Build a PC: Recommended Builds (September 2013)

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diogolopes18

Asus Maximus VI Extreme Intel Z87 SK1150
Intel Core i5-4670K (Unlocked) 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) 6MB BOX
G.Skill TridentX DDR3 2x8GB 2666MHz CAS12 1.65v
Asus Geforce GTX770 DirectCU II OC 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-E
8xNoiseBlocker BlacksilentFan Pro PK-2
Enermax MAXREVO 1350W Modular 80Plus Gold
Corsair Obsidian 900D
Akasa Electronic ID and Smart Card Reader (AK-ICR-09)
Akasa InterConnect Pro USB 3.0 - AK-HC-05BKV2
LG Gravador BLU-RAY BH16NS40 SATA Preto Bulk
1x wd 320gb 7200rpm
2x seagate 500gb 7200rpm
2x Samsung 1tb 7200rpm
EK-Supremacy Elite - Intel 115x
EK-FB ASUS Maximus 6 Extreme - Acetal+Nickel
EK-RAM Monarch X4 CSQ
EK-BAY Spin RES DUAL Loop - Plexi
2x EK-DCP 4.0 (12V DC Pump)
2x EK-CoolStream RAD XTC (420)
EK-FC770 GTX DCII - Acetal+Nickel
EK-FC680 GTX DCII Backplate - Black
PS: I did not known the total price so post it for me

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ZeTroll780

Here are some of the Specs
PERFORMANCE BUILD

Asus Gryphon Z87 /w Armor Kit
i7-4770K
Arctic Silver MX-2 and Remover
NZXT Kraken X60
Dominator Platnium 16GB
GalaxyTech HoF GTX 770 (SLI is optional)
Corsair RM650/Corsair AX860i
Asus 16x Blueray Burner
2x Intel 520 180GB SSD Raid 0
2x WD SE 4TB HDD Raid 1
Fractal Design Arc MINI R2

For Additional cooling, mod a 200mm fan on the window
FANS

Cougar 140-HDB With PWM x7

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jtrier1

Can we submit custom builds for recommendation? I have a $1700 build that I'd like to share.

Some Specs:

AMD FX-8350 Octacore 4.6 GHz (OC)

GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 AMD 760G motherboard

Corsair CX750 750w PSU

2x HIS IceQ Radeon HD 7870 GPUs

16GB 1600MHz RAM

OCZ RevoDrive 110gb SSD (boot)

Toshiba 3TB HDD

Sentey Burton Extreme Division ATX Case.

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Uncle Fred

I really disagree that the lower end builds represent the best bang for your buck in this price segment.

Right now, most of the performance gains for gaming on a budget rigs can be had in beefing up the GPU solution.

Reccomendations:

Personally, I prefer to invest in a single, high quality large metal ATX case and use them for future builds. My current Cosmos case is 7 years old and still a great case. A NZXT H2 ATX Mid Tower Steel Case Black is a affordable and quality option. Buy one and reuse it!

The Corsair 500 watt PSU is fine.

Get a low cost Z87 or Z77 motherboard. Entry level ASUS or Gigabyte are good options. AMD does offer low cost processors and setups too. I would only discount AMD for workstation/media creation/power user uses.

Best Z87 Option is the 4670K, This can be had for dirt cheap at Microcenters in the US. The previous gen equivalent for the Z77 chipset is also fine.

For CPU cooler, don't be afraid to try the AIO (all-in-one) watercooler setups, even if you are on a budget. They are pretty much set and forget these days. A Corsair H60 will give you high performance at low cost compared to most air coolers. However, personally, the best AIO option is the Swiftech H220, for a bit more money, it is made out of much higher quality components and unlikely to fair, even over several PC builds. Again, invest now, reuse later.

8GB RAM, just stay clear of the super cheap brands like Crucial. Corsair, G.SKILL and Muskin are good names. 1333 or 1600 Mhz DDR3 is good.

Reuse your current optical drives or bum a external one.

I would invest in an SSD and use if for OS and programs. Save everything else to an older HDD or flash drive. The Samsung 840 or 840 EVO at 250GB are good price/performance drives. Find a bargain to save costs and pony up for it. It's worth it. Don't settle for the 120GB version either as you'll run out of HDD space and it's slower.

