Gaming PC Build January 2016

January 2016 PC Builds – ( $1500 $1000 & $600 )

Gaming PC Builds – January 2016

Jump to a specific budget build –

Gaming PC Build January 2016

Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:

Welcome everyone to the January 2016 gaming pc builds of the month and Happy New Year!

There have been a few changes overall for those of you that have been following month to month so please check those below. I have also switched up the labeling slightly for the builds this month to make the choice for you (the builder) easier by clarifying what you might expect in terms of performance in terms of at what resolutions you play at and what settings you want to get out of your gaming pc build.

The $1500 build should be for those that want to game at 1400p resolutions maxed out in most games with high FPS rates and will even suit those that want to try out 4K gaming (albeit not at the highest settings). The $1000 build should be suited for those expecting to max out any game at 1080p with high frame rates and even for those that want to dabble into 1440p gameplay now or in the future (although you may have to scale some setting back in games at 1440p). Finally, the $600 build is for those wanting to game while maxing out some games at 1080p with high frame rates while scaling the settings back slightly in others.

If you have any questions about the builds or your specific build please leave a comment below as its always great to see and hear from new and returning builders as well it may even help others looking to build a new gaming pc. I really do enjoy writing these build articles every month and look to continue doing so throughout 2016. Also keep an eye out for some other articles such as product overviews and even the gaming pc peripherals of the month articles for those looking for mice, keyboards and monitors to coincide with their gaming machine.

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

January 2016 1440p PC Build ( $1514 )

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

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

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price : $1514.00
Processor Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 3.50 GHz, 6 M Processor Cache 6 for LGA 1151 (BX80662I56600K) $289.89
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $29.99
Motherboard Gigabyte LGA1151 Intel Z170 ATX Motherboard ATX DDR4 NA Motherboards (GA-Z170X-GAMING 5) $177.78
Graphics Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti Overclocked 6GB GDDR5 PCiE Video Card Graphics Cards (GV-N98TWF3OC-6GD) $629.99
RAM $86.17
Hard Drive *No HDD Included – Optional. See Alternatives Section.  –
SSD Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM) $83.43
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 $89.99
Computer Case Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower Chassis with Window Cases PH-ES614P_BK $89.99
Optical Drive No optical drive included in base build cost – *This should be considered optional (LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B)

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

So this month (to bring in the new year) I have switched up the labeling of the builds to more accommodate and help you choose a gaming pc that fits your particular goals. By goals, I mean the resolutions and rough settings that you may want to be gaming at. This build is for those that are looking to max out most games with resolutions up to 2560×1440 (1440p) resolutions and even for those that want a little bit of “future-proofing” in their build.

Here we have an Intel i5 6600K processor and the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 980Ti graphics card – the real power houses to running this high performing pc build (see some of the GTX 980Ti Benchmarks done by TomsHardware for proof).

The included CPU cooler is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler will help you overclock the 6600K easily and you need a cpu cooler since the Skylake processors (such as the Intel 6600K) don’t come with a stock cooler (and the Hyper 212 Evo is one of the highest rated air coolers; especially for the cost). For those who want to spend a little more, there is even a liquid CPU (the Corsair H100i) included in the hardware alternatives section below, which will give you a much quieter, more customized cooling experience.

For a motherboard, included is a Gigabyte GA-Z170X-GAMING 5, which is the middle board in Gigabyte’s G1 Z170 motherboard lineup. This board has the following specifications (learn more at

  • 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 NVMe & 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

16Gb of RAM are included in the top end build in this article, but with the skylake cpu / z170 chipset motherboard combo, we can now include the newer DDR4 memory instead of DDR3. Included is 16GB (two 8GB sticks) of Corsair Ballistix Sport RAM, plenty of memory for this gaming pc build and priced well too.

No longer included in this build is an HDD, instead all we have is 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 as the $600 builds included 1TB Seagate drive or a more expensive 1TB SSD).

