The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton550 Comments

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Looking to build the best gaming PC for under $700? Well, it just so happens that this specific build delivers everything you could hope for and more, without destroying your wallet.

This ~$700 build features a 7th gen Intel i5 7500, a 4GB RX 480, 8GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, and 1TB of storage. It will easily run any AAA title that you can throw at it on high settings in 1080p @ ~60fps without an issue. Anything less intensive is going to run amazingly.

-A Phillips screwdriver
-Anti-static wristband (optional but suggested)
-Patience

That’s about all you’re going to need, seriously. Building a PC is a pretty simple process that requires your time more than anything else.

If this is the first gaming PC that you’ve built, then you might be under the impression that it’s a super difficult task requiring an expert – at all times. But, building your own gaming PC is actually pretty easy, and if you follow the right guide, you’ll have no problems.

If you click on the box below, you will be able to watch a relatively quick video on what it’s going to take to build your own gaming PC. It’s ultimately a simple process requiring very little, other than your time. The longest part will be installing your OS and doing all the first-time startup stuff.

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

If you’d like to check out the long-form version of this, why not head over to my in-depth crash course to building your own gaming PC?

Video Walkthrough

Instead reading a wordy guide 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.

1080p-Destroying $700 Gaming PC Build

Updated: April 2nd, 2017

  • Corsair Spec 01

    Mid-tower, front USB 3.0 & audio jacks, great cable management & a good cooling profile.
    View

  • MSI B250M Mortar

    LGA 1151 socket motherboard, mATX size, B250 chipset, integrated 7.1 audio, built-in ethernet, 3x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports, and 1x USB Type-C.
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  • Intel i5 7500

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

  • MSI RX 480 Armor 4G

    4GB GDDR5 (256-bit). Amazing 1080p gaming performance & value!
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  • EVGA 650 BQ

    650W power supply, 85% efficiency (bronze), semi-modular, 3-year warranty.
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  • 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 RAM

    8GB dual-channel pair, 2400MHz, CL16.
    View

  • Seagate BarraCuda 1TB HDD

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

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Suggested/Optional

Add-ons like SSDs and optical drives are by no means necessary, but they may give you a better experience. If you’re planning on installing your OS from a disc instead of a USB flash drive then you’ll definitely need an optical drive – it usually pays to have one of those kicking around just in case.

  • Windows 10 (USB Installer)

    indows 10 is your best bet when it comes to picking an operating system. This version is a USB installer.
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  • 240GB OCZ Trion 150 SSD

    Up to 86,000 IOPS read and 73,000 write. An SSD is the single best upgrade to make your PC feel faster but it won’t increase FPS in games.
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  • Samsung Internal 24x CD DVD±R/RW kit

    Comes with mounting hardware & cables. A new optical drive isn’t necessary if you already have one kicking around.
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  • Samsung Ultra-Slim External CD DVD±R/RW

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

Details

PC gaming can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to completely empty your bank account. For around $700, you can build a gaming PC that completely blows away consoles, and will consistently deliver great performance. Keep in mind that prices change daily, and this build could be cheaper or more expensive depending on when you’re looking at it. Also, 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.

Starting out with the CPU, Intel’s brand new 7th gen “Kaby Lake” gen i5 7500 is a powerful 3.4GHz quad-core processor that won’t have any issues with modern gaming. It does not support overclocking, but you really don’t need to overclock modern processors to get great performance out of them anyways. It comes with a CPU cooler that will be more than sufficient, so you won’t need an aftermarket unit.

The motherboard in this build uses the B250 chipset and comes equipped with everything you’ll need to get up and running, and then some. It comes with integrated 7.1 audio, a built-in Ethernet controller, 3x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 and 1x USB Type-C, plus plenty of headers for additional storage, fans & other upgrades. Definitely a solid mobo for the price!

We’re going with a 4GB RX 480 from MSI that offers up some of the best price vs performance out of any currently released card of the same tier. MSI’s Armor 4G model is significantly cheaper than any of the other options right now, and it’s definitely the one to go for if you’re trying to save as much as you can on your build. It’s capable of 60fps on at least high settings in pretty much any AAA game! Looking for the Nvidia equivalent? A 3GB GTX 1060 is what you want to look at.

8GB of RAM is really all a gaming PC at this level needs, so I loaded in an 8GB DDR4 dual-channel pair of Corsair’s Vengeance LPX line, which leaves you with lots of room for future expansion. But, if you wanted to run more than 8GB, that’s completely possible also, 16GB would be about as much as you’d need without being overkill.

