A Build for Ben

Hey Ben, your build is ready! Here’s the details.

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Build prerequisites: high-end gaming capabilities paired with basic web usage, with a heightened emphasis on entertainment media.

Budget: $1250 to $1500

Total build price: $1425.99 (on budget)

No emphasis on overclocking.  Windows 10 running on Intel architecture.

I like – big – budgets and I cannot lie.  You other peasants can’t deny.  When a rig walks in with a itty bitty card and a-oh … I’m sorry.  The build.  Right.

Every now and then, I do a build that really excites me.  Big budget, and nothing to start with.  Console crushers are fun but pretty one-dimentional, not to mention transitioning peasants usually have cheap periphs they got from a friend, or garage sale, or something else that’s also depressing.  Starting from scratch when you’ve got a nice sum of cash burning in your pocket is equal parts dangerous and enjoyable.  Which is where Ben’s situation comes in.  He’s got the funds to make his Master Race debut, and this build will allow him to do so in spades.

With a disposable budget like this, the aim is simple: put peripherals first, and that’s exactly what I did.  The very first thing I added to the build was the pair of Corsair mouse and keyboard periphs.  The Corsair STRAFE keyboard means you have the best-of-the-best in quality, paired with those well sought after Cherry MX Silent keys, not to mention the friendly software that (ahem) other manufacturers can’t seem to get right.

You’re outfitted with a 1440p, 144 Hz, 27-inch monitor by Acer, so big and beautiful that it’ll slap a console peasant right in their dirty face.  Deal details here.

So what are these big beautiful periphs running on? A Core i3-6100 Skylake processor, paired with an H110 chipset board by ASRock.  Is it the best backbone?  No, but it will work more than adequately for your needs. Adding to it, you’ve got 8 GB of DDR4-2133 G.Skill RAM.  Again, for your needs, RAM neither needs to be top-tier in speed, nor have a large abundance.  I’ve seen some odd looks when I recommend 8 GB over 16 GB, but I like to think of it like this:  You can either buy another stick (another $34), or close your 100 tabs in Chrome.

The glorious age of Pascal is upon us, so of course we have to opt-in for one of those shiny new GeForce GTX cards.  I chose the 1070 because it’s that sweet spot for cost efficiency, and because its got everything it needs to unleash that sweet bitch of a monitor you’ve got.  Although it’s sold out at the moment, you can use this deal as a general idea for what you can expect pricewise.

You’ve got a dual-storage solution which consists of a Kingston 240 GB SSD running on SATA3 (this is where Windows will live), followed by 2 TB of storage on a basic HDD (this is where your personal data will live).  Ample storage and no sacrifice to power.

I’ve got a thing for Corsair, so I went for one of their cases.  I landed on the SPEC-02, which has everything you need for a great case.  Check out the case here. To power everything, you’ve got a 450W 80+ Bronze power supply by EVGA.

To round out the rest of the cost, you’ve got PCMR’s most recommended CPU cooler, a decent set of high-rated speakers, and (everyone’s favorite) the chump change for Windows 10.  To better highlight your media needs, I also threw in a Bluray writer, because hey why not.

To summarize your build:

PROS: welcome to the fucking Master Race bitch, strap in.  Make your online friends jealous with your periphs and video card.

CONS: Your PC unfortunately skipped Leg Day.  The motherboard and CPU are a little underwhelming, although they will provide an overabundance for your typical usage.  Consider upgrading if you anticipate batch processing jobs (video editing, Photoshop, server usage) in your future.

A Build for Ray

Hey Ray, your build is ready! Here’s the details.

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Build prerequisites: wide-spectrum gaming capabilities paired with basic web usage, with a heightened emphasis on entertainment media and video editing.

Budget: $800 to $1000

Total build price: $1147.96 (overbudget).

Reason for going overbudget: no existing copy of Windows ($89), no existing PC peripherals (keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor).  These are common items that people typically have, so the overhead price of these is rarely factored into budgets.

No emphasis on overclocking.  Windows 10 running on Intel architecture.

With such a wide spectrum of uses on this build, there was a ton of different ways we could approach this.  I ultimately decided to go a little stronger on the available core power, which is reflected on the CPU, mobo, and total RAM, while easing back on the peripherals.  This helps to both cover a large area of typical usage while also appreciating the budget as much as possible.

