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10 Good Custom Gaming PC Builds 2018 - Beginner's Building Guide

So you want to build a gaming PC but aren't really sure where to start. That's where this page comes in. We'll show you how to put together your PC build, what parts are the best for your budget, and where you can cut some costs.

If you've never built a custom gaming PC before. Don't fret! It's a lot simpler than you think. A big part of it is knowing what parts are compatible. We'll show you five different PC builds for budgets from $500 to $2,000. So, if you don't want to worry about compatibility, you don't have to.

After choosing your parts, the assembly is best done with a friend who has assembled a PC before. That being said even if you don't know anyone, we'll give you the information you need to know in order to install each part.

10 Good Custom PC Builds from $500 to $2,000

Looking for the right PC build for your budget? Here are five options that we feel are the best for the money you have to spend.

Below you'll find my favorite PC builds currently according to budget. If you want more information about picking parts and putting them together, there is an extensive FAQ below this list.

Intel Coffee Lake i3-8100 and AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Builds

As Coffee Lake 300 series H and B motherboards are released a cheaper motherboard might make more sense here. As it sits, the Intel build is currently $60 over budget while the Ryzen 3 1200 build is right at $500.

ProcessorIntel i3-8100Ryzen 3 1200



MSI B350M Gaming Pro


Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB

Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB


PNY CS1311 240GB SSD

PNY CS1311 240GB SSD

Video Card

Zotac GTX 1050 Ti Mini

Zotac GTX 1050 Ti Mini


Thermaltake Versa H21

Thermaltake Versa H21

Power Supply

EVGA 450W Bronze Certified

EVGA 450W Bronze Certified

The GTX 1050 Ti Mini from Zotac might not win any eye candy awards, but it is a cheap and reliable option that's available. At this price point we're worrying more about performance.

The GTX 1050 Ti Mini from Zotac might not win any eye candy awards, but it is a cheap and reliable option that's available. At this price point we're worrying more about performance.

Want to play today's latest games in medium to ultra resolutions with at least 50 to 60 frames a second? This $500 gaming PC will get you there.


The Intel Core i3-8100 is a 4 core processor that is a good buy around $130. Another good option here is the Ryzen 3 1200. It's $30 cheaper and has 4 cores as well.

While the i3 will give you slightly more performance for the graphics card you use, the Ryzen 3 1200 is no slouch. In addition, there are budget $50 motherboard options that work just fine for Ryzen while Intel hasn't released its more affordable boards yet.

So, the Intel Core I3-8100 build goes over our budget by $50. For that same amount, the Ryzen build could get the GTX 1050 Ti, allowing it to have much better in-game performance.

A Good Graphics Card for the i3-8100 or Ryzen 3 1200

We're limited in our video card choice because of the capabilities of our processor. That being said, these processors are capable of driving a GPU like the NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti or even a GTX 1060. Both are fantastic budget choices for 1080p gameplay.

Storage Woes

For storage, we're using a small solid state drive. So, if you need capacity, it may be necessary to borrow from an old PC. Alternatively, you could purchase a 1TB hard drive; however, we think the SSD is worth it here.

For case, we're going with the Thermaltake Versa H21 Windowed version. It's an inexpensive case that is relatively solid. I've used in several budget builds without an issue. It doesn't have the toolless installation that you'll find on the more expensive cases; however, once your build is ready you won't be worrying about that.

Lastly, our power supply is the 500W EVGA Bronze certified version. This power supply is efficient, cheap, and should last you several years. No, it's not likely to last you as long as a tier 1 gold or platinum model, but those options don't really fit our budget.

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Coffee Lake i5-8400 and AMD Ryzen 5 1600 Builds

*As the Ryzen system's motherboard is less expensive, we're pouring that into a better quality power supply.

CPUi5-8400Ryzen 5 1600



MSI B350 Tomahawk


Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 300MHz

Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 300MHz


PNY CS1311 240GB

PNY CS1311 240GB


Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB

Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB

Video Card

GTX 1060 6GB

GTX 1060 6GB


Corsair 200R

Corsair 200R

Power Supply

EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze

*EVGA SuperNova NEX 650W

Upgrading to the GTX 1060 6GB vs the RX 580 8GB

For our $750 build, we're upgrading our video card to the NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB. This card is more than capable of playing today's latest games in Ultra settings or beyond. Alternatively, you could go with the RX 580 8GB. It's a good card from AMD; however, as it gives lower FPS in all but DX12 titles, we're sticking with the GTX 1060 here.

