NCIX has kindly put together a bundle including most of the parts used in this guide, as built on our recent live stream. The bundle should be available through the June 25, 2016 on both NCIX Canada and NCIX US.
Our CPU of choice for this budget is the i3-6100. While it features only two cores, the 6100 also employs hyperthreading to help close the gap between it and a 4-core i5. Hyperthreading adds an additional logical core for each physical core, which is handy for streaming, video editing, and multi-tasking CPU-intensive tasks.
We're using the Gigabyte GA-H110M-A as our motherboard. This motherboard supports up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, four SATA 6 GB/s devices, and it has an extra DIMM slot if we ever want to increase our total memory. We're using a parametric filter to choose the best priced 1x8GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications while leaving an open DIMM slot for a potential memory increase down the road. Here, we're prioritizing the future expandability of using 1x8GB stick of RAM over the limited benefit dual channel would provide in gaming via 2x4GB sticks. Additionally, we're using a parametric filter to select the best priced 2TB 7200 RPM mechanical hard drive. For a similar price, a 240-256GB SSD could be swapped out.
In this budget build, we manage to squeeze in an AMD R9 380X. This is a very powerful GPU for our budget, and with it, we can game at 1080p admirably.
The Corsair Carbide SPEC-M2 is a mini tower case that can fit all of our components. It offers decent cable management, which can sometimes be a problem at our budget, and there's room to expand with hard drives or a solid state drive. It also has 1 front panel USB 3.0 port and 1 front panel USB 2.0 port. This mini tower case also won't take up as much space as a mid tower. There is also a deal right now for the SPEC-M2 where you can receive a free case fan with your purchase. At this budget level, case fans sometimes can be sparse, so the extra fan is helpful.
For the PSU, we're using a parametric selection of a few well-reviewed budget semi-modular units, which are all rated for good efficiency and can provide plenty of power for this build.
From parametric filter
From parametric filter
From parametric selection (show)
|Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor||6W - 51W|
|Gigabyte GA-H110M-A Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard||15W - 60W|
|Corsair 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory||5W - 5W|
|Hitachi Ultrastar 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive||4W - 20W|
|Gigabyte Radeon R9 380X 4GB WINDFORCE 2X Video Card||47W - 190W|
|Total:||77W - 326W|