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. Keep in mind that for those that do plan on going with SLI (two graphics cards / GTX 980Ti’s) in the future that you will want to plan for at least an 850W high quality PSU (such as the 850W EVGA SuperNOVA G2)

The PC case I’ve included this month (as I have a couple of times before) is a Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower. This is a perfectly crafted full tower case that is built well and has plenty of room for any additions you may want to throw at it. You can get it with a side window or without, in black, green or even in white. Phanteks’s case features are as follows (

Enthoo Pro includes 1 x 200mm fan in front and 1 x 140mm fan in the rear. Ability to upgrade to additional fans is possible. All fans included are Phanteks new redesigned and better performing SP series fans. Budget friendly case, Phanteks Enthoo Pro, unleash unlimited possibilities.

*Note: I have now started to leave out optical drives in all of my pc builds. The main reason is that I’m finding there is little use to having one anymore and it does bring the overall cost of the build down slightly. I also find the biggest usage to having one is to install Windows / your Operating System, which can be easily accomplished via a USB stick or external hard drive.

$1500 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

The following are some extra alternative hardware for those that have a little more to spend or for those that want upgrade ideas for the future for the above $1500 gaming pc build either now or in the future.

Included in the build is an i5 Intel 6600K Skylake, but for those that do more then gaming perhaps an Intel i7 6700K cpu might be needed; this would be beneficial for those that do video work or even graphics work where there is some rendering that could benefit from an i7.

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 larger SanDisk Extreme PRO 1TB SSD for those that may want the extra space, but also want to use one drive for ultimate speeds on an SSD.

You could also really increase your graphics power by SLI’ing the Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti by adding in a second PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti, but it will cost you another $639.99 or so. This could also be a future upgrade idea to boost your gaming pc’s performance when you need it later on, but right now it probably isn;t worth it unless you are serious about 4K gaming. 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.

Also included below is the Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX 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.

Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 4.00 GHz 8M Processor Cache 4 LGA 1151 BX80662I76700K ($466) – Do more then gaming? Like show off? – Then an i7 might be the right choice
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti Overclocked 6GB GDDR5 PCiE Video Card Graphics Cards (GV-N98TWF3OC-6GD) ($639.99) – SLI with two GTX 980 Ti’s for some super graphics performance.*If you want to SLI you should consider at least an 850W psu such as the EVGA SuperNOVA 850W G2 PSU ($120.03).
Purchase a liquid CPU cooler (instead of the included air cooler): Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060021-WW ($104.20) 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 ($379.99)

$1000 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

January 2016 PC Builds ( $1030 )

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: $1030.00
Processor Intel Boxed Core I5-6600K 3.50 GHz, 6 M Processor Cache 6 for LGA 1151 (BX80662I56600K) $289.99
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $28.99  
Motherboard $153.01
Graphics Card

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16

Alternative card (Should you consider 1440p now or in the future)





ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16

RAM $59.43
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003) $48.10  
SSD (Alternative Storage) Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM)  $67.99  
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1 80+ GOLD, 650W Continuous Power, Fully Modular 10 Year Warranty Power Supply 120-G1-0650-XR $74.88
Computer Case $69.99
Optical Drive No optical drive included in base build cost – *This should be considered optional (LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B)

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

As stated in the build above, I have switch up the labeling of the monthly builds a tad for the start of 2016 so that they fall roughly under the currently laid out budgets as well to clarify what they are capable of. The January 2016 $1000 gaming pc build is capable of maxing out most games at around 60fps at 1920×1080 resolutions and can even do reasonably well at 2560×1440 depending on the game. This build uses a combination of the Skylake Intel i5 6600K cpu and a GTX 970 graphics card or alternatively an R9 390 if you want to consider upping to 1440p anytime in the future (the extra memory will on the R9 390 will help with this).

Like the $1500 build above also includes, included is 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 a cpu cooler anyhow. If you check out the hardware alternative table below, you will also see an option for a liquid cpu cooler which could be for those that want a quieter more customized cooling option should you have the extra cash for it.

