Building your very own desktop can be a daunting task, especially for those who have no prior experience with building one. Previously, we’ve done an article on building a budget gaming PC for under RM3,500. Using that very article as a guideline, we’ve searched high and low online for the best deals on each individual parts of what is now our very own gaming (but actually productivity) machine in our office.
Aside from sharing our choice of hardware for our gaming PC, we’ll also detail how – and where – our readers can get the best deals when building their own machine. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Processor: Intel Core i5-6500
Much like our budget gaming PC build, we opted for an Intel Core i5-6500 processor for our own machine. In our opinion, this chip has the best value to performance ratio: it doesn’t cost that much more than the Core i5-6400 processor, and the extra 500MHz base clock speed will really help in many usage scenarios.
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Opinions are split in the office on what graphics card we should use for our gaming machine. In the end, we decided an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 will suit this PC best. If you’re only gaming on 1080p, a GTX 1060 – or even the Radeon RX 480 – will do just fine. In fact, we’re actually running the GTX 1060 Founders Edition on our machine right now, which we received from Nvidia for our review.
That being said, the monitor we have in our setup has a 1440p panel, so a GTX 1070 would be more ideal here for a more pleasant gaming experience. As for which GTX 1070 card you should get, we’re quite fond of Zotac’s offering; it’s also one of the most affordable GTX 1070s out there right now.
Motherboard: Gigabyte H170M-D3H
Now, the B150M motherboard we used in our budget PC build will work just fine for a gaming PC, but for our own machine, we got the Gigabyte H170M-D3H instead. We built our machine with one thing in mind: room to grow, and we decided this motherboard will give us just that with option to CrossFire AMD cards; we can also add RAID support when we need to with this motherboard.
Of course, the Gigabyte H170M-D3H has no SLI support for Nvidia cards, but motherboards that can do that cost a pretty penny. As to why we opted for an mATX board, it’s simple: we wanted portability (to a certain extent).
Casing: Corsair Carbide Air 240
We went with the Corsair Carbide Air 240 to house all of our components. Yes, this isn’t exactly an affordable case, and yes, other mATX cases will do the job just fine, but we really dig the Air 240’s design. Wire management is a breeze with this case thanks to its dual-chamber design, and its overall dimension is just right for us to lug it around when we need to.
RAM: HyperX Fury 8GB DDR4 2133MHz
It doesn’t really matter what kind of RAM you get, so long as it’s from a reputable brand and it complements your system well. For our system, we went with the HyperX Fury 8GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM, which is ideal for our motherboard.
Of course, a Kingston ValueRAM will cost slightly less than this “fancy” RAM, but we really like the looks of the HyperX Fury – we decided to splurge a little bit more for aesthetics reason.
Power Suply Unit: Seasonic M12II-620 EVO
Most of us can agree that a system’s PSU is one of the most vital hardware, which was why we went for the Seasonic M12II-620 EVO PSU. It’s a fully modular PSU (making for easier cable management), and Seasonic is one of the most reputable brands out there. Alternatively, the Seasonic S12II-620 is also good, which is essentially a non-modular variant of the M12II-620 EVO – it also costs slightly less. Don’t sweat on the wattage: both of these PSUs can power even a GTX 1080 card effectively.
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD
In this day and age, an SSD is really essential in any Windows machine. For our own PC, we got the Samsung 850 EVO in 250GB capacity. It received some great reviews from various sites, and for the price we got it for, it was really a no-brainer.
At the moment, we don’t actually have an HDD in our machine yet, but it’s in the works – we’re still looking for the best possible deal. Plus, we haven’t filled up this SSD yet either, though we suspect it won’t be long now.
Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2515H
We spent quite a chunk of our budget on our monitor: the Dell UltraSharp U2515H. It features a 25-inch 2560 x 1440 IPS display, 99% sRGB colour coverage (very important in our line of work), as well as a very healthy selection of ports, which include two HDMI connectors, a miniDisplayPort, a full-size DisplayPort, and six USB 3.0 ports – five downstream and one upstream.
The Dell UltraSharp U2515H is not exactly an affordable monitor, and its 60Hz panel isn’t the most ideal for gaming, but we want to do more than just gaming on this machine. This monitor’s 99% sRGB colour coverage, for one, is vital for us to edit photos and videos accurately. Plus, the U2515H is also one of the most affordable QHD monitors in the market – not to mention Dell’s fantastic after sales support (our monitor comes with a three-year onsite warranty).
Mouse and Keyboard: Any Reputable Combo
It may be designed for gaming and productivity purposes, but the keyboard and mouse are equally important for effective work environments. Most gamers already have a favoured brand in mind, but we’ve had no issues with Logitech’s peripherals so far; the Logitech G100S Gaming Combo – which retails at RM159 – is a good place to start.
If you’re looking for something better, the Cooler Master MasterKeys Lite L Combo RGB is a good bundle too. At RM299, it’s more expensive that the Logitech combo, but the mem-chanical keyboard could be worth the upgrade if you type a lot.
Here, we’ll break down how much our PC’s individual parts cost. These are the prices we paid for at the time we bought these components, which does not reflect their current market prices – well, aside from the graphics card.
- Intel Core i5-6500 = RM835
- Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 Reference Edition = RM1,869
- Gigabyte H170M-D3H = RM412
- Corsair Carbide Air 240 = RM369
- HyperX Fury 8GB DDR4 2133MHz = RM155
- Seasonic M12II-620 EVO = RM370
- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD = RM373
- Dell UltraSharp U2515H = RM1,420 (can be bought from only RM1,269 now.)
- Logitech G100S Combo = RM159
Total cost: RM5,962
As promised, we’ll now address why some of our components are well below the prices they’re going for now: it actually took us quite some time to completely build this gaming PC. We scoured the internet for the best deal for each individual part over the span of several months, which was how we got our RAM and SSD below their suggested retail prices; discount vouchers are a godsend too.
But that’s really the gist of building your own gaming PC. Come up with the hardware that you desire in your system, look for the best deals and prices online (we looked at Lazada, Lelong, Gemfive, our Garage Sales subforum, and of course, price lists of retail stores on our site) for the different components, and you’ll have your PC done in no time. In our case, it took us several months, but your mileage may vary.
Our RM6,000 gaming PC does not exactly offer the best price to performance ratio, but it fits our needs. There’s enough room to grow, it’s small enough to be placed on a desk, and most of all, we got some of our parts for a really good price, thanks to online promotions, discount vouchers, and cashback reward programs.
While our machine is ideal for us, many of its components can be switched out and replaced with those that suit your needs. Our casing, for one, can be replaced with something more affordable; users can also opt for a GTX 1060 and pair it with a 1080p monitor to bring the cost down even further.
At the end of the day, every individual’s needs are different, so there really is no “perfect” machine for everyone. If you’re looking for a somewhat compact gaming PC, however, our machine fits the bill. We hope our humble little setup and shopping tips will help you build your own machine!