Best Gaming PC Under $900 Budget, This Build is a Powerhouse in 2017
If you want to dominate today’s top end computer games you want to make good and sure you have the best equipment possible. I am going to let you take a look at this parts list I have curated to help you make the best gaming PC build under $900 in 2017. We are no longer in “budget” territory and while this PC won’t be super cheap, it will still contain the ever important bang for buck mantra.
After the build list I will provide an in depth look into my design thought process. Including a build summary and highlighting certain parts that I believe deserve more attention. This should help someone who is looking to build their first gaming rig or even give an experienced person confirmation with their own build ideas.
Also included in this article will be some suggested additional computer parts, peripherals, operating system ideas, and i’ll point you in the direction of exactly how to build a gaming PC (although of course skip this if you already know what you’re doing).
If you have any questions or thoughts let me know in the comment section below!
Best Gaming PC Build Under $900 Budget
CPU / Processor – Intel Core i5 6600K 3.50 GHz Quad Core Skylake Desktop Processor
CPU Cooler – Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Graphics Card – Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 6GB WINDFORCE OC GV-N1060WF2OC-6GD
Total Cost: $850-$950 Current Price: $927.05
To begin with I am using the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-01 Mid Tower case once again. It is inexpensive, looks nice and totally compatible with the rest of the parts in the build. Like always you can certainly go with another case if you want but just make sure it is compatible with the other parts and suits your needs.
So with this build I am extremely excited for a couple of things. I actually foreshadowed these points in my $800 PC build article. The main BIG difference with this $900 build is the graphics card. Jumping up a step to the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB will make this computer an absolute gaming powerhouse and is the most noticeable performance boost. I think you will be really happy with the 1060 6GB as the centerpiece of your gaming rig.
We are runnin 16GB of RAM, 1TB HDD and a more robust 650w gold power supply unit to ensure we have enough power for that graphics card and overclocking the processor. I left out a solid state drive as optional but if you want to add one in you can get a pretty decent 250GB SSD for roughly $90.
The other noticeable difference from this build and the $800 version on this site is the processor. $900 becomes an awesome price point to use an overclockable Skylake CPU and still have room for the beefier graphics card but I decided to give it my best shot. We will be sure to have our cake and eat it too at the $1000 level as well :).
While processing power isn’t everything to a gamer it is still nice to know you have your bases covered. The unlocked 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5-6600K Processor paired with a Z170A motherboard will be plenty of power for years to come. With the aftermarket CPU cooler and an unlocked i5 you will be able to overclock and squeeze that much more performance out of it. Although it is not necessary and you don’t have to overclock you may wish to in the future and it’s great to have that option.
This is one mean machine that will crush all the current games available!
I went with Intel but, what about AMD?
Due to the fact that this is a “gaming” PC we need to pick whatever processor that will provide better performance for the price point. The thing that is most important for gaming as far as the CPU is concerned is per core power rather then how many cores you have at your disposal. So while you can get a lot more cores at lower price points with AMD chips, unfortunately, Intel dominates in terms of per core performance.
You could go with an 8 core AMD FX-9590 or FX-9370 but an Intel i5-6600k will outperform these in pretty much all AAA games. It will also outperform the AMD counterparts in most other applications save for a minority of cases where having a ton of extra cores is important. There just aren’t any games that utilize the power of all these extra cores. You are better off going Intel for now.
Graphics is a must!
In this build I am stoked to be able to utilize the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB video card. It is an absolute beast and will buzz saw through 1080p, 1440p and does OK even with 4k gaming. With a max resolution of 7680 x 4320 and the ability to power up to 3 displays you will be set indeed. Knowing that graphics truly is a must in a gaming computer, I would say it is more then OK to spend 1/3 of the overall budget on your GPU which is what I’ve done here.