The included z170 chipset motherboard we have is the board right below the included Gaming 5 motherboard in the above build, which is the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 3. This motherboard does support both Crossfire and SLI, so that you do have the option to include two of either the graphics card options as an upgrade suggestion for the future. The Gaming 3 motherboard has the following specifications (and you can learn more on the product page at

  • 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 NVMe & 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 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

There are two graphics card included in the build table above as they are tight competitors both in terms of price and performance. The first graphics card included, is the Zotac GeForce GTX 970  and alternatively for a similar price there is also a XFX 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, but you can probably choose based on what resolution you’ll primarily be playing at – such as if you have a 1080- monitor you’ll probably be best maxing out games with the GTX 970 with high FPS and if you plan on either upgrading in the future to a 1440p monitor or have one, then the R9 390 may help with playing on the highest possible settings due to it having more memory. Either way my suggestion would be to still look up some benchmarks on the games yo plan on playing (such as on youtube) and see which card may be the best fit for you.

The RAM included is a kit of Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR4 RAM, which is generally enough memory for a standard gaming pc build, and you always have the option to upgrade more (ie. 16GB by adding in two more 8GB sticks in the future).

To accommodate for some cost changes this month I have reintroduced the Seagate 1TB HDD back into this build. 1TB is tons of space for a gaming generally, but I would suggest sometime that you include a solid state drive “SSD” into the mix to enhance your boot times and overall feeling of quickness with your pc. You have a couple of options for doing this, such as adding in a cheaper 120GB SSD, installing your OS on it and most played games and throwing the rest of your data on to the 1TB drive, which will quicken the booting of your gaming pc and those games, or spending a bit more and going with a 250GB SSD instead (as seen in the alternatives table below) and using it as your primary drive.

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 it’s price, quality and the fact that it’s modular, you really can’t go wrong with this power supply.

The gaming pc case included for January 2016 is actually a newer release from BitFenix – the Bitfenix Nova. This case is stylish, performs well, is silent and has a simplistic design. If you want to read a review on it, I’ve found the on to be in depth with them stating that the BitFenix Nova is an “Amazing Value”, while even BitFenix is coinciding the NOVA case case name as being “Budget Evolved” ( Nova Overview).

$1000 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

Here is some alternative hardware upgrades for those wanting to spend a tad more or for those that want some upgrade ideas for the January 2016 $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 (I would only consider the larger PSU if you really plan on doing this). Likewise, if you go the GTX 970 route, you can add in another ASUS Turbo GTX 970 in SLI to boost your graphics as well.

There is now an SSD included in the base $1000 build, but 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 also get the 2TB version of the Seagate HDD.

You could also  go with a liquid cpu cooler such as the Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT. This could help keep things quiet and a tad cooler when overclocking and it offers a more customize cooling experience (learn more about the Corsair h80i GT at

*Note: If you plan on doing Crossfire or SLI you will probably want at least an 850W power supply such as –EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 80+ GOLD, 850W ECO Mode Fully Modular NVIDIA SLI and Crossfire Ready 10 Year Warranty Power Supply 220-G2-0850-XR PSU ($109.99).

Add a 250GB SSD:Samsung 850 EVO MZ-75E250B/AM SATA III Internal SSD 250GB (Black,2.5-Inch)= ($81.61) – Crossfire your graphics card:
(*Potential future proofing upgrade? – *only if you went with the AMD R9 390) XFX DOUBLE DISSIPATION R9 390 1015MHZ XXX OC 8GB DDR5 DISPLAYPORT HDMI DUAL DVI +(additional $319.99)

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16SLI your graphics card: (*Potential future proofing upgrade? – *only if you went with the GTX 970) ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 (additional $299.99)


More Hard Drive Space With 2TB (or 1TB available) –Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001) Price: $70.26 Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060017-WW – Add a liquid CPU Cooler for quieter, more customized and efficient cooling ($89.99)

$600 Gaming PC Build of the Month

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $600): January 2016

(Game at Smoothly with High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions in most games)

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $ 600.40
Processor $135.99
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Graphics Card XFX Double Dissipation OC 2GB DDR5 Display Port HDMI DUAL DVI Graphics Cards R9-380 $179.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 (PC3-12800) 240-Pin UDIMM Memory BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00/BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 $37.49
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003) $47.18
Power Supply EVGA 600 B1 80+ BRONZE, 600W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply 100-B1-0600-KR $39.99
Computer Case Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus – Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 and Windowed Side Panel $58.04
Optical Drive No optical drive included in base build cost – *This should be considered optional (LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B)

Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build

The $600 gaming pc build is a standard gaming pc build for those that want to get into PC gaming at a reasonable cost and 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. As stated above, the labeling of the builds has changed a bit this month to give you a clearer picture as to what you might expect in terms of playing games at a specific resolutions and at what settings. The $600 build here should be capable of 1080p gaming maxing some and then scaling back on the details on some others.

