If you can afford it, a 700 dollar gaming PC build is truly one of the best options out there for people who want epic performance without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a complete and total newbie to PC gaming, or someone with years of experience behind you, you’ve picked an awesome price point to start with – or upgrade to!
Over the course of the past several years, I’ve seen PC gaming surge in popularity. As a proud PC gaming geek myself, I see that as a very good thing. To make things easier for new and existing PC builders alike, I’ve spent days researching various parts to see what would make up the best build around $700 – and I’ve arrived at the part list included in this article!
If $700 is a bit too much for you to shell out right now, though, you may be better off with a 600 dollar gaming PC build instead – click that link and it’ll take you straight to the build I did for that price point. 🙂
Building a Gaming PC Vs. Buying A Pre-Built
Okay, so building a gaming PC is a fun and interesting process and all, but what’s the point? What exactly is the benefit in building your own versus buying one of the hundreds of pre-built, pre-tested machines on the market?
Well, bang for your buck.
Pre-built gaming PC companies almost always rip you off – I’m not exaggerating. I’ve spent weeks in the past just browsing online retailers, looking at the prices on some of these pre built rigs – and I’m absolutely blown away. Companies will often charge you up to $400 extra just for the “Convenience” of having them build the rig for you! That’s $400 you’re paying for no reason whatsoever. Even if the mark-up is only $150-$200, is it really worth it?
Building your own gaming PC (When a guide such as this one is followed) will always result in you getting more performance for your money. Custom builds, when optimized properly, will always be a better choice.
And, hey, you get to have fun and learn something along the way.
However, there are a couple things that will make your life a little easier, and I’ve listed them below for your convenience.
- A flashlight (For seeing into your case more easily)
- Needlenose pliers (For picking up dropped screws, and for maneuvering wires more easily)
- A screwdriver (For… You can probably guess)
- An anti-static wrist band (Completely optional, just prevents you from damaging components with built up static – touching a piece of metal before starting serves the same purpose)
All you need is a solid part list – that’s where I come in – and a guide to the physical process. That’s where the video below comes in! It’s the same video I (and thousands of other PC builders) used when I was getting started.
Naturally, not everybody learns things the same way. For some people, this video – no matter how awesome it might be – just won’t be enough. I totally get it. If you have any questions, comments, or just need a couple tips for building your rig, drop a comment below and I’ll respond ASAP!
Epic 700 Dollar Gaming PC Build For 2017
This $700 rig is designed specifically to run any game smoothly at 1080P and 60FPS – on high settings. With the exception of very poorly optimized games (Assassin’s Creed, I’m looking at you), it succeeds! Through extensive testing, I’ve decided the parts listed below are the absolute best you can possible get for the price range.
While this build itself won’t be running modern games on Ultra for years to come, you won’t have to upgrade nearly as many parts to stay competitive as you would with a $400 or $500 build. With this rig, you’re going to be entering the mid-range of gaming PC builds, which means excellent performance and medium longevity!
This rig should pretty easily be able to handle plenty of games at 1440P as well, though you may have to crank the settings down just a bit (Probably to Medium-High as opposed to High-Ultra).
The Part List
With the introductory stuff out of the way, let’s jump right into the best parts for a $700 gaming rig!
Corsair Carbide SPEC-01
Fantastic, cheap mid tower case with excellent cable management and airflow. Check It Out On Amazon
EVGA SuperNOVA 750 B1
Solid 750W power supply that will last for years – and it will support any future upgrades! Check It Out On Amazon
An excellent LGA 1151 motherboard that’s compatible with all of our other components, and will last for plenty of future upgrades. Check It Out On Amazon
MSI RX 480 (4GB GDDR5)
Insanely powerful mid-range GPU that will easily allow us to crank out maximum settings on most modern games with smooth FPS. Check It Out On Amazon
Intel Core i3 7100
Great hyper-threaded GPU with a 3.9GHz clock speed – this puppy will keep our system running fast! Check It Out On Amazon
Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 8GB
A fast, efficient 8GB DDR4 stick of memory. Not much else to say. 😛 Check It Out On Amazon
Western Digital 1TB 7200RPM
A simple – but reliable – 1TB hard drive for optimal storage on a mid-range budget. Check It Out On Amazon
While the parts listed above will be perfectly adequate for some serious gaming performance, there’s always room to optimize things a bit further. So, if your budget allows for it, I recommend checking out some of the stuff listed below to see if it fits your needs!
