Gaming PC Builds – May 2015
Jump to a specific budget build –
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1500 ): May 2015
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1000 ): May 2015
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $600 ): May 2015
- Gaming PC Peripheral Considerations (Keyboards, Mice & Monitors): May 2015
- Operating System Options
Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:
Here is the May 2015 update to the Monthly Gaming PC Builds here at Newb Computer Build. Yes I did miss last month (April 2015) and for that I apologize, but there was a lot of engagement in the previous month builds in the comment sections, which was really good to see. It’s always great to see new pc builders as well as novice builders wanting to upgrade come along and ask questions so feel free to do so in the comments section following the article.
It’s a great month for PC builders in any of the $1500, $1000 or $600 budgets in that each are still strong contenders, with a few included upgrades due to significant price decreases, especially RAM costs. The $1500 has seen a few tweaks and comes in comfortable below $1500 this month. The $1000 build has a few upgrades and the $600 has the most significant upgrades with a bump up to the AMD FX 8320 included in its base build this month – this is great news for anyone considering a $600 build this month.
May 2015 PC Builds ( $1477 )
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 definitely the build to get for those wanting to game at resolutions of 1920X1080 up to 2560×1600 maxed out. Furthermore, this build even has the potential of 4K resolutions, and 4K resolutions maxed out with some slight upgrades (see hardware alternatives table below main build).
The processor used is the Intel i5 4690K processor, which is very easily overclocked and I have paired this with the MSI Z97 GAMING 5 motherboard, which has dropped in price and comes with some nice built in features like a row of voltage detection points to help with the needs of enthusiast overclockers – this motherboard’s overclocking ability is great and one should have no problem pushing the Intel 4690K processor to its limits.
The CPU cooler once again 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 Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX liquid cpu cooler in the upgrade suggestions table below.
For the graphics card, I have once again chosen to go with the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 AMP Edition, which is simply one of the most affordable GTX 980’s out right now. The GTX 980 is a very capable graphics card and even more so for those who are expecting to game at high resolutions.
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 – this RAM kit is extremely affordable right now coming in at only $109; this is an amazing price for a full 16GB of memory. This RAM kit has gone down in price for the past 4 months as memory has finally become much more affordable versus in the recent past.
The included hard disk hard-drive used is the same one I’ve included for a few months now, the Seagate Barracuda 1TB, which is plenty of space for most gamers, but I have also included the very fast SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GB Solid State Drive – this is where you would install your OS and any of your most played games / software in order the maximize boot & load times.
I have gone back to the high quality EVGA SuperNOVA 750W G2 Gold Certified power supply since it is now priced much better. This is a super high quality & efficient PSU and I highly recommend it.
The case for the $1500 build for May 2015 is the Corsair Carbide Series 330R Blackout Edition. This case is relatively similar in look the last $1500 build and it boasts low noise designed for media rooms, bedrooms, dorm rooms, or any place where performance and silence are essential according to Corsair. Below are some tech. specs for the Corsair Carbide 330R (read more at Corsair.com)
- Black anodized brushed aluminum front door panel
- Integrated three-speed fan controller
- Extensive noise damping material on front door, side panels, and top removable panel to quiet noisy internal components
- Front door is reversible, with angled air intakes to reflect internal noise away from the user
- Direct airflow to components – the front 140mm fan is unrestricted by hard drive cages and has a low-restriction dust filter in front for excellent cooling and low noise levels
- Removable top panel, with top fan mounts pre-drilled for 240mm or 280mm radiator compatibility
- Five fan mount locations
- Front: 140mm included (upgradeable to dual 120mm or 140mm)
- Top: Dual 120mm or 140mm
- Rear: 120mm included
- USB 3.0 on front panel with internal motherboard connector
- Four 3.5” / 2.5” hard drive bays with full SSD compatibility
- Up to 450mm of space for long graphics cards
- Up to 160mm of space for CPU coolers
- Cable routing cutouts to keep your cables out of the airflow path
- Tool free installation of 5.25” and 3.5” drives
$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.
Some may benefit from upgrading to an i7 processor, such as the Intel Core i7 4790K featured below (Perhaps you do more then game? Maybe you stream? Video edit? Do Graphics Work?).
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; if so this graphics card will do the trick!
The Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX liquid cpu cooler has just been released recently 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) ($338.99) – 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 ($118.99) – Add a newly released liquid CPU cooler
|Get the Best Dual-GPU Card with a closed looped liquid cooler Interested in 4K gaming?): XFX R9 295 X2 with Closed Loop Liquid Cooling 8GB DDR5 Graphics Cards R9295X8QFA ($630.49)
|An Affordable 1TB SSD:Samsung 850 EVO 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E1T0B/AM) ($397.99)
May 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 )
Welcome to the May 2015 $1000 gaming pc build. This build is for those gamers who want to play most of any game maxed out at high FPS’s using HD resolutions of 1920X1080 no problem and even for those that want to push their games to higher resolution of 2560X1600. Depending on the game FPS will vary as your resolutions increase, so always remember to do a little research with regards to the collection of games you’re planning to play and at what resolution (The GTX 970 included in the build is a very capable graphics card though!).
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 changed this to the previous $1500 build choice since it fits nicely in this build now, which is the Asus Z97-A. This is a very capable motherboard with the following short overview specs. (To read the full specification please visit asus.com)
- 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 – One click, total system optimization!
- M.2 & SATA Express – Speed up your system with lightning-fast 10Gb/s transfer speed
- Crystal Sound 2 and Intel Gigabit Ethernet — a game-winning combo!
- ASUS HomeCloud – Access your PC remotely and stream multimedia content anywhere, anytime
- Proven quality – 5X Protection. 1000+ compatible devices. 7000+ validation hours.
