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Build Guide

Great Intel Gaming Build

by ThoughtA

23
44 Comments

Description

CPU

At this budget, we're running an Intel i5-7500. Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. The i5-7500 includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary. Since we aren't overclocking our CPU, the stock cooler will be sufficient in keeping temperatures acceptable.

Note: If you'd prefer to consider a similar build, but instead using an AMD Ryzen processor, be sure to check out our Great AMD Gaming Build Guide.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric filter to constantly select the best-priced motherboard while meeting selected criteria. In this case, we are filtering for B250 chipsets and 4 DDR4 DIMM slots for future expansion. The compatibility engine will filter out anything not compatible with the build. The motherboards are also capable of using the CPU's integrated GPU, in case you need to RMA your GPU or are waiting for a sale or upgrade.

Memory

Memory needs are slowly but constantly increasing, and we want to stay ahead of the curve. To this end we're using a parametric filter to choose a 16GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications at the best price. The filter will only select 2x8GB kits, allowing us to leave room for extra DIMMs for future expansion.

Storage

We're using parametric filters to incorporate an SSD with at least 500GB of space. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to add or remove capacity to your heart's desire.

GPU

In light of recent stock shortages due to the current cryptocurrency mining craze, we've updated the GPU to the more powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. It's one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1080 will provide a consistent 60fps on many demanding games like Battlefield 1 at Ultra at 1080p, and even 1440p for some games like Shadow of Mordor. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1080 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

When video card stock and availability normalizes again, we will make sure to update our guides as appropriate to reflect the change in the market.

To keep the noise and temperatures down, we've updated the filter to include a minimum length to avoid "mini" versions of the card, which prioritize fitting into small builds, such as an ITX case. You can choose to use this filter instead, if you want to include the smaller cards for any reason. Note that smaller cards will be louder or hotter - or both.

Case

The build will be housed in the Cooler Master MasterBox 5 mid tower. The MasterBox 5 features 2 USB 3.0 front panel ports and has room for video cards of any length. It includes a PSU shroud to hide unsightly cables, plenty of bays for storage drives, and it has room for multiple radiators. There are also plenty of cable management holes.

If you're interested, there's also a black version of the case.

PSU

For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of well-reviewed semi or fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 336W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $251.50 $251.50 Vuugo Buy
Motherboard
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel B250
  • RAM Slots: 4 - 16
  • RAM Type: DDR4
$117.99 $117.99 PC Canada Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2400, DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$140.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $140.99 Amazon Canada Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
$194.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $194.99 Amazon Canada Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080
  • Length: 224mm - 403mm
$688.88 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $688.88 Amazon Canada Buy
Case $91.00 -$15.00 $76.00 Vuugo Buy
$15.00 mail-in rebate
Power Supply $104.98 -$20.00 $84.98 NCIX Buy
$20.00 mail-in rebate
Base Total: $1590.33
Mail-in Rebates: -$35.00
Total: $1555.33
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Comments Sorted by:

mrmotley 3 points 27 days ago

Does anyone know what kind of monitor I would need to do this build and graphics card justice?

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 26 days ago

My personal top priority at this performance level would be to get a resolution of 2560x1440 or an ultrawide monitor, likely 3440x1440. Ultrawides are going to be more expensive, though. They're also not for everyone.

After that, I'd aim for an IPS panel (or similar) and higher refresh rate. The final spec I'd consider a primary goal would be adaptive sync (G-Sync in this case). If there isn't a monitor with those three items within your budget. it can be a tossup for which to sacrifice first. A lot of people are willing to go with a TN panel in exchange for a high refresh rate and/or adaptive sync. If you're going to be playing mostly very static-looking games like Civ 6, a higher refresh rate and adaptive sync won't really matter so much.