Just bear in mind, this stuff is absolutely not essential. You can live without it – it’s just there if you want to kick things up a notch.
Windows 10 64-bit
While Windows 10 is not absolutely essential to have a working PC (You can simply use Ubuntu to get started, which is a free distribution of the Linux OS – scroll down a bit for more details), it will give you the best experience all around. Newer games that come out are usually designed with Windows 10 in mind first, then other platforms after. Check The Current Price on Amazon
Let’s face it – optical/CD drives just ain’t as important now as they were 5 years ago. Everything you could possibly need for your PC can be downloaded online. But, if you still would like to have one, this is one of the best options out there. Check The Current Price on Amazon
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
Grabbing a solid state drive is one of the absolute best moves you can make in the long run. It will vastly improve load times in video games, as well as speed up normal PC operations (Including virus scans and the like) to a huge degree. The Samsung 850 EVO series is my favorite option for SSDs thus far. Check The Current Price on Amazon
About Your Operating System
Before discussing the build in broader terms and getting into recommended peripherals, I want to go over one important aspect of your build – your operating system. Obviously, a PC can’t run without one – the question is, which one do you get? The only major options here are Windows or Linux.
Windows is the obvious choice for anyone who is serious about PC gaming – even if you don’t get it right away, you’re going to want Windows 10 for maximum performance and game compatibility down the line. The interface is easy to use and familiar to probably well over 80% of the computer-using population, and it’s a powerful OS – it can do quite a lot.
With Windows, you’re basically guaranteed to access any new PC game without issues. I’ve never heard of anyone having a “compatibility issue” with a Windows 10 installation – not unless they were trying to play a particularly old game.
Windows 10 only has one thing holding it back, and that’s the price. I understand that Microsoft has to be profitable, but shelling out over $100 for an OS is pretty rough for most budget-conscious PC gamers. But them’s the breaks with quality products.
If you can’t quite afford to get a new copy (I don’t advocate for piracy – period) of Windows 10, there is one alternative – Linux.
I’m not going to describe what Linux is in detail here (You’ve probably heard of it before), but essentially it’s an open-source operating system that is available free of charge. Yep, you don’t have to pay a cent for anything. However, you sacrifice game compatibility to a degree – Linux isn’t compatible with every new game.
There’s also a pretty sweet workaround for that though, in the form of Wine, a compatibility software of sorts that allows you to run Windows programs on a Linux machine.
You can learn more about Ubuntu (Including how to get started with it) right here, on the official website. Anyway, that’s enough about operating systems – let’s get to the good stuff: the build details.
This $700 gaming PC build will last you for quite some time, and it will continue to outdo consoles for years to come. The performance for the price is absolutely off the charts! This $700 rig is similar in power to what you’d normally be spending upwards of $1000 on if you went the pre-built route. Yeah, pre built PCs are a rip-off.
By now, you know what this build is comprised of, but you don’t have any of the details on why I chose the parts that I did. Let’s rectify that now.
Naturally, the first choice you should be making with any build is what case you want to get. While you don’t necessarily need to settle on a specific case right away, it’s important to at least know what form factor you’re going to want – Micro ATX, Mini ITX or standard ATX.
This is important because it governs what motherboards you can get, and what CPU you’ll be able to grab. I went with the Corsair Carbide SPEC-01 because I’ve personally used (And loved) it for years. It looks fantastic, has excellent cooling (With plenty of room for extra fans), and numerous other things going for it.
Obviously, though, that’s not the end of it. Next up is the motherboard! Now, for really high-end gaming, some people get really picky about their motherboard. They want the maximum RAM capacity they can get, and all sorts of epic features that will have no real effect on actual PC gaming performance (in my experience).
All I personally care about when it comes to picking a motherboard is that it’s 100% compatible with the rest of our build. It needs to fit in our case, it needs to support the amount of RAM we want, and it needs to fit our CPU and GPU perfectly. IF it checks all those boxes, doesn’t cost too much and is reliable, I’m happy to pick it – and that’s why I chose the Gigabyte Z720P.
Obviously, price factors into the equation, too – I just don’t see the need to pick a $500 motherboard when you can spend $120 and get a perfectly fine motherboard that will last you through plenty of upgrades in the future. If you’re new to PC building, I say keep it simple.