Alternatively, you could go with the RX 580 8GB. It's a good card from AMD; however, as it gives lower FPS in most games and flip flops on DX12 titles, we're sticking with the GTX 1060 here. The 1060's increased efficiency and established sales pricing is another good reason.

An alternative here might be to go with the RX 480 8GB. It's essentially the same card as the RX 580 but often times cheaper.

A Big Processor Upgrade - i5-8400 vs R5 1600

In order to avoid potential current and future bottlenecks with our more powerful GPU, we're going with a better CPU in the i5-8400. An alternative would be the R5 1600. The Core i5-8400 is the faster IPC processor and therefore should give you a higher average FPS in most games. However, the R5 1600 is tempting as it gives you 6 cores and 12 threads rather than the 6 cores of the i5-8400.

Which one you go with should depend on what you plan on doing with your PC. If you have a heavy editing workload, the AMD Ryzen CPU makes sense. On the other hand, if you just plan on playing games, the i5-8400 is the optimal choice.

Storage Options

For storage, we're sticking with a standard SSD here and including a 1TB drive for additional capacity. You could go for an NVME M.2 drive here and it would be faster. However, I don't think the tradeoffs would be worth it considering the budget.

Corsair 200R - A Good Case for Budgets Around $50

Our case is the Corsair 200R. It's one of the best cases in the $50 price range. It's one you could stick in a budget build or even use in a high one. It has plenty of room for a full-sized graphics card or a CPU cooler up to 165mm tall. If you prefer to see your components, a windowed option is available. Otherwise the standard black box of the 200R is classy, has plenty of room for additional fans, has tool-free installation, and includes 2 120mm fans (front and rear).

Final Thoughts:

Overall I'm happy with the overall balance of this build. We've cut costs where we can while giving FPS critical components a high budget.

Part$1,000 Intel Build$1,000 AMD Build



Ryzen 5 1600


MSI Z370-A Pro

Asus Prime B350-PLUS


Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x4GB DDR4-3000

Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x4GB DDR4-3000


PNY CS1311 240GB

PNY CS1311 240GB


WD Caviar Blue 1TB

WD Caviar Blue 1TB

Video Card

GTX 1070

GTX 1070


Corsair 200R

Corsair 200R

Power Supply

EVGA SuperNova NEX 650W

EVGA SuperNova NEX 650W


Our $1,000 build is now more than capable of playing 1440p.

Keeping Our $200 CPU Budget

While I prefer to spend a big portion of my overall budget on a processor, we're saving that budget for a GPU upgrade. If you're going with 1440p, a CPU like the i5-8400 or Ryzen 5 1600 should be more than enough.

The Intel i5-8400 processor will give you slightly more frames while the Ryzen 5 1600 gives you an additional 2 cores and 12 threads in total. So, depending on your workload, you'll want to go with one or the other.

Avoid Overspending On Your Motherboard

It's easy to spend too much on your motherboard. However, it's unlikely that it would increase your performance.

Still, both builds are getting an upgraded motherboard with plenty of features. While the i5-8400 isn't capable of overclocking, the Ryzen 5 1600 will be on the B350-Plus board along with its stock cooler.

If you'd prefer to overclock an Intel processor, go with the i5-8600k and a hyper 212 Evo along with the board listed above.

Upgrading to a T1 Gold Rated PSU

We've also decided to upgrade the power supply to a tier 1 option. We don't need the additional capacity, but the NEX 650W from EVGA is one of the cheaper quality options available and one worthy of our recommendation.

Memory Speeds for Intel vs AMD Ryzen

AMD Ryzen's performance thrives on memory. So, you'll want to aim for something that will give you around 3000MHz. Intel's Coffee Lake also makes noticeable gains.

GTX 1070 - A Solid Graphics Card Upgrade for around $400

A card like the GTX 1070 is more than what you need for 1080p 60 frames per second. So, if that's your goal, this might be overkill. However, if you're looking to go with a high frame rate in 1080p or high to ultra resolution 60 fps gameplay in 1440p, it's the perfect option.

Alternatively, you might be able to fit in the GTX 1070Ti here. At around $70 to $100 more it gives you GTX 1080-like performance on the cheap.

