Looking to build the best gaming PC for $700? It just so happens that this particular build delivers everything you could hope for and more; without completely destroying your wallet.
This $700 DIY build features the 6-core/12-thread AMD R5 2600, a 6GB GTX 1660, 16GB of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM, and 500GB of SSD storage.
A build like this one will easily run any AAA title that you can throw at it on high-ultra settings at 60fps (or better) without an issue. This build can also handle light-duty streaming and can become even more capable with 1 minor adjustment - but we'll talk more about that in the build details. Before we move onto the DIY build, we'll offer a pre-built option for those who want something a little more convenient.
Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $700
Before we dive into the custom DIY build, why not consider a prebuilt alternative with similar specs? If you'd rather skip the whole build process and jump right into gaming, you can easily do that with a prebuilt gaming desktop. They come completely assembled with Windows already installed, the only thing for you to do is plug it in, turn it on, and update some drivers.
Here's an option with similar specs and pricing (considering the cost of Windows) as the DIY build on this page.
1080p Best $700 Gaming PC Build
REQUIRED TOOLSThe Tools You Need:
- A small Phillips screwdriver
Size #2 works well as a general rule.
- An anti-static wristband
Optional but recommended.
- Patience And lots of it.
That’s really all you need to assemble your new desktop. All of the mounting hardware and cables will come with the parts listed above. The only time you might need something extra is if you’re modifying the build on this page.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR PC...
Super Simplified Build Steps:
- Install the power supply into the case
- Install the processor (CPU)
- Seat RAM in the motherboard
- Mount the CPU cooler (don’t forget thermal paste if you're not using a stock cooler!)
- Insert the motherboard’s rear I/O plate into the case's rear I/O slot
- Mount the motherboard in the case (get your i/o ports through and use the middle standoff as a guide)
- Plug your graphics card into the motherboard
- Install storage drives
- Plug all power and data cables in where they're required (storage, case, motherboard, graphics card, etc)
- Turn your PC on
- Install your OS
- Install and update ALL drivers
If you’ve never built a computer before, then you probably want to take some time to learn the basics before getting ahead of yourself. To do that you have a couple of options you can choose from.
The first, and probably the easiest way for most people to learn is finding a walkthrough on YouTube from a reputable tech channel. Here’s one by BitWit as an example.
Alternatively, I’ve put together an in-depth guide on how to build a PC as well as a FAQ to address the most common questions and problems. I've also put together a short post covering 10 of the most common mistakes people make when building.
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.
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.
Keep in mind that 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.
Case: The darkFlash T20 ATX Mid-Tower is a good mid-tower ATX case featuring everything we'll need for this build. Including, lots of room to mount hardware, ample cable management options, a clean aesthetic look, and 1x 120mm fan.
As you can imagine, cases are THE most subjective part of a build. It's the part you (and everyone else) will see most often. Because of that, you should check out a bunch of different options to make sure there's nothing you like more. Here's a list of some good mATX options that would work, and here are some mid-tower ATX options.
Motherboard: The MSI B450M Gaming Plus used in this build comes equipped with everything you'll need for an AM4 socket build at this level, and then some.
It comes with integrated audio, a built-in Ethernet controller, 6x USB ports (2x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type-C), 4x SATA ports, 1x M.2 slot, 2x case fan headers, and 4x DIMM slots for DDR4 RAM. Since this motherboard is running the B450 chipset, it fully supports CPU overclocking for your R5 2600.
This motherboard also supports CPU-less BIOS flashing. Meaning, if you wanted to upgrade to an R5 3600, this motherboard could be updated without requiring a CPU. That's great because this motherboard needs to be flashed before it would be compatible with an R5 3600. Only a few other motherboards support this feature, most of them are from MSI.
Processor (CPU): AMD's 2nd generation R5 2600 is a 6-core/12-thread beast with a price that can't be matched. It won't have any issues with modern gaming, light content creation, or anything else.
The R5 2600 has a max boost clock of 3.9GHz under load, but since it can be overclocked you can push that much higher. Luckily, the 2600 comes with a really decent Wraith Stealth cooler from AMD that works pretty much just as good as your average $30 cooler does. So, if you want to upgrade cooling, aim higher than a Hyper 212 EVO or Cryorig H7.
