The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton517 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: March 28th, 2017

  • Corsair Spec 01

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

  • Gigabyte GA-B250M-DS3H

    mATX, 6x SATA3, 6x USB. Supports LGA 1151 socket CPUs and up to 2400MHz RAM.
    View

  • 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!
    View

  • EVGA 650 BQ

    650W power supply, 85% efficiency (bronze), semi-modular, 3-year warranty.
    View

  • 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.
    View

  • 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 audio, a built-in Ethernet controller, 4x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 ports, plus plenty of headers for additional storage & 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!

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
    View

  • 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!

Order This $700 Build!

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

  1. Just ordered all the parts for this build looking forward to putting it together and having my first gaming PC 😀 one question can I install windows 10 using the disc on a external disc drive?

  2. i ordered this build . everything works fine, i can get my bios to pop up on my screen ok… but once i power computer down plug in graphics card it gets no signal. i have the Samsung ssd hooked up with the hdd and i have a Samsung external optical drive no internal one what do i do please call me 716 7208005

  3. Ok, got all the parts but before i start two questions

    1) The usb windows 10 i got says windows 10 32bit/64bit and i was under the impression its the 64bit i should use, so is this thing both or…

    2)The case in this build came and it only has 1 fan, its in the front, if it pulls in cool air in the front how will it push out the hot air??
    I live in FL btw and in the summer my house can get pretty warm like 80f due to my AC sucking and can’t keep up with the degree i set it at. Blah, Basically i set it to 75f and by 2pm its 80f in my house sucks i know.

    Is one front fan good enough?

    TY 🙂

    1. Yep, Windows 10 installers come with both 32bit and 64bit install packages, you definitely want to use 64bit though.

      I would move the fan to the rear as an exhaust and you will probably be just fine 🙂 It would be a good idea to add another one (due to your location) before summer/temps warm up, but for the time being the single fan will be enough. Luckily, you can get good 120mm fans for around $20/pair.

    1. Hey Mar,

      They’ll definitely fit. I suspect that you may have to move the motherboard standoffs (the little metal spacers that are preinstalled in your case where you mount your mobo) to the mATX spots as they’ll come set for ATX by default.

  4. Okay I figured out that I needed to install one more standoff. But now the 20+4 connector won’t put into the motherboard

  5. Lastly, for now anyways 😛 The mobo came with a disc that says drivers ect ver 1.0 but again i have no optical drive.
    Thanks again 🙂

    1. Chances are you won’t need it. The LAN and chipset drivers should be picked up by Windows which gives you enough to get online and grab all of the most recent drivers and utilities directly from Gigabyte’s website (you would have to go online and update anyways).

  6. I’ve downloaded my AMD drivers and my Intel ones. Do I need to install my motherboard drivers too? If i do, there’s a lot of them on their drivers; which of them would I need?

    1. Awesome, good to hear! Only the essentials are needed, audio drivers, chipsets drivers, LAN drivers, both SATA drivers, and if you want you could also upgrade your mobo to the newest (F3) revision. The utilities are mostly optional and the only one I’d really grab is Fast Boot and then maybe System Information Viewer depending on how much info you want to be able to access.

  7. I’m wanna start building tomorrow, the only thing i can’t grasp is the mobo standoffs, i only see one, do i need to use it and why only one? The casr came with a packet with a few zip ties, a lot of screws and from what i can see one black standoff or “spacer” you know like in your “build a pc” video, i only see one, do i even need it for this recommended mobo/case?

  8. Ok, i see there pre installed, i have this mobo b250m in but it only lines up with three standoffs meaning the last two holes have no standoffs, but its the only way it could be placed. Is it ok that way, this mobo seems really tiny.

    1. Yep! The standoffs come pre-installed and set for ATX-sized mobos, but since we’re using an mATX mobo in this build to facilitate stronger components elsewhere you’ll have to move the standoffs into the mATX positions.

  9. Writing back from new build, everything seems to be in working order aside from the stock cpu fan making a low winding noise at first which has now stopped, guess I just needed to break it in.

    I now know how to build a rig, thanks again for all your help Branton!!

    1. Hey again D20,

      Awesome man, good to hear! A little bit of “coil whine” is typical with new fans, nothing out of the normal there 🙂

      It’s not a problem and if there’s anything else I can help with don’t hesitate to ask!