Extra Bits and Pieces
Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Optical Drive – Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA OEM DRW-24B1ST
WiFi – Wireless USB Adapter
Keyboard – Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard
Mouse – Logitech G300s Gaming Mouse
Headset – Sentey Gs-4730 Gaming Heaset
Speakers – Logitech Z523
Bits and Pieces Explanation
In the next topic I will go over my thoughts and preferences as far as the operating system is concerned. First lets go over some optional parts that you may wish to incorporate into your PC build.
The first of which being a SDD or solid state drive. A good setup is to have a SSD with your operating system and other important apps loaded on to that and then have a larger hard drive reserved for your main storage. The reason being the added speed and performance a SSD has over a HDD. While your programs, OS and loading screens (during gaming) will see a nice boost I would rather put the extra money towards other parts of the build. Mainly the graphics card in this instance. You know… what actually improves frame rate. One option if you really want to add in a SSD would be to jump down to my $800 build and throw in the Samsung 850 SSD I listed above. They go for roughly $90.
The next part i’d like to talk about is the optical drive. While these can come in handy at times I have it benched to the optional list because in many cases people don’t use them anymore and/or have one laying around from a previous computer. You can download apps, programs and games these days and even load your operating system from USB. If you really want to throw one of these in you can pick one up for very cheap. The ASUS DVD-RW listed above runs about $20 typically.
Last on my list is networking. I myself prefer to be wired directly into the router for better performance and stability. For some this isn’t an option so wireless is your best bet. In that case you will need a wireless pci adapter or usb such as the one I listed. Either way you can pick these up very inexpensively as well.
The rest of the list is some general PC gaming peripherals so take a look at the ones above if you are in need of one or you can always take a look around the rest of levelupyourgear.com where I have many articles about other gaming gear.
Operating System Of Choice
The problem is while you can get operating systems for free they are just not as good for the average gamer at this point. This pains me immensely because I think it would be great to be able to run the open source Linux Ubuntu as a daily driver. While you can use Wine to run your Windows games and apps right off of Ubuntu the problem is that not every current game will be supported for this.
Another option would be Steam OS and while it seems like a neat idea you run into the same issues as with other Linux distributions. It has also been documented that as of now Steam OS actually bogs some games down in comparison to Windows.
So the clear choice at this point for a gamer looking to play the widest variety of games would be to install a fresh copy of Windows 10 on your machine. Yes it costs roughly $100 so if you are stuck on $900 as a firm budget you may want to bump down to $800 plus $100 for Windows OR save up a little more cash.
One last note is that if you have purchased a retail copy of Windows 7, 8 or 10 for a past build (like many have) you can re-install that on your new machine saving some good cashola.
All of this is why I don’t list the OS as a main part of the build.
How to Build a Good Gaming PC for Under $900 Dollars in 2017!
If you already know what you’re doing then you can skip this part if you want. But if you need help learning to build a gaming PC make sure you check out a page I have devoted to that here. There are some videos there that will really help you out if you are new to all of this as well as some advice from me personally.
Whatever your experience level it can still be a good idea to do some refreshing. Especially if it has been some time since your last gaming computer project.
Should you build or should you buy pre-built?
Ultimately that is up to you my friend. Some people will find the draw and convenience of going to a local store, or Amazon, and picking up an already built gaming PC. It is super easy and you can just take it home, set it up and be done with it.
The reason I build my own PC’s is because it is fun!
It becomes a hobby for must of us that is only rivaled by gaming and occasionally overclocking (yes this is fun too).
Other then gaining an additional hobby you will also be able to build a much better over all machine for the money and have the sense of pride knowing you built it your self. Bang for buck is key. 🙂
Get ready because the future is bright!
Well you have made it. I hope in some way shape or form I was able to help you figure out a plan of action going forward. In my opinion the build above is the best gaming PC for under $900 dollars in 2017 and you will see great performance for years to come. Get ready to smash through your favorite titles on max settings and above all have a good time. Life really is too short.
What did you think of this build? If you are going with this specific one or need some help please drop me a comment below. If you enjoyed this then please check out my $1,000 build as well. Likes, shares, tweets and +1’s are greatly appreciated as well.
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