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Build Guide

Great Intel Gaming Build

by ThoughtA




At this budget, we're running an Intel i5-7500. Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. The i5-7500 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.

Note: If you'd prefer to consider a similar build, but instead using an AMD Ryzen processor, be sure to check out our Great AMD Gaming Build Guide.


We're using a parametric filter to constantly select the best-priced motherboard while meeting selected criteria. In this case, we are filtering for B250 chipsets and 4 DDR4 DIMM slots for future expansion. The compatibility engine will filter out anything not compatible with the build. The motherboards are also capable of using the CPU's integrated GPU, in case you need to RMA your GPU or are waiting for a sale or upgrade.


Memory needs are slowly but constantly increasing, and we want to stay ahead of the curve. To this end we're using a parametric filter to choose a 16GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications at the best price. The filter will only select 2x8GB kits, allowing us to leave room for extra DIMMs for future expansion.


We're using parametric filters to incorporate an SSD with at least 500GB of space. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to add or remove capacity to your heart's desire.


In light of recent stock shortages due to the current cryptocurrency mining craze, we've updated the GPU to the more powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. It's one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1080 will provide a consistent 60fps on many demanding games like Battlefield 1 at Ultra at 1080p, and even 1440p for some games like Shadow of Mordor. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1080 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

When video card stock and availability normalizes again, we will make sure to update our guides as appropriate to reflect the change in the market.

To keep the noise and temperatures down, 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. Note that smaller cards will be louder or hotter - or both.


The build will be housed in the Cooler Master MasterBox 5 mid tower. The MasterBox 5 features 2 USB 3.0 front panel ports and has room for video cards of any length. It includes a PSU shroud to hide unsightly cables, plenty of bays for storage drives, and it has room for multiple radiators. There are also plenty of cable management holes.

If you're interested, there's also a black version of the case.


For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of well-reviewed semi or fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 336W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $179.89 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $179.89 Amazon Buy
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel B250
  • RAM Slots: 4 - 16
  • RAM Type: DDR4
$74.99 -$15.00 $1.99 $61.98 Newegg Buy
$15.00 mail-in rebate
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2400, DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$111.99 FREE $111.99 Newegg Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
$149.87 $149.87 OutletPC Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080
  • Length: 224mm - 403mm
$509.99 $4.99 $514.98 Newegg Buy
Free Solar Eclipse Shades w/ purchase, limited offer
Case $69.99 FREE $69.99 B&H Buy
Power Supply $69.90 -$20.00 $6.99 $56.89 Newegg Buy
$20.00 mail-in rebate
Base Total: $1166.62
Mail-in Rebates: -$35.00
Shipping: $13.97
Total: $1145.59
* 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:

mrmotley 3 points 1 month ago

Does anyone know what kind of monitor I would need to do this build and graphics card justice?

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 1 month ago

My personal top priority at this performance level would be to get a resolution of 2560x1440 or an ultrawide monitor, likely 3440x1440. Ultrawides are going to be more expensive, though. They're also not for everyone.

After that, I'd aim for an IPS panel (or similar) and higher refresh rate. The final spec I'd consider a primary goal would be adaptive sync (G-Sync in this case). If there isn't a monitor with those three items within your budget. it can be a tossup for which to sacrifice first. A lot of people are willing to go with a TN panel in exchange for a high refresh rate and/or adaptive sync. If you're going to be playing mostly very static-looking games like Civ 6, a higher refresh rate and adaptive sync won't really matter so much.

As with a lot of things with building, monitor preferences are a very personal thing. Some people want to go as high of a resolution as possible, others just want the highest frame rates they can possibly get, etc.

mrmotley 2 points 1 month ago

Thank you

Willseckel 1 point 1 month ago

A 4k resolution monitor would be good for this build and would give you good frames

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 1 month ago

For gaming, I wouldn't recommend a 4K screen for most people. People's preferences differ regarding frame rate and settings, but in my opinion, the real sweet spot right now is ultrawide 1440 or high refresh rate 2560x1440.

