The Best $900 Gaming PC Build

In $900-$1400, Custom Builds by Branton313 Comments

best gaming pc build under 900

Looking to build yourself the best $900 Gaming PC possible? This might just be it. Featuring an i5 6500, a Gigabyte H170 motherboard, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a Gigabyte GTX 1060 G1 and 1.27TB of storage, you’ll be “future proof” for quite a while.

Building a gaming PC with around 900 dollars gets you something that will run the newest games on high-ultra settings in 1080p, and will also deliver very favorable 1440p performance in the majority of AAA titles – GTA:V on Ultra in 1440p would easily maintain 60fps!

This powerful PC is going to put you ahead of the game by giving you way more performance than you’re paying for. But, keep in mind that the price is for just the tower, if you need other peripherals or an operating system, those will be separate from the price listed below.

If you’re trying to build a gaming PC with a brand new Kaby Lake CPU and a powerful graphics card like the GTX 1060, this is definitely the build that you’re looking for!

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

Putting your PC together is a lot easier than it sounds, and it’s easily something that you can accomplish by yourself. The build process is actually pretty straight-forward, and it’s honestly as easy as matching shapes together.

The only tools you need are a couple of smaller screwdrivers and a some(see: “tonnes of”) patience. Plugging parts like your graphics card and RAM sticks in won’t require any tools, and you’ll just need to make sure they’re going in the proper way and then firmly press until they click.

Static electricity is something else you should keep in mind, as it could easily fry your system if not kept in-check. An anti-static wristband can easily keep you static-free, and working on hardwood/tile/linoleum is usually a good plan also.

But, watching a video walkthrough always helps, so we’ve added one of those in the next tab!

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 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.

The Best $900 Gaming PC Build

Updated: January 15th, 2017

  • Corsair Carbide SPEC-02

    Mid tower, great layout + optimal cooling, front USB 3.0, and a big window!
    View

  • ASUS Prime B250-Plus

    LGA 1151 socket, ATX, B250 chipset. Integrated audio, built-in ethernet, and 6x USB ports.
    View

  • Intel i5 7500

    3.4GHz base clock/3.8GHz boost clock, 6MB smart cache. Comes with a CPU cooler.
    View

  • Gigabyte GTX 1060 G1

    6GB GDDR5 VRAM, 192-bit memory, comes with a backplate!
    View

  • EVGA 650W GQ

    Semi-modular, 650W, up to 90% efficiency, 5-year warranty.
    View

  • Crucial Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    8GB dual channel pair (2x4GB), 2400MHz, CL14.
    View

  • WD Blue 1TB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet!
    View

  • Crucial MX300 275GB SSD

    530MB/s read, 510MB/s write, over 90 000 random read IOPS.
    View

Estimated
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Potential Upgrades

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

  • Crucial MX300 M.2 SSD 275GB

    SATA-based SSDs are pretty fast, but they simply cannot compete with M.2-based SSDs like the Crucial MX300!
    View

  • Samsung Internal 24x CD DVD±R/RW kit

    Comes with mounting hardware & cables. An optical drive isn’t necessary, but if you’re installing your OS from a disc you’ll need it.
    View

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

    External optical drives are quickly overtaking their internally mounted counterparts in both popularity and practicality, and it’s easy to see why! This one is definitely one of the cheaper & better options to consider.
    View

Details

This might be one of the best $900 gaming PC builds out there, and it is going to absolutely dominate anything you throw at it. It’s guaranteed to run games flawlessly in 1080 and will also get you into smooth 1440p gaming!
corsair-carbide-spec-2
Corsair’s Carbide SPEC-02 gives us a rigid, secure and good looking house to mount all of our shiny new hardware in. It allows for great airflow and really allows you to control the type of pressure you want, it also gives us plenty of expansion slots for fans, storage & optical drives. It comes with two 120mm fans preinstalled, and one dust filter at both the front & rear.

ASUS’s Prime B250-Plus motherboard is a great choice at this level that’s loaded with all of the features you might need, including 6xUSB ports, integrated audio, a built-in ethernet controller and lots of room for future expansion.

