March 2015 – Monthly Gaming PC Builds

Gaming PC Builds – March 2015

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March 2015 Gaming PC Builds

Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:

Welcome to the March 2015 Gaming PC Builds of the month article here at Newb Computer Build. This month bring s a fresh set of new PC cases for each build and features some newly release worthy liquid CPU coolers from Corsair, which have been included in the alternatives sections for the $1500 and $1000 builds.

Overall costs for each of the builds this month have gone done allowing for some more quality hardware in each and one of the major contributing factors is due to the fact that RAM has continued to decrease in price.

For the $1500 build we see a brand new very silent case along with a new PSU to accommodate for the major price increase in the previous one (yes I did say costs have gone down overall, however this piece of hardware was the exception). For anyone who wants to game at extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1440 and even play at higher resolutions than this, then this is the build for you. The $1000 build also includes a newly released case as well as a slight motherboard change, which happens to be priced very well right now. Finally, you won’t find too many changes to the budget $600 build, but it has taken a step up with the inclusion of a very elegantly designed compact micro atx case.

I hope you enjoy and for those who have any questions or just want to say hi, please feel free to leave a comment below. And to those building their very first PC, best of luck!

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

March 2015 PC Builds ( $1469 )

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1400 and 1920×1080

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $1469.57
Processor Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K $238.99
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $34.99
Motherboard ASUS Z97-A ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97-A $154.68
Graphics Card Zotac GeForce GTX 980 AMP Edition 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDMI DVI DisplayPort SLI Ready Graphics Cards ZT-90204-10P $533.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2KIT8G3D1609DS1S00 $115.99
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003 $52.25
SSD Samsung 850 Pro 128GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE128BW) $99.99
Power Supply Corsair RM Series 750 Watt ATX/EPS 80PLUS Gold-Certified Power Supply – CP-9020055-NA RM750 $99.99
Computer Case Cooler Master Silencio 652S – Silent Mid Tower Computer Case SIL-652-KKN2 $119.99
Optical Drive Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive IHAS124-14 $18.99

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

The $1500 build is more then capable of playing any game maxed at resolutions of 1920×1080 and even 2560x 1440 no problem. This build includes to go too main stream gaming processor, the Intel 4690K processor, a GTX 980 graphics card and this month I have included the newer Cooler Master Silencio 652S PC case.

The Intel i5 4690K processor is very easily overclocked and I have once again paired this with the ASUS Z97-A Motherboard – which has five-way optimization for one click total system optimization, M.S SATA Express and more (visit ASUS.com to learn more).

The CPU cooler is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU Cooler, which is a worthy investment to take full advantage of the unlocked multiplier on the Intel 4690K processor, allowing an easy overclock. If you want to install a liquid CPU cooler instead, then I have also included the brand new Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX liquid cpu cooler in the upgrade suggestions table below.

For the graphics card, I chose the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 AMP Edition, which has gone down slightly in price this month making it one of the most affordable GTX 980’s out right now.

The RAM package has stayed the same with the Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (8Gb X 2). 16Gb of memory is more then enough and it will last in a gaming pc build for years to come – and this kit of RAM has again gone down in cost, making RAM finally at a more reasonable cost level than it has been in previous months.

The included hard disk hard-drive used is the same one I’ve included for a few months now, the Seagate Barracuda 1TB. There is also an included Samsung 850 Pro 128GB Solid State Drive. The Samsung 850 PRO is one of the fastest SSD’s out at the moment and it  has 550MB/s Read speeds and 470MB/2 Write speeds. You can also opt for the 256 GB version of the Samsung 850 Pro if you scrapped the Seagate Barracuda 1TB Hard Drive for pretty much the same price given the saved cost of the Seagate drive.

Due to a huge price bump in the previous EVGA SuperNOVA 750 Watt PSU, I have chosen to instead go with the quality 750 Watt Corsair RM Series PSU. The RM Series PSU’s are very quiet (with a custom fan design and zero RPM fan mode), fully modular (clean cable management) and 80 Plus Gold Rated efficiency (read more at Corsair.com).

