When putting this build together, I wanted to build a Mini ITX PC that can play almost any game at 1440p at 60 FPS with Ultra settings. I allocated a budget of $1,200 and picked parts accordingly.
This is a Haswell build, but I’ve provided alternative options for Skylake, at a slightly higher price.
Inspired by the Holiday sales, I decided to put together a quiet, clean, small Mini ITX build to handle any current game at max settings at 2560×1440. Total build price: $1,750.
It’s a little more expensive and harder to put together than a comparable full-sized build, but it turns out gorgeous and powerful.
Updated December 27, 2015
The best sales until next Black Friday are here!
If there’s anything you want to upgrade or get for a friend, now is the time. We won’t see better deals on many of these until next November, especially the things that don’t see large incremental upgrades, like cases and power supplies. CPUs, graphics cards, and SSDs will likely slowly drop in price as newer better versions come out, but these prices will still be the best you are likely to see for months.
Every year, Steam has several sales, usually coinciding with the various holidays. Two days ago, Steam’s Winter sales started, bringing down the prices of over 10,000 different games.
Some people would say that 10,000 is a large number of games, and we would agree. We have combed through the sales, and picked out about 60 titles that we liked the most. We split the recommendations in bigger and smaller titles. Since there are so many games on sale, we only looked at games with discounts of 50% or more.
Aside from Black Friday, Christmas and the holiday season is typically the next best time of year to buy PC hardware. Between Christmas sales and retailers selling off end-of-year loss leaders, there are ample opportunities to score on upgrades or new builds.
With that in mind, we want to provide some insight on what’s a good purchase for Christmas 2015, and what you should hold off on purchasing.
Very few things in life are more satisfying than assembling all the parts to a new PC, hitting the power button, and watching it boot up properly.
But even if your build starts up and seems to work without problems, you might want to make sure all the components are fully functional. Does your graphics card pump out pretty pictures at the level promised by the manufacturer? Does your RAM operate consistently for hours on end? Does your CPU process the desired number of ones and zeroes under intense loads without overheating?
To answer these questions, we turn to stress testing: Making sure that all of your parts can handle the work that they’re designed to do (or overclocked to do). They might be fine under normal use, but you want to know that they’ll be able to handle heavier tasks down the road, such as high-end gaming or media editing.
Still looking for the right gift for the PC gamer in your life?
Our good friend, the smooth-voiced YouTube gaming sensation RecklessYuki, just released a gamer gift guide for the 2015 holiday season. Watch it here:
Here are the products mentioned in the video, in order of appearance:
The post-apocalyptic future is now bigger and prettier than ever. Fallout 4 is out, and millions of gamers are already pissing off giant mutants, modifying laser guns, and amassing a small fortune in bottlecaps.
If you’d like to escape from the vault that is your daily existence and begin exploring virtual wastelands, you might be wondering how powerful of a PC you need to play Fallout 4. Well, this video is going to cover everything you need to know to play Fallout 4 on PC on a variety of settings, from the bare minimum up to extremely demanding resolutions like 4K. Shall we get started?
As we approach the Q1 2016 release dates for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, many PC gamers are wondering how to best prepare their computer for VR gaming, while others are planning new builds from the ground up. We would know: Every year, more than a million visitors come to our website looking to build the best PC for their budget, and an increasing number of them ask us about VR headsets.
We just published a Guide to Building a PC for Virtual Reality. (Click the link to see the real guide.)