Intel’s brand new i5 7500 is a really strong mid-level processor that’s perfect for a gaming PC like this one. Based on the new Kaby Lake architecture, the 7500 boasts a core clock of 3.4GHz and a 6MB Smart Cache.

gigabyte-gtx-1060-g1The GTX 1060 and its 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM is a complete and utter powerhouse when it comes to 1080p gaming, and the Gigabyte GTX 1060 G1 is absolutely no exception. It runs quiet, cools great, has RGB lighting, 5 display outputs, and it comes with a clean looking backplate. It’s easily capable of 1080p 60fps gaming in any game out there and it can also support VR headsets like the Vive or Rift.

8GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM from Corsair’s high-end Vengeance LPX lineup is really all we need for a dedicated gaming PC, and running a dual channel pair will give you plenty of room to upgrade to 16GB when it comes with. Personally, I run 16GB to help with multitasking, and that might be something that you want to consider as well.

EVGA’s 650 GQ power supply is a really strong unit that has more than enough juice to power this build. It boasts an efficiency of up to 92% and is semi-modular so you really only have to connect the cables that you’re going to use.

1.27TB of internal storage is pretty decent, you shouldn’t run short anytime soon. 1TB of 7200RPM HDD storage and 275GB on an SSD is a good start for pretty much, anyone. With that said, you should definitely install your operating system on your SSD, as well as any games you plan on playing regularly. Everything else can go on your HDD without a problem.

If you’re on a budget of $900, you’re in luck, because that’s the perfect amount to spend on a DIY gaming PC build. If you were to go to Best Buy and pick a prefab PC up for $900, you wouldn’t get anything near the level of this beast.

Operating System

The operating system you pick should be based on your necessities, or how much extra cash you have lying around. If you need something that works right out of the box with very little tinkering required, Windows is what you want, but keep in mind that it’ll cost around $100 to go this route.

windows-10-homeWhen it comes to getting access to the widest range of compatible programs, games, etc, Windows is your best bet. There are a few options available, but the one you’ll want to consider first is Windows 10. It’s the only OS that supports DirectX 12, and you’re definitely going to want DX12 as it becomes used in more and more games.

For the more frugal or privacy concerned users, a Linux based O/S like Ubuntu might just do the trick. Linux has been dubbed the “most secure” operating system when it comes to spyware, etc, so if that is a concern, it’s just another reason to grab a free copy of Ubuntu.

When it comes down to actually installing your OS, you basically have 2 options. Either do it from a DVD/CD or create your own bootable flash drive loaded with an OS installer. In my opinion, the first option is a lot easier, but you’ll need to grab the DVD drive I have listed above.

Extras

If you don’t already have the base peripherals like a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and some kind of audio, you’re definitely going to not only want these things, but need them. Below we’ve featured an awesome product to represent each of the fundamental “extras” you might need!

  • Asus VS238H-P

    23″, 1080p 60Hz, 2ms response time – Great for gaming
    View

  • Azio MGK1

    Solid mechanical keyboard using Kailh blue switches. Great tactile feedback!
    View

  • EVGA TORQ X10 Carbon

    Wired, adjustable weight & height system, ambidextrous (use either hand).
    View

  • Creative Sound BlasterX H7

    The Sound BlasterX H5 is easily the best gaming headset for under $100 and it’s not going to let you down!
    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

WiFi

To connect to the internet, your most reliable and fastest option is always through a wired connection, but if you have no other choice other than a WiFi connection, then you’re also going to need a WiFi adapter.

You could get a decent USB-based WiFi adapter for around $20 and it would work alright. Or you could get an internally mounted WiFi adapter for about $35 and it would be more reliable than the USB option. The decision is yours!

  • TP-LINK TL-WDN4800

    Internally mounted WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz or 5GHz.
    View

  • TP-LINK TL-WN722N

    USB WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz
    View

Conclusion

When everything is said and done, this machine is a beast and it will absolutely dominate any game you decide to play in 1080p 60fps (way more in most games) and it’s also going to do extremely well in 1440p if that’s more your thing. Whichever route you go, you can rest assured that this build has the power to handle it effectively.

