Ensures every fan achieves the best balance of cooling performance and acoustics
  • Onboard M.2 heatsink: Cools your M.2 drive, delivering consistent storage performance and enhanced reliability.
  • Aura Sync RGB: Synchronize LED lighting with a vast portfolio of compatible PC gear.

Included in the high-end build is 16GB total in memory, a kit of two 8GB sticks of Ballistix Sport LT memory. RAM prices have been and are all over the place due to an assumed apply and demand issue. But we do have to accept this for now.

Our storage solution, is a SanDisk Plus 480 GB SSD – plenty of space to get started with your build. If you think you want to milk as much speed and performance as possible you could also opt for a PCIe SSD, for a bit of a premium (as shown in the hardware upgrades/alternatives below).

For months I have included the EVGA Supernova G2 750W psu, however due to a recent price surge with those PSUs I have switched to an equally reputable psu at a more affordable price. In ths above you build you will find the full modular, gold rated Corsair RMx series RM750x psu.

The included pc case the well reputed the NZXT S340 (specifically, the Matte Black — this case also comes in blue or red color options). I absolutely love the aesthetic of this case (and all the S340’s), one that just boasts confidence in style and quality. To learn more please visit the product page at NZXT.com.

2018 Best $1800 PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

PSU UPGRADE
EVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2, 80+ PLATINUM 750W , Fully Modular , EVGA ECO Mode, 10 Year Warranty , Includes FREE Power On Self Tester, Power Supply 220-P2-0750-X1
– Higher Efficiency Power Supply
$159.99
GRAPHICS CARD UPGRADE GTX 1080 Ti: Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Graphic Cards GV-N108TAORUS-11GD *For the best possible 4K gaming experience $699.99 GTX 1080 ti NVIDIA
CPU COOLER UPGRADE 
Purchase a liquid CPU cooler (*Highly recommended for Overclocking the CPU to it’s potential): Corsair Hydro Series H100i v2 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060025-WW
$108.29
STORAGE UPGRADE
PCIe SSD (faster): Plextor M8Pe 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid-State Drive with Heatsink (PX-512M8PeG
$193.59

The hardware upgrades you see above are recommendations for the best 2018 $1600 gaming PC build. You can choose one or all of the hardware and it will be compatible with the above build and improve it’s performance in some way.

For those who are concerned about or want a highly efficient power supply, you could go with the Platinum rated EVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2 — it costs more than the included psu but is more power efficient.

The above pc build does include an SSD, which is perfectly suited for most gamers and pc builders, but if someone were searching for the fastest and one of the most efficient methods of storage, you could consider a premium PCIe Solid State Drive, such as the Plextor 512Gb M.2 PCIe SSD above.

(*Highly recommended for high-end overclocks). If you want more than the included air cpu cooler included in the main build, then above is the Corsair Hydro Series H100i V2 liquid cpu cooler. This cooler would be a substitute for the above included Hyper 212 EVO air cpu cooler and would provide a quieter, more efficient / more customized cooling experience. This option would be best purchased now rather then later so as to save on buying only one cooler for your PC.

The final upgrade you see above is a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (you can purchase directly from nvidia.com), which perform really well for those high-end resolutions, and is said to have “epic 4K performance”, as stated by Trusted Reviews in their GTX 1080 ti Review.

Gaming PC Builds 2017 - Mid Range Level


$1000 Best Gaming PC Build 2018

Capability: Game with Extreme settings at 1920X1080 resolutions up to Higher Settings at 2560×1440 (2K)

Powered by the Ryzen 5 1600 CPU and the GTX 1060 6Gb Graphics Card

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $961.56 (2018)
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 1600 Processor with Wraith Spire Cooler

$199.99
Cooler *Free — Wraith Spire Cooler included with the Ryzen 5 1600 $
Motherboard $106.96
Graphics Card

GTX 1060 6GB: GTX 1060 6GB From NVIDIA $299.99 GTX 1060 6GB graphics card pc build
RAM $94.99
SSD $89.75
Power Supply EVGA 650 GQ, 80+ GOLD 650W, Semi Modular, EVGA ECO Mode, 5 Year Warranty, Power Supply 210-GQ-0650-V1 $99.89
Computer Case $69.99

Overview: $1000 Best Gaming PC Build 2018

The best gaming pc build for $1000 is for those who want to game at high FPS with resolutions of 1080p to 1440p. This budge 2018t PC build that will probably cover most of any average gamers needs, those pc gamers who want an affordable pc that they get to custom build and play the most modern games at the highest settings on the most used gaming resolutions.

