Hey Wade, your build is ready! Here’s the details.
Total build price: $1496.74 (high end of desired range).
No emphasis on overclocking. Windows 10 running on Intel architecture.
This build is based on 2016 PCMR Gold Standard build. It is a 1080p build capable of getting high-to-ultra settings on the largest of current titles.
Your build is centered around the R9 390 video card (Sapphire’s “Nitro” model ain’t nothin’ to fuck with) so you’re getting amazing gaming-quality performance.
Your Asus motherboard will allow you to do a couple of advanced things. First, the Core i5-6500 will rank you at all the CPU usage you’ll ever need. Your ram is DDR4 and you’ve got 8 GB of it, which is again all you’ll need. The huge upside to spending a little more on this board is that you now have an M.2 connector, which we’ll be taking advantage of with the Samsung SM951, which is where you’ll install Windows 10. Although a bit more pricey than its SATA counterpart, the SM951 is gonna give you huge storage speeds which you’ll see in almost every aspect of using your rig.
Along with your OS host drive is a 1TB standard storage drive. Feel free to up the storage amount as you see fit.
The Mid-Tower Fractal Design case is a PC Master Race favorite and a sleek, sexy design with big emphasis on noise control; very, very silent case. Choose from black, titanium (selected), and white.
Instead of emphasizing on the build itself, I’ve used the disposable part of your price bracket to get you high-quality peripherals. Starting with the monitor, you’ve got one of the best 1080p Asus monitors in existence. 27-inch, LED backlit. Use DisplayPort to connect to the PC.
You have the top-tier Corsair 2016 line of keyboard and mouse periphs. The K95 RGB keyboard is widely accepted as the best keyboard of this year. Cherry MX Red switches. That combined with the Sabre RGB will definitely give you that PCMR “wow” factor that every gamer enjoys to show off.
To summarize your build:
PROS: amazing peripherals and sexy case, monster performance from storage. Easily accomplishes high-end gaming.
CONS: It’s not the top-tier video card, so you’re stuck at 1080p gaming until you get a better card. RAM is only mid-tier speed. Speakers are just de facto; doesn’t utilize the audio quality featured on the mobo.
CUTTING CORNERS WITH PRICE: The case can definitely be downgraded. After that, consider swapping to a cheaper mobo + OS host drive. You can (regrettably) downgrade to a cheaper keyboard + mouse, although you’ll lose that high-tier peripheral quality in the process.