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.
This is the best gaming PC build under $700 of 2018. With it, you’ll be able to enjoy all your games maxed out at 1080p!
Before we dive into the exact specifications of this build, let’s talk about the requirements we set for this build.
Superb Performance. The GPU in this build will be on par with, if not better than the PS4 Pro. In 1080p and 1440p games, your games will be a breeze. In addition to the powerful GPU within this build, the Ryzen 3 1300X will have more than enough power for gaming alongside the 1060 3GB, and will allow you to start doing other things with your build as well.
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, you can upgrade it. There’s more than enough room for that.
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 the gear you’re shipped, you can count on solid return policies so you don’t unfairly lose out on money.
How We Choose the Parts and Components
Building a custom gaming computer from the ground up is a tedious task.
Research, benchmark comparison, and price check are just a few of the many things that you need to heavily comprehend to come up with the right combination of hardware components. Aside from that, there’s compatibility that a lot of newbie enthusiasts can easily mess up.
This is what inspires us to specifically spend a quality amount of time to give you the best value for your money.
Being in the industry of computers for almost 10 years now, we want our readers to get only the best of the best. To make sure you’re not left out in the dark, we update all of our custom builds at least once a month. So expect to see changes on the list from time to time.
For new products and release, we want to make sure we check what our fellow professionals in the industry have in mind about the component. Linus Tech Tips, NCIX Tech Tips, as well as Tech Deals, are just a few.
To see the components we came up with for this month, read more.
The Best $700 Gaming PC Update:
Ryzen 3 1300X
The best budget CPU that offers more than enough power for both gaming and non-gaming tasks.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
The GTX 1060 3GB is one of the best budget GPUs on the market right now. While it does lose some performance versus its bigger 6GB cousin, it’s still great.
Crucial 8GB DDR4 RAM
Crucial’s basic DDR4 RAM kit provides all the memory this build needs in a cheap package.
Corsair TXM 550W 80+ Gold PSU
For the price of $700, you get a semi-modular power supply that keeps your rig running
ASUS PRIME A320M-K Motherboard
This ASUS PRIME motherboard makes up the spine of this AM4 build, and should provide all the expansion you need.
The Corsair SPEC-02 is a sleek, wonderful-looking case with great cooling, airflow and build quality.
Estimated $706.01 at Amazon
(Price are accurate as of August 29, 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 Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 series are great budget CPU options, serving as effective rivals to the Intel Pentiums, i3s and i5s of the world. While they trade off performance in some games, they make up for it by having much more all-around rendering and streaming performance when compared to competing Intel processors. The 1300X is great for this build- it shouldn’t bottleneck the GTX 1060 in any meaningful way, and should offer all the power you need for gaming at 1080p/1440p with some light streaming on the side.
The GPU shortage has taken its toll on the market and our builds- previously we were able to recommend a GTX 1060 6GB in this price range, but the unfortunate rising price of that GPU (and its older brother, the GTX 1070) have made them relatively poor purchases for the money. The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, however, remains a great option for mid-range GPUs.
The 1060 should offer all the power you need for 1440p at medium/high and 1080p at max/high settings. Higher resolutions and super-high quality textures may chug with the limited pool of VRAM, however.
Since RAM speed doesn’t generally make a big difference in games (and we imagined that the money in this build was better spent elsewhere), we’ve stuck with basic DDR4-2133 RAM for this package. This basic RAM kit from Crucial will offer all of the gaming and multitasking capabilities you need.
ADATA makes some pretty great SSDS, and this 128 GB option is no different. Offering a 560 MB/s speed, this SSD will be more than fast enough for quickly loading your operating system and a game or two of your choice. Everything else will have to go onto your hard drive, though.
On top of having a 128SSD, you also have a 2TB HDD solution for the price of $700. This offers stupendous amount of space to store all your games in – and even media files without breaking a sweat. Hitachi’s Ultrastar series has a reputation for being reliable for the price. While there are many 2TB HDD options out there, this is by far the best we could recommend for a mid-range build like this.
For a great budget Gold-certified power supply unit, Corsair’s TXM 550W is a pretty good option. We always recommend PSUs from the best manufacturers, and Corsair is one of them. While this is one of their cheaper PSUs- and it’s just semi-modular instead of full-modular- it’s still incredibly solid, and should provide all of the power that you need in this build.
The ASUS PRIME A320M-K is a budget AM4 motherboard that opens up the world of Ryzen to its users. While it doesn’t have overclocking capabilities, it’s still very well-built and should offer most, if not all of the capabilities that a budding PC gamer should need. Plus, since it’s an AM4 motherboard, chances are you’ll get access to all of the great AM4 chips in the pipeline, like next year’s Ryzen successors.
Corsair’s an amazing all-around hardware manufacturer, and their cases are no different. The SPEC-02 has great build quality, a sleek aesthetic and comes with two integrated case fans, allowing for complete airflow without any extra investment in case fans required. Plus, the intake fan has built-in red LEDs for extra presentation value.
Why is this the Best $700 Gaming PC?
This is where you start to really enjoy games without worries.