I have switched up the case to a Cooler Master Silencio 652S PC case. This case was released only a couple of months ago and provide very silent cooling using Cooler Master’s new Silencio FP 120mm fans which allow for very silent cooling,

A quick overview of the Cooler Master Silencio 652S case as taken from coolermaster.com is –

Cooler Master Silencio 652S Overview

  • Supremely silent mid-tower with noise cancelling materials and an elegant matte finish
  • Three 120mm “Silencio FP 120” fans included for absolute silence and excellent airflow
  • Removable covers on the top and side panel for improved cooling capabilities
  • Liquid cooling ready – supports 240mm radiators (front /top) or 120mm radiators (rear)
  • Dual Super Speed USB 3.0 & SD card reader
  • Supports high-end CPU coolers up to 168mm tall and graphics cards up to 423mm long
  • Supports up to 10 SSDs /9 HDDs with the HDD/SSD combo cage and the 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter
  • Multiple dust filters (top, bottom, front, side panel) for easy system maintenance

Lastly, we have the optical drive, which I went with the LITE-ON optical drive which is simply one of the more affordable drives with a known reputation.

$1500 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

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

If you do more then gamingor know that you will be playing a particular game that could take advantage of an i7, then an  Intel i7-4790K processor may be a worthy upgrade from the Intel i5 4690K processor included in the $1500 gaming pc build.

You could go also go all out and opt for a Dual GPU Radeon R9 295X2 graphics card that comes with a closed looped liquid cooler, which might help those who want to push some high-end 4K gaming performance out of your rig.

The Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX liquid cpu cooler has just been released within the last month and can provide you with some optimal cooling if you like. You could also go with more storage in your SSD by going with an affordable Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD – or any combination of drives mentioned in the $1500 build overview above.

Intel Core i7-4790K Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz) (BX80646I74790K) ($337.99) – Do more then gaming? – Then an i7 might be the right choice. Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060021-WW ($119.99) – Add a newly released liquid CPU cooler
Get the Best Dual-GPU Card with a closed looped liquid cooler:XFX R9 295 X2 with Closed Loop Liquid Cooling 8GB DDR5 Graphics Cards R9295X8QFA ($920) An Affordable 1TB SSD:Samsung 850 EVO 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E1T0B/AM) ($399.99)


$1000 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

March 2015 PC Builds ( $1017 )

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: $1017.55
Processor Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K $239.99
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $34.99  
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 5 LGA 1150 Z97 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-In Rear Audio Amplifier ATX Motherboard $129.99
Graphics Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0 4GB GDDR5 256bit, DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DP SLI Ready Graphics Card 04G-P4-2972-KR
$329.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00 $60.65
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003 $50.97
SSD *none – check the additions / alternatives section below for options!
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 650G1 650W ATX12V Power Supply 120-G1-0650-XR $84.99
Computer Case NZXT Mid Tower Cases CA-S340MB-GR Matte Black/Red $69.99
Optical Drive .Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive IHAS124-14*Optional! **Note: The included NZXT S340 Case will not fit an optical drive inside the case. You can still purchase one if need be to install your OS by plugging it into your motherboard when needed or just install your OS using a USB drive $18.99

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

The included processor is the Intel i5 4690K processor, which is the same processor in the $1500 build and for a while has been the go to gaming pc build processor. To easily overclock this processor, I have  included the Cool Master Hyper 212 Evo to aid in efficiently cooling the cpu.

As for a motherboard this month, I have switched this to a  Gigabyte Z97 GAMING 5 motherboard, which has a bunch of great features such as: (Learn more at gigabyte.com)

  • Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi MB3 gaming audio suite
  • Audio Noise Guard with LED path lighting
  • Gold plated display and audio ports
  • High end Nichicon audio capacitors
  • Realtek ALC1150 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in rear audio amplifier
  • Killer™ E2200 gaming networking platform
  • Extreme multi graphics support
  • SATA Express support for 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • M.2 for SSDs drives with up to 10 Gb/s data transfer
  • Long lifespan Durable Black Solid caps
  • APP Center including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™

The included graphics card is the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX graphics card, which is a great choice in this budget range and well worth the cost where it’s at. This graphics card will play most games really well at resolutions as high as 2560×1600 maxed out.

