You’ve decided you want in on PC gaming, and you want to do so at a level where you thrash console performance and enjoy all the platform has to offer.
We present the best $700 gaming PC. With it, you’ll be able to enjoy all your games maxed out at 1080p!
Before we dive into the exact specifications, let’s talk about the goals we set for this build.
Superb Performance. The GPU in this build will be on par with, if not better than, the PS4 Pro. Gaming at 1080p and 1440p will be a breeze. In fact, one of the really exciting things about the RX 580 is that is the best value on the market right now (aka power relative to cost). Okay, maybe it’s not that exciting, but I love a good deal.
Upgradeability. If you’re buying a console, or any piece of tech, you expect it to be able to last you for years. In the case of a PC, the ability to upgrade can increase the life cycle of your machine for up to a decade after its purchase with the right maintenance and upgrades.
Once this one starts buckling its knees under the weight of intensive games, there’s more than enough room to upgrade it.
Reputable Manufacturers. Every component in our build today comes from a reputable manufacturer. This makes your building process easier, and it also means that should anything go wrong with your components, like during shipping, you can count on solid return policies so you don’t unfairly lose out on money just because the UPS guy likes chunking packages.
How We Choose the Parts and Components
Building a custom gaming computer from the ground up is a tedious task.
Whether it be researching, comparing benchmarks, or price checking… ugh. Aren’t you glad we’ve provided these great guides? Aside from that, compatibility can be tricky, especially for newbie enthusiasts.
To make sure you’re not missing out on great deals, we update our custom builds every few months. As such, you should expect to see changes on the list from time to time.
The Best $700 Gaming PC Update:
Intel Core i5-8400 Six-Core Processor
The Intel Core i5 in this build will provide stellar gaming performance and shouldn’t bottleneck any potential GPU upgrades.
XFX RX 580 4GB Video Card
1080p killer, 1440p/VR powerhouse. That’s really all there is to say here.
Corsair CXM 550W 80+ Bronze-Certified Power Supply
A strong semi-modular power supply from Corsair.
Estimated $723.22 at Amazon
(Price are accurate as of October 19, 2018. Click the button to see the latest prices)
This $700 1080p Ultra Gaming PC is designed to thrash anything in its path. Let’s see what makes up the best gaming desktop under $700.
The i5-8400 is the best mid-range gaming CPU on the market, thanks to its stellar single-core performance and strong overall performance. Unlike past-generation i5 processors, the 8400 also supports hyperthreading, allowing it to offer an unprecedented 12 threads in an i5 processor. (If we had to guess, this was a change pushed by AMD’s Ryzen line, which also offers hyperthreading in this price range.)
Overall, this should provide all the gaming performance you need, as well as acceptable streaming and video rendering performance. However, you won’t be able to overclock, and the heaviest CPU tasks might strain your system.
The RX 580 is our pick for the best gaming PC build under $700, thanks to its strong performance. Beating out the GTX 1060 3GB and trading blows with the 1060 6GB, the RX 580 is the perfect pick for 1080p and 1440p gaming, as well as VR gaming. The version in this build is the 4GB version, but it’s still the best GPU in this price range, period.
If you’re tired of compromising on RAM, don’t worry: with 8GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM running at 2400MHz, you aren’t doing that anymore. For most multitasking and gaming scenarios, this will be more than enough for your needs! Since it’s manufactured by a reputable vendor (Patriot), you can also trust that it will last for years to come without giving you any issues.
The Hitachi Ultrastar 2TB HDD offers great price-per-gigabyte and is the best value HDD in this range. We can’t afford an SSD yet, so you’re going to have to be content with a hard drive as your primary storage device, but truth be told this won’t actually hurt your overall experience. If you need some degree of speed, though, consider adding an SSD to this build.
In addition to being amazing at keyboards and everything else they do, Corsair also makes some pretty stellar power supplies. We’ve included one of their modular power supplies in this unit, meaning that in addition to high build quality and reliable operation, you’ll also get a much easier build process!
If you look at some of our cheaper builds, you may notice that they don’t have this modularity. Unfortunately, rising prices have made modular PSUs much more of a luxury than they used to be in PC gaming.
While people put a lot of stock into high-end, “gaming” motherboards, the truth is your motherboard usually isn’t going to be the determining factor on whether or not you can make the most of your components. This entry-level motherboard from Gigabyte may not provide overclocking capabilities, but neither does the CPU we’re including in this build, so you’re not really losing anything.
