Amazing $1200 gaming PC build to dominate 1440p

In $900-$1400, Custom Builds by Branton386 Comments

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If you’re looking to build a powerful gaming PC capable of maxing games out in 1440p for around $1200, then this is the one you need. The powerful GTX 1070 is more than capable of handling 1440p gaming and it’s seriously going to blow your mind when paired with the brand new Ryzen 5 1600!

This build is exactly what you’re looking for if you want to build a strong PC capable of delivering smooth, immersive game play. Plus, there really aren’t many ways it could be improved upon without spending a lot more.

Without drawing this introduction out any longer, let’s get down to the build! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comment section!

  • A couple different styled/sized screwdrivers
  • Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
  • Patience

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. If this is your first attempt at building your own gaming PC, you’re going to want to be well-informed before you tackle the actual build process. There are a lot of walk-throughs and guides on YouTube, and a lot of these are really great to follow, I would highly recommend checking a couple out.

It’s not that building your desktop is going to be hard, but there are some things to take into consideration when doing it, grounding yourself so you don’t fry your new parts with static for instance.

If you’re still thinking that it’s a super-difficult process, just click (or tap) below, skim through the video, and then you’ll know for sure.

Here are the basic steps that I follow when building:
  1. Install the Power Supply into the Case
  2. Install the processor (make sure the arrows line up)
  3. Install RAM (make sure they are in the right way before you try to seat them!)
  4. Mount the CPU cooler
  5. Place the rear I/O plate
  6. Mount the motherboard to the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
  7. Plug your GPU in
  8. Install any storage
  9. Plug everything into the appropriate spots
  10. Turn it on / Install OS & drivers!

Video Walkthrough

Instead of me typing out a ton of words to explain this process, why not watch this video put together by EasyPCbuilder.com? He does a great job of explaining everything in detail, and is going to get you running in 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that it’s not the exact same build, but the overall process is going to be very similar. Building your PC is going to be a lot easier than you will think, so make sure you don’t stress yourself too much!

1440p Killing $1200 Gaming PC Build

Updated: September 3rd, 2017

  • Corsair Carbide Spec 02

    ATX case. Good cable mangement, good cooling profile.
    View

  • Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming

    AM4 socket motherboard, B350 chipset, ATX, 6x SATA, 8x USB including USB 3.1.
    View

  • AMD Ryzen 5 1600

    6 core 12 thread beast of a CPU for gaming. Comes with a good CPU cooler.
    View

  • Zotac GTX 1070 Mini

    8GB GDDR5, 256-bit memory, amazing performance, great cooling & comes with a backplate!
    View

  • EVGA 600 BQ

    Semi-modular 600W power supply, up to 85% efficiency – this PSU won’t let you down!
    View

  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    2x8GB 3000MHz dual channel pair, CL15.
    View

  • WD Blue 1TB HDD

    1TB, 3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache.
    View

  • Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD

    2.5 inch, 540MB/s read, 520MB/s write.
    View

Estimated
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Suggested/Optional

Although not entirely necessary, some add ons like optical drives can sometimes improve your experience. Others, like an operating system, are significantly more crucial. If you’re installing your operating system from a disc opposed to a USB flash drive, then you’ll definitely need an optical drive.

  • [UPGRADE] EVGA GTX 1080 FTW

    If you have a bit more gold in your coffers, you might want to consider upgrading your graphics card to a GTX 1080. EVGA’s FTW model is easily one of the best options.
    View

  • Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    Windows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
    View

  • Corsair H80i Liquid CPU Cooler

    Instead of air cooling for your CPU, why not try a closed loop liquid cooler? Corsair’s Spec 02 case is guaranteed to work with the H80i.
    *You don’t need air cooling if you’re choosing to run liquid cooling!
    View

  • Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD

    An M.2-based NVMe SSD like the 960 EVO is a step up from basic M.2 or SATA SSDs. They offer significantly more speed, but at a higher price /GB in comparison.
    View

  • Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW

    A lot of people are moving away from internally mounted optical drives, and it’s easy to see why! This external ODD is definitely one of the cheaper & better options to consider.
    View

Details

For a little more than $1200, this R5 1600X + GTX 1070-powered gaming PC is absolutely insane! It has more than enough power to completely blow your mind over and over again as you try your favorite games on it in either 1080p or 1440p! Keep in mind that the price above is for the core components only, you will still need an operating system, and any other peripherals you don’t currently have.