For memory, which has been getting cheaper month to month,  we have a kit of 8Gb of DDR3 Crucial Ballistix Sport – where 8Gb of RAM should be the perfect amount for a good build. For a storage solution, we have a 1TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive, which should be plenty of space for most gamers – I didn’t include an SSD since the budget just didn’t allow for it, however you could swap for a low storage SSD option if you wanted, or spend a little more and add one in (as seen in the alternatives section below).

The power supply unit being used again is the EVGA SuperNOVA G1 650W power supply, which is a great PSU with all modular cables, high-quality Japanese brand capacitors.

The PC case this month is a newer NZXT Mid Tower S340 Case, featuring the Black/Red color combination. The S340 case from NZXT came out around last fall and then came out with a couple of different color combinations near the end of 2014 including White, Black Black / Blue and Black /Red. (To learn more about the NZXT S340 visit nzxt.com)

NZXT S340 Mid Tower Case Features

  • Steel Construction
  • Simple Interior Layout
  • Comes complete with the basics, USB 3.0 and HD Audio, but gives you even more with high quality materials, a smart interior layout, and tons of cable management potential.
  • Steel plated audio jacks, captive thumb screws, and over twenty cable management
  • Measuring in at 445mm high and 432mm long, the S340 bucks
    the trend of tall, thick cases, enabling you to keep your PC’s
    footprint to a minimum.
  • Performance is not sacrificed for size with this small mid tower boasting
    full compatibility with our Kraken X61 and X31 liquid coolers.
  • The removal of the front 5.25″ bays allows us to bring an unprecedented level of neatness to the interior of your case and showcase your build with an enormous side window. Our GRID+ (sold separately) ensures that fan control is not missed despite the removal of the front drive bays.

$1000 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

Whether you have some extra cash over and above the $1000 budget to spend or want some future considerations here are some of my recommendations.

You could get some serious graphics power with the SLI of 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. You could also consider this a worthy future upgrade consideration should you find you need the graphics juice in the years to come.

Since there is no SSD included in the base $1000 build, I do suggest you highly considering one if you funds allow and this month the Samsung 850 PRO SSD is included, which is one of the fastest 2.5 inch SSD’s out. Or if you think you’ll be in need of more space for large sums of media etc. you could consider getting a 2TB drive (doubling your space) with the Seagate Barracuda 2TB drive.

The last upgrade suggestions includes the newly released 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, I would suggest you have at least a 750W PSU.


$600 Gaming PC Build of the Month

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $584 ): March 2015

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

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $ 584.05
Processor AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black Edition $99.99
Motherboard
Gigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard GA-78LMT-USB3
$58.99
Graphics Card Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP Dual-X with PCI-Express Graphics Card Boost 11230-00-20G


Alternative graphics card (uses less energy)

*Newer Release:

EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SuperSC ACX 2.0+ 2GB GDDR5 128bit, PCI-E 3.0 Dual-Link DVI-I, 3 x DP, HDMI, SLI, HDCP, G-SYNC Ready Graphics Cards 02G-P4-2966-KR

$199.99 (R9 280)


$209.99 (GTX 960)

RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00 $60.65
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003 $50.97
Power Supply EVGA 600B 80PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Active PFC 600W Power Supply 100-B1-0600-KR $58.25
Computer Case Thermaltake CA-1A8-00M1NN-00 Case Urban S1 (Black) $39.48
Optical Drive Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive IHAS124-14 $18.99

Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build

The $600 gaming pc build is a great choice for those who are on a tighter budget, however don’t let that fool you as this gaming pc will be able to perform quite well at resolutions of 1920×1080 and will play any game out.

Last month we had the release of the new GeForce GTX 960 graphics card, I was excited to include it in this build, however after looking at the benchmarks I was hesitant to give it a full recommendation since the Radeon R9 280 performs slightly better for a slightly lower cost. However the GTX 960 uses significantly less power, so I have included both in the build table above for anyone interested in either.

