When it comes to getting a new gaming PC, the sky can be the limit in terms of pricing, but it does not have to be that expensive.
Here we have a pre-built gaming PC and a custom gaming PC that is under $700 and can run any game at 1080p and over 60 FPS.
Before we go into the details of both the PCs, the following are the specifications of the pre-build and the custom PC that you might be interested in knowing about at a glance.
The SkyTech Blaze II Gaming Computer looks great and performs well. You do need to upgrade the storage and add an extra stick of RAM down the line. These are minor upgrades keeping in mind the value for money that you are getting for this system.
The Best Gaming PC Under $700 of 2020
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600
- GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660
- Motherboard: MSI ProSeries B450M PRO-M2
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
- SDD: Kingston 480GB A400
- PSU: Corsair CX Series 550 Watt
- Case: NZXT H510
Now that we have gone over the specifications of both of these PCs, we can look at each one in detail. The following is what you need to know about both these PCs.
Our Pre-built Gaming PC Pick
SkyTech Blaze II Gaming Computer
The SkyTech Blaze II Gaming Computer is a pre-built gaming PC that is ideal for gaming at 1080p with all the settings maxed out. It can even be used for content creation. The system comes with 3 RGB fans. Two are at the front and one is at the back to exhaust hot air out of the case.
It comes with a custom case that has tempered glass on the side and the front. The tempered glass on the side allows you to show off all the fancy hardware and the RGB lighting that is inside the PC.
The gaming PC features the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU that has 6 cores and can boost to 3.9 GHz. The CPU is paired with a stock AMD cooler which blends in well with the rest of the build.
The motherboard is an A320M which means that it does not support overclocking. On the graphics side, you have the Nvidia GTX 1660 with 6GB of VRAM. This graphics card is more than enough to run pretty much any game at 1080p with all the settings maxed out.
There is no bloatware installed and the system comes with a copy of Windows 10 Home installed. With the system, you get an RGB keyboard and mouse. This is a mid-tower PC, so it is neither too big nor too small.
The pre-built system comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor. You also get free technical support for a lifetime. For storage, you have a 500GB SSD. The system is powered by a 550W power supply unit.
Some games that you can play at 1080p 60+ FPS with all the settings turned up to the maximum include Apex Legends, Fortnite, Player Unknown Battleground (PUBG), Overwatch, CS: GO, Battlefield V, Call of Duty and The Division 2.
While this PC is impressive value for money and looks great too 500GB storage might not be enough. The SSD is great for fast booting and a few games but you will need to add a hard drive for mass storage. Also, we recommend that you upgrade to 16GB of RAM down the line.
Our Custom Build Gaming PC under 700 Dollar
Now that we have gone over the pre-built option you might be interested in the custom PC option as well.
While buying a pre-built saves you some hassle of building the PC, some people actually like building their own PC.
The following are all the parts that we recommend for a gaming PC build around $700, which is the same as the pre-built option that we looked into above.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Processor
The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU that has 6 cores and can boost to 3.9 GHz. The CPU is paired with a stock AMD cooler which blends in well with the rest of the build. This is not the latest CPU on the market but it is still great value for money and more than ideal for gaming at 1080p. If you plan on moving to 1440p down the line then you might not need to change the CPU at all.
The AMD Ryzen 2600 comes with a nice stock cooler which is black and has sleaved cables that will blend in well with the rest of the parts on this list. The CPU coolers are much better as compared to the ones that you get with Intel CPUs. Not to mention that the cooler is great for stock speeds and you can get away with mild overclocking as well. Just be sure not to get too carried away as this is a stock cooler and not meant for intensive overclocking.
Read also: Best Laptops under $700
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Graphics Card
This is a mid-range graphics card that is ideal for 1080p gaming. It features that latest architecture that Nvidia has to offer and 6GB of VRAM which is more than enough. The card comes in Black with Grey accents and should blend in well with the rest of your build.
This custom model comes with a large heatsink, dual fans and a 45MHz factory overclock out of the box. The previous-generation 1060 was the most popular card of its time and its replacement, the GTX 1660 is expected to have the same popularity amongst 1080p gamers. The card uses the 12nm process and the CUDA Core count is 1208.
The card does not have RT cores and does not support Ray Tracing but it performs well in modern games with all the settings turned up. The boost clock speed of the graphics card is 1830 MHz which is very impressive indeed for a mid-range graphics card.
While the GTX 1660 Ti is the bigger brother and performs better than this model you can tinker with the settings and overclock the graphics card to perform similar to the GTX 1660 Ti. This way, you can save some money and overclock your graphics card to get almost the same level of performance as the GTX 1660 Ti.
The card required a single 8-pin power connector and you will need a 450W power supply to power this graphics card. The card comes with plenty of ports including HDMI and DisplayPorts. You will be able to use multiple displays and even a VR headset which this graphics card is capable of powering just fine.
There is not LED lighting on the card but it does come with a backplate which is another great addition keeping in mind that this is indeed a mid-range graphics card.
Motherboard: MSI ProSeries B450M PRO-M2
This MSI motherboard comes in all black and will blend in with the rest of your parts nicely. It supports overclocking so you can get some additional performance out of the box. If you are interested in overclocking then you should get a better cooler for your CPU and should not rely on the stock cooler that comes with the CPU.
The motherboard supports 32 GB of RAM up to 3466MHz and is VR ready as well. This is an MSI motherboard so you get features like X-Boost and Audio Boost. You do not have any RGB lighting and are limited to 2 RAM slots. The motherboard does not come with onboard Wi-Fi but that is not going to be a huge issue if you are interested in gaming as we recommend an Ethernet connection anyways.
The motherboard does have plenty of SATA ports and even an M.2 slot for storage. It also has plenty of USB ports as well.
