The Entry-Level Rig & The Enthusiast's PC
For the Entry-Level Rig we will be eyeing the performance of Intel's Core i3-4330 along with the GeForce GTX 960. Other key components for performance include the G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB memory kit and the Crucial MX200 250GB SSD.
Possibly the best value component of this build is the DeepCool Tesseract SW as this mid-tower has plenty to offer at just $40. The FSP Group AURUM S 400W is also a quality power supply at just $55.
Above we have the complete system minus the monitor, keyboard/mouse and speakers. Although we went with a mATX motherboard, there is room for a larger ATX motherboard if you wish, while the option to upgrade the CPU cooler is also a possibility.
Since we are only running a Core i3 Haswell processor that can't be overclocked, we didn't bother spending any extra money on a bigger CPU cooler. The two 120mm case fans do a good job of circulating cool air through the Tesseract SW. Plus the Intel box cooler is extremely quiet on the Core i3-4330, even under full load.
As you can see there is also plenty of room to expand storage down the track with three 3.5" and two 2.5" drive bays vacant.
The Tesseract SW's window not only looks great but gives us a nice view of the hardware inside.
At a little under $800 for all the core components, the entry-level rig is an excellent option for gamers and the GTX 960 should have no trouble serving up highly playable 1080p performance in the latest games.
For those who get excited about their PC's performance but don't have a limitless budget, the Enthusiast's PC build will fit the bill. Being evaluated is the Intel Core i5-4690K processor and HIS Radeon R9 290 iPower IceQ X² OC graphics card.
The Radeon R9 290 made its debut back in November 2013 at what was for the time a bargain price of $400. However, due to a strong demand from Bitcoin miners, you could expect to pay nearly double that price for several months after its release. Now at just $250, the R9 290 is a serious bargain and Nvidia's similarly priced GTX 770 can't compete.
Above we have the complete enthusiast's PC build with the exception of the QNIX QX2710 LED Evolution ll monitor. We went ahead and included the Creative Sound Blaster Z, though at $100 not everyone is going to see the value in a dedicated sound card. For those who are perfectly happy with the Asrock Z97 Extreme6's onboard audio (and we assume this will be most of you), then the sound card can be excluded.
The Silverstone KL05 is a great looking case and the small window provides a hint of what's inside. There is plenty of room for expansion down the track whether that be storage, an extra graphics card or even water-cooling upgrades.