We still have the great budget CPU in the $600 build this month – the AMD FX 6300  is the processor used, which can be easily overclocked since it has an unlocked multiplier.

For the graphics card, we again have a Radeon R9 280, this month we have the Sapphire Radeon R9 280, which will give you great performance in most games at 1920×1080 – likewise as mentioned there is the alternative recommendation of the EVGA GeForce GTX 960, which performs slightly less then the Radeon R9 280, but uses less power.

The motherboard included for the third month in a row is the Gigabyte AM3+ GA-78LMT Micro ATX motherboard. This is a Micro ATX motherboard and will allow for a smaller PC case to make a nicely compact build without missing out on performance increases. The Gigabyte AM3+ GA-78LMT Micro ATX motherboard has the following specifications – (To learn more visit gigabyte.com)

  • Ultra Durable 4 Classic Technology with high quality components design
  • Supports AMD AM3+ FX/AM3 Phenom™ II & Athlon™ II series processors
  • 4+1 Phase CPU Power design for AMD high TDP 125W CPU support
  • Integrated ATI Radeon HD 3000 graphics (DirectX10)
  • PCI-E 2.0 x16 interface for ultimate graphics support
  • Hybrid EFI technology with DualBIOS for 3TB HDD support
  • Integrated HDMI/DVI/D-sub for Full HD 1080 contents playback
  • 4 USB 3.0 with superspeed transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps
  • GIGABYTE 3x USB Power with On/Off Charge USB ports

We have a total of 8Gb included in the $600 gaming pc build – a kit of  Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB, which is a much cheaper kit of RAM this mont, since memory overall has gone down in cost. As for a hard drive for each build this month we have the same for each build, which is the 1TB Seagate Barracuda.

The power supply used is the  EVGA 600B 600Watt power supply, plenty of power for this build and a great price for 600Watts of power in a solid budget psu.

The PC case used this month has been changed to the Thermaltake Urban S1 Micro ATX case, which has been designed for building a compact pc build, which pairs well with the included micro atx sized motherboard. It has an elegant design with a brushed metal front door and a perforated side panel. This case is indeed a worthy upgrade over the previous cases used in the $600 builds here at Newb Computer Build.  To learn more about the Thermaltake Urban S1 please visit thermaltakeuse.com

Overclocking the AMD FX 6300 – 

The following information video (AMD FX 6300 Overclocking Guide (Overclock to 5 ghz) Step by Step Guide) can help you if your new to overclocking and if you decide to go with this $600 gaming pc build.

Upgrade Suggestions for the $600 Gaming PC Build:

These upgrades and alternatives below are for anyone who might have some extra spending cash or want some ideas for future upgrades over and above the allotted $600 budget for this gaming pc build.

The upgrades and alternatives this month include an upgraded eight core AMD FX-8320 processor, for about $45 more you could get a faster cpu with 8 cores and like the FX 6300, the FX 8320 is also easily overclockable.

I have included two hard drive alternative solutions. The first being a 2TB Seagate Barracuda for those that need a ton of storage, perhaps you have a large movie collection? The second drive is an affordable Samsung 850 EVO 120GB solid state drive if you want to have a super quick boot drive.

The final suggestion I put here is a quick case alternative for those that want a difference higher quality micro atx sized case. Such as the BitFenix Pandora micro atx case seen below, which is a tad expensive for this build, but it is very unique slim quality case.

Processor Alternative: AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition ($139.99) Alternative (micro-atx) PC Case: BitFenix Tower Case without Power Supply BFC-PAN-300-KKXN1-RP Black($109.00)
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: $79.99 Samsung 850 EVO 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E120B/AM) ($79.99)

March 2015 Gaming PC Build Peripheral Considerations

Included as an attachment to this post is the gaming pc peripherals of the month article for March 2015. The builds above include the essentials to build a gaming pc, however you do need peripherals in order to control your build. So if you already don’t have any of these, here will be some gaming specific suggestions.

If you’re looking for a gaming mouse, keyboard or monitor then you can view three separate categories including each in a higher end, mid-range and basic peripheral categories.

