PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
Without a budget it's difficult to recommend any parts.
Cough up a couple hundred dollars more if you want to make this happen. $300 of the current budget is gobbled up by two monitors and a chair. Pushing 144+ fps in cs:go for $500 is asking a bit much even for an older game.
It will work so long as the submitter can figure out how to adapt from molex to pci-e. Good thing the adapters are included because they'll need to use at least one of these. Too bad there's nothing left for an overclock, though, which these weak cores are sure to require at some point.
I vote for the second build because it does include everything necessary to justify owning that nice monitor :D
If you can afford it, also add the SSD drive from the first build. There's nothing wrong with the SSD in the second build list if money is tight though.
Thank you for the update. I've upvoted godzlegend's builds because they fit your criteria and budget.
If you would prefer a white/black theme build with quality components I'm sure it can be done but perhaps someone with a bit more experience with theme building on a budget could help you out from here.
You might also edit my part list and add the appropriate items from the other builds such as the processor. It's true that the XFX 1250 PSU is unecessary given the rest of my recommendations but nothing is stopping you from selecting a cheaper version with the exact same black/white appearance.
If you really want near-silence then don't pick an AIO liquid CPU cooler. With $100 to spend you could afford the best noctua cooler which includes quiet fans. For less than half that price you could purchase a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO with a quiet Scythe fan and premium quality thermal interface material.
I would also consider changing the power supply. Sure, it's nice to match brands but you are paying a hefty premium for a split-rail unit with a quiet fan.
Nice build and great advice.
The macho cooler is out of stock, though :D
The budget doesn't match the criteria. If you didn't notice, the submitter would prefer a white/black theme and though it may be possible to do this I was unable to do so with parts I was comfortable recommending given the generic "streaming" and "editing" references.
If I had more specific information about the intended use beyond gaming then perhaps a proper recommendation could be made but until then this is what I recommend. Overkill power supply and all.
Come back later before you buy to get better advice. Prices fluctuate and new parts are added often so you should make a list that will help you catch sales on the good hardware that you want.
I've put together this list which you can start with to edit and check often for good deals on the hardware you want. All you need to do is add a case and monitor.
While this list may not be the most expensive, I challenge the other builds in general performance. Instead of choosing the most expensive parts in every category, I opted to select those parts offering high performance to a greater majority of use-cases regardless of whether that be gaming or professional.
Not to mention the fact that there is room for both PC and console gaming. One is clearly "better" than the other but not at the same price point. Even if the PC is "superior" for the same price, it is pathetic compared to a gaming PC that costs just $100-$200 more.
That is the comparison you should be making when discussing PC gaming hardware is how does my gaming hardware compare to other PC gaming hardware.
For this budget, you should be looking at an Intel processor. I realize the value of overclocking the AMD processor but you picked an inadequate CPU cooler for this purpose and the power supply has little overclocking headroom left. You could make it work with that power supply though so long as you don't go too far with overclocking.
CS:GO and Gmod don't require a great deal of expensive hardware to play and to be honest you'd get more for your money by purchasing slightly older hardware previously owned. Having said that, you can get close to your budget but I couldn't do it without including mail-in rebates. There are, however, no hidden shipping charges and decent quality components all around with an excellent power supply. The case is low quality but is very good considering the price. The inside is painted black unlike most cases in this price range.
Once again, there is not enough in any sub $600 gaming budget for an R9 270x without sacrificing a great deal on quality for the entire build. Now, such a low budget and request for theme build is difficult but not impossible. I've picked out some parts which do fit the theme and also very much closer to the budget without any hidden shipping charges.
The only part which concerns me is the motherboard and whether or not that specific merchant moves enough volume to have boards with recent BIOS in stock.
I put together this nice college-boy gaming system that is very light and doesn't take up much space. I wouldn't usually recommend this for first-time builders but if you think you can work with smaller parts then have a look at this list:
I put together this part list for you and it includes everything except for the case. Pick any case you want.
If the case you pick will blow the budget or if there's not enough storage space, then let me know and I would be happy to help you make adjustments.
Yes, it is possible. Look for a used laptop with at least Core 2 Duo processor. Laptops come with everything you need for basic computing.
There is an "overclockable" "chip" in almost every price range but IMO it's not worth the hassle or the extra cost of an aftermarket CPU cooler. I do recommend the unlocked processors on occasion though the specific budget has little to do with it.
If you didn't require an operating system and all peripherals, then there would be enough in the budget to play those games. But you do. So there isn't.
