Build Guides

Published on January 13th, 2016 | by Jonathan Beck

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PC Build Guide – January 2016

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Welcome to the January 2016 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.

 

The Starter

CPU Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor $121.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard ASRock Z97 PRO3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $80.98 @ Newegg
Memory Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $34.99 @ Amazon
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $45.88 @ OutletPC
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card $104.99 @ Amazon
Case Cooler Master N300 ATX Mid Tower Case $37.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $34.99 @ Newegg
Total $463.80

The Sweet Spot

CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor $227.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $24.88 @ OutletPC
Motherboard ASRock Z97 PRO3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $80.98 @ NewEgg
Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $64.99 @ Amazon
Storage Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 240GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive $69.95 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Hitachi Ultrastar 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $64.90 @ Amazon
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 960 4GB Video Card $192.99 @ Newegg
Case Cooler Master N300 ATX Mid Tower Case $37.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $34.99 @ Newegg
Total $799.66

The Enthusiast

CPU Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor $314.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i GTX 70.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $103.98 @ Amazon
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $108.75 @ OutletPC
Memory Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $82.88 @ OutletPC
Storage Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 240GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive [email protected]
Storage Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $119.75 @ OutletPC
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card $304.99 @ SuperBiiz
Case Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case $119.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $34.99 @ Newegg
Total $1260.27

The Professional

CPU Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor $374.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i GTX 70.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $103.98 @ Amazon
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-SLI ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard $179.99 @ Micro Center
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $99.99 @ Amazon
Storage Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 240GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive $69.95 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $119.75 @ OutletPC
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ Video Card $617.99 @ NCIX US
Case Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case $119.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $106.24 @ B&H
Total $1792.87

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hexidecimal

Jonathan BeckJonathan

I'll drink a beer with you at a party. I know hardware things and enjoy talking about them. I am still your new best friend and most trusted confidant.


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  • Coppertank

    Thanks for the build guide! My friend just asked me if I’d help build him a PC this Spring so the timing couldn’t be better.

    • Hutch

      We’ll continue doing these every month so watch out for those in the future. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

  • Matt Xiong

    Yo guys thanks for the build guide. So I’ve finally decided to build my first PC and am planning on using the $800 guide. My question is, is that all I need? If I order all those parts and put them together, will I have a working PC, or are there more things I’ll need to worry about in order to get the PC functioning?

    Thanks.

  • QT_Makoto

    would you recommend Skylake processors at all? I’ve been looking to upgrade. I thought I may as well go i7 6700k. I do lots of gaming, some streaming, a little bit of photo and video editing.

    • Hexidecimal

      At the Price to Performance change you’d get by jumping to Skylake, it isn’t particularly necessary. However if you’ve got the extra money to spend, there’s no reason NOT to move to Skylake. We simply used the Haswell refresh like the 4790k because of the performance you’ll get at our price limits, it’s the best bang for the buck in our opinion.

      As always, these guides are just baselines, meant to be modified to suit your personal needs, preferences, and your wallet.

  • curiousguy0918

    Which of these would you reccomend to stream games such as counterstrike:GO without experiencing any drop in performance in game if I wanted to stream at good quality?

  • Cory Leopold

    Ive always just been a console gamer but have been wanting to get into pc gaming for awhile now. Money isnt an issue but i dont want to just drop $2000+. Should i go with the starter build even though it is inferior or what. Basically what im trying to ask is what do you recommend for someone just getting into pc gaming and really wanting to stick with it.

    • Hexidecimal

      It would depend on what you want to do. If you’re looking to get into live streaming WHILE you game, then definitely go higher tier. If you want to just play games at 1080 then you could likely get away at the 800 dollar tier or even the 500 dollar tier.

      If you’ve got a bunch of cash to drop on a build and you’re about to get into PC Gaming though, just spend what you can now. You’ll end up there at some point anyhow. The thing about gaming on a PC is even when it’s crispy and gorgeous, in the back of your head you think “What about the next upgrade”.

      Personally for me, I’d likely only go as low as the sweet spot build, but would end up going to the enthusiast in the end.

      • Cory Leopold

        Ill look into getting the enthusiast. Im more than certain im going to enjoy the experience so i may as well get a good start to my pc gaming days

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