Gaming PC Builds – November 2014
Jump to a specific budget build –
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1500 ): November 2014
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1000 ): November 2014
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $600 ): November 2014
- Gaming PC Peripheral Considerations (Keyboards, Mice & Monitors): November 2014 *New addition
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.
November 2014 PC Builds ( $1490 )
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1400, 1920×1080
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 nzxt.com) –
• 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)|
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
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 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 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 zalman.com)
- Front Mesh Cover for High Cooling Performance
- Zalman’s Powerful HDD Cooling Solution
- Top Air Vent Exhaust/Tuning
- Dust Filters for Front and Bottom of System and PSU
- Supports up to 7 System Fans
- 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).
|Add a SSD Boot Drive: Samsung Electronics MZ-7PD128BW 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 128GB SATA 6Gbps Solid State Drive= (+ $91.99) –||
SLI your graphics card: (*Potential future proofing upgrade?) 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 ($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||Get a Full Tower PC Case: Rosewill Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case Cases THOR V2-W Black, white ($128.52)|
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $588 ): November 2014
(Game at Smoothly with Medium – High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions)
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
|Estimated Price:||$ 588|
|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||$54.99|
|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 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
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 razerzone.com 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 gaming.logitech.com]. 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 [asus.com].
|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.
|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.
|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|
|SteamOS||SteamOS WebpageSteamOS Beta – Download Page||Free|
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!