Welcome to our Q2 2014 Mid Range Gaming PC System Build. This is, in my opinion, a great mid/high end Gaming build, which offers EXCELLENT performance vs price balance.
For the processor, we’ve selected the Intel Core i5 4670k. We can’t recommend the higher priced i7 4770k, since the hyperthreading doesn’t really do much to improve gaming performance (in most cases) and the added heat it produces can negatively affect overclocking performance. If you can find an i5 3570k for cheaper, it’s also a viable alternative, as the biggest change with Haswell over Ivy Bridge, is iGPU performance, which won’t have an effect if you use a dedicated GPU.
The Coolermaster Hyper 212 series has always been one of my favorites, and the Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO doesn’t disappoint. It continues to offer great cooling performance at a great price, which is why it’s our top choice.
Gigbabyte has always served us well, while having it’s quirks, and not being a perfect board manufacturer, it offers great features, awesome overclocking and good prices. For this, the Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H, is our choice for mid range gaming pcs.
Games are starting to require some serious Horsepower, including bandwidth, Texture memory and flat out processing power. With high end Graphics cards utilizing between 3GB and 8GB of dedicated memory, you want a system with at least that amount. We recommend 16GB for future proofing (especially when using a 64bit OS), but if you need to save a few bucks, 8GB shouldn’t affect FPS in MOST games (for the time being). At the top of the list for memory stability, is G.Skill and Patriot. We recommend the 16GB (2x8GB) Patriot Viper Black Mamba 1866MHz kit or the G.Skill Ripjaws 1866Mhz. Although there isn’t a big performance difference between 1866Mhz and 1600Mhz RAM, we only saw about a 10$ difference in price for the kit, and when overclocking, it’s nice to have the headroom with guaranteed timings/speeds.
Nvidia and AMD have been at war, and although I welcome the competition (it’s always better for the consumer), this generation Nvidia has done great, and is ahead, IMO. The cooler performance, and lower power consumption helps with peace of mind, and overall system temps. I recommend the Zotac Nvidia Geforce 770GTX for its great price, low temps, and great overall performance. The AMD R9 290 comes in at a close second if you prefer AMD, but the high temps are something I’d always be thinking about.
Western Digital Black gen 2 3TB – Hands down. Based on all of the reviews online, failure rates are much too high with other leading Hard Drive manufacturers (Seagate), and with Western Digital’s 5 Year Warranty, you have piece of mind, with great performance (from the Black Series), but it comes with a high price tag. Ensure you get the Generation 2 line, as they have much improved performance over the first series.
Optional – SSD boot drive
This is mainly a recommendation for the System boot drive, to have a snappier Windows experience, and a few of your most used applications/games. The new Samsung 840 EVO series has a GREAT reputation, and rightfully so, great performance and low failure rates. At a Dollar a GB, the price is right too, which is why we Recomend the Samsung 840 EVO 120GB as our boot drive.
As many cheap power supplies that are out there, if you look at reviews, failure rates are through the roof, and Power Supplies are a component that’s often ignored. Your power supply handles a lot of power, and cause damage to components, or combust… not something you want to have happen. Stable power is another VERY important factor for overclocking and system stability even when running stock. We recommend the Corsair HX650 or Hx750.
Coolermaster HAF XM. Reasonably priced. Amazing cooling performance, huge quiet fans with great airflow, what more is there to say? Cheapo alternative – CoolerMaster HAF 912 – 50$.
Q2 2014 Mid range Gaming PC
– Intel Core i5 4670k – 260$
– Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO – 30$
– Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H – 150$
– Patriot Black Mamba Viper 16GB 1866MHz – 160$
– Zotac Nvidia Geforce GTX 770 – 350$
– Western Digital Black 3TB – WD3003FZEX – 215$ (90$ for 1TB)
*Optional – Samsung EVO 840 SSD (for Boot drive) – 120$
– Corsair HX650 Power Supply – 125$
– CoolerMaster HAFXM – 90$
Total Cost : 1500$ (1255$ Excluding Optional SSD, and using 1TB drive)