The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton466 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: February 10th, 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!
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  • EVGA 650 BQ

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

  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 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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Potential Upgrades

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.

  • 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. An optical drive isn’t necessary, but if you’re installing your OS from a disc you’ll need it.
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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
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  • 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″!
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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.
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  • 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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466 Comments on “The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017”

  1. Thinking of getting this build for my first pc build 😊

    Any difference between the intel i57500 and the i57400?

    1. Hey Will,

      There’s a bit of a difference, but only in the speeds at which the processors run at. The i5 7400 runs at 3.0GHz base clock (up to 3.4GHz boost clock) and the i5 7500 runs at 3.4GHz base clock (up to 3.8GHz), this means that the i5 7500 will perform better in those more CPU intensive games. The i5 7500 is worth the ~$10 difference imo.

      Hope that helps!

  2. And I live in the U.K., can’t seem to find the power supply, how about a evga 600w 100-w1-0600 k3 instead?

    1. I wouldn’t go with a W1 for a build at this level, it’s more of a lower-tier PSU than you’d want. That said, the 600B seems to be in stock over at amazon.co.uk, here’s a link 🙂

      Again, hope that helps!

  3. Hey Branton, I got a question on the graphics card. This one that I found is a little cheaper than the XFX 480, however is this graphics card better? If it does, does it have better advantage(s) or drawbacks? or if it doesn’t let me know what are the advantages of the XFX 480 compare to it. Click the link —> https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-GAMING-Support-04G-P4-6253-KR/dp/B01NBHXR8A/ref=sr_1_1?tag=amazon0606-20&s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1478639080&sr=1-1&keywords=geforce%2Bgtx%2B1050&th=1

    1. Hey Chris,

      A GTX 1050 Ti is definitely not better than an RX 480 – the RX 480 is a whole tier higher on the graphics card food chain. The only advantage would be the price, otherwise, an RX 480 will grossly outperform a GTX 1050 Ti in every scenario possible. If you’re looking for an Nvidia alternative to the RX 480, you’ll want to look at the 3GB GTX 1060 instead.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Hey Branton,
    Would a MSI Radeon RX 480 RX 480 GAMING X 4G be a good alternative to save a easy buck? All its specs seem to hold out pretty good and its 40 bux cheaper. Not sure really what the difference is. Aren’t they practically the same card?

    1. Hey Jake,

      Yep, that one would work great! The XFX card that was in this build (it should be changed by the time you read this) randomly shot up ~$40 in price 😮

      1. Awesome. Thanks for the fast response. 1 more thing. If I was to spend $50 extra on a different mobo, what would you recommend?

        1. No problem, Jake! I honestly wouldn’t invest much more than $100 into a mobo at this level – that $50 would be better spent on another 8GB of RAM or an SSD imo.

    1. Hey Will,

      Pretty much any mid tower case will work, just make sure that it’ll fit the GPU and you’ll be good to go 🙂

  5. Hey Branton. I’m gonna be building this pc pretty soon, but I really want to put my operating system in an SSD. Can I use the 120 gb version of the toshiba ocz ssd instead of the 240gb one? Cause I don’t plan on putting anything but the OS in the SSD.

    1. Hey Rudolf,

      You can definitely get by with a 120GB SSD over a 240GB if you’re only going to load your OS onto it 🙂 You’ll even have room left over for some smaller games. A 240GB is more for people who want to load something like GTA:V on their SSD as well as their OS.

  6. So could a build like this run games like for honor and Ghost recon wildlands and other upcoming Triple-A games

    1. Hey Brandon,

      Oh yeah, and with relative ease 🙂 It’ll definitely max out For Honor in 1080p @ 60fps, I’m not 100% sure about Wildlands – haven’t played it yet – but it won’t have any issues running it, anything else that’s upcoming/already out will also run great!

      Hope that helps!

      1. Yea that helps cause I was thinking about making this one but wanted to make sure it can run those two games since they are some of my most looked forward to.

        1. Awesome, good to hear! Well, you’re pretty much guaranteed amazing performance in both from a build like this, so I guess you’re good to go 🙂

        1. or using this to help make my own PC that can run the new games but either way this was a helpful build cause it let me see a price range i can use.

  7. Would this setup be able to run wow? This is my first build I am going to have and I don’t want to buy something I can’t use yet and have to upgrade early.

    1. Hey McGarity,

      Oh without a doubt! This build can easily max WoW out, you won’t be needing an upgrade for a long time 🙂

    1. Hey Eliza,

      Performance-wise, they’re pretty similar. The i5 7500 in this build will perform significantly better in most games when compared to the FX 8350, but $650 is a great price for that PC either way.

  8. Hey branton, I have decided to go with the 700 dollar build instead of the 600 since I was upgrading to the i5 anyway, thank you so much for all of this information!! I have started purchasing my parts and wanted to add that I’ll be adding a 250gb ssd, along with the 480 8gb instead of 4gb, and an extra 8gb stick of ram, I had some extra cash to drop into it!

    1. Awesome, good to hear, Jarett! It sounds like your build is going to turn out great, let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help 🙂

  9. I know prices change at Amazon but i just added up everything using the view links to Amazon but for the 55$ more instead of the MSI RX 480 i could go with the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 Mini ITX OC 6GB GDDR5 right now. Assuming i added it all together correct do you recommend this change and will it work with everything else?

    1. Hey Dtwenty,

      I think Amazon sent you to the higher priced options, it’s something they like to do a lot, unfortunately… If you use the “single click” links (there’s one below the build and one right at the bottom of the page) it should give you the right parts and a price of about $685 (as of this morning).

      That said, you can definitely use a GTX 1060 in this build 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  10. Last question, so sorry for my noobness.
    The Gigabyte GTX 1060 6gb Mini itx OC i asked about last post, whats the difference between that and the Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB OC Windforce?
    The “Mini itx” Ver has only one fan and the WF is longer with 2 fans and coast only 10$ more. which would you use for this 700$ build?
    Thanks :p

    1. It’s not a problem! Ask as many questions as you need to 🙂 That’s pretty much the only difference! 1 more fan and a higher factory overclock. I would personally go for the Gigabyte card because that extra fan will definitely make a difference.

  11. What type of cooling does this build have? An air cooler or water cooler? Sorry for my derpyness XD

    1. Air cooling. Water cooling is pretty much pointless at this level unless you reaaaaally want it; it’s hard to justify dropping that extra $60+ on a liquid cooler when it would be better spent on increasing performance instead.

      Hope that helps!

  12. I was thinking of the Corsair Spec-02 over the Spec-01 since it has one more USB 3.0 slot and an extra fan. I just wanted to make sure it was compatible and everything. Thanks in advance

    1. Hey Eliza,

      You could definitely use the Spec 02, but I don’t know if it’s really worth the $70 pricetag. When it was priced at $55-$60 I used to recommend it in pretty much all of my builds (I used one forever and loved it) but when they increased the price to $70 it became hard to recommend; especially when you can get something like the NZXT S340 Elite or Phanteks P400 “Tempered Glass” Edition for basically the same price.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks! I think I’ll stick with the Spec 01 then.

        I’m in need of more USB slots though. Would it be reasonable to purchase a usb expansion card with my build?

  13. Is there another option other than the i5 7400 (or 7500 i dont remember)? Cuz the one i have on my list is a i5 6500. Will this work fine or should i use urs?

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