Building a Custom Gaming PC by Budget in 2013

Budget Gaming PC Build SeriesIf you’re looking to build your own custom gaming PC, then you’ve come to the right place. This page, updated monthly, is a list of PC builds for budgets from $300 all the way to $2,000. It’s a live look at where hardware is right now and a discussion at each price point of where you should be putting your hard earned money.

Different Types of Builders:

It’s important to keep in mind with each build that everyone’s opinion can be different at any particular price point. Some may go for performance at all cost by sacrificing quality and functionality. Others would rather have functionality for everyday work.

Our goal for this page is to give you the right amount of both in each price point. Alternate builds will be posted that cater more to the performance-driven crowd.

Why we update it monthly:

The hardware market is constantly evolving through new releases, drivers,  and rebates. When major releases from AMD, NVIDIA, or Intel happen the game changes entirely.

How You can Help:

It’s impossible to look at every hardware site every day and all of the time. You can help us out by leaving comments in the feedback section below.

Find us On YouTube:

This series will also be discussed on our YouTube page and regularly updated. Other videos for hardware and the state of gaming will be regularly posted.

About the Links:

If you don’t see a link to a particular product, then that means it was mentioned in an above build. Highlighted links are only those which were changed from previous builds.

Component Breakdown for All 10 Builds

As you can see in the graph PC building isn’t cut and dry. When I first started building PCs I used to assign a number to each component and stick to that budget. Over time, I realized that at any point in time there are breakpoints that I try to achieve with a certain performance critical component.

Higher-end builds will, of course, begin to focus more and more of their overall budget to their graphics card simply because any CPU bottleneck really drops off in the $200 to $300 range. If this graph were to continue the portion dedicated to the graphics card would continue its upward trend.

PC Build Breakdown

Best Custom Rigs By Budget for 2013

This Post was Last Updated October 3, 2013

$300 Gaming PC APU Build

300 thumbInitial Impression: If you love online gaming and need an upgrade, but only have a max of $300, then you’re in luck! A $300 gaming rig wouldn’t have been on my radar a few years ago, but thanks to new technology from AMD and inexpensive  it certainly is in 2013. AMD’s A10-5800k APU gives gamers a CPU and GPU combination for just around $110.

Hardware for this Build:

APU – AMD-A10-5800k

Graphics – From APU – HD 7660D

Ram – Kingston HyperX Blu

Motherboard  - MSI FM2-A55M-E33

Power Supply - Corsair CX 430

Case – Rosewill FBM-01

Hard Drive - WD Blue 500 GB

Other Thoughts: This is the part where I talk about the build and what I’d probably really do here. While an Intel processor like the i3-3220 would certainly do better at computing, only a combination Intel CPU and GPU would compare to AMD’s HD 7660D integrated graphics. Below I’ve listed the AMD 750k along with the HD 6670 – the best graphics card available right now in the Under $70 range. Because these builds are very similar in performance, I thought it would be ideal to list them both.

Overall the dedicated graphics card build will give you slightly better computing performance and graphics; however the AMD-5800k is a great overclocker and may make gains in certain areas if you’re an experienced power user.

What will this build run?

This build should be able to run anything you throw at it; however, you may need to turn down settings quite a bit in a graphically intense game like Battlefield 3. It does very well with benchmarks for online games like LOL, DOTA, Neverwinter, Diablo III, and WoW. It’ll even run a game like BF3 as shown in this YouTube Video. You could also consider upgrading to the newer Richland version of this APU in the AMD A10-6800k.

$300 Gaming PC CPU and Dedicated GPU Build

Gigabyte HD 6670 GV-R667D3-2GIInitial Impression: As I mentioned above in my opinion this build is probably a better way to go than the previous one if you’re simply comparing in-game performance. As I was putting this one together I kept thinking that some of you will want to stretch a little further on their CPU and get something like the AMD Phenom II 4 965 – which we use in our $400 build – for about $15 more here. This would be especially useful if you needed the multi-threaded performance. That being said this build is already a bit over our budget and to keep it in the budget, we’ll stick with the AMD 750k. For the money it’s still a really good processor and probably the Intel one I’d stick with up until you can afford the i3-3220.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU: Athlon 750k

Graphics - Gigabyte HD 6670 GV-R667D3-2GI

Ram – Kingston HyperX Blu

Motherboard  - MSI FM2-A55M-E33

Power Supply -  Corsair CX 430

Case – Rosewill FBM-01

Hard Drive – WD Blue 500 GB

What Will This Build Run?

