Published on March 31st, 2015 | by Bob

PC Build Guide – March 2015

Welcome to the March 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 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

CPU Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor  ($104.95 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($89.89 @ OutletPC)
Memory G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($48.49 @ OutletPC)
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 270X 2GB HAWK Video Card  ($153.98 @ Newegg)
Case Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case  ($21.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Total $499.28

The Sweet Spot

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($227.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($100.98 @ Newegg)
Memory G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($48.49 @ OutletPC)
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card  ($309.99 @ Amazon)
Case NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case  ($31.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply  ($24.99 @ NCIX US)
Total $799.41

The Enthusiast

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($324.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler NZXT Kraken X31 69.5 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler  ($72.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($114.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($119.54 @ Amazon)
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive  ($99.95 @ Amazon)
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($52.75 @ OutletPC)
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card  ($338.99 @ NCIX US)
Case NZXT S340 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case  ($64.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply Corsair RM 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($106.00 @ Newegg)
Total $1295.19

The Professional

CPU Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor  ($372.95 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler NZXT Kraken X31 69.5 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler  ($72.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard  ($187.98 @ Newegg)
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory  ($189.99 @ Amazon)
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive  ($110.98 @ Newegg)
Storage Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($114.99 @ Best Buy)
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 4GB WINDFORCE 3X Video Card  ($529.99 @ Newegg)
Case NZXT H440 (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case  ($104.50 @ Directron)
Power Supply Corsair RM 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($106.00 @ Newegg)
Total $1790.37

 


7 Responses to PC Build Guide – March 2015

  1. Hutch says:

    Lovely builds, as always. Great work guys!

  2. JackksPro says:

    I took the liberty of translating the builds to Canadian Dollars/Retailers. Keep in mind that although the dollar amounts are higher it’s based on two completely separate currencies so it doesn’t mean that one build is more valuable than the other #economics101. Also there may be better deals based on combos that are available in Canada than the U.S. but this gives you a rough idea of what you can get.

    The Starter: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/zwDFMp
    The Sweet Spot: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/jqBJZL
    The Enthusiast: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/psnrXL
    The Professional: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/jarret_g/saved/#view=TcMrxr

  3. Nipnops says:

    Make sure to leave feedback and questions in the comments!

  4. These build guides look dank

  5. Zanpa says:

    I liked the video, it’s always interesting to know why you made those choices and the alternatives, as I fell out of the hardware game and may build a new pc soon.
    I have a question however. Since I’m a student on a tight budget, could it be a good idea to look into second-hand components? Maybe getting used stuff from the previous generation would allow me to get a better build than I would be able to afford otherwise.

    • Bob says:

      Second-hand components are a bit of a crap shoot from a reliability perspective – you never know what someone had done to it prior to your ownership. That being said, I’ve had good success with second hand parts in certain circumstances. You always run the risk of getting a dead part, or a part that’s near death. Sometimes you’ll run in to a CPU that’s been conditioned to require more voltage than it should.

      Don’t let that entirely dissuade you, though – you might have a good chance to get some great deals. People discount the First Gen i5 and i7 CPUs in particular, but they’re still VERY relevant and powerful. They’re just not very good for streaming in particular.

      I saw an article recently about a $250 “dumpster dive” success story with purchasing used parts on ebay – if I’m not mistaken it was an i7 920, a GTX580 and some other random parts.

      I’d recommend that you do buy a new PSU, no matter what. They degrade over time and have the potential to cause catastrophic failure. Good luck!

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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