Not to sound like a broken record but I bet you have a television set and for $500 you can purchase a nice video game console with some games.
Add a secondary storage drive later when/if necessary.
$1500 can buy a nice gaming system with all of the necessary peripherals. Spending more than that doesn't typically gain much more gaming performance but does allow for higher quality components and color-matched theme builds :D
This processor is compatible out of the box with any h97 or z97 board and some h81/b85 boards.
I'm not convinced either of those boards would open up enough in the budget for a better video card. The Krait board looks nice, though. If you can find a way to make it happen then do it :D
If you can manage another $100 for this gaming build then I highly recommend you make it happen. That would be enough for an i5 processor and mid-range video card with the added bonus that overclocking and upgrading the processor is no longer necessary.
With $500 to spend for a gaming system you'd get more gaming performance now with an AMD platform but $500 can also buy into a superior Intel gaming platform with the trade-off being less gaming performance in the short term but a guaranteed upgrade path....even if this path is created artificially by starting with an entry-level processor :D
This is a better gaming platform overall for the long haul if you want to upgrade to an unlocked Haswell refresh or Broadwell cpu. The motherboard is by no means a high-end enthusiast overclocking champion board but it's very good for the price and has far more options for overclocking than any non-Z motherboard I've seen. The case doesn't have a window but does have proper ventilation and does NOT have pop-out expansion slots. The XFX power supply is a very good quality unit and a great deal for the price. This should be plenty of headroom to accommodate a future processor and video card upgrade.
Even though the list below does include an inferior video card compared to the other builds, the base total is MUCH closer to your request for $500 even though I did go over the budget by ~$5. There actually isn't enough in the budget for the g3258 processor with H81 motherboard and 270x video card after factoring in the extra shipping charges. Besides, without knowing exactly which games you will play it is difficult to say whether or not a 260x will be inadequate for gaming with med/high settings and also whether or not a 270x would be enough in those cases where a 260x isn't. So maybe you will have to play on medium image quality for a while in some games. Maybe you can overclock the video card to play on high in other games. These are necessary adjustments to make regardless of system configuration.
I would remove the 1TB HDD, pick a cheaper kit of memory that still matches the theme, upgrade the SSD to an entry-level 240GB and keep the MSI GTX 970 Twin Frozr or, better yet, a Radeon R9 290X 4GB with EVGA 750w Bronze Semi Modular PSU for the same price. Then add a mechanical storage drive later.
It won't be nearly as much of an issue downsizing the motherboard if you stay with the full size fractal case. This should give you extra room to work with but even so this could be a serious challenge and I recommend watching video reviews for both the case and the cooler. Have an extra pair of hands nearby to help you install the cooler.
The motherboard I've recommended is not the cheapest option with integrated WiFi but you said you want quality so I won't budge on recommending a cheaper alternative but you may certainly choose to make the call. There are two Mini-ITX boards from Asrock and another from Gigabyte which cost less and they all seem to have the kinks worked out by now. I used to rag on the gigabyte board but enough recent owners have convinced me otherwise :D
This new list incorporates a 1TB 2.5" HDD which is typically used in a laptop or portable device but also meets your criteria for quiet. A full-size HDD with this feature will obviously cost more.
I've also removed the Shin-etsu thermal paste because you can use what is included with the CPU cooler. The difference between the two probably isn't worth paying extra for considering you aren't likely to overclock the CPU much in order to stay quiet.
I didn't forget the keyboard this time :D
I mean that if the monitor is bigger than 24" that I would prefer the screen resolution to be more than 1920x1080p.
Both of the BenQ monitors you are looking at have the same screen resolution and refresh rate but they have different size panels. One is 27" and the other is 24".
The 27" version would not look good to me due to the distance I sit from my monitor. At 27" size now I would prefer a 2560x1440p resolution.
I hope that helps you understand what I meant :D
I am so very sorry about leaving the keyboard out of the list. I usually don't forget the little details like that but I guess I just earned a downvote :D
Now about the memory you may enjoy a slight performance increase with two memory modules but this is not critical for gaming or even part-time photo editing. I decided a single module would be best due to the likelihood of upgrading in the near future. Same goes with the storage drive. You don't have to go and transfer every last image to the new system on the first day. The 240GB SSD drive surely won't be enough to hold everything but it should be plenty to get started with some editing apps, pictures and your games.