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 included in the hardware alternatives table below).

The motherboard included is the ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970.  This has been a popular budget AM3+ motherboard for quite some time and has been included in the $600 build here at Newb Computer Build for quite some time as well – the Asus M5a97 has the following specification according to Asus (read more at

  • 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

This month there has been an upgrade in a graphics card to the XFX R9 380, which fits comfortably into the budget and the performance goals of this build.

The included memory is  a kit of  Crucial Ballistix Spor DDR3 8GB, which should be enough memory for this gaming pc. And for a hard drive we have a 1TB Seagate Barracuda, which is a standard HDD with plenty of space at a great price – you can check out the hardware alternatives table if you would be interested in using a solid state drive instead, which I also strongly recommend.

For a power supply, we have the EVGA 600B 600Watt power supply, this is a great budget PSU and more then enough power for this build.

For January 2016, the included PC case for the $600 build is the Corsair Carbide 200R, which has actually been out for a few years, and has always been an extreme value case for budget oriented enthusiasts. This case is super easy to build with, great airflow, ergonomic and has a very polished matte look. To learn more about the Carbide 200R please visit

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 January $600 pc 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 Corsair Hydro Series H55 liquid cpu cooler – I’ve included this cooler since it provides a quality low profile solution as a higher air cooler may be a tad tight for this build, although you can fit in a more affordable Cooler Master Hyper 212 in the above case as well, which would work perfectly fine.

The second choice here is a better graphics card, such as the Sapphire NITRO R9 380X. This may be worth while if you have a little more to spend now and is a brand new card released last month.

You can speed up your read and write times with an affordable  solid state drive such as the 120 GB Samsung 850 EVO you see below, which can either be purchased with the included HDD in the $600 build above, or on its own. Likewise, you can also up the SSD to the 250GB version for not much more and just go with that as well.

There is also a better motherboard suggestion for those that may have a tad more to spend on one – the included motherboard is the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 R5, which supports better overclocking and Crossfire + SLI Support (so you can add in two R9 380’s in the future should you want to).

Better CPU Cooler (liquid cooler): Corsair Hydro Series H55 Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler (CW-9060010-WW) ($59.99) OR you can get a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($29.99) Better Graphics Card (Radeon R9 380X –*Newly released graphics card): Sapphire Radeon NITRO R9 380X 4GB DL-DVI-I/DL-DVI-D/HDMI/ DP Dual-X OC Graphics Card 11250-01-20G ($249.99)
Better Motherboard – Gigabyte AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX DDR3 1600 AMD – AM3+ Motherboards GA-990FXA-UD5 R5 Price: $144.99

January 2016 Gaming PC Build Mice, Keyboard & Monitor Peripheral Considerations

The peripheral considerations are included as an attachment to the January 2016 gaming pc builds of the month and is for those looking to purchase a gaming keyboard, mouse or monitor – check it out here.

Jan 2016 Best Gaming Keyboard Mice and Monitors

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, Windows 8.1, Windows 10. Otherwise, there are some free alternatives that you could consider below as well. Keep in mind that you will need an optical drive should you decide to purchase the install discs, however you can also purchase Windows online or as a USB stick and install it that way – this would be the process for installing your OS without an optical drive (which isn’t included in each of the base builds above).

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 $95.99  
Windows 7 Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging) $116.57  
Windows 10 Upgrade Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit System Builder OEM | PC Disc $96.93  
Ubuntu Ubuntu – Desktop Free Ubuntu Logo
SteamOS SteamOS Beta “Build your own Steam Machine” Free Steam Operating System OS

January 2016’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video:

Comments 26

  1. Hi Corey, I was planning to do your $600 build, however I am currently using a laptop. I was wondering if you could suggest a monitor and keyboard that will keep the budged relatively low but still give good performance for gaming.

    1. Post

      Hi Archie,

      Awesome to hear. If you take a quick glance at the peripherals section under the basic suggestions there are a couple of options –

      In terms of keyboards, in the game you can start off with any generic cheap board to be honest as a keyboard can really just boil down to experience / preference.