As with a lot of things with building, monitor preferences are a very personal thing. Some people want to go as high of a resolution as possible, others just want the highest frame rates they can possibly get, etc.

mrmotley 2 points 26 days ago

Thank you

Willseckel 1 point 27 days ago

A 4k resolution monitor would be good for this build and would give you good frames

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 26 days ago

For gaming, I wouldn't recommend a 4K screen for most people. People's preferences differ regarding frame rate and settings, but in my opinion, the real sweet spot right now is ultrawide 1440 or high refresh rate 2560x1440.

CarbonDioxide 1 point 18 days ago

1440p but 4k would also work if you prefer resolution over fps

Adlerps01 2 points 27 days ago

My first build. A few questions: Is the AMD version a better gaming computer? Is there a video that can help me put it together?
Any advice on WiFi card?

Thanks paul

CarbonDioxide 1 point 18 days ago

There are plenty of videos that will help you with putting a pc together, as for AMD vs INTEL they should both play games about the same

SuperMagicalRainbow 1 point 24 days ago

Will this computer be good enough to do a lot of photoshop and play tripple a games?

Inygms 1 point 22 days ago

More than enough

Inygms 1 point 22 days ago

Photoshop no problem, however I recommend going with the AMD Build instead, as the Ryzen CPU will be better. The GTX 1080 will play triple a games at high refresh rate 1440p or 60fps 4k.

veene 1 point 23 days ago

so the gtx 1080 turbo that it links to on amazon is $1500 + ... what's the big deal here?

CarbonDioxide 1 point 18 days ago

Everyone is buying up all the GPUs at the moment, give it a little bit and prices should go back down

noa.h.ossain 1 point 23 days ago

Does anyone know how loud this build is?

Kezah 1 point 23 days ago

Why Do i not see a cooler, i think im just missing something?

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 23 days ago

The CPU comes with a stock cooler.

Kezah 1 point 21 days ago

would it be better to purchase a cooler tho? just for that extra bit off cooling?

CarbonDioxide 1 point 18 days ago

It's not an overclock build so you should be fine with a stock CPU fan

Barki 1 point 23 days ago

Does it have to be that specific gtx1080? That one is out of stock, ive found a gtx 1080 turbo oc for slightly higer price, would this work? Im new to this obviously!

CarbonDioxide 1 point 18 days ago

Yeah it should work just fine, but if you want to OC you might want to invest in a 'k' series processor and a CPU cooler

Originity 1 point 20 days ago

I can't get the Asus Graphics card with a decent price, whats a better alternative with a +100$ for a replacement? Also is this Card a good replacement for it? https://pcpartpicker.com/product/63yxFT/evga-video-card-08gp46183

Thank you!

CarbonDioxide 1 point 18 days ago

If you can't wait a GTX 1070 is also a good card but, at the moment all the card manufacturers are being bought out of stock so prices are being raised, so by just waiting a while you should see prices start to drop back down, but If you have any near you, bestbuy or other PC hardware stores may have cards still at their regular prices

Bruno2022 1 point 18 days ago

This will be good to play gta v with mods? I'm trying to build a good desktop for gaming but I have no idea what parts I should pick :(

Retribution0 1 point 17 days ago

Created a similar build but switched the 1080 for a 1060 6 GB with a few other minor changes such as case and storage. also included monitor and just picked out a mouse and keyboard for the hell of it. everything is still up in the air, but essentially my goal is to be able to play games like ARK at high to very high graphics at least, with 60 frames 1080p. if you guys could check out my build and give me pointers that would be much appreciated, this is my first build and I dont have much knowledge on the subject. Thanks in advance. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/8vXFkT

Over9000GHz 1 point 14 days ago

Are case fans needed here or do they come with the case?

MrMcArtur 1 point 13 days ago

Is this compatible? has anyone actually built this and had it work?

Zephiro 1 point 11 days ago

How would double the ssd affect this build?

gleaf 1 point 10 days ago
rushingaming 1 point 9 days ago

ADATA is absolutely garbage and anyone who cheaps out and gets one will regret it. take it from personal experience.

deathbat6916 1 point 8 days ago

"Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urf_vwc3hmE 100% usage at high settings should tell you something. and before you cry "AWPTIMAZASHUN" or whatever solely based on what company released this, it's actually GOOD that games are coming out using more than 4 cores. an older example of a multithreaded game is Crysis 3.