If storage space is critical AND you would prefer not to downgrade to the GTX 970 then I would recommend you forget about the SSD drive. Pick any mechanical storage drive you want because at this point in the game there is no point in splitting hairs over consumer drives with virtually no difference and you are taking a chance on any mechanical drive these days outside of enterprise/NAS drives. The only recommendation I make for this is that you choose something at least 1TB or larger and that you do NOT purchase any mechanical drives from Amazon without first checking the vendor's reputation and feedback on the specific drive you're looking at.
I have no experience with the integrated WiFi feature as I do not make use of such technology for any of my personal computers. In my experience there aren't many good choices for the consumer in regard to reliable WiFi devices but again if your use is not critical then there's no need to be concerned. So long as it works that should be good enough.
I would choose the first monitor. They are both very nice but personally I prefer a higher resolution for anything over 24".
Get the 980 if you want the 980. Chances are it will outlast the r9 290X and is technically the superior part except that it's not so much better as to make up for the price premium.
The rest of the build is set up such that upgrades over time should be easy. Add more memory and storage when needed and upgrade the video card as you go. The probability of a video card upgrade in the near future would be low due to the fact the GTX 980 is overkill for the resolutions you'll be playing at and so I would expect you to get years of use out of it unless any new games come along and change that.
I'm glad to hear everything is working well so far. You are wise to test everything outside of the case before installing but the real fun starts when the case shows up. Wait until you get the build finished and then consider adding to completed builds with pictures and a description.
Make sure you leave out the part about starting with the 400w EVGA power supply unless you want everyone to point and laugh at you :D
Sorry for the delay, but I needed time to consider carefully your monitor and other requirements. Before I get started on specific parts I'd like to mention that your monitor's factory specification for the refresh rate is given as 240Hz. This information is not relevant for your purposes today of choosing a video card. For optimal gaming performance with your monitor all you will require is 60 frames-per-second minimum. Some may say 60 FPS average, but it's all personal preference really.
The GeForce GTX 980 is more than you need but considering your request for a quiet system it's the obvious choice. Some of the Radeon R9 290X 4GB video cards could possibly meet your requirement for a quiet gaming system though now you must consider your system cooling and whether or not a case fan upgrade is necessary and also extra headroom in the power supply to keep it's fan in check. All these things considered I believe you should take the easier path since it's your first time building and go with the GTX 980.
Another major component that was changed is the motherboard. It has integrated WiFi among many other features which I won't go over as they are mostly irrelevant to gaming. If you don't think you'll ever make use of all these extra slots/features, then consider downsizing to a Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX system. They can be more difficult to build in for first timers so I don't want to recommend it considering the size of the aftermarket CPU cooler. Things get tight quick after the cooler is installed but not so with a full size board and case. The CPU cooler in the list below is regarded as one of the quietest in it's class which is to say that it's adequate for overclocking while not generating much noise. It costs a smidge more than the best-value Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO but you are paying extra for quiet and it's worth it.
You may notice that I've only included 8GB memory and this was necessary to stay within the budget. The fact is if you aren't doing any major editing then I think it's safe to say that adding another 8GB memory module some time down the road when you have more funds would be a good idea since it's such an easy upgrade to do with little inconvenience. The Crucial Ballistix Sport memory has been around since practically the beginning of DDR3 memory and not likely to disappear off the market any time soon. I'm confident you may obtain another stick of this memory in the future without the vendor slipping in a sneaky revision rendering compatibility to be less than optimal.....though don't hold me to it :D
The mechanical storage drive was also removed from the list for much the same reason as the memory. It's an easy upgrade to make later down the road when/if you actually need/want more storage space.
I changed the video card model to one which is not overclocked at the factory. This saves a bit on cost and you would be wise to start with reference clocks and noise permitting overclock the card yourself. Almost all video card vendors include software which makes it easy to temporarily overclock the video card from a slick interface installed on the operating system.
The power supply I recommend to you does cost a bit more than the EVGA 850W and perhaps I'm splitting hairs here but if it were my money and in this situation I would err on the side of caution and choose the Seasonic 750KM instead. In fact, if you would prefer an EVGA branded power supply in your quiet system they do have an 850w unit built by Seasonic but last I checked they cost more.
As you can see, the theme here with these recommendations is quiet. This was the motivation for most part changes other than the two which are easy to upgrade in the future. I did the best I could to get closer to your $1500 budget but was only able to do so after considering the $30 mail-in rebate. I hope you can use this list in some way to get closer to your final build :D
Now, I only have two questions:
What is your tax rate? I usually pay 7.5% tax for merchants in California, with few exceptions.
