Best Gaming PC Build Under $700 in 2021 (Ultra 1080p): Custom & Prebuilt Systems

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Build Overview

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Before we breakdown, the individual components of our AMD build path, let’s discuss what you can expect from an $800 gaming PC. While this is considered the mid-range of budgets, you can still guarantee an excellent gaming experience. These components are sure to cope with any AAA game titles you throw at them, especially in 1080p.

Our main goal with our build is to give you the best gaming experience we possibly can for the $700 budget. Before we break down each individual component, we should first discuss what you can expect from a gaming PC of this caliber. Many would argue that the $700 mark is on the cusp of budget, but with our build, you can count on a high-quality gaming experience.

Budget

As you go further down the budget ladder, more and more compromises have to be made. Despite this, we have managed to create a build you can be proud of and to stay on budget, make compromises in areas that affect your gaming less. The build includes CPU and GPU combinations that are sure to bring you a lot of joy, whether you are gaming or not, and these are supported by fast-acting RAM. At this price category, we have had to sacrifice SSD space and this should be the first area you look to upgrade in the future. That being said, there is still plenty of room here for your operating system and favorite games to get you going. This mid-level PC not only handles games in 1080p with ease but it looks good too!

Performance

Regardless of whether you go for AMD or Intel, you are going to get surprisingly good gaming performance from our $700 gaming PC. This PC handles 1080p gaming in max settings without a hitch and has capabilities at 1440p too (with a few tweaks). While both the AMD and Intel build paths will provide you with a decent FPS count and gaming experience in general, only the AMD build takes it a step further. The AMD CPU brings multithreading into this build, giving it excellent multitasking performance and improving your system overall. Along with its six extra virtual cores, the AMD build path also brings in a higher out-of-the-box clock speed of  3.6GHz!

To bring you better gaming components, an area we compromised on was the SSD storage. Despite this, the 480GB SSD we recommend is more than enough to get you started and it will actually enhance your gaming too. This SSD boots the operating system much quicker than an HDD and will even give you extra FPS in some games. To improve performance and further future proof the system we have included 16GB of 3600MHz RAM, which when tested, brought an increase in the FPS count.

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How We Choose

Our team has years of experience behind them building PCs for a range of needs and budgets. All this knowledge combined with hours of research, user feedback, and onsite benchmarking is what goes into choosing the best components for our builds.

We look for value for money, how the components perform together, and focus on gamer’s needs to make sure our builds are the best your budget can buy.

We build all these PCs ourselves, in-house, so trust us when we say we want to make them as good as possible. We actually use all these builds ourselves day-to-day in the WePC offices.

How We Test

We build each of our selected PC’s from scratch to make sure all the parts we recommend work well together, fit into the selected case, and provide the best performance possible for the price range.

Once built, the PCs are used in the office for everyday work as well as a range of games from light to heavy-duty. While we test, we also run benchmarking tests to see how well our builds perform, all while keeping an eye on the temperature of the components themselves.

We know how much some of our readers enjoy overclocking their PC’s, so we made sure to test that out too. So, you can feel safe knowing that these machines can be pushed beyond their basic capabilities. But, please make sure you know how to overclock before trying to over-task your builds.

NOTE: Due to the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, some retailers are experiencing stock issues. WePC constantly updates our pages to reflect current availability, so if the PC or part you want shows as out of stock, check back later or check out these alternatives.

Our Recommended Custom Build Details

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.

AMD
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Phanteks Eclipse Steel Mid Tower Tempered Glass PC Case

Our $700 Custom Gaming PC Build

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At the $700 mark with a custom gaming PC, this is where we start to see high performance in the 1080p sphere. With a combination of a powerful multithreaded CPU and a reliable GPU, this build will provide you with an excellent gaming experience.

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The 6 core, 12 thread Ryzen 5 3600 is one of AMD’s third-generation high-end desktop processors, renowned for excellent value multi-core performance. Thanks to the arrival of the recent Ryzen 5000 series, we’ve seen the price of 3rd-gen CPUs plummet. This price reduction brings excellent value to the table, helping us recommend a powerful GPU too.

It comes to the table equipped with an increased clock speed capable of 4.2GHz max boost speed. It comes pre-equipped with a Wraith Spire cooler and is excellent value for money. Overall, this should provide all the gaming performance you need, as well as acceptable streaming and video rendering performance.

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We’ve paired AMD’s impressive Ryzen 5 2600 with the MSI ASRock B450M PRO4 Motherboard to create a brilliant foundation for what we consider to be the best gaming rig for under $700. It guarantees compatibility with the Ryzen series and has some great little features as well. It is effectively an entry-level motherboard but comes equipped with fantastic versatility and overclocking potential. To touch on overclocking briefly, the Ryzen 5 range was purpose-built to be clock boosted, so attaining a solid motherboard that has the ability to utilize this feature is key. Furthermore, the B450M PRO4 Motherboard also houses the potential to overclock the RAM as well, meaning you can squeeze every possible inch of extra performance out of it.

