Which Computer Build is Best for You?

image

Let’s figure out which computer build is right for you.

Pull up the Logical Increments builds list in a second window or tab so that you can follow along.

First, let’s differentiate between demanding games and undemanding games. 2D games, simple browser, and the original Starcraft, etc, are not demanding. Any PC build on Logical Increments will play these fine. This includes many indie games and tower defense games as well. Limbo, Braid, and Cave Story, etc., will all play on almost anything.

Demanding games are games with realistic graphics and lots of calculations. Battlefield 4, Far Cry 4, Crysis 3, and Skyrim are good examples of demanding games. If a game is 3D and looks realistic, it’s demanding. There are a few games that do not look realistic but can still be surprisingly demanding, such as Minecraft. Minecraft does so many calculations that it requires a fairly powerful CPU, although it doesn’t require much GPU at all.

The names of the builds are actually a pretty good guide:

Destitute really means destitute: You want to pay more if you can possibly afford it. You will get a computer that will be great for browsing the web and reading email, but you’ll have to turn down the settings or resolution in any game more demanding than Call of Duty 2 (as in, the one from 2005). And with only 2GB of RAM, you will run into slowdowns occasionally just using Windows by having a bunch of things open at once.

Minimum is minimally better, now at least including a dedicated GPU. You’re still not going to be able to make games look pretty with this, but at least non-gaming tasks will all be pretty responsive. A marginally demanding game like League of Legends will run adequately at Minimum.

Entry is where things really start to pick up. You’ll be able to max out the settings on less demanding games, and at least play the more demanding games with things turned down a bit. For those short on cash but still demanding pretty graphics and “good enough” performance, the Entry tier is a good place to start.

Modest and Fair will play a moderately demanding game like Call of Duty: Ghosts with the settings turned almost all the way up at 1080p at around 30 frames per second (FPS). Skyrim would be similar. 30 FPS is considered an acceptable framerate, but some people will want more. For more demanding games, such as Battlefield 4 or Crysis 3, you’ll need to keep looking at more powerful tiers.

image

The sweet spot for performance / price is the Great tier. You’ll be able to max out most games at 1080p with close to 60 FPS and get a playable framerate with the most demanding games.

Value remains really good up through the Outstanding tier, which will run almost any game amazingly well and at high framerates.

Despite the diminishing returns from Exceptional to Monstrous, there are several reasons to spend more money if you like gaming and have the ability:

  • VR: Virtual reality headsets must draw two frames for every one that you perceive, so you need twice the graphics power to get the same perceived FPS and smoothness.
  • Higher framerates: If you have a monitor that refreshes faster than 60 hz (the standard LCD refresh rate) and you really want everything to be super smooth, you might need even more power.
  • Multi-monitor gaming.

Have a specific question? Ask us in the comments.

  • Henry Anderson

    What tier is needed for 60 fps on 1440p? It seems like Outstanding would do fine with current games and medium settings, but Enthusiast is necessary if you want ultra quality and a little bit of future proofing. Is that about right?

    • Clairity

      Pretty much. Excellent and above shouldn’t have any problems at all maxing out most games at 1440p@60, but Great and Superb should be able to play games at reduced settings/lower framerates.

      I wouldn’t put too much faith in anything below Great getting good framerates, though.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Hello!

      Yes, your assessment and Clairity’s comments are both correct. Maxing out game settings at 1440p does depend on the game, but Outstanding should work well for most everything. If you do want to go higher than your PC should be able to run new and demanding games for yours to come. If you go to the Great/Superb tiers, as Clairity noted, you will still be able to run the games on reduced settings.

  • The Puff Man

    I both play and develop 3d games. But I also looking to update my computer that works as both a development center and a media center. So should I just go with Exceptional for the best value for performance? I’ve heard good things about the GTX 970-980, and looking to upgrade my i3 to an i7. In addition, I don’t know whether I should get the GPU from this tier. I don’t play a lot of high end games, but I figured it would at least make testing high end games a lot easier on my computer.

    • You’re pretty much right on. For developing games, it will be nice to have a faster CPU. Whether an i7 will provide any benefit over an i5 will depend on how parallelizable your workload is, so if you want to save a bit, go for an i5-4690k.

      GTX 970 / 980 are great cards, and will run high end games well. If you don’t care about high end games you could save some money there and go for a lower end card, but it would be nice to have the option.

      Definitely install your OS and development apps on a fast SSD. If you have a lot of assets you’re working with regularly, having an SSD large enough to hold them all would be great.

      • The Puff Man

        Those were my thoughts exactly. i7 is fine in my price range, and I have the money. i just want to make sure I’m not wasting money for what essentially be the same amount of performance. I also heard someone recommend the 390x, saying it’s basically a lower priced GTX.

        And if I may, what would advice be on monitors? I’m looking to get two of them. Again, no need for latency free gaming monitors, so I can be fine with standard LCDs.

  • kinokuknight

    Hey, similar to Puff Man I am looking to build a rig for gaming and development, I want to be able to max out games at 1080p 60 frames. With that being said, would the GTX 980 ti be too overkill? Should I go for the GTX 970?

    • Matthew Zehner

      Hello, and sorry for the delayed response.
      With the GTX 980 Ti you should be able to get around 60 frames per second on ultra settings in even the most demanding games, such as The Witcher 3. However, if you are okay with not playing such games on maximum settings or if you want to simply play less demanding games the GTX 970 is a beast of a card and can handle most everything. Overall, I would recommend buying the 970 and using the extra 300 dollars to buy an SSD or 16 GB of RAM. The 970 should work perfectly for most everything you want to do.

  • AA

    Is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 good enough to max out demanding games at 1080p?

    • Matthew Zehner

      It should be able to max most games. However, extremely demanding games like Witcher 3 would not be able to run at max settings with that. I personally use a 670, the older version of the 770, and am able to get at least “high” settings on practically everything I play. However, don’t expect the most graphically demanding games to be able to keep a consistent 60 on max settings.

      • Kayybun Nguyen

        Hey Matthew ! I have a GTX 770 with an AMD A10-5800K processor, 8GB RAM. I don’t know if you’re familiar with CSGO but I can’t seem to get over 160+ fps on LOW settings. Is there a problem ?

        • Matthew Zehner

          160 FPS is an extremely high frame rate, so I doubt there is an issue.

  • KaosMANM

    I have an Intel i5 2400, i need to know if that CPU works with the Gigabyte B85M-D3H (Modest Build with the gtx 750)

    • Matthew Zehner

      Those two parts are not compatible. Your socket is an LGA 1155 type while your motherboard only supports LGA 1150. These parts will not be able to function together.

  • Emily

    What level tier would I want in order to play The Sims 3 and The Sims 4?

    • Matthew Zehner

      You would want to at least get the “Fair” tier. However, getting parts from higher tiers can only improve performance.

  • Max Häfner

    ehmm I have a 980ti and a 4790k@4,6GhZ with 30-40 FPS in the Main City of World of Warcraft?! Is this Normal. I’m having this Issue since one year. With WIn7 and 10. I reinstalled both OS and graphics Driver again. Never had more FPS. Only if I leave the City

    Also 16GB Ram
    Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5
    750Watt Power Suply
    256gb ssd
    2x 1TB WD RAID 1

    IS this Normal?

    • Matthew Zehner

      You should definitely be getting more performance, I think. It seems a bit strange that you are getting such a low frame rate with a great system like that. I honestly can’t think of many suggestions, except maybe verifying that the game is installed correctly. If I think of more I’ll be sure to let you know, it is certainly strange that it isn’t running better.

      • Max Häfner

        I’ m not sure but… Is it possible that my RAM is causing some trouble.
        3x Kingston 4GB latency 11 and one No Name Bigger 4GB RAM Bar.
        But I think…if my PC isn’t using all the 17GB Ram it shouldn’t make any problems?

        • Matthew Zehner

          Yeah, you have far more RAM than WoW requires to run properly. Is this a new issue, or has it persisted since you first built/bought your system?

  • Mark

    With MD FX(tm)-8120 Eight-Core Processor, 3100 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)

    and a 1920 x 1080 monitor, should I chose a R9-280x or R9-290 for best price/performance?

    • Mark

      Edit: also considering R9-390.

    • Matthew Zehner

      The best value for money would be the 280x, it has 90% of the performance of the 290 for just about 2/3 of the price. Graphics card value/money generally gets lower as you move up the tier list.

  • Chris

    I notice that the higher tier builds all have recommended coolers while most of the lower tier ones do not. Why is this?

    • Matthew Zehner

      All CPUs come with stock coolers, that are often sufficient for lower tier builds. However, as you buy more expensive parts that will be under load more, it makes sense to improve the cooling quality of the system.

  • Dane Mandy

    Hello! I am looking at the Great tier right now, and I was wondering what it would take to swap that i3 for an i5?

    • Matthew Zehner

      How do you mean what it would take? In terms of price, compatibility, or performance?

      • Dane Mandy

        Compatibility.

        • Matthew Zehner

          Sure. They both utilize the same type of motherboard. Depending on the generation of i3 you are referring to, this could be a LGA 1150 or another socket type. Basically, if you are to upgrade to an i5 of the same generation as the i3 you purchased, it should be totally compatible with the rest of your parts. For example, you can upgrade from a Haswell i3 to a Haswell i5 simply by replacing the CPU, as all the rest should be compatible. If it is cross-generation, it will require a replacing of your motherboard.

          • Dane Mandy

            Thanks! First build, and I really don’t want to screw it up.

          • Matthew Zehner

            No problem!

  • Oscar

    What tier would you suggest to play first person shooter games like cod and some simulation games like sim city and euro truck

    • Matthew Zehner

      It depends on what settings/performance you expect to get. If you want to run new CoD games on ultra, then you are looking at something like the “Great” tier. However, if you are looking to play at higher than 1080P or want to use this primarily as a gaming computer, I would consider paying up a bit.

  • Derrocl

    I want to play Skyrim fully maxed out with high res texture packs and many mods running at once, what tier would be good? I’m thinking around Superb-Outstanding, also one that may run Fallout 4 maxed out, etc.

    • Matthew Zehner

      The “Superb”-“Outstanding” tiers should be able to offer great performance in games such as Skyrim. As far as maxing out Fallout goes, it is best to go with at least the “excellent” tier if you want to max it out, based on the system requirements.