This game will run pretty much any game you throw at it with the proper adjustment. Here’s some Skyrim footage with the same GPU. If you want additional performance, then it might be a good idea to stretch a little bit and spend $20 more for the HD 7770.

Update Changes: In August of 2013 we removed the Pentium G860 for the similarly priced Athlon 750k. In addition we are using the 500GB version of the same hard drive because of money we’ve been able to save.

$400 Gaming PC Build

NVIDIA Relative GPU Performance

Initial Impression: With our $400 build I wanted to focus on upgrading the CPU a little and put the majority of the budget towards the graphics card. As you can see I went with the Asus HD 7790 this month. This particular model makes a lot of sense because its on rebate this month and really does a great job at maintaining a high level of FPS even when playing games at 1920 x 1080p resolution.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU - Athlon 750k

GPU – Sapphire HD 7790 OC – On rebate this month

Ram – 4GB Kingston Hyperx

Motherboard - MSI FM2-A55M-E33

Power Supply – Corsair CX 430

Case - Rosewill FBM-01

Hard Drive - WD Blue 500 GB

Optical Drive - Asus DVD-RW

Other Thoughts: In all reality there’s a big difference between trying to hit a budget number and a real life situation. With the release of the GTX 650 Ti boost and the success that many people have had overclocking it you may want to spend the extra cash here and jump up to it. There’s an EVGA model (01G-P4-3655-KR) of it available for just 15 bucks more and the boost is posting numbers closer to the GTX 660 than the original 650 Ti. Another consideration is the CPU. If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful, then consider jumping up to the i3-3220 or the fx 6300.

If you want to upgrade and stick with the budget, then you could always consider using an old DVDRW or even consider not using one at all. I recently purchased one in my new rig and have yet to use it. I generally prefer using direct to download sources like Steam, Origin, or even using my portable HDD to transfer files. Keep in mind that the 650 Ti Boost is significantly larger than the standard version and may require a larger case like the elite 430.

Changes in October of 2013:  I went ahead and changed the graphics card to the Sapphire HD 7790 OC version. Because of its timely rebate it’s a pretty good deal at around $115.

What will this build run?

Now that we’ve changed to the HD 7790, this build will do a good job at running all games. While you may have to tweak some of the settings here’s a look at a video of this card in use with Battlefield 3. Keep in mind that for that build they’re using an i5 CPU as well so your performance will be slightly lower.

$500 Gaming PC Build

EVGA GTX 650 TI BoostInitial Impression: When I initially put this build together I thought about jumping right up to the i5-3470 and sticking with a GTX 650 Ti. After a considerable amount of research I’ve decided that you’re better off here (as far as in-game FPS is concerned) going with the i3-3220 and upgrading to the 650 TI Boost.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU - i3-3220

GPU – XFX HD 7870

Ram – 4GB Hyperx

Motherboard - MSI H61M-P31

Power Supply – Corsair CX 430

Case - CM Elite 430

Hard Drive - WD Blue 500 GB

Optical Drive - Asus DVD-RW

Other Thoughts: The i3-3220 is definitely the way to go in terms of single threaded performance, but the FX-6300 should also be considered here for those of you who require a CPU geared towards multiple thread performance.

Gaming Benchmarks of 650 Ti Boost: If you’re wondering why I’m so high on this particular CPU rather than something like the Radeon HD 7790 at this price point, then just read this very extensive review from Xbitlabs.

Updates in October 2013: I had to go with this unbelievably priced HD 7850 on rebate from XFX. If you can get it for around $180, then you’ve really gotten a steal.