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We’re finally at the price point where we can stop making heavy compromises and start focusing on extracting maximum performance out of the hardware we choose. That being said, we’ve opted for a Patriot Viper Steel 16GB 3200MHz RAM kit for the $700 build. This should be more than enough memory to handle even the most demanding of AAA game titles. Furthermore, this is the perfect partnership for the Ryzen CPU. Patriot is an established manufacturer in the memory business and they offer some of the most reliable DDR4 memory money can buy. All-in-all, a fantastic memory solution for this monster of a PC build.

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The MSI Radeon RX 580 is our pick for the best gaming PC build under $700 thanks to a combination of strong performance and excellent value for money. It brushes aside the GTX 1650, with improved FPS across the board. Not to mention its ability to perform VR gaming at a decent level.

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What $700 build is complete without an SSD? That’s right, none. Our build makes use of the ever-popular Samsung 500GB SSD for its high sequential read/write speeds. We’ve gone for a trusted brand in Samsung for our SSD as it’s one of the most reputable consumer-level storage manufacturers out there. Load your Windows and primary games onto the SSD for lightning-quick load times and you won’t look back.

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The Phanteks P300 has been custom designed to keep your system cool straight out-of-the-box and is one of the best cases we recommend for mid-range builds thanks to its great build quality and price point. The case features an aesthetically pleasing design and has adequate airflow to keep even higher-end builds relatively cool. Furthermore, with its great cooling right out the box, this case displays excellent value for money. It also gives you enough space for custom cooling and extra hardware if you choose to upgrade down the line.

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This affordable PSU from SilverStone comes in with excellent levels of efficiency too. If you don’t get a certified PSU you seriously run the risk of endangering the build and potentially your investment. We’ve gone for the SilverStone Technology 550 Watt option as it offers both excellent reliability and decent efficiency.

Things To Consider

Budget

As mentioned, the $700 custom gaming PC sits at the lower end of our mid-level builds. An important area for your consideration is the budget, as a gamer, you need to ensure that the PC meets your requirements. This gaming PC excels at 1080p resolutions and despite what some may think, won’t be smashing 4K any time soon. That being said there is going to be some 1440p ability, but for anything higher you may want to think about our $800 PC and above. It is worth noting that due to Amazon’s price fluctuations, the build price can sometimes change. We do our best to ensure we keep this build as close to the budget as possible with regular updates.

Upgradability & Future-Proofing

Future upgrades are always going to be in the back of a PC builder’s mind. How easily upgradeable a PC is, makes things cheaper and easier when the time finally comes. While making compromises to get this PC within budget, you leave room for future improvement. We have carefully selected components that we feel can handle future upgrades. While these components may not be the newest releases, they still offer excellent gaming performance that will last you for years. If you were to upgrade anything on this build it would be to a larger storage solution. Remember, any upgrade will enhance performance but it will bring extra costs too.

Overclocking

Overclocking your PC can give you a free increase in performance. Boosting your clock speed or overclocking RAM has been shown to give you that little extra. Both the AMD and Intel processors have room for overclocking and the other components in the build will support such tweaks. Of course, when overclocking a CPU you bring about extra heat, so consider adding in a CPU cooler to your basket to keep things chilled. This $700 gaming PC features fast RAM that is capable of running at 3600MHz. Unfortunately, RAM kits don’t come at these speeds out of the box, so you will need to overclock them in the BIOS. Luckily motherboard manufacturers have made the RAM overclocking process significantly easier to do in the BIOS.

Ease of Building

First-time builders out there should always consider how difficult the PC build will be. With this in mind, we carefully selected a PC case that simplifies the whole process. The case is from a manufacturer you can trust and one that has building and cable management as a primary concern. The case does a good job of hiding cables with little fuss on your end, however, for those that wish to spend time on it, there is plenty of room to create something excellent. Both of our recommended CPUs come with stock coolers as standard. These stock coolers will handle your cooling efficiently and reliably. The stock coolers come with thermal paste pre-applied, saving you a job. That being said, we recommend you purchase a tube of aftermarket thermal paste to replace what is already on your cooler. Replacing the thermal paste will often bring better thermal performance and provide you with lower temps, plus you will need to replace it in future intervals.

Non-gaming Performance

Gaming performance on the $700 build is a given, after all, it is a gaming PC. Regardless if you chose AMD or Intel, you are going to get joy out of those game titles, but how does this PC do in other areas? This is where the AMD build path starts to shine the most and this is largely down to its multithreading capabilities. The extra threads (virtual cores) enhance this PC’s ability to tackle multitasking, streaming, and video editing. It is worth noting that the RAM kit in this build goes a long way when paired with the AMD CPU, giving you a well-rounded PC for every occasion.