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

Gaming PC Build Mice Keyboards and Monitors - March 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 or 8. 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. 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. The official release of SteamOS has not been announced, however you can try out the beta.

OS Link Price Image
Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit $91.71  
Windows 7 Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging) $86.46  
Ubuntu Ubuntu – Desktop Free Ubuntu Logo
SteamOS SteamOS WebpageSteamOS Beta – Download Page Free Steam Operating System OS

March 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+

63 thoughts to “March 2015 – Monthly Gaming PC Builds”

  1. hay Corey!
    Is thsi set up good?
    Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler
    MSI Z170A KRAIT GAMING, Socket-1151
    MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4GB
    Crucial DDR4 2133MHz 16GB (2x8GB)
    Seagate Barracuda® 1TB SATA 6Gb/s (SATA 3.0), 64MB Cache, 7200RPM, 3.5″
    EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2, 750W PSU
    In Win 703 Midi Tower black, red

    1. Hi Erland,

      Yeah, that’s a slick looking build. Might have a bit of trouble getting the i7 6700K at this second as it seems others have been having trouble getting a hold of it just yet. And either now or in the future I do suggest adding some sort of SSD in there. Looks like the perfect build though!

  2. Hello, I am looking to build the $600 dollar PC.
    My first question is how the build will differ from other build videos on youtube. They all seem to have the same process, but because the Urban S2 case has no cable management in the back, I am wondering If I should be aware of this when installing the hardware.
    Also, would you recommend I buy SSD storage instead of hard drive storage? If so, what are the benefits of doing so?

    1. Hello Anton,

      Sorry for a late response as I’ve been on vacation / without much reception. But I would consider the 600 build to be the best gaming specific build for $600, so how it differs may depend on case preferences. The cable management I wouldn’t worry too much about as long as your organized about it when installing your hardware. I would also recommend getting an ssd instead of the hard drive since you will definitely notice the difference it makes when loading any games software and your PC in general. The downside would be the less space per cost. For example a 120gb ssd still costs a little more then a 1tb hard drive.

      1. Hi Corey, for the $1000 pc is there a case that you know of that can fit a cd rom since the other case can’t? Thank you!

        1. Hello Maruice,

          Yes there are tons of cases that do support optical drive. For a couple of suggestions you can refer to the $1000 and $1500 builds for July 2015 as both of those cases will support an optical drive – https://newbcomputerbuild.com/newb-computer-build-home/july-2015-monthly-budget-gaming-pc-builds/

          If you find you don’t like those cases or have a separate budget for a case in mind let me know and I’m sure I could find you something else.

        1. Hello Blake,

          The $600 build should have no problem playing SWTOR, at what specific fps not quite sure, but at 1080p it shouldn’t have much difficulty unless you hit some major intensive matches. My suggestion though would be to check out the most recent build of the month as it does feature a stronger graphics card and cpu for $600 and it would fair better in SWTOR (being a tad more cpu intensive then most games) and other games as well.

    1. Hey that’s what we’re here for! Depends which build you are referring to since all of the graphics cards outputs differ slightly. But no I wouldn’t use the VGA connections as these are analog. But they do all have HDMI as well as DVI outputs, either would work.

  3. Hello , And thanks for all of the things that you did for us choosing the right tools with a perfect price , I want to tell if i can Mix Between The 1000$ build and the 600$ build by getting the processor i5 4690K and the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 5 Motherboard and the rest from the 600$ build , so do you think it will work ? its my new build for 800 dollars :3

    1. Hello Apollo,

      Not a problem and yes it would work, with the exception of the case. The PC case in the $600 build is a micro atx sizes case, which is too smaller for the ATX sized Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 5 Motherboard.

      For about the same price, you can get the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 Mid Tower pc case, which also looks better in my opinion.

      Let me know if you have anymore questions!

  4. Hello. I’m planning to build the $600 option. It’d roughly estimate to $900 dollars with a monitor. I’ve never built a PC before, so hopefully I can assemble it together.

