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Build Guide

Entry Level Intel Gaming Build

by ThoughtA



Our CPU of choice is the Intel Core i3-8100. This quad-core CPU will run games like Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, and CSGO without issue. It includes a stock cooler, so a 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary.


We're using a parametric filter to constantly select the best-priced mATX motherboard while meeting selected criteria. In this case, we are filtering for B360 chipsets and 4 DDR4 DIMM slots for future expansion. The compatibility engine will filter out anything not compatible with the build. The motherboards are also capable of using the CPU's integrated GPU, in case you need to RMA your GPU or are waiting for a sale or upgrade.


A parametric filter is being applied to choose the best priced 2x4GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications. With this selection, we have space on the motherboards for 2 more sticks of RAM, leaving room for future expansion.


We're also using a parametric filter to select the best priced SSD available that is at least 240GB. The SSD can be used for your OS and a handful of games. Additionally, we're using a parametric filter to select the best-priced 2TB drive. Everyone's needs are different, so feel free to increase capacities or remove a drive to fit yours.


We have set a parametric filter for the best-priced Radeon RX 570, which will let you play any popular game available today, including Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends.


The Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L is an mATX mini tower case with 2x front panel USB 3.0 Gen 1 ports and fits full-size graphics cards without issue. It provides several cable management holes and a couple patterned magnetic dust filters for easy removal and cleaning. If you so wish, you can also move the I/O panel to up to six different locations on the case.


For the PSU, we're using a parametric selection of a few well-reviewed semi-modular and modular units, which are all rated for good power efficiency and can provide plenty of power for this build.

AMD Version

Here is the AMD version of our Entry Level Gaming Guide..

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 325W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU €139.03 €139.03 Custompc Buy
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: Micro ATX
  • Chipset: Intel B360
  • RAM Slots: 4 - 16
  • RAM Type: DDR4
€83.76 €83.76 Custompc Buy
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2400, DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-2933, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200, DDR4-3300, DDR4-3333, DDR4-3400
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 8GB (2x4GB)
€68.78 €68.78 Custompc Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 240 GB - 15360 GB
  • Type: SSD
€35.38 €35.38 Custompc Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 1000 GB - 15360 GB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
€43.44 €43.44 Custompc Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: Radeon RX 570
€163.24 €163.24 Custompc Buy
Case €49.00 €9.95 €58.95 Komplett Buy
Power Supply €74.69 €74.69 Custompc Buy
Base Total: €657.32
Shipping: €9.95
Total: €667.27
* 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:

h0pT0_Gaming 1 point 1 day ago

What is better for money and performance, an Intel or AMD PC? I've been told AMD is better also because some monitors have Free-Sync. But what about the performance?

eesti 1 point 1 day ago

It just depends on whichever is cheaper, it's also good to note that if you stream, the QuickSync protocol on Intel iGPUs can be a boon

h0pT0_Gaming 1 point 7 hours ago

Please can someone give me feedback on the following parts list and if the parts I picked are reliable and won't fail within a few months? My Parts List

Drchocolate10 1 point 5 hours ago

Hi there, I am a complete noob. I basically play World of Warcraft, League and the odd game of APEX. This will be my first ever build, I am sure this will run the games I wish to play just fine. Just wondering, if you could choose 1-2 things to upgrade with my max budget probably being around the $1,200 mark, what would you recommend? Thank you for helping newbies like me.

complete_n00b 1 point 3 hours ago

Hello. First, thanks for putting this together! I'm looking to build a gaming computer for my son; he's about to turn 11, mostly plays roblox, but wants to play subnautica, and will probably eventually get into games with more requirements.Also, would eventually probably like to run VR (Oculus or something similar). I've already got an HDD and power supply, so want to spend the leftover money where it would be most beneficial. Will prob go with a more name brand SSD & RAM. Is an i5 worth the performance gain if I can afford it? What i5 would you recommend for this budget build? I made some guesses/tweaks at a build here: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/complete_n00b/saved/NTrKBm, thoughts? Thanks!

readdyeddy -2 points 1 day ago

Bad build list, or it's probably out of date.

