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Build Guide

Great Gaming Build

by ThoughtA

5
21 Comments
NOTE: A more recent version of this guide is available here.

Description

CPU

At this budget, we're running an Intel i5-6500. Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. The i5-6500 includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary. Since we aren't overclocking our CPU, the stock cooler will be sufficient in keeping temperatures acceptable.

Motherboard

Our motherboard is a parametric selection from a sparse set of options. All six of the potential motherboards share similar features and will work perfectly for the build. They all have 2 extra DIMM slots for future memory expansion, and they all fit the black and white theme of this build.

Memory

Since memory continues to come down in cost, we can comfortably fit 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which should provide some nice memory headroom. We're using a parametric filter to choose a 16GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications at the best price, while also filtering for a kit that fits our theme of black and white.

Storage

We're use parametric filters to incorporate an SSD with at least 480GB of space and a minimum of 2TB 7200RPM mechanical storage. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to change those capacities to your heart's desire.

GPU

For our GPU, the newly released Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1070 will provide a consistent 60fps on many demanding games like Battlefield 4 (and hopefully the upcoming Battlefield 1) at Ultra at 1080p, and even 1440p for some games like Shadow of Mordor. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1070 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

We've updated the filter to include a minimum length to avoid "mini" versions of the card, which prioritize fitting into small builds, such as an ITX case. You can choose to use this filter instead, if you want to include the smaller cards for any reason.

Case

We're rounding out our black and white build with a white Phanteks Eclipse P400S. This is the "silent" version of the P400, and it includes sound-dampening foam accordingly. The mid tower P400S features a nice PSU shroud to keep the build looking clean. Outside the PSU shroud, we also have plenty of cable managing holes, along with drive mounts on the walls of the case. We also have 2 USB 3.0 ports on the front panel.

The P400S also includes a multicolored LED on the front of the case. You have 8 choices of color, or you can turn it off. Additionally, there is an included fan controller for up to two chassis fans.

Note that this case does not have a 5.25" bay, so traditional optical drives are out. You do not need an optical drive to install an OS or most software. Downloading and flash drives will take care of the bulk of those. If you want an optical drive, you can either purchase an external one, or you can add an internal optical drive to your PCPartPicker list, and our compatibility filter will show only cases that can fit it.

If you'd like to keep with the theme but don't like the white, there's a black version and a gray version. There are also non-windowed options on the site, if you'd prefer that. If you don't want sound-dampening foam, there are non-silent editions on the site as well. Cases tend to be highly personal choices, so make sure you browse our listed cases to see what suits you.

PSU

For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of a five well-reviewed semi or fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Bronze certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build. With the PSU shroud in the case, we don't need to worry about the colors of the PSU matching the theme.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 346W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $189.69 $189.69 SuperBiiz Buy
Motherboard $75.99 -$10.00 $2.99 $68.98 Newegg Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
  • Color: Black, Black/Silver, Black/White, White
$121.99 FREE $121.99 Newegg Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 480GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 2.5"
$139.99 $139.99 SuperBiiz Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 2TB - 10TB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$59.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $59.99 Amazon Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070
  • Length: 224mm - 403mm
$469.99 $4.99 $474.98 Newegg Buy
Case $84.99 $5.99 $90.98 Newegg Buy
Power Supply $56.99 $56.99 SuperBiiz Buy
Base Total: $1199.62
Mail-in Rebates: -$10.00
Shipping: $13.97
Total: $1203.59
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Comments Sorted by:

spitfire131 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

What results are you getting with this build?

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Probably very good results, with a 1070. At 1440p, this build can crush most games (60 FPS +) at the highest settings.

For example, with an i5 and a 1070, at the highest settings, I can get anywhere from 210 FPS+ on games like Rocket League to 70-80 FPS on games like Cities : Skylines at 1440p

I would change that SSD, though.

thomasmb1218 0 points 7 months ago

max setting on every game, even ultra settings and like 10x-MSAA and it will get like 4 fps

StarBlazer457 1 point 7 months ago

That CPU is underestimated. It may not be the best, but it's still a very good one.

Damone8 1 point 7 months ago

I have been ordering similar parts and want to make sure what I have all work. Gigabyte LGA1151 Intel B150 Micro ATX DDR4 Motherboard, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Memory Kit Model F4-2400C15D-16GRR, along with the CPU listed for this build. Just a confirmation that these all will be good is reassuring, thanks!

jspellman0702 1 point 7 months ago

Just noticed that there is no heat sink for the CPU listed.

Koshee 1 point 7 months ago

Because the i5-6500 comes with an included stock cooler.

thomasmb1218 1 point 7 months ago

all i will say is get a 6600K, 30 dollers more is well worth it

DouglasStory 1 point 7 months ago

I notice that a wi-fi gadget is not listed here. Is this perhaps included with the motherboard?

Retrrro 1 point 7 months ago

Is there anything you could change to make the build cheaper but still run the same results?

Drearo -1 points 7 months ago

Mi friends think this build is nyc. What is this mushkin ram u speak of? That case looks like toilet, from where in china can I get this power supply for cheaper?

androiddude7 2 points 7 months ago

Just go to the factory they make those in since you're in China already.

Drearo 1 point 7 months ago

AMERICAAAAA.

androiddude7 1 point 7 months ago

Yup, America forever! Christmas spirit is really over the top in Seattle it's hilarious.

WirelessCables 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

That case looks like toilet

You must have a very nice house if your toilets look like a P400s.

StarBlazer457 1 point 7 months ago

You must have a very nice house if your toilets look like a P400s.

Right!? I think that case is beautiful!

WirelessCables 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

I agree! The only things I would change is :

  1. Rake the front a little more.

  2. Make the window look like it goes to the back of the case. So, make the window itself a bit longer, but have a glossy black strip on the left bezel that kinda looks like part of the window.

StarBlazer457 1 point 7 months ago

Yes, that would be amazing. I would love to have one of those cases.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Phanteks ECLIPSE P400s EVOLV, anyone?

Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Asus - B150M-A/M.2 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 15W - 60W
G.Skill - Flare X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory 11W - 11W
SK hynix - SL308 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Hitachi - Ultrastar 7K3000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
EVGA - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB SC Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card 45W - 180W
Total: 85W - 346W