Get Ready: Building An Inexpensive Gaming PC (Page 2)

Get Ready: Building An Inexpensive Gaming PC (Page 2)

Get Ready: Building An Inexpensive Gaming PC (Page 2)


The ~$600 Introduction to PC Gaming Build:

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 750K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler: Zalman ZM-CNPS14X CPU Cooler

Motherboard: ASRock FM2A88X EXTREME4+ ATX FM2+ Motherboard 

Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory  

Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card

SSD: PNY XLR8 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk  

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  

Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case 

Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply 

Total: $596.88

This lower budget gaming PC will get you up and gaming at medium settings with a decent frame rate at 1080p. The first thing to upgrade in this system would be the GPU, which is fairly weak due to the budget restrictions, but it will game current and future games well enough. The 7770 can also overclock quite nicely and that will give you bump in performance immediately. The Solid State Drive (SSD) is a must nowadays and with 120GB you will be able to use it for your OS and a few games. An aftermarket heat sink is a must for the CPU, since it can be over clocked fairly easily, giving you more performance, but more heat to dissipate. On to the next one.


The ~$800 AMD Gaming PC:

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P ATX AM3+ Motherboard 

Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory 

SSD: PNY XLR8 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card

Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case 

Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply  

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer 

Total: $744.00

This is an upgrade from the $600 with a much better GPU and a six core AMD FX series CPU. This build will get you gaming on high settings at 1080p and 60FPS in pretty much any game. The Nvidia GTX 660 is a great GPU and it will be solid for a while. This system will handle a GPU upgrade and I recommend doing so within the next two years, but that is really all that will be needing an upgrade. 

Both of these first builds have the same case and same power supply. The NZXT Source 210 is a great case that is priced low. It has the features of more expensive cases, but none of the frills that cause the prices to go up. The case itself has a ton of fan options for cooling and room to fit upgrades in the future. If you prefer the white version it is about the same price and they have versions for around $50 that have a window on the side panel if you are into showing off the guts of your build. The Rosewill Capstone power supply is a reliable and reasonably priced unit. It is also semi-modular which is a huge perk and will help when routing cables; you do not have to stash the extra cables within the case. Now, for the final build.


The ~$1500 “I Want Ultra Settings” Build:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor 

CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX_BK 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler 

Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard 

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

SSD: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 

Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card

Case: Cooler Master HAF XB EVO ATX Desktop Case 

Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply 

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer  ($14.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1434.19

This build is for those with a much higher budget. It will max out games and make them look amazing. It will eat the “next gen” consoles and laugh the whole time while not breaking a sweat. The bulk of the budget is on the GTX 780, which is a beast of a video card. Couple that with the newest generation of Intel i5 CPU and you have a gaming machine that will be solid through the next few years, especially since both the CPU and GPU can be overclocked, which will give you more power out of the both. I also chose to put the build into the Cooler Master HAF XB. The XB is a phenomenal case and it is also quite portable despite being able to house a full sized ATX motherboard. It has handles on either side that make it easy to carry and it cools the components well with two 120mm fans up front, one 120mm fan in the top rear, two 80mm fans in the bottom rear, and the option to fit a 200mm fan up top. With a tower heat sink the top fan is impossible and not really necessary. I have one of my PC's in this case and I could not be happier with it. 

After drooling over the Ultra-grade build and wiping off your keyboard, you are looking at your bank account in a separate tab of your browser. You are trying to figure out a way to come up with the funds for one of these builds. There are always tax returns on the horizon or good old fashioned saving up for what you want. Make sure you take a look at your rig and decide if you need a complete refresh or maybe just a GPU upgrade. Just make sure that if you do want to upgrade your GPU you have a power supply that will support it and not explode in a burst of fire and pain. 

If you have never built your own PC there are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube that will aid you in this endeavor. has a very educational series on how to build a PC that can be found on YouTube and if you have any questions the Internet is teeming with forums that are full of people willing to help.

I am going to go back to anticipating ESO and Titanfall now. Maybe I will fire up Dishonored and assassinate a few people while I wait. Let me know what you think about ESO and Titanfall in the comments below and if you have some budget build ideas that you think are better sound off.

Cheers and happy gaming.

Christopher Martin

My name is Christopher Martin, or, if you're into being brief, Chris. I have been playing video games for over half of my life. They are a form of therapy and entertainment simultaneously. Video games also led me down the path of building my own computers, which is fun, but expensive. My other passion lives within writing or reading a brilliant book. I am stoked to be mashing my two loves together here at BT. Cheers.