Gaming PC Builds – November 2015
Jump to a specific budget build –
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1500 ): November 2015
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1000 ): November 2015
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $600 ): November 2015
- Gaming PC Peripheral Considerations (Keyboards, Mice & Monitors): November 2015
- Operating System Options
Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:
If you’re looking build a PC that’s affordable and capable of playing any game out there, then you’ve come to the right place. Check out any of the three November 2015 gaming pc builds below in the three budget categories of $600, $1000 and $1500, with suggestions for alternative hardware should you have a larger budget or want ideas for future upgrades.
Depending on what games you plan on playing or how much you have to spend on a PC will ultimately determine which build is best for you. There are many great game releases coming up in the following months such as Fallout 4 (view the speculated Fallout 4 builds here), Star Wars: Battlefront, call of Duty Black ops III, and even Deus Ex to name a few. Not to mention that November is generally a fantastic time to build a PC with the start of holiday sales, Black Friday and even Cyber Monday to price out cheaper prices on each piece of hardware – therefore I could conclude now is a fantastic time to be building a performance gaming pc.
Also, I would like to invite you to check out my latest gaming pc build – a brand new Micro ATX Skylake PC build, where I also I did a hardware / unboxing video. This build would be a slightly upgraded version of the below $1000 build using a smaller MicroATX form factor, so if you would be interested in that please check it out.
This month features very little in terms of newer hardware, but the prices of each of the builds has gone down overall making them even more affordable and with room for further upgrades should you want to. I hope you enjoy this months builds and as per usual please leave any questions of comments below the article and best of luck with your builds.
November 2015 PC Builds ( $1439 )
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1400 and 1920×1080 & 4K!
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )
The $1500 gaming pc build of the month for November 2015 is meant for those that want to game on Ultra Settings without any hiccups and that’s at resolutions of both 1920×1080 and 2560×1440. Here we have an Intel i5 6600K processor and the PNY GTX 980Ti graphics card you’ll be able to knock the socks off of any game from 1080p to 1440p resolutions without any difficulty while maintaining high fps. and you’ll even have little difficulty at 4K should you have a monitor to support it too. The PNY 980Ti linked above is at an even lower price this month, so it’s a great time to purchase that card.
The included CPU is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler will help you overclock the 6600K cpu no problems once to ever. Moreover though, you need a cpu cooler since the Skylake processors don’t come with any stock cooler once so ever, so why not get one of the highest rated air coolers, especially considering its cost. For those who want to spend a little more, there is even a liquid CPU included in the hardware alternatives section below, which will give you a much quieter, more customized cooling experience.
The new skylake processors require a Z170 chipset motherboards. The included motherboard is the Gigabyte Intel Z170 GA-Z170X-Gaming 3, supporting DDr4, SLI and Crossfire (allowing two GTX 980Ti’s for example), USB 3.1 and more including (Read more at Gigabyte.com):
- Supports 6th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor
- Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs
- Intel® USB 3.1 with USB Type-C™- the world’s next Universal connector
- 3-Way Graphics Support with Exclusive Ultra Durable Metal Shielding over the PCIe Slots
- Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connectors with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe & SATA SSD support)
- 3 SATA Express Connectors for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
- 115dB SNR HD Audio with Built-in Rear Audio Amplifier
- Killer™ E2200 and Intel® Gaming Networks
- High Quality Audio Capacitors and Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
- APP Center Including EasyTune™ and Cloud Station™ Utilities
- GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS™ Technology
As per usual I have included a kit of 16Gb of RAM, but with the skylake cpu / z170 chipset motherboard combo, we can now include the newer DDR4 memory instead of DDR3. Included is 16GB (two 8GB sticks) of Corsair Vengeance, plenty of memory for this gaming pc build, and you can also keep in mind that the motherboard for this build also allows up to 64GB of total memory , leaving you with plenty of upgrade room for the future.
I have no longer included an HDD and have opted just for a Solid State Drive “SSD” for the $1500 build, which will perform much better helping with those load / boot times and reading speeds. The included SSD is the Samsung 850 EVO 250GB which will give you enough space for your OS and to store numerous games / software. If you find you will need more storage you can always add in a separate HDD such at that included in the Alternatives section below, or opt for an SSD with more storage.
The power supply used for many months is the highly rated EVGA SuperNOVA 750W G2 Gold Certified power supply, which is a high quality & efficient PSU and I highly recommend it and it should be more then enough for the $1500 build. Keep in mind that for those that do plan on going with SLI (two graphics cards / GTX 980Ti’s) in the future that you will want to plan for at least an 850W high quality PSU.