PartsIntel $1,250 BuildAMD $1,250 Build



Ryzen 5 1600

CPU Cooler


Stock Wraith Cooler


Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7

ASRock X370 Taichi


Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD

Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD


WD Caviar Blue 1TB

WD Caviar Blue 1TB

Video Card

GTX 1070 Ti

GTX 1070 Ti




Power Supply



Want to go for higher frames in 1440p or have entry-level play in 4k? This $1,250 build will get you there.

Processor Options

With the Intel i5-8400 you've got a faster IPC 6 core processor that will certainly give you better FPS in games. However, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 gives you the opportunity to overclock for additional performance and could be considered a better workstation CPU.

The i5-8600k, which could be an option here, would be a decent option if it weren't currently overpriced and hard to find.


I've picked two rock solid boards here. You certainly don't have to go with these boards. In fact, you could save money and go with the same boards as the $1,000 build and get similar performance. However, the Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 and ASRock Taichi are what I'd step up to if you're looking for a bit more.

The Taichi is an award winner at TweakTown for Best Performance.

Staying With a Budget Motherboard

Optionally you could stick with Skylake and get the Gigabyte GA-Z270 Gaming K3 Z270 motherboard for Intel and Asus Prime B350-PLUS AM4 Motherboard for the AMD build should give you plenty of performance and features. Again, our budget doesn't dictate a more expensive motherboard as it would decrease our budget for a graphics card.

GTX 1070Ti - Hard to Pass Up

The GTX 1070Ti recently came out and is basically a GTX 1080 in terms of performance. Above this, I'd recommend the GTX 1080Ti as the GTX 1080 can't really give enough more to justify its extra price.

The GTX 1070 Ti should give you fantastic performance for its price of $500 and allow you to play at a high framerate in 1440p or even 4k in medium to high settings at 60 frames.

It's Worth Going M.2 Here

For storage, we've moved on to the faster M.2 solid state drive in the Samsung 960 NVMe. It's a bit more expensive than a typical solid state drive for its capacity. However, if you're spending this much you should really stick with the latest technology. It'll give you blazing speeds for your OS and all of your favorite programs. Booting should be nearly instantaneous.

$1,250 Budget Build Final Thoughts:

Overall this is a build that we feel most can get behind. It's not too shiny but makes up for it in pure performance.

*A mounting kit may be required for compatibility.

PartsIntel i7 $1,600 BuildAMD Ryzen $1,600 Build



Ryzen 7 1700

CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-D15

*Noctua NH-D15



Asus Prime X370-PRO


Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3000MHz

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3000MHz


Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2

Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2


WD Caviar Blue 1 TB

WD Caviar Blue 1 TB

Video Card

GTX 1080 Ti

GTX 1080 Ti




Power Supply

EVGA SuperNova NEX 650W

EVGA SuperNova NEX 650W


Are you ready to play in 4k? This build can do it.

CPU Conundrum

I'd like to be able to go up to an i5-8600k here or even the i7 8700; however, prices are simply too high right now. For that reason, we're sticking with the 6 core i5-8400 and going up on the AMD side to the R7 1700.

CPU Cooler Options

We're using a Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler for the Ryzen build. So, depending on where you're getting it from, you may need a separate mounting bracket. These are typically available for cheap or even free from the manufacturer website. As companies continue to adapt to Ryzen, these will likely be unnecessary.

For the Intel Build, we're using the cheaper Hyper 212 Evo. It should allow an overclock of around 5GHz. So, it's inexpensive and does basically everything you need it do for around $30.

Faster Memory

We're going with fast ram here for the AMD and Intel builds here. It's pretty crucial for the AMD build as I mentioned above.

Fitting in a GTX 1080Ti

Yes, we could have added more storage and gotten a fancier case and motherboard here; however, we'd have skimped on the most important component. So, we're squeezing in GTX 1080Ti here. It's ideal for 4k, VR, or high frame rate 1440p gaming with performance up to 35% improved over the GTX 1080.

Final Thoughts for the $1600 Build

Overall, we feel this build is a good mix of maximizing performance and functionality. If you don't have a high refresh rate or resolution monitor, you may prefer to allocate more of your GPU budget to something else.


*A mounting adapter may be required.

Parts$2,000 Intel Editing PC$2,000 AMD Ryzen Editing PC


Intel i7-8700k

Ryzen 7 1700

CPU Cooler

Corsair H100i v2

*Corsair H100i v2



Asus Prime X370-PRO


Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz 16GB

Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz 16GB


Samsung 960 Evo M.2 500GB

Samsung 960 Evo M.2 500GB


Seagate Barracuda 2TB x 2

Seagate Barracuda 2TB x 2

Video Card

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti


Corsair 750D

Corsair 750D




Beginner PC Builder's Guide and Help

Looking to build a PC this year? Here's a guide with all the latest information you need to know.

