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Build Guide

Great Intel Gaming Build

by ThoughtA

Description

CPU

At this budget, we're running the Intel Coffee Lake i5-8400. Unlike previous generations' i5s, the Coffee Lake i5s are 6-core processors. The i5-8400 will perform very wellall gaming needs. It includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary. Since we aren't overclocking our CPU, the stock cooler will be sufficient in keeping temperatures acceptable.

Note: If you'd prefer to consider a similar build, but instead using an AMD Ryzen processor, be sure to check out our Great AMD Gaming Build Guide.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric filter to constantly select the best-priced motherboard while meeting selected criteria. In this case, we are filtering for B360 chipsets and 4 DDR4 DIMM slots for future expansion. The compatibility engine will filter out anything not compatible with the build. The motherboards are also capable of using the CPU's integrated GPU, in case you need to RMA your GPU or are waiting for a sale or upgrade.

Memory

Memory needs are slowly but constantly increasing, and we want to stay ahead of the curve. To this end we're using a parametric filter to choose a 16GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications at the best price. The filter will only select 2x8GB kits, allowing us to leave room for extra DIMMs for future expansion.

Storage

We're use parametric filters to incorporate an SSD with at least 500GB of space. We have also added a parametric filter for a 2TB mechanical drive for mass storage, such as extra games and videos. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to add or remove capacity to your heart's desire.

GPU

For our GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1070 will provide a consistent 60fps on many demanding games like PUBG) at Ultra at 1080p, and even 1440p for some games like Shadow of War. It'll also handle Fortnite with zero issues. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1070 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

To keep the noise and temperatures down, we've updated the filter to include a minimum length to avoid "mini" versions of the card, which prioritize fitting into small builds, such as an ITX case. You can choose to use this filter instead, if you want to include the smaller cards for any reason. Note that smaller cards will be louder or hotter - or both.

Case

Our build will be housed in the black NZXT H500. This case features a tempered glass window and 2x front panel USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. It can fit full length video cards and features a PSU shroud to keep your build looking cleaner. The S340 Elite also contains quite a bit of cable management features, such as cutouts, bumps and tie-offs.

You can find white, black/blue, and black/red versions of the H500 as well.

PSU

For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of well-reviewed semi or fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build.

AMD Version

Here is the AMD version of our Great Gaming Guide..

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 326W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $266.43 $266.43 Mighty Ape Buy
Motherboard
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel B360
  • RAM Slots: 4 - 16
$135.00 $135.00 IJK Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$215.00 $215.00 Shopping Express Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
$115.00 $115.00 Umart Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 2TB - 15.4TB
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$77.00 $77.00 Umart Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070
  • Length: 223 mm - 403 mm
$588.00 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $588.00 Amazon Australia Buy
Case $129.00 $129.00 BudgetPC Buy
Power Supply $109.00 $109.00 Shopping Express Buy
Total: $1634.43
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Comments Sorted by:

Qokko 2 points 22 days ago

ive been looking at this build and i was wondering would it be worth the extra money to replace the video card with a Asus - GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB ROG STRIX Video Card

Deihman 1 Build 2 points 9 days ago

It’s up to you. Personally, I would get an i5-8600k along with a Z370 board instead, but you’d also have to factor in the cost of a decent cooler because the 8600k doesn’t come with a stock heatsink. The GTX 1070 ti performs extremely well, and is even comparable to the GTX 1080 in some cases. If you want more frames, get the 1070 ti. If you want a more relevant CPU, get the 8600k. If you’re able to get both, great! If you can only choose one, go with what you think is best for you.

bitasuite 2 points 22 days ago

I'm thinking of building this but I need to save some money somewhere to make it under £900. Would this build work well if I swapped the 1070 for 1060 6GB?

MCBegz 2 points 20 days ago

Yes. this would be fine in my opinion and you would still be able to play all triple a titles, but you might have to dial back the graphics a bit. You might also be able to save money by buying a less powerful psu as the 1060 would not use as much power.

Jerry22344 2 points 19 days ago

With this have led’s in the build because I do want this build to look good if possible? If not how could I put some in? Also can I put in a i7?

