PC gaming is an interesting hobby to take on to, but for some this hobby turns into a passion to a point that they start personifying their PC. Needless to say, PC gaming is also something that can get really expensive, most people end up spending thousands of dollars to get their dream PCs. However, those with lower budgets are often found in the depth of despair simply because their PCs are not enough.
Considering how most gaming PCs go under $1,200 to give you proper gaming; we have narrowed down the list of components that you can use to create a gaming PC that will quench your gaming thirst. The components we picked are optimal for your budget and they are the best you can buy in that range. In order to keep the list unbiased, we will be adding components from both Nvidia/AMD and Intel/AMD so you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Note: The prices of these components may vary from retailer to retailer. You should also keep in mind that this excludes other peripherals like; keyboard, mouse, displays, optical drives and additional case fans.
Processor is obviously the integral part of any PC; without it the PC wouldn’t simply work. Processors these days are getting modernised and are relatively smaller in size as compared to what used to be in the older days. In a total budget of $1,200, you can buy a process that will be ample for your gaming PC and will also provide you the ability to overclock. If you are willing to go with Intel, you can buy Intel’s Core i5 4690K that retails for $236 and if you are willing to go for AMD, you can go for AMD FX 9590 that retails for $232.
Both these processors come with unlocked multiplier and have a lot of potential for overclocking, however, the FX 9590 is slightly better in overclocking and some other tests.
Of course you are spending money to buy unlocked processors, you are going to overclock your processor in near future or maybe right away. Overclocking means increasing the factory set speed to gain more performance, considering how overclocking has an effect on temperature and stability of the system, it is advised to overclock your processor only when you are using a cooler with it. The selected cooler in this range is Noctua NH-U12S 55.0 CFM that retails for $65 and offers great cooling for the price.
We will be picking 2 motherboards here since this guide is for both Intel and AMD users. For Intel users, the suggested motherboard is Asus H97 Pro Gamer (the bios can be updated to support overclocking on K series processors) the motherboard retails at $129. For those who are opting for AMD built, the motherboard is Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 that also retails for $129.
Since we are making a gaming PC, we should be using gaming memory as compared to the ordinary ones. The memory module we have decided to pick is G.Skill RipjawsX. The 8 gig single module costs around $56 and if you are willing to go for 2x4GB module, you can get that for $58.
Obviously, a gaming PC would need an ample amount of storage, you can’t just install a hard drive with inefficient storage space. Since the gamers are also having an argument over Western Digital and Seagate, we are going to add hard drives from both companies. The Seagate Barracuda 1TB costs $46, and Western Digital Caviar Blue costs around $50.
A gaming PC needs a graphics card considering how gaming without a graphics card is impossible. There is a wide array of graphic cards available in the market but considering the budget, we are going to pick the best of the best that are available. Again; the two GPU companies are Nvidia and AMD and we will be suggesting you GPUs from both sides. Those who want to opt for a Nvidia GPU, Gigabyte’s GTX 970 G1 Gaming retails for around $350 and for those who want AMD, the MSI Radeon R9 390 retails for around $330.
Chassis is something considered a one time upgrade, if you are going to make a making PC, you will be needing a chassis that has a good airflow, supports GPUs that are longer in length, and has a good cable management system. Considering the budget, the best case you can buy in this budget is Cooler Master’s N500. The case comes with a stylish side-window, 2 USB 3.0 on the front, the support for up to 6 fans and water cooling on top. The case retails for $70-75.
We are going to end this list by adding a PSU (Power Supply Unit). Considering how you are running a powerhouse that almost took $1,200 to build, you are going to need a power supply good enough to handle all the components, keeping all the aspects in mind, we are going to suggest Corsair RM650w 80+ Gold. The PSU is really good for high end rigs on budget and is fully modular, not to mention that it comes with 80+ gold certification so you won’t have to worry much about falling short.