If you're a photo or video editor, the $2,000 editing PC gives you a few more options that are practical for daily use.

Increased Storage Solutions

First of all, you're getting a total of 4TB of storage with 2 Seagate Barracuda drives. For M.2 drive, you're getting an additional 500GB. This gives you the flexibility to work with your videos, photos, and favorite programs.

More Space for Upgrades

We've upgraded the case to allow for something with additional capacity for drives and a few more features as well. The 750D is capable of keeping your expensive components cool as well.

Increased Overclocking

As you'll likely need good CPU performance, we've also included the Corsair H100i v2 coolers. Along with the good midrange motherboards we've chosen, you should be able to get Ryzen to 4GHz and Coffee Lake to 5GHz. This will cut your rendering times considerably.

Final Word:

Overall, this build may be more than enough for the average gamer; however, if you thrive on playing at the best FPS and resolution, it's what you need. For photo editors and graphic designers, it's also a cheap and high performing solution when compared to prebuilt solutions.

Building a PC is simple and allows you to get more bang for your buck. Purchasing something prebuilt gets you less performance with typically inferior parts. So, if you're ready to dive in, here are a few things you should think about when choosing the hardware.

Intel vs AMD in 2018

Intel Vs. AMD - Who has the Best CPU of 2018?

Intel Vs. AMD - Who has the Best CPU of 2018?

The two big players in the CPU market are Intel and AMD. And depending on what the goal is of your computer build you may prefer one over the other.

The easy way to think about it is that Intel processors, in general, have faster IPC or instructions per clock. This means that for each core or thread they perform faster. For games that prefer faster over more cores (most of them) Intel will typically give more FPS or frames per second. So, if your only goal is to get the most performance in games, Intel will likely be the winner in most scenarios.

On the other hand, if more cores and threads matter to you, AMD is a very good choice. First of all, a similarly priced AMD CPU isn't that much slower than an Intel one. It also typically comes with more cores. This means that for certain tasks your AMD CPU will outperform the Intel one. This also is true in certain games that can take advantage of those cores. As more and more games continue to use more cores, this will certainly give AMD CPUs additional longevity.

How Much CPU do you Really Need?

For gaming, the amount of CPU you need is determined by your graphics card and the resolution you're playing at. For example, if you're purchasing a $100 graphics card, then a CPU from $75 to $125 likely won't bottleneck it. However, if you're purchasing a $700 graphics card, you'll need something in the $300 to $400 range to give you the best results.

The resolution you play at also matters. Those who play at a higher resolution are putting more demands on their graphics card. As such, the CPU they use is actually not as big of a deal. This is counterintuitive to many.

Installing Your Processor

Installing your CPU is actually a simple process as long as you've purchased the correct motherboard. Simply align the notches of your CPU with the socket of your motherboard being careful not to bend any pins. Once it's installed, the socket latch should do the rest of the work. Pull it down and latch it into place.

It's easy to overspend on a motherboard. They come as cheap as $50 and as expensive as around $500. Yet, the performance you'll actually get in a game isn't that different between the two. So, what's the difference?

Some motherboards have more features and include the option to overclock your Ram and CPU. Better parts and even size can also make a difference.

Motherboard Compatibility

When you purchase your processor, pay attention to the socket type. This should correspond to the motherboard type you purchase. For example, if you purchase a socket LGA 1151 CPU, you'll need an 1151 motherboard. Or, if you purchase an AM4 socket processor, you'll need an AM4 motherboard.

From there, you'll want to determine what type of chipset of that type of motherboard you need. The chipset of your motherboard is just another way of saying that certain features are guaranteed to be found on that type of motherboard. Certain features will also be added by the manufacturer of the motherboard.

So, the best way to determine what features your motherboard has is to look at the specifications of the motherboard itself.

From there, you'll have to determine what types of features you want on your motherboard or if you want to overclock. Overclocking is only available on certain chipsets. So, knowing that beforehand is crucial; however, most gamers do not overclock.

Installing Your Motherboard

Motherboards come in various sizes that fit into certain types of cases. So, be sure you're getting a case that is compatible. For the most part, bigger cases will fit smaller motherboards.

