November 2014 Gaming PC Builds

The November 2014 – Monthly Gaming PC Builds

Gaming PC Builds – November 2014

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November 2014 Gaming PC Builds

Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:

Welcome to the November 2014 edition of the Gaming PC Builds of the month here at Newb Computer Build. Last month we had the introduction of Nvidia’s new line of graphics cards with the only downside being the popularity of these cards, which has resulted in volatile price changes and unpredictable supplies. They are back again and without any regrets. The GTX 980 and GTX 970 are in the $1500 and $1000 respectfully and with good reason; these are fantastic cards and are worthy purchases. Check out the three builds below and bath in their glory.

I have had a few or so individuals over the course of these articles mention there are no operating systems (or peripherals) included in any of the gaming pc builds. So this November I have decided to include some suggestions at the end of this article of both some gaming pc peripheral suggestions as well as some OS options. If you are going to purchase an operating system you may need to budget for another $90 or so if you decide to go with a Windows OS and perhaps even more so if you still need some extra PC peripherals.

If you want some peripheral considerations for these November 2014 Gaming PC Builds, then please check out the newly included peripheral category tables at the end of the article for a couple of suggestions. By no means are these suggestions comprehensive or the only options I’m wanting to suggest, but they are there to either fulfill a quick option for yourself or to get you started in your decision making. You will see included in the peripheral suggestions table a “higher end” & “basic” peripheral suggestion for a mouse, keyboard and monitor setup.

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

November 2014 PC Builds ( $1490 )

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

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

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $1490
Processor Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K $229.99
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $33.03
Motherboard MSI ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97 GAMING 5 $146.99
Graphics Card EVGA EVGA GTX980 Superclocked ACX 2.0 4GB GDDR5 256bit, DVI-I, DP x 3, HDMI, SLI Ready Graphics Card Graphics Cards 04G-P4-2983-KR


PNY GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB CC Graphics Cards VCGGTX780T3XPB-CC ($429)

*Note: The GTX 780Ti has been discontinued since the release of the GTX 780, and thus has been discounted heavily, so if you can purchase it for much less then $550 (as the GTX 780 is) then it may be a worthy purchase saving you some cash.

$569.99(*Might be able to find a GTX 980 for $550)
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2KIT8G3D1609DS1S00 (*Down $13) $144.29
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003 $53.95
SSD Samsung Electronics MZ-7PD128BW 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA 6Gbps Solid State Drive (*Down $10) $91.99
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 750G2 80PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V/EPS12V 750W Power Supply 220-G2-0750-XR $114.99
Computer Case NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower USB 3.0 Gaming Case – White $89.99
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS 24X SATA DVD±RW Internal Drive $14.99

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

If you’re looking for a gaming pc that with essentially play anything without a hiccup, then the $1500 build is for you. Last month I introduced the brand new GTX 980 and while due to available quantities, the prices seemed to have shift around significantly throughout the month, so I have tried to accommodate for that this month with both an alternative card and the currently (beginning of November) most affordable  GTX 980.

To start off the included processor is the Intel i5 4690K processor, which is fully unlocked and very easily overclockable. Using the included MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard, you can easily overclock the 4690K and especially if you use the included OC Genie option on the motherboard (or you can manually do it). The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard was featured in Toms Hardwares first ‘best of’ article for motherboard this past October (Best Motherboards For The Money: October 2014).

Like I said, the included graphics card is a EVGA GTX 980, which is a fantastic new card. However with its popularity supplies may be low and the cost may fluctuate for a while. I have included the currently cheapest GTX 980 on Amazon at $569, however you can easily find it for $550. Likewise there is an alternative card showcased above, which is the GTX 780Ti, which has been discontinued. The performance of the GTX 780Ti can sometimes perform closely to the GTX 780, but since they are trying to rid of all of the older GTX 780Ti’s right now, the prices have shot right down. So you can currently purchase a GTX 780Ti for around $429 and sometimes for much less – as you can see you can easily save $150 off the GTX 780 if you decide to go this route.

We have a total of 16GB of DDR3 memory using a kit of  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 particular kit of RAM has also dropped in price this month, so its currently and even better buy then before.

