The Best Mid-Range PC I Would Build: September 2014

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The Best Mid-Range PC I Would Build: September 2014

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woof, that is one beefy mid range pc.

You're picking sweet spots for "bang for buck", not gonna doubt you there, but man you could really crunch down some money out of that and still call it "mid range", the only thing you'd need to upgrade on that thing ANYTIME soon would be the graphics card, and even then that'll be a while until it is necessary.

I would definitely call this an enthusiast mid range pc, not anything bare bones for a newbie.

A little more then what I would do, but like you said its the Devin Connors PC. I think I would have handed out the extra money for the nVidia card, but that is only because of prior bad experiences with AMD and I can't expect everyone to feel the same way I do about them.

gmaverick019:
woof, that is one beefy mid range pc.

You're picking sweet spots for "bang for buck", not gonna doubt you there, but man you could really crunch down some money out of that and still call it "mid range", the only thing you'd need to upgrade on that thing ANYTIME soon would be the graphics card, and even then that'll be a while until it is necessary.

I would definitely call this an enthusiast mid range pc, not anything bare bones for a newbie.

I'd want a larger power supply if I'm going to add a 2nd card. And if I'm going to add a 2nd, I'd want Nvida.

To shave without anticipation of upgrade?

I'd go for less expensive, smaller power supply and spend the most possible on a single AMD card. 8 Gig of RAM works. Smaller, less expensive case.

For my self, the biggest change in computer speed in 5 years was adding that Samsung SSD 240 Gig drive. Boot up and shut down are blazing fast. Other than that, I'm waiting for DX12, DDR4 PC Ram USB 4.0 on the motherboard, 2 TB SSDs... I can dream.

Gorfias:

gmaverick019:
woof, that is one beefy mid range pc.

You're picking sweet spots for "bang for buck", not gonna doubt you there, but man you could really crunch down some money out of that and still call it "mid range", the only thing you'd need to upgrade on that thing ANYTIME soon would be the graphics card, and even then that'll be a while until it is necessary.

I would definitely call this an enthusiast mid range pc, not anything bare bones for a newbie.

I'd want a larger power supply if I'm going to add a 2nd card. And if I'm going to add a 2nd, I'd want Nvida.

To shave without anticipation of upgrade?

I'd go for less expensive, smaller power supply and spend the most possible on a single AMD card. 8 Gig of RAM works. Smaller, less expensive case.

For my self, the biggest change in computer speed in 5 years was adding that Samsung SSD 240 Gig drive. Boot up and shut down are blazing fast. Other than that, I'm waiting for DX12, DDR4 PC Ram USB 4.0 on the motherboard, 2 TB SSDs... I can dream.

larger power supply? jeesh, what are you adding in there, two 580's? the 280x is not that power hungry, and adding a second one in there wouldn't come close to killing this build either, unless you plan on having 10 extra things running to that power supply, it will handle two crossfired cards just fine.

I will definitely agree with 8 gigs of decent ram and having a smaller less expensive case. you can easily chop both of those costs in half and still be sitting at "mid range pc".

the 240 SSD is fucking nice, no doubts there, but I personally feel it is unnecessary in a mid-range pc and shouldn't be one of the necessities if building with price in mind.

Personally I wouldn't call $1500 a mid-range PC. Although since you're aiming for 'best' mid range I guess it's ok?

I mean, according to the often touted logical increments your price point ranks in the top 3. That's pretty much 'High-end' for me.

gmaverick019:

larger power supply? jeesh, what are you adding in there, two 580's? the 280x is not that power hungry, and adding a second one in there wouldn't come close to killing this build either, unless you plan on having 10 extra things running to that power supply, it will handle two crossfired cards just fine.

Good to know about the 280x. I've got an HD7970 which is not all that power hungry. Runs fine on an 850, but a buddy doing SLI on two GTX 570s? He's got 1,100. I'll have to look to see if power requirements dropped a lot by the GTX 6 and 7s.

What I've read will really be killer is when you start going true 4K. As I wrote, I can dream!

the 240 SSD is fucking nice, no doubts there, but I personally feel it is unnecessary in a mid-range pc and shouldn't be one of the necessities if building with price in mind.