Use whatever you have left and dump it into the GPU. Get a Geforce GTX 770 today or wait a couple months and see how the new AMD R9 cards shake up the GPU game.

Lastly, use Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Stay away from Windows 8.0 and 8.1 as they are not well structured for desktop use. There are ways of getting this OS at err 'cost effective prices.' Hunt around to see ow that works.

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brannank

Thank you for the work you guys do to produce these recommended builds. I do have one request-please, include updated benchmarks with the new configurations as well-that would be boss!

Thanks in advance guys. Longtime magazine subscriber.

God Bless,

Keith
John 3:16

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JBossch

What about taking essentially the baseline build and juicing the GPU with say a GTX 680? It seems like there is a $1500-ish price point that could be hit with a $400 GPU. Thoughts? Would other changes be necessary?

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TheMissingPiece

That's really interesting. Hm, I wonder if, with the recent Radeon price drops, the budget build will sacrifice the SSD for a Radeon 7950, which will provide a significant performance boost.

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Brandon Lawrence

Here's a 550 Watt from Cooler Master for $35.

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Brandon Lawrence

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171038

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BrandonG777

Good looking out but that one isn't modular and I'm rather fond of Corsair PSUs. I like Cooler Master 212s but never had any experience with any of their other products other than heatsinks and fans. Just wondering where they saw that deal because I've never seen the CX500M for less than $50, CX500 I've seen under $50 but not the modular version.

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j_j_montez

It would be tough to find a good modular power supply for under $50. I prefer modular in small cases, or elaborate builds, but regular PSUs work well when operating in a budget.

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BrandonG777

Exactly, I'm calling bullshit on these prices.

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BrandonG777

Where do I get a Corsair CX500M for $35!?!?!

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Fruguy

Why would you go with 4x4GB ram on the performance build? why not 2x8GB so you can add another 16GB if you want to later?

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misterz100

It's Quad channel memory, it has 8 slots they only filled half

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TechnoMage

Unless you're trying to run triple SLI, I don't get the point of going with X79/Ivy Bridge-E. Z87 has plenty of PCI Express lanes for dual SLI and going with a Sabertooth Z87/i7-4770K will save you $100.

Unless you're going to step it up to a i7-4930K from the beginning, you're going to be spending that extra money for zero gain.

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kixofmyg0t

Wow for $765 you can get less GPU muscle than a PS4.

Why not something like this? http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1HAha

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j_j_montez

It's hard to go back to a mechanical drive, but I agree, save the money on the SSD and get a better graphics card, or get the SSD and save up for a better graphics card later, using integrated in the meantime. I also prefer planning ahead with RAM, dealing with 1x8GB until I can get another, instead of 2x4GB.

It important to remember that these are three suggestions of almost infinite combinations, so not to take offense easily at disagreements. In the case of these three builds, I'd stick with Intel, preferring the possible upgrade path to the i7, and I would start with the SSD, since I've always had trouble with migrating data. I would probably drop the HDD and ODD and put that towards the GPU, and call it a day. (But this comes with the acknowledgment that I already have spare HDDs and ODDs, and cases for that matter. For someone starting out fresh, any are a good starting point for learning.)

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kixofmyg0t

Yeah I don't mean to blast them for the builds. I'm only focused on the "budget" build since I spent $750 to build the PC that I'm typing this on and I ended up with a 7870, SSD and 16GB of RAM. I wouldn't ever spend more than ~$800 to build a PC anyway so I don't care about the other builds.

But I guess I can't get over how with their recommended builds cost almost 2 PS4's but yet hobbles along with a 7790. I can see that for sub $500 builds maybe....but for $750? C'mon you have to get something better than that.

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JosephColt

@kixofmyg0t

It should be pretty obvious that MaximumPC are not credible when it comes to PC building. I doubt they even really built and tested these computers; no benchmarks or other information about these builds too.

You pretty much go AMD for budget computers most of the time. AMD isn't as powerful as Intel for gaming, but they will handle games really well still. Their budget build is rather silly like you have mentioned.

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Renegade Knight

Given the PC like specs for the 4th Gen consoles I wonder if you could start your build by buying a console. Then busting it open.

