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manirelli Nov. 25, 2014

Looking to build a new system to take advantage of Black Friday deals? Check out our updated build guides! These guides take advantage of our parametric filter selections, so the specific part selections automatically adjust minute-by-minute as new Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals roll in. Take a look and let us know what you think!

If you're looking for something a little bit different, we've also included a new guide for a budget HTPC system:

Comments Sorted by:

chuck216 1 Build 26 points 53 months ago

You should do some AMD based builds, not all of us are Intel fanboys.

mike9409 7 Builds 7 points 51 months ago

Intel is best for gaming, but APUs kick *** for low-power systems like office computers and media PCs ... What really bugs me is the fact that the HTPC build uses an Intel processor ... Why??? What do you gain?? An A8/10 would probably be the same, if not better.

chuck216 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

oops my bad somehow same comment got posted multiple times

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AMDinSC 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Ditto that brother!

nocares -5 points 53 months ago

Gaming performance shows an "Intel bias", sorry reality does not meet the qualifications of your fantasy world. Not everything has to be "us vs them", especially something as banal as hardware brands.

LeMonarque 3 Builds 5 points 53 months ago

I get what you're saying, but doesn't reality also involve net performance? A CPU that gives you higher gaming performance means little if you could buy a cheaper CPU and a better GPU while keeping your cost the same.

That will trump the "this CPU has better gaming performance than that one" argument every time in builds that are under $1000-$1500 depending on if OS or decent peripherals are bought, and frankly the vast majority of builds are at or below that price point.

nocares 3 points 53 months ago

It's really not that simple though and if you scroll through the comments I got into a long discussion regarding the i3 vs FX 6300 debate which can be paralleled to the i5 vs 8350 debate as well. Long story short is AMD loses when it comes to CPU performance in gaming and AMD usually isn't more economical either. People vastly underestimate the importance of CPU for gaming in certain instances. Sure, you can play games that aren't CPU intensive like League of Legends or Bioshock Infinite with pretty much any modern CPU just fine, although in these instances you don't need a high end GPU either so that point is kind of moot. However, when you look at titles that are either optimized poorly or don't utilize multithreading well, such as Star Craft 2 or Watchdogs, CPU performance (particularly single thread performance) becomes much more important. Then when you look at CPU intensive titles like ARMA III, Planetside 2, or Star Citizen it becomes incredibly apparent why having a strong CPU can be necessary for gaming.

It comes down to having a good balance and personalization for the types of games you play as well as your own personal opinion about what is more important: a smoother gaming experience or prettier graphics. An i3 4150 can average around 40 FPS in some of the newer more CPU demanding titles whereas an i5 is usually closer to the ideal 60 FPS. So you could go with the i3 and sink more into GPU, you'd be able to turn up your settings more in these titles but you wouldn't have quite as fluid of an experience. You can always lower graphical settings to improve FPS if you are being GPU limited however you usually cannot lower settings to improve CPU performance. There's also an argument to be made regarding the ease of upgradability, swapping out a GPU is simple but upgrading a CPU and mobo is more expensive and time consuming.

There is no one size fits all CPU/GPU ratio, it greatly depends on the users preference and needs.

nocares 8 points 52 months ago

Haha wow, just saw all my posts here have been downvoted. Congrats on being incredibly misinformed. I'm not going to bother posting an articulated rebuttal to anonymous cowards, so here's a dump of benchmarks proving how wrong you all are:

Recent releases showing a large gap between an i3 and i5:

Far Cry 4


Assassin's Creed Unity


Watch Dogs


And AMD Vs Intel:

8320 OC'd to 4.7ghz vs i5 4460


8320 build costs 10% more and performs 30% worse vs an i5 build

6300 OC'd to 4.7ghz vs i3 4130


6300 build costs 10% more and performs 0.1% better overall vs an i3 4130 build (not the faster and similarly priced 4150)

750K OC'd to 4.5ghz vs G3240 (stock G3258 equivalent)


750K is more expensive and performs worse than a g3240 (G3258 stock equivalent)


My previous post is entirely correct but most of you are so far up your own asses that you can't realize that CPU PERFORMANCE DOES MATTER FOR GAMING. Not everyone plays Runescape and League of Legends 24/7.

A G3258 is not the end all be all of gaming CPUs.

http://pclab.pl/art57691-6.html (Watch Dogs)

The FX6300 has flaws when playing single thread heavy titles like Star Craft 2:


The i3 is decent but not perfect


The i5 is ideal but has limits (ARMA III)


So yeah, depending on what games you play and how CPU intensive they are, GETTING A GOOD CPU CAN BE INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.

