Guide: Building a gaming PC to play at 1080p for under 800 dollars 2014

Today, assembling a PC for playing at 1080p is hardly prohibitive, since the price of components and peripherals has dropped considerably over the last year.

However, choosing components properly is not an easy task, especially considering the large number of components that are currently flooding the market.

Also, the market changes quickly, which is why a guide that was completely valid and correct now might be completely useless and obsolete in a few months.

Renew or die, an expression that certainly applies to the computer world and leads us to renew our guides.

In this article, we will focus on assembling a PC to play at 1080p and with the quality settings on high or maximum smoothly, always staying above 30 FPS and with a budget of 800 dollars.

Since you’ve asked us to, we will also recommend monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Motherboard

Motherboard

Our budget is tight, so after comparing prices we opted for the AM3+ AMD platform, since it allows us to save a lot of money.

We chose the GIGABYTE GA-970A-DS3P motherboard, an affordable but trustworthy device.

This motherboard features the GIGABYTE Ultra durable 4 technology, which ensures a high degree of reliability and support for dual GPU configurations in CrossFireX mode, which allows us to install a second graphics card. It features the necessary connections, such as SATA III 6Gbps and USB 3.0.

It also features HD sound (up to 7.1), which prevents us from having to buy a sound card.

Without a doubt, its value makes it the best choice, especially when you consider in only costs 79 Dollars.

Processor

 Processor

It’s time to choose the heart of the rig. Inside the AM3 + platform, many different options are available, at very similar prices.

The price difference between an FX-8320 and an FX- 6350 is just ten Euros, for instance, so we chose the FX-8320 as our processor.

Its performance per core is smaller than the Core i5 4670K, but its price is also much lower, which leaves considerable room for further investments, like getting a better graphics card.

Since the balance between the components is vital in a gaming PC, our choice is fully justified, as it would be totally absurd to mount a high-end processor with a low-end GPU.

The FX-8320 is a processor with four cores and eight modules running at 3.5 GHz in normal mode and 4 GHz in turbo, so it can handle even the most demanding games.

Why this and not the FX-8350? The answer is simple, we saved 33 Euros and the FX-8320 can easily be overclocked beyond 4 GHz.

The money we saved will be invested in an essential component.

The price is $149.99.

RAM

RAM

When mounting a PC with a pretty tight budget, it is always hard to determine the amount of RAM we need, as well as deciding to use a single or dual channel configuration.

Since this is gaming PC, we opted for 8GB of RAM, a figure which guarantees at least a couple of years without problems.

Secondly we opted for a single channel configuration, as we facilitate future expansion and will not notice a negative impact on game performance.

We chose am 8GB Kingston HyperX Genesis DDR3 module at 1866 MHz with CL10 latency, equipped also with a metal body that helps dissipate heat.

The price is $84.99.

Power supply

Power supply

Once we selected the main four components, we can select the power supply, since the choice of a higher or lower power depends mainly on those components.

Since our motherboard offers the possibility of mounting a CrossFire configuration, we have chosen a capable but affordable PSU that allows a second graphics card with no problems.

It also gives us the option to install a new graphics card that is more powerful and therefore has a higher consumption.

After these considerations, we chose the Cooler Master G700 700W 80 Plus Bronze certified, priced at 98 dollars.

Storage device

Storage device

Given that the budget is pretty tight, an SSD is out of the question, as it considerable shrink the remaining budget.

That said, we need an affordable yet reliable HDD, and since this is a gaming PC, we opted for the WD Black 1TB HDD.

This hard drive features a speed of 7200 RPM and the latest technologies, which guarantee a smooth operation and reduced load times, all accompanied by a high reliability and a 5-year warranty.

Price: $82

Heatsink

Heatsink

This is the essential component we mentioned earlier when talking about the FX-8320, since the included AMD heatsink is far from excellent and closes the door to overclocking.

Thanks to the tight budget, we opted for a simple but very capable device, the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 EVO.

With this fan, we can keep our FX-8320 between 40 and 50 degrees while gaming.

Price: $21.65

Case

Case

It’s time to choose the case that will accommodate all of our components. It must be solid, reliable and well ventilated.

We have opted for the Cooler Master HAF 912, a spacious and well designed case that’s capable of housing every component we have chosen.

Price: $49

DVD Drive

DVD Drive

We completed the computer with an optical drive that allows you to record and play CDs and DVDs, which today remains vital given the prevalence of the physical format.

We chose the ASUS DRW-24F1ST, an affordable but fully functional model.

Price: $23

Total cost of the computer without peripherals

At this point, we haven’t yet considered the full cost of the peripherals, like the monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse.

The cost up until now amounts to 787 dollars. We have assembled a rig capable of running any game at 1080p with high quality and ultra smooth quality for under 800 dollars.

At the end of the article we’ll add some results to illustrate the performance of this machine.

Monitor

Monitor

We now have to choose a monitor that best suits a tight budget.

We chose the BenQ Gaming Monitor RL2455HM, a 23-inch monitor that offers an excellent price-performance ratio thanks to its TN panel.

Its maximum resolution is 1920 x 1080 and has a response time of 1 ms.

Price: $180

Speakers

Speakers

Thanks to the sound chip integrated in the motherboard, we can enjoy multichannel audio, which allows us to enjoy 5.1 audio. We have to look for capable but excellent speakers with the best price-performance ratio.

The Creative Inspire A550 Speaker System are the best option because they allow us to enjoy 5.1 sound quality for only 52 dollars.

Keyboard and mouse

Keyboard and mouse

We chose the Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator bundle, a kit that greatly surprised us in the past for its quality and low price.

This kit offers an MB24 keyboard with a highly resistant membrane and an MS2K mouse that features an ergonomic design and adjustable resolution up to 2000 DPI.

It is priced at 36 dollars, making it a great value for our money.

Price: $36

Conclusions

The total cost of the rig, if we include peripherals, would be 1055 Euros, quite reasonable, especially when you consider what it’s capable of.

As mentioned above, if you have the peripherals, the cost is reduced to 787 dollars.

We’ve attached a summary of some of the results achieved in 1080p, and as always we invite you to comment.

  • Battelfield 4 Ultra quality: 41 FPS.
  • Battlefield 4 High quality: 63 FPS.
  • Crysis 3 + FXAA High quality 42 FPS.
  • Hitman Absolution Ultra quality: 58 FPS.
  • Metro Last Light Very High Quality 37 FPS.
  • BioShock Infinite + DDoF Ultra quality: 50 FPS.
  • Tomb Raider quality Ultra and 4x AA: 34 FPS.

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