Best Under $1500 Gaming PC Build 2013
Building a $1500 Gaming Computer 2013
I recently set out to build a gaming PC that met my needs and expectations. What were those? First of all an extremely fast PC that I could work with every single day. Since I do video editing and have multiple applications and monitors running at the same time it saves me time and therefore money each day to have a fast machine.
Gaming is a hobby of mine that I've purposefully let get a little out of control. I play graphically intense games like Battlefield 3 as well as some less intense ones like Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2. I wanted this machine to be the ideal Battlefield 4 rig while still allowing some of the functionality that for me needed to exist.
While the build below won't and can't cater to every type of builder out there, it can certainly help you take a step in the right direction in terms of what you want and should be looking for. Let's start with the processor.
My Video Review for Building this $1500 Gaming Computer
Processors for PC Gaming Under $350 2013
If you're strictly a gamer and want to spend as much as possible on your graphics card, then you ultimately should go with a processor like the i5-3570k. It gives you all the performance you need for around $220. If you don't plan on overclocking, then a processor like the i5-3470 can save you an additional $30 and still give you just about the same exact performance in the game.
The AMD FX-8350 may also be attractive in this price point for those looking for a heavily workstation oriented processor that still does a good job.
I opted for the i7-3770k mainly because of its hyper-threading capabilities. This additional performance helps me with everything I'm trying to accomplish outside of gaming. If it saves me ten minutes here and there over the time I own this computer, then it seems well worth the extra hundred. I keep it overclocked at right around 4.1GHz without a problem.
The video above is my YouTube channel where I review hardware and video games. If you check it out, then be sure to subscribe and let me know what you think!
Graphics Cards Under $300
I've set aside around $300 for the graphics card. If you chose one of the cheaper CPUs up there, then you could certainly dive into the high performance realm of a HD 7970 or GTX 670.
I personally didn't need quite that nice of a card so I went with a 3GB version of the super reliable GTX 660 TI. The HD 7950 is another really solid option here and may ultimately be the better performing option here if you're willing to overclock.
Those looking for a little more functionality out of this build may opt for a mid-range card like the GTX 660 or 7850 and put the additional $100 towards a larger capacity solid state drive, for example.
Gaming Motherboard Under $150
I like the under $150 price range for motherboards in most PC gaming builds. Anything above might get you additional functionality but not a ton of speed. Since I'm not trying to beat any benchmarking records I like the quality and reliability of a board like the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H. Overclocking enthusiasts should strongly consider the ASRock Extreme 4 in this same price range. Here's a Tom's Hardware article that backs up that particular theory.
Gaming Power Supply Under $80
For gaming rig power supplies I try to stick with a reputable, not cheap, brand that's 80 Plus certified and modular. For me this ended up being the OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 watt power supply.
While it doesn't have Japanese capacitors it comes with a great 3 year warranty and a 100,000 hour mean time before failure. If you don't want a PSU that's modular, then also consider the Corsair Builder series in this price range.
PC Gaming Case Under $80 w/ USB 3.0
For me cases are all about ease of use, airflow, and ultimately functionality. The case I chose was the Storm Enforcer. It fit all the needs I mentioned before plus had 2 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports in the front I/O. Cosmetically it had what I was looking for in a stylish front with a 200mm red LED fan and a windowed panel on the side.
Since I planned on using a 2.5" form factor solid state drive with this particular build it was also nice that this case has a 2.5" drive slot. No converter necessary. That being said it even came with a seprate 3.5" to 2.5" converter for those of you who have more than a few peripherals.
Alternatives to this case include the NZXT Guardian and the HAF 912. Both of these are solid options in the $60 price range. You could also consider upgrading to the HAF X full tower; however, expect to may as much as $70 more for it.
CPU Cooler for Overclocking Under $30 2013
If you keep up on the hardware market, then you know that the Hyper 212 EVO from Cooler Master gives you just about as good as performance as many other liquid and fan coolers in the $30 to $100 price range. It shouldn't be ignored as a way to lightly overclock your CPU while still maintaining your budget.
If you want to take overclocking a step further, then get something like the H100 from Corsair or build your own liquid cooling kit.
16 GB of Gaming Ram Under $100?
I was able to originally purchase 16GB of Corsair Vengeance ram for under $100. Recently, the price on ram has gone up 20 to 30%. My advice is to not worry too much about CAS and get 16GB of Ram from wherever you can find it the cheapest. The G.Skill Ripjaws series is one of my favorites if it's on sale.
Best Solid State Drive under $200
This is a first for me, but for this computer I decided to try and put everything on a solid state drive and then have any additional files be stored on my 2 TB USB 3.0 external hard drive. While this may be a stretch for some (you can always go for a WD RED 3TB HDD for the same price) for me it seemed like a way to get additional performance while keeping my data portable.
In the under $200 price range I feel like you should strongly consider the Samsung 840 and the Corsair M4. They seem to give you the best capacity and speed for the least amount of money.
I hardly use a DVDRW anymore with my steam account, origin account, and battle.net account. Go with something cheap and reliable here for $20 like an Asus, Samsung, or Lite-on model.
What Graphics Card Would You Have Chosen?
Which is the Best Graphics Card for this $1500 Gaming Rig?See results without voting
Parts List for this Under $1500 Gaming PC Build
The Hyper 212 EVO and NZXT Guardian could also be considered here.
Fastest motherboard on the market in its price range.
Find it on rebate and it's a great deal.
More than what we need, but what we all want.
A strong performer against any CPU cooler in the $30 to $100 price range.
Probably the best bang-for-your-buck SSD overall.
Find whatever is cheap and reliable.
Modular, decent warranty, and a great overall value.
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What's Your Perfect $1500 Gaming PC Build in 2013?
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