I can completely sympathize with individuals who are on the fence of making their own PC DIY build. What’s usually kept some people from building their own computer are the assumptions of, “it’s too much work”, “it’s too expensive”, or “it’s too difficult”, and I can’t blame them because I used to think that way, too. However, over the years, I was proven wrong: building can actually be more cost effective (and inexpensive) because you’re able to swap out parts, customize your build, and also doesn’t require extensive skill to put together. The build that my coworker and I are going to show you today is a great starter build for those who want to start getting into DIY, and it can play most games relatively well! Treat yourself this holiday season with the gift of DIY and three new games (DOOM, Civilization VI and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided) that come bundled with some of the parts we used!
The build we’re making costs less than a grand to make, and the parts can be easily swapped out to your liking as time goes on. It’s a great foundation if you’re just getting started.
Parts: 970 Pro Gaming Aura (MB), ROG Strix Radeon RX 480 (GPU), AMD FX8370 (CPU), Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 (RAM), Corsair CX550M, Corsair Force LS 240GB (SSD), Corsair Carbide Series 400C Clear (Case)
One of the crucial points of making your own build is the CPU as it’s the brain of your computer. The FX-8370 is an 8-core processor with a 4GHz base clock, which is one of the highest clocks you can get for a consumer-based PC. You can expect great performance with this processor, especially with DirectX® 12 and Windows® 10, which helps for games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided that support DX®12.
Motherboard: 970 Pro Gaming/Aura
The motherboard is the backbone of your build, and will determine what you can and cannot put in your system. The 970 Pro Gaming/Aura has a AM3+ socket with a 970 chipset for AMD FX processors, which goes hand-in-hand with the FX8370 that we used. On the motherboard, you also have 2 USB 3.1 Type-A ports for fast data transfers, and an M.2 socket for you to plug in an SSD so you won’t have to deal with long loading times if you’re going to play, say, DOOM . The 970 Pro Gaming/Aura wants to be able to stick around for the long haul as well with its Gamers’ Guardian suite of features such as DRAM overcurrent protection, a voltage regulator module (VRM), and durable components.
GPU: Strix RX480
The ROG Strix RX480 is a solid graphics card if you’re just starting out on your building adventures. The GPU features DirectCU III technology with Direct-GPU contact heat-pipes which will help you for those long periods of gameplay (or overnight LAN party gaming) by transporting heat away from the GPU to help avoid overheating and performance issues. It also features Aura RGB Lighting to add that nice customization aspect to the card by changing up the colors that glow on it. Lastly, the ROG Strix RX480 can play the latest eSports titles, the most popular AAA games like the recently released Civilization VI, and experience the next level of immersion with exceptional VR.
If the RX480 is not your cup of tea, then I'd recommend the ROG Strix RX470 instead. This graphic card has a lower-clock speed and two fans instead of three, however, don't let that be a deterrent! The card is capable of running AAA titles as well, in particular, Hitman on Ultra settings at 4K, and still utilizes the same Aura RGB technology as the RX480.
RAM: Corsair Vengeance® 8GB DDR3 Memory Kit
8GB of RAM is becoming the standard minimum for most PC’s in 2016. It’s a good amount to at least start out with, and if you end up needing more, you can always upgrade.
PSU: Corsair CX Series CX550M
Nothing really says "aw, man" like your PC not powering on. The build requires about 253W for everything to run, and the Corsair CX550M is more than enough to power all of that and then some.
Case: Corsair Carbide Series® Clear 400C
I mean, you’re more than welcome to put your build in a cardboard box and call it a day (trust me, it’s been done), however, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you did that: your new desktop needs to “breathe”. The Carbide Clear 400C case not only gives your new PC cool and quiet air flow, but it also allows you to open your PC easily by simply opening a door, allowing you to access your components and change them out if need be.
Storage: Corsair Force Series™ LS 240GB
Face it, loading times suck and if you have a very hefty game, it might take a while before you see Stage 1. But there is always a way to combat those sluggish waits and that’s with a SSD. The LS 240GB SSD will put your mind at ease with being able to have quick read times and quiet write times for a painless experience.
Monitor: ASUS VG245H
Unless you’re planning to use your TV to output, you’re going to need a monitor if you’re going to be using your new PC. The VG245H is definitely not a bad thing to invest in, considering that it has two HDMI ports which you can either use for your new build or for console! It also utilizes FreeSync, which supports a dynamic refresh rate, meaning you’ll see a decrease in screen tearing during high-paced deathmatches or general gameplay.
It was a very illuminating, 3-hour experience for Tiffany and I. We learned a lot in regards to where each and every part goes, general cable management, and more! We were successfully able to get it to boot to at least the BIOS, and as you can imagine, we were pretty stoked to see our build alive! And now... we're giving this build away with the VG245H FreeSync monitor! As of December 23rd, the Giveaway ended, and now, we're in the process of picking winners, so stay tuned for more updates!