To start, you’ve got the Core i5-6500 Skylake processor, paired with an excellent H170 chipset board by Gigabyte.  This is going to allow for a prominent strength-first PC build that won’t disappoint for years to come.  Adding to it, you’ve got 16 GB of DDR-2400 G.Skill RAM.  While it’s not exactly the fastest DDR4 RAM out there, you’ve got enough of it to never have to worry about multitasking, even if video editing comes into play.

While I didn’t build the rig around the video card, the GTX 1060 in Gigabyte’s WINDFORCE OC series ain’t nothin’ to fuck with.  This will definitely cover your gaming needs, and at an enjoyable price.  I found a sweet deal on Jet for this card today, and while I don’t know how long the deal lasts, it’s at least there to give you an idea as to what current sales are like.

You’ve got a dual-storage solution which consists of a Corsair 240 GB SSD running on SATA3 (this is where Windows will live), followed by 2 TB of storage on a basic HDD (this is where your personal data will live).  Ample storage and no sacrifice to power.

To continue to keep the price down, I threw in a cheap but high-rated case by Deepcool.  Check out the TESSERACT ATX Mid Tower here.  To power everything, you’ve got a 500W 80+ Bronze power supply by EVGA.

Now, on to peripherals.  I’ve outfitted you with a 27″ 1080p monitor by Samsung.  Nothing fancy but it’s Master Race-approved.  Pair that with a decent mid-range mid-price set of 5.1 speakers by Logitech, which will help achieve your media necessities.

While you might be made fun of for not having a mechanical keyboard, we’ve gotta continue to keep the price low, so I threw in the OCTANE set by Cooler Master for your mouse and keyboard.  $20 off currently at Newegg, so not bad at all.

Software.  Like I mentioned in the header, We’ve gotta throw in the price for Windows 10.  I also threw in Adobe Premier Elements 14 for your video editing needs.

To summarize your build:

PROS: This build takes care of a wide range of PC uses.  Because of its core power, you won’t need to worry about major upgrades for quite some time!

CONS: To continue to keep the price low, sacrifices had to be made.  Apart from the video card’s horsepower holding you back from God-mode ultra settings, you’ll eventually want to upgrade those peripherals for sure.  The case is okay, but IMO it could use just a couple more bucks to become something better.

A Build for Cyrus

Hey Cyrus, your build is ready! Here’s the details.

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Build prerequisites: entry-level console crusher capable of running modern AAA games.  Slight emphasis on media center capabilities.

Budget: $350 to $500

Total build price: $577.43 (overbudget).

Reason for budget: no existing copy of Windows ($83), no existing PC peripherals (speakers, DVD drive)

No emphasis on overclocking.  Windows 10 running on AMD architecture.

This build is based on 2016 PCMR entry-level Console Crusher build. It is a 1080p build capable of playing even the largest of current titles, albeit on low-to-mid settings, depending on the graphics complexity.

Your build is centered around the GTX 950 by Asus.  Nothing fancy at all.  Just your common-level budget gaming card.

Your motherboard won’t have the bells and whistles since we’re on a budget, but it does everything a Console Crusher needs to do.  It provides USB3 headers that will work with your case, so no problems there.  Your processor, the AMD FX-8300, is a great budget chip at 8 cores, so that will help to keep the price down.

You’ve got a 1TB standard storage drive.  Since it’s the only storage drive in the build, it will be the drive that you will install Windows 10 on.

I went with a different case than suggested in the PCMR build to save some money. It’s got USB3 ports and a single bay unto which your DVD drive will be installed.  It looks nice to boot.

To further allow you some media capabilities, I slapped in a budget DVD drive.  Wanted to get you a Blu-Ray reader, but I wanted to keep the price down since we’re already over budget.

The rest of the price fills out your basic speakers.  Nothing to say here other than it’s your basics and nothing more.

To summarize your build:

PROS: Snuggly fits into a Console Crusher budget and will easily satiate those gaming needs.  A nice build for anyone joining the PC Master Race.

CONS: It’s a budget build, which means performance isn’t emphasized.  The GTX 950 won’t get you those high- and ultra-quality settings.  Your Mobo+CPU combo, as well as the sub-par DDR3 memory, won’t give you ultimate multitasking freedom, and may restrict you from professional work such as photo and video editing.

A Build for Wade

Hey Wade, your build is ready! Here’s the details.

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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.