I'm sick of correcting you imbeciles that go out and promote this ignorant BS. You are giving people terrible misinformed advice that is potentially wasting them money. It aggravates me that my attempts at informing you is met with blatant aggressive ignorance for my correct, sourced, and backed up statements. And yet none of you for all your grit and willpower can provide a compelling argument for your point, so you all lurk in the shadows trying to silence anyone that doesn't conform to your egoistic worldview; with nothing to back up your claims except your pathetic appeals to pathos. You are doing a disservice to the entire hardware community.

Charlton 3 points 52 months ago

You are both idiots you should choose a cpu based on what your task is. If you need better single threaded performance you obviously go with intel, but if you need better multicore processing for the money you go with amd. So stop being biased to either side and go with what you need for your specific tasks.

disgustipated1 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago


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xdenttim 1 Build 9 points 53 months ago

these post are lacking amd versions of these builds would be nice to see

LeMonarque 3 Builds 12 points 53 months ago

Completely agree. It's embarrassing..

For example, "Modest" could get a GPU upgrade to a 970 if the CPU drops down to an FX-6300. Which all considered would perform better. Sure, single-threaded performance goes down, but what kind of typical gamer is a single-thread power user? I'd trade performance in MS Word for Far Cry 4 any day...

Eschaton 6 Builds 7 points 53 months ago

Embarrassing is exactly the term I had in mind. There are some other sites out there that do the same kind of thing PCPP does. I may move to those if this community continues to mindlessly buy into this hoodwinking. I've already had to explain to several people that their much-hoopla'd G3258 was performing poorly in some areas even on overclock due to fundamental issues with the way it gets that performance. Sucks that people were suckered into that deal without really understanding what they were buying, in large part due to sites like this one and the communities they foster, which buy into the philosophy that the liberal application of money and brand names always equals power.

philip staff 10 Builds 5 points 53 months ago

We don't push a particular brand agenda with our guides. I asked Ryan to produce some guides, and these were his recommendations. I trust in his expertise. Now I'm sure there are cases when an AMD build would be more appropriate. We have a couple efforts under way that I think will address situations like this. First we'll be opening up guides to everyone so that anyone can publish a guide like these, tag them, vote on them, etc. Second we're working on comprehensive benchmarking across multiple CPU and GPU combinations across many apps and games. I hope the benchmark data will show that the CPU decision isn't always an absolute A or B, but is more nuanced depending on the specifics of the app/game and the settings.

Eschaton 6 Builds 2 points 53 months ago

I am impressed by the improvements you have planned. As a huge fan of this site, I am hoping to see them sooner rather than later, lol.

What was the last computer Ryan built which used AMD, out of curiosity, and what was it for?

mike9409 7 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Community guides would be swesome

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Ksongs 2 Builds 2 points 53 months ago

What are the other sites? Id like to check them out. Sad part is though no matter where you go there's almost always going to be some bias. And I know what you mean about the pentium far too many buy into the if you overclock it it performs close to an I7 due to all of the sites out there promoting benchmarks. I used to have one in my build and it's a great little chip, but it's not some miracle, intels not going to give you the performance of an i7 for $60. It does however provide an excellent upgrade path and I do think that's worth noting.

Ksongs 2 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

verneir 1 point 41 months ago

Well.. it's an affiliate marketing site. Their only real priority is getting rankings/traffic, and get people to click "buy" through one of their links.

I find it interesting that I am trying to use this site just to help monitor black friday/cyber monday price drops, but all I get is these email blasts about every component under the sun - EXCEPT THE ONES ON MY BUILD.

I mean.. I get how its a pain to design a site. I do. I have a site. And I'm not a programmer. So I get it. But, damn.. Why would I care about 200 parts dropping in price? I want to see MY build and MY components, lol.. They do all this, but they cannot make it so you can get updates for your own build? I guess that'd just make too much sense. iduno..

nocares -2 points 53 months ago

I've already had to explain to several people that their much-hoopla'd FX6300 was performing poorly in some areas even on overclock due to fundamental issues with the way it gets that performance. Sucks that people were suckered into that deal without really understanding what they were buying, in large part due to sites like this one and the communities they foster, which buy into the philosophy that the liberal application of money and brand names always equals power.