The third major component I look at is the CPU. This is one of the most important components in any build. Having a solid CPU will prevent bottlenecking, which is essentially when your GPU is vastly outperforming your CPU and demanding more information than it can handle, resulting in nearly 100% CPU usage at times.
Having said that, the CPU isn’t as important in terms of pure gaming performance as the GPU, so you don’t have to go too crazy. Still, you’re going to want a CPU that won’t be obsolete a year from now, and the Intel i3 7100 fits the bill perfectly there.
The fourth important component is easily the most critical part in any gaming PC build – the video card (Or GPU for short). The GPU is what takes the information the CPU gives and renders everything. While gaming, the GPU is doing the lion’s share of the effort, so it’s absolutely essential that you get something that can handle the level of performance that you’re looking to get out of your rig. You can’t expect to buy a 6-year-old video card and get maximum FPS in the Witcher 3, for example.
While there’s a ton of comparisons and testing I do when choosing a video card, none of that matters for the purposes of this description. All that matters is that I picked the absolute best GPU you can possibly get for a $700 build. I took into consideration VRAM, clock speed, and actual gaming FPS and performance, and I arrived with the MSI RX 480 Armor, a phenomenal video card from AMD. It’ll crank out insane gaming performance at 1080P, and will even handle a bit of 1440P if you turn down the settings.
RAM (or memory) is another very important component, but for slightly different reasons. It doesn’t have a significant effect on gaming performance specifically, but it affects your ability to multitask and have multiple programs up at once. Naturally, this can be important for us PC gamers who frequently open websites like Reddit, YouTube, Twitch, etc. while a game or match loads, or during short breaks.
The higher the RAM capacity the better, but for the sake of our budget, I’ve decided to stick with an 8GB, DDR4 kit. Although, down the line it would be ideal to stick an extra 8GB in there if your budget permits.
Almost done! The second-to-last important component for this build is the storage. There really wasn’t much choice here, as a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive is basically the standard. I only chose Western Digital because it’s the brand I have the most experience with, and it’s always been more reliable than, say, Seagate. If you want to opt for an SSD as well, check out the one included above in the optional components section!
To finish the build overview off, I’ll quickly discuss the PSU. The Power Supply Unit is what gives your computer its power (literally). The only thing that matters here is that you pick a PSU that has enough wattage to support your parts, and that you pick a trustworthy brand with a great warranty. The EVGA 750 B1 is perfect for both of those areas.
In addition to the build itself, there’s a few things you’ll need to actually play your games and use your PC – peripherals! You’ll need a headset (or speakers), a decent monitor and a mouse & keyboard. If you already have these, you’re good to go – if not, here are a few recommendations. I’ve tested these extensively myself, so rest assured they’re all solid options.
This is a fantastic 144Hz monitor that won’t break the bank, coming in at well under $200. It has a 1080P resolution, a 1ms response time, and a 24″ screen – it’s perfect for any mid-range build. Check The Current Price on Amazon
Formerly known as the Sentey GS4731, the identical Etekcity H7PX+ is a phenomenal budget headset. It’s extremely comfortable (I’ve used it for months, trust me), it has excellent sound and mic quality, and did I mention it’s stupidly comfortable? Check The Current Price on Amazon
Cooler Master Devastator II
I’ve been recommending this awesome mouse/keyboard combo for over a year now. The backlighting is great, the mouse is comfortable to use, and both peripherals feel very high-quality for the price – which is just under $30 for both. Check The Current Price on Amazon
Netgear AC1200 Wi-Fi Adapter
If you’re not using a wired connection (Which I recommend, by the way), you’re going to have to find a solid Wi-Fi adapter to use instead. There’s hundreds of options out there, but the AC1200 has lasted me for years now, so it’s the one I recommend. Check The Current Price on Amazon
The final peripheral you might consider grabbing is a mousepad. The Steelseries QCK is one of the highest-rated options on Amazon, but it really won’t make much of a difference for gaming. Just get whatever you want! Check The Current Price on Amazon
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already started the process of building your own rig – if so, congratulations are in order! This 700 dollar gaming PC build is definitely going to be the one of the best ways to hop right into mid-high end PC gaming without shelling out upwards of $1000. Building your own PC will save you a ton of money compared to buying a gaming laptop or a pre built rig, too!
Good luck, and enjoy your new rig! Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you might have – just drop ’em in the comments, and I’ll respond right away.
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