    1. Hello Cee – well I wish you the very best of luck! Once you build your pc for the first time, you’ll realize it actually is pretty easy. Should you have any questions putting everything together feel free to stop by here.

      Good luck building 🙂

    1. Hey Russ!

      I’ve been a little out of touch with the laptop world for the last little but I’ve heard good things about the Asus GL551 or the MSI GX70 as a couple of budget gaming laptop suggestions. It also depends by what you mean as a budget laptop as the Asus one is about $1070.

    1. Hello Deb,

      Which fan are you referring to? The cpu cooler would be attached similar to the following image where you see the colored cords go from the fan (deleted link)

        1. For the case fan, that Gigabyte motherboard has a “SYS_FAN” 4pin connector that you can plug your case fan into. I believe that Thermaltake case only came with the one case fan right? If you purchased more fans or have another fan, you should also be able to plug these directly in the connectors on your Power Supply. For exact locations of the fan headers on the motherboard you can refer to the images in the motherboard manual here – http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_ga-78lmt-usb3_v.5.0_e.pdf

          You are right with the link before, not sure why it wasn’t allowed I took it from a google image search, either way you didn’t need the cpu fan anyhow.

  5. Hi there – we got all the parts for the $600 build, but we need more detailed installation instructions. what do you recommend? Do you have a build video? We’ve never done this before. thanks

    1. I don’t have a video done by myself, but if you check out the following video by Linus it will give you a really good idea of a step by step procedure even though his specific hardware differs, the steps are the same (jump ahead 12.25 minutes or so to get to the actual building part) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roFb3TNePIg There are also a ton more videos of other individuals on youtube that do provide step by steps videos, I find Linus quite detailed though.

      Hope this helps!

  6. Hey Corey,

    Finally I purchased the 600 build with thermal take v21 case which I really like and gives a lot of space for cooling and upgrades. Also I got the and fx 8320

    The only problem I currently have is that the fan coming with the CPU is extremely noisy. I am afraid my new PC will soon start flying as it indeed sounds as a helicopter.

    Can you please reccomend a fan. It should not be the cheapest one but it should perform good. Also I am considering liquid cooling. Did I understand well that the advantages are superior cooling, no noise and looks cooler? If yes can you reccomend some liquid cooling for this system?

    Thanks
    Vaggelis

    1. Hey Vaggelis, congrats on the purchases. I laughed when you compared the sound to a helicopter taking off. In your case I might recommend a liquid cooling solution as it will minimize that noise. Something like the Corsair Hydro Series Liquid CPU Cooler H100i sells for about $90 and would not make any noise.

      You could also try taking out some of the included case fans and seeing how that effects noise as well as I’ve heard they can be a tad noisy on the Thermal take V21, which I think is an awesome modular case.

  7. So I’ve built the $600 computer and I have a problem. There’s no video output with the gpu installed.

    So I uninstalled it & installed windows using the motherboards integrated graphics. I then reinstalled the card triple checked wires, no video.

    Then I booted bios, turned off the integrated graphics thinking that’d fix it. It didn’t so I reset the CMOS with the jumper. Then I booted bios a second time and actually selected the pcie port for graphics.

    I thought maybe its a drivers issue, so I installed them with the disk.

    I can’t use bios or windows to check if it(mobo) detects the GPU because if I start it with the GPU I get no video output even with a reset bios.

    My monitor only came with a VGA cable, should I go buy an HDMI and plug it into the GPU port? My VGA is plugged into the mono.

    1. That sucks Andrew, I’m sorry. I would definitely try another cord whether it be DVI or HDMI, as I would recommend this even when you get things all working as VGA uses an analog signal instead of digital.

      When you boot up with the card installed, do the fans on the card start moving? Are you 100% sure it’s connected to your power supply and receiving power as well as being plugged into the motherboard? (I believe you need to have two 6pin connectors plugged into the Sapphire Radeon R9 280).

      Since you’ve booted fine with integrated graphics, then the problem should be limited to the card. Worst case scenario if none of the above works would be to then contact Sapphire support and see if they have any ideas, they can probably then determine if the card was faulty upon arrival.

