Published on May 27th, 2015 | by Bob

PC Build Guide – May 2015

Welcome to the May 2015 version of our PC build guides. As always, we have implemented hard price limits ($500, $800, $1300, $1800) on ourselves and have had to make tough decisions with each build. Your personal budget will likely be flexible, but we hope this will give you a baseline. You can of course spend more or spend less, but you run into a case of diminishing returns at either end. Please keep in mind that pricing information is immediate and may not necessarily reflect real prices by the time you have read this article.

For a full explanation of the builds and in-depth hardware discussion, check out the video above.  Big thanks to Jacob Freeman from EVGA for being our guest this month!

The Starter

CPU Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor  ($109.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($82.99 @ Newegg)
Memory G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($48.75 @ OutletPC)
Video Card PowerColor Radeon R9 280 3GB TurboDuo Video Card  ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case  ($22.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Total $496.68

 

The Sweet Spot

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($229.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard Asus Z97-E ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($89.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($56.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($48.75 @ OutletPC)
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB SSC ACX 2.0 Video Card  ($309.30 @ Newegg)
Case NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case  ($34.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Total $794.99

 

The Enthusiast

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($325.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme 99.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler  ($93.78 @ Newegg)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($101.98 @ Newegg)
Memory Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory  ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Storage Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB Solid State Drive  ($142.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($91.00 @ Newegg)
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB SSC ACX 2.0 Video Card  ($309.30 @ Newegg)
Case NZXT S340 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case  ($64.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($77.98 @ NCIX US)
Total $1297.90

 

The Professional

CPU Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor ($362.95 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme 99.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($93.78 @ Newegg)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($172.98 @ Newegg)
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Storage Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB Solid State Drive ($142.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($123.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB FTW ACX 2.0 Video Card ($521.37 @ Newegg)
Case NZXT H440 (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Total $1777.93

 

Guest build

Created by Jacob from EVGA (See the embedded video for the background on this build.)

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($325.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler EVGA ACX mITX 46.5 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler  ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard EVGA Stinger WiFi Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($159.99)
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory  ($124.95 @ Amazon)
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($97.99 @ Amazon)
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($97.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB Video Card  ($999.99 @ B&H)
Case EVGA Hadron Mini ITX Tower Case w/500W Power Supply  ($135.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)  ($86.98 @ OutletPC)
Monitor Acer XB270HU bprz 144Hz 27.0" Monitor  ($738.99 @ Amazon)
Total $2810.84


bpost

BobBob

One of the founding fathers of KBMOD, and an unfortunate casualty of real life responsibilities. An IT professional by trade, and an elitist by choice.


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  • NC:DJ

    Really enjoying having the industry guests on each month!

  • Guest47Oh

    Yo, Bob, Hi…

    About the Starter setup, can i replace the (MSI Z97 LGA1150) with the (Asus Z97m-plus Lga1150)? It’s cheaper where i leave.

    Peace!

    • Bob

      Absolutely yes to both with caveats:

      The ASUS Z97M-Plus is a MicroATX motherboard rather than full ATX – you may want to consider a different chassis. You can absolutely install an mATX board in an ATX case, but you might want something designed for mATX.

      You can definitely roll that 5770 over to your new build so long as you understand that it will be your bottleneck – that’s actually a DX10 card and you may have difficulty with some new titles. If you’re primarily playing MOBA titles, Indie titles, even some F2P or legacy shooters, it’ll be fine. If memory serves that card used around 115W at full load – you’re well below the limit on that 500W.

      Good luck with your build!

  • Torrin_kriv

    I was looking at the PcPartPicker for The Starter and it had some compatibility notws are those actual problems or not?

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