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PC Build Guide: $700 Gaming System on a Budget

crazyeyesreaper

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In our latest PC Build Guide, we take a look at delivering the best bang for the buck gaming PC we can at the $700 price point. No cutting corners, no compromises, this build will give users a jumping-off point for the best-possible performance without burning a hole in their wallet.

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Nice build! I didn't know the Ryzen 2600 hit $120...may have to check out microcenter and see their price
 

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For the same money i would rather Corsair Carbide 275R - Much better airflow.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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For the same money i would rather Corsair Carbide 275R - Much better airflow.
275R isnt a bad case by any means but its also about $20-30 more expensive so I would expect it to be "better" in some way considering the higher price tag.

That said this article will be updated periodically as new products launch and as prices change.
 
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For the same money i would rather Corsair Carbide 275R - Much better airflow.
Are you thinking of the 100r? Even when Amazon still had the 275r in stock it was at least $75
 
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Nice build! I didn't know the Ryzen 2600 hit $120...may have to check out microcenter and see their price
$115. And they're still offering the additional $30 off with select motherboards.

I like the build...mostly. I do think I'd push for the 16GB of RAM as best as I could, since, like you said, it's a fairly cheap upgrade but it brings significant performance improvements in some titles (BF multiplayer for example). But since we're now in $750 territory, I'd swap the 1660 to a 580 to drop it to $680. It's still a good 1080p machine but you won't be able to do 1440p like you would with the 1660. Admittedly it's a big compromise. The alternative would be looking for a used GPU.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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Are you thinking of the 100r? Even when Amazon still had the 275r in stock it was at least $75
Looking at various etailers its $80 vs the P300 being $60 so $20 more. There is also the fact the 275R while a good case in general i much like GN did not like the side panel mounting system with the Allen key bolts, chincy rubber grommets etc. But once built it was a sharp looking case for sure. But thats why i mentioned in the article case choice is very much up to the user. This configuration can be swapped around in many ways, shop other retailers might find a lower price, maybe deal with the Mail in rebates which are a pain, Maybe find a combo deal on Newegg, save enough $ here and there upgrades the memory to 16GB or get a nicer case, maybe add in an after market cooler etc etc.

That said discussion is good and thus why we encouraged people to do so on the forums or in the article comments. There is always deals to be found and this rig is not the end all be all solution.

PS rather than spend $20 more on the case I would opt to upgrade the ram to 16GB.
 
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PSU, Case and motherboard are good but somewhat surprisingly expensive considering the budget.
 
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For $700 today I think I'd say a 80+ Bronze is off the table... kind in wasting the basis of "efficiency" while pay up for a GTX 2060 Super!

For most holding to 1080p it's excellent if not truly overkill, while a good entry 1440p if the plan is to get a new panel, and probably another 8Gb.

For me I'd have to have 80+Gold like a EVGA 600 GD 100-GD-0600-V1 which could be had today for $60 working a rebate. While something like a GIGABYTE Radeon RX 590 for $180 at Egg today would provide as useful 1080p (5-6% less) and save 25%. That's $60 that can go toward a nice DDR4-3200 like Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) that $68 on Amazon and the total cost is like more like $650.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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For $700 today I think I'd say a 80+ Bronze is off the table... kind in wasting the basis of "efficiency" while pay up for a GTX 2060 Super!

For most holding to 1080p it's excellent if not truly overkill, while a good entry 1440p if the plan is to get a new panel, and probably another 8Gb.

For me I'd have to have 80+Gold like a EVGA 600 GD 100-GD-0600-V1 which could be had today for $60 working a rebate. While something like a GIGABYTE Radeon RX 590 for $180 at Egg today would provide as useful 1080p (5-6% less) and save 25%. That's $60 that can go toward a nice DDR4-3200 like Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) that $68 on Amazon and the total cost is like more like $650.
Higher efficiency is nice but the benefits depend more where you are. Where I am going from 80+ bronze to 80+ gold would save me $10 or so a year at 8 hours of heavy load per day.

But since your looking at a 590 its power consumption when gaming would negate the gains going from bronze to gold. So its a moot point.
 
