The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton603 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 brand new 4 core/8 thread AMD R5 1500X, a 3GB GTX 1060, 8GB of 3000MHz 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 Ryzen Gaming PC Build

Updated: June 14th, 2017

  • Corsair Spec 01

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

  • MSI B350M PRO-VDH

    AM4 socket motherboard, mATX size, B350 chipset, integrated 2.1 audio, built-in ethernet, 8x USB ports.
    View

  • AMD R5 1500X

    3.5GHz core clock speed, 4 cores/8 threads. Comes with a good CPU cooler. View

  • EVGA GTX 1060 3GB SC

    3GB GDDR5 (256-bit). Amazing 1080p gaming performance & value!
    View

  • EVGA 600 BQ

    600W power supply, 85% efficiency (bronze), semi-modular, 3-year warranty. View

  • 8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM

    8GB dual-channel pair, 3000MHz, CL15.
    View

  • WD Blue 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. View

  • 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. View

  • 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, AMD’s new 4 core/8 thread Ryzen 5 1500X is a processor that won’t have any issues with modern gaming or with content creation. It supports overclocking, but you really don’t need to overclock this processor to get great performance out of it anyways. It comes with a Wraith Spire CPU cooler that will be more than sufficient, so you won’t need an aftermarket one.

The motherboard in this build uses the B350 chipset and comes equipped with everything you’ll need to get up and running, and then some. It comes with integrated 2.1 audio, a built-in Ethernet controller, 8x USB ports to ensure VR compatibilty, plus plenty of headers for additional storage, fans & other upgrades. Definitely a solid mobo for the price!

We’re going with a 3GB GTX 1060 from EVGA that offers up some of the best price vs performance out of any currently released card of the same tier. EVGA’s 3GB SC model is one of the best 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 and significantly higher frames in less intensive games like CS:GO, LoL, Overwatch, etc.

8GB of RAM is really all a gaming PC at this level needs, so I loaded in an 8GB 3000MHz 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. If you’re wondering why I chose 3000MHz RAM for this build, it’s because Ryzen processors perform significantly better with faster RAM.

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 600W 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 H5 TE

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

  • Logitech Z623 2.1 sound system

    2.1 channel, 200W RMS/400W peak. If you like bass, these are the speakers+sub you want. 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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603 Comments on “The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017”

  1. Hello,
    Are fans necessary for this build and will it prolong the amount of years it would last if I buy the case with a fan included?

    Thanks

    1. Fans are definitely necessary for any build, you always want to keep the air moving through your case. The case in this build does come with a fan.

    1. Hey Shade,

      Yep! 1 fan will be enough for this build, the new hardware is great as far as temps go; with older hardware, a single fan would not have been ideal though. That said, you can always add more fans as there’s plenty of room for them, or for another $10 you could upgrade to the Spec 02 🙂

      Hope that helps!

    1. My bad! I had the 1600 in there but changed to the 1500X at the last minute, must have overlooked that part 😀

  2. Hi Branton,

    Im trying to put together a ~$700 rig. I saw that you had change from i5 7500 to ryzen 5. Any performance benefits to this at all or is it just a price advantage?

    Anyway, I have a i5-7500, GIGABYTE GA-B250M-DS3H, Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133 Memory for $304.

    I’m waiting for EVGA GTX 1060 3GB SC to go sub $200 or the 6GB for $250.

    Will probably get Spec 02 case. Will I need a cpu fan or does the 7500 come with an adequate one?

    Also, instead of getting a 1TB HDD, I think I will probably start with 240 SSD.

    The rig will be used mainly to play a lot of older games (SC2, Total Wars, Company of Heroes, Civilization). I might start playing more of the current titles.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Marvin,

      The i5 7500 and R5 1500X are very similar in gaming performance-wise, but in thread-intensive tasks like rendering video, animating, and things of that nature, the R5 1500X will pull ahead due to having a core/thread setup like an i7 does (2 threads per core opposed to 1).

      You might be waiting until the next big sales (back to school sales / Amazon’s “Prime Day” in June) to get those prices, just something to keep in mind.

      The Spec 02 case comes with 2 120mm fans and the i5 7500 comes with a fairly decent CPU cooler, you’ll be good to go on fans unless you want to add more LED ones for extra customization.

      A 240GB SSD might be okay to start with, but it will get eaten up pretty quickly. SC2 is roughly 20GB, Total War: Shogun is about 25GB (Rome II is the same), COH2 is about 30GB and Civ 5 is about 10GB. With a 20GB install of Windows on top of that, you’ll only have about 100GB remaining. If this sounds fine to you then the 240GB SSD is a good starting point 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hello, I’m considering moving to PC gaming and this build seems quite affordable to me, but I do have some questions about it’s ability. I’m considering playing games such as Witcher 3, GTA V, and others of similar power, and I was wondering how effective this build would be at running these kinds of titles. Also, how often would this build need to be upgraded in order to keep up with the majority of up-coming games, would it last quite some time, or would I need to get better parts relatively soon. Thanks.

    1. Hey Nick,

      This build won’t have any issues pushing 60fps in the majority of AAA games. It won’t need to be upgraded for a couple of years, but it could be stretched even further.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Okay so I secured a evga gtx 1060 6b single fan for a little under $250. Now I’m still debating whether I go intel vs amd. It seems like i5 seems to be sufficient for my purposes and I’ve never overclocked before. The thought is appealing to me tho. Any particular reasons why you went with the 1500x vs. 1600 other than price point?

    1. Awesome! Good to hear. I picked the 1500x for this build due to price, I’d like to have a 1600 here but with the crazy GPU prices that’s almost impossible.

  5. Also, about motherboards.. does it matter so much which one I get? I want to go cheaper but I don’t want it to be the rate limiting factor in my build if that’s even the case.

    1. Unless you’re building a supercomputer running multiple graphics cards etc, the only things that really matter when it comes to a motherboard are the socket type and chipset. Intel and AMD have their own socket types that they use and they are not universal, the 6th and 7th gen Intel processors require the LGA 1151 socket and the AMD Ryzen processors run the AM4 socket. Chipset determines the capabilities of your motherboard, for locked (non-k) Intel processors the B250 or H270 chipsets are adequate but to overclock an unlocked (K model) processor you would need the Z270 chipset; Ryzen processors have similar chipsets but are named differently, the B350 chipset is the most common and supports overclocking as well as everything else you would need outside of Crossfire or SLI support which you would need an X370 chipset mobo for.

      Hope that helps! I tried to keep it short and simple so if you’d like me to explain anything in a little more detail just ask.

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