I picked Corsair’s Spec 01 for the case because it gives us lots of cooling options, lots of room for cable management big coolers & long GPUs, and just overall great quality. But, I would still suggest looking at some other cases to see if there’s something else you prefer more, this is your PC after all. If you have any questions about different cases, feel free to ask me below. 

The power supply used is a great semi-modular unit (not all of the cables are permanently fixed) from EVGA’s BQ line. It’s rated for 650W and will easily power everything in this build plus any extra fans and basically any other mod you can make!

When it comes to storage, there’s a 1TB 7200RPM HDD loaded in this build that’ll work great as is, but running an SSD, even just a 120GB SSD as a boot drive, is something you should also consider. Solid State Drives are wayyyy faster than normal HDDs and anything stored on it will load insanely fast in comparison, but they’re a lot more expensive /GB.

Lastly, keep in mind that the price you see above, may not reflect the actual price at checkout – it could be slightly higher or lower depending on how the prices shift. It’s essentially an estimation based on the price of this build when it was last updated.

Operating System

The operating system you choose is going to depend on how much you have to spend, or how much you want a legitimate copy of Windows.

If you’re really strapped for cash, then Ubuntu is a great option because it’s entirely free. It’s a Linux-based OS and can play any game that supports Linux. Pretty much anything that doesn’t have an existing Linux port can be played via a program called Wine, which basically just emulates Windows.

windows-10-homeThe more expensive option is picking up a copy of Windows. Because the newest release of DirectX requires Windows 10, that will be the version you should consider first. There are both disc-based and USB flash drive installers available to choose between. You can ultimately pick whichever iteration you feel most comfortable with, but if you want to take advantage of DX12 and other exclusives, then you’ll definitely need Windows 10.

To actually install your OS you’ll have to decide how you want to do that. The easiest and most direct route would be to use an optical drive / retail USB flash drive to install Windows. Your other option is to create a bootable flash drive with a Linux-based OS, and you can find instructions for that here.

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 to it’s fullest.

If this is you then you’re in luck, because I’ve hand picked some awesome peripherals below, just take a look!

  • Asus VS238H-P

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

  • DBPOWER DB-A8

    Mechanical-feel, under $30, overall a decent quality keyboard.
    View

  • Redragon M602

    Amazingly accurate 3000DPI / 4500FPS / 8G acceleration / 7-button mouse for under $20
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  • Creative Sound BlasterX H7

    Simply a great headset with amazing sound quality and a great mic!
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  • 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

Although a wired internet connection is usually better, if you absolutely have to use WiFi then you’re also going to need a WiFi adapter of some kind.

You have two choices, you can get a decent USB-based WiFi adapter for about $20 and they’re alright. Or you can get an internally mounted WiFi adapter that costs roughly $35, and will be more reliable than the USB option.

  • TP-LINK TL-WDN4800

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

  • TP-LINK TL-WN722N

    USB WiFi adapter. 2.4GHz
    View

Conclusion

If you landed here looking to find the best gaming PC build for around $700, then you definitely found what you were looking for. The power this build puts out, and for the price, can’t be matched without being copied.

Everything is guaranteed 100% compatible, and there is plenty of room for future expansion and a lot of upgrade potential in the form of added hard drives, an SSD or SSHD, or even doubling up on the RAM, whatever best suits your needs.

If you enjoyed this build or picked it up for yourself, let me know in the comment section! Have any questions? Drop those down below to!

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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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550 Comments on “The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017”

  1. I have a question amazon currently has the Asus rog strix 8gb on sale for 230$ but since I’ve heard it’s slightly bigger because of the 3 fans would it fit in this build

  2. The motherboard for this build is sold out now😥 can you find me an equally good and priced new one so I can buy the full build?