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For me I'd have to have 80+Gold like a EVGA 600 GD 100-GD-0600-V1 which could be had today for $60 working a rebate. While something like a GIGABYTE Radeon RX 590 for $180 at Egg today would provide as useful 1080p (5-6% less) and save 25%. That's $60 that can go toward a nice DDR4-3200 like Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) that $68 on Amazon and the total cost is like more like $650.
You can actually get that PSU for the same $70. That's a reasonable swap, though the trade-off is with it no longer being a modular model. Worth it in my opinion but there's something to be said for ease-of-use. Like the OP though, I don't even take rebates into consideration when hardware shopping since they can be a pain in the rear and it's not guaranteed money back. Plus if I'm going to resell that hardware later (maybe not for a PSU but other parts), I now have a mangled box which may put off some buyers.
 
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This is a pretty difficult price point to build at. Lots of competition from pre-builts. Great components though. And decent upgrade path to 4600/ used 3600 down the line.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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You can actually get that PSU for the same $70. That's a reasonable swap, though the trade-off is with it no longer being a modular model. Worth it in my opinion but there's something to be said for ease-of-use. Like the OP though, I don't even take rebates into consideration when hardware shopping since they can be a pain in the rear and it's not guaranteed money back. Plus if I'm going to resell that hardware later (maybe not for a PSU but other parts), I now have a mangled box which may put off some buyers.
I went with ease of use, in this price range many cases have lack luster cable management, less cables means less issues. A better PSU is always nice but in this case you sacrifice ease of use for a better unit while getting a more power hungry GPU that then eats up any savings from the efficiency. Kinda makes things a wash at that point.

Hopefully AMD will launch of new entry to mid-range GPUs which if price competitive might change the landscape a bit at which point this article will get updated.
 
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.

For me I'd have to have 80+Gold like a EVGA 600 GD 100-GD-0600-V1 which could be had today for $60 working a rebate.
Cheapest I have seen it was $69 on the EVGA web store. You can get it on Newegg but you still have to shell out $76 with shipping and wait 6 weeks for a $15 MIR.
 
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this needs a $20 bump in budget for that extra 8Gb of ram something fierce.
 

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8gb is just a no go. One should drop something else a bit to get the 16gb if you really need it to be 700 dollar. You could easily get a second hand case or storage or save on the storage and go with a 500gb ssd or something, should be sufficient and is easily upgradable. With ram prices being this low, and 8gb being the bare minimum, cheaping out on ram is a really bad choice.

Everything else is ok pretty much.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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8gb is just a no go. One should drop something else a bit to get the 16gb if you really need it to be 700 dollar. You could easily get a second hand case or storage or save on the storage and go with a 500gb ssd or something, should be sufficient and is easily upgradable. With ram prices being this low, and 8gb being the bare minimum, cheaping out on ram is a really bad choice.

Everything else is ok pretty much.
Second hand availability means basing an article on used parts its a waste of time its all hypotheticals,

As for 8GB vs 16GB in gaming without a bunch of crap in the background there is very little to no difference. Now 8gb single stick vs 2x4GB thats a different story.

Multiple games tested, multiple reviews and articles written, it basically comes out as a wash, as long as its dual channel its okay... for now.

That said, as prices continue to settle, and black Friday deals loom closer it should be easy to squeeze 16 GB in at this price point.
 
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I'd recommend the Corsair 110Q case over the P300, it's cheaper and has better airflow plus you get sound isolation on 3 panels. It's quite nice sound foam they use too.

I'd also say the EVGA 500 or 600 GD 80 plus gold power supply is the better supply these days, only around $50. I paid $45 after rebate for my 700 watt variant and it is 80 plus gold not bronze. but even with no rebate the 600 watt GD variant 80 gold is cheaper than the one you have listed.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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I'd recommend the Corsair 110Q case over the P300, it's cheaper and has better airflow plus you get sound isolation on 3 panels. It's quite nice sound foam they use too.

I'd also say the EVGA 500 or 600 GD 80 plus gold power supply is the better supply these days, only around $50. I paid $45 after rebate for my 700 watt variant and it is 80 plus gold not bronze. but even with no rebate the 600 watt GD variant 80 gold is cheaper than the one you have listed.
Yup it is cheaper but not modular. Id take modular over the efficiency difference which basically amounts to peanuts. Won't argue on the quality side tho the EVGA has better internals but the Corsair isnt a bad unit by any stretch either.

