Builds of The Month

Picking the right hardware can be challenging. There are hundreds of choices between cpu’s, gpu’s, hard drives, memory, etc. This section is dedicated to my recommended PC builds for gamers. There will be 3 tiers based on U.S. Dollar,  600$, 1000$, 1500$ All parts picked are needed to complete a full system minus peripherals and monitor.  Choices are based on what is on the market now at the time of publishing. Unreleased parts will not be discussed.

600$ Tier

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 880k -Quad Core CPU 4.0ghz base clock 4.2ghz turbo

Motherboard: ASRock FM2A88X Extreme4+ – Solid expandable motherboard

Memory:Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 2400 – 16gb is a personal standard for me on desktops

Video: GeForce GTX 950– best performer in its class

Storage: SanDisk SD8SBAT 128gb SSD ,TOSHIBA DT01ACA100 1TB 7200rpm hard drive – Solid state boot drive allows fast boot times and fast application loading. The larger storage drive allows additional storage space for games, music, videos.

Power supply: CORSAIR CX series CX430 – decent build quality and bronze certified

Computer Case: Fractal Design Core 2300– All black looks good, has good airflow, good drive mounting options.

Grand Total: $595.96 at time of pricing on newegg with free shipping.

Analysis: Entry level gaming computer with no corners cut. Solid State storage gives fast boot times, and enough space for a few applications/games.  All quality parts, that will provide a solid gaming experience at 1080p.

1000$ Tier

CPU: Intel Core I5-6600k – Fastest Native Quad core cpu on the market. K verison for higher clock speed and the ability to overclock.

Motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming – Great motherboard has an m2 slot, very flexible

Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR4 2400mhz 16gb (2x8gb) – value here, no need for high speed memory when this will do just fine at a fraction of the cost.

Video: GIGABYTE Radeon R9 390– 8gb vram,  VR rdy, great 1080p performance and 1440.

Storage: ADATA Premier Pro SP900 , TOSHIBA DT01ACA200 2TB 7200 RPM – M2 slot allows the use of a m2 solid state drive makes sense right? 2 tb of storage plenty for most users.

Power Supply: EVGA 100-B1-0600-KR 80– 600 watt power supply that is bronze certified backed by a great warranty

Computer Case: Fractal Design Define R4 with Window Black Pearl – this case is awesome plain and simple, the reviews say it all.

Grand Total: $1,000.21

Analysis: A computer that will serve you for years to come playing at 1080p, or 1440p.  Plenty of room for upgrades in the future, not that you would need them anytime soon.

1500$ Tier

A step Further over the 1000$ computer

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K – Moving to the I7, same number of cores, but doubles the threads to 8 for better multi thread performance

Motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming – Great motherboard has an m2 slot, very flexible

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 – Upgraded the memory to extract  the most performance.

Video: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980 Ti – moving to  best in class Gpu, close to call with the Fury X, but the extra vram and its overclocking ability

Storage: SAMSUNG 950 PRO M.2 256GBTOSHIBA DT01ACA200 2TB 7200 RPM – Much faster SSD!

Power Supply: EVGA 100-B1-0600-KR 80– 600 watt power supply that is bronze certified backed by a great warranty

Computer Case: Fractal Design Define R4 with Window Black Pearl – this case is awesome plain and simple, the reviews say it all.

Grand Total: $1,480.00

Analysis: This computer features 4 major upgrades over the previous 1000$ tier computer. Moved to the I7 cpu for more cpu brute. Upgraded the storage to Nvme storage. Moved to faster DDR4 memory, Upgraded the video card to 980ti for truly great performance at all resolutions bar 4k.

Beyond 1500$? well sure but most people building computers over this price will likely have very specific goals in mind. These recommendations are for the average gamer who wants a dependable gaming experience.  Feel free to comment about the builds on our forums here!

Editors notes:  Right now is not a great time to purchase a graphics card. AMD and Nvidia are both getting ready to release new products. Most of the GPU recommendations in this article will likely change within the next 3 months.

 

Gamers source of information around the industry.