Best Gaming PC Build Under $700

Best $700 Dollar Budget Gaming PC Build, Mighty Power In 2017

 

With your computer you want top performance for your dollar. Keeping that in mind I have curated what I believe to be the best under $700 budget gaming PC build in 2017. I have spent a ton of time making sure to put together a list of parts that are compatible, good quality and provide an awesome bang for buck.

The main theme of this PC is gaming of course so we are basing things once again around the graphics card. A strong Intel Skylake processor heads up the pack with a solid supporting staff of additional hardware.

This will not be an overclocking build yet more focused on consistent overall performance and beastly video graphics. Later on I will include some options if you are more focused on overclocking. Although you will either be spending more on the CPU or keeping within the same price range you will need to tame some other components down, such as the GPU.

Like I said before this combination below really is the best overall option for the $700 price bracket. Please keep in mind prices for hardware tend to fluctuate from time to time in both directions. As new parts are released there may be better options for this build, so I will be updating this regularly.

 


 

Updated: 3/4/2017

Best Gaming PC Build Under $700

 

Case – Thermaltake Commander G42 ATX Mid Tower Case

 

CPU / Processor – Intel Skylake Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor

Best Gaming PC Build Under $700 In 2017

 

Motherboard – MSI Computer Motherboard Micro ATX DDR4 LGA 1151 B150M MORTAR

 

RAM – Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2133MHz

 

Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

 

Hard Drive – WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive – 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch

 

Power Supply – EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply

 

Total Cost: $675-$750  Current Price: $748.36


 

Build Explanation

 

Thinking back to my gaming PC for $500 build this one is very similar with a few differences. Getting to spend an extra $100 opens up a few things so lets get into those right now.

I still feel like jumping up to a more powerful video card, but the sacrifice would be mainly in the processing department. Let me show you what I mean.

In the budget you will have to downgrade some parts, go with slower RAM, get a cheaper case… you get my drift. Like I said before the sacrifice is just too much at this point.

With all that said this build showcases a beautiful Thermaltake Commander case, Intel’s Skylake i5-6500 3.2GHz processor, 2 sticks of 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, 1TB HDD and a powerhouse EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB.

Speaking of the GTX 1060, it supports a max resolution of 7680 x 4320 and while it depends on what settings you prefer to play on you will have no trouble smashing through all of your current games.

The Skylake i5 will be plenty of CPU for years to come while still leaving you with an upgrade path to the i7 or even an unlocked chip for overclocking purposes down the road.

The processor we are using has a stock cooler. This is OK because there won’t be any overclocking going on with the i5-6500 so you wont need to worry about additional cooling.

Overall this is one powerful machine and you can feel good with money well spent.

 

Which case to use?

 

A computer case is kind of like a pair of shoes. There is style, there is functionality, but what is more important?

For this build I suggest using a Thermaltake Commander G42 ATX Mid Tower Case. The G42 is inexpensive, looks pretty dang awesome and has the room necessary to fit your large video card.

To me this case is perfect for this build, however, this is one of the areas where you can use whatever suits your fancy as long as there is room and compatibility for all your parts.

 

cpu for best gaming PC under 700 dollars

Why not an AMD processor?

 

Alright so like I said up above you could go with something like an AMD FX-8320, cut other corners and upgrade to a GTX 1070 graphics card. In this instance you will squeeze a bit more graphics power out of the system.

Another scenario would be to just swap out the i5-6500 for an AMD FX-8370 and corresponding motherboard of course. However you will not see any gaming performance benefits here other then possibly in multi-thread applications.

Either way I do not recommend it because of two reasons. The first being that the AMD chips are at the end of the line. Meaning there isn’t any upgrade path available with the motherboard chip set you will be using. The second reason is that in pretty much every instance Intel chips out perform AMD for gaming. They have greater per core power at this point in time.

These are some of the reasons behind my going with the i5-6500 in this build. Of course if you are an AMD fan then by all means go with those CPU’s. They will still do just fine but as the title of this article says I am designing the “best” for gaming. 🙂

 

Graphics Card Choices

 

My choice here is the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB video card. In a $700 build I think spending between $150 and $250 is appropriate. The GTX 1060 is the best bang for buck option in this range in my opinion.

Another option would be to use a RX 470 which will perform fairly comparable. To put it plainly the choice comes down to brand preference most of the time.

 

What else goes well with this PC?