$600 Gaming PC Build

600 thumbInitial Impression: With the $600 build I wanted to solve the CPU issue and I feel that with the i5-3470 we’ve done that. At this point we also had the option of keeping the same amount of ram and upgrading to something like the GTX 660. Also, having looked at the benchmarks for what you could get between the 650 TI boost and the 660, I felt that adding additional ram and a bigger hard drive would be more important to most people at this price level.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU – i5-4430

GPU – XFX HD 7870

Ram – Kingston Hyper X 8GB

Motherboard - MSI B85M-P33

Power Supply – Corsair CX 430

Case - Cooler Master Elite 430

Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX

Optical Drive: Asus DVD-RW

Other Thoughts: If you’re an overclocker, then this would be a good price level to spend about $30 more and reach for the i5-3570k. A comparable AMD CPU would be the AMD FX-8350 which  may be worth a look for those who use heavily threaded applications.

Gaming Benchmarks: For Benchmarks refer to the $500 build.

Updates in August to September: We went ahead and moved to the Haswell i5-4430. If you’re willing to stick with an Ivy Bridge processor and motherboard here you might either save a little bit of money or be able to dedicate more to your motherboard. We also switched from Crucial Ballistix to the Hyper X 8GB series. The Ballistix 1600MHz ram went up in price so we were looking for something similar. I’m just as happy or happier with the Kingston option. In addition, we’ve changed to the Asus optical drive at this point in time. Like our $500 build we’ve switched to the 7870.

$750 Gaming Rig

Video ThumbThere’s a lot you can do with the larger $150 jump in price here. While it may not help a great deal in terms of performance here, my personal priority was to upgrade the motherboard, get an 80 Plus power supply, and upgrade the GPU.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU – i5-4430

GPU – Sapphire Radeon Vapor-X HD 7950 OC

Ram - Kingston Hyper X 8GB

Motherboard - MSI B85M-P33

Power Supply – Corsair CX 600

Case - Elite 430

Hard Drive – Western Digital 1 TB HDD WD10EZEX

Optical Drive: Asus DVD-RW

Other Thoughts: In my opinion you’re somewhat forced to jump from the GTX 650 Ti Boost to either the GTX 660 or an HD 7870 if you have the money. The HD 7850, in my opinion, no longer seems like much of a contender – especially considering the cheaper Boost model is just as good or better in most tests. I’m recommending you spend a little bit extra here and go for the GTX 760 which gives you better than 660 TI performance at just around $40 more.

Benchmarks: See the TechPowerUp article above for a good look at just what you’ll get out of the GTX 760.

Updates in October: Being able to incorporate the GTX 760 into this build was our first priority in previous months. As we saw the HD 7950 drop in price and compared the 3GB version of it vs. the 760 it had to replace the 760. This is a solid gaming rig for what you’re paying. We switched from the OCZ 600 watt 80 Plus PSU to the Corsair CX 600 here simply because of the unbelievable rebate you can get on this product from NewEgg this month. You may want to go with the CX M series for modularity.

$1000 Gaming Machine

Gigabyte GTX 660Initial Impression: Some of you are going to hate my upgrade from the $750 rig here. I went with a better more overclock friendly CPU in the i5-3570k, switched out the case to the more flexible CM storm enforcer, added a CPU Cooler (for some light overclocking, and finished off with a solid state drive. While a solid state drive won’t directly affect your in-game FPS I had to start thinking about exactly what I thought most people would want in a computer that costs $1,000. Because I use one every single day I’d never recommend going anywhere further on your GPU or CPU until you add one.

Mainstream Build

CPU – i5-4670k

GPU – Sapphire Radeon HD 7950

Ram - Kingston Hyper X 8GB

Motherboard - Gigabyte Z87 GA-Z87-D3HP

Power Supply – Corsair CX 600

Case - CM Storm Enforcer

Hard Drive - Western Digital 1 TB HDD WD10EZEX

Optical Drive: Asus DVD-RW

Solid State Drive – Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB

CPU Cooler – Hyper 212 EVO

Other Thoughts: We’ve opted to include a solid state drive at this price point. While this won’t help you in the game, it’s certainly a desirable upgrade for any computer at this price point. In addition we’ve added a CPU cooler so you can take advantage of some of what the i5-4670k has to offer.

Performance at All Cost: If you don’t care about a better case or solid state drive here, then consider upgrading to the GTX 660 Ti, or SLI 2 GTX 650 TI Boost graphics cards,  and i7-3770k at this price level or simply upgrading to the new GTX 770.