Same buddy built his mom a $750 machine that included the SSD for the OS. Those fast boot ups added disproportionately to her satisfaction with the system.

Gorfias:

gmaverick019:

larger power supply? jeesh, what are you adding in there, two 580's? the 280x is not that power hungry, and adding a second one in there wouldn't come close to killing this build either, unless you plan on having 10 extra things running to that power supply, it will handle two crossfired cards just fine.

Good to know about the 280x. I've got an HD7970 which is not all that power hungry. Runs fine on an 850, but a buddy doing SLI on two GTX 570s? He's got 1,100. I'll have to look to see if power requirements dropped a lot by the GTX 6 and 7s.

What I've read will really be killer is when you start going true 4K. As I wrote, I can dream!

yeah the 280x is about on level with the 570 in terms of consumption from what I could find, but obviously is better in other categories. I will definitely reach plebian level in the future then, Idk if I'll be going 4k gaming in the next 10 years...can dream though.

Same buddy built his mom a $750 machine that included the SSD for the OS. Those fast boot ups added disproportionately to her satisfaction with the system.

Curious, what kind of use does the computer get? I mean, if it isn't cpu or gpu heavy (like alot of high end games are on max) then yeah, a SSD can easily make sense and be one of the best things to put in a rig, but I was more or less referring to video games, as you aren't going to fit that many games on the SSD let alone if you need other software like autodesk and such.

Mid range PC's should bet in between 700-900$. If you spend more than 1000$ on your PC that's already considered high end..at least now in 2014 where the prices have dropped.

With that said..for 800$ you can build a PC that will last you a couple of years and play it at 1080p 60 ultra.

16GB ram isn't needed..neither does a SSD..it's all a luxury. You won't need more than 8GB of ram for a couple of years at least since people develop on the current gen hardware that is already 4 years old in terms of power so devs will develop for the lowest common denominator so there is no need for a high end PC when midend already outdoes what the consoles can output in terms of performance.

Hmm the SSD and power supply are overkill for a midrange pc. My personal parts philosophy has all been spend the most on the CPU that you can afford. Graphics cards fall in price every 18 months or so. Swapping down to 60 gb SSD for the o/s allows the budget to stretch to an i7. You can easily get away with 600-650w PSU on that build, you get more for your money with extra ram or a better cpu.

If you aren't that concerned about case aesthetics that go on to ebay and buy an old server in tower case. You can pick one for far less the cost of new case then have lots of fans already in place.

That is a little too much for a mid-range PC. An R9 280X? Really? Im building a computer for my friend with pretty much this exact setup, and there is no way that I would describe it as "mid-range".

Replace the AMD card with Nvidia and you have yourself a devent entry-level workstation. Especially when it comes to GPU rendering.

Speaking of which, WHY THE HELL AM I RECEIVING AMAZON ADVERTS FOR A 650 DOLLAR GTX 580 1.5 GB?! Give me a 3GB iteration for 1/3rd price and then we will start talking.

It's a really cool setup. But I think you went a bit overboard for the psu. 850 watts is way too much power for the specs, unless you plan on adding a second r9 280X. You can save a bit of money by going to a 650 watt psu. Good ones can be had for around $100 or less(Mail in rebates!) and with the money saved you can get a better GPU like the r9 290! Also don't forget all the free games you get when you buy an AMD card.

£958.54 for a "mid-range" PC? rofl.

Probably could have built one for £5-600 no problem.

Regardless, that's pretty much something I'd go for if money was disposable.

Very solid choices, it's hard to get more for the price. You are missing one thing, you're paying extra for the K-series unlocked processor but you haven't specced proper aftermarket cooling for overclocking. A simple cooling tower style air cooler or low-end closed loop cooler would be sufficient but at this price point it seems to be a big omission. I also don't like that case, but that's really a matter of opinion more than anything.

I'll echo what a few other people already said and say that it's quite a bit beefier/more expensive than what I would consider mid-range; edging into high-range just a bit. There really should be an 'obscene' tier above the 'high' tier, reserved for the people who dual-wield Titan GPUs like it ain't no thang.

I actually had a new computer built (my first desktop) and was wondering if it would be a better candidate for low-mid tier?