FTFY. The G3258 is overhyped but so is the FX6300. In virtually every gaming scenario a stock clocked i3 will outperform or match an overclocked 6300 (whilst costing less vs an overclocked 6300). Plus you won't run into scenarios where the lackluster IPC of the 6300 will bottleneck you hardcore in certain single thread intensive titles.

Eschaton 6 Builds 5 points 53 months ago

Typical Intel fanboy that doesn't bother to read all the way to the end. AMD is not "brand-name" like Intel is, and its entire existence is predicated on the fact that you will not have to liberally apply money to run their systems.

No doubt the FX-6300 (and all other chips based on the Bulldozer architecture and its derivatives) have severe performance issues in some cases. But it's ridiculous to say that stock i3s will outperform an FX-6300 on OC. At stock speeds for both chips, you're looking at a ~15fps performance benefit with the i3 in all those games which use single threads and don't optimize (e.g. older games of the sort no longer being made with frequency since both new consoles rely almost exclusively on multithreaded performance to make their gains). Overclocking the 6300 moderately erases most or all of that gap, and can be done quite easily, because AMD didn't slap its low-end customers with pointless locks and feature removals. In any case, overclocking either CPU would be mostly pointless for the vast majority of games, since we are talking about framerate differences above 60fps. Then, at the same time, the i3 is all used up in doing work for the game, while the 6300 often has unused cores that can be devoted to running other applications at the same time, which is a fairly common use case. It runs slow, and its cores are not always usable, but I defy you to prove that it does not represent a huge amount of value for the money.

disgustipated1 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

i have an fx6100 so id like to weigh in on this discussion ive gotten my chip to 5.0ghz+ on a 990fx board. but from stock to 4.5 and strictly speaking on gaming performance i see on average a 15-30fps jump with an OC'd chip paired with an r9 suggesting a bottle neck at stock clocks and most gamers are in this for gaming not overclocking (which while easy is still biased to laymen stating it will wreck your cpu.) . We are also changing the way gamers see performance by switching to frametimes.Now with this. The R9 290 with the fx6100 i have seen stutter and lag on heavy games such as FC:4 and its worth it to note that the frametimes were incredibly variable a driver update has helped along with updates for the game itself but there is unexplained frametime variances that i have that intel users do not...

nocares 0 points 53 months ago

Overclocking the 6300 moderately erases most or all of that gap, and can be done quite easily, because AMD didn't slap its low-end customers with pointless locks and feature removals.

This also makes the AMD build more expensive, time consuming, prone to failure (albeit how small), and consume more power. AM3+ also has no upgrade path.

In any case, overclocking either CPU would be mostly pointless for the vast majority of games, since we are talking about framerate differences above 60fps.

Wrong in many many instances


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Brandaglington 2 points 50 months ago

its because AMD is pushing old tech still. Late 2015 early 2016 you should expect a big comeback for team red, its just that right now, Intel is putting out the better product.

I'm not some intel fanboy either, its just that the most powerful chip on AMDs lineup is using architecture from 2012.

on top of that, they dont leave you with many upgrade paths. No PCI 3.0 on the AM3+ boards, and no signs of updating that chipset means you will likely be replacing the processor and mobo on your next upgrade.

Now that's not to say AMD isnt going places. They are clever to be banking on Harmonious System Architecture, because that is obviously the future of computing, but the full realization of HSA is still a little ways off; that being until they shrink their manufacturing process to fit more powerful GPUs into their APUs to run in dual-graphics with their more high-end graphics cards.

RSCakeBomb 0 points 50 months ago

Here. I prepared these.

Great Gaming Build AMD edition: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/RSCakeBomb/saved/TtDfrH

Modest Build AMD: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/RSCakeBomb/saved/k8tH99

Glorious Gaming Build with an AMD Radeon 290X: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/RSCakeBomb/saved/KxB7YJ

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immaman1992 1 Build 6 points 53 months ago

Instead of complaining about bias and being keyboard warriors, why not just switch out the part and save the build to your collection? If your so worried about what other people are going to buy. Like seriously, if your here just looking and not buying those people shouldn't even be saying anything. Or maybe explain why you think (in technical terms) a FX-8350 will be better then a i5-4690k in single thread performance. There are only a FEW games that utilize the multi-threaded functions and 4+cores of an i7 or higher up FX CPU. Until someone here can list 30+ games that fall under that description then don't talk about something you don't know anything about. Again people it's not about bargain hunting or bias, it's about solid gaming performance. And I'm sure the staff here know better then 95% of you guys posting here.