If you came here looking to build the best $900 gaming PC that will last you into the future of modern games, you’ve found the right build. This beast features quite a bit of upgrade potential and a lot of raw power, so what are you waiting for?

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or otherwise, feel free to leave them in the comment section and I’ll try to answer ASAP! 

Order This $900 Build!

Not the one for you?

Author

Branton

The first game that I ever played on a PC was Ultima Online in 1999, and since then I have been hooked on PC gaming, and putting together awesome builds. Thanks for stopping by!

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313 Comments on “The Best $900 Gaming PC Build”

  1. Hello,
    i ordered this build but i got a question,
    Is everything i need in this build or do i still need the cables?
    I didn’t see any cables on the pictures so i just want to know i actually got everything.

    1. Hey Rick,

      Assuming you ordered the parts listed above, all of the cables you need will come with the various components! The only time you might potentially need an extra cable is if you’ve added something not listed above 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  2. Hey there, just built this, and the monitor doesn’t seem to wanna show up. I think the monitor is reading that it’s connected, because when I plug it in it doesn’t say check signal, abut it’s unresponsive and black. Hooked up an older keyboard and that did nothing, so I’m curious as to what I did. thanks for any help in advance.

  3. Hey Branton,

    If I buy the Crucial MX300 M.2 SSD 275GB what do I have to replace or can I have everything including that.
    Also I play alot of csgo so how fps will I be able to get.

    Thanks

    1. Hey Krish,

      You won’t have to change a thing to use an M.2 SSD 🙂 They just plug into the M.2 port and get secured by a screw – no cables or anything involved! You’ll easily get well over 250fps from this build in CS:GO.

  4. Hello,
    I am reviewing your PC builds and want to build a workstation suitable for 3D graphics. My current computer is a dual Xeon from 12 years ago. It defiantly lags with multiple graphic programs open. The programs I have open simultaneously usually are 3D Max, Adobe Illustrator, Unity and most of the time several chrome pages. I am currently retraining myself to build games both doing the programming and art myself. My market is mobile so polygon count never gets too high. I am thinking your 700.00 or 800.00 build would be suitable. Would you have any recommended modifications for a graphic workstation that won’t have much lag time.

    Thanks,
    Raymond

    1. Hey Raymond,

      You’re pretty much right on the money by contemplating my $700 or $800 builds, they would both suit you well. But, I would really suggest upgrading the CPU to an i7 and running 16GB of RAM in either build, you’ll have a much faster and more capable workstation because of it.

      Hope that helps!

  5. I noticed that there is a significant difference in the prices of GeForce 1060 6GB cards. Is there really that much difference between the models and brands?

    Thanks

    1. Sort of, performance-wise they’ll all give you roughly the same results assuming they’re running at the same clock speed. The differences are usually found in the grade of components used (copper vs. aluminum), added extras like backplates/RGB lighting, the type of cooling system implemented, the amount/type of display outputs you get, and sometimes the length of the manufacturer warranty as well.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Hi Branton!

    I will be building my first pc and this build is very tempting. I’m just curious to know if you would recommend any other cases that would work. I’m looking for maybe something a little more flashy-casewise but still has the quality of the Corsair. Thanks for the help in advance!

  7. Hey Branton,

    How does this build handle 1080p at 144hz? Is it worth saving on a monitor to sacrifice the higher refresh rate?

    1. Hey Antonio,

      It really depends on the game. New AAA games won’t run at high enough FPS (without dropping the settings a lot) to really take advantage of a 144Hz monitor, but less intensive games can definitely hit 144fps+. Generally speaking, a monitor is much more of a long-term investment than any other part you’ll buy for a PC, with that in mind it’s not a bad idea to get a monitor that’s a little ahead of what your setup is currently capable of, if you’re able to.

      Hope that helps!

  8. I appreciate the help! I really like the thermaltake you listed. As for colors, I’m looking for a green or blue. Any ideas? As for cooling, would you add more fans to the thermaltake?