CPU: I5-4460
MOBO: MSI B85M-P33 V2
RAM: 8 GB Kingston Fury (2x4 GB)
Graphics: GTX 750TI (Hope to upgrade this sucker in the far future)
Storage: Seagate 1TB HDD
No Optical Drive
Aerocool X1 Predator Case
Corsair 650W PSU

With the Windows 8 OS included in the price tag, it came to about P36,00 or about $825. Took every cent I had.

Way to overpriced. I can make the same performance on a smaller budget.

So much money wasted in this rig, you could literally cut the price by 500$ and lose less than 10% performance;/

Zac Jovanovic:
So much money wasted in this rig, you could literally cut the price by 500$ and lose less than 10% performance;/

Could you elaborate? I've been looking to build a PC but I'm not savvy enough to find that perfect balance of cost and performance.

Plus I'm a bit of a tight ass when it comes to spending. ^_^

anthony87:

Could you elaborate? I've been looking to build a PC but I'm not savvy enough to find that perfect balance of cost and performance.

Plus I'm a bit of a tight ass when it comes to spending. ^_^

Huge overkill PSU, pointless overclocked RAM that does nothing for games, K CPU that you're not gonna OC, MB that costs double what you need for a gimmick, case that costs double for a pair of regular fans and the SSD that does nothing for gaming performance while loading screens are already a non issue with a Caviar black.

I suggest your hold out until after new year, this is a really bad time to go shopping for a PC. DDR4 platform as standard is months away and both Nvidia and AMD are shipping new series of GPUs to accompany it.

I'm trying to build a pc right now and one of the things I'm hung up on is the form factor. There's decent cases out there with decent sizes, but they all have some trade offs. I don't want a trash can with UFO glowing lights on it, but I don't want a nondescript black rectangle either (I'm hard to please). I'm actually considering using an NZXT H440 but its enormous. And I wouldn't consider multiple graphics cards or other stuff in a build so most of it would be empty. And even at 20 inches tall, they didn't include a 5.25" drive by for a blue-ray drive covered by a hinged door. I'm all for using externals in small cases cause I don't use disks often, but if I'm using something so big I'd like the option to expand

Gorfias:
2 TB SSDs... I can dream.

I'd be nervous about keeping so much data on an SSD. They have lower fail rates, but if they're used enough, their lives can be shorter than an HDD. And while an HDD can usually warn the user ahead of time that its going to fail and data can sometimes be recovered from an HDD, SSD's are more likely to crash and burn. Plus, when they make a 2 terabyte SSD, they'll probably have 10 terabyte HDD's. All that porn video games...

Somebody's gonna have to explain that Puff Daddy reference; surprisingly, I am not familiar with the computer-buying habits of rappers who peaked ten years ago.

Zac Jovanovic:

DDR4 platform as standard is months away and both Nvidia and AMD are shipping new series of GPUs to accompany it.

OOooh, I was just posting my next rig is waiting for DX12, USB 4.0 and DDR 4. Sounds like it could be a reality by Spring.

I better start saving now.

Gorfias:

OOooh, I was just posting my next rig is waiting for DX12, USB 4.0 and DDR 4. Sounds like it could be a reality by Spring.

I better start saving now.

Definitely by spring, we already got DDR4 from a few manufacturers and 4 different X99 motherboards. And new Haswell DDR4 CPUs should be arriving soon.

It's way overpriced of course, 16gb DDR4 at 2400mhz is like 200 euros but once it normalizes it should be in the same price range as the current gen.

Oh and no USB 4.0. USB 3.0 isn't even standard yet, new MBs have like half of each 2.0 and 3.0.

Zac Jovanovic:

Definitely by spring, we already got DDR4 from a few manufacturers and 4 different X99 motherboards. And new Haswell DDR4 CPUs should be arriving soon.

It's way overpriced of course, 16gb DDR4 at 2400mhz is like 200 euros but once it normalizes it should be in the same price range as the current gen.

Oh and no USB 4.0. USB 3.0 isn't even standard yet, new MBs have like half of each 2.0 and 3.0.

And AMD needs to come with their new CPU (DDR4 Support) line as well, and lets not forget GDDR6 is being developed too.