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 1 day ago

Feedback is very much welcome, but please keep it constructive. For example, what would you like to see different?

readdyeddy 0 points 1 day ago

Okay, for example. Since this is a budget building list. A B-series motherboard is useless. We're assuming that the builder is gonna have a tight budget.

B series motherboard would be useful IF, you had a K-processor. But if you get K processor you would want a 3000MHz or higher Ram freq. However H/B series motherboard only supports upto 2666Mhz. So if you get cpu that doesn't have overclocking, then you only need H series motherboard.

B series motherboard is useless for Intel builds. I have both AMD and Intel CPUs. B series is good for AMD because it allows overclock and 3000MHz ram in B/X series.

For a i3-8100, you can't overclock and you have 2400MHz ram freq in your list. So H series motherboard fits better. Try using the Gigabyte H310M A micro atx motherboard, it has support for NVMe SSD x2

Storage: the SSD 240GB is a bit useless. Not sure when this build was made.. Try HP ex900, it's an NVMe SSD that supports PCIe 3.0 x4 (4 bus lanes), 250GB for 47 dollars or 500GB for 80 dollars. That would be enough for a typical user for any games and work loads.

Case: A budget builder wouldn't want to spend more than needed for a Case that costs 50 dollars. Rather try looking at Rosewill FBM-X1. it's 20 dollars, has side panel to look in. There is a metal plate which forces you to use smaller GPU lengths, but it's fine. You can always remove it if you want.

PSU: Rosewill - 450 W 80+ Bronze, is what you want, as it's 35 dollars on amazon prime, than your 50 dollar PSU. yours is semi modular, but for a budget gamer it's not a need. Saving money is more important than spending extra dollars for better one.

However, this build list is going to expire by May of 2019. AMD is releasing their Ryzen 3000 series by then. The reason why it's important is that the Ryzen 5 3600G is a ridiculous APU that defeats low end gpu. It has an integrated GPU similar to the rx-570 3GB (yes the integrated gpu is 3GB). The cpu portion is similar to the ryzen 5 2600. This apu starts at 200 dollars. When this is released, it'll save you a bunch of money than to spend on gpu.

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 1 day ago

Keep in mind that the goal with this guide isn't to cut cost at the expense of all else. Cheaper PCs can always be had. This guide seeks to provide good performance and build experience for roughly $500.

Intel K CPUs cannot be overclocked on B360 motherboards, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there. Chipset selection is not solely about CPU overclockability. I think that misconception may be coloring your view here. The H310 chipset is not even capable of dual channel memory support. It's also far more limited on PCI-E lanes, both in number and generation (PCI-E 3.0 vs PCI-E 2.0). There are several other reasons to choose B360 motherboards over H310 ones for gaming, but suffice to say, the differences I mentioned are more than worth the $15 price difference between the B360 board in the list and the H310 A you're recommending.

I'm not quite sure I'm following you here. You're saying a 240GB SSD is useless but then recommending a 250GB SSD at over 50% increased price and saying that would be enough for a typical user.

Cases are very much a personal choice. Cheaper cases can entirely be justified, but I prefer to recommend cases that will be a little easier and more pleasant to build in, especially for newer builders. The Q300L also, in my opinion much nicer to look at - both inside and out.

I assume you're speaking of the Rosewill ARC 450. I only add PSUs to the list that have reviewed well, as I and the community take PSU quality very seriously. I don't operate off assumptions with this. Unfortunately, I've not yet found any reviews of the ARC 450.

Additionally, the CXM (2015) 450 is $5 cheaper at $30 at MIR, though of course MIRs aren't for everyone.

I would be careful citing speculation and rumor as fact when it comes to future releases.

rexx2l 1 point 11 hours ago

Thanks for the work you do here, i've used this site for 4 years now and started my very first build off of one of your build guides from back then. Without it I would have probably put a bomb in for my power supply lol

Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Team - Vulcan 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-2400 Memory 5W - 5W
ADATA - Ultimate SU650 240 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Toshiba - P300 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Sapphire - Radeon RX 570 4 GB NITRO+ Video Card 56W - 225W
Total: 75W - 325W