The included hard disk hard-drive used is a Seagate Barracuda 1TB as well we have a Samsung 840 PRO 128GB Solid State Drive. This is included to act as a boot drive for both your operating system, along with your most used games – this will significantly increase load times and I assure you will never go back from not using an SSD. Also, the Samsung 840 Pro series is one of the quickest MLC 128GB SSD’s available (although the  Samsung 850 Pro alternative SSD in the alternatives section below is quicker).

The power supply unit included is an EVGA SuperNOVA 750 Watt PSU; priced so perfectly for a 750 Watt, fully modular Gold Certified PSU (with up to 90% efficiency). So this PSU will perform quietly and use less energy while also looking pretty good – in my opinion one of the best PSU buys in the 750Watt range these days.

Without the release of any new notable cases over the past month, November’s PC case featured is the infamous NZXT Phantom 410. Used before in the builds featured here at Newb Computer Build, I have no problem featuring a quality case – especially one for only $90. The 410 is very personable, coming in many colors – anything from white to black with orange striping. The NZXT Phanotm has the following specs (more information found on –

•    Clearance for top 240mm dual radiator for water cooling solutions
•    Adjustable interior pivot 120mm/140mm fan slot for directional air flow
•    Removable HDD cage to allow more room for extended video cards
•    Innovative right mounted HDD rails for easy hard drive replacement
•    Single 120mm/140mm side fan with acrylic window for interior viewing and cooling
•    Front Internal 2x USB 3.0 headers, 2x USB 2.0, audio and microphone input
•    30W 3-step fan control for setting up your system for silence or performance
•    Wire management support up to 25mm space for easy cable management
•    Screw-less 5.25” and HDD trays that secures 2.5” SSD
•    Cooling capability of up to eight fans (2x 120mm and 1x 140mm LED fan included)

Finally, we have the optical drive, which I went with the Samsung Optical Drive which is simply one of the cheapest optical drives you can purchase at the moment – for $15 not a steal, but I’ll take it.

$1500 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

If you have a little extra to spend on the $1500 build, then below are a few suggestions. If you want to dedicate more storage space solely to your SSD, then perhaps a ginormous 1TB V-NAND Solid State Drive? Yes, that’s 1 TB of blazingly fast read and write speeds (for a hefty premium of course).

Do more then gaming – then you may want to consider upping your processor to an Intel i7-4790K processor. You can also very easily overclock this cpu. If you’re graphics hungry or want the option of upgrading in the future to keep up with future games – then you can always SLI with another GTX 780.

When I had mention in the hardware overview for November’s $1500 build that there were no notable cases released in the past month, well what I really meant was that there were no notable cases within the appropriate budget range. If you liked you can always purchase the new Silverstone Fortress FT05  case, for the current cost of $184 – this case will hold a ton of stuff, is quiet and rotates the motherboard 90 degrees off the usual motherboard orientation, which apparently helps cooler everything off more efficiently.

Intel Core i7-4790K Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz) (BX80646I74790K) ($339.99) – Do more then gaming? – Then an i7 might be the right choice.
SLI with another –
EVGA EVGA GTX980 Superclocked ACX 2.0 4GB GDDR5 256bit, DVI-I, DP x 3, HDMI, SLI Ready Graphics Card Graphics Cards 04G-P4-2983-KR(+$569.99)
Get a nice and newly released Full Tower PC Case:
Silverstone Tek Aluminum 90 Degree Motherboard Mounting SSI-CEB/ATX/Micro-ATX Computer Case FT05B (Black) ($184.95)
A Super Fast 1TB SSD: Samsung Electronics 850 Pro-Series 2.5" 1TB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive Single Unit Version MZ-7KE1T0BW ($599.00)

$1000 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

November 2014 PC Builds ( $998 )

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: $ 1008
Processor Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K $229.99
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO – CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2) $35.36  
Motherboard ASUS Z97-A ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97-A $139.99
Graphics Card

Zotac Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDMI DVI DisplayPort SLI Ready Graphics Card ZT-90101-10P Graphics Cards ZT-90101-10P
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 $66.99
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003 $53.95
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 Zalman High Performance ATX Mid Tower Case – Black Z11 $59.99
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS 24X SATA DVD±RW Internal Drive $14.99

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $998 )

For November 2014 the $1000 build stays a strong contender with the inclusion of the GTX 970 graphics cards. Since this card is so new, you may find prices jumping around and that the included card is either out of stock or the price has jumped. If this is the case simply search for other GTX 970 cards and try to aim for one that comes close to the one budgeted above, or you can always leave a comment below and we’ll try to help you out!