Corsair’s Carbide Spec-02 is my most recommended case for the simple reason that it works great and doesn’t cost a huge amount. It comes with 2 120mm fans (1 with red LED lighting) and enough space to add an extra 3 120-140mm fans of your choice. It’ll fit any mATX or ATX motherboard without an issue and any graphics card will fit inside no problem. That being said, there are lots of other cases that would work great for this build, so to make sure that your build is really your build, make sure you pick the case that you like best!

 

AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600 isn’t the most powerful of the R5 lineup per say, but it does offer the best value in my opinion. At around $210 it offers the best price vs performance ratio of any CPU in the price range, there’s even more added value when you consider the CPU cooler it comes with is rather decent.

The Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming is a great ATX sized AM4 socket motherboard for the price, it comes with everything you’ll need for the components in this build as well as the majority of any future upgrades. It gives you a plethora of USB options including multiple USB 3.1 ports, 6x SATA ports, CrossFire support, and a ton of on board fan headers.

The GTX 1070 is a complete and utter powerhouse when it comes to 1440p 60Hz or 1080p 144Hz gaming – and it can even take you into 4K if you don’t mind lowering some settings. Zotac’s GTX 1070 Mini is a great performer with solid cooling and it’s one of the best-priced options available right now. Keep in mind that GTX 1070 GPUs are selling for an increased price and if you can afford it a GTX 1080 ($50-$100 more) would offer better value.

16GB of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM is a great amount and speed for a gaming PC at this level. Corsair’s LPX lineup is really awesome which is probably why it has nearly 5-star reviews pretty much everywhere. That said, there are other options available that come with LED lighting and things like that if you’re looking for something a little different.

EVGA’s G-series of modular power supplies are easily some of the most reliable units out there. The 650W G1 is plenty for this build and it comes with a 10-year warranty which is great as it shows that EVGA believes in their product!

As far as storage goes, I picked you out a relatively standard HDD/SSD combo, and you’re going to have 1.25TB of space between the two drives, with the HDD holding 1TB and the SSD with 250GB. I would suggest installing your operating system to your SSD, as well as any games/programs you’re going to use a lot. Everything else can go on your HDD.

All-in-all, this build is phenomenal, for $1200 you’d be hard-pressed to get a better gaming PC anywhere, and that’s a fact.

Operating System

When it comes down to picking an operating system for your build, you have a couple of options. One is free, the other is about $100.

windows-10-homeWindows is the first, and probably best option for the most people – specifically Windows 10. Not only is DirectX 12 a Windows 10 exclusive, but if you’re looking to play some Forza Horizon 3 on your new PC, well, it’s also a Windows 10 exclusive. When it comes to picking out your copy, Windows 10 Home is all that’s necessary, and you even have the option of buying an OEM disc or the significantly faster USB flash drive installer.

The free option would be downloading a copy of a Linux-based operating system like Ubuntu and going from there, there are other options but Ubuntu is generally the best. Although pretty decent, there are some downsides to running a Linux-based system, like less compatibility for games / programs.

Extras

If this is the absolute first gaming PC you’ve ever owned, then chances are high that you don’t have a very good keyboard + mouse combo, or that your monitor is sub-par to really enjoy your experience.

If you don’t already have these basic peripherals, you’re definitely going to want them. At the very least you’re going to need a keyboard, a mouse, some kind of audio, and a monitor. Luckily for you, we’ve featured some awesome products to cover each of these basic needs, just check them out!

  • BenQ XL2411Z

    A very solid 24-inch 1080p 144hz monitor with a 1ms response time. There are lots of other options but this is definitely one to consider!
    View

  • Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

    Romer-G mechanical switches. Customizable RGB backlighting. All-around amazing keyboard for around $120!
    View

  • Razer DeathAdder

    Razer’s DeathAdder is an awesome gaming mouse offering great accuracy and a lot of comfort!
    View

  • Creative Sound BlasterX H7

    Creative’s Sound BlasterX H7 is an absolutely amazing headset that’ll completely blow you away!
    View

  • Reflex Lab Mouse Pad

    Super smooth, very accurate, and extremely comfortable to use! Reflex Lab mouse pads are available in 4 sizes from your basic 9″ x 8″ right up to a whopping 36″ x 18″!
    View

About WiFi

Personally, I prefer using a wired internet connection over a WiFi connection, and this build would support that right away. But, if you absolutely have to use a WiFi connection, then you’re also going to need some kind of WiFi adapter.

When it comes to actually picking a WiFi adapter, it’s a little more complicated than simply picking the cheapest option and plugging it in. Sure, you could do that, but it wouldn’t deliver a great experience in most cases, especially not when you might be able to spend just $10 more to get significantly better speeds.