The included processor is an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 cpu. Another option one could consider is the Ryzen 1600X, but you can overclock the 1600 up to 1600x levels, plus the 1600 comes with its own cpu cooler; you can see the hardware alternative table below for an even better upgrade choice as well. Another alternative cpu could also be an Intel i5 8400, but if you go this route you will need to get a Z370 socketed motherboard (*see the $1600 pc build above for an example).

As with every build right now, the graphics card is the tough piece of hardware to track down. Above you will notice that there is a GTX 1060 6GB included this month, and it is linked to nvidia.com directly. This is because most high-end graphics card are hard to get these days and Nvidia has a notification sign-up if their cards are out of stock, or the ability to purchase direct from them. Otherwise if you can find a GTX 1060 6GB graphics card for near the same cost on amazon, go for it!

The motherboard included in the $1000 gaming pc build is the GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming 3. Thie motherboard fully supports theincluded Ryzen 1600 and has the following specifications (see more at gigabyte.us):

  • Supports AMD Ryzen™ & 7th Generation A-series / Athlon™ Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Fast 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-A
  • 2-Way CrossFire™ Multi-Graphics Support with Ultra Durable™ Metal Shielding over PCIe Slots
  • Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support
  • ALC1220 120dB SNR HD Audio with Smart Headphone Amp
  • Realtek® Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • USB DAC-UP 2 & 2 Front USB 3.0 Ports with Adjustable Voltage
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design
  • Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
  • Smart Fan 5 features 6 Temperature Sensors and 5 Hybrid Fan Headers
  • GIGABYTE™ UEFI DualBIOS™
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities

The RAM included is the affordable kit of Kingston HyperX Fury 8Gb kit, which is enough memory for most gaming pc builds, and you always have the option to upgrade more in the future if need be with the extra couple of slots on the included motherboard. RAM prices are a little unpredictable these days due to supply and demand issues (or so I’ve heard), so you can try to look for the best deal on a 8GB kit of 2X 4Gb sticks of ram and you will be fine.

For this pc builds storage, we have a SK Hynix 256GB SSD, which is a great value SSD. Should you want more than the 250GB, then you can look at the high-end build for another SSD option as well or in the hardware alternatives table below.

The included power supply unit used in this months $1000 pc build was the EVGA SuperNOVA G1 650W power supply but for some reason the cost shot up this month. What we instead have for a psu this month is the EVGA 650 GQ, 80+ GOLD, which has a similar quality, however it is only semi-modular, which means some of the cords are permanently attached to the psu (rather than detachable). If you can find the EVGA G1 for a similar or lesser cost then my suggestion would be to go with that.

We have a brand new PC case this month, which is the Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 RGB. This spiffy case brings affordable style with customizable trim colors, great case cooling performance and plenty of room for all of your gaming pc hardware. Learn more about the Cooler Master Masterbox 5 RGB on the coolermaster.com website.

2018 Best $1000 PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

CPU UPDGRADE Add a Better CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler $294.00
GRAPHICS CARD UPGRADE GTX 1070 Ti: GTX 1070 Ti Graphics Card (NVIDIA.com) $449.99
PSU UPGRADE  Upgrade to a Platinum efficient power supply – EVGA SuperNOVA 650 P2, 80+ PLATINUM 650W , Fully Modular , EVGA ECO Mode, 10 Year Warranty , Includes FREE Power On Self Tester, Power Supply 220-P2-0650-X1 $129.99
CPU COOLER UPGRADE Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler , Black- Add a liquid CPU Cooler for quieter, more customized and efficient cooling *Note you will need to go to Corsair’s Website to purchase an AM4 bracket if you get this cooler.
$89.99

Above are the upgrade ideas for the best 2018 $1000 gaming PC build, these are recommended if you have a larger budget or want some upgrade suggestions later on.