I tried using an AMD GPU once. It was easily the worst experience I have ever had since the sodding thing would not even run Minecraft on Windows 8.1 due to a lack of OpenGL drivers (I checked, the GPU fully supports OpenGL) while the equivalent nVidia card runs it just fine on the same OS. I buy computers as a long-term investment (Given that the consoles are setting the minimum spec then it's only worthwhile to upgrade as the new consoles come out) and if AMD refuses to provide drivers for Windows 8.1 on a card only 4 years old while nVidia is more than happy to then I will go with nVidia.

Solid choices, some posters here say its over the top and it might be but its a good build for anyone wanting a bit of "luxury" rather than going for strict utility. Thats the whole point of a higher end of the mid range or for a straight high end build, enthusiast builds often spend more than necessary for only a few percent increase in performance.

The only suggestion I would make is to replace the Sandisk Pro with a Samsung Evo 840, real world performance is basically the same but you can have the same size drive for less or for a fraction more than the Sandisk you can get a 500GB Samsung Evo 840.

I'm totally onboard with white PCs too, its a very sexy colour for PCs/gadgets.

It's not mid-range. "Mid" would cap at around $1,000. This is low-medium in the high end range.

PoolCleaningRobot:
I'd be nervous about keeping so much data on an SSD. They have lower fail rates, but if they're used enough, their lives can be shorter than an HDD.

That is a silly fear.

anthony87:

Zac Jovanovic:
So much money wasted in this rig, you could literally cut the price by 500$ and lose less than 10% performance;/

Could you elaborate? I've been looking to build a PC but I'm not savvy enough to find that perfect balance of cost and performance.

With a standard build like the guy made, a 500 watt PSU is fine enough (from a good brand). He doesn't need an enthusiast mobo, so take off $100 and just stick with the basic needed features. CPU is fine but get a non-K I guess. 16GB of memory is good (always disable the pagefile) but it doesn't have to be superclocked.

Anyone trying to poo-poo getting a SSD is nuts. No mechanical drive comes close (no, not even a "Black"![/sarcasm]), and the 3TB Seagate is the king for mass storage with great speed. The real problem with the one listed in the article is the ridiculous price for a 240GB drive, when a good sale can get a somewhat decent 480GB drive for $200 that might only be slow compared to current blazing-fast SSD standards.

The problem is: there is no point in spending so much in a pc. There isn't any games out there that makes the money worth while.

I'm just using my i5 2300 @ 3ghz, 8gb ram, and 460gtx from years ago. And you know what? it already plays all the games I have on pc like diablo 3, sc2, cod ghost, walking dead etc at 1080p 30-60 fps.

Games like crysis that actually benefits from over $1000 pcs comes once in a bluemoon and although they are graphically pleasing, their gameplay isn't anything revolutionary which as a whole isn't worth spending $1000.

There just isn't enough games to justify spending all that on a pc. A sub $500 could already run 99% of the games out there.

ExtraDebit:
The problem is: there is no point in spending so much in a pc. There isn't any games out there that makes the money worth while.

I'm just using my i5 2300 @ 3ghz, 8gb ram, and 460gtx from years ago. And you know what? it already plays all the games I have on pc like diablo 3, sc2, cod ghost, walking dead etc at 1080p 30-60 fps.

Games like crysis that actually benefits from over $1000 pcs comes once in a bluemoon and although they are graphically pleasing, their gameplay isn't anything revolutionary which as a whole isn't worth spending $1000.

There just isn't enough games to justify spending all that on a pc. A sub $500 could already run 99% of the games out there.

While I agree this rig is overpriced in certain respects, you fail to see a point because you are missing it. The point to building a PC in this general price range is so you can comfortably run games released well into the future, not for a revolutionary improvement over a cheaper rig playing games in the present. I'm, currently looking to invest in a rig in this price range specifically for this reason.

Also, you're last argument smacks of being a red herring; yes, a $500 rig can probably run 99% of games out there, but that's in no small part because you're including games made in a time when the beefiest desktops had less computing power than a smartphone today.

As with many here, I would consider that thing high-end, for a near bleeding-edge price.

