Build the Perfect Gaming PC – Holiday Buyer’s Guide 2017
Every year we do one of these holiday PC buyers guides, and oh my god, have I ever aged a lot. That’s okay That’s not the point. The point today is whether you’re buying a new gaming PC for yourself or for somebody on your nice list we’ve got suggested parts at three key price points under five hundred bucks around a thousand dollars and approximately two thousand dollars, so let’s get to it. Zotac’s ZBOX PCs are great for applications like productivity streaming and gaming They feature seventh gen Intel Core processors, and they’re super small check them out at the link below So let’s just dig right in with our budget-friendly Just game build where if it doesn’t improve your frames per second, It doesn’t make the cut. When we first saw current pricing we actually thought we were gonna be stuck with an Athlon X4 950 but using a six-year-old CPU architecture today felt wrong, so we crunched some numbers and miraculously managed to squeeze in a Ryzen 3 1200 with its stock cooler This did necessitate dropping down to an ASRock A320M-DG5 socket AM4 motherboard which doesn’t support overclocking, But this is still a major performance improvement over any of the Athlon options. On the subject of performance improvements, We’ve got the same amount of RAM as last year, and for that matter, the same amount of RAM as our 2013 holiday buyer’s guide due to the worldwide shortage of DRAM that’s driving up pricing so eight gigs of whatever ddr4 2400 or higher from a reputable vendor is What you’re gonna get and, while upgradability isn’t a major consideration for this build, (that rear I/O on the motherboard is a prime example) We’re going to use one stick instead of two to give us most of our performance today With the ability to throw another one in down the line for dual-channel For storage we’ve taken a page out of our 2015 guide and gone with a one terabyte Seagate FireCuda hybrid drive For a balance of capacity, price, and performance and for our case We’ve gone with a Thermaltake V2+ Which for the money gives us both a solid enough chassis and a power supply that while, super cheap and only capable of about 300 watts continuous, Probably won’t instantly vaporize, thanks to its two-year warranty. Though you will absolutely want to replace it if you upgrade your CPU or your graphics card later on. Speaking of the graphics card, this year we’re going with the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 ti 4 gig Truthfully, it’s a step down from what we’d like to use if we had a bit more to spend but a budget’s a budget. So overall then this year, we’ve got a much faster CPU for overall system performance and Less framerate variance in gaming, but we’re actually taking a significant hit on our GPU performance Thanks to the renewed cryptocurrency mining craze That’s driving up pricing, and we couldn’t really fit in an SSD as a result of the worldwide NAND flash shortage Which sucks. But we did end up with a pretty well-balanced machine here that can handle eSports titles and console quality 1080p gaming. Our mid-range game now build creeps a little higher budget wise but picks up some significant upgrades including a Ryzen 5 1400 again paired with its stock Wraith stealth cooler. Not to be dissuaded by the hilariously cheesy stock photo on MSI’s website, we then paired it with an MSI B350 PC mate motherboard It’s technically branded as a business board see look he’s wearing a suit but the quad Ram slots and VRM heatsinks for better upgradeability and Cooling should give us solid real-world benefits for gaming as well For RAM, We’ve got 16 gigs of dual-channel ddr4 2400 megahertz Ram making this build more of a platform upgrade than a Performance upgrade compared to last year’s though It should be noted that these sticks run at just 1.2 volts Meaning that like the CPU itself you could overclock them a little if you choose Giving you a bit of a bump over last year’s model. For storage, We contemplated going with a four terabyte 7200 rpm hard drive rather than take a 30 percent capacity hit due to SSD prices but ended up opting for a 525 gig Crucial MX300 for better overall system performance So hopefully if you’re spending $1,000 on a system You can then Wait a month or two to save up for a hard drive or you’ve got an old one lying around that you can use for bulk storage. Our case this year is a Thermaltake versa H21 which, like last year’s versa H25, offers toolless access and installation, top ventilation holes, and –unofficial– Radiator support if you’ve got a dremel and a couple of hours on your hands For power we chose a fully modular EVGA 550 watt B3 which should be plenty for everything. We’ve listed so far and the GTX 1070 that we managed to stuff into this about $1000 budget. Now the 1070 isn’t a step forward from last year, But it’s not a step backwards either with its excellent 1080p or even 1440p performance. Once Vega 56 availability improves a little bit, that would also be a viable option at this price point for team red members. So then compared to last year we spent a few bucks more, But we get into a fresh platform that promises solid upgradeability down the road. Now you could choose instead a core i5 7500 with a B250 board which might even give you better overall performance But you’d be even further over budget And it is less likely that you’d be able to slot in a new CPU for a performance increase a year or two from now Let’s get then to our high-end game on build. This sucker clocks in at roughly $2,000 and is designed with gaming performance in mind, but also as a capable workstation so it sports a core i7 7800x 6 core CPU running on an Asus TUF X299 Mark 2 motherboard. This means that unlike Last year’s core i7 6800K build, we get to take advantage of both the updated cache setup and AVX-512 support that was introduced with Skylake X for a nice little productivity boost and the higher clock speeds are just gravy We’ve given it a 32 gig quad Channel kit of g.skill ddr4 3200 memory for optimal performance and as for cooling We really like the Noctua NH-U14S. It’s a quiet solution that will allow some light overclocking while being easier on the wallet than a high performance AIO liquid cooler storage brings us to this year’s first dual drive setup, a 525 gig crucial MX300 M.2 paired with a Seagate Barracuda 4 terabyte for bulk storage, and then all of this bolts into the corsair carbide clear 400C, a Cleanly laid out case with an acrylic windowed side panel that can optionally handle liquid cooling later on now although we were disappointed by its pricing compared to last year the GTX 1080 still ends up being the obvious choice at this price point and it will comfortably handle high refresh rate 1080p or 60fps 1440p gaming and we will power this beast with a SeaSonic 80 plus gold 750 watt semi modular power supply Easily more than enough for our needs though at $2,000 should be about more than just needs and overall this build was a bit of a disappointment for us we get a generational CPU performance boost over last year sure but we’re not getting nearly the capacity of SSD that we did then and Frankly we were really hoping that by this time there would be a bonafide competitor to the GTX 1080 driving down not just its pricing, but also the flagship 1080 Ti I mean as it is, you could squeeze Nvidia’s top-of-the-line into a high quality build for $2000, but you would need to make a few compromises and either wait for better Coffee Lake availability or settle for a quad-core So maybe next year, we’ll get a $2,000 system that’s worth upgrading to from our 2016 model like, can we, AMD and NVIDIA? If we’re really good? I guess we’ll see. Anyway guys full disclosure time we do not get any kickbacks from manufacturers for our holiday buyers guides part selections But we do receive a commission if you buy your stuff using the links below So if you’re shopping go check them out even if you aren’t buying exactly the same thing but if you’re just using our lists as a starting point. And however many systems you’re buying whether it’s one or or three or you’re getting a MacBook and like a Linux workstation and a PC Synergy would be a great thing to add Synergy is a software download that solves the problem of having two keyboards and two mice once and for all You can share a single setup for referrals between two or more computers even cross-platform windows linux and mac So you’ll no longer get confused. You just move the mouse across seamlessly you start typing boom It works and features include things like clipboard sharing, dragging and dropping files between the computers, the ability to set up hotkeys, and More so try it out with our link in the video description to get your 50% off synergy today *woohoo* So, thanks for watching guys, if this video sucked, you know what to do. But it was awesome, get subscribed hit that like button or check out the link to where to buy the stuff we featured in the video description I guess I already said that. Also linked in the description is our merch store which has cool shirts like this one, and our community forum which you should totally join.