This gaming computer is capable of handling games at 1080p resolution with no drawbacks whatsoever. Don’t start asking about FPS since this could easily squeeze out an average of 60FPS gaming on high to ultra settings.
But why didn’t we go with that instead?
You already have enough power to plow AAA games with this processor. The key takeaway here is the 128GB SSD, which significantly boosts your boot times and loading times. Open a program or application and see it open in a snap.
Similar Prebuilt Gaming PC Under $700
This build screams quality and performance. But there’s something wrong…
(Are you one of those who aren’t fond of building gaming computers? If yes, don’t fret, we got you covered!)
The increase in GPU price has greatly affected builders and enthusiast over the past years. In fact, it is what triggered the issue on why builders have to resort to building a prebuilt PC. You can learn more about it here.
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:
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.
The Ryzen 5 1600 is a jump up in price, but it’s a much better CPU than the one in this build, and should offer you a bit more GPU upgrading room. It’ll also be significantly better for streaming, rendering video, and gaming performance (especially in titles that can take advantage of the extra cores!). If you want to step up your Ryzen build significantly, this processor is a great pick.
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 a Vive or a Rift 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.
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
If you’re thinking about peripherals, you’re probably thinking about these. They’re your primary form of input on PC.
If you don’t already have any lying around, here’s what you can buy.
For Starters: ($15)
The Logitech MK120 Kit is a standard for school/office environments and comes well-built and cheap.
Despite the latter being the case, however, this kit should last you at least a few years. It won’t give you much of a competitive edge if you’re trying to get high in the eSports scene, but it will service you perfectly fine until you can afford something better.
For Advanced Users: ($100)
One of the best gaming mice you can buy is the Logitech G502. It’s a high-end gaming mouse with an optical sensor and great customization features.
For $50-70, you can enjoy all you need out of a pro-level gaming mouse.
The Redragon K551 is one of the few entry-level mechanical gaming keyboards out there.
It’s from a relatively lesser-known manufacturer that provides great build quality and provides the key advantages that gamers need from a mechanical keyboard.
If you’re serious about writing or gaming, a mechanical keyboard is for you. And if you want one at a fair price, the K551 seems to be the best option right now.
An underestimated key part of video gaming is the “video” part. If you don’t have a display that can actually show off what you’re playing, you aren’t going to be able to!
If you have an old monitor or HDTV sitting around, you can probably use that. But if you want to buy a new monitor or need one just for the sake of this build, here’s a few that we recommend to make the most out of this build.
If the monitors we give are too expensive, a look on eBay will probably help. However, if you can’t afford a good 1080p monitor for gaming (at least), you may want to tone back to a cheaper build.
There’s no point in paying extra for performance you won’t be able to see.
For Starters: ($100)
The lowest we’re going to start with is a solid 1080p monitor. It has a 2ms response time, making it ideal for gaming, and comes at a respectable 23 inches.
Our first recommendation is the Asus VH238H.
For Advanced Users: ($180+)
If you want a truly gaming-centric experience, though, you should go with a 144hz monitor.
144hz monitors refer to monitors with a refresh rate of 144, allowing people to see and benefit from higher framerates. Most displays use a refresh rate of 60, and that’s probably what the display you’re reading this on is clocked at!
With a 144hz display, you can enjoy quicker reaction times and a smoother viewing experience. These features are especially useful for competitively-oriented gamers.
Entry-level 144hz can be found with the Acer GN246HL, at a humble $180 price point. If you’re willing to spend some more money on your display, the Acer XF240H adds some great extra comfort features.
Musicians aren’t the only people who put a lot into their sound design. Game developers also do a lot of work on the audio end of things, and you’ll want good sound hardware to hear it!
Here are a few recommendations.
First, let’s have some serviceable speakers. The Logitech Z130 Speakers come at around $20, and provide a great audio experience without breaking the bank.
You’ll need to step up if you want surround-sound or subwoofers, but this set is fine for those starting out with music and games.
The Corsair Raptor HS40 is a gaming headset at a budget-oriented price point, without falling short where necessary. With directional audio, a built-in mic and great overall build quality, you’ll be able to clearly hear what’s going on around you.
It can easily communicate with your teammates, too.
Whether you’re ducking a D.VA ult in Overwatch or running for your life in Alien: Isolation, you’ll be able to hear things clearly and react to them quickly.
You can get online through a wireless or a wired connection, and we’ll go over two great options for that here.
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 at all. All you need is the right information, along with a comprehensive guide, and you should successfully build your first PC without worries.
We know the struggle that first-time builders have, this is why we have compiled a comprehensive article on what newbie builders should avoid doing, along with list of questions when building a computer to give you a heads up.
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.
Our guide on how to use the anti-static strip here should help you out if you don’t know how to use it.
Watch Building Guides
Tek Syndicate’s build guide is our personal favorite, and it’ll give you a great step-by-step guide for assembling a PC. 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 here 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
If you chose Windows 10, use the Windows 10 Media Creation Toolalongside a 4GB USB stick that will allow you to easily install Windows from USB. If you’re using one of the Linux distros, use UNetbootin or Rufus.
And that’s all.
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!