  3. Im very dumb when it comes to knowing what’s a good computer and what isn’t, I was looking on “will it run it” and imputing certain builds on her into it and it would say things for this build like yea it can run it but not on recommended settings, is it saying this bc it just doesn’t know fully how well certain builds run? Or can a computer like this not run games like battlefield 1? Also I was imputing the 500 dollar build and it pretty much says no games can run on it really which is disappointing bc I was thinking of getting the 500 one but this kinda spooks me bc I dont wanna drop 500 dollars on a computer (not including accessories) and I not run games like battlefield 1 even at mid range graphics. Can you explain if the website is true or whatnot I’m so confused

    1. Those sites aren’t the most reputable when it comes to giving accurate estimates of what a PC can really do – this build can run BF1 on ultra settings at 60fps+ in 1080p, just as an example. You’re usually better off searching for similar specs and specific games on YouTube, try something like “i5 7500 + 4gb rx 480 battlefield 1 benchmark” – you can change Battlefield 1 for basically any game and you’ll get a ton of different benchmarks 🙂 Even if they use CPUs from the previous generation (6th), as long as they’re using the same graphics card and same tier of CPU (i5 6500 – i5 7500) you’ll get a significantly more accurate representation of what a build can do.

      Hope that helps!

    1. Hey Alexander,

      There aren’t many cases that come with preinstalled interior LEDs, that’s generally something that you would add while putting your build together. The ones that do come with preinstalled interior LEDs generally cost upwards of $150, as far as I know. But, there are some that come with RGB strips (that you install yourself) like the Phanteks P400 “Tempered Glass” Edition.

      Hope that helps!

      1. And all the parts for this build would be compatible with that case? And thanks for replying!!

  4. What’s the difference between the i5 6600 sky lake for the same price as the one you have listed, also how do I check if a motherboard is comparable with everything

    1. The i5 6600 is older and doesn’t support the same speed of RAM that the 7th gen does. You kind of just have to know, that’s where I come in 🙂

    1. It would really depend on the grade of the power supply, 500W is definitely the lowest one would want to go on this build though.

  5. If I were to upgrade the GPU and CPU in the future on this build to a GTX1080/ i7 7700 would that work or would I need to switch a few other parts? Wife is already talking about building her one of these since she loved the first one and I’m thinking “hmm, give her these part when I order new parts but get better GPU/CPU for me”. Would like to push 1080p/144htz when I build the next.
    As always Thanks 🙂

    If 7700 wont work what i7 would pair well with a 1080 on this mobo if any, thanx

    1. Hey D20!

      It’s pretty awesome that your wife wants her own gaming PC, I couldn’t get my girlfriend interested if my life depended on it! The i7 7700 + GTX 1080 would work great. Keep in mind that the GTX 1080 Ti has released recently (it’s more powerful than the old Titan X Pascal) and the custom models of it will be releasing soon, but right now there’s only the Founders Edition model available. The 1080 is definitely capable of 1080p 144hz, in fact that’s almost wasting it’s potential as 1440p 144hz is what it’s best at! For 1080p 144hz you could save a bit by opting for a GTX 1070 instead.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Ok sounds great! But this mobo/build/case with those stronger CPU/GPU work like best friends?
    Thank you.

    Also I noticed the dust screen in front has got a bit meh, can I just use a vacuum hose or should I take it a part to clean it? Thanx again!

    1. Just like best friends 🙂

      That’s actually a good thing, believe it or not! Imagine if all that dust was in your PC instead?!? You could either vacuum it or take it right out, it’s your call and either will work well enough.

  7. Not sure if you’d be able to pin point the issue but the LED lights turn on for the tower but I can’t get anything else to turn on.

    1. Hey Henry,

      Instead of us trying to slowly troubleshoot the issue, I’m going to ask that you take a run through this troubleshooting guide. It has a tendency to sort out 99% of booting issues like you’re experiencing. If that doesn’t help, then we’ll dig deeper 🙂

        1. Awesome! The case plugs are the hardest part to get right the first time imo, it’s extremely common to get them mixed up 🙂 Either way, I’m glad you got it all sorted out!

  8. Not sure if this is the motherboards fault, but I’m finding it hard to put in the power leds, power switch, hdd led, and reset switch. For instance, I can only install the power switch and reset switch, and the other 2 are hard to connect or won’t even go in at all cause of the other 2 are already plugged in.

  9. Hey Branton,

    Can the graphics card here be replaced with a RX 480 GAMING X 4G and be compatible? And is this a worthwhile upgrade for $20 or so more? (From another site other than Amazon)

    1. Hey Joe,

      There won’t be any kind of noticeable performance difference between the 2 RX 480s, but MSI’s Gaming X sure does look nice 🙂 Whether or not it’s worth it is up to you, the only thing that’s reeeally changing is the overall look so it’s rather subjective. Personally, I’d go for the Gaming X.

      Hope that helps!

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