I'm just a small-time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.
Gaming PC Builds for November 2017
Hello everyone. Will here and today, I am going to be bringing you three gaming PC builds for everyone from a budget builder to one trying to get a decent gaming PC to those who are semi-enthusiasts. All of these are Intel builds for gaming only. You cannot beat Intel in performance versus price. So, let’s do this.
November 2017 Budget PC Build
Pentium G4560 Budget Build with Upgrade Potential
Our first build it isn’t a bad one for first time builders and those just getting into gaming. This system will definitely offer enough power to match console gaming. Now, with this build, I decided to give you an upgrade path to a more powerful system, which coincidentally, will be the midrange system in this group of builds. This system will be built on the Z270 chipset by Intel and will feature the Gigabyte GA-Z270P-D3 ATX motherboard. This board is currently available through Newegg for just $65 after mail-in rebate. This motherboard is a Z270 board and offers four slots for DDR4 memory in dual channel configuration clocked at 2133MHz to 3866MHz and a maximum of 64GB. The board does offer onboard video which is supported by pretty much all of the Intel processors and their integrated graphics. The Z270P-D3 motherboard has six SATAIII ports and onboard USB 3.0 headers. Crossfire is supported but not SLI.
At the heart of this build is Intel’s Pentium G4560 dual core processor which is finally getting back to near MSRP and can be obtained today for just under $80. The processor has two (2) cores and four (4) threads and 3MB of L3 cache. The processor operates at a locked 3.5GHz and supports up to 64GB of memory. Intel HD Graphics 610 integrated graphics are included in this processor and the processor pulls just 54 watts TDP. The Intel stock CPU cooler is included with the Pentium G4560.
For RAM, I have gone with the G. Skill Ripjaws V Series 2400MHz RAM. There are two (2) modules of 4GB each for a total of 8GB RAM. This allows you to have a dual channel configuration which has been shown by many to improve gaming performance. This RAM is overclockable and you should be able to get a decent overclock with the Gigabyte motherboard. For storage, I have gone with the timeless classic and gold standard for budget builds, the Western Digital Caviar Blue 7200RPM mechanical hard drive which offers 1TB of storage space.
To complete the build’s integral working parts, I have chose the Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2B, single fan graphics card. This card features a single fan and 2GB of GDDR5 video memory. The Zotac GTX 1050 operates at a 1.35GHz core clock and boosts to 1.46GHz. The card draws just 75 watts TDP so it does not need a dedicated PCI power supply. And at a length of just 5.71” you should have no issue fitting this card into just about any case. Speaking of case, I am going with the $25 Rosewill Nautilus ATX Mid Tower case. This is obviously a budget case but it is a nice case to show off your components as it has a clear side windowed panel. It features a single 5.25” bay, two (2) internal 2.5” bays, and three (3) internal 3.5” bays. This case supports a video card with a maximum length of 14.95 inches. Finally, to power this PC build and the rest of these PC builds is the Corsair CX550M, 80+ bronze certified, semi-modular power supply. Not much to say about this power supply except that it has plenty of power to power this build and future upgrades. It is from a reputable manufacture in Corsair and it’s 80+ bronze certified. This system can be had for just under $475 and is pretty good value, especially if you are just coming over from console gaming as this system will give a little better performance and visuals overall than a console gaming system such as the Playstation 4 or Xbox One.
Intel Core i5-7600K on Gigabyte Z270 Motherboard
Next, we move onto the entry level, mid range gaming PC. This PC, as with the above PC shares several parts such as the Corsair CX550M power supply, Gigabyte GA-Z270P-D3 ATX motherboard, G. Skill Ripjaws V series 8GB RAM, and the Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB hard disk drive. So, what’s different? Let’s take a look.