CarbonDioxide 1 point 1 month ago

1440p but 4k would also work if you prefer resolution over fps

Mr.Phil 3 points 6 days ago

In case you are wondering what kind of drop off in performance picking the Core i5 7500 & 7600 in the build would be versus the Core i7 7700, Linus actually compared the two processors using the GTX 1080 in his Ryzen 5 review.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbK0n5FjvhI). 4:40 is where he starts comparing FPS for various games. Using his data you can see a consistent decrease in performance of less than 10% when using the i5 7500 vs the i7 7700. Considering the 50% price difference the value isn't worth the performance. This build gets it exactly right.

Adlerps01 2 points 1 month ago

My first build. A few questions: Is the AMD version a better gaming computer? Is there a video that can help me put it together?
Any advice on WiFi card?

Thanks paul

CarbonDioxide 1 point 1 month ago

There are plenty of videos that will help you with putting a pc together, as for AMD vs INTEL they should both play games about the same

Catstronaut1 2 points 27 days ago

dang dude that sucks lol I just got the old graphics card that you recommended then the mining craze just stopped there

Catstronaut1 2 points 27 days ago

I just picked up the old graphics card that you recommended, Is it still compatible with this updated build? it was the gtx 1080 oc in the vent style with one fan

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 26 days ago

Yep! The changes are simply due to the parametric filter actively and constantly selecting the best-priced GTX 1080 that's currently available. As that changes, so does the selection.

GageGoesGravy 2 points 23 days ago

Right now i play on a laptop from like 2013 and get 60 fps in csgo with low settings. i dont really know much about pc parts and ive been a console player my whole life. the $1000 for a pc is a lot to me for just a gaming platform. could this run arma 3, rust, and survival games well? these types of games take a lot to run. All i see online is people with these crazy expensive pc's and i just dont really know the price range well at all; like does $1000 get me 80 fps on a game compared to $4000 gets me 200 fps. if im spending this much money on a gaming pc, it makes me feel better knowing what im getting from it. any links or videos that could help me get a better understanding of this?

pikafu 1 Build 2 points 19 days ago

It depends on what type of games you want to play. The GPU is usually the thing that matters the most to a game's performance, but there are some games that are CPU intensive too (such as Civ). So if you want to play games, you are paying mostly for the GPU. With some research, you don't need to spend more than low $1000s to play the most demanding games out there.

You will also want to make sure your CPU does not bottleneck your CPU - for example an i3 processor will bottleneck a GTX980 while playing a demanding game. As for PC vs. console gaming, the advantage of building a PC vs buying a console is that the PC will last you through multiple generations of console games, even if you pay more upfront. Plus, it will serve as your work computer. If you are looking to play a particular game, I would start by going to CYRI (can you run it) and checking out what GPU/CPU it recommends. On YouTube, Linus Tech Tips and Hardware Canucks both have good videos on how to build a PC, from part selection to case specific tips. Hardware Canucks is more focused on the cases though.

Good luck with your research!

Link27 2 points 21 days ago

What would this rig run lets say battlefield 1 at. Just for reference. Thanks for any reply.

Fu210n 1 point 19 days ago

Should be able to do high/ultra settings at 1440p without trouble

Link27 1 point 19 days ago

Thank you

freex 2 points 15 days ago

What about an operating system?

TheDude33 2 points 15 days ago

If you're planning on using Windows on this PC, consider doing a search around on Amazon. You can find different versions of windows 10 for around $100 (USD) on a USB dongle, with the OEM version being at around $90 (USD). OEM versions means you can only ever install and reinstall it on one PC, and cannot transfer it to a new PC if you plan to change your PC later, while the regular version will allow you to uninstall on the old PC and then install it on your new PC. Hope this helps.

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philip staff 10 Builds 2 points 6 days ago

The sale of those keys violate Microsoft ToS, and the keys may be unexpectedly disabled. Recommending, suggesting, advising, encouraging, hinting, or in any way implying these keys as a solution or option is not allowed on this site.

Jbj5000 2 Builds 1 point 6 days ago

Oh, my apologies I did not know.

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jdxmoore 2 points 14 days ago

Would this be suitable as a games development PC? Looking for something that I can play and develop games on using Unreal Engine 4 and Unity


TheDude33 1 point 6 days ago

For heavy workloads of multitasking, you'll probably want to go with those cheap 8-core Ryzen cpus, since those can run at high clock speeds and gives you more productivity for the cost value, which are even approaching workstation multitasking performances. And also, Ryzens are said to be on par with i5s and i7s for playing games in benchmark tests. This build is meant for cost value and stability for great gaming, and not meant to be overclocked or used as a workstation, which might be something you want to consider, if you're using development tools like editing software, i.e. programs that function best with high speed multicores.