The gaming PC case included is the Silverstone Tek Kublai KL05B-W, which for a mid tower offers substantial room for large graphics card, liquid cooling and plenty of drive space. It includes a side window to view you amazing hardware and plus it’s quite affordable for the quality and attention to detail Silverstone has put into this case. The following are the case’s specification and if you want to learn / read more please visit silverstontek.com:
- Interference-free design for mounting 240mm or 280mm radiator
- Highly flexible storage accommodation of up to 8 or 11 drives*
- Quick access filters for easy cleaning
- Motherboard back plate opening for quick CPU cooler assembly
- Mesh front panel intake maximizes airflow with side window for viewing system innards (KL05-W)
- Front-side intake vents with foam padded side panels to minimize noise (KL05-Q)
- All black painted interior for stylish look
- *Requires purchase of additional drive cage
I have started to purposely leave out optical drives in all of my pc builds. The main reason is that I’m finding there is little use to having one anymore and it does bring the overall cost of the build down slightly. I also find the biggest usage to having one is to install Windows / your Operating System, which can be easily accomplished via a USB stick or external hard drive.
$1500 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions
The following is some extra alternative hardware for those that have a little more to spend or for those that want upgrade ideas for the future for the above $1500 gaming pc build.
Included in the build is an i5 Intel 6600K Skylake, but for those that do more then gaming perhaps an Intel i7 6700K cpu might be needed; this would be beneficial for those that do video work or even graphics work where there is some rendering that could benefit from an i7.
As I stated in the $1500 gaming pc build overview above, there is no HDD included in the build which shouldn’t matter for most unless you need lots of storage room. Included below is a larger SanDisk Extreme PRO 1TB SSD for those that may want the extra space, but also use one drive for ultimate speeds on an SSD; this does come at a higher cost, but is much cheaper then is used to be.
You could also really increase your graphics power by SLI’ing your GTX 980 Ti by adding in a second PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti, but it will cost you another $629.99 or so. This could also be a future upgrade idea to boost your gaming pc’s performance when you need it. If you do plan on going SLI’ing in the future or now, you should consider getting at least an 850W PSU such as the EVGA SuperNOVA 850W G2.
Also included below is the Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX liquid cpu cooler. This cooler would be a substitute for the above included Hyper 212 EVO air cpu cooler and would provide a quieter, more efficient / more customized cooling experience.
|Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 4.00 GHz 8M Processor Cache 4 LGA 1151 BX80662I76700K ($414) – Do more then gaming? Like show off? – Then an i7 might be the right choice
|PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Graphics Cards VCGGTX980T6XPB-CG ($626.99) – SLI with two GTX 980 Ti’s for some super graphics performance.*If you want to SLI you should consider 850W psu such as the EVGA SuperNOVA 850W G2 PSU ($120.03).
|Purchase a liquid CPU cooler (instead of the included air cooler): Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060021-WW ($115.10)
|A very fast 1TB SSD: SanDisk Extreme PRO 960GB SATA 6.0GB/s 2.5-Inch 7mm Height Solid State Drive (SSD) With 10-Year Warranty- SDSSDXPS-960G-G25 ($384.43)
November 2015 PC Builds ( $985 )
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 November 2015 $1000 gaming pc build should be able to squeeze high performance fps in most games at 1080p and even 1440p. This build uses a combination of the skylake Intel i5 6600K cpu and the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX or alternatively a Gigabyte Gaming R9 390 graphics card.
This build also includes the highly rated Cooler Master Hype 212 cpu cooler, this helps tremendously when overclocking your unlocked Intel i5 6600K processor and since the Intel i5 6600K doesn’t come with a stock cooler, you need to purchase a cpu cooler anyhow. If you check out the hardware alternative table below, you will also see an option for a liquid cpu cooler.
The included z170 chipset motherboard we have is the ASUS Z170-K Z170 motherboard. This motherboard is one of the newer ones released in the last couple of months and for a more affordable motherboard, it still comes with onboard USB 3.1 and more including (learn more Asus.com) –
- 5X Protection II – Advanced hardware safeguards for all-round protection
- DDR4 memory overclocked to 3466MHz
- Onboard USB 3.1 Gen 2 for 10Gbit/s data transfer speeds
- Lightning-fast M.2 with PCIe® 3.0 x4 interface
- Epic gaming audio with LED-illuminated shielding
- Media-acclaimed UEFI BIOS with EZ Flash 3
- Fan Xpert 3 advanced fan controls for ultimate cooling and silent performance
*One thing to note that is you can’t do SLI with this motherboard, but you can Crossfire, so if you go with an R9 390 instead of the GTX 970, you have the potential for adding in another one later on.
