Recommended Custom Gaming Builds
September 2014 High-End Builds
Here are the latest high-end gaming build examples for this month to help you get the most bang for your buck (ie the best gaming performance for the money) when choosing which components to put together for your new high end custom gaming build.
Firstly there is the High-End Build which shows how to maximize gaming performance for those working with a maximum budget of 1500 dollars. The second build example is the Extreme Gaming Build which is for those lucky ones with a very large budget available to build the ultimate gaming rig that will absolutely dominate any game out there for years to come.
If these builds are out of your price range, you can still build a capable high performing PC for quite a bit less (see the Budget and Mid Range Gaming Builds).
High-End Gaming PC Build
Intel Core i7-4790K ($340)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB 1600 MHz
EVGA GeForce GTX 770 SuperClocked 2GB ($340)
Crucial M500 120GB Solid State Drive ($75)
Seagate Barracuda 2TB
Asus 24x DVD Burner ($22)
Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Advanced Mid Tower ($95)
XFX PRO 650W Core Edition 80+ Bronze
Total Cost: $1379 (USD)
September 2014 High-End Gaming Build
High-End Build Summary
This high end custom gaming build shows is a good example of how to maximize gaming performance for a budget under $1500. With a build of this calibre you can expect a future-proof system capable of comfortably handling any game out right now even on high-ultra settings. Let's take a closer look at the important parts that make up this build and why they were chosen.
The extremely powerful Intel Core i7-4790K Processor is the perfect choice for high end gaming. When coupled with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler your processor will run very cool and quiet. Although if you don't plan on overclocking at all and want to save a bit of money you could just use the stock fan that comes with the i7-4770K which still does a fairly decent job at stock speeds.
For the motherboard we've stuck with the Asus Z97-A just as recommended in the previous "mid-range" build. This board is the latest from the ever-reliable Asus and is high quality, sturdy, and contains a nice feature-list that will please most builders.
As for the RAM we have gone with Crucial Ballistix Sport 1600MHz DDR3 RAM which is fast, cheap, and from a reputable memory manufacturer so you can't go wrong. To be honest you could opt for 8GB of RAM instead to save a bit of coin and you wouldn't really notice any difference when it comes to playing current games. But if your wish is to future-proof this build as much as possible from the get-go (or you plan on using highly demanding applications such as CAD/3D development etc), then going for a massive 16GB of RAM makes sense.
Now to the all-important graphics card and the EVGA GeForce GTX 770 SuperClocked 2GB is an absolute powerhouse and arguably has the best price to performance ratio in this sort of price range. With one of these beasts in your build you can expect to flawlessly play any current PC title smoothly on high or even ultra settings.
We've included the Crucial M500 120GB solid state drive for this build to install your operating system on (and a select few programs depending on their size) for blazingly fast loading, and a second large 2TB standard hard drive to store all of your other programs and data on.
Having an SSD speeds things up significantly, and if you can afford a larger one such as the 240GB one suggested in the upcoming extreme build by all means go for it as you'll be able to install many more programs/games on it to take advantage of the amazing loading speeds.
The case chosen is the Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Advanced Mid Tower which is a high-end case with a mid-range price tag. You'll be hard-pressed trying to find a case of this quality for around the same price. Notable features are effective airflow with 3 built-in fans, easy cable management, tons of space, and it looks totally awesome.
The XFX PRO 650W Core Edition is a high quality power supply that will reliability power your expensive components. You can't go wrong with XFX power supplies, they won't let you down and they have been one of the very best PSU manufacturers in the world for a long time. 650 watts is ample power for this build, even with the power-hungry video card on-board.
That's all the core components covered for the high end build, and to make a working system you will require operating system software (we recommend either 64-bit Windows 8 or Windows 7), a mouse, a keyboard, a monitor, and then you're good to go.
Next up is the extreme gaming build which will suit only the most hardcore of gamers out there who are lucky enough to have a ton of money at their disposal to put together a dream gaming build that will absolutely dominate.
Extreme Gaming PC Build
ASUS Sabertooth Z97 MARK1 ($245)
Intel Core i7-4790K ($340)
Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB 1600 MHz
EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Superclocked 3GB
Creative Sound Blaster Z
Crucial M500 240GB Solid State Drive ($119)
Seagate Barracuda 2TB
LG Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Burner
Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower
Seasonic X-850 80 Plus Gold
Total Cost: $2272 (USD)
September 2014 Extreme Gaming Build
Extreme Build Summary
The extreme gaming PC is an example of the type of dream gaming machine you can put together if you're lucky enough to have a large budget to work with. You can expect to tear through any game on ultra settings, even on massive viewing displays and huge resolutions. With a build like this you won't need to even think about upgrading anytime in the near future.
Let's take a look at the improvements over the previous high-end gaming build. The same i7-4790K processor is included as it's a powerhouse CPU and for gaming you definitely don't need anything better than this. The only reason you would need an even faster CPU would be for purposes other than gaming such as professional 3D editing and production.
Our CPU cooler choice is different though, and the Noctua NH-D14 is the best of the best that will cool your i7-4770K even more effectively than the Cooler Master 212 EVO included in the previous build. Again, if overclocking is not your thing than you could get away with the stock fan if you wanted to.
We've gone with the top of the range Asus Sabertooth Z97 MARK1 motherboard which provides the ultimate base for an extreme system such as this. This board is the very best of the best and is quality throughout. It's got a ton of cool features (more than most people will actually use), it's built very sturdily, and looks totally awesome in your finished build.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Superclocked 3GB is the very best single video card on the market today. You can expect absolutely amazing performance from this card for years to come. If you have even more money to spend, consider getting two of these beasts running in SLI mode. The majority of hardcore gamers will be happy with just the one though.
A dedicated sound card is included if you want to get the most out of a decent set of speakers or headset for the very best gaming audio experience. The Creative Sound Blaster Z is one of the best gaming sound cards on the market and what we would recommend, and after hearing the sound quality you won't want to go back to on-board sound again.
We have also included an internal blu-ray burner/player in this build, but this is entirely optional and if you want to save some money and don't care about blu-ray playback simply switch this one for a standard DVD drive instead like in the previous budget builds.
The case to house your expensive components is the Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower and it's everything you could ever want and many in the industry would agree that it's one of the best high-end gaming cases going around. If you wish to substitute for a different case that is fine so long as you pick a decent quality one that can stand the test of time and look after your expensive components well.
Finally to the power supply, the Seasonic X-850 80 Plus Gold. This unit is an official gold standard PSU and it runs quiet too. 850 watts is plenty of power for this build even with the GeForce GTX 780 Ti beast on-board which is by far the most power-hungry of all the parts. This amount of power will even go as far as supporting a second 780 Ti video card if you plan on having two of these monsters running in SLI mode.
The experience of playing a great game on this sort of machine will blow you away, especially if you have a quality viewing display and a nice set of speakers or headset. In an ideal world this is how developers want their games to be enjoyed!
As we said before the extreme build isn't for everyone but those lucky few who are able to fork out so much money on a gaming rig will have the very best platform for high end gaming for years to come. Good luck with your own build and hopefully these examples will make choosing your components that much easier.
Return to Budget and Mid Range Builds from High End and Extreme Builds.