  • Brandon Alexander Christian

    I want to be able to play Counterstrike: Global Offensive & Minecraft and be able to record it using Bandicam, just wondering which tier I would need to hit heights of over 60 fps whilst recording? Thank you very much!

    • Matthew Zehner

      We would recommend at least the “Entry” tier, though it may be worth paying up a bit. This is especially true if you are planning on recording, as you should have a solid CPU. I would say at least an i3, but ideally an i5. This would be right around the “Great” tier, with a possible CPU upgrade.

      Let me know if I can help more!

      • Brandon Alexander Christian

        What I have opted for:
        MSI Z97
        Intel i5 4590
        Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
        MSI Nvidia GTX 960
        EVGA 500B 500W 80+ BRONZE
        HyperX FURY Series 8GB
        StarTech.com 1.5g Metal Oxide Thermal CPU Paste
        SanDisk Ultra II SSD 120GB

        Is this setup going to be enough?

        • Matthew Zehner

          Yes, I believe that should be good enough.

          The two things I would say is that you don’t need the thermal CPU paste. The 212 Evo already comes with a good enough thermal paste, so it isn’t worth buying another one.

          It may also be worth getting a hard drive in addition to your SSD, since 120GB is not a lot of storage.

          Hopefully this helps!

          • Brandon Alexander Christian

            Okay! Thank you so much for your awesome help!!!

          • Brandon Alexander Christian

            Only one more thing, what pc case would you recmmend for this build??

          • Matthew Zehner

            Sure. We recommend the cases that are in our tier list the most. For you, this would be one from right around the great tier. Take a look at them and pick which one you like aesthetically and works best for you!

  • Lee Elsey

    I don’t own a single game, but I make a living using my cpu for architecture type functions. I use 3d autocadd, arcgis, maxrender, … I purchased a sager gaming laptop 2 years ago from xotic pc, and it’s performed alright, but I still spend a lot of time waiting when programs autosave and it’s not unusual for complicated models to crash. I’m ready to reinvest in technology again and trying to find guidance for my first desktop build, although I would happily consider upgrading my laptop if that made more sense. I can justify the expense since I earn a living with it, but there’s no need to waste. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.
    Sager laptop specs:
    Ram 8GB – DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) (SKU – S4S423P)
    Graphics Video Card – nVidia GeForce GTX 670MX 3,072MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11 with Optimus™ Technology (SKU – S5S999)
    Processor Sager – 3rd Generation Intel® Ivy Bridge Core™ i7-3630QM (2.4GHz – 3.4GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache, 45W Max TDP) (SKU – S2N224)

    • Matthew Zehner

      It would make the most sense to build a new desktop, especially since upgrading laptops is a real pain. What would you like your new computer to be able to do?

      • Lee Elsey

        My primary uses are QGIS / ARCGIS and AutoCADD Architecture / Revit. I jump between programs frequently since I have a kind of specialty consulting practice. I wish I was more knowledgeable of the technical requirements of the programs, but the GIS programs seem to get bogged down when performing equations and functions on large datasets and mapping results. The Cadd programs involve generating and manipulating complex 3d models. From time to time I also use Maxwell render to generate photorealistic renderings. I was hoping to find online guides for architect-user builds, but I haven’t found anything that really appeals to me as of yet. Thanks again

        • Matthew Zehner

          If it tends to get bogged down, that is almost certainly due to not having a sufficiently powerful CPU. This is definitely the area in which I would spend the most money. In fact, since this is where you spend the vast majority of the time, I would recommend investing in an i7 CPU. In fact, if you want a really high-powered PC, then something like the “Outstanding” tier, sans the GPU.

          Hopefully this helps, and I’d be happy to give more specific advice as needed.

  • Casey Paskel

    I want to be able to play Fallout 4, on normal settings on something around or lower than 1080p. Will I be able to do this with a FX 6300? And if so, which GPU would you recommend to go with it?

    • Matthew Zehner

      The Fallout 4 minimum requirements recommend the following: and Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent. The CPU you chose is above this requirement, so it should be sufficient to run the game.

      I would say that something like a 750 Ti may be able to do that for you (right around our “fair” tier), though it is hard to know for sure as the game has not been released. If you were to get this or something slightly above it then you should be able to run the game well!

      • Casey Paskel

        Is the 750 Ti compatible with the FX 6300? Wait, nevermind, you wouldn’t have recommended it if it wasn’t. My last question is, what fps on what settings do you think I’d get with that build?

        • Matthew Zehner

          They definitely are yeah – as you rightfully noted.
          It’s hard to know for sure, since the game hasn’t been released (and therefore benchmarked properly) yet. I would wager this would get you at least 30 FPS on something like medium, though I find it hard to guarantee that for sure. If you do want more than that, you can always move up the tier list with regards to your GPU.

          • Casey Paskel

            So you would recommend that I upgrade my GPU, over updating the CPU, if I got this rig? I’ll keep that in mind. Anyway, thanks for the replies, with my current budget I’m glad that I’ll be able to run it. The thing is, I’d end up turning down some graphic settings even more just for more performance. It’s just the way i play.

          • Matthew Zehner

            The GPU is significantly more important for gaming performance than is the CPU (though the CPU is important, regardless). Upgrading the GPU will most likely give you the largest increase in performance.

            Sounds good! Glad I could help.

  • Mike

    Hello, I wanna build a strictly Racing Sim PC with a 3 monitor setup, and want to run 60fps with smooth hi res graphics as much as I can to really enjoy the experience of Dirt, Project Cars, etc. Should I stick to the Excellent tier? Thanks.

    • Matthew Zehner

      If you want to use 3 monitors and have maximum settings the excellent tier would not suffice. Project Cars alone averages 70 FPS on a single 980 on one 1080p monitor. With triple the monitors and a less powerful GPU, it would be practically unplayable. If you want to do this, you would have to spend quite a bit more and even then be willing to compromise a bit on settings.

  • Sander

    Hi, I want to build myself a gaming pc. I look to play games like heroes of newerth, WoW, and battlefield.. I want to Also be able to have teamspeak and other stuff open at the background or in a second monitor.. I thought i’d go with excellent-outstanding.. Is this enough? (First time ever building pc)

    • Matthew Zehner

      Yeah, that would definitely be a good tier to choose considering what you want to play!

      • sander

        so, its been about a week that I’ve been putting togheter parts and researching and this is a build I came up with.. its a bit more then I’d like to spent but hey, why not. Anyway I’d like to knowwhat your remarks are:
        PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-4690K Boxed
        MOTHERBOARD: MSI Z97-GD65 GAMING
        RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600 CL9 kit
        COOLER FAN: Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler
        GRAPHICS CARD: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 980
        HDD: WD BLACK SERIES WD2003FZEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB
        SSD: Crucial BX100 250GB
        POWER SUPPLY: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2
        CASE: CM Storm Stryker – White Full Tower
        please let me know what you think and if I overdid anything thank you

        • Matthew Zehner

          It looks like an extremely solid build!

          I only really have one thing to ask. Do you plan an overclocking a lot? If not, you could most likely buy a cheaper Cooler Fan. If you are only planning on overclocking a little bit, something like the 212 EVO would be a better choice as it offers great performance and is cheaper.

          Otherwise, I really like the build! It is a great gaming PC.

          • sander

            Well to behonest I’ve never overclocked anything in my life hehe, so I don’t even know how, however I will do it as most people say it’s good for speed and performance.. you got any advice to give about overclocking? as to why overclocking and such.. much apreciated

          • Matthew Zehner

            It definitely does increase performance, but isn’t necessarily needed unless you are using CPU heavy programs It is something that may be worth doing a bit, but if you haven’t done it before it’s good to just try it out and do it a little bit!

          • sander

            Okay thank you for all your help!

          • Matthew Zehner

            No problem! Glad to do so.

  • melissa

    what would be good for games like minecraft with 300 mods and sims 4 and those games

    • Matthew Zehner

      What is your budget? Something like the “Great” tier or above would offer very solid performance.

  • Juan

    What would you recommend to run GTA V at mid-high res with solid framerates? Thank you!

    • Matthew Zehner

      Something like the “Superb” tier or above should offer solid performance at 1080P!

      We have a GTA V guide that should hopefully be coming out soon, so for more detail be on the lookout for that!

  • Guillermo Torrejón Albarracín

    Which tier would you recomend me for being able to record Dark Souls 3, or Fallout IV, or street figher V, at 60 fps without problems? At 1080p

    • Matthew Zehner

      The “Outstanding” tier would most likely offer that performance. With this you should be able to run practically any new game at 60 FPS in 1080P.

  • Guillermo Torrejón Albarracín

    Would it be enough with the exceptional tier?

    • Matthew Zehner

      Generally we try and respond to comments within 24 hours. I will answer on your other comment.

      • Guillermo Torrejón Albarracín

        Thanks ^^

        • Matthew Zehner

          Glad to help!

  • David Smith

    Hello, I was considering this build https://pcpartpicker.com/user/broadblade/saved/#view=BDzTwP but I was concerned with a couple of things before I plunked down the cash. #1 Would I need a AIO cooling system to prevent overheating. #2 If I decided to go with a PCI-e SSD, would I have enough PCI lanes available. Any help on these questions would be appreciated.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Hello!

      1) If you overclocking a lot it may be worth getting AIO cooling. However, the current HSF you have picked out is very good, regardless.

      2) I believe you currently have 2 PCI-e lanes available (2 are taken up by the GPUs). If you don’t plan on adding anything else, then you should have sufficient spots.

  • Eric Feng

    Hi. I’m a Dota 2 player, and am wondering what would be the best 1080p screen, and which tier i should use for solid gameplay and frame rates.

  • Sam

    Hi, I play Dota 2, Ark: Survival Evolved, Counter Strike Global Offensive, and Fallout 4. Do you think that I can run these games smoothly (~40 FPS) with the Great Tier on a 1080p screen? Also, what 1080p screen would you recommend? Looking for a cheap one. Thanks!

    • Matthew Zehner

      With that tier you should be able to, yes.

      Here is our monitors guide! http://www.logicalincrements.com/#!/monitor

      If you give me an approximate budget I would be happy to help you pick a specific one.

  • Meow

    I don’t like to overclock. Am I gimping my gaming experience? Should I learn to overclock and start getting K cpu’s?