Baumholder 2 points 11 days ago

I am a computer noob, do i need to get a wifi chip or something for this build. Also isn't there suppose to be a sound card and eh video card is a sound card i thought there was also a graphics card needed too?

TheDude33 1 point 6 days ago

It depends on which motherboard you choose. Some have built in wifi support, while others have upgrade slots for wifi support. This mobo doesn't have built in wifi, but it does have HD audio support built in, with a few different interfaces. I bought a different mobo, so I don't know much about it, but this will tell you all the specs: http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-B250-HD3-rev-10#sp

SuperMagicalRainbow 1 point 1 month ago

Will this computer be good enough to do a lot of photoshop and play tripple a games?

Inygms 1 point 1 month ago

More than enough

Inygms 1 point 1 month ago

Photoshop no problem, however I recommend going with the AMD Build instead, as the Ryzen CPU will be better. The GTX 1080 will play triple a games at high refresh rate 1440p or 60fps 4k.

veene 1 point 1 month ago

so the gtx 1080 turbo that it links to on amazon is $1500 + ... what's the big deal here?

CarbonDioxide 2 points 1 month ago

Everyone is buying up all the GPUs at the moment, give it a little bit and prices should go back down

noa.h.ossain 1 point 1 month ago

Does anyone know how loud this build is?

Kezah 1 point 1 month ago

Why Do i not see a cooler, i think im just missing something?

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 1 month ago

The CPU comes with a stock cooler.

Kezah 1 point 1 month ago

would it be better to purchase a cooler tho? just for that extra bit off cooling?

CarbonDioxide 1 point 1 month ago

It's not an overclock build so you should be fine with a stock CPU fan

Barki 1 point 1 month ago

Does it have to be that specific gtx1080? That one is out of stock, ive found a gtx 1080 turbo oc for slightly higer price, would this work? Im new to this obviously!

CarbonDioxide 1 point 1 month ago

Yeah it should work just fine, but if you want to OC you might want to invest in a 'k' series processor and a CPU cooler

Originity 1 point 1 month ago

I can't get the Asus Graphics card with a decent price, whats a better alternative with a +100$ for a replacement? Also is this Card a good replacement for it? https://pcpartpicker.com/product/63yxFT/evga-video-card-08gp46183

Thank you!

CarbonDioxide 2 points 1 month ago

If you can't wait a GTX 1070 is also a good card but, at the moment all the card manufacturers are being bought out of stock so prices are being raised, so by just waiting a while you should see prices start to drop back down, but If you have any near you, bestbuy or other PC hardware stores may have cards still at their regular prices

Bruno2022 1 point 1 month ago

This will be good to play gta v with mods? I'm trying to build a good desktop for gaming but I have no idea what parts I should pick :(

lol101 1 point 12 days ago

This will crush gta.

Retribution0 1 point 1 month ago

Created a similar build but switched the 1080 for a 1060 6 GB with a few other minor changes such as case and storage. also included monitor and just picked out a mouse and keyboard for the hell of it. everything is still up in the air, but essentially my goal is to be able to play games like ARK at high to very high graphics at least, with 60 frames 1080p. if you guys could check out my build and give me pointers that would be much appreciated, this is my first build and I dont have much knowledge on the subject. Thanks in advance. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/8vXFkT

Over9000GHz 1 point 1 month ago

Are case fans needed here or do they come with the case?

MrMcArtur 1 point 1 month ago

Is this compatible? has anyone actually built this and had it work?

Zephiro 1 point 1 month ago

How would double the ssd affect this build?

gleaf 1 point 29 days ago
rushingaming 1 point 28 days ago

ADATA is absolutely garbage and anyone who cheaps out and gets one will regret it. take it from personal experience.

deathbat6916 1 point 27 days ago

"Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urf_vwc3hmE 100% usage at high settings should tell you something. and before you cry "AWPTIMAZASHUN" or whatever solely based on what company released this, it's actually GOOD that games are coming out using more than 4 cores. an older example of a multithreaded game is Crysis 3.