What monitor do you have or intend to purchase? If you don't know the specific model then just the screen resolution will be good enough but also the refresh rate could be useful information. Example: Acer 24" 1920x1080p 60Hz
I'm glad this is not final, because if you check the shipping cost for many of the parts, then you might be shocked. Just the case alone costs.....are you sitting down?...$18.82 shipped UPS ground to Northern California. You should hope that specific merchant has a promotion for free shipping on large orders but I did not find it if they do.
I, too, live in the great state of Northern California and it'd be no trouble at all to help you out with a new list if the additional charges will blow the budget :D
If you don't want to go all out on a monitor but still want something which is considered "gaming" material then look no further than the monitor I've already recommended. Anything less than that could hardly be considered worthy of the gaming label but instead would be considered nothing more than a standard monitor. There's nothing wrong with that though, because a gaming monitor is not a requirement for you to enjoy playing your games.
Generally speaking, you'd be better off with a GTX 980 if you're gaming at 1920x1080 resolution regardless of the specific refresh rate. Choose the r9 290x if you are playing at resolutions above 1920x1080. There will be those who argue that the r9 290x is the better choice regardless of resolution because they only see things in gaming performance-per-dollar and nothing more. You have witnessed it is possible to have both a GTX 980 and a gaming monitor in your budget. Whether or not you choose to spend your money wisely on a lesser monitor and r9 290x is totally your decision to make.
The most notable difference would be the included reference cooling solution. Second would be the reference PCB design. The argument for which is best continues. I happen to know that which is best is highly situational and so I won't say one way or the other because in this instance it does not matter which you choose unless SLI is in your future in which case I recommend the reference design.
Out of the box, the ACX 2.0 versions generate less noise and are great for those who prefer a single video card and also have plenty of case ventilation.
With your budget you should choose between a 1920x1080p144 TN gaming monitor or 2560x1440p60 IPS monitor. I say go for the gaming monitor or perhaps wait for the second wave of adaptive refresh displays in which case you should be looking at the Radeon R9 290X 4GB video card, not the GeForce GTX 980 4GB. Many part pickers would recommend waiting for the next wave of video cards as well but if you want to get gaming soon then don't wait. Either way it will cost you somewhere between $250-$500 (or more!) for a proper gaming monitor. The display you'll see in the part list below is currently on back order but still possible to get in line for the next batch. If you don't want to wait for 3-4 weeks then look at the other two similarly priced options from Acer or AOC.
This build is just under your budget and should be very close to accurate so long as taxes are not a part of the equation :D
Only eight merchants were used to assemble this list so if you edit the part list chances are the list will not be the same as that which is shown above.
Here is a build with parts actually available in Europe.
Well, most of them anyways :D
The monitor, keyboard and operating system were showing out of stock :(
You'll get better advice by asking for help again closer to the time you want to order parts. Meanwhile, I have put together a good starter list for you to check on the prices over time and make adjustments along the way. I've left out the case on purpose because you have plenty of time between now and before ordering to look at pictures, watch videos, read case reviews and then choose a case that you really like.
The part list I've put together for you is ready to accept virtually any case you choose to add and the rest of the parts will automatically change if necessary. For example, if you edit my part list and then add a Mini-ITX Tower case, then the motherboard will automatically change to the lowest price Mini-ITX form factor which meets the criteria so there is no need to be concerned about whether the parts will be compatible. If there are any known incompatibility issues then there will be a warning at the top and notes at the bottom of the list. Be aware that the system is not perfect and so you should always double-check manufacturer specifications to be sure everything fits.
With ~$750 budget you can easily afford an Intel Core i5 processor and AMD Radeon R9 285 or nVidia GeForce GTX 960 video card. The other part pickers were confused and thought you needed a monitor but from reading your comments it appears that you do not. That is great news if you don't need a monitor because now you can afford a proper gaming platform :D
Click on the link above and when the page loads look near the top right for a blue button labeled, "Edit part list" and then click it to get started. Don't forget to come back and start a topic in the "Part List Opinions Wanted" forum to get last minute advice before ordering.
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is considered the best value CPU cooler for overclocking.
I put together this list for you with the new information that you have decided to increase the budget slightly. I have downsized the build to Mini-ITX and removed the focus on overclocking the CPU by changing the motherboard but still included an aftermarket CPU cooler. This allows for a nice bump up to a mid-range video card and beefy power supply while still leaving room in the budget for the 256GB SSD and a nice case without LED fans or light strips :D
The user reviews agree with you...this time.
Too bad I've seen you on many occasions discount the user reviews when it's convenient.