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 8 days ago

It doesn’t look like there are any LEDs on stuff in this build, except maybe some on the GPU’s logo. It’s also pretty cheap to buy a big LED strip, so if you want some of that tasty RGB lighting, do a little searching around and choose something that’s best for your budget. As far as changing the CPU, just make sure it’s an 8th generation Intel CPU. For this motherboard, I would suggest getting an i7-8700 non K version because the motherboard can’t overclock. If you have more money to spend, see if you can get a Z370 motherboard with an i7-8700k or i5-8600k depending on what you want.

Adventure_Kid 2 points 19 days ago

Im planning to do this build but thinking of switching the 1070 to 1080. Would it be okay to that? Do I have to add anything else for it to be running without any problems? First time doing a build btw.

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 8 days ago

It’s up to you. It should run faster in games with a better GPU, and if that’s what you’re going for, do it!

clorence 1 point 29 days ago

I've been following this build for a while now, just can't seem to pull the trigger on a new build. I like that the i5 was added - the i3 paired with the GTX 1070 created a bottleneck (as someone mentioned in the previous iteration comment).

QUESTION: I was thinking of swapping out the B360 motherboard for a low-end Z370 (right now the Gigabyte - Z370 AORUS GAMING) with the idea of upgrading to a faster RAM clock speed in the future. Is the additional $50 or so bucks worth it? Is there a disadvantage of using a low-end Z370 vs B360?

Deihman 1 Build 2 points 29 days ago

There isn’t a big difference between the Z370 and B360 motherboard lineups, other than the Z370 can overclock while the B360 can’t. The i5-8400 ($200) is a locked processor, meaning it can’t be overclocked. Unless you want to spend another $40 for an i5-8600k, which is unlocked, there really isn’t an advantage to switching to a Z370 motherboard. As far as faster ram, the price to performance sweet spot right now is DDR4-2666 for Intel systems, so the B360 board in this list should work fine. Also, I noticed some weird pricing stuff in this guide vs what’s on the rest of the website, which might just be localization stuff, so if you plan to get this I would find the individual parts on this website and create your own list of the same stuff.

clorence 1 point 29 days ago

Thanks for the tips. I don't plan to overclock, so I think I'll stick with the B360 then.

So there really isn't a noticeable speed difference between DDR4-2666 and DDR4-4000?

Deihman 1 Build 3 points 28 days ago

There is a decent performance difference between DDR4-2666 and 4000 speeds, but it’s the price to performance ratio that gets thrown off above speeds of around 3000MHz. If you absolutely need blazing fast memory, and/or you have the budget to spend on fast memory, go ahead. If you’re just building a budgeted gaming rig, I would suggest getting a DDR4-2666 memory set, unless you can find faster speeds for around the same price. All I meant was there isn’t a big enough performance difference after DDR4-2666 to justify the premium pricing, unless you’re running an AMD system, which scales very well with faster memory speeds. LinusTechTips did a nice video on this topic, so if you’re interested, you should go check it out.

clorence 2 points 27 days ago

Thank you for explaining.

Cbaily7 2 points 14 days ago

I am currently making a build similar to what you look to be talking about Clorence.

This is my first build and don't have the greatest amount of knowledge but based on a lot of research and a lot of suggestions from this website, this is what I ended up with currently.

I have the i5-8400, not sure if that's what you were thinking or just being discussed by Deihman but it seems like a good sweet spot for the price and performance, as said those it is locked but I don't plan to overclock either, as you said.

I have a B360 motherboard as well, and as was discussed, I ended up with a (2 x 4GB) RAM with DDR4-2666 as it doesn't seem to be too big of a price jump to get the 2666 speed.

I also have the GTX 1060 GPU in as well as you were thinking about. It just sounded like we had a similar build and thought to share. Hopefully it can help out a little bit if you still needed it.