The included processor is the very overclockable Intel i5 4690K processor. The budget in the $1000 build this month does allow for some wiggle room, so I was able to include the Cool Master Hyper 212 Evo cpu cooler into the base build, which is awesome and highly recommended when overclocking the Intel 4690K. Likewise. if you don’t think you’ll dabble into overclocking you can save on the $30 cooler for now.

The included motherboard is the same as last months as I went with the Asus Z97-A motherboard, which is one a great pick for this budget and is more then capable of getting a ton of overclock out of the Intel 4690K processor. Some of the included features of the board include: (To learn more about these features visit the motherboard page here at

  • 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 is the new GTX 970, which has been the graphics card that has proven way more then its worth. Included in the $1000 build for November is the Zotac GeForce GTX 970 graphics card for $329. Remember,  if you find that the cost of this particular GTX 970 fluctuates throughout the month then do a search for other available GTC 970 cards and find one around the cost of this one.

For memory, again we have 8Gb of DDR3 Crucial Ballistix Sport RAM – where 8Gb of RAM should be the perfect amount for a good build. We have a 1TB Seagate Barracuda hard drive. The power supply unit being used is the EVGA SuperNOVA 650W power supply, which is a great PSU with 80Plus Gold certified and features all modular cables, high-quality Japanese brand capacitors.

The PC case this month is the Zalman Z11, a unique looking affordable PC case that glows blue. Although is a couple of years old, is a good value case that does the job efficiently. The Zalman Z11 has the following features – (To learn more visit

  1. Front Mesh Cover for High Cooling Performance
  2. Zalman’s Powerful HDD Cooling Solution
  3. Top Air Vent Exhaust/Tuning
  4. Dust Filters for Front and Bottom of System and PSU
  5. Supports up to 7 System Fans
  6. Supports 4 USB 2.0 Ports

Finally, the optical drive we have for each of the builds this month is a cheap Samsung optical included in the table above.

$1000 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions

Below are some hardware additions should you have some extra cash and want to upgrade a specific piece to the above build.

You could get some serious graphics power with the SLI of two EVGA GTX 970 graphics cards, which would definitely be enough juice for higher resolutions (2560X1600 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. The Samsung 840 PRO series is a great high quality SSD and 128GB is a perfect starting point to use is as your boot drive with some of your most used apps / games. For those that simply want more space for large sums of media etc. you could consider getting a 2TB drive (doubling your space) with the Seagate Barracuda 2TB drive.

I have included the same full tower case suggestion as last month if you plan on really going all out with some more hardware in the future. Say you want to SLI, add more drives and other stuff into your case, then a full tower might be a nice upgrade; such as the Rosewill gaming Full Tower THOR case below.

Also, please *note that if you do decide to SLI with another GTX 970, you may want to also upgrade the power supply unit to 750W (ie. EVGA SuperNOVA 650W).

$600 Gaming PC Build of the Month

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $588 ): November 2014

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

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Hardware Link Price Image
Estimated Price: $ 588
Processor AMD FD6300WMHKBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor Black Edition $99.99
Gigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard GA-78LMT-USB3
Graphics Card MSI AMD Radeon R9 280, 3GB GDDR5, PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card R9 280 GAMING 3G $203.99
RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 $66.99
Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003 $59.10
Power Supply Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Watt ATX/EPS  80 PLUS (CX600) $62.00
Computer Case Cougar Spike Case Mini Gaming Tower – Micro ATX $34.99
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS 24X SATA DVD±RW Internal Drive $14.99

Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build

The November $600 gaming pc build is a tightly knit, budget oriented build that squeezes so much power for such an affordable cost. This month the overall cost of the build went down, allowing for a better graphics card, which was just awesome.

The AMD FX 6300  is the processor included, the same for many months now. You can overclock this cpu quite easily since it has an unlocked multiplier and this cpu is especially a great buy right now since it has dropped down to a cheap $99 price.

Last month we had an R9 270X graphics card and this has been replaced with the MSI Radeon R9 280 this month. This card will eventually be replaced with the Radeon R9 285, which is why it has dropped so much in price and is available at the included discounted rate as seen in the above table.