    • Matthew Zehner

      You are most likely okay! If you don’t want to overclock but still have solid components then you should have great performance regardless.

  • Guy

    I hate asking questions like this since it seems too spoonfeed-y, but I’ve been needing to upgrade for a while and now’s a better time than ever due to all the black friday stuff.

    I’m looking for a PC that can run pretty much anything as well as possible while using as much preexisting stuff as I can. Normally I’d just refer to the actual guide but I thought things may be different with all the sales and what not since I’m really not made of money.

    Some of the current stuff…

    CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 965 Processor

    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
    PSU: 750w I believe, I don’t remember the exact model
    Motherboard: Needs to replaced anyways
    RAM: 4GB of DDR3, needs more obviously
    Cooling: Some weird water-cooling system that I bought without actually thinking because of some stupid friend. It’s hanging off a screw since it doesn’t fit so I’d probably need a new one of those.

    It’s kinda vague probably, but I can elaborate on anything.

    • Matthew Zehner

      It’s okay, we’re happy to help out! It’s a great time to but with all the sales.

      What do you hope to use this computer for? Gaming? Video editing? This affects the quality of the different parts you should buy.

      If you are going to replace the motherboard, you would need to make sure that it is compatible with your CPU, so it supports the AM3 socket. If you want a board that does not do this, you would need to buy a new CPU as well.

      If it’s a gaming build, I would recommend upgrading the GPU. There are some good sales going on right now for these!

      If your PSU is functioning fine, I see no reason to replace it.

      8GB of ram would definitely be a welcome upgrade there.

      A new cooling system would be solid! Would you want to stick with water cooling, or move to a simple HSF?

      Hopefully this helps!

      • Guy

        >What do you hope to use this computer for?
        Gaming primarily. Ideally I want to be able to play anything at max settings, 60fps, all that typical stuff.

        I was thinking about replacing the CPU since it seems kinda out-of-date at this point, but I wasn’t 100% sure if it was really necessary although I’m leaning towards replacing it. Since if I’m doing everything else, might as well.

        I definitely need a new GPU, but I’m concerned about which one to get. Looking at all the black friday deals I was looking at the ‘MSI Geforce GTX 980 Twin Frozr’ but it seems kinda overkill. But at the same time if I’m gonna splurge, this is probably the place to do it I guess.

        For cooling I’d probably just want something more normal since I never want to deal with that crap again. The only thing is my room naturally gets kinda hot, and I tend to leave my computer on most of the time so I’m concerned about overheating.

        • Matthew Zehner

          If you do want to max out nearly every modern game at 60 FPS on 1080p, then the 980 isn’t really overkill. In fact, this is the first GPU on our list that will give you an average of just under 60 FPS in The Witcher 3, one of the most demanding modern games. It’s a solid choice if you are looking to do this, and have a GPU that will run games on very high settings for years to come.

          Upgrading the CPU seems like a solid choice to me. I would reccomend a low-tier i5, as Intel tends to offer better performance in games.

          You could get a more expensive HSF like the http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-U12-Sockets-Heatpipe-Cooling/dp/B00C9EYVGY/?tag=logicaincrem-20 rather than the more standard 212 EVO if you are that concerned about overheating.

  • WindyTurnip

    I always hear people get criticized on various forums for “buying at the wrong time”, meaning buying a hardware component when the next generation is going to be released in a few months. With the rate of new developments, it seems like the next best thing is always around the corner. Is it ever “a good time to buy”? Do you ever consider this when you make your own purchases?

    • Matthew Zehner

      I think you are largely right, really. The components that I bought to build my PC a few years ago are not worth nearly as much as they were when I bought them, and there always are new ones in the works that will be better. However, the jumps between hardware lines generally do seem to be getting a bit smaller as time goes on.

      In terms of a good time to buy, generally I just say when things are on sale. It’s a good way of getting components and saving more money than you otherwise would. I bought my entire system when components were on sale. In terms of waiting for new hardware when buying, it generally isn’t necessary since the current components still are, and will remain, quite solid.

      Hopefully this answers your question!

  • Mark Smith

    I am

  • Mark Smith

    I am trying to build a powerful PC that will be all to record and edit games at 1080p 60fps. The games I am thinking of playing include agar.io (uses a surprising amount of CPU and GPU power. My old laptop with a core duo and Intel graphics can’t even record agar.io without extreme, unplayable lag), and BO3 and CS:GO. I am thinking of using an i7 4790K with a GeForce GTX 970 with 8 gigs of RAM. Is this overkill? Since I will be mainly recording agar.io, should I go for a lower tier like “very good” or “great”?

    • Mark Smith

      I also would like this computer to last for a couple of years playing new games at 1080p at mid-level settings.

      • Matthew Zehner

        If you are recording mainly agar.io it is a bit of overkill, but it isn’t too much so for BO3 as that is quite demanding. I would say you could most likely downgrade your CPU to an i5 without losing too much performance (though it is more important in some newer games like Fallout 4) and your GPU is solid enough to get those desired settings.

  • Jacob

    What would the FPS be like for a “fair” and “good” tier playing CS: GO, Team Fortress 2, and League of Legends? Would these tiers run lower end games like these smoothly?

    • Matthew Zehner

      You could expect 60+ in all for sure, and even above 120 in some. These lower tier systems can run those games very well.

  • Anthony Biddles

    Hello, I am trying to work out a build for playing WoW 1080p at Ultra settings,
    I am most definitely looking at the new Skylake CPU as to not need to upgrade it for a very very long time.
    I already have an ACER 24″ 1920×1080 monitor but am getting kind of stuck as to what other components to get (Motherboard, SSD Graphics card PSU etc)

    I only have a budget of £800

    • Matthew Zehner

      I would say that you should spend about as much as you can! This would be looking for your budget at the right of the tier list and building something similar to that tier.

      I would say that, to max out WoW, the minimum tier you would need is right around the “Fair” tier.

      Let me know if I can help more!

      • Colin Krueger

        Well, Assassins Creed, Star Wars The Old Republic, this MMO called Eden Eternal, and any Xbone Exclusives since I have a PS4.

        • Matthew Zehner

          The “Excellent” tier would offer fantastic performance in most modern games, though I would say that you could get by with the “Great”, though you wouldn’t be able to max everything out.

  • Colin Krueger

    I’ll admit that I am a complete noob at building a PC and reading specs. It all looks like a foreign language to me when games have recommended specs and I’m not sure how I compare. I’m looking to get into some video editing of games (I play console, currently, until I can get a good rig to use) and maybe run some games that I can’t play on PS4 but can on PC. Maybe even a few MMOs on medium settings at least. I’m not sure what build would be right for me. I basically want something that I can video edit on and play casually to slightly more casual with. Thanks for any help anyone can give to someone new to the PC scene.

    • Matthew Zehner

      I’d be glad to help!

      So, video editing is generally pretty CPU heavy so you will most likely want at least an Intel i5.

      What games would you like to be able to play? This will help me determine what GPU you should get.

  • Iivis

    Hello! I am a graphic design student and I’m looking to build myself a computer that I can use for work. I already had a good look around, but since this site seems to be gaming-oriented, I figured it would not hurt to ask for more info. I need a computer that can handle editing large files (1GB and up) and can run multiple programs simultaneously (Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator). I also do 2D animation, special effects and kinetic typography, so some video editing capabilities would be ideal.

    Here is a build I made in PC Part Picker: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/cpsC7P
    For the monitor I am strongly leaning towards Dell U2515, or something similar. I would greatly appreciate your input, since I am completely new to this. Thanks!

    • Matthew Zehner

      Looks like a solid build overall! You did a good job of prioritizing CPU and RAM more than more gaming oriented parts like the GPU, which is the right call.

      The only real points I would make is that if you could upgrade your CPU to either a higher tier i5 or a lower tier i7 it would help with increased performance. Also, an upgrade to something like a 620W PSU instead of a 550 would be nice as it gives you more overhead, but ultimately isn’t totally needed – otherwise the build looks solid!

  • Roberto Kazakov

    Hello, i’m looking for a build that can max out Warframe, Overwatch and run Fallout 4 smoothly on any settings can you point out to me what to look for ? ( Sorry for my horrible English)

    • Matthew Zehner

      This guide we have written on Fallout 4 should be helpful! If you have a PC that can max out Fallout and run smoothly, then it should also work for the other games you mentioned.

      http://www.logicalincrements.com/games/fallout4/

  • N3v3rNeutral

    Greeting!

    Im looking for a PC that can REALLY max out games like Titanfall but ALSO allow me to stream at 1280×720 at 60fps. What “tier build” would I be looking at?

    Thanx for ur help.

    N3v3rNeutral

    • Matthew Zehner

      So the “Good” tier and above should be able to max out Titanfall at that frame rate. This would work quite well on that resolution, as this should be able to max the game at 1080p. You should, however, pay up for a CPU if you are planning on streaming. Therefore, I would reccomend at least a “Superb” tier CPU/Motherboard combo, with the rest being from at least the good tier. I can write out a sample parts list if you would like.

      Hopefully this is helpful!

      • N3v3rNeutral

        Yes this is helpful! And if wouldn’t mind writing out that parts list it would be much appreciated!

        • Matthew Zehner

          Sure! Here is a sample parts list.

          CPU: i5 4460
          Mobo: Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H
          GPU: GTX 950
          PSU: Seasonic M12II 620W
          RAM: 8GB
          Add a HDD and SSD of your choosing, we reccomend some solid ones on the tier list!
          If you want an aftermarket HSF, I’d go for the 212 Evo.
          The case is also something that is more subjective, but the Enthoo Pro is a solid choice.

          • N3v3rNeutral

            So would this be an enthusiast build or higher? Im referring to the chart on logicalincrements.com. And thanx for putting this parts list together for me! ^_^

          • Matthew Zehner

            It is largely a modification of the “excellent” tier build. And I’m glad to help!

  • Rbt Rbnt

    Hello, I am a dota 2 player. Could you point out what tier should I build for dota 2 to run smoothly at medium-high settings at 1080p. Including monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Budget around 588 USD.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Matthew Zehner

      That would be right around the “Entry” tier as a minimum.

  • OutCast

    Hello, I’m wondering what kind of build should I go for?

    I’m finding a build that will enable me to play games smoothly such as League Of Legends,Battlefield 4, Overwatch. And be able to use software such as Maya/Houdini for visual effects purposes which require high RAM process and CPU.