Thefan630 1 Build 2 points 53 months ago

I'm so glad you recognize Silverstone's ability with small cases

The rest: +1 +1 +1 +1

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

I love their small cases. I even used the RVZ01 recently for one of my builds.

Thefan630 1 Build 1 point 53 months ago

The Raven lol, it's just so beautiful.

Baumy_15 1 Build 2 points 53 months ago

for the entry level gaming build there is this awesome processor called the intel Pentium G3258 which is unlocked and is a gaming beast (for the price) why have you not used that?

Zer0CoolX 2 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

Why in the world do all these builds use a single stick of RAM?

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

There is no performance difference for gaming between single and dual channel.

optimusgaming 1 point 53 months ago

I love them might buy the HTPC for my mom for a christmas figt :D I was waiting for a updated partlist for all the gamers out there :D

optimusgaming 1 point 53 months ago

I love them might buy the HTPC for my mom for a Christmas gift :D I was waiting for a updated partlist for all the gamers out there :D

Oros_Abaddon 1 point 53 months ago

YES! This is exactly what I was hoping they would do!

Zephyr 1 point 53 months ago

I wish we could get stuff like this for the UK. Don't even know if we have black friday pc part sales ;-;

DavidtheHeron 1 point 53 months ago
manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

Your best bet is to post that to the part list opinions wanted section of the forums.

nxtplz 1 point 53 months ago

Why does nobody do video editing builds? Not all of us are gamers!

aubie8 1 point 53 months ago

just found this site so my answer might be buried deeper than i looked. it seems all of the builds are based toward gaming. i am a photographer and want a pc that will allow me to edit photos (will have multiple large photo files open and be manipulating them at once ( 5 - 25Mb files @ least ). the applications used most are adobe lightroom and adobe photoshop.

some questions: it seems that more ram would help in this type of build? do i need a high end graphics card that are used for gaming or does that also have an effect of rendign updates on the pictures as i am working on them? why the two types of drives (solid state and sata)?


Ksongs 2 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

This site isn't geared towards gaming or anything its just gaming PCs are typically the most common. I would suggest going to forums for answers. go to create a part list for me and start a topic and say what your using it for and your budget and what you need. I have very limited knowledge on photo editing, but i believe you are correct more ram should help and i think 16gb would be the sweet spot. I dont believe a high end graphics card is needed for photo editing.

aubie8 1 point 53 months ago

Thank you very much Ksongs! After I posted in that first thread, I found the forum you mentioned and posted there. I have one system so far but not any answers to the questions. I will see if I get any other responses.

A question for you since your were nice enough (unlucky) to respond to me. I took the system and went to Dell and looked and basically, i can get THAT system there for $250 cheaper and it comes with a wireless card and a network card which the system here said nothing about and I am assuming i would need an addtional nic card. Question is - I thought by buying and building myself that I would get a) a better machine for the same amount or b) the same machine for a lesser amount. Doesn't seem the case.


Ksongs 2 Builds 2 points 53 months ago

Typically now a days the savings aren't the huge gaps they used to be. The trend with pre builds today is that they are generally unbalanced. They pair high end cpus with low to mid end graphics cards and strange amounts of ram for example an Alienware pc I've seen paired and i7 (high end) with a gtx 660 (low end) graphics card. That being said to provide a product that can be competitive with custom build pricing they cut corners. They give you low quality cases and horrible cable management that restricts airflow and usually give you a cheap power supply (which is arguably the most important part of a pc). Although you could save money by building now a days it isn't about saving hundreds of dollars by building yourself, but the experience and ironically better build quality if you do it yourself. That's just my opinion.

ForeverYMonster 1 point 52 months ago

The GTX 660 isn't low-end though, It can handle alot of games with 30+ FPS on Ultra, BF4 included. It is a mid-range card imo, but yes, an i7 with a card a few series back is stupid.

Ksongs 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Yeah when I had typed up that post I had struggled to decide whether or not the 660 was a mid or low end card. It's actually a very decent card very capable of playing games. I've just seen a bunch of posts here saying a builder shouldn't have bought the 660 and stuck with intels integrated graphics. Which personally I don't believe is true, but I decided whether or not it's low end it was a good example of what I was explaining.

dmaccr 1 point 53 months ago

Could you please add some video editing build guides. Especially one aimed for dealing with 1080x60p and 4k video files.


nocares 1 point 53 months ago

I have a gripe about the storage choices of these builds. The cheap HDDs being sold on Amazon by 3rd party retailers are old enterprise drives that all seem to be used or refurbished and come with a host of issues. Since they're older enterprise drives they're going to run hot and loud, not to mention the years of previous wear will mean their lifespan is diminished, and in many cases they do not come with a valid warranty. Not being sold by Amazon also means you're going to foot the bill to return to the vendor. Spend a couple bucks more for a guaranteed new Seagate Barracuda or Western Digital Blue.

