Recommended Custom Gaming Builds
December 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 ($320)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz
GeForce GTX 970 Superclocked 4GB ($350)
Crucial MX100 128GB ($70)
Seagate Barracuda 2TB
Asus 24x DVD Burner ($22)
Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Advanced Mid Tower ($113)
XFX PRO 650W Core Edition 80+ Bronze
Total Cost: $1390 (USD)
December 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 Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1600 MHz which is fast and reliable, and these sticks look totally awesome inside of your build. 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 recently released GeForce GTX 970 Superclocked 4GB will dominate any current PC title with ease, even when maxed out with high or ultra settings. This is truly all the power you need for gaming right now, and anything better such as the GTX 990 is a little overkill unless you are playing with insanely huge resolutions and/or multiple screens, OR if you simply have the money to burn and don't want to have to worry about upgrading your card for a very long time.
We've included the Crucial MX100 128GB 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 ($239)
Intel Core i7-4790K ($340)
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz
EVGA GTX 980 Superclocked 4GB ($570)
Creative Sound Blaster Z
Crucial M500 240GB Solid State Drive ($114)
Seagate Barracuda 2TB
LG Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Burner
Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower
Seasonic X-850 80 Plus Gold
Total Cost: $2081 (USD)
December 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 absolute cream of the crop 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 actually get away with the stock fan if you really wanted to, but this is the extreme build after all so I'm sure you'll want the extra cooling that an aftermarket heatsink provides you.
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 GTX 980 Superclocked 4GB is the latest GeForce card on the market and has taken over the crown as the very best single GPU going around. It's a no-brainer adding this monster of a card into this month's extreme build. With a 980 in your rig you can expect nothing less than absolutely blistering performance for years to come. You'll definitely be the envy of other gamers - not everyone can afford to throw down half a G on a video card. But if you're a hardcore gamer that loves 100% flawless high-end gaming on massive displays, you won't regret it.
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 possible. The Creative Sound Blaster Z is one of the best gaming sound cards on the market and what we would recommend right now, and once you experience the sound quality of a high-end card like this you won't want to go back to on-board sound ever 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 all of the previous 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 to go with it! In an ideal world this is how game developers want their creations 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 on a custom 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.