In order to install your motherboard line up the holes in your PC case with the motherboard. Once you've done that install motherboard offsets in the corresponding PC case holes. Place the motherboard down on the offsets while forcing the back I/O into the back of the case. Screw the motherboard down to the offsets.

What Motherboard Manufacturer do you prefer?

As you might imagine the power that your PC needs is based upon the components that you choose for your PC.

For the most part, the power required to even run higher-end PCs has gone over the years. So, it's unlikely you'll need a large capacity power supply. That being said you can get a general idea by using a power supply calculator online to calculate your overall wattage needs.

Power Supply Efficiency and 80 Plus Certification

I recommend you go with a good energy efficient power supply that is rated at least 80 PLUS. This means that the power supply is at least 80% efficient with the power it draws from the wall. 80 Plus certifications are rated by efficiency from bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.

Not all 80 Plus power supplies are expensive. So, even a budget build of around $500 should still look for a bronze certified power supply. I've also made a list of the top rated power supplies on the market. I recommend that if you're wanting additional information on power supplies.

Power Supply Sizes

If you buy an ATX or standard power supply it should fit into any Micro ATX, mid-tower, or full tower PC case. For other slim sizes, be sure to check your case's specifications.

Installing Your Power Supply

Power supplies are typically mounted on the top or the bottom of the back of your PC case. Use four of the screws provided by your motherboard manufacturer to secure it into place.

While your case certainly won't affect the performance of your PC much, it's still important to find something compatible that will help to keep your components cool.

Understanding Case Sizes and Motherboard Compatibility

Cases come in various sizes just like motherboards. Motherboard Sizes include mini ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, and E-ATX from small to large. Cases are available in mini-ITX, Micro, mid-tower, and full-sized towers. Some large-sized cases may be compatible with any smaller motherboard; however, be sure to check the manufacturer technical details to be sure.

Compatibility typically has to do with where the holes are for the motherboard offsets.


Cases come not only with or without fans but also compatibility for liquid cooling. I'd recommend you get a case that has at least one fan even if you're doing a budget build. A front fan brings in cool air and helps to blow the hot air out the back of your computer. This keeps your PC and components cool which also increases their longevity.

The more wattage that your PC uses the more heat it will produce. So, if you go with an energy efficient build, very little cooling is actually needed. On the other hand, if you build a huge PC that you plan on overclocking, additional cooling plans may be ideal.

DDR4 is the latest memory technology. It's available in speeds from 2133MHz to above 4000MHz and comes in various capacities.

How Much Ram Do You Need?

For any gaming system, the typical answer to this is 8GB. I'd say that in almost every situation that this is true. While some games use over 8GB I haven't seen a huge difference in a number of frames one gets simply by having Ram over this amount. That being said, some modern games do go over so if you're wanting to future proof your system, 16GB might be a good idea.

How Fast Does Your Ram Need To Be?

This depends on your system. First, some motherboards have restrictions on how fast the Ram you purchase can be. So, be sure to read its specifications before going with higher speed ram.

For Intel systems, I'd go with anything 2666MHz and above while leaning towards faster ram if it's the same price as slower ram. Many times it is.

For an AMD Ryzen system, I'd go with as fast as ram as makes sense for your current system. Ryzen really thrives on faster memory speeds. So, reaching for 3200MHz is a good idea for high-end system builders.

I get this question a lot and it depends on what you're planning to do with your CPU.

Most CPUs come with a stock CPU cooler that is more than good enough to keep it cool. So, if you're just planning to run your processor at stock speeds, my answer to this would be no.

On the other hand, if you want to overclock your CPU, then it depends on the processor itself. Many "K" processors from Intel, don't come with a stock cooler. This is because the "K" shows that this particular processor is unlocked for overclocking. So, if you don't plan on overclocking, stick with the cheaper non-K versions.

For the newer Ryzen CPUs that come with a stock Wraith cooler, the answer is not always yes. The Wraith cooler will allow you to overclock your CPU. However, if you want a greater overclock, you'll likely need to purchase something separate.

The graphics card you choose should be based upon the games you play, the framerate and settings you want, as well as the resolution you play at. We recommend you take a look at specific graphics card benchmarks for the games you most like to play in order to find the card that's most appropriate for your system.

The GPU you purchase should also be based on the processor you have.

Budget processors don't have the power necessary to keep up with the demands of a higher-end graphics card. So, pairing something like an i3 and a GTX 1080Ti wouldn't get you as far as you might have hoped for.