My build is going a bit more for quality over price but some things could be dropped down to close competitors for a cheaper price as it sounds like you're aiming for $900.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/HLJ8P3

Deihman 1 Build 2 points 9 days ago

I just remembered something important you might want to know. Depending on the games you play, you might benefit from spending some extra dough for the i5-8600, which, while still locked, does have a higher base clock speed than the 8400. Because the i5 lineup doesn’t support hyperthreading, where two logical cores feed data into a single processing core, you might run across some problems in newer titles due to the lower clock speed of the CPU, especially if you’re using all the available 6 cores for both gaming and video encoding, for example. But honestly, at that point it’s better in my opinion to fork over the extra cash for the 8600k and a Z370 motherboard so you can overclock. Otherwise, have at it!

nzfriend 1 point 28 days ago

Thanks for the list - I've just purchased most of the parts above - I was thinking about changing the HHD to a Seagate Barracuda 2TB 64MB 7200rpm SATA3 3.5" ST2000DM006. It's only a few $$ more and I believe a bit quicker? I'm a complete beginner so I could be wrong. Also wiring up this set - will I need anything else to make it look better? Cable ties/management? When do you need to change to a different more powerful cooling system?

Thanks in advance!

Deihman 1 Build 2 points 24 days ago

The stock cooler included with the CPU should be good enough. You don’t really need a better CPU cooler, unless CPU heat becomes a problem. For the storage, go ahead if you feel like it. Seagate is a very good company, and their products last a very long time. As far as cable management, it’s really up to you. In my experience, both the PSU and case should come with zip ties, so you should be pretty well covered in that respect. But if you need more, zip ties are cheap and easy to come across.

_CaptainLevi_ 1 point 22 days ago

QUESTION plz help! I love the build above but i have an extra $150 that I would like to add to the performance of this build. I will be largely using this pc to play AAA games at max settings with high fps at 1080p and hopefully 60fps at 1440p if possible (i will be getting a monitor for 1440p/high frame rate). I am also considering doing some lite streaming in the future. So my question is where do you guys think I should put the extra money in my budget to maximize my performance?

Although I have done thorough research, this will be my first custom pc build so I am a novice. My thoughts was to:

-Up the GPU to a 1070ti for an extra $50 -Up the Ram to ddr 3200 2x8 for an extra $50 - and (controversial I know) a cpu cooler Corsair H60 (2018) AIO for $60 for a little aesthetic and better cooling. I know that this is a locked processor so there wont be any overclocking but I thought it wouldn't hurt to get so that my cpu will be better cooled and will maintain boost clock better. I also like the idea of having an AIO and the white led on it would also pop nicely.

That being said I would love some feedback/criticism to see what you guys think the best idea to upgrade the build with an extra $150. And I do really like the idea of having the AIO but Im not opposed to dropping it.

Thank you to anyone who reads this and helps me! (: , Ps I am a college student so i will also use this for school but that shouldnt effect anything.

Rashdoge 1 point 22 days ago

Upgrading to the GTX 1070 ti would greatly improve the performance of this build. On most games, it performs almost as well as the 1080 (maybe missing 10 frames or so) but lacks overclocking capabilities. The 1070 ti will perform pretty well at 1440p definitely reaching 60fps on most AAA games.

Mdg10000 1 point 11 days ago

Get an M.2 Drive. You won't regret it! You already have a 1070. Which is plenty of performance. I have a 1060 6gb and it has done the best. If you get an m.2 SSD instead of the slower SSD. You will have crazy data transfers and boot times. I am getting 3000 mb/s for reading and 1500 mb/s writing. It will make the build feel faster and you happier. ;D

clorence 1 point 10 days ago

You'll need a Z370 if you want to use RAM faster than 2666. If I'm reading the specs correctly, the B360 only supports up to 2666.

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 9 days ago

If you have an extra $150, spend it on an i5-8600k and a Z370 motherboard. Of course, you’ll need a CPU cooler because the 8600k doesn’t come with one out of the box. Something like the be quiet! Pure Rock Slim should be plenty if you don’t plan on overclocking. For RAM, I’d stick with 2666MHz just because it’s a lot cheaper than 3200MHz with very little actual performance drop, at least with Intel chips.

Aulixity 1 point 16 days ago

Nice Build although, The price tho ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Ok, I'm sorry

scammble 1 point 15 days ago

So I'm finally making the move from console to pc and this seems to be the one, but hopefully, someone with more knowledge can help me out here. 1. Can this pc run Rainbow Six Siege and capture with OBS without too much stress? 2. Can this use a dual monitor setup without any stress? and 3. Can this be used as an editing pc as well as a gaming one? These may seem like really simple questions but I just need that second opinion before I pull the trigger, thanks.