      Let me know if those don’t fit the bill.

        1. Post
          1. Thanks for the chips the link, and yeah everything is working fine. I accidentally got the “LE” motherboard, and didn’t realize till it had already come. Just curious what is the difference between the two?

          2. Also I tried installing chipset drivers and it gave me an installation error, guess I’ll just live without the drivers.

  2. I’m thinking about buying a gaming pc this year, and i found this setup and was wondering if it’s a good setup?

    Motherboard-Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3P

    CPU-AMD FX-6300 6-Core Black Edition

    RAM – Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz

    Graphics Card – Sapphire Radeon NITRO R9 380 4GB

    Hard Drive – WD Blue 1 TB

    Case – Rosewill Galaxy-01 ATX Mid Tower

    Power Supply – EVGA 600 B1 80+ Bronze (600W)

    DVD Drive – Asus 24x DVD Burner

  3. Hi Corey, what a wonderful site you have going! I don’t see how you do it, lol, I used to be big into building computers but that was way back in the late 1990’s. I’m not able to keep up anymore with the latest technology! In looking at your $1500 build will that build be enough to play iRacing on the highest settings and up to 3 monitors? Trust me, playing iRacing with a Dell Inspiron 5040 laptop is NOT FUN 🙂

    1. Post

      Thank you so much, I appreciate it! For iRacing on a three 1080p monitor setup, the $1500 should be plenty enough and run it maxed using that 980Ti graphics card, would worked just fine.

  4. Hi Corey.
    Thanks so much for keeping this site! It is an awesome resource!

    I have a couple of questions about a few changes I’d like to make to the $1000 build. I need to admit right off that I’m not a gamer, but I’ve built one of your computers in the past and it has been great for my work.

    I need a case that is SUPER quiet. I’m planning on using the water cooled option, but is there a case that’s known for being quiet?
    I also need to run multiple monitors. I would like to be able to use up to 4. Could you recommend a graphics card that will support 4 monitors? I’m not into heavy graphics, so the main reason for it is the multiple monitor set up.

    Thanks again!

    1. Post

      Hi there! And Welcome back then, it’s always great to hear from somebody who found the site useful in the past as well as now. Either of the graphics cards included in the $1000 build should be able top pump out 4 monitors given they have 4 ports (mix of hdmi, display port and dvi) – wouldn’t be my recommendation for gaming that way as the performance may not be the greatest, but like you said you’re not using the setup for gaming, which would work perfectly fine.

      As for a quiet case, you could check out the Fractal Define R4, NZXT H630 or Corsair Carbide 330R to name a few.

      Hope this helps!

  5. can you make a 1000 pc build that have intel cpu’s and gtx 980

    and it’s include MasterCase Pro 5 ATX Mid Tower Case
    for the upgrade in future also super good case
    and 16gb ram with samsung 250evo and 1tb

    and a motherboard that good with sound and movies that run 4k
    also have usb tipe3 and more than 1 hdmi port
    i don’t want the optical drive and also the wireless am good with the lan port
    i know i ask to much put pls this is my first pc bulid and i want the best pc for gaming that run 1080p to 4k with
    50fps min and when i end withe the build i found it’s above 1000 am barely can Bear the expense of 1000 build
    can pls help me

    1. Post

      Hi – If you would like to decrease the cost of the $1000 build from the article above a bit, my suggestion would be to swap the cpu for an Intel 6500 cpu and get a gtx 970 or r9 390 graphics card, since a GTX 980 or 980Ti won’t get you close to $1000. If your goal is to get 50FPS at 4K I would minimally consider the $1500 build above and even then it would be tough to achieve all the time.

  6. Just wanted to say thank you for taking the effort and show casing your expertise month after month. It’s been a few years and it’s about time I’ve built another pc. I find myself visiting your site often and just love reviewing all of this great information. Your dedication to put together builds every month, using the very latest components and well researched price specs…it’s just amazing. Thanks again and keep up the great work.