      Also, sorry about the delayed reply, your comment was filtered into spam for some reason and I just happened to see it before flushing the spam folder.

  10. I’m looking into building this pc build, I’ve never played pc all though I’ve always wanted to but I’ve stuck with Xbox because it was simple. I’m pretty sure the building part of this I can do but when it gets to installing driver and stuff like that I’m lost. Is there any tips or anything you could tell me to help me threw with this process. Thanks

  11. hey Im about to order the corsair air sp 120 dual high static pressure fans to go with this setup because the room where my PC will be can get a little warm but my question was wether I should add the liquid cooler for the processor instead of the dual fans?

    1. Hey Alex,

      Awesome, those are greats fans, they’re actually what I use 🙂 A build like this won’t require CPU liquid cooling, it’s more for heavy CPU overclocking and the stock air cooler will work perfectly.

  12. No problem on late reply Branton, and hopefully I am not in spam again as I would like to say a few words to others doing a P.C build for the first time like I did using this 700$ guide (which rocks!)

    I understand if you mind. So no worries and thanks again 🙂

    Games like Doom demo on steam and Forza 6 Apex on Windows store all max out at 1080p 60 fps (Forza much higher) is something console can’t even begin to understand which is worth it! I went with the 1060 6gb for 56$ more. I think at 1080p 60fps and (better drivers) the Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB Windforce is worth it over the RX 480 4 gb however that would make this build more then a 700$ so i understand why not to use but its worth it to me to change. I wanted 16 gb of ram and a 120gb SSD to boot but after tax and all is said and done with GPU switch and windows 10 + the ASUS monitor “suggested” (which I returned to amazon cause it had some weird slight fuzz visual noise grain filter to it which drove me nuts!!) Got the (AOC E2476VWM6 24″) As a replace, the ASUS suggested was awesome but (at least mine) had a problem 🙁 Stuff happens. BTW That AOC is really nice (same price) Anyways, my over all price came to over 1k, that’s the 700$ build+ Win10, Monitor, extra 55$ for gpu switch, taxes and all.

    I don’t even look at P.C specs anymore cause at 1080p 60hrz/60fps maxed my new build from this site sneezes through everything.

    Thanks again Branton!

    1. Hey again D20!

      Nope, you cleared the check this time and your feedback is more than welcome 🙂 I’m not too sure why my spam filter likes to give me so many false positives, definitely something that I’m looking into either way!

      Sorry to hear about your monitor acting up, that really sucks, glad you found a replacement, though. +$300 is generally what I recommend to set aside to cover any extras one might need, so it seems that your total including additions was right around that mark!

      I’m super stoked to hear that you’re enjoying your build, if there’s anything else I can do to help just let me know 😀

    1. Hey George,

      Unfortunately, the only one of those prebuilt desktops that comes even remotely close to the power this build is the CyberpowerPC GXiVR8020A (the Amazon one), but it doesn’t seem to be in stock right now. The other two use verrrrrry low-level hardware that is definitely not ideal for gaming, the graphics cards in both are about 5-years old (and retail for ~$50) and will not stand up to modern gaming, older games will even struggle to run – the GT 610 and R7 250 are not good choices. The CPUs they’re running are also very lackluster and are also not ideal for gaming, the Office Depot one uses an older Pentium-line CPU which retail for about $70 – I include a similar Pentium processor in my $400 build and nowhere else as an example.

      At the end of the day, you’re going to be significantly happier with this build than you will with any of those prebuilts! You made the right choice, without a doubt; going with any of those prebuilts other than the CyberpowerPC GXiVR8020A would leave you upgrading at least the graphics card that same day – waste of $$ imo.

      Hope that helps!

  13. I am from India and few parts you have mentioned here doesn’t seem to be available (like power unit, graphic card). Can you suggest a new Power unit and graphic card?

  14. Back with another Q?
    Since I got x2 4gb ddr4 (TOTAL 8) and I now want to push it to 16, if I add x2 more 4gb sticks will it cause any performance issues having four 4gb sticks instead of x2 8gb sticks or is there no diff?

    1. Hey D20,

      There won’t be any issues running 4 sticks of RAM, just make sure that they’re the same speed as your existing sticks at the very least and you’ll be good to go – another pair of the same sticks would be better, though.

      How’s your PC been running? Still crushing every game you throw at it?