First, you should determine whether or not your router runs on the “N” or “AC” standard. N is older and only offers support for the 2.4GHz band (not great for gaming) where AC supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Ideally, 5GHz is the band you want to be using for any kind of online gaming as it offers the best performance, but N will work if it’s all you have.

Next comes time to actually pick your adapter, it should be the same standard as your router. This is because you don’t need (and won’t get better performance) if you’re using an AC adapter with an N router. But, if you have an AC router, you don’t want to miss out on taking advantage of the 5GHz band by cheaping out on an N adapter.

I hope that makes sense, because here are some suggestions!

  • TP-Link TL-WN722N

    A very affordable N150 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
    View

  • TP-Link Archer T4U V2

    A reliable AC1300 USB WiFi adapter. Capable of operating on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
    View

  • Rosewill AC1300 PCIe WiFi Adapter

    A good internally mounted (PCIe) AC1300 WiFi adapter.
    View

Conclusion

For right around $1200, this build will keep you comfortably gaming for years to come. No big upgrades will be needed for a reaaaaally long time, and it’s not going to have any issues running games maxed out for the same amount of time. The GTX 1070 is a complete beast and it’s going to blow your mind, I just know it!

This PC is really a thing of beauty, you would be seriously hard-pressed to find a better $1200 build anywhere. This badass build is using some of the newest and best hardware that you could use, and it’s going to be noticeable from the first time you boot up your favorite game!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or whatever else, feel free to leave it below! 

Order This $1200 Build!

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Author

Branton

The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on PC gaming and putting together awesome builds! Thanks for stopping by!

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386 Comments on “Amazing $1200 gaming PC build to dominate 1440p”

  1. ok so a question for fans i know i need the cpu cooler but do i need to buy more fans or does the tower come with them?

    1. The case comes with a couple of fans, you won’t need any extras unless you want to fill the empty slots 🙂

  2. Hello, I bought this build and I am trying to ensemble it but when I turn it on it turns on and shuts off and then turns on and shuts off repeatedly. Do you think there is a any possible problem with it?

    1. Hey Josue,

      It sounds like something maybe wasn’t hooked up correctly. Did you double check that everything is supplied with power? It sounds like your CPU cooler might not have power which is triggering a failsafe that turns your PC off to avoid damage.

      1. The motherboard CPU Status LED lights up, I am thinking it could be too much thermal paste but not sure what could be making the computer turn on and off.

        1. As long as you didn’t add any extra TIM to what the stock cooler already had, it won’t be an issue of too much TIM. There are a million things it could be, but if you take a run through this troubleshooting guide I’m confident you’ll be up and running in no time 🙂

    1. Hey JC,

      Yep, definitely! You could also drop the CPU cooler if you wanted to just run the i7 7700’s stock cooler instead. Or, you could opt for the i7 7700K and have the option to overclock.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hello, first thanks in advance for all your help and detailed description. I got all the parts you listed except for the graphics card. I should get it in about three days. so my question is if it would be a good idea to start building my pc right now without the graphics card so once it arrives I have everything all set to go. I know this is a dumb question but I want to hear your opinion on this. Or do you think I should wait until I have every part I need?

    1. Hey Jesus,

      You’re definitely good to start putting your build together, once your GPU shows up it’ll install without a problem and your PC will be ready to turn on within a few minutes!

  4. Hey Braton

    My computer is all set to go except for one thing. It turns on but then it shuts off and then turns back again and shuts off. It does this over and over and I also do not get any signal to my monitor. Any ideas of what the problem could be?

    1. Hey Jesus,

      That could be stemming from any number of sources, first make sure everything is seated completely in their proper ports, headers. If that doesn’t fix your issue take a run through this troubleshooting guide, it’ll more than likely get you up and running 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hey, I am building a variation of the 1000 dollar build with intel i7 and 16 GB of ram so I can stream but was curious if I could use this case with that build, like would everything fit and cool just fine, because I really like the RGB and it would match my keyboard. Thanks for the help and if you have any other suggestions of something I could be doing better to take advantage of the i7 and 16 GB of ram to its full potential I am open to hear it.

    1. Hey Griffin,

      Everything you’re planning on doing is going to fit perfectly into the case in this build. You’re on the right track for what you want to do, I wouldn’t make any alterations to your current plan.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Hey getting ready to pull the trigger on this build but wanted to get something straightened out first. The EVGA GTX 1070 SC ACX 3.0 comes in an SC and an SC black option, just wondering if its just a color thing or if there’s more to it than that. Thank you!

