The Best Gaming PC Build For Under $700 in 2017

In $400-$800, Custom Builds by Branton422 Comments

best gaming pc build under 700

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 from XFX, 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: January 15th, 2017

  • Corsair Spec 01

    Mid-tower, front USB 3.0 & audio jacks, great cable management & a good cooling profile.
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  • ASUS Prime B250-Plus

    LGA 1151 socket, ATX, B250 chipset. Integrated audio, built-in ethernet, and 6x USB ports.
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  • Intel i5 7500

    3.4GHz base clock/3.8GHz boost clock, 6MB smart cache. Comes with a CPU cooler.
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  • XFX RX 480 (4GB)

    4GB GDDR5 (256-bit). Amazing 1080p gaming performance & value!
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  • EVGA 600 BQ

    600W power supply, 85% efficiency (bronze), semi-modular, 3-year warranty.
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  • Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 RAM

    8GB dual-channel pair, 2400MHz, CL15.
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  • WD Blue 1TB HDD

    3.5 inch, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, quiet & reliable!
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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.
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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 B250 chipset motherboard 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, 6x USB ports, and lots of headers for additional storage & other upgrades. Definitely a solid mobo for the price!

xfx-rx-480-4gbThis RX 480 from XFX offers up some of the best price vs performance of any currently released graphics card. XFX’s 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 Crucial’s Ballistix Sport LT 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 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
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  • DBPOWER DB-A8

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