Cost – $1200 (parts) + $180 (labor) + $25 (shipping) = $1405
My goal was to build a computer that could play pretty much all games at a very high level and be able to stream at the same time. The budget laid out for this build was around $1,200, though we ended up going a bit over as he wanted to add in an SSD.
Since he wanted maximum gaming performance, it was pretty clear that the build was going to call for either a 7970 or a 670. SLI and crossfire were out of the range of this build’s budget, as was the Titan and 690. The 7970 in single-fire card set-ups seems to edge out the 670 so we ended up going with that GPU.
The next big decision was for a CPU. I think 8 threads is optimal for streaming, although you may be able to get by with an i5 these days if you use OBS. That being said, 4-core (with hyperthreading) is definitely preferable. Since the i7-3770k was out of the range of this budget, and I wanted to avoid an i5, I looked at an alternative that’s not often used in a consumer PC: the xeon 1230 v2 (the ivybridge model of the 1230). Since we weren’t planning on overclocking, I went with the H77 chipset. The boards are generally cheaper and the features they lack are ones we wouldn’t need anyway.
We went with 8 gigs of RAM as that’s the pretty standard minimum these days. We may have been able to get by with 4, but since he wanted to stream with this build we wanted to go with 8.
The case is a very budget-oriented case by NZXT, and it was perfect for this build. It’s cheap, yet efficient and holds everything we need it to.
The 840 Pro Series Samsung SSD was a bit of a splurge, but the customer wanted an SSD and this is an absolutely awesome SSD on the market at the moment.
There were absolutely no problems assembling this machine! Everything went perfectly, and the system booted after the first start-up with zero issues!
I am amazingly happy with how well this build went. I was able to stream Crysis 2 on ULTRA graphics and it was still playable WHILE streaming! On a $1000 build (if you omit the SSD) I thought that was pretty amazing!
If you’re interested in having me put together a system like this (or something completely different), let me build your next PC!