  8. I really enjoy reading these and they are very helpful as I am looking to build my first computer.

    Now I am looking to build one with the intent on playing SWTOR on its highest settings so I am looking around the 1500 build. Is this one suitable to play SWTOR on its highest settings?

    Also, I am planning on hooking this all up to my tv which is a 42″. Am I able to do this using this set up or would I need to get another piece of hardware?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Gareth,

      Awesome, glad to have helped. Yes the $1500 build (and even the $1000 build in fact) would be able to play SWTOR on max settings. Assuming your 42″ TV has an HDMI input, then you’ll be able t simply connect to it that way using the HDMI output port on the GTX 980 graphics card and an HDMI cord (that being said, you will need a separate HDMI cord to do this).

      Hope this helps and best of luck!

      1. Thanks for the response. I will look at both options. Would the extra HDMI cord be inside the desktop with another one going from the TV to the desktop?

  9. Hello, I really like your guide it’s helping me alot but
    Could you recommend another pc case for 1500 build?
    Also recomendation on blu ray drives…
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hello Joe,

      No problem, I’m glad you liked it. As for another case a couple of suggestions in the same cost range I’d have would be either the Phanteks Enthoo Pro or the NZXT Phantom Full Tower Case. I can suggest other cases as well if you’re wanting something particular or cheaper if that’s what you’re getting at.

      And a pretty good blu ray reader / writer could be the LG Internal UH12NS30 > http://goo.gl/x7mf5K

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  10. Glad I found this site and wish I would of found it 7 months ago when I bought my laptop…. Will be watching the monthly builds and looking for deals as I piece a gaming rig together over the next year. Want a 3-SLI motherboard capable of 64gb ram just so I can keep adding over the years.

    I am just unsure of which brand card to get between the brands for NVidia like EVGA, GIGABYTE, ZOTAC I want more performance and reliability and are they interchangeable between the brands can I use a evga and zotac card together in SLI?

    1. Great to hear! And yes you can mix match cards in SLI between brands, that is as long as your using the same type of graphics cards (Two GTX 970’s for example).

    1. Hello McIvan,

      Yes can definitely do both. When adding a second graphics card to the $1500 build though it would need to be another GTX 980 so that you can use them in SLI – which would make for an insanely powerful gaming PC.

      And you can add a larger hard drive by either getting the larger version of the Seagate 1TB hard drive features (such as the 1.5 2 or 3tb versions), or by bumping up the Samsung Evo Solid State Drive to any of the higher capacity versions. Alternatively you can also add more then one hard drive (such as two Seagate 1TB’s).

    1. Hello Deb,

      A great question none the less. To get on the internet you have two options using the builds above –

      One you can simply plug an ethernet cord directly from your internet router into the motherboard.

      Two, if you want wireless you will need to purchase either a wireless USB adapter (plugs into any USB port Example: http://goo.gl/k6k1B9) or a PCI Wireless card (plugs directly into a PCI port on the motherboard Example: http://goo.gl/oX6NW2 )

      Hope this helps!

  11. Hey Corey,
    First of all thanks for your suggestions. Finally I bought the first part of my new gaming pc today. I am doing the 600 USD build but I would like an other suggestion for motherboard. The main reason I need an other motherboard is because a friend gave me a 5:1 sound system that I want to connect to the PC but it requires 2 sound inputs. I have no clue on how to choose a motherboard so an advice will be more than appreciated.

    thanks,
    Vaggelis

    1. Hey Vagellis,

      Sorry for a later response as I was away for a bit. The motherboard in the $600 pc build does support 5.1 as is. As for two sound inputs, what are they? Such as right / left sound inputs? You will need to find an adapter that can be purchased anywhere that has a 3.5mm cord to a whatever the input you cords you need (such as RGB). Likewise, if you’re looking for another motherboard you just need one that supports SM3+ sockets for the included processor as this is the motherboard with a compatible socket.

      Thanks and let me know if you have any further questions!

  12. So i got 600 euro’s and i wanna get the most out of it.
    Is it most cheap to buy the parts on amazon? or where would i buy the 600$ parts?