    I’m from Singapore with a current budget of roughly around $1.6k.
    Any form of help would be greatly appreciated. 😀

    • Matthew Zehner

      Is that Singaporean dollars or US dollars?

      Either way, the tiers that correspond with your budget should offer solid suggestions!

      • OutCast

        the budget i stated in was SGD $1.6k.

        • Matthew Zehner

          That would be right around our “Outstanding” tier. If I can help you customize the build, do let me know.

          • OutCast

            For the “Outstanding” tier, What recommendation are there for 16GB RAM instead of 8?

          • Matthew Zehner

            You can use 16GB of RAM over 8 if you would prefer.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Is that Singaporean dollars or US dollars?

      Either way, the tiers that correspond with your budget should offer solid suggestions!

  • Quentin

    Hello! Your site has been very helpful to me, I’m looking to build my own PC for the first time and had a few questions to ask. Mostly I’d like to know if I would be able to play newer games like Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid V, and Just Cause 3 at 1080p with maximum setting and still be in the 40-60 fps ballpark. I’m looking to get a R9380X GPU and an FX 8320 CPU with 8gb of RAM. Would those be able to handle those settings or should I aim for more power? I’m in no real rush to build this, so if I should save up more to get more power that’s an option. Thank you so much!

    • Matthew Zehner

      Those should definitely be able to do that. As you could see in our Fallout guide ( http://www.logicalincrements.com/games/fallout4/ ) the “Superb” tier gives you about 45-60 FPS in the game. So yes, that is a solid choice!

  • notenoughframes

    Hello! I’ve been doing some research for building my own PC for quite some time. Your site has given me some great pointers on what parts I should be looking for thanks to the tiers. I’m looking to build a PC aimed for medium-heavy video recording/streaming/editing use with Photoshop/After Effects/etc. As of now, I’m planning for the Outstanding Tier concentrating on the 4690k & 4790k (leaning towards 4790k). I am a bit unenlightened when it comes to the latest PC news, but with the new year coming up, would it be better to play safe and wait for the new processors or go on ahead? Thank you for your time and have a great new years!

    • Matthew Zehner

      The processors that are already out are very solid and older models are decently priced, so I don’t think you have to wait! Typically, when new processors come out they are quite overpriced and don’t have the price/performance ratio of many slightly-older processors.

      I would say that purchasing a 4790k for your build should be fantastic!

  • John Anders

    Hi there I was a console guy but with the ever increasing costs of starting up every time a new ps2-3-4 or Xbox with no backwards capability, I am gearing more towards a £700 approx tag then smaller top up amounts in the future
    I play call of duty and therefore I couldn’t have any lag with a visual quality of at least PS3
    Just wondering what’s suggested

    • Matthew Zehner

      That would put you right around our “Superb” to “Excellent” tiers, so this is the part of our main tier list you would want to buy from. I’d be happy to help you create a specific parts list if you would like!

      • John Anders

        Yes please if you could spare the time

        • Matthew Zehner

          Here is a list:
          CPU: i5 4590
          HSF: 212 Evo
          GPU: R9 280X
          Mobo: Gigabyte Ga-Z97X-UD3H
          PSU: Seasonic S12II
          RAM: 8GB

          The case and storage options are much more up to you, as I don’t know what features you’d want and how much storage you need. Regardless, this is a list made up of parts from the “Superb” and “Excellent” tier. Hopefully this is helpful, and let me know if I could help more!

  • Nikolas

    Hi,
    im thinking about getting a new pc + monitor and recently discovered your very helpful website while doing the research.
    The games i really want to play smoothly are Dota 2 and CS: GO. Sims 4 from time to time. Especially in Dota and CS its important for me to get that extra FPS. Also i prefer a cheap, upgradable system. The computer will be in the bedroom, therefor a silent fan or something would be really good and a simple design without much LED extras, if possible.

    Its also difficult for me to select the right monitor. If i want for example +120 FPS, i need a monitor which can handle this with a proper amount of Mhz, right? It would be nice to get a 24″ monitor there.
    Also i wanted to build the computer on my own. Ive done this once like 6 years ago, i think things didn’t change that much.
    That are pretty much all questions i had, can you help me to pick a suitable bundle?

    Thanks!
    Nikolas

    • Nikolas

      Ive forget to mention: im from germany and would like to spend max. 700€ 🙂

    • Matthew Zehner

      A 120 FPS monitor would be a 120 MHz monitor. Here is out “Monitor” guide! Hopefully it should aid in your decision there: http://www.logicalincrements.com/#!/monitor

      So your budget should be right around our “Great” tier. This would be more than enough to run your desired games quite well, and if you would like to choose the minimum required to run them at a certain resolution, let me know and I will help to customize the build.

      Hopefully this is helpful!

  • Spencer Thomas Owen

    Hi,
    Love your all’s site.

    I’m looking to move on from consoles and begin PC gaming. (rocket league, gears of war…things of that nature.) However, I also need it to support my profession. That includes running software and storing large documents. (Photoshop, ZBrush, and a screen recorder for long videos on occasion.) Preferred budget is 1000 or less. But it is flexible.

    What do you recommend?

    • Matthew Zehner

      So, for your profession you want a solid CPU and 16 GB of RAM, ideally. The RAM will help with having a lot of things open at once, which is important for Photoshop and video work, and the CPU will help process everything you are doing faster.

      Here is a build I would reccomend, that is largely a modification of the “Excellent/Outstanding” tiers.

      CPU: i5-4690k
      GPU: R9 380X
      Mobo: MSI Z97 Gaming 5
      HSF: 212 Evo
      RAM: 16GB
      Storage: SSD and Hard Drive of your choosing.
      PSU: Seasonic M12II 620W
      Case: Your choice, really.

      So here I prioritized the CPU over the GPU, as you will tend to use that more in work.

      Hopefully this is helpful, and let me know if I can be of further assistance!

      • Spencer Thomas Owen

        Very helpful!
        This is exactly the tier I was looking at, however I had an i7 CPU and just 8 gigs.
        I’m not particularly knowledgeable with these things – so this was informative and even saved my a few bucks on overall build.

        Thank you!

        • Matthew Zehner

          An i7 CPU is a solid option if you are willing to spend more! It will give good performance, but if you want to save a bit and still have good performance then the i5 is a good call still.

  • Imbuement

    hey guys i love your site i wanna build a pc (1000 dollar budget) i wanna play most games 50-60 fps also i wanna start doing youtube and i need lots of memory. please and thank you

    • Matthew Zehner

      So that corresponds right about with our “Excellent” tier. This should accomplish that goal quite well. However, if you would like the modify the build at all, I would be happy to help!

      • Imbuement

        yeah that would be great could you do it in Canadian dollars please and thank you

        • Matthew Zehner

          Ah, it’s Canadian dollars. That corresponds with our “Superb” tier then, as shown in our Canadian version of the tier list.

          How would you like the build modified? Do you just want me to right out a parts list?

          • Imbuement

            Yes please

          • Matthew Zehner

            Sure! Here is a simple parts list. Once again, this is derived almost solely from our “Superb” tier. If you would like to change anything, let me know!

            GPU: R9 280X
            CPU: FX 6350
            HSF: 212 EVO
            Mobo: Gigabyte 970A-UD3P
            RAM: 8GB
            HDD: 1TB
            SSD: 120 GB
            PSU: Seasonic M12II 620W
            Case: Rosewill R5.

            Let me know if I can be of further help!

  • Quantunox

    Hey man, great site!
    I’m not sure, if someone has already asked this question, but here goes.
    If i wanted to buy a build, that has the best price/performance ratio, would it be best to buy the recommended “Great tier” more often (e.g. every two years), or should i buy a more expensive build, for example the “Outstanding tier” and stick with it for a longer time period?
    How quickly do these builds become obsolete?
    Thanks.

    • Matthew Zehner

      The sweet spot for a build that will last you for a solid number of years and will also not be extremely overpriced, right now, tends to lie around the “Superb” to “Outstanding” tiers. Buying something too much cheaper is likely to become obsolete quite quickly.

      Hopefully this is helpful!

      • Quantunox

        Thank you for your answer!
        I’ll probably go with the “Outstanding”. A few questions, though.
        First, is GTX980 worth the extra ~200€ over the GTX970? Seems a lot.
        Then again, I’ve heard, that there has been a lot of controversy over the GTX970 memory.
        Second, should I go with the older Haswell i7 and DDR3, rather than the newer Skylake and DDR4? Right now, there’s hardly any difference between them, but what about in the future?
        Would you recommend going with the “Outstanding” build, or would you change some parts in it?
        Thanks!

        • Matthew Zehner

          So you would receive about 13% better performance with a 980 than you would with a 970. If that is worth the extra cost for you then go for it, but the 970 would definitely serve nicely. The controversy about the memory of the 970 is largely overblown – it is an extremely solid card!

          If you can get a good deal on a Haswell i7 then that is most likely the way to go. Skylake CPUs tend to be a bit overpriced as compared to the potential performance boost they would have.

          The “Outstanding” tier does offer an extremely solid build, and if you want to go with that it would work very well, but if you would like anything changed I’d be happy to help!

  • Pratham Tharwani

    I need a $300 build, what kind of games will it play

    • Matthew Zehner

      So that is right around our “Minimum” tier. It could run less demanding games like Dota 2, WoW, and CS:GO quite well, but will not be able to run virtually any new AAA game.

  • Gerson Neves

    i need help with a pc build that i can get with a $1000 i want to be able to play games at about 60 fps

    • Matthew Zehner

      Well that corresponds to a build our “Excellent” tier, which would definitely be able to handle gamest 1080p.

      Are there any specific games that you want to run?

      • Gerson Neves

        I usually play games like minecraft and csgo and fallout 4

        • Matthew Zehner

          If you do want to run Fallout 4 on maximum settings with 60 FPS, then the aforementioned “Excellent” tier is a great choice.

  • Shogue

    I wanna play Blade and Soul on 60 fps, I don’t need really need high settings but 1920×1080 resolution would be nice. I have my eyes on ”Great” tier, will it work out for me, because playing on 1360×780 or something would also be okay.

    • Matthew Zehner

      That tier would most likely serve you nicely, and should work at 1080p!

