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Build Guide

Modest Gaming Build

by manirelli

NOTE: A more recent version of this guide is available here.


Our Modest Gaming Build is built around the Intel i5-6500. If you do not plan to overclock your computer this is arguably the best mid-range processor on the market. We paired the i5 with a parametric list of H110 motherboard that supports up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, 4x SATA6 devices, and front panel USB3.0.

For this build and most machines outside of the top end enthusiast realm we opted to go with 8GB of DDR4 memory as the cost of DIMMs have dropped dramatically over the last year. The parametric filter finds the best price on 8GB kits of memory that are within Intel’s recommended specifications. Our storage choice is also based on parametric selection criteria – 2TB and 7200rpm are our standard recommendations for builds that incorporate a mechanical drive. With our increased budget we can also include a solid state drive selected by parametric filters. The cost of SSDs has steadily dropped over the past two years so you should be able to purchase at least a 240GB drive on this budget.

On a 750 dollar budget, the newly released AMD RX480 is a fantastic choice. This GPU has excellent performance for the price making this model one of the best graphics card choices on the market. At 1080p the RX 480 provides a consistent 60fps even on demanding games like Battlefield 4 using Ultra/High settings.

All of the components are housed in the Fractal Design Core 1500 mATX mini-tower. This case is an affordable option that has front panel USB3.0, room for full size graphics cards, and cutouts in the motherboard tray for easy cable routing. For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of well-reviewed fully and semi-modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified and provide more than enough power for this system.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 100W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 8GB (1x8GB), 8GB (2x4GB)
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
€50.92 €50.92 Custompc Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 240 GB - 10000 GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 2.5"
€33.27 €33.27 Custompc Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 2000 GB - 10000 GB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
€69.69 €69.69 Custompc Buy
Video Card
No Matches Available
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: Radeon R9 380X
Power Supply
No Matches Available
Total: €153.88
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Comments Sorted by:

bardacuda 4 points 36 months ago

Great build but I just wanted to point out that the 380X is not an updated version of the 280. The 280 is a Tahiti chip which was the same chip used in the HD 7950 and uses the GCN 1.0 architecture. The 380X is a Tonga chip like the r9 285 and r9 380, except it has more shader cores. These updated chips use the GCN 1.2 architecture, a more recent architecture than even the GCN 1.1 Hawaii/Grenada found in the 290s and 390s.

Xorex64 2 points 36 months ago

Any reason you went with that rosewill unit and not a seaSonic M12II?


digah2750 1 point 35 months ago

it's parametric

digah2750 2 points 35 months ago

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $194.99 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard ASRock H170M Pro4S Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $81.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill Aegis 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory $28.99 @ Newegg
Storage PNY CS1311 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $59.99 @ Amazon
Storage Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $62.09 @ Amazon
Video Card Asus Radeon R9 380 2GB Video Card $179.99 @ Amazon
Case Corsair Carbide SPEC-M2 MicroATX Mid Tower Case $44.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply SeaSonic G 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $68.99 @ NCIX US
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $722.02
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-05-22 16:32 EDT-0400
  • Very little difference between 380X and 380.
  • Better PSU.
  • Dropping down to 2TB gets you a much better motherboard.
Henryhcooper 1 point 35 months ago

I'm new to building computers and I am going to this summer does this one connect to WiFi or would you suggest adding anything to this build?

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

You would need a wi-fi adapter.

Fez___ 1 point 35 months ago

I'd recommend getting an ethernet cable, provided your modem is >10 from your PC.

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georgethedreamer 1 point 35 months ago

Only very high end motherboards have wifi., so no this does not have it. You can buy wifi cards, and I believe some are listed on this site.

The only thing I would do to this build is WAIT. New AMD graphics cards are going to come out soon, so holding tight and seeing what happens might be the best idea

Edit: heres a good wifi card that comes with bluetooth: https://pcpartpicker.com/product/tTdqqs/gigabyte-wireless-network-card-gcwb867di

ShadowBorn 1 point 34 months ago

Sorry, completely new to pc parts and building pcs here, would you be able to connect to a modem without a wireless card, or do you essentially need one if you aren't running an ethernet cable?

georgethedreamer 1 point 34 months ago

If you don't buy a wireless card, you need ethernet

mflanagan41 1 point 35 months ago

Would this be ok with out a CPU cooler of some kind? Other wise I am thinking of recommending this to a few friends of mine.