 

Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit

 

SSD Drive Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

 

Optical Drive – Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA OEM DRW-24B1ST

 

WiFi – Wireless USB Adapter

 

Monitor – Acer G226HQL Bbd 21.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Display

 

Keyboard – Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard

 

Mouse – Logitech G300s Gaming Mouse

 

Headset –  Etekcity HIFI H7PX+ Gaming Headset

 

Speakers – Logitech Z523

 

Extras Explanation

 

In the next segment I will go over a suitable operating system for your PC but first lets go over some of the other things you may or may not need. Many of these you may already have and in that case you will be able to save some money. If you don’t then the above are some of my recommendations.

An optical drive is something that isn’t exactly needed in this day and age. You can download programs and games online and even order Windows 10 on a bootable usb drive.  In most instances if there is a DVD-RW in your previous PC you can salvage it and use it in the next. This is why I don’t include it in the build. If you want one you can add it in very cheaply.

Another notable item is some sort of Wireless adapter for your internet connection. I personally prefer to be hardwired in but if WiFi is a must then you will need an adapter. They are also fairly inexpensive.

The rest of the items are your typical computer peripherals. I have listed some of my favorites above and if you poke around this website a bit you will find a lot of reviews for those things as well.

 

Operating System Situationgood pc build under 700 dollars

 

Ahh the age old dilemma for PC builders. No one wants to shell out $100 for Windows 10 OK Bill Gates?!

Here’s the thing. If you are primarily using your PC for high level gaming then you will want to go with Windows 10. First lets take a look at a couple other free options.

You don’t actually have to buy an operating system. The first free OS that comes to mind is Steam OS and while I wanted it to be good so very badly…well… it just isn’t for gaming. There have been studies done that show that it actually bogs down your machine compared to other operating systems.

The next option, which i’d like to promote harder, is Linux Ubuntu. Being one of the most popular open source operating systems I really do like Ubuntu and the idea of using it as a daily driver OS. While I have plans to do this in the future it is not newbie friendly nor does it have support for all of your AAA gaming titles at this point.

All of this brings us back to Windows. Your best bet for the modern gamer is to just bite the bullet and buy a legit user license from Microsoft. This way you are enabled to play all the PC games in the universe and have access to full support and updates.

 

How to Build a Gaming PC for Under $700 Dollars In 2017!

 

I have a page located at the top bar that will help you build a gaming PC. If this is your first build ever it will help out a lot. It is a compilation of videos that helped me learn how to get into PC building and some of my own advice as well.

Even if this isn’t your first rodeo it may be a good idea to check that out. A refresher never hut anyone and it could speed up the process a lot for you when it actually comes down to crunch time.

Why Build Your Own Gaming PC?

 

I will make this short and sweet. There are two main reasons I can think of why you should do this. First and foremost you should build your own PC because it is fun! It is a hobby that a lot of us have gotten a ton of enjoyment out of over the years.

That’s right it becomes a great hobby to go along with PC gaming. Getting to plan out your build, complete the project and then show it to buddies when your done is a great feeling.

The second reason you should build rather then buy a pre-built PC is because you get better ‘bang’ for your buck. You will know exactly what make and model of every single component and have access to seeing reviews from other people on those parts. The overall quality of the PC becomes much higher.

 

Conclusion

 

To wrap things up I hope to have helped you figure out a good build within your price range. I think you will be stoked at how well this thing will perform and it’s going to be a blast to game on for years to come.

It is hard to believe sometimes what an awesome machine you can put together nowadays but I really do believe this is the best budget gaming PC build for under $700 in 2017. Now get out there and create something great!

 

Are you planning on building your own PC soon? Let me know i’d love to help you out if you need anything. To see another article of mine check out this $800 build guide. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me one anytime at the bottom of this page. Likes, shares, tweets and +1’s are greatly appreciated as well.

Thank you,

Anthony

Founder of Level Up Your Gear

 


 

36 comments

  • Dirk

    Hi Anthony. Hey, I’m an old man but used to play PC games a lot. I’m now thinking on getting back into it, and want to get a pc for $700 or below to play mostly RTS games. I’m not into building my own, but I’m not against the idea of having one built. What do you think? Suggestions?

    • Dirk,

      Thanks for commenting. I think I would encourage you to give it a go and try and build your own gaming PC. If you are just not into that at all I’d look into buying the parts and finding a friend who is able to do it for you. If that’s still not your cup of tea you can commission a local shop to build you one or purchase a pre built machine as a last resort.

      Good luck to ya and let me know if you have any further questions!

      -Anthony

  • Assassintoilet

    Hey Anthony do you think the i5 6500 and r9 390 or even r9 380 run everything ultra. Doom is coming out in May and I really want to play it ultra or high setting

    • It depends on what resolution you are running on. For ultra to be safe get the r9 390. I think the r9 380 should be able to handle most of what you throw at it on high settings however.