How Much of Your Budget Should Be Used on a Graphics Card?

That depends on your goal. For budget PCs, this number might be pretty high (40-50%).

However, if you have a higher-end PC and simply want to play in 1080p at 60 frames, then a super pricey GPU is probably unnecessary.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Need Help Building Your PC?

Ynot on August 16, 2018:

Sorry if this seems like a dumb question; but even with the $1000 build, do I still need to purchase an operating system (i.e. windows 10)?

JEthrp on January 15, 2018:

waht does the 1250 cost in euros today

Tobem on January 05, 2018:

I'm struggling to get the prices that you are quoting in either today's market or any near when this article was last updated. An example is that the $750 Intel parts list comes to a grand total of $950 exc. any possible tax and shipping costs. How were you able to price this at $750?

Neil Strauss on October 09, 2017:

Very helpful! I actually am no longer updated to the current specs there are! thanks btw.

I want to have a PC that can give me high frame rate for Dota 2. =)

Scott on September 04, 2017:

Whats a couple different monitors you would recomend for the 1600 build?

Chris on August 26, 2017:

what type of monitor(s) would you suggest for the "$2,000 4k Gaming and Editing PC Monster" build

Justin on July 01, 2017:

Is there any guide on choosing the best monitor as well?

anonymous on September 04, 2013:

Hi, i am building a custom computer, i am not buying a keyboard etc yet, my price is $1000. these are my current parts.

Western Digital WD Blue 1TB WD10EZEX

Antec GX700B Gaming Case

Samsung 840 Series 120GB SSD Retail Box

Intel Core i5 3570K

Corsair VS550 ATX Power Supply

BitFenix Spectre 120mm Black Tinted Red LED Fan

Corsair CMX8GX3M2A2000C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

ASRock B75M-DGS-R2 Motherboard

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II 2GB OC

any help would be much appreciated :P

anonymous on July 11, 2013:

@anonymous: This is Most likely a driver issue. I would recommend finding the Software that lets you view a Bluescreen log file. It can pinpoint the issue usually. I used the same software to find that my gigabyte motherboard usb 3.0 driver was causing bsod. Try that software and pinpoint the issue, but first, update ALL your drivers. By the way, you probably should have gotten an ASUS Mobo as Gigabyte is not very reliable.

anonymous on July 05, 2013:


I basically used your site to build my first gaming computer. I have a tx 650 corsair power supply, gigabyte z77 ud5h, vengeance 16gigs ram, evga 660 superclocked, with i7 770k processor. I had downloaded everything on a Microsoft OS and now I'm constantly getting a blue screen. Would you think this is a hardware issue, or a driver update? Because I'm now worried that something may have been damaged in transport when I moved from ca to ny. How do you recommend the best way to trouble shoot this?

PCReviews on June 28, 2013:

@anonymous: It can definitely be a problem; however, if you're buying a modern mid tower case built for gaming, then most likely it will fit any graphics card. That's the major space issue to worry about. The only other one I can think of is the CPU cooler. Sometimes some of the larger CPU coolers don't fit in a mid tower case.

anonymous on June 27, 2013:

Does the case run out of room depending on what products you buy or is that not a problem no matter what the case or the parts.

anonymous on May 01, 2013:


thanks a lot for the great post; however, I have some questions.

there are several companies like Ibuypower and etc. all over the internet which sell you everything

built up in case and have them rdy to ship to you address.

would you recommend buying from these companies or is there any other ways to buy for someone like me who has no expertise....


anonymous on April 05, 2013:

Best build performance per dollar(4/6/13): MB - ASRock 970 Extreme 3 CPU - AMD fx-8320 GPU - Geforce GTX 650 ti BOOST RAM - Vengeance 8GB ADD - Case, 500W (25A+) Power supply, 500GB HDD

PCReviews on April 04, 2013:

@anonymous: I recommend you go to Thermaltake's website and check out their power supply calculator. Once you've done that try to find an 80 plus PSU that fits within the range of what you need. My guess is something like the Corsair Builder 650-750 watts would work.

anonymous on April 02, 2013:

@PCReviews: Hi i actually have one final question i was looking at your article and suggestions on power supplys but i wasn't quite sure which one i would need to go with the build i described on my previous comments? I have already purchased my parts this will be the last step and i can finally make my build

PCReviews on March 29, 2013:

@anonymous: No, because I believe the 932 comes with 4 fans? Be sure to get the new version of it.