However, if you thirst for overclocking and other high end options, we recommend taking a look at our higher-end gaming PC builds.
Corsair’s an amazing all-around hardware manufacturer, and their cases are no different. The SPEC-04 has great build quality, a sleek aesthetic and comes with one integrated case fan. If you can’t afford to grab another fan yet, use it as an exhaust fan until you can grab one of our recommended fan upgrades below.
Fan shortage aside, this is still a stellar case that should look good in most environments and provide the airflow and cooling you’re looking for.
Why is this the Best $700 Gaming PC?
This is where you start to really enjoy games without worrying about your ability to handle it, especially at 1080p.
You should be able to push up to 60 frames per second on just about everything, and with some settings adjustments you may even be able to push 144hz in certain games.
The power of the i5 in this build, alongside the RX 580, means you have all the power you need to tackle gaming at 1080pUltra, 1440pMedium, and even VR. The i5 also ensures that you won’t have to worry about performance bottlenecks if or when you upgrade your GPU to something like the Vega 64 or 1070 Ti.
What games can this PC run?
In this section, we’re going to tell you how this game should be able to run your favorite games.
- Fortnite - 1080p/60 and 1440p/60 should both be possible, but you will need to turn down settings for the latter.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - PUBG should be able to push 1080p/60 at high settings on this machine, but 1440p will require some compromises.
- Monster Hunter: World - MHW should do quite well at 1080p and high settings, but 1440p60 will require some tweaking to work properly.
- League of Legends - LOL is a lightweight eSports title, so pushing 1440p60 or 1080p144 should be easy as pie.
- Dota 2 - Same as above.
- Overwatch - Ultra settings @ 1440p should net at least 60 FPS on average, but if you want higher frames, turn settings down and go down to 1080p.
- Rainbow Six: Siege - Siege should be easy to pay at 1440p and high settings, with around 60-70 FPS. 1080p will be much more stable, though.
- Warframe - Warframe should be fine with 1440p and 1080p at high settings- at 1080p, you might even push 144 FPS!
- Grand Theft Auto V - GTA V is playable at 1440p medium settings and 1080p high/max settings.
- Team Fortress 2 - TF2 is a CPU-heavy title, but this build is more than well equipped to handle it. 1080p should be a breeze, and with the right settings should even push 144 HZ. 1440p at 60FPS shouldn’t be a problem, either.
Similar Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $700
While this build screams quality, performance, and value; there is the elephant in the room...
Whispers: Building computers is intimidating. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge, don’t fret, we got you covered!
Some might critique you for not building your own PC, but we want to make sure our article provides every type of gamer with every option possible. So if you are one of those who would prefer to buy a prebuilt for whatever reason, here’s a list for you:
Upgrade Paths for this Build
The $700 gaming PC build already has the power to deliver 1080p gaming experience with at least 60FPS on ultra settings, but this is PC gaming. That means that you can ascend to an even higher level of processing power!
Stick around for these recommended upgrades to our $700 gaming PC.
Note: all of these will raise the price of the build, VR especially!
The ADATA Ultimate SU800 is our favorite pick for entry-level SSDs, due to offering great performance and storage capacity at its price. By buying an SSD and utilizing its properly, you can enjoy your OS and your favorite programs for great load and boot times.
Many argue that an SSD is the best way to upgrade your system, just because of the great increase in quality of life. If you opt to buy the SSD in the beginning, be sure to install it before the HDD to save yourself a few headaches during OS installation.
You can also opt to replace the HDD in this build with an SSD, if you’d like to start with this instead and aren’t immediately going to fill up your storage.
A cheap, solid cooler that’ll outperform the Intel stock cooler and may even provide a little wiggle room for overclocking.
Whenever we recommend Nvidia GPUs, we almost always go with EVGA. This is because they are generally acknowledged to be the best Nvidia GPU manufacturer, thanks to build quality and customer service.
The GTX 1070 will up your game even more, by offering world-class performance at an amazing value. It’ll also open up the way to more viable 144hz and 1440p gaming at high settings- no 1080p game will stand a chance!
Finally, you’ve entered the point where VR capabilities are now in play. Pick up an HTC VIVE Virtual Reality System or an Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch Virtual Reality Headset Bundle if you want to enjoy the latest, greatest form of interactive gaming, but also be wary: it is quite expensive right now. Buying the Vive, for instance, will nearly double the cost of your build!