  7. Hey was wondering if this build would be able to accommodate the Corsair H100i v2 or if you would even recommend going that route. Thanks in advance!

  8. Hi can i switch i5 here with i7 7700k? Will it not bottleneck? thanks I plan to do some rendering and 3d designing and bit of gaming when i am bored. I’ve read that rendering is CPU intensive that’s why i want to switch in for i7. CAD workstation builds is to expensive for me so i plan to use gaming builds as an alternative.Thanks

    1. Hey AJ,

      You can definitely swap the i5 7600K for an i7 7700K, nothing else would need to be changed 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  9. Hey I noticed this pc was around $1400 in total on amazon. Is there anywhere in this build where I can save some money?

    1. Hey James,

      Not without changing the graphics card, unfortunately. Since the price of graphics cards has gone through the roof it’s been pretty much impossible for me to keep this build within budget without making major changes (swapping the 1070 for a 1060) – I’m really hoping that prices will return closer to “normal” sooner than later.. As an example, the average price of a GTX 1070 has gone up roughly ~$150-$200 since the start of June, they now cost about as much as a GTX 1080 did last month.

  10. Hey Branton,
    Got another question for ya. I have Asus HB7M-E that the keyboard controller went out on. Been looking for a replacement but they want 425 for a new one. At that price I would think of getting a better mobo but how would I go about doing that since my pc is setup to run with this one? Do I need to have a clean install win 10 or can I use my current hard drive and just replace the mobo?

    Sorry if this is a noob question but been with out the pc for two weeks now.

    1. Hey Cleve,

      I definitely would not pay $425 for a new H87 mobo, that’s for sure – for that price you could upgrade your processor and motherboard to something newer. You might have better luck looking for Z97 chipset boards as they’ll be more common than H87 boards will be now. 99% of the time you can just install the new mobo and you’ll be good to go.

  11. It seems that you say the price point is 1200$ but when I go into amazon it is more like 800$. What happened to the extra 400$? Does it have to do with the whole graphics card crisis or did you take some thing out? If I bought all the base products on your site would I be able to build a working computer
    (excluding the monitor and software) Thanks-Garrett P.S. I am kind of new to the PC world, this is my first build.

    1. Hey Garrett,

      The price you’re seeing is caused by the graphics card shortage, GTX 1070 are now being bought up like the lower end GTX 1060 and RX 580 have been – they’re essentially unavailable. That being said, with the current pricing you might want to look at a GTX 1080 while there’s still stock. Another option is checking around local stores for a reasonably priced GTX 1070 (~$350-$400, not the $500 they’re selling for online), if you have a Microcenter or a Fry’s nearby those would be awesome places to start. The parts in the list are all of the core components that you’ll need (SSD / HDD combo isn’t mandatory) to build your PC.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Hey Brandon I’m wondering if all these parts Wil fit

    GIGABYTE GA-Z270XP-SLI LGA1151 Intel 2-Way ATX DDR4 Motherboard

    EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1, 80+ GOLD 650W, Fully Modular, 10 Year War..

    Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz C15 Desktop…

    Refurbished CRYORIG H7 Tower Cooler For AMD/Intel CPU’s
    NZXT S340 Mid Tower Computer Case, Matte Black/Blue (CA-S340MB-…

    Thanks- Garrett

  13. Hey Branton I am new to pc…complete newb realy. Will any of the “corsair” cases be compatible? Also will any of the corsair power supplys work with this build? I really like the price vs performance ratio! Huge WoW fan! Would you have any recommendations for the corsair products listed above if they will work?

    1. Hey Jake,

      Most definitely! Pretty much any of Corsair’s cases will work, did you have a specific one in mind? I would shy away from Corsair PSUs to be honest, they aren’t bad but they don’t have the best track record when compared to an EVGA G2 power supply – your PSU is the LAST component that you want to go cheap on, if it goes it could take your entire system with it! I would recommend any case from Corsair, they’re some of the best I’ve used; if you have questions about a specific case, feel free to ask 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  14. Hi Branton,

    This will be my first pc build and I was wondering wether I could fit all of this inside the Corsair Crystal 570x PC Case. And if so, could I complete the build in that case with having to purchase liquid cooling?

    Thank you for taking the time to read my questions!

    1. Hey Woodrow,

      You can use the Corsair 570x without an issue! It’s an awesome case, good choice! You would not need liquid cooling for it, a CPU cooler with a fan would work just fine.

      Hope that helps!

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