Although the R5 3600 has recently released, the price of the R5 2600 dropped by so much that using it allows for a much stronger GPU at this level, in comparison to an R5 3600. At the end of the day, a gaming PC build should be skewed slightly towards the GPU.
Graphics Card (GPU): For the GPU, we're going with a 6GB GTX 1660 from MSI that offers up some of the best price vs performance out of any currently released card of the same tier.
MSI's GTX 1660 Ventus XS 6G OC 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 ultra settings in pretty much any AAA game and significantly higher frames in less intensive games like CS:GO, LoL, Overwatch, Fortnite, etc.
System Memory (RAM): 16GB of RAM is the perfect amount for a gaming PC at this level. With that in mind, this build is running 2x8GB sticks of Corsair Vengeance LPX at 3000MHz. This leaves you with lots of room for future expansion and if you wanted to run more than 16GB that's completely possible - when you do upgrade try to stick to the same speed as your RAM will automatically change its speed to match your slowest stick.
Power Supply (PSU): The power supply used is a reliable unit from EVGA's semi-modular BQ lineup. It's rated for 500W at up to 85% efficiency and will easily power everything in this build plus anything extra you might add! It's also coming with a 3-year warranty just in-case the worst were to happen.
Want to personalize your cabling even more? Check out some Cablemod PRO packs!
Storage: When it comes to storage, there's a 500GB WD Blue SSD loaded in this build that'll work great for a starting point. However, you may find that you'll need more depending on how many games you want to install/how big they are. With that in mind, upgrading storage is super easy and all you have to do is plug in new drives.
All-in-all, this build is going to work awesome for 1080p gaming. It'll be able to handle pretty much any game while delivering a buttery smooth 60fps without a problem. The only way you could get more power would be spending more $.
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.
The 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.
If this is the very first PC you've ever owned, chances are you're going to need almost everything on the following list. If that's you, put aside another few hundred for these peripherals to make sure you're not coming up short.
In any event, I've hand-picked the following components to match this particular level of gaming PC build, but that doesn't mean they're all you can use. There are plenty of choices for each peripheral you might like others more than my suggestions.
Picking a good display is one of the most important parts of ensuring you get a good experience, because of that I've put together an in-depth guide on how to pick the best monitor for gaming.
Picking a comfortable chair is equally important as your monitor, if not more important. To fully enjoy your gaming sessions, you have to be comfortable. To be comfortable, you need a good gaming chair. That's why I've put together this buyers guide containing 16 gaming chairs out there!
Because the vast majority of motherboards do not include WiFi - like the one used in this build - if you have to use WiFi then you're also going to need a WiFi adapter.
There're a plethora of options available when it comes to picking WiFi adapters and it can be a relatively confusing process without first knowing what you need... Which is often just as confusing as picking the adapter in the first place.
To make it simple, you pretty much want an adapter on the AC protocol - it's backward compatible with the previous protocols and will pretty much work regardless what kind of router you're running. The speed you should get is based on both the speed of your internet connection and the capabilities of your router; somewhere around AC1300 is usually a safe bet.
Keep in mind that your router and WiFi adapter won't speed up your internet connection and going for the highest numbers won’t mean the lowest ping. Even N900 (basic) WiFi adapters and routers are capable of transferring data at much higher rates than the average internet connection requires.
If you're here looking to find the best gaming PC build for around $700 then I'm confident you've found exactly what you were looking for! When you take into consideration price vs performance, this build simply cannot be beaten without putting up more dough for better hardware.
All of the components are going to be 100% compatible with one another and everything you need is included above. Unless you're adding more hardware than what's listed above, you won't need any extra cables, screws, or anything like that.
At the end of the day, this build is packing more than enough power to handle all of your favorite AAA games in 1080p at 60fps on around high-very high settings depending on the exact game. It's also capable of putting out well above 100fps in games like CS:GO where high frame rates are crucial.
Have any questions about this list of parts to use in a good 1080p 60fps gaming PC build? Or, maybe you've picked it up for yourself and are blown away by the performance? Either way, let me know in the comment section!