Similarly, the SSD choice is kind of poor. The SP600 is a relatively slow drive that is also an older model. Currently, you can get a Crucial MX100 which is newer and quite a bit faster for only a couple bucks more.

Otherwise, most of these builds are pretty good. It's a shame people are still mindlessly picking CPU brands to kvetch about.

madhartigan 1 point 53 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to post these ideas. I would be interested in pricier variations of your HTPC build. Different price points, like the gaming builds.

MetaApex 1 point 52 months ago

Why do all of these links automatically force you to like them? Whenever I dislike one then come back later, it seems I liked it...

SilkyZ 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

I love the HTPC build

ncmike 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

How about adding a vintage build category? Builds like this deserve one: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/krYrxr

Gabe123 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago


As of 01/09/2015

what do you guys think , its 4k gaming build around 1500???

Cibex 1 point 52 months ago
manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I suggest making your own thread in the part list opinions wanted section of the site.

Cibex 1 point 52 months ago


rhino3081 1 point 51 months ago

I would like to see some HTPC gaming builds ala "Steam Machine" with power.

venounan 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Are we going to have any sort of updated version of this? PcPartPicker should do one every month!

steve88luv334 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

What is with this belief that to build a gaming computer that can compete you need more than $300? Im sorry but I have built 3 powerful rigs and every single time I build a new one my cost decreases. My first cost me $1000 because I didnt know how to price save and I was mistaken in thinking that Nvidia was the best GPU so I ended up with a quad core AMD CPU and a $200 GTX 460 Ti, my second build cost me around $600 using a lot more AMD parts and the lowest cost modern mobo I could find on this site, and my last build that I built in November of 2014 cost me $300. AMD A6 APU with a Radeon R9 270 that I found on ebay after bitcoin mining got too complex for GPU's so I got it for less than $100. There is no reason that you cant game cheap if you search for 1 or 2 used parts that have a return warranty and have been taken care of.

steve88luv334 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

And heres my proof that it can be built for $300 plus maybe shipping today. Assuming you dont mind Linux and already have a monitor. http://pcpartpicker.com/user/steve88luv334/saved/Bswqqs

EDIT: By the way this build is also future proof since the socket is still being used for the CPU and the R9 series is going to support DX 12 natively.

steve88luv334 1 Build 2 points 51 months ago

And in the interest of making sure that everyone knows that im not trying to offend anyone im only posting this here because I see every site that deals with computer builds never seems to understand the value of using a few decent used parts to give yourself a leg up into the gaming scene. It seems to always be about buying all new parts. Although I do understand that the same used part does not stay listed forever and therefore is not easy to leave linked but it would be nice to see a note recommending how to buy used parts and such, like I would never recommend buying a used CPU or hard drive. Stuff like that

ForeverYMonster -1 points 52 months ago

Should remove this, I am building a Rig for about $570 that DESTROYS the Entry Level Gamin Build. I could build rigs using those price ranges that would be much better for less.

erick_256 -5 points 53 months ago

I feel like intel is paying the site for them to showcase intel cpu based buildes.

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 6 points 53 months ago

Honestly, there aren't many things that offend me but calling us shills is right up there on the list. If you take exception to the builds I would love to see what you had in mind to compare. We are a vendor and brand neutral website that work our hardest to bring the best possible guides and advice to our users.

erick_256 2 points 53 months ago

I didn't mean to offend you. It was just a thought, I never called you guys shills. I posted "I feel like..." not "I think you guys blah blah...". I'm sorry you interpreted it this way.

I'm not an intel nor am I an AMD "fanboy", I'm just a neutral person. It just bothered me that I have never seen any AMD build for gaming from you guys. I'm sure many can vouch for this claim but most of the them they are not neutral observers so they don't count.

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manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 53 months ago

The deleted comments were from a site bug. A user triple-posted a comment. Thanks for the feedback on the builds and I will be sure to take it into account when I update them.

Ryuk 1 point 53 months ago

I was asking myself the same thing, like why would people use SSD for gaming? Doesn't it wear them down the more they use?

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