First, we start with the processor which is the Intel Core i5-7600K processor. This processors is a Kaby Lake series processor and sports a base clock of 3.8GHz with maximum turbo boost 4.2GHz. It is a four (4) core, four (4) thread processor and has 6MB of L3 cache. The 7600K draws 91 watts TDP and has onboard Intel HD Graphics 630. The main improvement with this processor outside of more physical cores and higher clock speed is that you can overclock this processor. These processors can reach 4.5GHz pretty consistently but can probably be pushed to 4.8GHz or so, especially with adequate cooling. So, with that in mind, I have decided to go with Corsair’s H60 all-in-one liquid CPU cooler which should provide that adequate cooling with its 54 CFM (amount of air flow the fan moves in a minute in cubic feet). This cooler a 120mm cooler with a single 120mm fan and should fit into most cases. The 120mm fan can operate up to a maximum of 2000RPM and is really quiet registering just 30.9dbA. In addition to the WD Caviar Blue HDD, I have added a SanDisk SSD Plus 240GB 2.5” drive as a boot drive. This is adequate space for an operating system like Windows 10 and also a few of your most used programs and/or games.
To give us better visual appearance of our games, I went with the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming 6GB video card. This GPU comes with 6GB of GDDR5 memory, has a core clock of 1.51GHz, and a boost clock of 1.71GHz. The card draws 120 watts TDP which means you now have to have a dedicated PCI power supply which is supplied through a 6-pin connector. With this card, you will be able to play just about any Triple A game on high settings with 60+ FPS. The case we will be using for this build is the Corsair Carbide 100R ATX Mid Tower case. This is a simplistic case with a budget price. It offers two (2) internal 5.35” drive bays and four (4) internal 3.5” drive bays. The Corsair 100R supports graphics card up to 10.80” with drive cages and 16.30” without drive cages. This system will set you back just under $900 but is a great deal for entry level, midrange gaming.
Intel Core i5-8600K Coffee Lake Gaming PC Build
Finally, we have a top end Coffee Lake build which will get you top of the line gaming experience at a premium cost. This build takes advantage of Intel’s newest line of Coffee Lake processors and has quite a bit of power. This system is going to use the Western Digital Caviar Blue HDD and the Corsair CX550M power supply from the previous builds but everything else is completely different.
At the heart of this build is the Intel Core i5-8600K processor. This is a six (6) core, six (6) thread processor and is clocked at 3.6GHz base and 4.3GHz and offers 9MB of L3 cache. The processor draws 95 watts TDP and has integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630. There is no stock cooler so, you will need to purchase one. This isn’t a big deal considering this PC is put together to overclock for extreme gaming. So, to cool this processor, we are going with the Corsair H100i V2. This cooler is a 240mm radiator all-in-one liquid CPU cooler. The provided two (2) 120mm fans pushes 70.7 CFM while spinning at 2435RPM provides more than adequate cooling and at a fairly quiet 37.7dbA. This makes overclocking this processor to around 4.7GHz or above relatively easy. The motherboard I chose for this build is the MSI Z370 Gaming plus which is a pretty good motherboard at a decent price. The motherboard has 4 memory slots allowing up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM clocked from 2133MHz to 4000MHz. There are 6 SATAIII ports and onboard graphics are supported. For RAM, I am going with G. Skill Ripjaws V Series with 16GB total from 2 modules of 8GB each at 3000MHz. For storage, in addition to the WD Caviar Blue HDD, I went with a Western Digital Blue 250GB M.2 drive for a boot drive and storage of most commonly used programs and games.
For the visual appeal of Triple A games and a card that can handle any game on the market, I am going with the ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 8GB graphics card. This GTX 1080 version comes with 8GB of GDDR5X video memory and has a core clock of 1.67GHz and boosts to 1.83GHz. This card draws 180 watts TDP and measures 11.73”. And to house this build, I went with the Phanteks Eclipse P300 Tempered Glass ATX Mid Tower case. This is a great case for a great price and you get tempered glass at a budget price. The case features a “basement” where you have your power supply and some cables hidden which is great for cable management. The case includes just one (1) internal 2.5” bay and two (2) internal 3.5” bays. There are front panel USB 3.0 ports and the case supports a graphics card up to 12.99”. You can build this PC for just over $1400 and you get great gaming performance and will not require upgrade for quite a while.
Miscellaneous Gaming PC Components
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
So, there are the gaming PC builds for November. What do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know if you would change anything about any of these builds. I hope to see you back next month for the December builds and I hope to see you in my upcoming article with personal hands on experience and benchmarks for the Intel Core i7-8700K CPU.
PC Partpicker Core i5-7600K Build
Christmas PC Build
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.