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
Corsair is known for plenty of great PC parts and the Corsair Vengeance RAM is kind of the staple when it comes to building a gaming PC. This kit comes with a pair of 8GB sticks which gives you a total of 16GB.
This is ideal for this build keeping in mind that you only have 2 RAM slots and that most modern games are not going to use more than 16GB of RAM. The memory comes in Black which will go well with the rest of the build which is also black. The memory runs at 3200MHz and the rated latency is C16.
SDD: Kingston 480GB A400
The Kingston 480GB A400 SSD is a great option keeping in mind the price and the capacity. This is actually what I am using as my boot drive. The performance is great and the PC loads quickly.
The transfer speed is much higher when compared to regular HDDs. If 480GB is not enough then you can add an HDD or even an M.2 SSD. The M.2 SSD will not need any cables. All you need to do is slide it into place and fasten the screw.
PSU: Corsair CX Series 550 Watt Power Supply
Here we have yet another product from Corsair. The CX 550W power supply unit. This is a semi-modular power supply which makes cable management very easy indeed. You will only have to deal with the cables that you are going to use. The ones that you are not going to use can be kept in the PSU box.
The PSU is rated 80 Plus Bronze and is more than capable of providing power to the Ryzen 2600 and the GTX 1660 in this build.
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid-Tower PC Gaming Case
The case is a long-term investment and the NZXT H510 is a very nice case to buy. It comes in multiple color combinations and is a mid-tower ATX case. It is neither too big, not too small which is ideal because the GPU that we have picked is not long. The case is built well and comes with two fans out of the box. One of them is at the back while the other one is at the top. You can install some additional fans in the front as well.
The case does not have the new RGB controller. Nor do the fans have RGB lighting. That is fine keeping in mind that the GPU and the motherboard do not have RGB lighting either. You can, however, install an RGB strip or replace the fans if RGB is something that you are interested in.
The case has a minimal design. There is a tempered glass side panel and a shroud that covers the PSU. On the top, you have the I/O which includes a USB Type-C port. On the right side of the case, there are plenty of cable management options to tuck away those cables. Cable management is not going to be an issue with this case as we are already using a semi-modular power supply for this PC build.
The Breakdown of the Build
This custom gaming PC is ideal for people that want to build their own gaming PC. The design is clean and you get a black and white color scheme. There is no RGB lighting and the storage is a bit limiting but that can be added down the line.
The following is what you need to know about this custom PC build.
Pre-built Vs Custom PC: Which Should You Pick?
When getting a new PC there are two options.
You can go with a pre-built system that you just have to plug in or you can order the parts and put together your own custom gaming PC.
Neither of the options is right or wrong so we are just going to go over the pros and cons of both. You can decide which option is best for you after going over the benefits and disadvantages of both these options.
When on a budget cost or cost to performance ratio are going to be two of the major factors that you are going to consider. Note that when you are buying the parts, you are only paying for the parts. Companies that are selling pre-built systems are trying to make a profit on those parts so they are going to charge you extra for labor and testing.
Long story short, building a custom PC is more economical in most cases and you get the most bang for your buck when you put together your own gaming PC. But if you do not want to search the internet for the best prices and put the system together then you will find plenty of value in getting a pre-built PC.
You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to building your own custom gaming PC. You can pick some parts from one retailer while you can get others from another retailer or site. You can buy one part at a time or all of them at once.
When you do get some options, they are for storage, RAM, CPU or GPU. The option of the motherboard is set in stone. The pre-built system that we have mentioned in this article is a great example. It is one of the cheapest motherboards that you can buy right now and does not support overclocking even though the CPU and GPU that it is paired with fall in the mid-range.
Options related to the cooling solution and the power supply are limited as well. The power supply is the part to worry about in most pre-built systems as they are not up to the mark when it comes to quality and performance. Which is not ideal when you have mid-range or high-end parts in your PC.
Time And Convenience
It takes a long time to build a PC and the parts are going to take a while to arrive and for you to put them all together. In some cases, things do not work out and you need to do some troubleshooting as well. That is not the case with pre-built systems.
You are paying a bit more for these PCs but all you have to do is plug it into the wall and you are ready to go. The assembly, testing and troubleshooting are done before the PC is sent to you. Buying a pre-built system can save you time and some hassle. If you find a pre-built system that you like at your local retailer then you can start gaming on it the same day you paid for it.
You also do not have to install software like the OS. All that is included in the price and the software is pre-installed and ready to be used out of the box.
When you build your own custom gaming PC, you decide which software you want to install on it but that is not the case when it comes to pre-built PCs. When you get a pre-built system, the software is already going to be installed on it. This includes bloatware. You are going to have to get rid of all the bloatware for an ideal experience.
In case something goes wrong a while after you have your PC and you build it yourself then you are going to have to fix it yourself as well. That is not the case with pre-built systems. If something goes wrong in this case then you have customer support that can help you or you can ship the system to the company to get it fixed.
All the parts in a pre-built system have a single warranty which is usually a year. You can extend this but it will cost you a lot of money. When you build your own PC, each and every part has its own warranty which can range from a year to up to 10 years. On average, these parts have a warranty of 3 years. Building your own gaming PC has a major advantage in this case.
When you buy a pre-built system you get some peripherals included in the box. In most cases, these peripherals are garbage and are going to be replaced anyway. Make no mistake, you are being charged for them.
This decreases the cost-effectiveness of the pre-built PC. You should avoid pre-built systems that come with peripherals. There are some exceptions but they are very rare.
You can see that the battle between custom PCs and pre-built PCs is not one-sided. Both have their pros and cons. It all comes down to what you are more interested in.
On the other hand, if you do not want to put the parts together and prefer convenience at the expense of paying more then you should go for a pre-built system instead.