$1250 Custom Gaming PC

GTX 770 BackInitial Impression: Now that we’ve gotten most of the functionality issues out of the way it’s time to give a sizeable upgrade to our GPU. NVIDIA’s new GTX 770 series graphics card see performance above the GTX 680. Considering the 680 costs considerably more the GTX 770 seems like a no brainer unless you have the cash to go for the GTX 780 or Titan.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU – i5-4670k

GPU – Gigabyte GTX 770 4GB Version

Ram - Kingston Hyper X 8GB

Motherboard - Gigabyte Z87 GA-Z87-D3HP

Power Supply – Rosewill Platinum Fortress Series 750 Watt

Case - CM Storm Enforcer

Hard Drive – WD WD10EZEX 1TB HDD

Optical Drive: Asus DVD-RW

Solid State Drive – Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB

CPU Cooler – Hyper 212 EVO

Other Thoughts: At this level of GPU it might be not as much about performance for some of you. An HD 7950 would be a suitable replacement and upgrade over our previous build if you’d rather upgrade your CPU to the i7-3770k at this budget.

Gaming Benchmarks: For benchmarks I highly recommend you take a look at Anandtech’s post on the GTX 770.

Updates for September 2013: We went ahead and upgraded to the Rosewill Platinum Fortress series PSU here. It’s a relatively inexpensive platinum power supply with plenty of capacity. We downgraded our power supply capacity from 240GB to 120GB in order to do so. We also changed from the standard 840 series to the new Samsung 840 EVO which has much better write speeds for just about the same amount of money.

$1500 Gaming Computer Build

Initial Impressions: With an additional $250 to spend I looked at what I’d truly want at this point. An upgrade to my CPU and additional Ram. While 8GB of ram may be plenty for most games today, I think it’s a good idea to futureproof with 16GB. I’ve also upgraded the motherboard to the ASRock Extreme 4. As one of the fastest boards in the $125 to $225 price range it’s a great deal at right around $130.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU – i7-4770k

GPU - Gigabyte GTX 770 4GB Version or optional SLI GTX 650 TI Boost

Ram – Corsair Vengeance 16GB

Motherboard - Asus Z87 Pro

Power Supply – Rosewill Platinum Fortress

Case – CM Storm Enforcer

Hard Drive - Western Digital 1 TB HDD WD10EZEX

Optical Drive: Asus DVD-RW

Solid State Drive – Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB

CPU Cooler – Noctua 6

Benchmarks: For Benchmarks, see Anandtech’s article listed in the $1250 build.

Update for August to September 2013: Like the $1250 build we lowered our solid state drive’s capacity in order to upgrade to the more efficient and better quality fortress power supply here and get the speedy Asus Z87 Pro. Losing a little capacity seems well worth it for the additional functionality and efficiency. In addition we’ve changed from the Hyper 212 EVO to the better performing Noctua 6 for some additional overclocking power.

$1750 Gaming PC Build

Initial Impression: Upgrading to the GTX 780 has its costs, but it’s nice to know that you’re getting a top-of-the-line graphics card with a great amount of stability along with GTX 780additional power from one of my favorite power supply series in Corsair’s Enthusiast.

CPU – i7-4770k

GPU – GTX 780

Ram – Corsair Vengeance 16GB

Motherboard - Asus Z87 Pro

Power Supply – Rosewill Platinum Fortress

Case – CM Storm Enforcer

Hard Drive - Western Digital 1 TB HDD WD10EZEX

Optical Drive: Asus DVD-RW

Solid State Drive – Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB

CPU Cooler – Noctua 6

Other Thoughts: AMD might have a ways to go when it comes to competing with the GTX 780. It doesn’t look like NVIDIA will get any competition with the 780 and its price range until much later this year.

Updates for August and September 2013: Changes fall in line with our $1500 and $1250 builds.

$2000 Gaming PC

Initial Impressions: This $2,000 gaming rig is truly for the performance user. Those who don’t plan on overclocking may find my $1750 build just as good. That being said, if you “speak the tweak”, then this dream machine has everything you’re looking for.

Hardware for this Build:

CPU – i7-4770k

GPU – GTX 780, HD 7990 or SLI GTX 770 – (See the previous builds for our recommended graphics cards).