...yet you went with a Sapphire video card. Good luck to anyone who gets a lemon from them, there's no customer service to speak of.

Also... dat RAM, man. Games do not take up 2-4GB apiece, at least not yet. Very few games are 64-bit yet, and 2GB is where 32-bit games hit the caching limit and crash (unless you patch 'em with LAA, but very, very few games can benefit from that. I own a total of two, and I'm an avid strategy gamer. A majority of games never even hit 1GB). Plus, are you really gonna overclock it to 2400Mhz on a board that only runs to 1800 natively? When you're running a discrete video card, so Performance improvements from faster RAM are negligible anyway? Go cheaper. 2x4GB @ 1866Mhz is standard in systems like that for a damn good reason. Pretty much the only reason to go with over 8GB is the same reason people go with hyperthreaded 6-core i7 extremes... video compiling. That's YouTuber RAM hiding out in an average gaming enthusiast build.

Aside from those two things, my gripes are all rather aesthetic in nature. The build just feels wrong. Probably the case. I hate those flimsy front doors.

Also, and I could be wrong here... but I've read bad things about the failure rates of certain SSDs. SanDisk probably has excellent customer service for such things (unlike some previously mentioned manufacturers ^^ ), but from what I've read, Intel is about the only way to go with SSDs.

That's incredibly pricy for a mid-range PC. For $1600 I can get... well, let's not even get into system wars. I can get a lot more for that money is what I'm saying. Keep the change, too.

I would not go with that motherboard because it's only a duel channel.

Go with an X79 if you're not wanting to jump into X99 yet.
ASRock X79 Extreme4 for a dollar more, and an i7 for about 60 bucks more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157282&cm_re=x79-_-13-157-282-_-Product

With it you get quad channel memory. Your Z97's only going to give you 20 GB/s and the X79 will give you 40GB/s. For the same price you'd be a fool not to go with the X79 version. It's less than what you'd get with an X99 with DDR, but it's probably the best you can get with DDR3. DDR4's would get you 80 but would require the X99, and putting up with Alpha level firmware until the bugs get worked out. Personally I don't know if I want 80, and I suspect AMD is working on a GDDR6 for 2016, but who knows if that'll even work, or come into existence. If AMD was going the DDR4 rout or quad channel DDR3 they would have done so by now. I believe the PS4 GDDR5 is the test of the new configuration.

Both boards support Raid 0 so don't go with a single 2 TB drive. Chop it down to two or three 1TB drives at only 5400 RPM but strip them with Raid 0. They'll beat that single 2 TB drive and save you about 50 bucks or give you a about 1 TB more for the same price. Just boot off of them SSD and install all games to the Raid set. I'd only use an SSD for booting so A much smaller 60 gigs would save some money.

With 16 Gigs of ram you might even consider turning 8 gigs into a ram disk. Just make a script that copies over the thrashed files and it'll be faster then even the SSD drive. It'll kill load times, and the Raid set would allow the start up to go fairly quick.

The graphics card could be a bit better. I wouldn't advise buying anything less than 4 gigs. Some games are starting to recommend 3 gigs for Frostbite 3, and in the not too far future they'll probably break that. There are several R9 cards that are a touch cheaper on newegg that have 4 gigs, and for about 100 bucks more you can get an even better card that has 4 gigs.

All this requires a bit more skill, but will get you better performance for your dollar.

pokepuke:
rambling...

Your insults aside, there is no misinformation.

Raid 0 is simply stripping the drives. It improves read, and write performance. Nothing wrong with that. Creating a RAM disk is one of the few ways of using 8 Gigs of memory on games that barely use 2 properly.

GDDR6 is speculation, but I was clear about that. AMD's committed to the AM3+, and FM2+ until 2016. Which means they're married to DDR3, and Duel Channel Memory. There is no reason to delay 2 years to get quad channel, or DDR4 on the market. Unless they have other plans, and their finger prints on the PS4 suggest they could.

An i7 is a prerequisite for all x79 boards, and for quad channel memory. The added 60 bucks over the i5 that was suggested is more than covered by not splurging on the excessive hard drive expenses.

Do you care to clarify your accusation of misinformation, or was that just hot air from you?

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