Again this month, there are two graphics card included in the build table above. The first graphics card included, is the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX and alternatively for the exact same price there is also a Gigabyte Gaming R9 390. Both of these cards will perform very similarly, so I’ll leave the choice as to which you would like to go with. Either graphics card will max any modern game at 1920×1080 and even in resolutions beyond that up to 2560×1400, but they may differ slightly in particular games at specific resolutions, so if you have a specific set of games in mind, try searching specific benchmarks for either the GTA 970, or AMD R9 390 as they might perform slightly better then one or the other in a specific game (*note YouTube can be great for looking up specific gaming hardware benchmarks).
The RAM included is a kit of Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR4 RAM, which is generally enough memory for a standard gaming pc build.
The power supply unit used 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.
For a gaming PC case, I’ve included the Antec Three Hundred Two mid tower gaming pc case. This is a standard mid tower sleek looking basic case that has high efficiency cooling, tool less design and plenty of room for extra drives for this build. To learn more about this case please visit antec.com.
$1000 Gaming PC Build Upgrade Suggestions
Here is some alternative hardware upgrades for those wanting to spend a tad more or for those that want some upgrade ideas.
If you want more graphic power in the future you could potentially Crossfire two R9 390’s. If you go this route, then you will also need a stronger power supply, as much as 850w, which I have included along side that recommendation below (I would only consider the larger PSU if you really plan on doing this).
Since there is no SSD included in the base $1000 build, I do highly suggest considering one and you can purchase one instead of the included Seagate HDD in the build above. Featured below is a super fast quality SSD, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 240GB SSD – or maybe you have tons of media or simply need extra space, so you could upgrade to the 2TB version of the Seagate HDD for not much more then the 1Tb model.
You could also go with a liquid cpu cooler such as the Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT. This could help keep things quiet and a tad cooler when overclocking and it offers a more customize cooling experience (learn more about the Corsair h80i GT at Corsair.com).
|Add a Fast Quality SSD Boot Drive: SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5-Inch 7mm Height Solid State Drive (SSD) With 10-Year Warranty- SDSSDXPS-240G-G25 = (+ $117.80) –
|Crossfire your graphics card:
(*Potential future proofing upgrade? – *only if you went with the AMD R9 390 as you can SLI and have two GTX 970’s) –Gigabyte GV-R939G1 GAMING-8GD G1 Gaming Graphics Card AMD R9 390 512 Bit GDDR5 8GB 2xDVI/HDMI/3xDP ($319.99) – If you plan on doing Crossfire you will probably want at least an 850W power supply such as –EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 80+ GOLD, 850W ECO Mode Fully Modular NVIDIA SLI and Crossfire Ready 10 Year Warranty Power Supply 220-G2-0850-XR PSU ($122.12).
|More Hard Drive Space With 2TB –Seagate 2TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000DM001) Price: $71.99
|Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT Performance Liquid CPU Cooler CW-9060017-WW – Add a liquid CPU Cooler for quieter, more customized and efficient cooling ($89.99)
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $579): November 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
|ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
|EVGA GeForce GTX 950 2GB GAMING, Silent Cooling Graphics Card 02G-P4-2951-KR
|Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 (PC3-12800) UDIMM Memory Modules BLS2K4G3D169DS3/BLS2C4G3D
|Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000DM003)
|EVGA 600 B1 80+ BRONZE, 600W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply 100-B1-0600-KR
|BitFenix Computer Case BFC-NEO-100-KKXSK-RP Black
|No optical drive included in base build cost – *This should be considered optional (LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical Drives GH24NSC0B)
Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build
The $600 gaming pc build is a standard gaming pc build for those that want to get into PC gaming at a reasonable cost and $600 is the perfect starting point since it still provides the performance a gaming pc promises and it does so without skimping out on the essentials. Even though this is the lowest budget build here, it’s a fully capable 1080p gaming machine that you can expect to play a variety of games maxed out with decent fps.
Included is the AMD FX-8320 8 Core Black Edition processor, which provides significant potential for a $600 budget gaming PC and this processor is also unlocked and easily overclockable (to get the full potential of overclocking I do suggest upgrading the cpu cooler, such as the one included in the hardware alternatives table below).
