Build Guides

Published on February 10th, 2014 | by Brandon

15

PC Build Guide – February 2014

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Welcome to the February version of our PC build guides. As with before, 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 article 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.

 

The Starter ($500 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2QxtP

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-3240 ($115.78 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Motherboard: Asus Z77-A ATX LGA1155 ($74.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($67.99 @ Newegg)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
  • Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon R7 260X 1GB ($127.27 @ TigerDirect)
  • Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W ($19.99 @ Microcenter)

Total: $495.67

 

The Sweet Spot ($800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2QxLY

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K ($229.29 @ Amazon)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 ($19.99 @ Amazon)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z87-G43 ATX LGA1150 ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
  • Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 270X 2GB ($222.98 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W ($29.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $786.88

 

The Enthusiast ($1300 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Qy1F

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K ($339.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO($29.98 @ OutletPC)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer ATX LGA1150 ($124.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3-1866 ($139.99 @ Newegg)
  • Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5″ SSD ($89.89 @ Amazon)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
  • Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 4GB ($370.98 @ Newegg)
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W ($64.99 @ Microcenter)

Total: $1300.46

 

The Professional ($1800 maximum)

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2QyeW

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K ($339.99 @ Newegg)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer ATX LGA1150 ($124.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3-1866 ($139.99 @ Newegg)
  • Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5″ SSD ($154.95 @ Amazon)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB ($699.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM 850W ($159.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1789.53

 

Have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments!

 


vol1tion

BrandonBrandon

Brandon started his PC gaming days playing Doom II (IDDQD/IDKFA for life) and has been hooked on online gaming since the original Starsiege: Tribes. The way to his heart is through proper grammar, corn dogs, and cookie cake.


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  • Wheelzz

    Great builds as always.

    Why did you choose the TX3 on the $800 build when the EVO would fit within budget?

  • Hunter

    I have to disagree with the $500 maximum one. For that price range an AMD – 6300 is a much better deal than anything intel offers.

    • marios

      but with the i3 you have an upgrade path to an i5 or even an i7.while if you have gone with the amd one you only can upgrade to an amd fx 8350

      • Hunter

        Perhaps, but the 8350 is still very competitive, especially as things are becoming better and better at multiple threads. Not to mention that AMD has said they’re going to support AM3+ through 2015.

        Regardless the CPU isn’t making much of a difference there since the next thing you should be upgrading anyways is the GPU. It’s just that AMD is better in that budget build.

  • currently have a dell, and its rubbish. Want to go for one of these builds. Not sure if i want to go with the 800 or 1300. plans are to edit video(nothing like LOTR CGI or anything like that) and playing video games. Curious if you think any of the parts should change with the idea of video editing in mind, also what do i need to think of as far as operating systems? right now i am using windows 7 and am happy with it. please reply, and thank you.

    • Bagel mode

      For OS you want win 7 64bit.
      I’d stick with the $800 build, as it will last you for years and can *probably* run any game on high that comes out within the next year. That’s me personally and i’m always on a budget. Also, you don’t have to be rigid and follow these guidelines. If a $1150 works best for you then go for it. If you plan on going above $800 then you should get an ssd for your os and the ‘important’ games.

  • deadkathy

    Question, would the $800 build be good enough to run DayZ on decent settings?

    • Conaer

      Yeah you’d be fine, the 270X is a solid card.

      • deadkathy

        With good FPS?

        • Kyle

          yes, i have a gtx 760 which is basically a nvidia 270, and it runs great

  • Theodore

    Thanks, for the pod cast. Now, to build my own gaming notebook, do I just start ordering the parts from one of your build guides? Also, is putting everything together rather intuitive or are there directions somewhere out there in cyberville,

    Appreciate your gracious attention to this note.

    Theo.

  • Nate

    can you take the intel cpu i3 and switch it out in the 500$ budgeet for an i5 cpu?

  • Rasmus

    What happened? No new build guide since february.

  • Manchesterunt7

    In the $800 build can i change too i7 and change the case for a full tower case?

    • Brandon

      Yep, you could absolutely make those changes!

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