Recommended Custom Gaming Builds

July 2015 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 around 1500 dollars. The second build example is the Extreme Gaming Build which is for those lucky ones with a massive budget available to build the ultimate gaming rig that will dominate any PC title for years to come.

If these builds are out of your price range, you can still build a capable high performing PC for a lot less (see the Budget and Mid Range Gaming Builds).



High-End Gaming PC Build



Motherboard

ASUS Z97-A ($150)

CPU

Intel Core i7-4790K ($340)

CPU Cooler

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($35)

RAM

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz ($105)

Video Card

ASUS STRIX GTX970 4GB ($340)

System Drive

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD ($98)

Storage Drive

Seagate Barracuda 2TB ($76)

Optical Drive

Asus 24x DVD Burner ($21)

Case

Corsair Carbide Series Black 400R Mid Tower ($105)

Power Supply

XFX PRO 650W Core Edition 80+ Bronze ($80)


Total Cost: $1340 (US Dollars)



July 2015 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 caliber 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 Components

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 I've gone with the Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1600 MHz RAM 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 ASUS STRIX GTX970 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 you honestly don't need a better card than this unless you are playing with insanely huge resolutions and/or multiple screens OR if you simply have the money to burn. This particular "STRIX" model of the 970 also has great built-in cooling to keep it running nice and quiet.

I've included a fairly decently sized SSD (Solid State Drive) for super fast-loading of your operating system and other programs: the Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD. This model is regarded as one of the best around and it's quite affordable - SSD prices have dropped quite a bit recently. Then there's also the Seagate Barracuda 2TB standard hard drive where you can store all of your other files that don't fit on your mighty SSD.

Now to the case which is the Corsair Carbide Series Black 400R Mid Tower. It's got the quality and features of an expensive high-end case minus the huge pricetag which makes this one an excellent buy. It's got plenty of room, an awesome functional and good-looking design, and great cooling with 3 built-in fans with the option to include many more fans if you need.

The XFX PRO 650W Core Edition is a great power supply that you can rely on. XFX power supplies have been regarded as one of the very best PSU manufacturers in the world for a long time as they come from Seasonic which is synonymous with top quality when it comes to PSUs. 650 watts is also ample power for this build even with future upgrades such as adding another video card in the future. The truth is that many beginners overestimate how much power they actually need.

That's all the core components covered for the high end build, and to make a working system you'll require operating system software (I'd 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



Motherboard

ASUS Maximus VI EXTREME ($280)

CPU

Intel Core i7-4790K ($340)

CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-D14 ($77)

RAM

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz ($105)

Video Card

EVGA GTX 980 Superclocked 4GB ($520)

Sound Card

Creative Sound Blaster Z ($95)

System Drive

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD ($178)

Storage Drive

WD Black 3TB Performance ($151)

Optical Drive

LG Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Burner ($60)

Case

CM Storm Stryker Full Tower ($193)

Power Supply

Seasonic X-850 80 Plus Gold ($150)


Total Cost: $2149 (US Dollars)



July 2015 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.

The Components

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. The Noctua is massive but it will fit into your size no problem and we've opted for low-profile RAM to make sure they don't get in the way.

We've gone with the top of the range ASUS Maximus VI EXTREME 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.

Now to the awesome case, the CM Storm Stryker Full Tower, which not only has the quality and features you'd expect from a high-end case, but it's one of the most stylish cases going around. If you wish to substitute for a different case that is fine so long as you pick a quality one (read many reviews) that can stand the test of time and look after your expensive components.

Then there's 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.

Lastly to the storage drives, and I've included a large super-fast SSD and a massive top-tier standard hard drive (WD Black - the fastest around) for quick, reliable storage for everything that won't fit on your SSD. Of course, these are just suggestions and pick the sizes that you actually need. Some people may only need small drives because they don't have much to store, but always get a little more than you think you'll need just to be safe.


Conclusion

So that wraps up all our build examples. The experience of playing a great game on a machine like this last "extreme" build will blow you away, especially if you have a nice large, high-quality monitor and a solid 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 mentioned before the extreme build definitely isn't for everyone but those lucky few who are able to fork out so much on a custom 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.