The motherboard included for the second 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

  • 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

The included RAM is the same included in the $1000 build, which is 8Gb of Crucial Ballistix Sport RAM. As for a hard drive for each build this month I have featured the 1TB Seagate Barracuda, which should be plenty of storage for a gaming pc and if you ever need to add another drive the included motherboard supports up to 6 SATA connections.

The PSU was increased to the600W Corsair Builder series power supply, a cost conscious PSU that has just the right amount of power needed for this build. The increase to 600 watts over the previous 500 watts was due to two factors: The Radeon R9 280 does use a little more power and the cost difference between the 500 and 600W builder series PSU’s was minimal. That being said, you could still get away with the minimally required 500Watts for this build.

As for a PC case, I decided to keep with the compact and sturdy Cougar Spike Micro ATX PC case.  This case, in my opinion is a much more practical and attractive option for anyone purchasing a budget gaming pc build such as this $600 one. The following are features of this pc as described by Cougar World

  • The SPIKE delivers availability and expansion capability in a space-saving design to fully complete the gaming mission!
  • Interior black painting.
  • Advanced USB3.0 port for maximum data transfer speed.
  • Support for 4 fans: front 80/90/120mm fan x 1; rear 80/120mm fan x 1 ; side 120mm fans x 2.
  • Rear COUGAR 120mm fan x 1 is pre-installed.
  • Support for longer high-end graphics card up to 330mm.
  • Screw-less mechanisms on 5.25” & HDD devices.
  • Support installing 2.5” HDD/SSD at bottom cover.

The last little pice of hardware is our optical drive – due to its current lowest cost option, I went with the included Samsung optical drive that  you can see in the above table.

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.

The upgrades and alternatives this month include an upgraded eight core AMD FX-8320 processor – this processor has recently drop significantly in price due to some newly released FX processors, so it really would be a worthy upgrade this month.  Likewise you could also bump the graphics card up to a Gigabyte Radeon R9 280 for more juice while gaming.  You could consider also spending some ore cash and style the build up a little more with a Corsair Carbide Air 240 Micro ATX Case, which is another option for a compact nice looking pc case. Lastly, you could speed up boot and software loading times with with the purchase of a solid state drive, such as the Samsung 840 EVO 120GB drive below.

Processor Alternative: AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition($143.30)

Alternative PC Case:Rosewill Aluminum Alloy MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case Cases Legacy V4-B Black($69.99)

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
Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE120BW ($74.99) *Very affordable SSD option right now!


November Gaming PC Build Peripheral Considerations

This month I have decided to include some suggestions for some peripherals you may need or want to pair with your gaming pc build. The $600, $1000 and $1500 builds in this article include the hardware you need to setup up the base PC, but over and above that if you don’t already own a keyboard, mouse and monitor, then your build may be useless. Furthermore, you will also need an operating system to run as the backbone to seamlessly run your hardware with your software / games.

Below you will find suggestions for some peripherals that you can pair with the builds in this article. By all means this is not a comprehensive list or meant to be the best of the best, but they are some of the best in the respective “higher end” &  “basic” peripheral categories.

Higher End Gaming PC Peripherals – November 2014

The “higher end” peripherals are meant to showcase some of the more popular higher end / gaming specific peripheral hardware that one may consider. The keyboard chosen is the Razer Black Widow Ultimate, a great performing keyboard with comfortable keys and wrist area – one of the best all around gaming keyboards [learn more on the website]. The included mouse is the Logitech G502 Proteus Core – a very comfortable mouse with 11 large programmable buttons and easily one of the best mice out there [learn more at]. Last, we have a higher resolution (2560X1440) ASUS PB278Q monitor, a 27 inch LED lit monitor perfect for a higher end gaming pc (such as the $1500 build) – The ASUS PB278Q specifications can be read at [].