Ram – Corsair Vengeance 16GB

Motherboard – Asus Z87 Pro

Power Supply – Rosewill Platinum Fortress

Case - CM Haf X Full Tower

Hard Drive - Western Digital 1 TB HDD WD10EZEX

Optical Drive: Asus DVD-RW

Solid State Drive – Samsung 840 EVO 240 GB

CPU Cooler – NZXT Kraken X60

Other Thoughts: I’ve thought a lot about posting a build here which includes either the GTX Titan, the HD 7990, or 2 770s in SLI. While that particular build wouldn’t be appealing to me personally, I’ll post it if there is some interest.

Updates for August and September 2013: Like our previous 3 builds we changed out the motherboard and power supply. These recommendations fall in line with some research we’ve been doing. In addition we swapped the Corsair Hydro H100i for the slightly more efficient NZXT Kraken X60. For September I’ve added an option for GTX 770s in SLI as well as the HD 7990 because of its recent price drop.

Your Feedback, Questions, and Comments

That’s it for this month’s PC builds. I plan on updating this post once a month to keep it updated with what I see in the hardware market. That being said I appreciate any constructive feedback when it comes to performance builds and parts that you see on rebate.

Also, feel free to ask me a question about your PC build. As comments are by approval please allow 24 hours for them to be published and replied to.

Comments

  1. Brandon-

    I built the $300 build with the 6670, enjoyed it very much, but a couple months later I found an MSI hd 7050 2 gb OC edition on rebate for about $109. I snagged it, installed it, and it’s running great. I did run into one hardware problem, though: I’m using 2 SATA slots on the mobo, and the GPU’s hood bends a bit to accommodate them. It fits, but it’s a bit on the snug side, and I don’t have any access at all to 2 out of my 4 total SATA ports. Just a heads-up for anyone who might think about that build with the 7850, and might want to use more than two SATA ports.

  2. I’m not an intense game player. I play LOL but low graphic settings are fine to me. I’m trying to build a PC that is mostly for watching movies. I do watch a lot of 1080p movies, but I do not watch 3D. I believe the $300 option is more than enough, but if I really want to save more money, which part(s) would you say I can replace?

    • Thomas Maher says:

      i have a dell studio 1747 laptop i got in 2010 and i love it it works perfect for everything i do it plays games with max settings for me and i can watch movies and feel like im the one recording it look iot up on amazon or ebay

  3. hi im trying to find a good build for playing world of warcraft i was hoping you could help me feel free to email me even if it helps

    • WoW plays good on almost any rig – the $300 rig can easily max WoW. Hell, if you’re looking for saving more money, go for the $300 rig, but with a weaker CPU, go for maybe a dual-core. Quad-Cores are for the more intense games such as GTA IV(Because it is optimized horribly), Battlefield 3/4, and Watchdogs(Not actually out yet, but the minimum requirements have it set at a quad-core 3.2Ghz…)

      • I decided on building the 2000 desk top you said you replaced the mother board but i dident see what you replaced it with mind telling me ^_^

        • I was also gonna use the 2000 build but put 3 GTX 780 in it i was wondering if that will work yes this is my first computer im gonna pay to have built for me sorry for the noobish question

  4. Creighton Foust says:

    Hi, i was looking though it and theres no link for the noctua 6 i looked above and below for a link and nothing. Thanks

  5. Jeffrey baker says:

    Im doing the 1750 build and the mother board has 4 prongs for the cpu fan and the noctua 6 plug only has 3 holes. Please help

  6. Leon Michaels says:

    Hi, I just checked out the Noctua 6 CPU cooler and on amazom it said it was not compatible with LGA 1150 Socket Motherboards. The Asus Z87 Pro isbam LGA 1150 socket motherboard so i just wanted to clarify if it is compatible or not.

    • Leon I am pretty sure it is. Here is a quote:

      “Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?
      The mounting is identical on all LGA115x sockets (LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156). The following coolers are thus compatible with LGA1150 out of the box and don’t require any upgrades in order to be used on this platform: NH-C12P SE14, NH-C14, NH-D14, NH-L12, NH-L9i, NH-U12P SE2, NH-U9B SE2. In addition, all older models which have been upgraded with the NM-I3 kit can also be used on LGA1150 without any further upgrades.”

