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Build Guide

Great Intel Gaming Build

by ThoughtA



At this budget, we're running the Intel Coffee Lake i3-8300. Unlike previous generations' i3s, the Coffee Lake i3s are 4 core processors. The i3-8100 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. It 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.


We're using a parametric filter to constantly select the best-priced motherboard while meeting selected criteria. In this case, we are filtering for B360 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 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.


We're use 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.


For our GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1070 will provide a consistent 60fps on many demanding games like PUBG) at Ultra at 1080p, and even 1440p for some games like Shadow of War. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1070 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on 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.


Our build will be housed in the black NZXT S340 Elite. This case features a tempered glass window and 2x front panel USB 3.0 ports, along with 2x USB 2.0 ports. It can fit full length video cards and features a PSU shroud to keep your build looking cleaner. The S340 Elite also contains quite a bit of cable management features, such as cutouts, bumps and tie-offs.

You can find white, black/blue, and black/red versions of the S340 Elite as well.


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.

AMD Version

Here is the AMD version of our Great Gaming Guide..

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: See notes below.

Estimated Wattage: 306W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $145.99 FREE $145.99 Mike's Computer Shop Buy
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel B360
  • RAM Slots: 4 - 16
$109.75 $109.75 Vuugo Buy
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$204.99 $204.99 Newegg Canada Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
$146.88 $146.88 shopRBC Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070
  • Length: 223mm - 403mm
$599.99 $599.99 Memory Express Buy
Case $118.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $118.99 Amazon Canada Buy
Power Supply $89.99 $89.99 PC-Canada Buy
Total: $1416.58
* 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.

Compatibility Notes

  • The motherboard M.2 slot #1 shares bandwidth with a SATA 6.0 Gb/s port. When the M.2 slot is populated, one SATA 6.0 Gb/s port is disabled.
  • The motherboard M.2 slot #3 shares bandwidth with a SATA 6.0 Gb/s port. When the M.2 slot is populated, one SATA 6.0 Gb/s port is disabled.
  • Flag compatibility notes as incorrect

Comments Sorted by:

felixhgaming 3 points 17 days ago

How would I go about connecting this pc to wifi? I am new to building PCs and don't know how it works too well.


RealShen 1 point 17 days ago

USB wifi adapter

felixhgaming 2 points 17 days ago

Is there any one that you would recommend? And can any adapter be compatible?


RealShen 2 points 17 days ago

Most should be fine but look on amazon , there are plenty of reviews to help your decision. I got a basic one from amazon (made in China) was like £20 with lots of positive reviews so went with that one. Worked really well so far!

Ryzin 1 point 1 day ago

The TP-Link WN881ND is $19

Ryzin 1 point 1 day ago

I do NOT recommend getting a USB wifi adapter. Especially one without antennas. Put $10 more into a PCI-E card and will get better coverage, speeds, and times. On my 72 mbps wifi I would get 2 mbps near the router. I moved upstairs and got wifi in the kbps. Now I got a PCI-E card and I get 25-30 mbps.

3rric 1 point 15 days ago

Use an ethernet cable or buy an external wifi card

AzuresFlames 1 point 17 days ago

Wouldn’t an i3 bottleneck the 1070?

EBear225 3 points 17 days ago

Not necessarily. The i3 8100 should perform on par with last generation's i5 7500 if not faster, because they are both quad core chips with very similar clockspeeds. Most games now still don't utilize more than 4 cores, so a six core chip is more for future proofing than anything else.

NotAHypebeast 1 point 1 day ago

"Most games now don't utilize more than 4 cores, so a six core chip is more for future proofing than anything else." I strongly disagree with a six core chip being only future-proofing, 4c for game, 2c for Windows/Linux and background processes, yielding exceptional performance increase in CPU-heavy games. Also, a Ryzen 5 1600 not only has a far better stock cooler (which I assume you will be using with the lack of a CPU cooler in your list) but also likely better gaming performance.

benito49 -2 points 7 days ago

However if running i3 in overclocking you can improve core clocking by about %20 percent not bottle necking the gpu especially an evga that runs a separate processing of 4-8 gb of ram. And yes 8100 will run similarly i5 7500, Ultimately this 4 core chip should be overclocked for less bottle necking get a cooler maybe a Coolermaster ONe for 20 Dollars or 17 pounds.

lge01 1 Build 3 points 3 days ago

It's a non-overclockable SKU....