OS Options and Recommended Peripherals
If you’re buying the best $700 dollar gaming PC, you may already have a number of these things. However, we understand if you don’t, so we’ve written up this section in case you need anything within.
NOTE: These will raise the price of the build!
Let’s get this out of the way: the best gaming PC you could get for the price of 700 dollars is already awesome. It’s boasting more power than a console, and, in fact, probably multiple times the power of the PCs you’ve already used.
Unfortunately, PCs aren’t ready to be used right out of the box. They need what’s called an operating system.
Operating systems take the power offered by their hardware and provide a standard environment which a user or an application can interact with.
Windows and certain Linux distributions (like Ubuntu and Mint) are the biggest OSes on PC right now. But if you want to do PC gaming, Windows boasts the highest compatibility.
If you already own a retail copy of Windows, you should be able to move it over to your new PC- but if you don’t, well…
You’ll need to buy Windows 10 or install Ubuntu/Mint.
To save on optical drives, install your OS of voice via USB. We’ll explain how to do that later in the article.
Mouse and Keyboard
You need a solid mouse and keyboard to make the most of your gaming experience- here are our midrange recommendations.
For Advanced Users: ($100)
Our mouse pick is the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Gaming Mouse. With one of the best optical sensors on the market and RGB support, the G502 Proteus Spectrum makes the perfect gaming mouse.
Your options are a 1440p monitor running at 60 Hz or a 1080p monitor running at 144 Hz. In this price range, both are viable, but the former will provide a better visual experience and the latter will provide a better GAMING experience.
For Advanced Users: ($180+)
If your priority is high resolution and great graphics, snag the 27-inch AOC Q2778VQQE monitor.
Here are our sound picks for this midrange gaming PC build.
First is the Logitech Z130 speakers, which will provide a solid sound experience at a low price. If you want something a little more involved, we recommend looking at our headset pick below.
The HyperX Cloud Revolver S Gaming Headset boasts great build quality and all of the features you should need for a competitive gaming experience, including 7.1 surround sound and a clear, noise-canceling microphone.
You can get online through a wireless or a wired connection, and we’ll go over two great options for that here.
Wired (Ethernet Cable)
If you want the best possible gaming performance and network reliability, you’ll want to go wired and buy an ethernet cable. We recommend this 25 foot ethernet cable from Amazon to start with.
It’ll only run you about $8, and once you’ve routed the cable through your house, you’ll enjoy the performance and reliability necessary to game on the high end.
Of course, if you prefer the convenience of Wi-Fi and aren’t a competitive gamer, you can always go that route. In that case, we recommend the TP-Link Archer T4U, which supports the latest Wi-Fi standards at a fairly good price.
Building your own PC isn’t that hard. All you need is the right information-- along with a comprehensive guide (and both of these are easier to come by than ever before)-- and you should be able to successfully build your first PC without worries.
We know the struggle that first-time builders have, this is why we have compiled a comprehensive list that covers exactly what newbie builders should avoid doing, along with a list of questions you might have when building a computer.
Invest In Antistatic Equipment
First, save yourself some stress. You don’t want to worry about frying your components or manually grounding yourself every ten seconds.
Buy an anti-static wristband and/or anti-static mat. With proper setup, you’ll avoid the worry that comes with dealing with expensive electronics. And if you’re still uncertain, then we even have a guide that will walk you through using an anti-static strip for the first time.
Watch Building Guides
Tek Syndicate’s build guide is our personal favorite since it is short and sweet while showing a varied amount of part types. Supplement this with the instruction manuals that come with your components, and you’ll be fine. Some personal advice, though: deal with the standoff screws as soon as possible. They’re the worst.
Our detailed how to build a PC guide also addresses every single thing that newbies need when building a PC. Among these include deciding on a budget, installing the drivers, setting up your computer for first-time use, and tips to properly maintain your computer.
Install OS Via USB
With the best $700 gaming PC, you’ll have all the power you’ll need for high-end PC gaming. No 1080p game will stand a chance against your specs even 1440p and VR titles can be tackled with medium to high settings with this build.
Are you willing to sacrifice a few to cut down the price? Tell us down the comments and we’ll help you out!
Are you still confused whether or not you should go with the custom or the prebuilt? Let us know, you have our ears!