This build proves that you don’t have to spend enormous amount of money to get a very capable gaming PC. For just $700, you can put together a powerful and reliable machine capable of playing the latest games now and for years to come.
In this article we’ll provide you with the parts list that will construct a formidable gaming PC which has been custom-optimized for the $700 price range.
The parts we recommend are not only chosen to provide you with optimal performance but also outstanding reliability. Remember, it’s not worth saving $5 on your HDD if it dies every 6 months!
We’ll also touch on optional extras and give a run-down on the upgradeability of the recommended hardware, so you’re all set for now as well as the future.
If you’re interested in this gaming build, be sure to read our commentary on the individual parts below and why we think each of these is a good fit in this build. You can always swap out individual parts if you feel more partial to a particular brand or hardware component.
If you like the idea of this level of performance but aren’t as confident when it comes to building it yourself, you might want to check out a great prebuilt system in the $700 price range that we would recommend. To find out more about this, check out our full CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A review here.
Last Updated: May 2017
|Graphics Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Superclocked Version||Check on Amazon|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7500||Check on Amazon|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB||Check on Amazon|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H||Check on Amazon|
|Storage||120GB SanDisk Plus||Check on Amazon|
|Storage||1TB Western Digital Blue HDD||Check on Amazon|
|Case||Thermaltake Commander MS-I Snow Edition||Check on Amazon|
|Power Supply||EVGA 500 W1||Check on Amazon|
|Buy this system on Amazon »|
Obviously one of the most important parts in terms of performance for a gaming system is the Graphics card. We have chosen the GTX 1060 for this build. EVGA have kitted this superclocked version out with their own cooling system as well as a slight factory overclock.
The cooling on this card consists of a singular dual ball bearing fan with a copper core heatpipe to ensure the card runs cool. The card itself is small but packs a big punch when it comes to performance.
As part of Nvidia’s latest 1000 generation means it can take advantage of the latest graphics card technology, including:
For this build, we’ve chosen the Intel i5-7500. This is a quad core CPU based on the latest Kaby Lake architecture with a base speed of 3.4GHz and an Intel Turbo Boost speed of 3.8Ghz. The higher clock speed and 4 cores means this CPU is more than capable of serving the requests of modern games. These i5 processors are widely used by system builders for their performance and value for money.
The motherboard we’ve gone with in this build only supports DDR4 RAM, so we’ve gone with the Corsair Vengence 2x4GB stick. The benefit of DDR4 is that you’ll get similar performance to DDR3 RAM but with a slightly lower power consumption, which also means less heat inside your case. DDR4 also offers a higher clock speed for a comparatively lower price.
While the latency and speed of memory has previously not been particularly important in a budget gaming build, we’re starting to see some benefits with the latest generation of CPUs. We’ve chosen to recommend matching pairs of RAM in this build to take advantage of the extra speed from dual channel memory. Since the motherboard in this build has 4 RAM slots there’s still room for expansion.
We’ve chosen the Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H motherboard in this build due it it’s low price point, but it’s also very reliable and has a solid feature set.
This motherboard provides the basic connectivity you’ll need to support all of your components in this build, and is compatible with both 6th (Skylake) and 7th generation (Kaby Lake) processors. It also has a super easy to use UEFI BIOS. In fact, it includes dual BIOS support which means you have a backup BIOS if anything goes wrong with the first.
We definitely wanted to be able to squeeze in a SSD into this build, even if it’s only a small one. In this build we sacrificed a little more budget towards the GTX 1060 graphics card, but there was still enough left over for us to be able to fit in a SanDisk SSD Plus 120GB solid state drive. We originally chose the 120GB Kingston HyperX Fury SSD which we’ve previously reviewed but due to Kingston’s product line up and prices changing we’ve swapped it out in favour of the SanDisk. This price range of SSDs may not include the fastest or latest tech out there but if you are coming from a normal hard drive, they are still insanely quick in comparison.
While 120GB is probably not enough storage space to fit all your games and data, the most effective use of this SSD would be to install your operating system and potentially one or two of your most used games on this drive, and enjoy the super-quick load times during general computer use.
We’ve also chosen a 1TB Western Digital Blue SATA hard disk. This will act as a place to store all of your extra files and programs which may not require the performance of the Samsung SSD. When it comes to regular hard drives, these Western Digital Blues have basically become the standard choice for system builders everywhere and with good reason.
Even if you choose to run games of this hard disk, you’ll still see great performance. See our SSD section for more information about HDD / SSD in gaming systems!
If you want to further customize the look of your case, check out our post on case lighting kits for some ideas.
Finally, to power all of your gear we’ve included an EVGA 500W power supply. This offers plenty of power for your new system with enough capacity to support future additions and other extras.
In our budget builds we typically don’t include optical drives – e.g. DVD / BluRay drives. These days, many people install their operating system (usually Windows) via a USB drive and games via digital download (e.g. Steam). We have a guide up in our blog here showing how. If you’d rather use an optical drive or just find them handy to have we’ve included an option below which will suit most builds.
Blu-Ray – LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner
DVD – Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive
Case Fans – Cooler Master SickleFlow 120
Add some extra airflow to your case, especially if you live in a hot area. These Cooler Master fans are a good balance between airflow, noise and price. They also come in a choice of several colors so try to match any other lighting you may want to add to your case.