    1. Missed this comment, sorry Anthony!

      If you’re liking the Versa N21, you can change out the LED fans for some that are either blue or green – that’s usually the best way to personalize your case. Something like the Corsair AF120 would work great to add color & cool your build. It doesn’t really need more than the 2 fans – most builds honestly don’t.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Hi Branton,

    I was wondering if I could upgrade the ram to 16 GB ram. Also dose this build need a operating system and do I need something for wifi.

  10. Hello Again,

    I am the one building a consumer grade workstation.

    I went ahead and purchase some parts for my build. I use the website pcpartpicker.com to price compare. It is a great site although most of the time MicroCenter beats out most of its competitions prices and they are not even listed on pcpartpicker.com. The parts I have so far are the most expensive parts to be purchased. The MB, CPU and GPU.

    For anyone interested I got a great combo deal.

    GIGABYTE GAZ170XGAMING3 1151 ATX Motherboard– $95.00 after 20.00 mail in rebate
    I7-6700K — $279.00
    ASUSCOMP STRIX GTX1070 — $369.00 after 20.00 mail in rebate

    This is at least $100.00 cheaper than anywhere else I found.

    Here is my question. I may exchange my mother board for the “Z170A GAMING M5 LGA 1151 ATX ” because it supports SLI. This motherboard is only $15.00 more.

    For graphic design work on a dual monitor setup is SLI a good thing using 2 GPU’s (not sure if 2nd GPU has to be as good as the 1070)? I could not find a straight answer online. My scenario would be 3DS Max on one monitor and Unity 3D on another. Possibly with Photoshop or Illustrator running as well on one of the monitors.

    My intial setup will be only one 1070 GPU and when they get cheaper adding another(If SLI is useful).

    My concern is that using only one GPU and two monitors that the refresh rate will lag on at least one monitor. This has been my past experience with my 10 year old dual Xeon Computer.

    I will also get at least 16gb of ram. Maybe 32 eventually.

    Thanks for your time,
    Raymond

    1. Hey Raymond,

      Microcenters are amazing when you have access to one!

      It’s hard to say and really depends on the scope of your projects, absolutely massive renders would benefit from an SLI, or even a non-SLI dual card setup, but average sized projects might not see any benefit at all – the GTX 1070 is very powerful! You don’t necessarily have to run an SLI setup for gd and the like, if you have a card from your old workstation sitting around you could plug it in and use it in a non-sli setup with the GTX 1070 – I believe some 3d modeling programs allow you to dictate which gpu is used?

      I don’t think you’ll run into any latency/lag issues with this setup and if you do it won’t be anywhere near the same as you’re no doubt experiencing now.

      You’ll definitely want at least 16GB of RAM to suit your needs! More might even be necessary depending on the scope of your projects (complexity, resolution, etc).

      Hope that helps!

  11. Hello Branton,

    Thanks for the feedback. I may want SLI as a backup option on my MB and I will determine how to go about dual cards later. For now I will see how the single Geforce 1070 GPU will handle what I do using dual monitors.

    If I do go with dual cards I may not use SLI as you mentioned. It sounds like SLI is better for games and non-sli may be better for Graphic Design. This way I guess I would connect each monitor to its own GPU. I would use the better GPU and Monitor for more power hungry programs such as 3DS Max and the other for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

    I was planning on getting the EVGA 750 80 Gold power supply. If I may run two GPUs’ in the future would you suggest I go as high as 1000 watts?

    Thanks for your feedback,
    Raymond

    1. No problem, Raymond!

      I think that’s a good idea and it’s something that won’t hinder you if it goes unused. I think you’ll be pretty impressed by the power of the GTX 1070, I don’t know what you’re running right now but I can only imagine that it’s nowhere near as powerful as the 1070!

      I’m by no means an expert in graphic design / 3d modeling, but I did do a whole bunch of research into the finer details of the hardware usage, and I believe the dual card setup will definitely benefit you in the way you’ve mentioned.

      1000W would be optimal, but you could go as low as 850W and get by with a bit of overhead.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Hello Branton,

    Would 850W be enough for a geforce 1070 and geforce 1060. Does a duel GPUs setup as a non-SLI vs. SLI use the same wattage?.