      The one I’m recommending is the NH-D14. Hopefully that helps, but let me know if you have more questions.

  7. Built the $300 dedicated GPU build. I downloaded the BF4 beta, and it runs pretty well at 1440 x 900 with texture settings maxed out and everything else on medium. I’m overclocking the CPU to 4.0 gigs and I haven’t seen it get that hot, and the 6670 is a smidgen past factory settings as well. Bioshock Infinite looks great on normal to high settings, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning runs great maxed out (of course), and I couldn’t be more satisfied with what I got for the money. It was a great step up from my PS3.

    It occurs to me that I could’ve essentially had XBox One specs for a few more bucks, with 8gigs ram and a 7790, or PS4 specs with 8gigs ram, a 7850, and a beefier PSU, but it’s kind of silly to match console specs on a PC anyway.

    If I did want to upgrade as some next gen games come out, I guess I could go for a 7850 down the road, but the Athalon 750k will probably bottleneck a GPU that outperforms the 7850. There’s also the consideration that the FM2 socket isn’t going to see any new tech, which would rule out significant upgrades to the CPU. Still, for $300 and an old optical drive, I’m really happy with the build.

  8. I would like to know what video card you would recommend for playing Guild Wars 2, WoW & other MMO’s at max settings smoothly?.. (of course I don’t mean when zillions of people are around, but on average)

    I ordered the following parts for a new (ish) system.. But I plan to tweak it a bit & when Haswell-e comes out, I’ll spend a couple thousand getting all new stuff… With a better monitor & whatnot. :) Anyways, here’s what I bought:

    CPU: AMD FX-6300

    Mobo: MSI 970A-G43 combo

    Combo @ Newegg for 161.98 + $20 gift card

    Going to use that $20 gift card on the following items:

    RAM: 8 x 1 GB DDR3 1333 RAM that can be OC’d.. It is on sale for $54.99 & with memory prices being all sorts of crazy these days, I was like *holy moly* lol xD

    HDD: 1 TB Seagate HDD, $49.99, on sale @ Newegg

    Then from another website, I’m getting

    Case: NZXT M59, $39.99

    Wi-Fi dongle: I had to buy a Wi-Fi dongle, because my router is in the living room, which i know isn’t ideal.. lol but hey. It was on sale for $17.85, so not too shabby.

    Had I not had to buy a HDD, I would have definitely bought the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. *shrug* such is life. lol

    I’m reusing my 850W PSU (yes, I know it’s overkill but I have it, so I’m usin’ it! lol), DVD burner, my one working HDD & my video card from my old rig.

    So.. I spent almost $305..

    My system will be OKAY, but not as good as it could be, until I upgrade my video card.. and I know that.. I will upgrade as soon as I can… My current one is a GTX 460 1 TB.. But for now… Even as it stands, this system will no doubt be a HUGE improvement over my 2007, core 2 duo e6600 machine! lol… I am soooooooo excited!! :) AAAAAND… I do plan on adding an additional 8 GB of memory when I can, getting the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO & buying an SSD. :D I know all of those will help immensely!

    As for the old computer.. I’m going to slap in a Blu Ray player, add a lower wattage PSU & when I replace the GTX 460, I’ll put it back in this machine & make it a nice little HTPC.. *wiggles eyebrows*

    All around… I’d say that… I’m… WINNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol (sorry, had to do a charlie sheen!)

    I love that your builds are practical & that you have price ranges for everyone & you’re nice about it & realistic about their performance. That’s awesome. :)

    • Looks like you did a good job. MMO games simply aren’t as intense as others so it really all depends on what you’re willing to spend. I’d go for something HD 7770 or greater for future proofing.

  9. I’m building under $1500 range. Which would be a better GPU in the long run, GTX 780 or GTX 760 (SLI) in the future? or stay a midrange GTX 770.

    • That really depends on the experience you have in managing it. If you’re comfortable with a dual GPU setup, then the 760 SLI will give you better performance. That being said a card like the GTX 770 should provide enough performance for the next couple of years, costs less, and allows you to save that money for upgrading in a few years. Overall, it’s really up to you.