Hardware Link Price Image
Keyboard Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2014 Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard $99.99
Mouse Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse with Fully Customizable Surface, Weight and Balance Tuning (910-004074) $78.69
Monitor 2560×1440 ASUS PB278Q 27-Inch WQHD LED-lit Professional Graphics Monitor $459.99

Basic PC Peripherals – November 2014

The “basic” peripherals are meant to showcase some of the most popular basic peripherals that are not exactly gaming specific, but are definitely quality pc hardware that would fair just fine. Just because these are labelled “basic” doesn’t meant they are cheap or not good, just cheaper and not necessarily gaming specific. The included keyboard is the Microsoft Sidewinder X4. This is a quality (yes it is categorized as a gaming keyboard) that would be a great choice for any average gamer. The mouse is a very basic affordable, comfortable and wireless Logitech M510. The monitor included is the ASUS VG248QE, which is a popular 24-inch 1920X1080 and very fast response times – this monitor would be a great addition for any gaming pc build including the $600, $1000 & $1500 builds in this article.

Hardware Link Price Image
Keyboard Microsoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard $58.56  
Mouse Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse $24.99  
Monitor (1920×1080) ASUS VG248QE 24-inch LED-lit Monitor 144Hz refresh rate 1ms pixel response time & 3D capable $249.99

Operating System Options

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 $92.00  
Windows 7 Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging) $99.99  
Ubuntu Ubuntu – Desktop Free Ubuntu OS Logo
SteamOS SteamOS WebpageSteamOS Beta – Download Page Free SteamOS Logo

With the additions of the peripherals sections and adding some OS options, I would love to hear your feedback. So if you have any questions or comments please leave them below in the comments section and I will try to respond as soon as possible!

November 2014’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video:

Comments 56

  1. For the 1000$ November build if i used a Zalman z11 plus HF1 instead of the default would it still be compatible for the build. (i prefer the badass red colour).


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      1. Im just about to start my first build and i’m following your 1000$ november build, thanks for the great review you did on it, you have helped me out a lot.
        i was also wondering if i should grab a MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V instead of the zotac, and if you have had any personal experience with it.

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          Thanks Harry. In my opinion I would only grab the MSI Geforce GTX 970 Graphics Card instead of the Zotac one if the prices are similar. (As close to $329 as possible give or take). The MSI GeForce GTX 970 Twin Frozr V has gotten good reviews, so it wouldn’t be a terrible purchase, just don’t go spending $40 more for it would be my opinion.

          Hope this helps!

          1. so one last thing here, i’m looking for a decent HD monitor for around the $140 price, would you be able to list any that comes to mind.

            thanks so much

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              1. ok now i just want to know how small these comment square things can get, this thing is hilarious.

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      Hey Ken,

      Seasonic is a very reputable brand, and that power supply would do just fine. As for the EVGA 750W G2 getting poor reviews I’m not sure though? Even on Newegg it has amazing reviews –

      One major difference in my opinion comparing the two is first the 80 plus gold rating on the EVGA G2 (90% efficient) versus the 80 plus bronze rating on the chosen Seasonic (85%), so the EVGA would be slightly more efficient in delivery power also the EVGA G2 offers a 10 year warranty versus the Seasonic 5 year warranty (not a huge deal though since after 5 year one may consider upgrading anyhow).

      Overall though you would have no problems going with that Seasonic PSU, hope this helps.

    2. I was also wondering, would I need a 750 for the $1000 build if the only change I made was to get an i7 4790k? need it for video stuff. I have a spare 650, but I don’t wanna run the system if thats not enough juice for it.

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      Hello Chris,

      Yeah the Cooler Master HAF 912 is a great case and has been for quite some time. I would also agree that yes building your own pc is for sure worth it 🙂

  2. I am pretty new to choosing pc parts and I was wondering what the difference was from a Msi R9 280 and a other brand like a Sapphire R9 280? (The Msi R9 280 is sold out) by the way this is for the $600 build, thanks 😀

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      Hello Carter,

      That totally makes sense – not to try and get too complicated off that bat, but the reason there are different brands (MSI, Sapphire, Gigabyte etc.) for a specific graphics card is that AMD or NVIDIA make a reference designed card (ie. AMD Radeon R9 280) and then companies like MSI use their own components which could aid for better cooling or overclocking, sometimes comes with different components, or even video output options.

      Sometimes though, it does all boils down to price. I know that the MSI R9 280 is sold out at the moment, however I would recommend the R9 280 Gigabyte version at the moment – such as the one featured in the December PC Builds builds that I literally just posted today.

      Let me know if you have anymore questions.

