Advice on a <£1000 pure gaming rig

A friend of mine has got about £950 to spend on a gaming rig, it will be solely for gaming, he doesn't need an OS, noise and size doesn't matter much just as long as it is not too gargantuan as it needs to fit under a desk.Though he wants phys x so it will need to be Nvidia. 

i was thinking along the lines of:

CPU: i5 4690k

GPU: gtx 970?

RAM: 2x 4gb of something reputable probably 1866mhz

CPU Cooler: preferably closed loop water for possible future overclocking

Storage: 128/256 gb SSD and 1/2 TB HDD

no real idea about mobo, psu and case though, im assuming mobo a Z97 is preferable but please correct me if im wrong

thx in advance for any help :)

Pretty sure there is no i5-4790k. Did you mean the i5 4690k?

Yeh sorry, thanks for spotting that

i created this build for you.

I think this would be a realy nice gaming build for gaming and overclocking. i choosed for the Asus maximus 7 hero board, because this is a decent quality board with 8 true powerphases digi vrm´s great onboard audio and intel lan.  The rest of the parts speak for theire self. you could offcourse go a littlebit cheaper if you prefer, you could choose for a cheaper motherboard offcourse, but i personaly just choose for a decent one. Further i color matched everyhing, but thats offcourse personal.

Alternative boards:

  • Msi Z97 Gaming 7 6+1 powerphase with doublers
  • Asus Maximus 7 Ranger. 4+1 powerphase with doublers
  • Msi Z97 Mpower 6+1 powerphase with doublers. (This board is black yellow so doesnt realy fit the color scheme)

Thanks a bunch Angel i will be sure to check it out, i will read up on motherboards a bit more before asking any dumb questions as my knowledge is severely lacking in that area

Thats where this community is all about. to learn from eachother. and sharing knowledge.

Questions are never dumb.

No problem that you are lacking on the mobo area, like i said, we are allways willing to help. if you have any questions about a particular mobo you are looking at, just trow them in this topic. ☺

The Maximus 7 Hero might be a bit expensive for you taste maybe, and i do understand that, But i picked it up because i know this board is a decent one, also in my opinnion Asus using the best overclock friendly bios, but yeah thats offcourse a personal opinnion. ☺

Here's mine: - It's a mini itx build. I hope your friend likes compact PCs, if not, go for MisteryAngel's build.

i get the number of phases is the number of channels supplying power to the cpu, the more the better (stability longevity, overclockability ect.) but that do the +1and the doublers signify, also the other components i lined out are they roughly right for a build like this? (particularly the 970)

Thx sardineboy, i will ask him, though i feel perhaps a larger tower would be more beneficial as its easy to work with and were both novices at PC building.

The 650 power supply is an overkill. 

Edit: Just saw everyone else noticed that as well.

Here's a full out ATX build. The fractal arc midi r2 is an excellent case that wendell uses, so you can't go wrong with that. I've also made the part selection so that you're only buying from Amazon and Ebuyer (convenient), and changed the SSD to a Kingston HyperX 3K. It's got higher read and write speeds than the Samsung. 

Also went with the 4670k instead of the 4690k because you may end up in a situation where your mobo BIOS needs to be updated, and you're just a first time builder. Plus the difference between the two is insignificant. You'll probably be overclocking anyway.

Also went for a full ATX motherboard (generally means more expansion slots compared to mini itx lol). I went for the older Z87 because of the fact that this particular motherboard had several positive reviews so it's tried and tested - and the difference in the motherboards would probably not impact your life.

Other than that, everything seems great. Have fun building it :D

 Edit: Just saying, if I were you I would get a 240 GB SSD instead of the 120, and ditch the hard drive altogether. Maybe add it in later if needed. With the 240 GB SSD you can easily install most of your games and applications to your SSD without worrying, so that's the clear benefit. Add the 1 or 2 tb drive later on. But that's what I'd do, at the end of the day, it is YOUR build.