  10. Can this play bf4?
    F2a85-m le
    A10 richland 6800k
    Gpu drom apu hd8650
    4gb ddr3 1600

  11. at the 1750$ pc build i was wondering would psu water cooler be good if not what would be the best cooler?Thanks in advane.

  12. Jeffrey baker says:

    Would you recommend a sound card?

  13. Jeffrey baker says:

    If I wanted to put a bluray drive in, do you have a recommendation?

  14. i m thinking of building the 1500$ build pc but i m wondering for how long it will be able to play multiplatform games at least at low settings?

    • It’s impossible for me to tell you exactly how long; however, I think you’d be good at least for several years on low settings.

  15. Motherboard – Asus Z87 Pro, would the coolermaster hyper 212 evo block any of the ram slots?

    i wana use these rams Corsair 16GB (4x4GB) Vengeance L16GX3M4X1600C8 1600MHz DDR3 CL8 LP Performance with XM a

  16. Not-so-hardware-savvy says:

    I’m interested in assembling the $1500 build and now it is just a matter of the purchase and assembly of the actual parts. This is my first time building a computer and I’m not very familiar with hardware yet, and as not all of the parts on the list have amazon links I wish to make sure I am going to order the exactly correct parts. For instance, when I look up GTX 770 SC for the GPU there are multiple similar search results with different prices, and I am not knowledgeable enough to tell them apart. Please, if you could somehow direct me to amazon links for each of the parts on of $1500 build or help me distinguish the right hardware as I search, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Keep up the great work :)

    • Tanner, I only link to each product once. So, typically if there’s a part that’s not linked to, then it’s linked to above. Does that make sense?

      • yeah, that makes sense. I was so focused on the 1500 build that I didn’t bother to check the links on the other builds. Another quick question: When I mentioned this pc build to one of my friends, he recommended that if I was able, to upgrade the SSD to the Samsung 840 PRO series. I have the extra money and I’m willing to spend it, but I’m just curious how much you think this upgrade would improve performance. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly

        • Tanner – I’d go for the Samsung 840 EVO series. It’s the newer model that has very similar write and read speeds and isn’t as expensive.

  17. Hi, I’m back haha. Thanks for the response on my previous question, by the way!
    I have a question concerning the performance of these builds
    when regarding next-gen games. How smoothly would the $1,500
    build perform now on a game that’s coming out in November?
    I’m assuming that you’ll update this article by the time November rolls around,
    but I was wondering if the build you have up right now would work.
    Thanks in advance, love the article and the site! Keep up the good work! :)

  18. First I would like to thank you for making these great builds. After searching the internet and finding builds that I was not certain about I came across this website. I was shocked to see the time and effort put into these builds and really appreciate that they are updated every month which is great because i do not have all of the money yet to build the computer. I do have two questions though. First being i know someone who built a computer and recommends I buy an after market CPU cooler for the 750$ build. Do I really need to? Will it not make a difference or will it do something. Also i don’t think you can even overclock the i5-4430 unless i’m wrong and I always read to buy an after market CPU cooler only if you want to overclock. My second question is it fine if i were to buy a different mid sized case than the one listed. I would greatly appreciate a reply. Thank you.

    • No, you don’t have to. Remember that the stock CPU cooler is made by the manufacturer and if it fails, then it’s on their heads. Are there reasons for still doing it? I suppose. These would include purchasing a quieter after market cooler as well as keeping your CPU even cooler if it’s using Turbo Boost or whatever. Overall, it’s completely optional. Second question: Yes, you can choose any case you want ;) .

  19. hi love the video reviews

    been gearing up to build a solid PC its been 5 years since my last build I like to get my money’s worth LOL. my question is as follows I started looking at the CPUs and would like to know why if the haswell bridge is targeted for mobile devices because of its lower power requirements and I’m building a desktop unit that is powered by hydro why would I go the haswel way instead of the ivy? I know I will not do a complete build and will reuse some of my current hardware still have to check compatibility but I will start with a new case, mobo and CPU and the aforementionned question is the one I have to get out of the way first and foremost

    penny for your thoughts.

