In the $700 range, the gaming build really starts to get interesting for me. It’s amazing how much better the specifications on this machine are vs. one that you might purchase online at a major retailer. For $100 more we’re going to focus on upgrading our GPU, PSU, and case.
For CPU we’re sticking with the i3-2100 for our Intel build and with the AMD Phenom II X4 960T Processor. In fact, we probably won’t upgrade either of these until we’re in the price range of the Phenom II 1090T and the i5-2500. I feel that at this current price range getting your GPU upgraded is a bigger priority at this time.
For GPU we’re making a substantial upgrade to the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Superclocked 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 2DVI/Mini-HDMI SLI Ready Graphics Card, 01G-P3-1461-KR. At this price range Radeon fanboys or girls should look at the Radeon HD 6870.
Like our $500 and $600 build we got to 8GB of ram as fast as possible, but now we’ll hold out on this upgrade in favor of other priorities.
I’m still satisfied with our budget motherboard options with the GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ motherboard and the ASUS P8Z68-V LX.
It’s time to upgrade that small 250 GB one with the reasonably sized Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive, model WD5000AAKX. It’s third generation SATA and will be enough to hold a large amount of games.
Until we’re ready to upgrade to a blu-ray drive we’ll stick with the Asus 24xDVD±RW Serial ATA Internal OEM, model number DRW-24B1ST. We don’t see a reason to do otherwise.
It’s time to get a case worthy of this $700 build and one with a few more cooling options in place. We’re going with the Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1).
Nearly the rest of our budget is going to our power supply. It’s time for something reliable that will last us a long time. We’ve chosen the Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms – model number CMPSU-650TXV2. If you want to save some additional money here I also highly recommend the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply which usually has rebates from $15-30. Right now this modular up to 86% energy efficient PSU is available for only $50.
Ok that wraps up our $700 build. Overall this build should keep you running for a long time. If you can splurge and go for something like the Intel Core i5-2400, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so as that should definitely be the next place you look to upgrade.
Gaming PC Build Under $700 – 2012 Table Review
|AMD PC Gaming Build||Price / Deals||Intel PC Gaming Build||Price / Deals|
|CPU||AMD Phenom II X4 960T Processor, Black Edition, 3.0 4 Socket AM3 - HD96ZTWFGRBOX - 115||Intel Core i3-2100 Processor 3.1GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 - 125|
|GPU||SAPPHIRE AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 PCIE Graphics Card - 145 (after rebate)||EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 2DVI/Mini-HDMI SLI Ready Graphics Card, 01G-P3-1460-KR - 160 (after rebate)|
|Ram||Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 MHz PC3-10666 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 - $47||Same as AMD|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $100||ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 ATX Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2200 Intel Motherboard - 108|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX||Same as AMD|
|DVD±RW:||Asus 24xDVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x8x16x(DVD) 48x32x48x(CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST - 19||Same as AMD Build|
|Case||Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1)||Same as AMD Build|
|PSU||OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom||Either go with the Corsair model to the left or save yourself another $30 by going with the OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply which always has great rebates available.|