anonymous on March 29, 2013:

@PCReviews: Again thanks for all your help. The articles you've posted have really helped me in my decisions. I have one final question. I've ordered all the parts i've listed above and went with an SSD since it was in my budget. Do i need to buy any extra fans or is the case's cooling system enough? I mentioned the case in an earlier comment

PCReviews on March 28, 2013:

@anonymous: Really nice build. Have you thought of replacing your HDD with an SSD? For around $170 you can get the Samsung 840 250GB SSD. My most recent build I actually did this and then I just use my external HDD for any extra storage. The speed difference is so big I can't even go back to my old PC now. Anyway, something to think about.

anonymous on March 28, 2013:

@PCReviews: so this is the set up i was thinking of going with ASUS Deluxe Intel Z77 Motherboard P8Z77-V DELUXE

Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0

Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-Core Processor 3.5 GHz 8 MB Cache - BX80637I73770K

Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-E 3.0 Graphics Card GV-R797OC-3GD

Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B

Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop 3.5" Hard Drive

feel free to add or change anything you think would help thanks for your earlier reply to my post

PCReviews on March 27, 2013:

@anonymous: You don't have to have a DVD Drive to play GW2 or Starcraft because you can download them directly. Blizzard allows you to login and download any game you purchase. As far as GW2 I haven't played it but I believe you can download that from the GW2 site as well. Other games I just use Steam and Origin... So, no you don't have to have one, but depending on what work you do it can occasionally be useful.

anonymous on March 27, 2013:

Hey i have a few questions. First this article is great and i have been referring to it for months as i get ready to buy the parts and build my first gaming pc. I just need to know a few things first. Do you need a dvd drive? I am building to play games like guild wars 2, starcraft. Also i figure i would need something like windows 7 right? Sorry if these seem like dumb questions.

PCReviews on March 21, 2013:

@anonymous: @thegamingnerd, I'm trying to understand your question. Do you have 2 builds that you're considering then? What's your budget? I'm just a little bit confused why for the first you'd just using the Llano proc and then later your build has a Sandy Bridge Processor that costs 60% more. Please Clarify. Thanks.

anonymous on March 21, 2013:

Is it possible for me to get all of the best recommended ones from the top and will they be compatible with each other? What I was thinking of getting was the AMD A8-3870K APU with AMD Radeon 6550 HD Graphics 3.0GHz Unlocked Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Processor or the Intel Core i7-2600K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 Ghz 8 MB Cache LGA 1155 with the Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B, The Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze (TX750), with the Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop 3.5" Hard Drive, and the Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA1155 CrossFireX/SLI Dual Lan Dual UEFI BIOS with Bluetooth 4.0/Wi-Fi Expansion Card GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB WiFi, also the GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 Windforce OC 2048MB GDDR5 256-bit PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Graphics Card and last but not least the Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 256 GB SATA 6GB/s Solid State Drive MZ-7PD256BW. Will they work together? Thank you for answering this, and please reply if they don't and send me the best yet the most compatible ones with a low price in them, Thank you Kindly Good Sir! :)

PCReviews on March 21, 2013:

@anonymous: What do you mean by uncooperative? Do you mean compatible? For compatibility simply match your FX series AMD processor with an AM3+ motherboard and your Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor with an LGA 1155 motherboard. You'll also want to be sure that your case is big enough to house whatever graphics card that you purchase. Those which I listed above should be able to fit any GPU released in 2013.

anonymous on February 10, 2013:

@anonymous: you can't get much. My suggestion is to get an intel i7 3930k with a asus rampage extreme 4 motherboard. 8gb ram, and a $300-ish graphics card. It is kinda pricey, but worth it. I have had one for a while now, and I can run bf3 maxed out as well as dayz and minecraft. Hell, I can record youtube videos with that rig and video edit them to make them look amazing.

anonymous on January 22, 2013:

are these items all uncooperative with each other?

anonymous on December 31, 2012:

Regarding your case selection one fantastic case I think you missed is the full tower rosewill Thor V2 it's a awesome case lots of room and with rebates now you can get it for around 100 bucks and its compatible with the cooler master 100i watercooler

anonymous on November 30, 2012:

This article was exactly what I needed to help tweak a build that cyberpower has for gaming. Thank you so much! My husband is going to love his Christmas present this year.

anonymous on November 09, 2012:

@anonymous: With the exception of bf3 dayz and minecraft can be played on a low end pc. A 500 dollar pc will be alright but it might not be enough for bf3

anonymous on October 26, 2012:

@anonymous: Just insert the windows cd, turn the computer on, and follow the instructions

anonymous on September 06, 2012:

I will be honest. I just got in to computers at the ripe age of 27 and have no idea what you guys are talking about. Is there away some of this could be dumbed down for me. I guess what is a good build for say Minecraft, DayZ and BF3. This is mostly what I play. Where can I get that for say 600-800? Sorry for my ignorance.

anonymous on August 09, 2012:

After fitting all the pieces together, what happens next? I mean, when you stick all those parts together and turn the PC on, how can I install the OS?