The motherboard chosen for another $600 monthly gaming pc build month is a full sized ATX motherboard – ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970. This has been a popular budget AM3+ motherboard for quite some time -the Asus M5a97 has the following specification according to Asus (read more at asus.com):
- Dual Intelligent Processors – TPU + EPU.
- Remote GO! – One-stop PC Remote Control and Home Entertainment
- USB 3.0 Boost – Faster USB 3.0 Transmission with UASP
- Network iControl – Real-time Network Bandwidth Control
- DirectKey – A Dedicated Button to Access the BIOS Directly
- USB BIOS Flashback – Easy, Worry-free USB BIOS Flashback with Hardware-based Design
- UEFI BIOS – Flexible & Easy BIOS Interface
The included graphics card is the GTX 950. Included in the $600 pc build is the EVGA GeForce GTX 950, which does perform better then our similarly priced previous R7 370. If you have a little extra to spend, you could also consider an R9 380, which is included in the hardware alternatives table below.
The included memory is a kit of Crucial Ballistix Sport XT DDR3 8GB, which should be enough memory for this gaming pc. And for a hard drive we have a 1TB Seagate Barracuda, which is a standard HDD with plenty of space at a great price – you can check out the hardware alternatives table if you would be interested in using a solid state drive instead.
For the power supply, we have the EVGA 600B 600Watt power supply, this is a great budget PSU and more then enough power for this build.
The PC case included is a BitFenix Neos Black, which is a slightly different model of the case included last month. This is a basic case that does what it needs to – houses all the hardware included in your gaming pc build. The great think about the Neos case though is that it does come in a variety of color configurations, aside from the black one I’ve featured here. You can read more about the BitFenix Neos case and its specifications at BitFenix.com.
Upgrade Suggestions for the $600 Gaming PC Build:
If you want some suggestions for upgrades or some hardware alternatives to those in the gaming pc hardware in the November $600 pc build above, then you may be interested in some of the suggestions below.
I would suggest a CPU cooler other then the included FX 8320 stock cooler if you want to take full advantage of overclocking, such as the Corsair Hydro Series H55 liquid cpu cooler – I’ve included this cooler since it provides a quality low profile solution as a higher air cooler may be a tad tight for this build.
The second choice here is a better graphics card, such as the MSI R9 380. Purchase this if you have a little more cash to spend, which is worth the investment for a little more fps while gaming.
If you need more hard drive space it doesn’t cost too much more to get a 2TB Seagate Barracuda, likewise you can also speed up your read and write times with an affordable budget solid state drive such as the 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO you see below.
|Better CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H55 Quiet Edition Liquid CPU Cooler (CW-9060010-WW) ($69.86)
|Better Graphics Card (Radeon R9 380): XFX Double Dissipation R9 380 970MHZ 4GB DDR5 Display Port HDMI Dual DVI Graphics Cards R9-380P-F24M ($189.99)
Better Motherboard – MSI Computer ATX DDR3 1066 Motherboards 990FXA GAMING Price: $134.99
November 2015 Gaming PC Build Mice, Keyboard & Monitor Peripheral Considerations
The peripheral considerations are included as an attachment to the November 2015 gaming pc builds of the month. The builds above include the essential hardware to build a gaming pc, however you do need peripherals in order to control your gaming pc. So if you already don’t have a mouse, keyboard, monitor or OS, then you may want to check out the following article for some suggestions on gaming specific peripherals.
The November 2015 gaming pc peripherals article is separated into three separate categories including each in a higher end, mid-range and basic peripheral category.
To view this months peripheral suggestions please visit: November 2015 Gaming PC Peripherals of the Month
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, Windows 8.1, Windows 10. Otherwise, there are some free alternatives that you could consider below as well. Keep in mind that you will need an optical drive should you decide to purchase the install discs, however you can also purchase Windows online or as a USB stick and install it that way – this would be the process for installing your OS without an optical drive (which isn’t included in each of the base builds above).
The following are some operating systems you can consider installing upon putting your Gaming PC build together. The first three will cost you and are either Windows 7 or 8.1, or 10 – I have no opinions here so I’ll leave the purchase of these up to the discretion of yourself, but do keep in mind that either way you do have the option of upgrading to Windows 10 for now. 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.
|Windows 8.1 System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit
|Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)
|Windows 10 Upgrade
|Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit System Builder OEM | PC Disc
|Ubuntu – Desktop
|SteamOS Beta “Build your own Steam Machine”