The included graphics card again 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 and at the moment this is one of the best graphics cards for your money.
RAM has been getting cheaper every single month (literally), and featured again is the 8Gb of DDR3 Crucial Ballistix Sport kit – where 8Gb of RAM should be the perfect amount for this build. For a storage solution, we have a 1TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive, which should be plenty of space for most gamers – if you can splurge a little bit more it might also be worth either switching to a solid state drive or adding a smaller SSD boot drive (see builds hardware alternatives 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 and it provides the perfect amount of power for this build along with room for some upgrades.
This month the PC case we have is the Corsair Carbide Series Black 300R, which is a very similar case to that featured in the $1500 build except that the $1500 build Corsair 330R blackout version has aluminum inlay front panel, 3 speed fan control switch to control your cooling. The corsair 330R is still a great case and has been very popular. To read more on the Corsair 330R please visit Corsair.com.
$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 SLI with two EVGA GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards, which would definitely be enough juice for extreme gaming at higher resolutions (2560X1600 & 4K for example), or even high resolution multi-monitor setups. 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 highly suggest considering one. An SSD makes a world of a difference in boot / loading speeds. Featured below is an affordable OCZ 240GB SSD, priced at only $88, making it one of the most affordable (and recommendable) SSD’s out now. Furthermore, if you think you’ll need much more storage, you could also consider umping up the 1TB Seagate hard drive to the 2TB version for not much more.
The last upgrade suggestions includes the newer Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT liquid CPU cooler, which has an improved coldplate and pump design (learn more about Corsair’s new liquid cpus here).
Also, please *note that if you do decide to SLI with another GTX 970, I would suggest you have at least a 750W PSU.
Add an SSD Boot Drive: OCZ Storage Solutions Arc 100 Series 240GB 2.5-Inch 7mm SATA III Ultra-Slim Solid State Drive with Toshiba A19nm NAND ARC100-25SAT3-240G= (+ $88.54) –
|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: $74.99
|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 ( $605 ): May 2015
(Game at Smoothly with Medium – High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions)
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
|AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition
|Gigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard GA-78LMT-USB3
|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)
$204.99 (GTX 960)
|Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 (PC3-12800) 240-Pin UDIMM Memory BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00/BLS2CP4G3D160
|Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003
|EVGA 600B 80PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Active PFC 600W Power Supply 100-B1-0600-KR
|Silverstone Tek Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX Mid Tower Computer Case, Black PS08B
|Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive IHAS124-14
Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build
The $600 is more then capable of playing any game out there and perhaps can play a bulk of them maxed out with high FPS at 1920X1080. This month the base $600 has upgraded significantly with the inclusion of the AMD FX-8320 8 Core Black Edition processor instead of the previous AMD FX6300. This was doable since the cost of all the combined hardware dipped significantly, which is very exciting for those trying to fit their budget build into $600. This processor is also unlocked and easily overclockable.
The motherboard included again is a small form factor 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
The GeForce GTX 960 graphics card is a newer graphics card then the other included card, the Sapphire Radeon R9 280, except I’m 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.
For a total of 8Gb of RAM we have a kit of Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB, which like most memory has gone down in cost significantly. 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.
For a PC case this month I chosen another Micro ATX case for a nice compact gaming PC build – The Silverstone Tek Micro ATX PS08 pc case. This is a great budget mico atx case with plenty of room for all of your components, yet still very compact with the following specifications (learn more at silverstonetek.com)
- Includes one 180mm Air Penetrator fan for positive pressure cooling
- Removable motherboard tray and top panel
- Quick access filters to prevent dust buildup
- Convenient wire and cable routing pathways
- Adjustable holder for large CPU coolers
- Motherboard back plate opening behind CPU area for quick cooler assembly
- Impressive storage capacity up to five 3.5″ hard drives and one 2.5″ drive
Upgrade Suggestions for the $600 Gaming PC Build:
If you have some extra spending cash or want some ideas for future upgrades over and above the allotted $600 budget for this gaming pc build, then below may be some ideas to consider.
First I have included the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO cpu cooler, this would be a great addition to anyone considering overclocking your AMD FX 8320 processor right off the bat in order to keep everything nice and cool while doing so.
I have included two hard drive alternative solutions. The first being a 2TB Seagate Barracuda for those that need a ton of storage for those need more then the included 1TB Seagate hard drive. The second drive is a Solid State Drive, the OCZ Storage Solutions Arc 100 Series 120GB SSD, which is a very affordable SSD with lots of storage per dollar spent at only a current $59.99.
Finally, if you want a higher quality more sleek looking Micro ATX case, I have included the Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 Micro ATX case. This is a very unique case that comes in both the white version you see below as well as black.
|CPU Cooler:Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) ($34.99)
|Alternative (micro-atx) PC Case:Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 High Airflow MicroATX and Mini-ITX PC Case – White (CC-9011069-WW) ($79.99)
|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: $74.99
|OCZ Storage Solutions Arc 100 Series 240GB 2.5-Inch 7mm SATA III Ultra-Slim Solid State Drive with Toshiba A19nm NAND ARC100-25SAT3-240G ($59.99)
May 2015 Gaming PC Build Peripheral Considerations
Included as an attachment to this post is the gaming pc peripherals of the month article for May 2015. The builds above include the essentials to build a gaming pc, however you do need peripherals in order to control or utilize your build. So if you already don’t have any of these (such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor or OS), here will be some gaming specific suggestions.
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 May 2015 Gaming PC Peripherals – Keyboards 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 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 System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit
|Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)
|Ubuntu – Desktop
|SteamOS Beta “Build your own Steam Machine”