Gaming PC Builds – March 2015
Jump to a specific budget build –
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1500 ): March 2015
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1000 ): March 2015
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $600 ): March 2015
- Gaming PC Peripheral Considerations (Keyboards, Mice & Monitors): March 2015
- Operating System Options
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!
March 2015 PC Builds ( $1469 )
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1400 and 1920×1080
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)|
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
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.
|Add an SSD Boot Drive:Samsung 850 Pro 128GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE128BW) = (+ $99.99) –||SLI your graphics card:(*Potential future proofing upgrade?)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)|
|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||Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060017-WW – Add a newly released liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99)|
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $584 ): March 2015
(Game at Smoothly with Medium – High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions)
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
|Estimated Price:||$ 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)
|$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
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.
|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|
|SteamOS||SteamOS WebpageSteamOS Beta – Download Page||Free|