      • Assassintoilet

        Thank you so much! My PC recently shut off and cpu fan is not detected. Instead of buying new ram. I have 8gb ram in this. I took it out and do you think I could use it for the new build instead of paying for one

        • You can use your old RAM if it is compatible with the new rig. Otherwise you will need to buy new. The motherboard in this build uses DDR4 RAM.

  • Colton Byrd

    Hey, so I’ve been saving up for the last couple of years (I’m 14) to build my first computer. I’ve was wanting to save up a bit more, but I’ve just gotten tired of using my awful laptop for gaming, which, I chiznit you not, had frame rate issues on Undertale (Which is a 16 bit game) I can run Minesweeper on 60 FPS, though. But anyways, I’m probably going to be using this build.

    I was also wondering, why use 1 x 8gb stick of RAM instead of 2 x 4gb of ram? Wouldn’t it run a bit better? Or is it just for upgrading in the future purposes?

    • Hi Colton,

      That laptop is powered by a hamster wheel huh? Funny story but I’m glad you will be able to upgrade soon! You are going to be in heaven with a new build. If you prefer the 2x4GB you can go that route as well. The performance increase in fairly minimal and I go with the 1x8GB stick for upgrade reasons yes and it simplify’s things as well. It is somewhat of a personal taste thing but i’d go with 1x8GB or 2x8GB personally. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks,
      Anthony

  • Assassintoilet

    Do you think a r9 390 would go in this set. It would just be more expensive. Will it over hear or damage anything? Can the i5 handle it

    • I think a 390 would be awesome with this build! The i5 can handle it just fine and so can the rest of the machine. One thing I might do is spend a slight bit extra and get a little more powerful power supply. This 650 watt would be a good addition. This way you have plenty of room to grow in the power department and the 650 is fully modular which is nice too. Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Thanks!
      Anthony

      • Assassintoilet

        Thanks! Do you think the tower in your $800 build would fit this? I think it looks cooler and there about the same price. Just I’m not sure if the $700 parts will fit

        • That case will be compatible with the parts in the $700 build. It is a good choice as well.

          Thanks,
          Anthony

        • Assassintoilet

          I also have one more question haha. How do you install Windows 10. Is it a disk and then it installs?

          • Assassintoilet

            Also do I need a cpu fan? That’s it. Thank you so much for the info and keep up the great work man!

          • You will not need an aftermarket CPU fan for the i5 6500 because it comes with a stock fan. So no worries there. No problem at all I enjoy helping where I can.

          • You can get it on a disk or a USB drive and then boot the PC from either of those. If you are buying an optical drive then disk is fine. If not you will need the USB stick.

  • Win Back Your Ex Comments

    I have to confess I am not big on the PC when it comes to gaming.

    I much prefer the Consoles available such as the playstation and xbox…

    However I am a lover of the Flight Simulators out there which simply need the power of the PC… maybe like the one you mention here.

    Can you tell me please what is the best hardware to purchase to run a Flight Simulator effectively?

    Thanks

    Chris

    • Anthony

      Hi Chris,

      Sorry you hear you prefer console gaming over PC gaming. Just kidding whatever works for you is OK but like I have made it clear before, I prefer PC gaming haha.

      I’m not sure what exact flight simulator you use but I don’t think they require much power. This build is capable of playing the brand new PC game titles on high settings.

      For flight sim you could probably go with my $400 or $500 PC builds. However it just depends on what else you want to use the machine for.

  • Dmitriy

    Hi Anthony,

    You’ve definitely got a regular visitor here 🙂

    When I (hopefully) start to buy components this year, I will hands down use your site as the main source of knowledge. I’ve never built a PC before, but I understand computers pretty well to not to be afraid of creating my own. I do still need a guide, though, and the majority of them have just too much irrelevant (IMO) info on the subject, or take a very complex approach to it. Your approach differs from them in a very good way and it’s really great.
    Kudos to you for this!

    • Anthony

      Heya Dmitriy!

      I am glad to have you and proud of you for seeing that if others can do it so can you! The DIY spirit is a great thing to have in all aspects of life, not just with PC building. Thank you for the high praise and when you build this $700 gaming PC or one at another budget let me know whether you need additional help or not. I love hearing about everyone’s projects.

      -Anthony

  • Riaz Shah

    Hey Anthony,
    Wow I love this build up of yours, very affordable! Unfortunately here in Malaysia everything is way expensive and costs thousands to build and get a good decent gaming computer.

    I was considering on the Microsoft thing for ages, whether to get around or just go on straight up and get the original. It seems that I definitely need to get the original don’t I? Awesome article man, thanks for sharing this.