Great article! Very informative.


PCReviews on August 09, 2012:

@Robbi - I'm assuming you're talking about PSU brands? Most of them are ATX so they work with any ATX motherboard / Case (pretty much everything). If you're willing to go with a PSU that's around 700W, then I highly recommend the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W which is 80 PLUS certified and currently under $50. My guess is that 700W will more than fit your needs.

anonymous on August 06, 2012:

everything you mentioned really helped i've just started my 1st build with my son and the hardest thing so far is making sure that all the parts are compatible which brings me to my question. i have a asus p8z68-v pro/gen3 motherboard and i'll probably go with the intel i7 2600k cpu because of the future tech adaptibility(technology yet to come). what is a good power module to use. i want to run at least 4 fans and i 'm not sure what video card but iwant the power to be at least 750-850watts what r some good brans between 100-200$ that i no will work with my motherboard?

anonymous on August 01, 2012:

I'm building a gaming computer and I'd like some help so could you say what you think of these parts, I need to stay under 1k and the monitor is $139 all of if it isfrom and so far its $754.22, what should I change, also I need Windows probably get windows 7is this build good, and sorry it's so long.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case

Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

BIOSTAR A780L3B AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

APEX AL-D500EXP 500W ATX12V Power Supply

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9

AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX

PCReviews on July 15, 2012:

Asker - a few years ago this was a problem but modern ATX standard motherboard and parts, in general fit correctly as long as you're using a standard sized case.

anonymous on July 09, 2012:

Hi there i was just wondering.. if I'm going to build a PC do i have to worry about component sizes? does every component fit perfectly with any computer case

anonymous on June 27, 2012:

Thanks for the info. Just what I was looking for.

PCReviews on June 25, 2012:

@anonymous: The i5-2500k is compatible with all 1155 motherboards.

anonymous on June 22, 2012:

Hey is the Intel Core i5-2500K Processor Compatible with all of those motherboards? I am on a budget and am trying to find a good gaming set up to run at lest battlefield 3 on it.

anonymous on May 26, 2012:

You should've also included stuff like Power Supply and Cooling systems etc.

Frankie Kangas from California on May 23, 2012:

I can't imagine building a computer but I have the utmost respect for those who can. Excellent lens. Congrats on LOTD. Bear hugs, Frankster

glenndaugh on May 23, 2012:

Man, you got me wanting to build a gaming PC. Great job and very informative. I love gaming and have always wanted to build my own gaming PC. I never did, because it takes too long to stay current on all the new tech coming out all the time. You've done that for me. Thanks!

anonymous on May 22, 2012:

Hi ! The place I belong to the temperature gets as high as 45 C.. Will the cooler master chasis be enough to keep my hardware safe. If not , plz suggest on some cooling hardware and tips.. Thanks! :-)

CameronPoe on May 21, 2012:

Thanks for the tips. I usually put more money on the cpu rather than the gfx card. But then again, I only built 2 home PCs and only for specific games.

PCReviews on May 21, 2012:

@DArtagonIM - I've had a little experience in building laptops, but it's a cramped experience I'd rather leave to someone else.

jakealoo on May 21, 2012:

Very cool Lens and corgrats on the LotD! The intro picture really grabs your attention, that setup looks nuts.

DArtagnonIM LM on May 09, 2012:

Have you had any experience building your own gaming laptops from purchasing separate components?

jimmyworldstar on February 11, 2012:

The i5-2500k is a better price in performance and value than the i7-2600k because of how games make use of the processors cores and threads. Also, a SSD is more volatile and vulnerable to crashing than a regular HD and if you uninstall and install games a lot, it's no good.

Edutopia on January 01, 2012:

You are not really getting much performance increases for the dollars your shilling out for any chip above the i5-2500k. So really unless you have cash to burn stick with that or lower depending on your budget.

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