Aesthetics

While some gamers and enthusiasts tend not to bother themselves with aesthetics, it can be important to some. With this in mind, we wanted to include a case that features a tempered glass panel, just in case you fancied pimping the PC out. For those that would like to improve the aesthetics, this is only an RGB fan or light strip away from looking even more pleasing to the eye.

Calculating The PSU Wattage

Making sure your PSU provides the correct amount of wattage to your custom build PC is an essential part of the build process. For that reason, we’ve created a handy PSU calculator which will work out exactly what PSU wattage your components require – no matter how many changes you make.

What Games Can This PC Run?

Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Benchmark CSGO
120

1080p

High settings

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Benchmark The Witcher 3
65

1080p

Ultra Settings

fortnite

Benchmark Fortnite
80

1080p

Epic settings

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege

Benchmark Rainbow Six Siege
145

1080p

High settings

Total War: Warhammer II

Total War Warhammer II6
45

1080p

High settings

GTA V

Benchmark GTA V
60

1080p

Highest settings

Our Prebuilt Gaming PC For Under $700

For those without the experience of building a custom PC or the necessary time to do so, a prebuilt option could be the best way to go. Custom PC companies often bring the advantage of warranties and they will test your system before sending it. That being said, we always recommend you build your own but either way here’s our best-prebuilt recommendations.

So if you are one of those who would prefer to buy a prebuilt for whatever reason, here’s a list for you:

1st
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This post recommends the best gaming PC you can build for under $700. If you’re looking to buy a pre-built gaming rig instead of going to the hassle of doing it yourself, we recommend the iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Trace 4 9310. It’s powered by AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 CPU and an RX 5500XT GPU, which makes running AAA gaming titles a piece of cake.

Upgrade Path for Custom Build

The $700 PC build already has the power to deliver a 1080p gaming experience with at least 60FPS on ultra settings, however, this is a custom PC build. There’s always room to ascend to an even higher level of processing power by making a few tweaks here and there. Below are what we consider to be the absolute best upgrade options for the current $700 PC build. The upgrades have been chosen based on their performance, price, aesthetics, and overclocking ability. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the prime contenders.

AMD
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The natural upgrade for this build is a Ryzen 5 3600X, the successor to the 2600x. It’s part of the massively impressive Ryzen 3000 range and one that showcases some of the best single-core performance we’ve seen. We feel it’s the perfect upgrade to this already stellar build and will offer a much more stable and enjoyable gaming experience if you decide to go for it.

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Seeing as though one of the main agendas of this build was overclocking, we’d highly recommend purchasing a liquid cooler to reduce any potential temperature issues you might encounter whilst doing so. We’ve chosen Cooler Master as it’s both a trusted brand and boasts reasonable value for money.

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For the GPU upgrade, we’ve decided to go for the increasingly popular RTX 3070 card. It’s a graphics card that will increase your FPS considerably thanks to a number of different features this card comes equipped with. Furthermore, this card has the added benefit of real-time ray tracing technology and newly enhanced AI-enhanced graphics. This, in turn, makes the RTX 3070 a brilliant option and one that will future-proof your build for years to come.

Operating System & 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 that a user or an application can interact with.

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Windows and certain Linux distributions (like Ubuntu and Mint) are the biggest OS’s 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, however, if you don’t, you’ll need to buy Windows 10. To save on optical drives, install your OS via USB. We’ll explain how to do that later in the article. For the old-schoolers out there who are still using DVD ROM’s, here is the DVD version of windows to suit your needs.

How To Build A PC

Never built a PC before? Let us guide you through everything you need to build your first PC, even if you’re a complete beginner!

Closing Thoughts

There we have it, our in-depth guide to building the best gaming PC for under $700. If you have followed this guide you can now enjoy your AAA games in high detail at 1080p. This gaming PC is more than capable of playing VR games and should provide you with some decent FPS counts. Of course, at this price compromises have to be made but if you go with the AMD build path, you are sure to get a flexible gaming rig that brings you excellent performance for the price.

The team would love to hear how you got on building your new gaming PC, did everything go to plan? Share your experiences and build pictures over at the WePC community!

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The Team That Worked On This Build

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The Team That Worked On This Build
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Our Build Promise

All of our builds have been chosen to give you the best value for money. So, whether your budget is £300 or $2000 – our builds will make your money go further.

Our team are always working hard to stay on top of the latest releases, and we make sure that all our builds feature the most up to date hardware on the market.

We build and test every setup we recommend to make sure it really is the best choice for you. So, you can rest easy knowing your next PC build will be up to scratch.