  15. Yeah though I had probs with ME:A on Early Acc, on ultra it ran like poo, tried custom with a mix of high/ultra mostly high and it runs at around 60 but I get these rough spikes and stutters off and on, the funny thing is its on the exact same engine as BF1 and that game runs like a dream 60+ all ultra, both games even have the same recommended spec’s! On top of that I keep hearing people talk about ME:A being nicely optimized on p.c. No clue what I am doing wrong.

    The RAM will be the exact same kind btw.

    Thinking of trying out the witcher 3 (hair works off)

    1. You ended up going with a GTX 1060, right? If so, Nvidia hasn’t released their ME:A drivers yet, but once they do performance will definitely increase by a fair amount! Well it’s definitely not horribly optimized like some of the more recent releases have been, but I wouldn’t say that it’s perfect either – I’m pretty sure we’ll see one or two patches addressing performance issues post-launch.

      TW3 will run at a consistent 60fps+ on mostly ultra settings (hw off) with “foliage visibility range” and “shadow quality” turned down to “high” (the differences between high and ultra on those 2 settings are basically unnoticeable except in your fps) – if those 2 settings are left on ultra you’ll get dips down to ~50fps in some areas.

  16. Thanks and noted! I just bought NIER AUTOMATA on steam, its a mess 🙁 nothing to do with the build, total console port from hell so I will get refund and just go for W3, ty for the W3 setting heads up. hopefully Automata can get its shit str8 cause man does it seem dope! Still have a base PS4 if hell have no fury…. Thanks for the info mang! 🙂

    Incoming Witcher3 and ram. later!

    1. Oh man, tell me about it… I was so disappointed because it seems amazing from the console gameplay!!! I’m hoping a few patches will clean it up. This has been the year of half-baked releases for sure. It’s not a problem, I’m here to make sure you guys have the best experience possible 😀

      Enjoy!

  17. Branton, one of my suggests to go with Gigabyte H110M motherboard and Antec 500w PSU. Plus is there any other cheap cabinet alternative for Spec 01

  18. Hey Branton, I commented earlier about other PC’s with waaaay worse specs. Anyways, I just built this PC. Its absolutely amazing. Works like a charm. Thanks a lot man!

    1. Welcome back, George!

      Awesome, glad to hear it 😀 If there’s anything I can help with moving forward, don’t hesitate to ask!

  19. Hey Branton got new question this time regarding my friends build. When I started this build a buddy of mine did as well but a tad different, Basically the only diff other then the GPU (we both did the GTX 1060 6GB) was to save money he went with the i5 7400 and his ram was second hand from a guy he knew, it is x2 sticks of 4gb DDR4 but on 2133 mhz. He just got GTA5 on steam and says it runs nice but there are a lot of times the game chugs up sometimes for a solid 20 seconds off and on! He has lowered the settings and even let Gforce optimize it for him but no matter what it keeps running “not good”. I was wondering what would cause this because are rigs are so close besides clock speeds and even then I did not think it was by that much. I have not tried GTA5 myself but have been told by other people with basically the same build as this one I built that I should not have any problems.

    Any info you could give will help out a lot! Thank you again!

    1. Hey D20,

      That’s very strange! Has he updated his graphics drivers since putting his build together? That’s one sure-fire reason for bad performance in any game. Something else to check is if his RAM is working right, maybe the other dude sold it because it was on it’s way out? GTA:V will definitely lag bad (but not always) if his RAM is faulty. Disc usage is another variable to check, if it’s peaking to around 100% usage while playing GTA:V then there might be a virus or something else causing issues on the HDD, which again could cause pretty bad lag from time to time. If those 3 variables check out, then I would try to “Verify Integrity of Game Files…” through steam (Right click the game > Properties > Local Files > “Verify Integrity of Game Files…”) as it could have corrupted files which are causing the poor performance.

      I know that this build is capable of running GTA:V on a mix of high-ultra settings @60fps in 1080p (full ultra if you don’t mind drops to ~40fps in the desert); since your friend’s build is so similar there basically has to be something wrong with it somewhere along the line.

      Hope that helps!

  20. Thanks, it did help. He reinstalled his GPU drivers and all is working good. I did not know he went with MSI 1060, I remember going with the Gigabyte over that cause I kept reading problems with installing those drivers.
    He told me to tell you thank you!

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