OptimizePrime 2 points 15 days ago

Yes to questions two and three no doubt, as for Rainbow 6 and OBS that's pretty intensive on any system, I'd say it should still be fine but if anything that's what you'd struggle with the most.

scammble 1 point 12 days ago

Thanks, appreciate it.

PixelatedHam 2 points 14 days ago

I would go with a Ryzen 1700 if you will be streaming and playing at 144Hz. If not then just go for Intel because AMD CPUs have a harder time pushing 240Hz.

scammble 1 point 12 days ago

Thanks, helps a lot. One more question though, do think it would be more advantageous to what for the Nvidia 2070/2080 come out later this month to buy a pc like this? I guess what I'm asking is do you think the prices for the 1070/1080s will drop a good amount?

PixelatedHam 2 points 12 days ago

It's up to you- if prices are dropping for you, then go get it. If theyre not, get it if you cant wait. 2070 and 2080 are gonna be much more expensive over the 10 series.

Rememberr that you have to overclock Ryzen to get the best performance. People get 3.8Ghz on the stock cooler but I would reccomend a Hyper 212 EVO or a H7. An i5-8400 beats the best Ryzen CPU by a bit in high fps gaming, so this is very important.

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 9 days ago

An i5-8400 can’t beat out a second generation Ryzen 5 or 7. Although the 8400 does have a higher boost clock than the lower end versions of the Ryzen 5 and 7 (2600 and 2700), they still have multithreading, meaning the processing cores get fed more data at once than the 8400. Not to mention that ALL Ryzen chips are overclockable, as long as you have the right motherboard.

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 8 days ago

Correction: after looking at some benchmarks, the i5-8400 does beat out the R5 2600 by just a little bit, because of its slightly higher single core score. However, because the 8400 has only 6 cores/threads, it still can’t match up to the overall performance of the 2600X and up, due to their higher clock speeds and multithreading.

Deihman 1 Build 2 points 9 days ago
  1. It’ll be able to, but performance might not be super good. Since the 8400 is a budget processor, it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that higher end ones do. IMO, if you want to do gaming and simultaneous streaming, go for an AM4 system with a Ryzen 7 2700 or 2700x because they have more cores than the mainstream Intel processors, so they will be able to handle gaming and video encoding at the same time more easily.

  2. Definitely. There is usually an imperceptible difference in game performance, if any at all, if you have more than one monitor hooked up to the graphics card.

  3. Yep!

Deihman 1 Build 2 points 8 days ago

However, there is one drawback I forgot to mention: price. The 2700 and 2700X are going for $280 and $320 respectively, where the 8400 sells for a nice $200. You might also have to spend a little more getting a B450 or X470 motherboard so you can use the CPU to it’s full extent. Luckily though, both the 2700 and 2700X come with a very good stock cooler, so unless you plan to do extreme overclocking then you don’t need to buy a third party cooler. In any case, it’s up to you.

scammble 1 point 3 days ago

Woah this is actually very helpful! Thanks! Do you by chance have any recommended builds for what you're mentioning? Sorry if you kinda already answered that I'm just really new to pc after being on console for years now and I just don't want to waste my money from buying something wrong on accident.

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 3 days ago

I do! Right now I’m planning on building a micro ATX 2700X PC for around $1200. It’ll definitely outperform any current console in games, but it is about twice the price. You could cut down the cost by removing the fancy RGB liquid cooler and just using the cooler included with the 2700X or choosing a different motherboard if you don’t plan to overclock. The size should be perfect if you don’t have a ton of space for a full sized PC. However, if you’re not going to be doing a ton of streaming or other CPU intensive stuff, this build guide should be perfect.

scammble 1 point 3 days ago

You are a lifesaver! If you don't mind would it okay if I send you a few more questions about this privately since I'm so new to this?

Juicy-Jeff 1 point 13 days ago

How do you think this PC would handle video editing? I'm just a hobbyist at this point. I'm shooting with a Blackmagic Pocket Camera which only shoots 1080p, so my PC wouldn't have to handle 4k. My 8-year-old MacBook Pro isn't cutting it. Rendering takes ages. So I'm looking to build something that can handle the footage but doesn't break the bank. Think this would be a good fit?