    1. Post

      AgentPancake – Great name by the way and thank you. I really appreciate you going out of your way to show your appreciation for the articles and I’ll be sure to keep it up. Should you have any questions feel free to throw them my way and I wish you the best in researching your newest build 🙂

    1. Post

      Hi – Well you’ve definitely not messed up, the motherboard is a much higher-end board, the graphics card is packaged very nicely as an overclocked card with an included cooler and everything would fit nicely into the build. In my opinion, you may not “need” to get that Asus ROG motherboard, but for the extra cost you could get better oc and will have better sound, a really good bios and plenty of extra features. So I’d say if you can afford the bit of extra costs associated with the two, go for it.

      Best of luck!

  7. Hey Corey,

    I did the the $1,500 build from a month or two ago with a few additions, and so far I am loving it. Quick question though I see you now recommend the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti Overclocked 6GB where as for my build I decided after some of my own research to go with the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC GAMING ACX 2.0+ . I have been looking around at some different sites to try and see a comparison between these two cards and cannot seem to find one. Do you have an opinion on the card I decided to go with? I see that it is priced about $60 high than the gigabyte card you now recommend. How is the difference in performance in your opinion? I had heard about EVGA exceptional customer service which ultimately was the reason I went with this card as well as the boosted performance from the reference model.

    Let me know your thoughts if you get a chance and I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for all the work you do and hope you’ve had a happy new year!



    1. Post

      Hi Alan,

      Well it’s great to have you back and great news on the success with your build. Personally, I would think either of the two are perfectly matched as you could technically oc either and they will in the end most likely perform very similarly. The main difference on the Gigabyte 980Ti above is that it’s clocked at 1.19Ghz vs your EVGA’s 1.0Ghz, which in the end probably won’t make the biggest difference and you can easily oc that EVGA card to that level anyhow (and I believe that EVGA card specifically has a built in “Boost Clock” that goes to 1.19Ghz) In the end like you said, when purchasing any model of the card it will come down to things like brand customer support or cooling performance differences or even supply which can drive costs around and all in all you can generally boost the clock speeds and some even more easily given they each have their own built in software. So with all that considered, and cost I’d say that would be the best approach to choosing which to get, and it sounds like you did well.

      Again, congrats on the build and Happy New Year to yourself as well. What were some of the additions?

      1. Corey,

        Thanks for the quick response. I thought as much as far as the graphics cards go and the base clock on the EVGA is actually 1.10 ghz not 1.0 as you suggested, with the boost being 1.19 ghz.

        As far as your question about my additions, I decided to go with the i7 processor vs the i5 and added a 1TB HD in addtion to the 250 GB SSD. Also added a DVD drive. And decided to switch up the case and go with the Thermaltake Core V71 E-ATX due to the size / ability to expand and the great air flow. (Also thought the light up blue LED fans looked cool ).

        Also wanted to be able to game in 4k so i went with the Acer XB280HK 4k monitor (unfortanately they initially shipped me one with a dead pixel out of the box but Amazon has agreed to replace it for free.)

        Overall I have been very pleased with the build and have had a lot of fun building it and playing games in 4k and being able to max out pretty much any game I come across. Thanks again for all the work you do.


        1. Post

          Hi Alan,

          Thanks for the clarification on the EVGA card. The build sounds amazing, I’d say especially with going for an i7 and a 4K monitor! I hope you enjoy rocking those games and that it holds up for some time. And thank you for checking back, it’s always great to hear how the builds turn out! Take care.

  8. Hi there, I planned to do the $1000 build later next week, I already have Galax GTX970 HOF edition so I’m swapping the graphic card with that, will the BitFenix case able to store a long graphic card? It’s about 308mm in length.
    Also, can I use Asrock Fatal1ty B150 Gaming K4 for an alternative?

    1. Post

      Hi Redding,

      Awesome to hear. The BitFenix Nova supports a graphics card up to 320mm long and up to 140mm tall, and the Galax GTX970 HOF that you own is like you said 308mm long and 129.1mm tall, so it will fit in there no problem.

      And the Asrock Fatal1ty B150 Gaming K4 can be used as an alternative, however it won’t support overclocking since it’s a B150 motherboard. So if you do decide to go with that motherboard I would suggest swapping the cpu for a regular Intel i5 6600, which is a tad cheaper, or likewise an Intel i5 6500.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

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