Tired of gaming on that PC built five years ago and has a hard time running youtube clips? There are ways to build a computer to withstand the most extreme games without equally destroying a budget. The computer this article was written on cost just less than 850 dollars and has yet to find a game it will not play.

Some tips to building a computer with cost in mind is to wait until the holiday season. When building my PC I can say I saved over $100 dollars by waiting a few weeks and ordering during the holiday sales. Keep an eye out for upcoming holidays as websites are sure to have sales on hot items.

First thing you will need is a checklist of everything your computer will consist of, writing everything down to double-check is highly advised as there are a lot of components that must be checked against each other:

Essentials to your Computer:

  • Case ($40-60)
  • Power Supply ($100)
  • Heat Sink ($40-50)
  • Motherboard ($120-140)
  • Processor ($210-240)
  • Video Card($190-230)
  • RAM ($40-60)
  • Hard Drive ($60-100+)
    • TOTAL:$800-940


            The cases range from mini towers, mid towers, and full towers. Full size towers are incredibly large and bulky with a lot of extra driver openings. If you are looking to add multiple video cards and sound cards than a full tower is a good choice. However, the mid tower has plenty of space to build a very capable PC. The mini-tower is very small and there are limited components that will fit inside. I would recommend the mid-tower.

            A few choices that is cheap; yet, very sturdy and effective:


Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower

Sentey Optimus Extreme Division Tower Case

Power Supply:

            On sites such as tiger direct or newegg.com that have power supply calculator for the parts you have already picked out. You can run the calculator, find the power supply required to run at your computer to shave some money off of the total bill, but if you have money to spare, this would be a smart idea to splurge. Getting a larger power supply, say a 1000 watt power supply, means that for as long as you own and upgrade that computer, getting another power supply will almost never be on the list of upgrades.

            Power Supplies will be based on your total power needed to run the computer. Visit a power supply calculator to verify with all of the parts, or a “Rosewill Xtreme Series RX850-S-B 850W” will do the trick.


Heat Sink:

            The heat sink will be what cools your computer and can range from fans to liquid cooling. Liquid cooling will better protect the computer from overheating if you decide to overclock any or all parts, but a standard heat sink will be more than sufficient.

            A few very powerful heat sinks for the economical use:

·         COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP

·         Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

·         XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO

Motherboard, Processor, RAM:

            These are all under one category because they should be picked together. There are specific motherboards for different processors as well as the Video Card and RAM. Writing down all of the specifications as you pick them is a huge help to make sure nothing is missed. Trust me there is nothing worse than receiving all the parts for a new computer and having to reorder. Begin your search with the processor, whether AMD or Intel and what series. From there it will be a lot easier to pick a motherboard. The sites newegg.com and tiger direct all have options to pick certain specs. RAM will then be picked by what the motherboard will recognize.

                        There is a lot of customizability here, I personally recommend Intel, they are the more expensive route. AMD has begun creating some very impressive processors lately and I hope they continue to do so, but I trust Intel more than AMD (personal preference). The Intel i5 3570K or the i52500K are both remarkable processors for less than $250.00.

Video Card:

            The video card is a very important piece and if it seems like a good chunk of your cash is going to a video card, than that is a good thing.

·         XFX Double D FX-785A-CDFC Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit

·         EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2662-KR GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit

·         ASUS GTX660-DC2-2GD5 GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit

Credit: Compaq Laptops
Intel Core i5-3470 Quad-Core Processor 3.2 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53470
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(price as of Aug 24, 2013)