There is a CPU upgrade included this month for those who have a tiny bit more to spend on more performance, more specifically for someone who also using their PC as a workstation. If you want to boost up your performance you can upgrade your cpu to an AMD Ryzen 7 1700. Also mentioned earlier, you could also go with an Intel i5-8400, however you would need to switch your motherboard to a Z370 socket (see the $1600 gaming pc build above for an example).

For the best in terms of a performance boost, you could consider going straight for a GTX 1070 or GTX 1070 ti graphics card, which could max those games out in 2K without a problem, which will enable higher frame rates in more demanding games.

You could also go with a liquid cpu cooler such as the Corsair Hydro Series H80i V2 in place of the included air cooler already included in the above build above. This could help keep things quiet and a tad cooler when overclocking and it offers a more customize cooling experience.

I have also included a PSU upgrade this month – that is the EVGA 650Watt P2, which is a Platinum rated Power Supply Unit giving you an extra boost in power efficiency, which could save a tad on power as it uses it more efficiently.

Gaming PC Builds 2017 - Entry Level

$700 Best Gaming PC Build 2018

Capability: Game at Smoothly with High settings and FPS at 1920X1080 resolutions in most games.

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $677 (2018)
Processor
$149.99
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming AMD RYZEN AM4 B350 SMART FAN 5 HDMI M.2 SATA USB 3.1 Type-A ATX DDR4 Motherboard $79.01
Graphics Card GTX 1050 Ti: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 TiGTX 1050 Ti from Nvidia.com (From Newegg) $199.99 GTX 1050 ti gpu gaming pc build 2018
RAM Kingston HyperX FURY Black 8GB Kit (2x4GB) 2133MHz DDR4 Non-ECC CL14 DIMM Desktop Memory (HX421C14FBK2/8) $94.99
SSD Kingston Digital, Inc. 120GB A400 SATA 3 2.5 Solid State Drive $49.99
Power Supply Corsair CX Series, CX500, 500 Watt (500W) Power Supply, 80+ Bronze Certified $52.65
Computer Case VIVO ATX Mid Tower Computer Gaming PC Case w/ Glass Window, 4 Fan Ports, USB 3.0 (CASE-V10G)BitFenix Computer Case Cases BFC-NEO-100-KKWSK-RP Black $49.99

Overview: Gaming PC Build 2018

The best $700 gaming PC build for 2018 is able to game smoothly at 1080p resolutions in most games on higher settings. Most general gamers will most likely be gaming on a 1080p monitor and this will actually be all they need to play the games they want to play. Plus this is a great build to consider if you are new to the pc building community. *Please note that the entry level gaming pc build slot used to be considered a $600 build, however to keep up with price fluctuations and providing performance expected out of a gaming pc, the budget had to increase a little.

The CPU for the 2018 $700 PC build to a Ryzen 5 1400. This is currently the best cost per performance solution for this budget.

*Note: that graphics card  (as mentioned in the introduction) are at an extremely low supply right now, so do try and shop around if you have trouble finding the one linked in the table above. For the graphics card we have a GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. This is a great gpu that provides you with good 1080p game play. If you need to further boost your graphics performance, check out the alternatives tables below where we include an AMD RX 580 4GB graphics card, likewise you could also get a GTX 1060 3Gb card if you don’t have as much to spend.

