PC Gaming: Custom Builds to Get You Started

Miles Eggleston - Senior Repair Technician

Custom desktop PCs are something people seem to be very interested in but are intimidated by—between cost and the plethora of parts available, building a custom PC can be a headache, especially when keeping future upgrades in mind. We've taken a lot of the guesswork out of the equation by offering the three custom PC builds, found below.

A few things to note about these builds: they're created with gaming in mind, and as such, some of the required parts are more powerful than a non-gaming user would need—so plan accordingly. Also, peripherals (mice, keyboards, monitors, additional drives, etc.) have not been included in the prices. This is because the peripherals require a different kind of shopping method, and each user will have different goals in mind when purchasing them.

Also, since these builds have gaming in mind, and most games are digitally downloaded now, optical drives have been excluded. The final thing of note is more topical, so if you're reading this in the future you may not have this problem, as it pertains to the video cards (GPUs). With the exploding popularity of cryptocurrency and mining, GPUs aren't always available, and their prices fluctuate rapidly. Suppliers are trying to keep GPUs in stock, but you should be ready for shortages to crop up as you're shopping.

Each of these builds comes standard with Windows 10 operating system, which will allow the closest thing to "Plug-and-Play" functionality when building your new PC. Again, since we're focusing on gaming machines, Windows operating systems have the best compatibility with most gaming platforms, which is why we've opted to include it in each build.

Build #1: AMD Budget Build

The first build put together is a starter system using an AMD - FX-6300 processor. This build is created with future upgrading in mind, and it has plenty of space to upgrade everything from adding new RAM, to including a second GPU for an even greater gaming experience. Here's a list of the core features of this build, as well as a link to the PCPartPicker page for a complete list of the parts:

  • Processor: AMD-FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-970A-DS3P ATX AM3+ Motherboard
  • RAM: Corsair - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
  • GPU: MSI-GeForce GTX 1050 TI 4GB GAMING X 4G Video Card
  • Power Supply: EVGA - B3 550W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

At the time of publishing this post, this build costs $766.50.

Link To Full Build

Build #2: Intel Budget Build

This second build is put together as a starter system using an Intel - Core i5-6500 processor. This computer, similar to the previous one, is created with the ability to upgrade in mind: including space and slots for additional RAM and GPUs. Here's a list of the core features of this build, and a link to the PCPartPicker page for a complete list of the parts:

  • Processor: Intel-Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-Z170-HD3 DDR3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
  • RAM: G.Skill - Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory
  • GPU: MSI-GeForce GTX 1050 TI 4GB Video Card
  • Power Supply: EVGA - B3 550W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

At the time of publishing this post, this build costs $818.16.

Link to Full Build

Build #3: Power User Build

This final build is the one we all dream of. It's a computer that was created with little to no budget guidelines, as the main goal is not needing to upgrade your computer for 5+ years. Because of this, Build #3 ends up being significantly more expensive than the other two—but with good reason. Here's a list of the core features of this build, and a link to the PCPartPicker page for a complete list of the parts:

  • Processor: Intel-Core i7-7820X 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor
  • Motherboard: MSI-X299 RAIDER ATX LGA2066 Motherboard
  • RAM: Corsair-Vengeance LED 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
  • GPU: MSI-GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Video Card
  • Power Supply: EVGA-SuperNOVA G3 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

At the time of publishing this post, this build costs $2394.99.

Link to Full Build

Final Thoughts

Custom PC builds can be time-consuming, and they often lead to headaches between compatibility issues and when it comes time to upgrade the computer. We've attempted to take a lot of the guesswork out of your process by creating a few custom builds, as a good place to start.

All of these builds were made using PCPartPicker: a wonderful service that allows you to map out how you plan to build your PC. This service has the added value of being able to filter parts that won't be compatible with other parts in your build—ensuring that the parts you put together will work with a high degree of accuracy. We definitely recommend poking around this site on your own, as it will allow you to price every piece of your build (down to all of your peripherals), and it can help you make a budget for your new computer.

If you have any questions, or you would like Armor to help you with a custom PC build, feel free to fill out the form below, and one of our skilled technicians will contact you to start the process of getting your next PC build up and running!