Naaa...they would make the cards and whatnot propritary.

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kixofmyg0t

4th gen consoles?!? You mean the Sega Genesis and SNES?

We're up to 8th gen consoles.

Anyway, you can build a PC with specs close to a 8th Gen console for under $450 after rebates.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1HEta

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j_j_montez

You know he meant 4th gen of this dynasty, don't be "that guy". I love the price/performance ratio of the Athlon II X4 you reference in that PC Part Picker link. A friend of mine had a budget of $450, I used that CPU and still made money off it. I agree with your earlier post, I don't spend more than $600 on my core tower, until I pile on the multiple hard drives for my media server. It just isn't necessary for my purposes.

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kixofmyg0t

Don't be "that guy"? So I should let him be wrong? What do you mean "this dynasty"? Consoles didn't just magically start with the first Playstation, so I don't know what you mean.

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j_j_montez

I meant being "that guy" who attempts to correct a socially acceptable reference with a technicality. Not to mention ignoring the context and taking things too literally. In a face-to-face conversation, that habit would be considered obnoxious, and I think we should conduct ourselves consistently, with or without the veil of anonymity. The dynasty distinction was a joke, trying to explain a way that 4th gen is technically acceptable. I post both of these comments lightheartedly, hoping you don't take heavy offense, but hope that you learn to pick your battles, especially since the 4th gen comment wasn't even his point.

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kixofmyg0t

Yeah but that would only apply to one OEM then.

If you're saying "4th gen console" what exactly does that mean? What about Microsoft's console? Is it a 4th gen console? If so can you name it's predecessors? It doesn't stack up.

For example;

"4th gen dynasty"
PS4, Xbox One.

That would make the "3rd gen dynasty"

PS3, Xbox 360

Then "2nd gen dynasty"

PS2, Xbox

What's the "1st gen dynasty"?

PS1, ???????

I didn't even mention Nintendo and Sega because they further blur his point. I don't care if it comes across as obnoxious, it's correct. Just because ignorance is "socially acceptable" to you doesn't mean it should be tolerated by everyone.

What if I flipped the script and said that Haswell was Intel's "1st generation Core" product? It's flat out wrong, but to people that didn't know Ivy/Sandy Bridge it would be "socially acceptable" because they don't know any better. Still doesn't make it right.

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j_j_montez

If we are in the 8th generation of gaming, which I agree with, in the grand scheme of things, how does that fit with Nintendo only making 6 consoles? Even counting the Japan/South Korea releases of the Color TV games, they would only be at 7. What I put to you is, accepting that we are in the 8th generation of consoles, means that you accept the generation counts continue, whether or not a company releases a console. If you agree with that, then it is okay to say we are in the 4th generation of current consoles, regardless of when Microsoft joined the party. The N64 came out to compete with the Playstation 1 and Sega Dreamcast. Since then, we have the Gamecube, Wii, and WiiU. This also works with your point about Haswell. It is the 4th generation following Nehalem, Sandy, and Ivy bridge. But if someone said 4th generation Intel chips in reference to Haswell, someone could correct them and say "What?!? Do you mean i386? We are in the 12th generation". It sounds ridiculous, but it's technically accurate, despite everyone referring to it as the 4th. Intel, of course, has the power organize their chips as they see fit, but since there is no central console deciding deity, the community of gamers get the call.

My point is if you knew what he was talking referring to, and if any person with basic console knowledge knew what he was referring to, then the act of correcting is moot, and a waste of your time. We are in the 4th generation of current (this dynasty) consoles.

As I mentioned, there are certain socially acceptable "mistakes" that while not accurate, convey sufficient information. Again stressing that since the "4th gen" wasn't the point of the comment, you could move past it. There are varying levels of wrong, some should be corrected, especially when they are a focal point of a comment or point of view, and others can be allowed to slide. Even when correcting, there are tactful ways of doing it, especially among friends/peers like the ones who read this site. If someone is trolling, by all means correct them in whatever tone you prefer.

Rereading your original "SNES" comment, I probably read it in a more condescending way than you intended. If that's the case, I apologize. Such mistakes occur when communicating without tone. If you did mean it in an heavy condescending way, I stand by my admonition for you to relax and take things easy.