Catstronaut1 1 point 8 days ago

dang dude that sucks lol I just got the old graphics card that you recommended then the mining craze just stopped there

Catstronaut1 1 point 8 days ago

I just picked up the old graphics card that you recommended, Is it still compatible with this updated build? it was the gtx 1080 oc in the vent style with one fan

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 7 days ago

Yep! The changes are simply due to the parametric filter actively and constantly selecting the best-priced GTX 1080 that's currently available. As that changes, so does the selection.

TheBravados 1 point 7 days ago

Is there a wireless card you could recommend? Or is this build hard-wire only?

fallingPC 1 point 6 days ago

need suggestions. are the components i used good? for the cooler i would be using air cooler since i may not overclock the cpu. and i really need suggestions if i should stick with the mother board or switch it over with the rog ix hero

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/fallingPC/saved/#view=Zkpycf

gyosko 1 point 6 days ago

Is the Intel Core i5-7600K worth the upgrade?(Like this https://pcpartpicker.com/list/RxTTf8 )

Also what's the difference beetween all the GTX 1080 that I find here?

GTX 1080 Aero 8g OC vs GTX 1080 Gaming X 8g for example, what does it change?

I don't care about 4k gaming, so what would be a good 1080p monitor for this build?

GageGoesGravy 1 point 4 days ago

Right now i play on a laptop from like 2013 and get 60 fps in csgo with low settings. i dont really know much about pc parts and ive been a console player my whole life. the $1000 for a pc is a lot to me for just a gaming platform. could this run arma 3, rust, and survival games well? these types of games take a lot to run. All i see online is people with these crazy expensive pc's and i just dont really know the price range well at all; like does $1000 get me 80 fps on a game compared to $4000 gets me 200 fps. if im spending this much money on a gaming pc, it makes me feel better knowing what im getting from it. any links or videos that could help me get a better understanding of this?

pikafu 1 Build 1 point 14 hours ago

It depends on what type of games you want to play. The GPU is usually the thing that matters the most to a game's performance, but there are some games that are CPU intensive too (such as Civ). So if you want to play games, you are paying mostly for the GPU. With some research, you don't need to spend more than low $1000s to play the most demanding games out there.

You will also want to make sure your CPU does not bottleneck your CPU - for example an i3 processor will bottleneck a GTX980 while playing a demanding game. As for PC vs. console gaming, the advantage of building a PC vs buying a console is that the PC will last you through multiple generations of console games, even if you pay more upfront. Plus, it will serve as your work computer. If you are looking to play a particular game, I would start by going to CYRI (can you run it) and checking out what GPU/CPU it recommends. On YouTube, Linus Tech Tips and Hardware Canucks both have good videos on how to build a PC, from part selection to case specific tips. Hardware Canucks is more focused on the cases though.

Good luck with your research!

stalewind 1 Build 1 point 2 days ago

Normally I would disagree with matching the i5-7500 with the excellent 1080 as a mismatch. These days however the builder needs to go big or small as in the 1050Ti. So the1080 is the best bang for the buck.

Since the buyer needs to build up instead of in the middle of the field, The case should be improved to match the level of the graphics card. The board, CPU and storage keep the build more in middle so possibly the Thermaltake TG31. Fairly low cost with better aesthetics and airflow.

tmartinez27 1 point 2 days ago

Possible

Link27 1 point 2 days ago

What would this rig run lets say battlefield 1 at. Just for reference. Thanks for any reply.

Fu210n 1 point 15 hours ago

Should be able to do high/ultra settings at 1440p without trouble

Link27 1 point 15 hours ago

Thank you

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Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-7500 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Gigabyte - GA-B250-HD3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Patriot - Viper Elite 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory 11W - 11W
ADATA - Ultimate SU800 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
EVGA - GeForce GTX 1080 8GB SC2 Gaming iCX Video Card 45W - 180W
Total: 83W - 336W