TheBravados 1 point 26 days ago

Is there a wireless card you could recommend? Or is this build hard-wire only?

fallingPC 1 point 25 days ago

need suggestions. are the components i used good? for the cooler i would be using air cooler since i may not overclock the cpu. and i really need suggestions if i should stick with the mother board or switch it over with the rog ix hero


gyosko 1 point 25 days ago

Is the Intel Core i5-7600K worth the upgrade?(Like this https://pcpartpicker.com/list/RxTTf8 )

Also what's the difference beetween all the GTX 1080 that I find here?

GTX 1080 Aero 8g OC vs GTX 1080 Gaming X 8g for example, what does it change?

I don't care about 4k gaming, so what would be a good 1080p monitor for this build?

Mr.Phil 2 points 6 days ago

Performance difference is negligible between the 7500 and the 7600 in terms of games. If you are looking to do more thread reliant tasks (think of Cinebench and Y-Cruncher tests) then the 7600K is a way better value per performance vs the i5 7500 but also the i7 7700.

leoladoudou 2 Builds 1 point 18 days ago

Well, if you buy a 1080p monitor, this build is extremely overkill : the gtx 1080 if good enough for 4k gaming... Since it's already overkill, I don't hink going for the 7600k is a good idea, except if you think you need more power. For GPU, the cooler, some esthetic features as well as overclocking abilities change.

stalewind 1 Build 1 point 21 days ago

Normally I would disagree with matching the i5-7500 with the excellent 1080 as a mismatch. These days however the builder needs to go big or small as in the 1050Ti. So the1080 is the best bang for the buck.

Since the buyer needs to build up instead of in the middle of the field, The case should be improved to match the level of the graphics card. The board, CPU and storage keep the build more in middle so possibly the Thermaltake TG31. Fairly low cost with better aesthetics and airflow.

tmartinez27 1 point 21 days ago


panpakdijaras 1 point 14 days ago

Will this build work with UHD monitor, for example Samsung 24" UHD Monitor. The compatibility with the monitor will depend on the graphic cards right?

Clubonica 1 point 13 days ago

Any info on the noise level of this build?

Dreamprodm 1 point 12 days ago

I'd like a mobo with sli support, does the mobo have to have the chipset intel b250?

Baumholder 1 point 11 days ago

Does this case have room for a hard drive too?

TheDude33 1 point 6 days ago

More than enough room. You'll have a large portion of your case that is clear for several 2.5s and 3.5s

TheMacUser 1 point 6 days ago

I am looking in to buying this exact build but is it possible for you to Skype call me and help me in the building process and installing windows on it please. If the poster can't does anyone that is reading this can help me thank you I just don't want to mess up.

TheDude33 1 point 6 days ago

Hey Mac, my best advice is to look up on google or youtube tutorials for installing windows and for building a PC. I can understand and sympathies with you on starting from not knowing much at all about PCs, so I've gone on and found some tutorials for you to look at:

How-To Guide - Windows 10 - Clean Install - USB Thumb Drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uRT-bWE2EQ

How to Build a PC! Step-by-step https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhX0fOUYd8Q&t=1906s

Dawn_Chorus 1 point 1 day ago

Would this be a good setup for use with music production software as well? I have an external Scarlet 2i2 sound card. I would be running a DAW with a lot of VST's running simultaneously, which is maxing out the CPU on my current computer. I'm guessing anything that can run modern games in high settings could handle that no problem, correct?

swaziland78 1 point 1 day ago

should i Buy

Jturns31 0 points 7 days ago

that gpu will be bottle-necked by the CPU a lot

Mr.Phil 3 points 6 days ago

Naw it won't. Check out Linus's Ryzen 5 review-- in that video he ends up comparing the Core i7 and i5 when using the GTX 1080. Performance took a less than 10% hit in terms of FPS from games.

Other thread heavy tasks the i5 def lost out-- but in that case the Ryzen 5 would prob be better, and only slightly more expensive.

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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-7500 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Gigabyte - GA-B250-HD3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory 11W - 11W
Western Digital - Blue 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Turbo OC Video Card 45W - 180W
Total: 83W - 336W