    • Anthony

      Riaz!

      I am glad you like the build. It is a pretty solid over all setup. Sorry to hear about your woes in Malaysia. Is it possible to buy your parts from Amazon, Ebay or Newegg? I would think one of these would ship world wide. As far as your question with Windows goes I don’t pirate software myself or advocate but I know that a lot of people do. It costs you some extra money but it’s just easier to deal with legit stuff. Thanks for the high praise by the way! Please let me know if you need anything at all.

      -Anthony

  • Robert

    Oh my goodness, I had to know that before. I am into 3D design and have to render images. Sometimes one image takes 1 hour to render, and if I want good quality it takes 4 hours on an i3. I never dived into having a better computer because I thought that would cost me 4000 dollar, but , oh I had no idea that I could have a much better pc for just 700 dollar.

    Thanks,
    Robert.

    • Anthony

      Hi Robert,

      If you build your own PC you certainly can get a much better setup. If you are using it for both gaming and work you may want to invest a bit more money into a PC such as this $1000 build or keep an eye out for even higher end builds that I will publish in the future. If the $700 one suits your needs then by all means go with that one. If you have any questions at all going forward never hesitate to let me know.

      Thank you,

      Anthony

  • Elise

    Would this computer be able to run games like Skyrim and The Witcher 3? This setup looks very promising and I’m very close to having enough to pay for all the components. This is my first time building a PC and this article has really helped!

    • Hi Elise!

      Very exciting that you are about ready to build your own PC for the first time! This is a very good setup for Skyrim and The Witcher 3. You’re going to be able to play those games no problem at all with the graphics card listed in this build. The CPU will be plenty for years as well. I think overall you will be really happy with it. I am stoked that I was able to help you out and if you need anything in the future just let me know.

      Thanks again,
      -Anthony

  • Kyle

    I am not a gamer, but I have always wanted to build a PC. The whole idea fascinates me. Most motherboards come with some sort of integrated video card right? If so, would I be ok forgoing a higher end video card if I don’t plan on needing exceptional graphics?

    • Anthony

      Hi Kyle,

      Building your own PC is a great way to get into gaming and it is a lot of fun. The processors are what come with integrated graphics. If you only plan on playing simpler games on medium settings then you could get away without a dedicated graphics card. An example would be a game like League of Legends. Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

      • Kyle

        I use AutoCAD and my wife does some photoshop, in that case would I want to shell out for a dedicated graphics cards?

        • It depends on what you are using AutoCAD for but you will want a dedicated card and the one listed in this build should be good enough or you can go with a GTX 960. They do make the Quadro cards that are more workstation specific but unless you are doing some serious 3D rendering you are probably better off with a standard card overall. As far as photo editing goes you don’t really need anything crazy at all but i’d still prefer to not be using onboard graphics. So you could go with a cheaper card for sure if your only editing photos. I hope that helps. If not ask away 🙂

          Thanks,
          Anthony

          • Kyle

            What is the reasoning behind using a Micro-ATX as opposed to an ATX sized motherboard. How would they be used differently?

          • ATX is larger and will have more space for additional PCI slots. For a build like this a mATX board is just fine and typically less expensive then big brother. You can choose to use either for whatever suits your needs but if your building a basic, one graphic card, system then the mATX works great.

  • Sarah

    Amazing!!!! truly awesome article, I was looking at buying a computer for my boyfriend as he likes to play Fallout and GTA. Your content made sense and I liked the relevant links which you have provided you have definitely helped me going forward, just one question though. Whats the difference between all monitors? are some better than others? which would be the best for the cheapest amount of money?

    Thanks for your reply in advance

    Sarah

    • Sarah,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. If you and him are buying a new PC i’d say this is the way to go. For $700 you can put together a machine that will crush Fallout and GTA. As far as a monitor goes it all depends on what size you want but I would recommend this 24″ Samsung if you want decent size and performance for an inexpensive price. Let me know if I can help in any other way.

      Thanks,

      -Anthony

  • Tyler Redlev

    Wow.

    This was one of the most helpful pc build article i have ever read. It really screams that you put hard work into it.

    I really liked the explanations why you chose different compatible parts to match each other. And it really seems a professional content. Keep up the good work and you will achieve your goals in not ime!

    And you may think about getting a logo and header designed or make one yourself. It really makes a big change not only visually, but it makes your traffic stay more in your site.

    Duru

    • Anthony

      Hey man thanks for the high praise. I try to put a lot of thought into these PC builds. This one is a really good build too with all the power you get at a $700 budget. Glad you left me some feedback on the website design as well. I am working on it my friend :).

      Take care,

      -Anthony

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