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 3 points 35 months ago

The stock cooler that comes with the CPU is perfectly capable for this build.

mflanagan41 1 point 35 months ago

Excellent thank you! I think I am going to slap a cheap optical drive in this and call it good to go.

nguthinhan 1 point 34 months ago

Hey guys! Do you guys think this is enough for streaming and gaming starcraft 2 (at medium settings) at the same time? Thanks <3

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Cybot0564 1 point 34 months ago

This is great I've been looking for a good PC build under $700 and I've finally found one

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1nf3ctedmushr00m 1 point 34 months ago

what would you change (with out overclocking) to this build to improve and possibly a $800 budget?

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TheDankestWaffle 1 point 34 months ago

How good would this build be able to run GTA V? Max settings and 40+ FPS? Or would i have to upgrade the graphics card/processor to reach this?

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olefaded 1 point 34 months ago

yea might be cheap now but once you add an operating system, wifi, and optical drive that will be over $130 extra

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NunterHing 1 point 34 months ago

Would a build like this be good for 3D animation and modelling and also be capable of running newer games like Overwatch on at least high settings?

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Sir_Cumfrence 1 point 34 months ago

Awesome build! I'm considering using many of the same components for my own which I plan to start soon. However, I would like to see a pretty solid performance out of my build and am considering using the new RX 480. This is my first build and I've still got quite a bit to learn, does this seem like a good move? Would I see a decent performance boost? Or do I wait to see if there are any price drops on some older models. Thanks!

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ctmuck 2 Builds 1 point 34 months ago

Does that CPU include a Cooler or something? I was just comparing this to a budget build I have been putting together and I noticed I've got 25 bucks in there for a heat sink. If so, does the i5-6600K also come with a factory cooler?

Also, 20 bucks for a cd drive. I built a PC with a Gigabyte board last month and learned that some of there boards won't load windows on a USB drive without adding a special driver and going through a bit extra work . Granted you can still get it done as long has you have a licensed copy of Windows, which brings another issue in: What OS is being put on this build?

I'm not trying to put this build down by any means, actually I'm here to try and find ways to lower the cost of this build for the person I'm making it for. but when I throw something like this together it is coming in over 800, so I am curious how you are overcoming those little price speedbumps.

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vananyask1 1 point 34 months ago

I have a few questions, because I'm mostly new to this. My budget is pretty high (like $1000) but I don't want to buy anything that isn't necessary for me. Basically, the only games I play are World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Minecraft, etc. not any next-gen games. I want to be able to run those on the highest graphics with no lag, at about 60+FPS. Would this build be able to do that? And if not, what improvements would I have to make? Another couple questions about this build: how many USB ports would this have? is it compatible with ethernet or would I have to buy something extra? would it be able to fit an optical drive? i think i have to buy a soundcard in order to connect speakers, so would a soundcard be compatible with this build? does this build come with all the cords I'll need or will I have to buy all of those separately? Sorry that's a ton of questions, but I don't have a clue what I'm doing or even where to begin, so I appreciate any help!

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vananyask1 1 point 34 months ago

Thank you so much for your reply! That was very helpful and it makes my decisions a lot easier. Will definitely consider using this build now.

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RottenCookie1 -1 points 35 months ago

I made this build recently but with a couple hundreds decreased from this build: http://pcpartpicker.com/guide/Hvv6Mp/good-gaming-build-united-states-currency

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bardacuda 1 point 36 months ago

Ouch! This comes in just over 900 CAD and our dollar is less than 80 cents. Ah I just looked and it's the motherboard. Looks like a typo.

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Yesukhei 1 point 34 months ago

Question: Do you not need a CPU cooler in this build?

(I'm a beginner) I watched many build videos and they all seemed to have included a CPU cooler in their builds.

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Yesukhei 1 point 34 months ago

How would you go about differently? Different video cards?

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Yesukhei 1 point 34 months ago


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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-6500 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Corsair - 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-2133 Memory 5W
ADATA - Ultimate SU650 240 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Toshiba - P300 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Total: 100W