    Thijs.

    1. Hey Thijs,

      Sorry for a late reply as I was away for a bit. Amazon in the UK does have pretty competitive pricing as far as I’m aware although I’m not too familiar with UK pc stores. You could try checking local stores around you to see if their prices are lower. Some of the hardware in the above builds will auto direct to amazon uk if your from there, but since I’ve linked them original from the US amazon everything might not link up properly either; if that’s the case trying searching directly on amazon for similar items.

  13. Hey Corey,

    I wanted to start off by thanking you for putting up so much thoughtful info on this! Flipping through your site has really inspired me to take the plunge and build a PC on my own.

    I was laying out your design for the $600 pc over at pcpartpicker.com, and I was wondering if you might have any advice or suggestions on how build up the $600 model, spending more now so I could upgrade it to the $1000 style model down the line.

    I’ve heard some suggestions about maybe splurging on a much nicer mobo ahead of time and possibly even running a mid level CPU (like the i5), so that you’d upgrade the ram, power supply, and especially the video card as needed to roll with more demanding games in the future. I’m not sure how much power or value I would get out of those in the meantime, though.

    I’m not looking to ever have a hardcore rig, but I’d like to have something I could work up to a mid level and keep it there for a long time!

    Any thoughts you’d have would be appreciated!!

    Thanks,
    Matt

    1. Hello Matt,

      This is a fantastic question and a valid one. My suggestions for a build in the $600 range that you can upgrade in the future, would be to go with one using either the Intel i3 4160 OR the Intel i5 4460 – going with the i3 if you budget doesn’t allow for the i5 model.

      If you get either of those, then you will need a motherboard supporting these, such as the one in the $1000 build above, however you don’t need a Z97 motherboard and can get away with using an H97 one, since neither of those cpus have unlocked multiplers for overclocking – which essentially means you can save money on the motherboard. One such example of a motherboard could be GIGABYTE GA-H97M ($89) which is also a Micro ATX board, so it would fit in the case for the $600 build above.

      So if you went with that suggestion, you might spend a little more then $600, but the upgrade potential would be there if you wanted to upgrade to a higher end intel processor or even the next 5th generation desktop Intel processors which are said to be compatible when they come out. Likewise, it would be a great gaming pc as is and my guess would play most games perfectly fine at standard high definitions of 1920×1080.

      Hopefully this helps!

  14. Hi Corey,

    Thanks a ton for providing such useful information. It saved me a lot of time.
    I am considering building the $1000 pc.
    I would like to know which motherboard is better ASRock Z97 Extreme6 or the one you mentioned.
    I have never build a pc myself but I can follow the instructions on the manuals. Can you please tell me how complicated it is to build a pc like this.
    Would you recommend building your own pc?

    Thanks,
    Rohan

    1. Hey Rohan,

      First, of course I would recommend building you own pc, you will get way more performance per dollar spent and it’s fun. It honestly isn’t too complicated, and once you’ve done it once you’ll for sure have a hang of it – the hardest part in my opinion is sorting which parts to get ahead of time – since you have to take performance, compatibility and cost into consideration.

      The ASRock Z97 Extreme6 is a great motherboard and would technically be a better board; although it is in most places pricier. In my opinion, I think going with the Gigabyte one I mentioned in the $1000 build would do you just fine and save you a few bucks – you probably wouldn’t even notice much of a different between the two.

      Hope this helps!

  15. just a dumb question, as I am practically a caveman of building computers. Does this support wifi internet? or do I have to buy another component?

  16. Hey man i’ve just bought:
    i5 4960k
    Samsung 850 pro 250 gb
    16 gb 1600 mhz ram
    Baracuda 1 tb 7200 rmp
    galax gtx 970 hof
    asus z-97 pro gaming
    corsair 750w midtower case
    a good cpu cooler which i dont remember now 🙂

    i could buy 8 gb ram and 128 gb of 850 pro and replace i5 with i7 but what the hell i think it will be good pc for a decade.
    thanks for your help 🙂

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