  3. Hey Corey,

    I am wondering If I used Intel Core i7-4790K BX80646I74790K on Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H would the graphic card Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 280 OC 3GB GDDR5 be good with them or I am going to waste the PC power?
    If not I need your suggestion for reasonable price graphics card


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      Hello Sameer,

      It all depends on what your goals are. Is your pc going to be mainly gaming? If so, then I would still recommend going with the i5 4690k and use the difference on a slightly better card with the difference saved.

      However, if you do video rendering, graphics work and then say gaming, and your still wanting to go with the i7, well then that is a great choice. It wouldn’t be a waste of cpu power if your gaming and it doesn’t actually need that extra power. So going with the R9 280 should be fine at 1920×1080 resolution gaming, but may still have slightly lower fps regardless of going with an i7 verus an i5. You can also try for a R9 280x graphics card for about $20-30 more.

  4. My first comment looks like it didn’t go through, so if this is just a repeat, feel free to ignore this:

    Thank you for these builds!

    I am building the $1000 one and was wondering if i could make these two changes. First off, could i switch out the 650w power supply with the “EVGA SuperNOVA 750G1 750W ATX12V Power Supply 120-G1-0750-XR” (Same price)? Also, will the components and the case design allow me to switch out the “Zotac Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP” with the Omega version that is larger?

    Thank you,
    Jeffrey Cordero

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      Hello Jeffery,

      Hey both of your comments worked, so no problem. The power supply you found will work just fine! And the Omega version of the Zotax GTX 970 will fit the Zalman case as well. The Zalman supports up to 290mm graphics card length (11.4 inches) and the omega card is 1.55 inches.


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      1. Hey !
        Im about to build the 600 $ pc.
        I bought everything from a special german site.
        The only thing i didnt find is the motherboard Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Mainboard Sockel AM3+ .
        Which alse could i take, which is able to work with the processor.

        Sry for my bad english 🙂

        1. Post

          Hey Dimi,

          Your english is perfect. Did you purchase the same case? if so we will need a motherboard that is a Micro ATX sized motherboard that supports an AM3+ socket.

          For around the same price you can try for a ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX, MSI 760GM-P34 (FX) BOM, MSI 760GM-P21 (FX) or MSI 760GMA-P34(FX). Likewise if those are not available, I can look on the German site you are trying to purchase from if you liked.

          Let me know if you have any more questions!

  5. I was just wondering if all the cooling that you listed is enough for overclocking to 5.0 Ghz on the $600 build. I’ve read around and most people said that I can only go up to about 4.5 ghz using that motherboard.

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      Yes you are correct, but 4.5 is a great OC for this processor – and unless you are extremely adept and an OC enthusiast, it might be tough to hit 5ghz anyhow. I would recommend the Hyper 212 evo over top the stock cooler and this would be enough to cool up to 4.5ghz. You do have to keep in mind though, that overclocking does vary with each individual processor chip (so one FX 6300 may differ from the next).

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  6. Hello!

    Greetings from Latvia and GREAT work with site!

    Question, could i swap EVGA SuperNOVA 650G1 650W for SEASONIC ZASILACZ M12II-620 EVO 620W in 1000$ build, and what would be +/- for future? (keeping in mind upgrades)

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Post

      Hello Peter,

      Wonderful thank you for the greetings from Latvia!

      You can most definitely swap the psu for the SeaSonic 620W you mentioned. There would be no difference in terms of wattage between the two since 30 watts difference is minimal. The only thing I would worry about using more wattage in the future is if you buy 2 graphics cards and do SLI. In If you think you’re going to plan on doing that, you could consider going for around 750 watts.

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  7. hey i love your work and really appreciated. i’ve been following this web-site for 2 months and want to buy new pc for 1000$ + ssd and i wonder if i can play all games on ultra with your build? thank you for your reply

    1. Post

      Hello Baris,

      No problem and thank you. The $1000 build can probably play a fair amount of the games out on ultra 1080 with great frame rates. There is no way of me saying that this will be true 100% of the time since I haven’t seen benchmarks for every single released game, but it would be a fair assumption. This is assuming you have a 1920×1080 monitor, as with higher resolutions this may not be true.

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      Hello Will,

      The FX 6300 will come with a stock cooler. However if you plan to highly overclock it, I would recommend a separate cooler, otherwise you don’t need one.

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  8. Hey Corey, thanks for taking the time do do these monthly. I only plan on playing World of Warcraft and league of legends on my computer. Considering those are games do you think there is a way to save $100.00 and still play those games at on high settings? Thanks in advance.