  • Jack K

    I want to play skyrim with a lot of story mods and ENB at 45 FPS what tier should I use.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Since Skyrim can be very demanding, especially with graphics mods, the more you can spend the better. It’s hard to know for sure, since I can’t test Skyrim with all of the mods you may have installed. The “Great” tier is around the minimum I would go for.

      • Jack K

        Would you consider the Outstanding tier overkill then.

        • Matthew Zehner

          Most likely, though if you are running a ton of mods then not necessarily. The “Outstanding” tier is a solid choice for running most modern games, regardless.

  • Tom

    I am looking for a PC build around 300-600 dollar budget (flexible) to mainly browse the web, but also watch high resolution media and an occasional game, however i do not need to play this on the highest settings. What parts do you suggest?

    • Matthew Zehner

      There are many tiers on the site that fit within your budget! Would you like to spend on the higher or lower side of that spectrum? What games do you want to run on what settings?

      • Tom

        I think i wanna keep playing the AAA games on my PS4, and play game like (don’t laugh) cod2, aoe and tibia on the PC to start with.

        • Matthew Zehner

          To get a solid frame rate you will most likely want to spend on the upper spectrum, right around the “Very Good” tier.

  • James

    So I’m wanting to build my first PC and I would like to know what would be an appropriate tier for me. I am looking to mainly play Minecraft and Indie games, but also things like CS-GO and Skyrim occasionally. However, I am not sure what would be the right price range for me so that I don’t spend way more than is really necessary. If you could suggest a tier or like a mix of two that would be great!

    • Matthew Zehner

      If you want to max out the games at 1080P, then you will most likely want a mid-tier PC. The “Fair” tier could do well enough, but the “Very Good” tier allows you to play other new games and possibly mod Skyrim.

      • James

        So would it be better for me to build the computer from the “Good” tier and upgraded later, or would it be better if I saved up for a little longer and built one from “Very Good”?

        • Matthew Zehner

          I would most likely just suggest waiting and purchasing the “Very Good” tier. You want the best quality components you can get within your budget, and ideally so that you don’t have to upgrade frequently.

          • James

            Okay, thanks for the help man!

          • Matthew Zehner

            Glad to help!

  • Stephen Maguire

    Hi there! Amazing site 🙂 I am a professional web developer / graphic designer / video&photo editor (all things digital creative!).

    I will not be using my machine for gaming but am looking for very high performance on two monitors using Adobe Creative Suite / AutoCAD / Visual Studio etc… I intend on leaving the machine running almost constantly to allow me to connect remotely and work when I am away from home.

    Looking to spend approx €1000, could you suggest a tier or mix of parts that would suit me?

    • Matthew Zehner

      I would most likely reccomend components from the “Excellent” tier, though you could spend less on the GPU (I would reccomend picking one from the “Very Good” or “Great” tiers). Hopefully this helps!

  • Ethan Hatch

    What tier would you suggest for me to play arc survival with at least medium graphics I was looking at the great tier

    • Matthew Zehner

      The “Great” tier should almost certainly be able to do that!

  • CJ5331

    What tier would you suggest to play Planetside 2 on medium with 20-30 FPS and Arma 3 (with mods) on medium with 15-30 FPS?

    • Matthew Zehner

      For that, you can most likely get by with quite a cheap GPU. The “Fair” tier GPU, the 750 Ti, should be more than able to handle this.

  • Dan Ship

    I’m looking to build a gaming pc for my 14yr old son and I’m pretty much in the dark when it comes to what I need to buy. I didn’t know whether it would be better to buy a pre build unit or buy all the components seperatly and build it myself. Any help would be amazing.

    • Matthew Zehner

      It is definitely possible to buy a prebuilt PC, though our site is dedicated to ones built by the users. The main components you need to buy if you are to build a computer are listed on the main tier list of logicialincrements.com.

      These include CPU, GPU, RAM, PSU, HDD/SSD, Motherboard, Case, and most likely a HSF.

      Let me know if I can be of further help!

  • ILovePC

    Hi there i wanted to build a pc that can run BO3 and this kind of FPS games at 1080P and at a framerate of 35to45 i am not too sure how to build a pc,any explaination and suggestion would be amazing!

    • Matthew Zehner

      Sure! In terms of picking parts from our tier list, you would want to be looking at the “Fair” tier, at a minimum. This would get you the desired performance. In terms of building, we reccomend watching video guides that demonstrate assembling a PC. I’d be happy to link them for you, if you would like!

  • tiger

    I want to play mainly CS:GO and rocket league( and maybe more games in the future) on high fps(60-70). This is my first build but my budget is up to around £700. What would you suggest for that?

    • Matthew Zehner

      You could most likely get performance on that level, if not better, for a relatively small amount of money. The “Fair” tier could get you that performance, though spending more means better performance (especially within more demanding games).

  • Aki Gon

    Hi! I was researching about building computer and I found this website. Im sorry if I am not posting this on right page! I am completely new to building pc and with a little research, I came up with these parts, and I want a comments from you.

    Processor: Intel Core i5-4460 Haswell Quad-Core 3.2 GHz
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 02G-P4-2966-KR 2GB
    Motherboard: ASRock H97M Pro4 LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    Storage: WD Purple 1TB Surveillance Hard Disk Drive – Intellipower SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch – WD10PURX
    Power supply: RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-530SS 530W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V
    Case: I haven’t picked yet.

    Sorry for the long copy paste, but I want to know if this set up would work, and if you can improve and make it cheaper. My budget is around $600, and this is about $650 right now. I mainly use my computer for browsing and watching movies, but sometimes I edit video and music. I actually don’t really play video games on PC, but since I am building one, I want it to be able to play video games with a decent quality. What do you think? Please help me, and thank you!

  • mikeygaw

    Which tier is minimum for Skyrim 4k?

    • Matthew Zehner

      It should be right around the “Excellent” tier.

  • Dylan

    Which tier is the cheapest for running Battlefield 4 & Hardline at 1080p, 60fps with little or no issues?

    • Matthew Zehner

      I believe that you would want right about the “Excellent” tier to get this sort of performance.

    • Matthew Zehner

      I believe that you would want right about the “Excellent” tier to get this sort of performance.

  • Ali

    I’d like to have a gaming PC, games such as Witcher 3 [1080p is fine], but I’m also looking for a PC that will have enough space to save many Microsoft Office program files (Excel and Access) and I’ve also picked up an interest for photo editing (Photoshop) within the future.. Right now I think my best option would be an “Exceptional” build, but are there any builds lower on the totem pole that will keep the performance and quality I’m looking for?

    • Matthew Zehner

      If you want to maintain a solid 60 FPS on max settings at 1080P, I do think that the “Exceptional” tier is a good call. It should be able to perform well in the other programs, as well.

    • Matthew Zehner

      If you want to maintain a solid 60 FPS on max settings at 1080P, I do think that the “Exceptional” tier is a good call. It should be able to perform well in the other programs, as well.

  • sarastroGROUP

    How do I check if certain components like the wireless card or sound card are compatible with Linux?

    • Matthew Zehner

      I personally don’t know, but you may find this site to be helpful!
      http://www.linux-drivers.org/

      • sarastroGROUP

        Thanks for the link!

        • Matthew Zehner

          Glad I could help!

  • Deirdre Kelly

    Hi. My son wants to build a computer. Most of the games he wants to run are fairly low tech. However, I think he would love No Man’s Sky. What sort of build would he need for that? And how much extra should I allow if he gets into gaming? If he starts wanting more up to date games is it possible to build in some upgrading?

    • Matthew Zehner

      The recommended requirements have not been released for No Man’s Sky as of yet, so it’s hard to know exactly how strong of a PC you would need in order to play it. I can reccomend a build that will be great for modern games, No Man’s Sky included, though! On what resolution would you like for him to game, and would you want the game to run at maximum quality?

      It is certainly possible to build a system that has upgradability, for sure.

      • Deirdre Kelly

        Thank you. Having shown him the PC guide he decoded to go for Excellent which will run all his current games better than our PC. I hadn’t realised No Mans Sky wasn’t out yet. I’ve seen alternative games he might like.

        • Matthew Zehner

          Sounds good, that build should work really well!

  • Adam

    Hello, i’d like to build a PC, but i’m not sure which tier to go for. I’m looking to play games like Skyrim, GTA V, CIV V and Kerbal Space Program. I don’t mind if they run at 30 fps on medium-high settings, but i’m looking for a cheap tier which can do that. Which tier should I go for?

  • Dalton Uhlir

    Hello, I was curious as to what tier you would recommend as a good to great work station for Solidworks, MatLab, Mathematica, and a plethora of other programming IDE’s. Ideally, this would be my remote desktop for schoolwork but i would like for it to also be able run decently on most current video games. (This question is starting to sound like a broken record but I didn’t see a previous post stating which tier could handle programs adequately.)
    Thanks, Dalton

    • Matthew Zehner

      I’d be glad to help! I would reccomend at least the “Excellent” tier, as you want to be sure you have a fantastic CPU for running those programs.

  • Renato Horvath

    Hi! What is your reccomendation if:
    1, I play LoL and Hearthstone.
    2, Run 5-6 tabs in browser
    3, Use a lots of excel and wordsat the same time

    As my needs are not that demanding i was thinking about the entry tier. What do yoh think?

    • Matthew Zehner

      1) Hearthstone is quite easy to run, as is LoL. Here is a full guide on LoL: http://www.logicalincrements.com/games/lol

      2) Running 5-6 tabs is quite easy to do, and the entry tier would be able to do that.

      3) The entry tier would most likely serve you quite well here, though spending a bit more would lead to better and snappier performance.

      The entry tier is certainly a good pick for what you want to do!

  • Ani21

    Do you have any suggestions for what tier would be good for 3D modelling/digital sculpting?

    • Matthew Zehner

      It does depend on how much you are willing to spend, but I would reccomend the “Excellent” tier. You definitely want a solid CPU, and I would reccomend an i5 at the minimum to fulfill this.

  • Mark Roberts

    Hi. I’m relatively new to PC gaming and completely new to building a PC! I’m looking to build a PC that will run X-Plane 10 with everything turned up to the max and has the potential to run multiple monitors. What level would you recommend? Thanks.

    • Matthew Zehner

      What resolution would you like the monitors to be?

      For one 1080P monitor, at 60 FPS, it seems to me that the game is quite demanding. The “Excellent” tier would offer fantastic performance, but may be subject to the occasional frame rate drop.

