This year I unfortunately must face the dreaded conundrum of my PC’s death just as Robert did last year around this time. This year video games have upped the ante and pushed the bar even further on current technology. Even a computer like the one Robert assembled last year may struggle to keep up with the demanding explosions and massive worlds and maps, games like Skyrim and Battlefield 3 like to offer. Last year we took a look at how to put togethor one of these bad boys for around $1200, but this time around I have decided to push back, and today I’m going to bring all of you a guide on how to max out any of these newest games, even at 1080p, for under $600, while still getting you the essential 30+ FPS.
Firstly I must say I have yet to order and assemble the PC myself, so for more information on that, look at Robert’s guide. Secondly, this is not going to be the most upgradable or expensive PC in the world, but you will easily fool your friends with its power.
Before you get started make sure you have a copy of Windows and a monitor, as well as a keyboard and mouse. This guide does not account for the price of either of these so the easiest solution to this is to use an existing TV or monitor and an existing hard drive. If you are like me and your old rig died, simply remove the hard drive and use it on your new PC, as you already have a copy of Windows on it. This PC build will include a 60GB SSD within the $600 budget, so if you do not own Windows, you will have a super fast hard drive to put it on.
Motherboard – Biostar A780L3G – Once again, its not state of the art, but it will definitely get the job done. This motherboard has one PCIe slot and two memory bays. Not the best if you are looking to upgrade, but at $50, its a bargain. There are other options, so if you have a few hundred dollars, this is the first thing I’d recommend spending the money on.
Processor – AMD Phenom II x6 1035T CPU – A cheaper alternative to Intel’s Core i7 series, this AMD processor is beastly, and its six dedicated cores will tackle any game with ease. This is one of the more expensive items in the build, but having the power of a nice CPU can be worth it.
Graphics Card – XFX Radeon HD 6870 900M 2GB GDDR5 – This graphics card is one hell of a deal, considering it has not just one gig of memory, but two gigs! For the price its the best card you can get, and pairing ATI with AMD processors is always your best bet.
RAM – Patriot 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 RAM – In today’s world, RAM is no longer that expensive and eight gigs is your best bet to tackle the job. 8GB of RAM will get through most of your gaming needs, and going higher just slopes up the price rapidly.
Hard Drive – OCZ 60GB SSD - This hard drive is puny, but it is blazing fast. For situations like mine where you already have an existing drive with all your games, this drive is perfect for a clean installation of Windows and your favorite games and will run silently for gaming in the dark. Even with such a small size, the benefits outweigh it. If you prefer, you can use a 1TB HDD instead for the same price.
Optical Drive – Samsung 22x DVDRW drive – Noting fancy, but will allow you to install software and use optical media. This isn’t really required, but it’s up to you if you think you need it. If you didn’t get this, you could upgrade your RAM slightly, or another tweak so think wisely!
Case and PSU – For the case and PSU we will be looking at a slightly less expensive version of the case Robert used last year in his build – the Cooler Master Storm Scout Mid-tower case. And to top things off, the Coolmax 600-Watt Modular Power Supply will get the job done.
And there you have it! All the components to build a beastly rig that won’t break the bank. Putting togethor your new computer really isn’t very hard, and there are tons of guides online which can help you assemble everything. If you have any questions, drop ‘em in the comments below! All of the components are on Amazon and here are their respective links:
Motherboard – http://omnite.ch/vOSaZG
Processor – http://omnite.ch/sz4I9f
Graphics Card – http://omnite.ch/vR7Plb
RAM – http://omnite.ch/rOIy4a
Hard Drive – http://omnite.ch/s0LHGV
Optical Drive – http://omnite.ch/sjx3mm
Case – http://omnite.ch/sCzAfc
PSU – http://omnite.ch/s8X9sG