PrivatePengu 3 points 3 days ago

However if running i3 in overclocking you can improve core clocking by about %20 percent

I'd like to know what sick chip you have that can show that amount of improvement in games from overclocking, because that's pretty amazing.

especially an evga that runs a separate processing of 4-8 gb of ram

First of all, EVGA cards are nothing special. It's primarily the cooling and clock potential that matters between cards, and sometimes noise level. Secondly, a seperate processing of 4-8 gb of RAM? What? GPUs have their own RAM, and the only RAM that the GPU will require is used by the CPU to send information to the CPU. And that isn't anywhere near 4-8 gb.

this 4 core chip should be overclocked for less bottle necking get a cooler maybe a Coolermaster ONe for 20 Dollars or 17 pounds.

It can't be overclocked, and getting an aftermarket cooler won't allow that. Plus, what kind of overclock do you expect from a 20 dollar Cooler Master HSF if you want +20%?

adventureguy 2 Builds -2 points 17 days ago

yeah most likely. At most, I'd pair the GTX 1060/RX 580 with that CPU. I'd go with something i5 8400/8600K/Ryzen 5 2600 if I'm going with a GTX 1060.

adventureguy 2 Builds 1 point 23 hours ago

I meant GTX 1070 with i5 8400/i5 8600K/Ryzen 5 2600 lol sry typo I guess that's why there are -2 points or maybe people hate me I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case tbh

benito49 0 points 7 days ago

Yes I agree

Jeremy.Absi 1 point 5 days ago

For 1000$ i expect a I5 atleast

Leleedler 1 point 2 days ago

The storage solution here is simply bad, you can get a 120gb ssd, and a sizable 2tb hard drive for the same price as that one 500gb drive. 16gb of ram in a system like this isn't required, and in a ram market like we're in right now, 8gb should be just fine as long as this is being used for gaming mostly. While I don't think this build is too bad, I'd personally go with my build here:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/kTTn6s ($1003.90 5/23/18)

This build is cheaper, more powerful, has better storage solutions, and overall outperforms this build with the extra 2 cores. To note, I used 8gb of ram which, could be a bottleneck in editing workloads but, if this is an issue, for about the same price of ThoughtA's build ($1074.95 5/23/18) you can fit in 16gb of ram with the faster cpu:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/kFnt7W (1074.40 5/23/18)

ThoughtA's build isn't bad, but the storage choice, as well as the cpu choice seem a little awkward for a computer of this caliber.

TaskMaster 1 point 2 days ago

Just had a few questions, im new to computers.

Is this good for a basic gaming setup? Is storage and memory also good, or should I upgrade?

NotAHypebeast 1 point 1 day ago

Basic, yeah (but i'd go for a 1060 instead for basic), but a better SSD would be good.

Noxast 1 point 6 hours ago

Personally I might go i5-8400 and take a smaller SSD, throw in HDD to balance out cost... kinda.

ITZDANNY 0 points 11 days ago

Is there a crazy bottlenecking LUL there should be some LOL

joshthebossxxl2 -6 points 20 days ago

I would not use the i3-8100 I would personally use the i5-8600k with the z370 and use a 1060 instead of 1070 for cooler I would recommend a single rad cooler for light overclocking

EBear225 5 points 20 days ago

May I ask why? The i3 8100 + GTX 1070 will give better performance in essentially every modern game than an i5 8600k + GTX 1060 combo.

Lobsterareawesome 7 Builds 2 points 19 days ago

true! I would cough up the extra money for the 8350k. But even with the i3 8100 and a 1070 you'll have MUCH better gaming performance than with a 8600k +1 1060

ahmadss 2 points 16 days ago

i5 8400 + GTX1070 is the best set

Lobsterareawesome 7 Builds 1 point 16 days ago

true.. but any i3 would still give nice performance

joshthebossxxl2 2 points 15 days ago

i3-8350K gives more flexibilty as you can overclock the i3-8100 is locked and has no turbo boost

Leleedler 1 point 2 days ago

He would make these changes I am assuming because of upgradeability but, jumping to the i5 8400 instead would be a good idea with a system like this, since it won't bottleneck a 1080ti quite so much as an i3 8100. I believe the 8100 could be quite a bit more of a bottleneck than something like my 1700x, which in 1080p is quite the bottleneck.

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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Gigabyte - B360 HD3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Team - Vulcan 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2800 Memory 11W - 11W
Crucial - MX500 500GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
EVGA - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB ACX 3.0 Video Card 37W - 150W
Total: 75W - 306W