  • Jon Leo

    Hi, I’m new to pc building and i just wanted to ask you a few things about building a budget computer. The games I play are CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of legends and nothing else. I don’t mind playing games on low visual settings but the main thing I’m looking for is 45+ fps. just reading your comments and your guide I’m looking at mostly entry parts with some modest parts thrown in such as a gpu. Do you think that it is possible to build a computer that can get a stable 45 fps on these games with the visuals turned down on a under 350$ budget? any specific parts you would recommend please do so, i just don’t want to spend more than i have to.

    • Matthew Zehner

      I think it is certainly possible, yes! I would reccomend the “Entry” tier as is, though if you were to add a “Modest” tier GPU it would increase performance quite a bit more, even.

  • Luis D

    Hi have a laptop and i play a variety of games from Minecraft to Smite and my laptop just doesn’t cut it i have to put everything on low and i still just don’t get the performance want what would be an affordable computer that could meet some of my needs?

    • Matthew Zehner

      So are those the main games you want to play? We do have a Minecraft build guide here: http://www.logicalincrements.com/games/minecraft/

      What is your budget?

      • Luis Delgado

        Sorry for the late reply been super busy maybe $600

        • Matthew Zehner

          Our Very Good/Great tiers would provide great performance in those games!

  • Carla Daniella R

    Hello! I’m an architecture student and have never really delved into this build your own pc business. Lately I’ve had the need to get more juice from my pcs and to do so without getting completely broke is more affordable to build your own.

    Basically I need a computer with strong 3d modelling and rendering skills. I usually use programs like Cinema 4d, Vectorworks, Autocad, Autodesk Revit, 3DS Max and Unreal Engine.

    What configurations would you recommend? also, what is the most important things in these types of operations (graphics, processing power, etc)

    • Matthew Zehner

      For your PC you definitely want a system with a powerful CPU and GPU. The GPU is important in rendering models, while the CPU (which I believe to be the most important component in this type of build) is also important in rendering, as well as snappy processing.

      I would reccomend at least the “Excellent” tier, but the more you spend the better the system will be. I would also say that, if you can afford to upgrade the CPU to an i7, you should do so.

  • Andrea

    Hello! I’m a design student and have a little knowledge about computer parts. Lately, I’m looking for a PC build that suitable for my needs, mainly I use Photoshop, Illustrator, sometimes Premiere and After Effects, and sometimes I played games like Dota 2, Guild Wars 2, Skyrim, and any other good graphics games.

    I have a budget of $750, and I have following your Superb tier, sadly some of these parts aren’t available in my country (SE Asia). I wish a maxed potential parts for my PC including a monitor (preferably IPS). I don’t mind getting a Haswell with NVIDIA VGA builds because I don’t intend to upgrade into a higher tier in a short amount of time. Also maybe I’ll have to pick a SSD after a few months my PC already built, so for now I don’t think I need a SSD.

    Well, any recommended configurations for me? Also, is it possible for my budget to getting the best build for that price?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Matthew Zehner

      Which parts specifically aren’t available for you? I would say sticking pretty solidly around the “Superb” tier is a great idea, and I’d be happy to suggest replacement parts for those which are not available in your country.

      I would reccomend you take a look at our monitor guide! It should be very helpful. http://www.logicalincrements.com/monitors

      You can certainly get a very solid build at that price point!

  • Alchemist7

    Hi! This site is amazing! I’m looking to build a silent (fanless) PC as a home workstation. I’m an engineer and my wife is a designer, so we will be doing at lot of 3d modeling (Solidworks etc.), numerical modeling and data plotting (MatLab, Mathematica etc.), Adobe suite (photoshop, illustrator, InDesign), photo/video editing, and some console-type gaming (Rise of Tomb Raider, Witcher 3, Dirt Rally etc.). From your responses to the other comments, I’m guessing a Excellent/Outstanding will be suitable? Can you suggest me some alternatives for my need for a silent PC? Budget $1k~$1.5k. Thank you so much!

    • Matthew Zehner

      Hey!

      You definitely will want fans. The cooling will not nearly as good otherwise – you just want them to be quite fans that don’t spin overly fast. I would say this, more than anything, may require a change in case more than components (as well as adding additional fans to the system), and I’d be happy to look if you want.

      The “Excellent/Outstanding” tiers is a good choice for you – it has a powerful CPU for all of the processing-heavy programs while still having a great GPU. I would reccomend going with 16 GB of RAM over 8, as many of those programs eat up RAM.

      • Alchemist7

        I see! Thank you for responding so promptly. I will greatly appreciate it if you can suggest some PC case and fan set-up, or at least point me to the proper source to look. Thanks again!

        • Alchemist7

          I did a little research on quiet PC cases, what do you think about NZXT H440 or the Fractal Design Define S? I think i’ll go with the GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-UD5 Mobo.

          • Matthew Zehner

            Both of those are great cases! Either would serve you perfectly fine. That is a great choice of motherboard!

          • Alchemist7

            Hi Matt,

            After comparing parts and reading up builds and guilds, this is where I’m at right now: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MyvPyc .

            I’d appreciate some feedback if you have some time to take a look. If there’s anything that can be replaced by a lower cost alternative without damaging performance too much, please let me know. It is a little over budget right now but I’ve already given my best shot at building a high performance PC with excellent performance-to-cost value.

            Thank you! I’m excited 😀

          • Matthew Zehner

            It’s a great build! Here are a few pieces of feedback.

            If you want to save a bit of money, you can buy a cheaper HSF like the 212 Evo. Additionally, you can buy a slightly cheaper motherboard (such as one from our “Excellent” tier) and suffer no performance decrease.

            Additionally you could cut back from 16GB of RAM to 8. 8 is usually good enough for most, but if you do want the extra headroom then go for the 16.

            I would reccomend buying a PSU of slightly higher wattage, since they run best when they are a decent bit greater than the wattage used.

            Otherwise, it looks awesome!

        • Matthew Zehner

          Here is an article that does a good job of discussing some quiet computer cases:
          http://www.custompcguide.net/top-6-most-silent-computer-cases-for-quiet-computing/

          I’d be happy to suggest some specific cases if you would like, or offer additional input on some you are considering.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Hey!

      You definitely will want fans. The cooling will not nearly as good otherwise – you just want them to be quite fans that don’t spin overly fast. I would say this, more than anything, may require a change in case more than components (as well as adding additional fans to the system), and I’d be happy to look if you want.

      The “Excellent/Outstanding” tiers is a good choice for you – it has a powerful CPU for all of the processing-heavy programs while still having a great GPU. I would reccomend going with 16 GB of RAM over 8, as many of those programs eat up RAM.

  • Sam

    Hello!
    I’m looking for some advice to configure the best parts for a $800 full gaming setup (Including OS, KBM, OD, Monitor) to play all the latest games at 1080p 60fps at medium-high settings for the next 2 years or so. Here’s the config I have in mind :

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bwtXmG

    Processor: Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H110M-A Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 380 4GB NITRO Dual-X OC Video Card
    Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case
    Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-14 DVD/CD Writer
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM (64-bit)
    Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0″ Monitor
    Keyboard & Mouse: Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator Gaming Bundle

    Is there any recommendations you would make?
    Thanks! C:

  • Ben

    I want to build a PC (due mostly to the crap that is windows 10 ruining my current PC) that can run games like Ark: Survival Evolved at medium graphics and 45-60fps
    Which level should I chose to run these games?

    • Matthew Zehner

      I would reccomend at least the “Very Good” tier to get that sort of performance at 1080P.

  • Vasisht

    Hi, I’m a programmer and i’m in desperate need of an overhaul. I’m currently using HP ENVY m113 which i bought 15 months ago – it has AMD FX 7500 Radeon R7 processor(Integrated GPU i guess). It used to have 6GB of RAM and 750GB SATA which i swapped to 12GB of RAM and 250GB SSD. It is very slow for my usage

    I recently started using Android Studio and this is where things got bad. I can’t use multiple android emulators. Previously, running netbeans, eclipse got the system really slow but not as slow as it is now.

    My requirements
    1) Should load up multiple IDEs which run multiple instances of local servers effortlessly. Each one uses around 600 – 1200 MB of RAM
    2) Should load up multiple emulators. Again, Each uses around 500 MB of RAM
    3) I currently have around 200 browser tabs in multiple windows over multiple browsers open because i need to test websites and applications on different browsers but i could close around 50 of them. So, it should handle these
    4) A modest GPU would be good in case i decided to do a little gaming

    I’m still a student and budget would cause a bit of concern. Please provide different options with different amounts of budget.

    Thank you

    • Matthew Zehner

      Hey, I’m happy to help!

      As to your requirements,
      1/2/3) You most likely will want 16GB of RAM in order to do that, at least. I’d say go for 16 and upgrade from there if you need.
      4) What sort of games would you want to play, and on what resolution?

      In terms of our tier list, I’d reccomend right around the “Excellent” tier, with 16GB of RAM and possible a marginally worse GPU – which would cost around 900 dollars and would offer great performance. I’d be happy to make modifications if that if you want a lower or higher budget option!

      • vasisht

        Thanks Matt, That was really helpful!

        I’ll start with 16GB of RAM. As for the processor is concerned, What do you suggest ? Should i go with high cores and hyper- threading ? I think having higher cores would help me with running multiple processes at once but i would like to get your opinion on this. AMD with more cores or Intel with hyper-threading ? I could stretch my budget to get intel 6 core but do you think its worth the price because i will not be rendering videos or images. Should i worry about single threaded performance as i do not do much gaming etc.

        As for the GPU is concerned, i’m looking to run 2-3 monitor setup at 1080p. This is the baseline and the last game i played was NFS Most wanted on my 512MB GPU 6 years ago 🙂 but i would like to play demanding android games in an emulator on PC.

        My budget is around 1000 dollars

        Thanks in advance

        • Matthew Zehner

          Then I think the Excellent tier definitely is right where you want to shoot, with your budget in mind. I would go for an i5 CPU – they have great single and multi-core performance, even if they have less cores than a cheaper AMD CPU. Across the board, the “Excellent” tier would satisfy your needs quite well.