For the motherboard we had to include a new one to accommodate the inclusion of our Ryzen CPU, so this month we have gone with the plain GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming. This motherboard is a variant of the one included in the $1000 pc build above and has the following specification (Gigabyte.com):

  • Supports AMD Ryzen™ & 7th Generation A-series/ Athlon™ Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Fast 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-A
  • 2-Way CrossFire™ Multi-Graphics Support
  • Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support
  • High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • Realtek® Gigabit LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • Smart Fan 5 features 6 Temperature Sensors and 4 Hybrid Fan Headers
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™
  • APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities

The RAM included is a kit of Kingsten HyperX Fury (the same as in the $1000 pc build) which is enough memory for most gaming pc builds, and you always have the option to upgrade more in the future if need be with the extra couple of slots on the included motherboard.

The storage included is a Kingston Digital 120GB solid state drive SSD. This is a great start in terms of storage speed and capacity, however if you do think you’ll need more storage right away, you could consider a 256Gb or larger SSD as well (look at any of the builds in this article or in the hardware alternatives table for suggestions).

To actually provided power in this pc build, we have the reputable and affordable Corsair CX Series, CX500, with enough juice to power this build and for a good cost.

For the gaming PC case we have a brand new budget case that was just released, the VIVO V10G. This is a surprisingly great value new case that has three blue 120mm LED fans. Learn more about this case’s specifications on VIVO’s website:

  • ATX Mid-Tower
  • Supports ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX motherboards
  • Color – Matte black with tented tempered glass front and side (full black interior)
  • SPCC 0.5T steel with plastic front bezel, tempered glass front and left side panels
  • Top mounted ATX power supply (not included)

2018 $600 Best PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

CASE UPGRADE  Upgrade your case: BitFenix Enso Black, ATX/mATX/Mini ITX Mid Tower Case – Tempered Glass Window, Alchemy 3.0 Addressable Asus AURA SYNC RGB LED Design with Controller -BFC-ENS-150-KKWGK-RP $79.00
GRAPHICS CARD UPGRADE GTX 1060 6GB: GTX 1060 6GB From NVIDIA $299.99 GTX 1060 6GB graphics card pc build
CPU UPGRADE  AMD Ryzen 5 1600 $198.00
STORAGE UPGRADE SK Hynix Flash Memory 2.5″ 250 GB Internal Solid State Drives HFS250G32TND-N1A2A
$85.95

Here you will find upgrade suggestions should you have more to spend or want ideas for hardware upgrade when you have the need in the future for the best 2018 $600 gaming PC build.

If you are wanting a different style to your pc case we have included yet another newly released PC case, the BitFenix Enso. This case can be a worthy upgrade that has RGB lighting functionality, a windowed side the view your superb hardware and it is painted black inside and out.

If you are looking for one piece of hardware that will boost the speed of your gaming pc the most, it would be to upgrade your graphics card to a  GTX 1060. Do note that at the time of writing this article you do have to head on over to nvidia.com to get your hands on one.

You could also increase your storage space by going with a larger capacity SK HYNIX 256Gb SSD or even the 500GB oneThis would be recommended if you think you will need more than 120GB as included in the SSD in the base build above.


Operating Systems for Your 2018 Gaming PC Builds

You will need an operating system (OS) for your gaming pc build and If you don’t already have one laying around, then you’re going to have to purchase a standard OS such as Windows 10 or check out some free alternatives that you could consider. Keep in mind that it is recommended to purchase Windows online or as a USB stick and install it that way as optical drives are not included in any of these builds and nor would you generally need one for any modern gaming pc.

Included below is a USB copy of Windows 10, which is probably what most people need. I have also included two other operating systems that are both currently free – so could be worth the time trying out. Ubuntu is a Linux based operating system. The last OS is SteamOS, which is also a Linux OS being developed by Valve Corporation.

OS Link Price Image
Windows 8.1 Microsoft Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive

*This is the USB version, you can also purchase the DVD (which requires an Optical Drive) or purchase a downloaded copy, which would require you to install on to a USB or hard drive from another PC.

$99.99  
Ubuntu Ubuntu – Desktop Free Ubuntu Logo
SteamOS SteamOS – “Build your own Steam Machine” Free Steam Operating System OS

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