    1. Post

      Hello Ray,

      If your going to get most of the hardware in the $1000 build (using the intel 4670k processor) then you won’t even need a very high end graphics card really. You could get a Radeon R9 280 (about $220), and it should work great when paired with the 4670K processor for maxing both of those (saving you about $110) You could probably also get away with a Radeon R9 270X (about $190) and still get great performance, I have heard that this card may sometimes dip down in the more intense raids in WoW though. The most important thing is CPU for WoW and the 4670k is perfect for this and League should be now problem with any of the options.

      Best of luck!

  9. Hi what mobo can you suggest that is better than the Gigabyte AM3+ AMD DDR3 1333 760G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard GA-78LMT-USB3 that is around $90?

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      Hey Lorenz,

      Depends if your looking for one size as big as the included Gigabyte board which is a Micro ATX sized motherboard (which you would need if going with the included micro atx pc case).

      For a MicroATX – There aren’t a ton of AM3+ AMD motherboard that are MicroATX that do sell for over $90, but you could consider an Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 which does support more RAM.

      For an ATX – You can get more features on a full ATX size motherboard. Two options around $90 I would recommend either a ASRock 970 EXTREME4 or MSI 970 GAMING

      Keep in mind if you go with an ATX sized motherboard that you will need a mid tower case to support its size (not the micro atx case shown in the $600 build above).

      1. thanks for the quick reply.
        my final components are the following:

        ATX: Bitfenix Ronin
        MoBo: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-U3 (rev.4.0) *i chose the gigabyte for i am going for black scheme build* 😀
        CPU: AMD fx 6300 3.5GHz
        PSU: Seasonic M12II 620w
        GPU: Sapphire R9 270x Toxic 2G GDDR5
        RAM: G.skill Sniper 8G(2x4G DDR3 1600)
        HDD: WD Caviar blue 1TB

        My question is, will my PSU suffice?Am not planning to OC but planning to buy CM hyper D92 also i will put 4 LED fans and LED strips.
        THank You!

        1. Post

          Hey Lorenze,

          No problem. Your build looks great and that Gigabyte one is a well stacked mobo. The 620 watt Seasonic is more then enough to suffice, even with addition such as the CM hyper D92 you mentioned and the lighting / fans. The Bitfenix Ronin is also a cool case.

          Best of luck building let me know how it goes!

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  10. First of all, thanks for the awesome builds.
    I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice. I’m wanting to try the $600 build, but I was curious to know if it’s a good idea to wait until black Friday/cyber Monday to buy the parts. The only sites I know to look at are NewEgg and Amazon.
    Does anyone have any advice or experience with this? or do these parts usually don’t go on sale?
    Thank you!

    1. Post

      Hello Roberto,

      Thanks! It can be a good idea to wait for Black Friday sales for pc parts and they will go on sale, but its hard to say what. What I would specifically look for on Black Friday are deals on more generic hardware things such as RAM, hard drives or even computer cases – since there are so many choices and some are bound to be discounted.

      I have debated whether or not to do a Black Friday post with any found or known discounted hardware prices closer to November 28th – however if you find anything feel free to share them here.

      1. Hey Corey,
        Thanks for the reply.
        I haven’t built a pc in a long time, so I just had a couple of questions.
        Keep in mind in basing this off mostly on your $600 build.

        First, what do you recommend if I need to have some kind of wireless adapter?
        I was thinking maybe this would work :
        I know there’s usb adapters too, but I would like to get your opinion.

        Last question,
        I was looking for the graphics card you suggested under upgrades. (600 build)
        Unless it’s not the wrong one, it seems like currently the upgrade is a little bit cheaper than the gpu you have on the build.
        Just wanted to know if it’s the one you were talking about before I buy it:

        That’s all, thanks again!

        1. Post

          Hello Roberto,

          For the wireless adapter, the one you chose would work perfectly, likewise if you wanted to save you could get something like –

          But it is a tad slower at 300mbps – but it is $19.99.

          And yes, that is exactly the graphics card I would choose right now – your linked Gigabyte R9 280. The prices on those cards this month dropped allot and it is a great purchase. This was actually the “alternative” card recommended last month, but it is actually included in the above $600 this month for November.

          Let me know if you have any further questions!

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