  • Gustavo Trejo

    Hi, I am beginning to build a computer as a music producer. I know having a lot of programs open can be a pain. So I need a processor good enough ( best i5 or good i7) with enough ram like around 12gb, not really going to be gaming but still want a alright graphics card. Also I am going upgrade whenever I want the higher end stuff. But for now, enough to run smoothly well having 6 to 10 programs at once. Budget around 800 to 1000.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Sounds good! I would say the more you can spend on a CPU the better – and you definitely want 16GB of RAM. I would reccomend right around the Outstanding-Exceptional tiers with a much cheaper GPU, like the 960 or 480 (once it comes out).

  • RandomDalmascan

    Hey, I want to build a gaming pc for 1080p gaming on games like Minecraft and Fallout 4 and things like that. My budget is around 700 dollars, but that’s a minor thing. Any advice or what tier would be best for that? Thank you in advance!

  • Elyse Nicholson

    Just so you know, the guide goes from Modest-fair to Great. It skipped Good and Very Good. In their place is a Battlefield 4 picture, but you know, nothing on those two tiers of builds

    • Thanks for mentioning this. We will have to update this article anyway since it was written a time ago, and since price drop all the time, weaker tiers get stronger over time. I will find someone to update this!

  • kardel

    Hi. My main priority is a pc for photo editing (ie adobe photoshop) and watching/streaming movies at 1080 or Blue ray quality. I seldom play video games aside from the clash of clan in my bluestack apps. I’m thinking of building based on Outstanding tier as I’m also considering to have a PC that will not have too much issue within the next 5 years at least. Do you think building based on outstanding tier is reasonable or I should try to lower the tier? Also, I’m browsing your blogs but I have not see any videos with regards to how to properly build a PC (as I never tried it yet). Do you have any link that you can recommend in helping a newbie like me on building a pc?

    • our guide for video editing http://www.logicalincrements.com/articles/videoediting/ can be used for photo editing as well (might be a bit overpowered).
      I think an i7 will be more than you need, but if you insist on keeping the same PC 5 years, the choice is OK. Keep in mind that you pay a superior price for the little improvement over an i5.
      If you plan to overclock, get the K-veriant, otherwise stick with the non-K variant.

      Have a look at the yellow info box “Assembling a PC” below our main parts list for more info on that topic.

  • casper

    Hello! I’m an artist and a gamer, but new to PCs. I’m going to be going to school for game art and design. I’d like to be able to run Photoshop, 3D programs like Maya, blender, sculptress, etc and play more games on my PC like WoW and Overwatch, possibly more demanding games like Fallout etc. I also tend to have a variety of programs running at once. I was thinking some where from superb-outstanding would work for me depending on cost, what do you think? Any specific recommendations? This site is excellent, thank you so much for helping everybody here!

    • Hello and welcome at LI!
      At first, there are several pages to check:
      – our main page for general builds
      – our “Best Game Builds” which are accessible through the upper menu on the main page (we have guides for all of your mentioned games). Since Fallout 4 is the most demanding one, you might want to orient yourself by that guide.
      – for the working stuff, you might want to opt for nVidia Quadro or AMD FirePro graphics cards, but we haven’t had a look at it yet. They can run games as well, but I am not too sure about the gaming performance. A friend of mine got a Quadro K4000 two years ago (the weakest Quadro from that generation) and he could play Crysis very smooth at maximum setting (his screen only had 1440*900). I am just telling this so that you can see these workstation cards can run games as well, but are superior for 3D modelling & rendering stuff.
      – I recomend an i5 as a minimum and i7 at best. The Socket 2011 i7 are weaker per core and therefore less useful for gaming, your programs have to support running on more than 8 cores and they are overpriced anyway, so you should stick with the 6700K for now except your software can utilize >8 cores (don’t know if Maya can do that).

      What’s your screen resolution and refresh rate (Hz)? That will have a heavy impact on the GPU needed for gaming. However, all of the i7 tiers are the best way to start, and Superb-Outstanding is very powerful while still being (somewhat) reasonably priced.

    • Hello and welcome at LI!
      At first, there are several pages to check:
      – our main page for general builds
      – our “Best Game Builds” which are accessible through the upper menu on the main page (we have guides for all of your mentioned games). Since Fallout 4 is the most demanding one, you might want to orient yourself by that guide.
      – for the working stuff, you might want to opt for nVidia Quadro or AMD FirePro graphics cards, but we haven’t had a look at it yet. They can run games as well, but I am not too sure about the gaming performance. A friend of mine got a Quadro K4000 two years ago (the weakest Quadro from that generation) and he could play Crysis very smooth at maximum setting (his screen only had 1440*900). I am just telling this so that you can see these workstation cards can run games as well, but are superior for 3D modelling & rendering stuff.
      – I recomend an i5 as a minimum and i7 at best. The Socket 2011 i7 are weaker per core and therefore less useful for gaming, your programs have to support running on more than 8 cores and they are overpriced anyway, so you should stick with the 6700K for now except your software can utilize >8 cores (don’t know if Maya can do that).

      What’s your screen resolution and refresh rate (Hz)? That will have a heavy impact on the GPU needed for gaming. However, all of the i7 tiers are the best way to start, and Superb-Outstanding is very powerful while still being (somewhat) reasonably priced.

  • Chris

    Hi! I’m looking into building my own gaming PC. My budget is about $600 and I’m looking at building something within the “great” category on your list. I noticed on benchmark sites that the AMD FX-6300 Six-Core seems to be one of the best value for performance. I asked around and a lot of people keep recommending to get an intel because its more bang for my buck.
    Is there a reason why I should go intel over AMD? If so, which model will give me the same or better performance and price? Is there a reason to stay away from the AMD FX-6300 Six-Core?
    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    • I don’t know the benchmarks you looked at, but most of the times – especially in gaming – even an i3 gives you a better performance than any AMD CPU. (That’s why we moved the i3 to a better tier just a few weeks ago).
      The problem is that most games still can’t utilize more than four cores, so the two additional cores of the FX won’t help you in games. Another thing is that each AMD core is rather slow compared to intel – so slow that “all cores at once” of an i5 outperform the 6 cores of AMD most of the time. Exceptions are heavily threaded apps (not games) and mostly benchmarks (which don’t show real world performance anyway).

  • Pingback: Google()

  • David S.

    Hi.
    First: Thank you very much for all the work and help provided here, absolutely brilliant.
    I am looking for a build that would allow:

    – Good performance of everyday tasks.
    – HEVC compatible, and 4K videos ready (for when prices of this gen’s monitors drop a little mid 2017 if I bet correctly when 4K120Hz comes around)
    – Capable of reading Blu-rays without hassle
    – Very mild gaming (no time for more)

    I do not think it is the best of time to make a first build from what I gather, when things are about to get more interesting in the next 1 – 2 gen’s of cpu’s to come, and more worthwhile. Still, I need a descent computer to watch all my favorite movies and get away from my faithfull yet outdated Dell Vostro 1000…

    I will pair that build with a £100 screen from Asus, waiting to get a 4K bigger and better screen next year.

    If you could point me into the right direction, suggest a build, suggest I wait what the two teams make of their new gpu’s in the next couple weeks.

    Thank you again for taking all the time and effort you out into creating and maintaining LogicalIncrements

    • David S.

      After looking at the upcoming videos of No Man’s Sky on the 9th of August… I think I’d like I build that can manage that on top of what I already mentioned. So may be a CPU not borderline, but a bit higher to handle the procedural generation, and a graphic card at least gtx 960 I’d say, so may be the RX480 actually, if the AIB models help make it just that little bit better.
      What do you think with all this info?
      Cheers.

      • David S.

        Oups, No Man’s Sky is already out, still had the old release date 🙂

        • David S.

          Or not… already… out… 9th of August, was right. Duh

          • David S.

            Ok, no more, final, 12th of August. Make up your mind, Internet.

          • 😀
            “coming to PS4 and PC on August 9th in North America and August 10th in Europe.”
            from the offical homepage.

    • Well, even a low-tier PC can do the tasks you mention, except for gaming.
      Since intel and nvidia support h265 since the last generation, it would be a good idea to stick with these manufacturers.
      The problem is that for games that haven’t been released yet, it’s hard to recommend hardware. I can just find the minimum requirements (i3 + GTX480 which would be between our Minimum and Entry tiers). I don’t know where game-debate have the recommended requirements from. They list an AMD 8-core and a GTX960 / R9 285, that’s the Very Good tier.

      • David S.

        Thank you very much for the insight.
        I am wondering if game developers would have the answer? Since they made the game they must know what it works with, correct?
        It just so happens that Hello Games is just an hour away from where I live… May be a surprise visit would pay the bet.

        • That would indeed be funny, going there and just asking politely, showing some interest – but I’m not too sure if you’ll get an answer^^

  • Kyle Daniel

    I’m thinking of buying a Gaming PC which runs most of demanding games smoothly with no lag and with great performance and gaming experience. I’m thinking about Great/Superb tier parts to get to get a good one to play games such as LoL, Skyrim, Overwatch and many other demanding games. But I live in Japan and I’m 15 years old that’s why I don’t know if I can buy most of the parts and I haven’t done a transaction via Amazon yet, I’ve asked some friends if I should go PS4 or PC and most of them said PC, recommending “PC Master Race” I’m thinking about a build ranging from Great to Superb which the parts are available in Yokohama, Japan. Do you guys recommend buying all the parts from Amazon? Am I able to afford it with the right price for that item on Amazon? I’m thinking my budget wouldn’t be more than $800 and I wanna play most of the games smoothly( I hate lagging >_>) so what build can you guys recommend for me? Thank you and sorry for my bad English, btw with PC you can get access on Steam but do they have gift cards like iTunes’ because I don’t think I can use any credit card to buy games on Steam. Thank you! Hope you help me because I’m really confused and I don’t want to end up wasting much miney but still have a bad performance. Great Site!
    Edit: I also wanna know how can I not get a virus? Because my PC before was virused twice and I don’t which free program is the best to keep my PC safe from Virus. I also wanna know what monitor would be best for gaming? Thanks

    • Matthew Zehner

      We reccomend buying from whatever retailer delivers to you at the best prices, whether that be via Amazon or another retailer. Yes, Steam does have gift cards. You could download an anti-virus software or malware blocker.

