Best $700 Gaming PC Build 2013
PC gaming offers you the best visual gaming experience available. With a $700 budget you truly begin to realize just how good that experience can be. With enough money for a high-end graphics card and processor it's not only something that will give you good performance, but will also last a long time.
Below I'll give you a breakdown of what I'd choose if I had a budget of around $700. I'll also go through each component so you can have an idea of what alternative options are available.
As I've mentioned in my previous builds this is one of several posts I'm doing for builds in each price range. If you like this post, then reading these articles as well will give you a better idea of what's available.
Here's the breakdown of what the budget for your $700 gaming PC build should look like. I'll go through each component and options you have in more detail below.
700 Gaming PC Build Parts Breakdown
PC Gaming Processors in the $200 Range
In this price range you have some great CPU options. Those looking for maximum FPS should go with the Ivy Bridge i5-3570k or i5-3570 (if you don't plan on overclocking). Benchmarks show that for games in general it's the processor to beat.
That being said AMD has made great strides with its AMD FX-8350 Piledriver CPU. If you need a good workstation CPU or use a lot of threaded applications, then it's solid deal at just around $40 less than the i5-3570k. Here are some additional benchmarks for the FX-8350 - for Photoshop CS 6 it's about as good as it gets.
Haswell might be worth waiting for, but if it gives you a similar boost from the i5-2500k to the i5-3570k, then it won't be a huge difference. Expect to see it Late Quarter 2 or Quarter 3 of 2013.
Interactive Processor Poll
Which CPU is Best for Gaming in the $200 Range?See results without voting
Socket 1155 and AM3+ Motherboard Options Under $100
With a $100 set aside for our motherboard budget we can get a great motherboard that will have all the functionality you need. Those of you who go with the i5-3570k should strongly consider ASRock's Z77 PRO3 which is the Tom's Hardware recommendation for builds in the $800 range. It overclocks fairly well and comes with features you'd expect in boards with a 30% higher price tag.
Here's a brief look at it's technical specifications:
Details include 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, 4 x Sata 3Gb/s, support for dual channel memory up to 32 GB of DDR3 2700 OC, Intel Z77 Chipset, 1 PCI Express 3.0 x16, 1 at x 4 PCI Express 2.0 x16, Realtek ALC892 audio chipset, and 8 audio channels. The Rear Panel ports include 1 ps/2, 1 D-Sub, 1 HDMI, 4 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, and this board comes with a standard 3 year parts and labor warranty.
Here's what one verified owner said about it:
"I bought this item to upgrade my wife's computer. It was as described, easy to install and there were no problems. The best part is, it's still working great months later!"
For AMD builders you should be looking for an inexpensive AM3+ motherboard so you can use your additional cash for upgrades. I recommend the GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AM3+.
June 2013 Best PC Gaming Graphics Card for 200
In the $200 price range you have two really good options in the GTX 660 and the Radeon HD 7850. You'll get a little bit more performance out of the GTX 660, especially if you get the OC version, but it will cost you at least $20 more.
If you're an overclocker, then the HD 7850 will give you similar performance so it may be worth looking in to if you "speak the tweak".
Later this year we're also expecting GeForce's GTX 700 series which should provide marginal improvements at most price points. Some mobile series GPU have already been released and higher-end cards should come over time.
Graphics Card Poll
Which Graphics Card Would You Purchase for $200?See results without voting
PC Gaming Case
I fully admit to being a Cooler Master fan boy. It just seems like you get the easiest case to use with more features for less money. I'm not against using less expensive cases for budget builds, but in this price range I'll stick with CM.
Cases to compare in this price range:
Don't just take my word for it. I recommend you look at other popular cases in this price range like the Thermaltake V3, and Rosewill Challenger. For more picks and recommendations you can also take a look at my post on the best pc gaming case.
If power efficiency is important to you, then I highly recommend you go with an 80 Plus PSU with similar wattage for around $50. The Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Watt 80 Plus PSU comes to mind. You can also check out the OCZ ModXStream PSU which is modular, 80 Plus, and often comes on rebate.
Keep in mind that an 80 PLUS power supply should save you a significant amount of money over time if you're the type that has your PC on a lot. If you're a PC gamer like me, then you take PC time to the extreme.
When looking at ram be sure to price shop. You can generally save 10-20% by doing so
Go with the cheapest OD between Samsung, Asus, and Lite-on.
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