Gaming PC for $1700

I have been a gamer for about three years now and I am looking to make my first Gaming Rig! I have compiled a complete and working list of parts for the computer on pcpartspicker.

I would like some advice on what I should change to increase performance. I would also like to know if anything I have put in the list is unnecessarily expensive.

Some basic info:

  • I am willing to spend under $2000
  • I live in the USA
  • I have a list of peripherals that I have not included in the pcpartspicker build. I will post a separate topic when I have questions about that.
  • I would also like to get into overclocking. (Hence the Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor)
  • I am considering Windows 8, but for now I am sticking with Windows 7




i5, 8GB of RAM, R9 290. $1411.

You don't need an i7. Unless you are doing serious video editing and other productivity the 4690k will be fine. HT doesn't add much in games and the two CPUs benchmark similarly in games. They OC the same. The i7 isn't worth $100 more IMO especially if you are just gaming.

Swapped the H105 for a Kraken X61. The H105 is kinda meh. It doesn't do much better than a high end $80 Noctua air cooler. So I'd just go with that but since you are gonna do some serious OCing I added the Kraken. I have a Kraken and it is beast. 

Changed the motherboard.

Cheaper RAM and only 8GB of it. For gaming you don't need 16GB or highspeed RAM. RAM is RAM go with whatever is cheapest. If you aren't gonna be just gaming (serious video editing and other productivity) get 16GB.

Changed the 770 for a n R9 290. It is much faster. Hell though with the money I shaved out you could get a 780 Ti and it would still be cheaper than your original build.

Changed the PSU. The RM 650 is a much better unit. very quiet as well.

Threw out the sound card. You don't need one.

Replaced the wifi adapter with a cheaper Intel one.

Got rid of the case fans. You don't need those either.


AMD 8350, 16GB RAM, R9 290X, $1483

That is my personal preference

No matter what one you get though pick up Windows 8.1. With StartIsBack it is lovely and faster than 7. Plays nicer with SSDs too.

Thanks for the recommendations! I did decide to keep the fans, but only for aesthetics. (The fans have red LEDs. I am going to swap some of the fans to get a red glow for the case....)

Anyway, just out of curiosity, what was your reasoning behind the motherboard change? What are the benefits?

I am going to continue working on the build. Thanks for the input!

Also, how do you gauge how good a WiFi card is? What is the difference between the Intel 7260HMWDTX1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter  and the Asus PCE-AC68 802.11a/b/g/n/ac PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter


I hope you aren't planning on putting those fans on that radiator. You need to get the corsair SP fans (no LED's yet unfortunately) for the radiator. I have the original h100 and the stock fans are incredibly loud, I don't know if they improved it for the h100i. You should still have room to put those LED fans in other places in your case.

I am not planning on putting the fans on the radiator :D   I was going to replace/add case fans.


Are you recommending the SP fans over the stock fans that come with the radiator? If so, which ones should I buy?

Would these work:

Those will work.

There is a two-pack, which should be cheaper than buying two individually.

What is the difference between Wi-Fi cards? Is there a website that shows which ones are better than others? Is there a way to gauge a Wi-fi card's performance?

Check for what wireless protocols each are valid with.  Also, check the data rates:

Intel 7260: 867/300Mbps

Asus: Up to 600 and 1300Mbps

Thank you for the info! I will begin my research.

Another question:

What is the benefit of this motherboard: Asus Z97-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

Compared to this motherboard: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

I am going for a Red/Black look for the computer... I want good performance though. DerKrieger recommended the Asus MB over the MSI MB. 

Yeah, like Tech Noob said, get the two pack. pwm quiet edition is probably what you want, for most people silence is golden.

How good a wifi card is depends entirely on what you want it to do, or rather, what you want to do with it. while I cannot tell you what the differences between those exact cards are, I can tell you that Intel seems to be most popular. My preference for wifi though, are the Alfas due to their use of coax antennas which work with satellite dishes very well. Der Krieger has an excellent build. 

I do not know the specs of the Z97-A, but I do know the GD65 Gaming is a pretty good overclocking board with its 12 power phases for the CPU.  However, I would suggest getting the Z97 version of that board.

Thanks for the info! I will check out the Z97!