      Here is out monitor guide! http://www.logicalincrements.com/#/monitors

  • ariel

    hello to the other side,
    i want to build my first pc. the pc that i have right now is a potato.
    im searching for a pc that can run CS:GO easly on high resolution, and maybe another games like cs.
    i want to ask you what kind of PC build (outstanding/exceptional/etc.) you recomend to this kinds of game.
    i want, as well, maybe start my own youtube channel.
    waiting for an answer and thx very much (sorry for bad english, not my main language)

  • David

    Hi there,

    So I am thinking of building a PC, budgeting somewhere between $600-700. The main use of this pc will be running FL Studio without freezes that I currently get on my stock laptop. This software runs multiple virtual instruments simultaneously, so I think some areas of focus for buying would be my CPU, soundcards, and RAM? I could be running a good deal of external hardware as well in my setup (audio interface, desktop monitors, midi keyboard). Not sure if those demands change what you want to look for. From what I have read about general relation between performance and price, my budget reflects about the level of production I should be working with. I am a complete noob to the process so any advice is much appreciated.

    I’m also probably going to do some light gaming. It would be great if I could budget a graphics card (the one thing I know you don’t need to splurge on for a home studio pc) that would allow me to play games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft on max/close to max settings. I don’t usually play graphically intense games like CoD or GTA. If I could fit a graphics card in my budget that would allow me to experience these games that would be a great plus, totally not a necessity though.

    Thanks!!

    • Matthew Zehner

      I would reccomend the “Great” tier with one modification. Switch out the CPU for an i5 6500. The GPU should be good for light gaming and a good CPU is the most important thing for music production. If you can spend a bit more, I would reccomend an “Excellent” tier motherboard as well. If you want, I could write out a sample parts list.

  • Geroyuni

    I’m wanting to get a PC for editing 1080p videos at 60fps smoothly, using Premiere and After Effects. What would you guys recommend for that?

  • Samuel

    I want Computer to play agario. My hp cq 61 laptop is quite old and no good. Cpu usage 100 % when playing. I dont need gpu?

    • Matthew Zehner

      No, I don’t think you would need a GPU. Would you like a desktop or a laptop?

      • Samuel

        What say you about this system:
        cpu: INTEL Celeron G3900 2,8GHz Boxed CPU
        mobo: Gigabyte GA-H110M-S2PV DDR3
        memory: KINGSTON HyperX Fury Black 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 (Kit of 2) CL10 1.5
        SSD: Samsung 250GB 850 EVO SSD 2.5″ SATA III 540/520 MB/s
        power: XFX 430W 80+ Bronze (model : P1-430S-XXB9)
        case: ZALMAN T4 Mini Tower MATX USB3.0
        cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo CPU-cooler 1366/115x/AM3/AM3+/FM1

        =cost: 370e

        display:ASUS VS247HR 24″ FHD LED 2MS VGA/DVI/HDMI
        total: 509e

        • Matthew Zehner

          It looks like a decent low-tier system! If you could add a cheap GPU, even a R7 240, it would give you a bump in web games but they should be playable without it.

  • joe

    This is a little outside the box/off topic for this site, but I am trying to determine what to buy for my church production department and came across your site. We are using Adobe Media Encoder –> DaCast to live stream our services in HD, and our 2012 Mac mini is woefully inadequate. Can you guys recommend a pre-built system?

    • Matthew Zehner

      So all you would like to do is stream video? What is your budget? Would you like a desktop or a laptop?

      • joe

        Definitely desktop. Power is more important than portability. Not 100% sure on budget, but I’ll say $1500 for the sake of conversation.

        We have several cameras capturing our service in HD; which is then being fed into a switcher (and powerpoint-type slides are laid over to add text or other visuals). This goes into Adobe media encoder to generate a rtmp feed which we then livestream using Dacast.com. All this works “ok” when viewed on small phone screens, but now we need to display it on a 55+” tv in another building nearby (like an overflow room). We cant run a hard line to this room so I am looking for ways to do this over wifi. My production guy tells me the problem is the Mac mini handling the real time transcoding (media encoder) cant transcode this fast enough and so we drop frames (and the large TV screen image is pixelated). So I am trying to find out what to replace the Mac mini with. He’s a PC guy but neither of us has ever built a custom system before. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

        • Matthew Zehner

          No problem, we’re glad to help!

          Since it sounds like you are doing pretty CPU intensive work, I would reccomend an i7 to get best performance. A good sample parts list is our “Power User Editing Build” listed here: http://www.logicalincrements.com/articles/videoediting . It should handle it extremely well!

          Let me know if I can be of further help.

          • joe

            thanks Matthew! i will definitely check this out. thanks for taking time to respond.

          • Matthew Zehner

            No problem, we’re always happy to help! If you have more questions then just ask.

          • joe

            One more follow up question re this thread: I am going to search myself, but do you have a recommended place to buy a system like the one you linked to? Is there a single vendor where all this can be bought at once or is it normally done piece meal? Or is it better to find a prebuilt system and then modify it during checkout (assuming the vendor lets me do that)? thx again! you’ve been very helpful.

          • Matthew Zehner

            You do have to buy all the parts separately but they are typically all available on one vendor! We do reccomend buying the components and assembling it yourself (that is what most of our guides are for) but you can buy some decent prebuilts. Good vendors are Amazon and Newegg!

  • Sam

    Hello,
    I have been looking into building a gaming/general use computer for a long time and am still not quite sure as to what components are neccessary to run the games i like to play, at a smooth fps (say 60) and at a crisp resolution. I enjoy the more demanding games such as Skyrim, Witcher 3, and other RPGs’. However, I am also interested in playing first person shooters such as Overwatch. My budget is around $2000AUD.

    Many thanks,
    Sam

    • Michael

      I would use Witcher 3 as your baseline for what components to build since it’s the most demanding game you list. LI has a build guide specifically for W3 under “Best Game Builds”. If you’re shooting for 1080p, look from the Outstanding tier onward. Any resolution higher than that would probably be outside your budget.

    • Michael

      I would use Witcher 3 as your baseline for what components to build since it’s the most demanding game you list. LI has a build guide specifically for W3 under “Best Game Builds”. If you’re shooting for 1080p, look from the Outstanding tier onward. Any resolution higher than that would probably be outside your budget.

    • Matthew Zehner

      As Michael said, our Witcher 3 Game Guide is a great jumping off point! It lists performance and how it relates to each tier. For a smooth 60 at 1080P, the “Outstanding” tier (which Michael also recommended) should get very close at a good price point.

      http://www.logicalincrements.com/games/witcher3

  • Sam

    Hello,
    I have been looking into building a gaming/general use computer for a long time and am still not quite sure as to what components are neccessary to run the games i like to play, at a smooth fps (say 60) and at a crisp resolution. I enjoy the more demanding games such as Skyrim, Witcher 3, and other RPGs’. However, I am also interested in playing first person shooters such as Overwatch. My budget is around $2000AUD.

    Many thanks,
    Sam

  • Invictus Banana

    can you guys recommend me parts to build parts to build a general use and gaming use computer?I normally play starcraft 2 and league of legends.Budget $2000 including monitor thanks

  • Steve

    Which tier would be best for running Skyrim at ultra settings with ENB and tex/mesh mods? Looking for an upgrade from my dusty GT650M laptop. Another laptop under $1200 would be better but i don’t mind a PC-tier recommendation too!

    • Matthew Zehner

      So you are looking for a laptop? We do have a guide for those! http://www.logicalincrements.com/laptop

      It’s hard to know exactly what tier would perform that well since it does very, but the “Superb” tier would be able to handle it quite well, I would think.

  • sean

    Which tier would be best for my situation?

    I’m an amateur programmer and not at all really a gamer, although every once in a while I’ll fire up minecraft (I quit because my current laptop just can’t handle it). I use Linux, and only Linux on a daily basis (I will dual boot Windows though), and I want to run a virtual machine with ease, that will run other OSes.

    I was thinking in the 600-700 range, but maybe that’s overkill? This site is so focused on gamers that maybe the price ranges are a bit skewed upwards. Do I have to spend *that* much to have a competent PC? I know Linux is not very resource intensive.

    Also, anything I should know about hardware compatibility with Linux? Are there any specific motherboards I should look at?

    Thank you!

    -Sean

    • Matthew Zehner

      You could definitely buy a better CPU and a less expensive GPU! The “Great” tier with a cheaper GPU like the 750 Ti would work quite well and fall short of budget. If you want to use the whole thing, though, you could always upgrade that CPU to an i5.

      Most all parts should work perfectly well with Linux.

      Let me know if we can be of more help!

    • Matthew Zehner

      You could definitely buy a better CPU and a less expensive GPU! The “Great” tier with a cheaper GPU like the 750 Ti would work quite well and fall short of budget. If you want to use the whole thing, though, you could always upgrade that CPU to an i5.

      Most all parts should work perfectly well with Linux.

      Let me know if we can be of more help!

  • green

    Hey. Currenty considering the following build:

    Sapphire RX 480 GPU
    8 GB Vengeance RAM
    Cooler Master 212X CPU Cooler
    AMD FX 8300
    Corsair 300R
    Seasonic M21II
    Seagate 1TB 7200RPM

    Would you recommend Asus 970 Pro Gaming or Gigabyte GA-990-GAMING SLI MOBO for this build?

    • green

      I’m going to overclock my 8300.

    • Matthew Zehner

      Either of those motherboards would work very well, so I’d honestly pick whichever you can get for cheaper!

      • green

        They’re around the same price in the country I’m getting and I don’t care about looks. I want to choose purely based on performance and features. What do you think about the build overall? Thanks for your answer. u.u

        • Matthew Zehner

          In that case I’d probably go for the Gigabyte because it has more PCIe slots, though you likely won’t use them all.

          The build looks quite solid! I am unsure of what wattage your PSU is though – I’d reccomend that it be around 600. Also, your CPU may bottleneck the GPU a little (but rarely and only in CPU-heavy games).

          You may want to consider a SSD but otherwise its awesome for the price!

          • green

            Thanks for your answer. Glad you liked it.

          • Matthew Zehner

            No problem, glad to help!

  • green

    Hey. Currenty considering the following build:

    Sapphire RX 480 GPU
    8 GB Vengeance RAM
    Cooler Master 212X CPU Cooler
    AMD FX 8300
    Corsair 300R
    Seasonic M21II
    Seagate 1TB 7200RPM

    Would you recommend Asus 970 Pro Gaming or Gigabyte GA-990-GAMING SLI MOBO for this build?