Brion_Sundae 1 point 9 days ago

It works. If you really want a video editing rig, Ryzen 5 or 7 is the way to go.

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 8 days ago

I don’t know much about minimum specs for video editing and stuff, but it would definitely be more capable than anything Apple has made in the past several years. Both the CPU and GPU are very good, and would easily be able to handle most things you throw at them. Have fun!

KURLOZ_-Op 1 point 13 days ago

I like the build for first timers, or you already are with the pc master race and want an upgrade, either way its good. I would go with wd for the hard drive,and the ssd, i would go with adata/Kingston cause I think it as well, because I think its more reliable thats just me tho. and the motherboard is kinda out dated as well I would go with Gigabyte - Z370 AORUS GAMING too it is better in aesthetics and better performer as well

KURLOZ_-Op 1 point 13 days ago

but love the build not tryna hate :)

KURLOZ_-Op 1 point 13 days ago

also I have a way to expensive pc not tryna lie for a first build tho so :)

TheRaggingSword 1 point 9 days ago

Why not get a aftermarket cooler, at least a hyper 212 Evo because the intel stock will be like 70 degrees and be crazy loud in that case

Deihman 1 Build 1 point 9 days ago

The i5-8400 is actually a pretty cool CPU, both in temperatures and performance. Sure, the intel stock cooler might be annoying to some, the CPU definitely won’t be hitting 70C while using it, unless something is going on with the airflow in your case. The 8400 is clocked down to reduce heat output, changing the TDP of the CPU from the 95W of the 8600k to the 65W the 8400 has. Sure, an aftermarket cooler will always be better, but since the 8400 can’t be overclocked there really isn’t any reason.

ray69420 1 point 8 days ago

does anyone know how much fps this could run fortnite at

KURLOZ_-Op 1 point 7 days ago

80 my friend plays with a 1060 and he usually gets 70 on 4k I could be wrong tho

netherion1 1 point 5 days ago

Do I need to also buy thermal paste or any cooling materials with this build? What computer part does thermal paste usually come with, the cpu?

clorence 1 point 1 day ago

Thermal paste normally comes with the cooler. I suggest buying (at least) Arctic Silver - 5. This is based upon the recommendations of the far too many youtube videos I've watched lately.

Grey96 1 point 4 days ago

Would Windows 7 work with this build? Currently the only OS I own, and I sort of prefer it anyways

clorence 1 point 1 day ago

Yes, it should work fine with Windows 7 64bit. But, I do suggest going to the motherboard vendor's website and verifying that they have Windows 7 drivers available.

KURLOZ_-Op 1 point 2 days ago

question why did you change from msi 1070 armor to evga ftw2

mythgeek22 1 point 1 day ago

I've got a budget of about $200's more and would like to plan on upgrading things in the very near future (probably 2 months). Any suggestions beforehand to plan accordingly. Most likely I could make $500-$800's worth of improvements then.

Also, how does reselling parts work? Is it a fairly simple process?

Side note. I would like to use the new PC for streaming, video editing, and video games.

clorence 1 point 1 day ago

Normally I would suggest getting the next best video card (1080 or 1080ti), but since this is a fresh build I would suggest stepping up your processor and motherboard since those are harder to switch out later on.

I was just in a similar situation and decided to get the i5-8600K and a Z370 motherboard. The 8600K (+$50) is unlocked and allows for overclocking later on - though you will need to buy a cooler as well (+$30 or more) since it doesn't come with one. A Z370 (+$70 or more) supports overclocking and also supports faster RAM than a B360.

TooPerfect 1 point 22 hours ago

I know it's mentioned that it runs well for Fortnite, but would this be able to push 100+ FPS on a 1440p monitor for Fortnite, or would I need to buff it a bit for that?

I'm new to build-your-own type setups (shifting from console --> PC) but want to make sure I hit the ground running without breaking the bank.

Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-8400 2.8GHz 6-Core Processor 8W - 65W
ASRock - B360 Pro4 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Kingston - HyperX Fury 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory 11W - 11W
Silicon Power - A55 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Toshiba - P300 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Asus - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB STRIX Video Card 37W - 150W
Total: 79W - 326W