Published on August 18th, 2015 | by Bob

PC Build Guide – J̶u̶l̶y̶ August 2015

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Welcome to the J̶u̶l̶y̶ August 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.

We missed July. Sorry. Sort of. It was rather busy, with our master of ceremonies, Mark AKA NikonPunch moving across the country to begin a new career. It was a rather good time to miss, however, as the market transitioned in a bunch of different places: Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, Haswell to Skylake, DDR3 to DDR4, AMD R9 200-series to R9 300-series. The effects of those transitions (some still in progress) significantly affected prices on some of our core components, and we had to make some difficult choices.

This was felt most profoundly with our $500 build. Directx 12 is “right around the corner” and we’re seeing plenty of evidence that it heavily favors multiple cores compared to DX11. Gordon Mah Ung of PC World took a rather interesting approach in testing the DX12 demo of Ashes of the Singularity. Is it representative in any sense of what we’ll see in DX12? No one seems to be sure, but it’s what we’ve got right now. Ryan Shrout of PCPerspective analyzed it in both video and article form as well.

For these reasons, we chose to include two $500 builds this month – one geared towards single thread performance (A) and one geared towards multi thread performance (B). This just happens to include our first AMD build in a very, very long time. Intel Core i5 CPUs have historically been much too expensive for the $500 build, and in recent months we’ve relied on the Core i3 4160 along with a Z97 board on a favorable sale. Unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards this month. The show above will explain all of our choices in much greater detail, answer questions on hardware, and go over some recent tech news. Give it a watch!

The Starter – Option A

CPU Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor $64.00 @ NCIX US
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $25.98 @ OutletPC
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $82.98 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill AEGIS 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $42.99 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.88 @ OutletPC
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB Video Card $179.00 @ NCIX US
Case Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case $29.99 @ NCIX US
Power Supply EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply $24.99 @ NCIX US
Total $499.81

The Starter – Option B

CPU AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor $83.31 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $25.98 @ OutletPC
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3P ATX AM3+ Motherboard $53.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $43.99 @ Newegg
Storage Seagate  1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive $69.49 @ OutletPC
Video Card PowerColor Radeon R9 285 2GB TurboDuo Video Card $158.98 @ Newegg
Case Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case $22.99 @ Micro Center
Power Supply Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $34.99 @ Newegg
Total $493.72

The Sweet Spot

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor $229.99 @ NCIX US
Motherboard Asus Z97-E ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $99.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $43.99 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.88 @ OutletPC
Video Card PNY GeForce GTX 970 4GB XLR8 Video Card $302.99 @ NCIX US
Case Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case $22.99 @ Micro Center
Power Supply Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $44.99 @ Micro Center
Total $794.82

 

The Enthusiast

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor $328.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Seidon 240M 86.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $64.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $115.89 @ OutletPC
Memory G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $77.99 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive $89.99 @ Amazon
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $47.99 @ SuperBiiz
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Card $469.60 @ Newegg
Case NZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case $59.99 @ Micro Center
Power Supply Corsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $44.99 @ Micro Center
Total $1300.42

The Professional

CPU Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor $378.00 @ NCIX US
CPU Cooler NZXT Kraken X61 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $125.89 @ OutletPC
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $155.91 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $129.99 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 250GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive $94.99 @ Micro Center
Storage Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $71.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card $629.99 @ Amazon
Case NZXT H440 (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $99.99 @ Micro Center
Power Supply Corsair RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $44.99 @ Micro Center
Total $1796.64

 

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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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  • Tory Crawford

    If the power supply can’t support the $800 model, why is it in the build?

    • Bob

      It can. That build is way under a 500W.

  • Nosferatu

    Can I run gta v with the starter build?

  • Cody

    why is there no cooler on the sweet spot build?

    • Hexidecimal

      The 4690K comes with a stock cooler. For price reasons we did not include an aftermarket cooler. That’s not to say you couldn’t add one if your budget allows.

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