Thx whiteberry, was thinking of getting the larger SSD, any reason for that particular PSU? i know seasonic is good but 130 pounds does seem pretty damn high as there are other which appear to be slightly worse for less than half the price

Yeah I was thinking of the reason that the earlier guy recommended such an expensive PSU. Well, other than the fact that the PSU is Seasonic (solid Japanese capacitors), and is 80+ PLATINUM - you can find other power supplies that are a little cheaper but still extremely high quality - tier 1. I guess he just wants to make sure that you're not buying a cheap power supply for any reason and this particular one is very future proof. To be honest if it were me, I'd go for a corsair RM 550 80+ Gold.

If you watch this video over here, you'll see that you can run a GTX 780 Ti with an overclocked i5 4670k with several hard drives with only a 450W PSU provided that it is extremely high quality.

Video link:

The RM 550 provides plentiful power and you could even go with the RM 450. You see, the GTX 970 is much more power efficient than the 780 Ti so it actually wouldn't even be a bad choice.

With that said, if you decide to go with the RM 550 or 450, you might actually be looking to upgrade your storage options or upgrade your CPU to an i7. Or if you want to save the $$$ then just save it.

Link for Corsair RM 550 build no upgrade:

RM 550 with 240 GB SSD (and 1 TB hard drive):

You could go SSD all the way with a 500 GB SSD. 

You might wanna upgrade your case as well, etc etc. All up to you. 

Alternatively, you could just spend ridiculous amounts of money on your PSU lol



thank you, thats more along the line of what i was thinking, i hadn't realized sardineboy had stuck that psu in and you were editing his build, though now it makes a lot more sense.


For possible future SLI would you recommend more like a 600 W PSU or is it really not worth it (SLI that is, as he wont be 3D gaming)

I think the liquid cooler and the platinum psu were a little overkill when working to a budget. I would choose cheaper yet still good quality options and then add an i7 for the same price giving you much more real performance.

Thing is i rather thought an i7 would be pointless as the rig will be for gaming and usual low demand stuff, and you wont really see much benefit for the extra hundred pounds which could be put somewhere else.

Yes and no. Its not going to give a huge boost in most games however the unnecessarily expensive cooler and psu would give almost no peformance benefit. As games are starting to use more cores an i7 would gradually become more relevant providing more longevity. You could just opt to save money and go with the i5. I really don't see the point of the watercooler or super expensive psu.

Another component that makes a big difference to your gaming experience is the monitor. A 120/144hz monitor especially for competitive FPS makes quite a difference and would maybe be a better idea to direct funds than on cooling and ott psu.

I think that the i7 really is an overkill if it's only gaming. Gaming and streaming/recording, or video editing, i7 will be a good choice. Personally, I don't use a high-end rig and have never tried out SLI or Xfire, but from what I've heard, people encounter issues with it. Chances are that there will be a much more powerful GPU 5 years from now that will be equivalent to 3 of your 970's combined so... I wouldn't go for it. It's also extremely power hungry (two gpu) and therefore expensive in every way (price of 2 gpu's, price of power supply, energy costs). 

If you decide not to go for liquid cooling then you can go for air cooling with noctua. Tbh, £1000 is a lot to spend on a PC:

I can't manage to spend all £1000 - I suppose you could upgrade the RAM or something or upgrade to an i7. I went for the EVGA 970 as it was way cheaper than the Asus. And because I wanted to keep the parts list Amazon only


Probably go air cooling unless you want a serious overclock for some reason. I have a 212 evo on a 3570k and was able to get nearly a ghz overclock without it getting over 75. Its never gotten over 40 in any game i've ever played. 

I like F1awlesses build, cpu will defo be overkill for gaming though. If you want to keep the base system for a very long time, invest in the psu and cpu (dont overclock too much) and then every 2 or 3 years just upgrade the gpu

Idea for you: since you are in UK, could you test out marmite as a thermal paste? 

but dont... does have a lot of zinc....

but really dont do it