Keep the suggestions coming!!!!
 
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As for 8GB vs 16GB in gaming without a bunch of crap in the background there is very little to no difference. Now 8gb single stick vs 2x4GB thats a different story.
In this scenario I would take the hit on the RAM (going 8GB rather then 16GB) rather then downgrading the GPU, CPU, case, PSU, etc., but I would actually go single stick for one reason. Upgrading the RAM to 16 GB becomes a simple process down the road. It should only be around a 3% decrease in performance going single stick.

Now if you have no desire to upgrade the RAM then obviously go dual channel 2x4GB.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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In this scenario I would take the hit on the RAM (going 8GB rather then 16GB) rather then downgrading the GPU, CPU, case, PSU, etc., but I would actually go single stick for one reason. Upgrading the RAM to 16 GB becomes a simple process down the road. It should only be around a 3% decrease in performance going single stick.

Now if you have no desire to upgrade the RAM then obviously go dual channel 2x4GB.
Depending on the title it can be a large issue, (seen it when testing Laptops) odd drops of 15-20% in certain games. Other games no issues. There is something to be said for the easy upgrade but I would just either bite the bullet spend $15-20 more personally but for the penny pinchers out there that 15-20% might matter in a game they play. Granted this is all a hypothetical and im just taking the feedback in while occassionaly playing devils advocate.

I got 2 more articles to write at other price points which will like this one be updated regularly. So did the hardest one first :toast: budget builds are always contentious but fun all the same.
 
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As a person gaming on 8GB of ram I can attest that it's enough for 1080p.
If 16GB is a must, I would rather downgrade the SSD to 512 and then buy more storage as time goes on, as it's easier to upgrade than ram.
 
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Nice build but 16GB of RAM is only $20 extra. There are $230 dual fan 1660 Supers, also that evga gd 500 PSU seems nice for $50 despite being non modular. Why opt for modular anyway when the case has PSU compartment where you can hide extra cables (it's only 2 cables too) and you don't have to worry about losing any of the them. That's $30 saved or $709 in total.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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Nice build but 16GB of RAM is only $20 extra. There are $230 dual fan 1660 Supers, also that evga gd 500 PSU seems nice for $50 despite being non modular. Why opt for modular anyway when the case has PSU compartment where you can hide extra cables (it's only 2 cables too) and you don't have to worry about losing any of the them. That's $30 saved or $709 in total.
Article was written 7 days ago. Prices change and part availability changes. Something to keep in mind.

As for the 1660 Supers, I have written this article 4-5 times complete already, due to the 1660 being replaced by the 1660 Super,certain versions going out of stock, other parts going out of stock, Mail-in-rebates influencing prices etc.

Its also not an article telling you that you MUST BUY THOSE PARTS. It is geared to give users a rough idea of what they should be looking at and to start as a jumping off point as no system is one size fits all. Thus getting the community engaged and actively looking at ways things can be improved.:toast:

as noted above by @ShurikN one could drop the capacity on the SSD to bump up to 16 GB of memory.

As for the EVGA GD500 havent seen any actual reviews of the unit thus far considering every manufacturer seems to have good and bad units. Even the Corsair unit is what I would consider passable / decent for an entry level build. That said, would something better be nice? definitely.

As for modularity who said anyone had to go with the Phanteks P300? article clearly states chassis is very much a personal choice, not all cases have ample cable routing. Modular is a must in those situations. Therefore fairly decent entry level unit with a solid warranty and modular cabling was selected.

When writing the article Amazon did not have the GD500 in stock or listed. It is a new unit for them (newegg has had it in stock for awhile at least). that said depending on the quality its a viable alternative and the article can and will be updated. However, i would prefer to see a proper review of its internals first.

Just because its 80 Plus Gold and has EVGA on it doesn't mean its good same goes for other major brands. But yeah if its a solid unit internally, Id gladly update the article with it.
 
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Just because its 80 Plus Gold and has EVGA on it doesn't mean its good same goes for other major brands. But yeah if its a solid unit internally, Id gladly update the article with it.
If it's the same ones they sold in China, looking by the SKU it does seem that way, then it's the FSP raider platform. Think Be Quiet Pure Power 10, maybe they upgraded the main cap from 85c to 105c so it can have a five year warranty.
 
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