    • Hey Emile,

      Thanks for your comment and question. I think mainly you want to go with a Haswell processor in order to stay with the most current hardware. Will it help you that much as far as your in-game FPS is concerned? Most likely no. Will it lower your overall power bill and give you better performance/tick? Yes. In addition, if you ever decide to upgrade down the road, then you have the newer socket 1150 motherboard to go with that has all the newer built-in features. So, if the price difference is just a few dollars it’s definitely worth it. If the price difference is substantial, then maybe it’s worth it to stick with Ivy. Overall, I feel like it’s worth it to go with Haswell as things are right now. Hopefully that helps.

      • thanks for the quick response and yes it its helpfull to find out what others think and why. your thoughts make sense and I’m just not someone who wastes alot of time arguing with common sense. thanks again I may probe you for your thoughts on other hardware questions as I proceed with my build if thats OK? and I’ll keep an eye on those down to earth video reviews.

  20. Hi there.

    Great build, I do really like them alot. Is there any recommendation under $300 for only Dota 2 max setting? Thank you so much for your hard-working.
    FYI: I am about to install win8 pro 64bits and I live in Singapore so there are maybe some parts I cannot get it here.
    Once again thank you!

  21. Hey there, I was wondering what wattage for the Rosewill Fortress
    you would recommend for the $1,500 build?
    Because I don’t think 450W would do it for something like that.

  22. Hey for the $300 build, in canada, Athlon 750k processor isn’t available. Is there an alternative that I can use?

    • I would go with the AMD Phenom II x 4 965 – of course that requires an AM3+ board and will probably be slightly more, but overall it’s a great CPU and last month it was similar in price to the 750k. You could also check the i3-3220. Sometimes it goes on sale and gives solid in-game performance.

  23. Hey, I was wondering which of the pc builds would be able to run the upcoming next gen games such as bf4 my maximum is possibly $1000 but something that would run really fast on a high quality with no lag would be good but I’m wondering if any of the cheaper ones could be just as good seeming as ild upgrade the parts later anyway?

    • Jefferson,

      Thanks for your comment. In my opinion you definitely don’t want to start with your computer thinking that you’ll upgrade it later. It just never really happens. All of these builds will most likely run BF4, but obviously the higher up on the chain you go the better it will run. At the $750 mark where we can finally get an i5 CPU together with the 760 is where you’ll find really smooth game play with ultra settings. So, my guess is to start there based on what you’re saying.

  24. Just wondering…will the 750W PSU for the $2000 build suffcient? Looks like the 780 will use a hell of a lot of power.

    • Yes, at least 600 watts is recommended. If you want to know the power that your particular rig uses, then I recommend you go to Thermaltake’s PSU calculator site.

  25. Great article! I’m looking forward to reading the next update.

  26. Hello, I have some questions and would appreciate if you can help me.
    I’m from Brazil and parts for assembly are really expensive here. I have relatives who live in the USA and they could buy the parts for me. The problem is that where I live I do not have anyone trustworthy to mount the pc. There are companies that sell computers already assembled but are expensive (a PC assembled by them costs $ 2070 and the USA costs $ 1,080). and is not very powerful. My question is: is it worth buying the parts in the USA and try to mount the pc here?
    I could not express my doubts right but I hope you can help me by giving some other advice.

    Thank you for your attention.

    • Arthur,

      Hopefully I can help as I’ve been working from Brazil recently with computer parts. For the most part it’s not worth it to ship the parts simply because of the excess tax which Brazil charges for these types of parts. In addition, shipping can be very very expensive. If you were willing to not declare your items and chance it, then you might be able to save some money; however, if you were caught you would then be charged an additional fee.

      Hopefully this helps.

  27. Ok thx

  28. There are no stupid questions. I’m assuming you’re looking at the $300 build? That build is simply with the parts. If you wanted to have Windows 8 with it, for example, then that would cost you the additional $90 to $100.

  29. I’m not a computer genius, and my question is probably stupid but I’m on a really old computer right now and my friend told me about this and I was wondering where you can get these and does it run on windows? Does it cost +300 for that or does it run with one of the parts you put in it

  30. the 1500 pc look perfect for my nephew. He’s going of to college soon. Do you sell the computers you build?

    • Andre,

      Thanks for your comment. As of right now we don’t. In the future it’s a possibility, but for right now, it’s just a recommendation.

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