Best Gaming PC Under $700
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Back in the hardware scarce days of 2022, building the best gaming PC under $700 would have been considered blasphemy by many, and for good reason. Fortunately, today however, times have changed, and $700 will happily get you a gaming PC more than capable of pumping out some significant framerates at 1080p and above, is it the best build in the world? Well no, but then we’re running on a limited budget here, if you want something that can tackle the likes of 4K and beyond, we highly recommend checking out our Best Gaming PC under $2000 guide. That said, chuck this rig up against any AAA game title today, and you’ll easily hit 60fps and beyond.
As always, our goal with a build like this is to get you the best possible gaming experience we can, for just $700. Each component is carefully selected and debated by our team of in-house experts, to maximize value and performance, while also ensuring that any compatibility issues, are non-existent, and your build experience is flawless. Speaking of, not a fan of the custom build life? Perhaps just an off-the-shelf pre-built is what you’re after instead?
What you get for your $700
The more you move down the price ladder, the more the value of the $ changes. The less you have to spend, the more every cent counts. You can’t just spend an extra $50 on a flashier memory kit, or $100 on a more potent cooling solution, what you’re looking for is the best bang for the buck for all of your hardware. Despite those limitations, we have, however, managed to create the best custom PC build that we could for $700. One that’s easy to put together, that performs at the highest levels at 1080p gaming, and doesn’t break the bank in the process. Of course, compromises had to be made, but we’ve made sure that the impact on gaming wherever possible is minimal to non-existent. The CPU and GPU powering the heart of this build, can easily handle pretty much all titles at 1080p without fault, however more recent AAA titles, or those requiring raytracing to really make them pop, may need the odd tweak in settings, to really shine.
One area we have had to compromise on, however, is storage space, specifically with the SSD. Ideally, we recommend you look at updating this later down the line. That said, there is still plenty of room here for your operating system and favorite games to get you going. This mid-level PC can not only handle the latest and best games at 1080p with ease, but on top of that, it also looks the part too!
Despite that $700 price tag, you are absolutely going to get some seriously impressive gaming performance from this beauty. This custom PC handles 1080p gaming in max settings with most titles. In fact, in our testing we saw all of our game benchmarks, sit steadily above the 80 fps mark across the board. Admittedly some titles were below that average of course, Hogwarts Legacy, was one, along with CyberPunk. Although these still cruise in at the 60fps mark, meaning you’ll be more than set for Liberty Phantom DLC launching later this year.
The Intel Core i5-12400 isn’t the absolute monster that its 13th gen younger sibling is, but it is more than potent enough for this build, coming complete with six cores, and 12 threads. Its hyper-threading grunt makes it ideal for any workload, whether gaming or otherwise, you’ll be all set. Combine that with 960 GB of PCIe 3.0 Western Digital M.2 goodness, and this custom PC will be sailing.
We have had to compromise in a couple of areas, however, most notably the memory. We would have loved to stretch for a full 32 GB kit of DDR4, perhaps at 3600 MHz instead, but 16 GB is more than enough for the time-being. It is one of the areas we would recommend upgrading in the future, however, particularly as games become more memory hungry, such as Forspoken.
Team Red or Team Blue?
So why Intel over AMD? Well honestly, there really isn’t a huge amount of different at this price-point, at least, not at the moment anyway. Both AMD and Intel provide some seriously impressive budget options. Whether that’s the Intel Core i5-12400F featured in this build or the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, you’ll be more than set. It really is down to preference. If we’re honest, both platforms are great, AMD does slightly pip Intel on its latest generation of processors and motherboards, but mostly for PCIe 5.0 SSD support, which we’re still waiting for SSDs for in general.
One slight caveat to bear in mind when building an AMD system is that they do prefer higher spec memory. AMD’s Infinity Fabric (the interconnecting data medium that transfers data between its cores on the CPU) loves higher frequency memory. There is a cut-off on that however (where the Infinity Fabric disconnects from the memory controller) For 5th gen AMD Ryzen processors and DDR4 that’s 3733 MHz, and for 7th gen Ryzen and DDR5 it’s 6000 MHz
How we choose
Our team has years of experience behind them building PCs for a range of needs and budgetary requirements. 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 gamers’ needs to make sure our builds are the best bang for your buck.
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 PCs 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 and power draw of the components themselves.
We know how much some of our readers enjoy overclocking their PCs, 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 where possible. But, please make sure you know how to overclock before trying to over-task your builds.
Our prebuilt gaming PC for under $700
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