    When you say I would get by with a bit of overhead do you mean I would have a bit of wattage left over to spare or do you mean the components would be a little short on the wattage they would normally use.

    I am learning as I go, but so far have learned quite a bit.

    Thanks,
    Raymond

    1. 850W would be enough for that type of setup.

      I mean some power leftover when I say overhead.

      Learning is what this is all about! Once you get your first build together, it all becomes very easy 🙂

  13. Hello Branton,

    I have all parts for my build except for Thermal Paste. Now I am considering upgrading my after market cpu fan. I purchased the Cooler Master Hyper 212 for my i7 4600k cpu. I now realize if I overclock my i7 cpu this particular fan may not do the job as well as I would like if I overclock above 4.2. I only paid 25.00 for the Cooler Master after rebate. I could upgrade to a better air cooler but I read they can get heavy and you have to be careful if you move your computer.

    For this reason I am considering a Liquid Cooler but some are quite expensive (My computer case is the Corsair 300R) . The one you recommend is a little over $100.00. Is there an alternative that is still good around 60.00 or 70.00? Microcenter suggested the Corsair Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler for my budget price range, Its just one fan.

    Thanks for all your feedback,
    Raymond

    1. Hey Raymond,

      The CM Hyper 212 EVO will be sufficient for that high of an OC on your what I’m assuming is an i7 6700K? Liquid cooling would bring the temps down a bit for sure, but it wouldn’t be a tremendous difference. The Corsair H60 would work as a suitable replacement to the H80i V2 that I’ve suggested 🙂

  14. Can I use 2 of the Corsair
    Vengeance LPX 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4 DRAM 2400MHz (PC4-19200) C14 Memory Kit – Black instead of the other ram

  15. Hello again Branton!

    I followed your build, and the only thing I changed was the case, and I added a cooling unit… corsair H100i. After building the pc, I am able to power it on, fans run, motherboard leds light up, graphics card leds light up but when connected to my monitor(brand new) I get a “cannot detect hdmi” message.

    I’ve plugged my monitor in to a different pc, and it works with that. Rules monitor out. I tried booting without graphics card installed, no change.

    I’ve tried switching RAM, booting with only one.. no change.

    I’ve tried placing hdmi in motherboard slot and graphics card slot, no change.

    I took apart the pc and put it back together, no change. ANY IDEAS of what could be going wrong?

    1. Hey Anthony,

      If you followed the build then I’m confident this is an issue we can rectify 🙂

      You’ll want to check your CPU fan connection to make sure it’s plugged into the right header; if it’s on the wrong header (like a sys_fan header) it can cause problems similar to yours.

      Next, double check that your RAM is in the correct DIMMs – on the MSI B150 Gaming M3 it should be #2 and #4. Also, try both sticks individually as sometimes you’ll have one dead and one working.

      1. So I went back and checked my CPU fan. It is plugged into a CPUfan slot. I’ve also checked the RAM like you mentioned, and nothing has changed. Any other ideas?

        1. Hmmm.. There’s a small bank of LEDs on the top right corner of your mobo, they will turn on when you start your PC and should turn off again if no issue is detected with either your CPU, GPU or RAM.. Are any of these lights staying on? If so, which one(s)?

  16. I’ve been told i need to insert DVD that came with motherboard and it will auto install bios, and then my monitor will connect with pc. I don’t really understand because if I have no monitor connection, how will I know when install is over, if anything happens, etc.

    1. Yeah, that wouldn’t do much considering you can’t see what’s going on. The motherboard will have a BIOS/UEFI installed already, so I don’t think that’s the root of your issue – it sounds more like a hardware issue or a connection issue.

  17. Turns out my problem was improperly seated mobo. Took it apart again and boom! It’s alive! Thanks for the help Branton!

    1. Hey Anthony,

      In a way, that is great to hear 🙂 I’m glad you were able to get everything sorted out!

  18. Hello, I bought all of the parts listed and for some reason the standoffs didn’t come in what should I do I have no money left for extra parts

    1. Hey Philip,

      Are you sure that they’re not inside of the case already? If they aren’t, I would file an RMA through Amazon and it’ll get fixed 🙂

      Hope that helps!

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