TSF Hardware Team’s Recommended Builds – 2014

March 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm by

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Welcome to the 2014 Recommended Build Guide

Custom Intel and AMD PC Builds
Outstanding Quality, Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Value

Revised 1/1/14 and updated regularly!

** Read Here First! **

Here at TSF our Hardware Staff Members have taken time and precision to create a large range of different price point builds. These builds have been personally selected by our Staff Members and are known to deliver performance along with quality and the best value.

All of our following builds contain top quality components and are all compatible with each other. We strive for excellent computer builds that will last you for years to come.

We highly recommend that you take the time to build your own custom desktop. Pre-Build or OEM machines typically come with low quality components and are known to fail in years to come.

Please report any broken links or discontinued items to Masterchiefxx17 or joeten.

This build list is designed to help you build a PC from scratch. Everything you could possibly need for building a PC can be found in this build guide.

Take note that these builds do NOT come with a operating system such as Windows. You will need to add a OS to your checkout; please see “PC Accessories” for Windows OSs.

Please be sure to read the “PC Accessories” section for items such as Windows OS, monitors, speakers, networking, etc.

** End of Read Here First! **

Table of Contents

Recommended Intel Builds:

Crafted around the newest Intel Haswell 1150 Chipset and matched with NVidia GTX GPUs; our Intel builds reach out to anybody who may do simple internet browsing, hardcore gaming, or advanced Photoshop/AutoCAD.

Intel TOC$500 | $800 | $1000 | $1200 | $1600 | TOC

$500 Intel Build:
With it’s Core i3 processor, our $500 Intel build is designed to handle everyday PC usage such as internet browsing, MS Office processing, and media playback.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-H81.Amp-UP LGA 1150 Intel H81 @ $79.99

Processor: Intel Core i3-4330 Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 54W @ $149.99

Video Card: This build supports integrated graphics via the CPU.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB ( 2 x 2GB) 1600 MHz @ $47.99

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 @ $69.99

Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W @ $79.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB @ $59.99

Subtotal: $507.93

$800 Intel Build:
Focused towards a average PC gamer, our $800 Intel build is a general multitasking machine that is rated at a mid-level gaming machine.

Motherboard: Asus B85-PLUS LGA 1150 Intel B85 with UEFI @ $99.99

Processor: Intel Core i5-4570 Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150 84W @ $199.99

Video Card: Asus GTX650TI-OC-2GD5 GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB@ $149.99

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 @ $89.99

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Case @ $74.99

Power Supply: XFX Core Edition PRO550W 550W @ $69.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 @ $69.99

Subtotal: $774.92

$1000 Intel Build:
Built to 2014 standards, our $1000 Intel build is the recommended build for most PC users. With it’s ability to play moderate games on max settings and perform light Photoshop work, the $1000 Intel build is the best representation of outstanding value without compromising performance.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H LGA 1150 Intel Z87 @ $144.99

Processor: Intel Core i5-4670K Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150 84W @ $249.99

Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 @ $269.99

Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 @ $84.99

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 @ $69.99

Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620 620W @ $79.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 @ $69.99

Subtotal: $989.92

$1200 Intel Build:
Acting as a powerhouse PC, our $1200 Intel build will not only play any 2014 game on maximum settings but will be able to handle any moderate multitasking and Photoshop/AutoCAD rendering.

Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z87 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 @ $249.99

Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150 84W @ $309.99

Video Card: EVGA 02G-P4-2763-KR GeForce GTX 760 2GB @ $249.99

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 @ $92.99

Case: NZXT Guardian 921 Case @ $69.99

Power Supply: XFX XTR Series P1-650B-BEFX 650W @ $109.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 @ $69.99

Solid State Drive: Samsung 840 EVO MZ-7TE120BW 2.5″ 120GB @ $109.99

Subtotal: $1182.91

$1600 Intel Build:
The best of the best, our $1600 Intel build is matched by no other. Backed with the newest i7-4770K processor and GTX 770 GPU, this machine will handle any PC task you could throw at it. Given the ability to play 2014 (and upcoming 2015) games at maximum settings and have outstanding multitasking capabilities, our final Intel build will surely fulfill your needs.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H LGA 1150 Intel Z87 @ $229.99

Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 84W @ $299.99

Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 770 2GB @ $359.99

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 @ $179.99

Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX case @ $99.99

Power Supply: SeaSonic SS-760XP2 750W @ $174.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 @ $69.99

Solid State Drive: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB SATA III @ $139.99

Subtotal: $1574.91

Recommended AMD Builds:

Constructed around the AMD CPU and APU architecture, our AMD builds are high performing machines with low budgets in mind. Using the AM3+ or FM2 sockets and accompanied by AMD Radeon graphics cards , the builds will surely meet your expectations.

AMD TOC$500 | $600 | $800 | $1200 | TOC

$500 AMD Build:
Using the newest APU design from AMD, our $500 AMD can handle the standard internet browsing along with some light gaming by running games on medium settings.

Motherboard: Asus F2A85-V FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4) @ $109.99

Processor: AMD A10 6790K 4.0GHz Socket FM2 AD679KWOHLBOX @ $129.99

Video Card: This build supports integrated graphics via the CPU.

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 @ $86.99

Case: Antec Gaming Series One @ $54.99

Power Supply: SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W @ $49.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Western Digital WD Green WD5000AZRX 500GB @ $59.99

Subtotal: $511.93

$600 AMD Build:
Comparable to the $800 Intel Build, our $600 AMD build is a low cost yet suitable machine for medium gaming and general multitasking.

Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ @ $89.99

Processor: AMD Zambezi FX-4130 3.8GHz AM3+ @ $99.99

Video Card: ASUS HD7770-SGD5 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 2GB @ $134.99

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 @ $89.99

Case: Zalman Z9 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower @ $69.99

Power Supply: XFX Core Edition PRO550W 550W @ $69.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 @ $59.99

Subtotal: $634.92

$800 AMD Build:
An upper-ranged AMD build that can handle upper-class gaming along with major multitasking. Our $800 AMD build is also capable of light Photoshop/AutoCAD rendering.

Motherboard: Asus M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 @ $99.99

Processor: AMD FX-8350 Vishera 4.0GHz AM3+ 125W @ $199.99

Video Card: Sapphire 100364-4GBF4L Radeon R9 270X 4GB @ $229.99

Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 @ $84.99

Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus @ $59.99

Power Supply: XFX Core Edition PRO550W 550W @ $69.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 @ $69.99

Subtotal: $834.92

$1200 AMD Build:
Our top of the line AMD build offers performance, quality and value that is matched by no other. Ran by its AMD FX processor and Radeon 7970 GPU, our $1200 AMD build will handle any PC game on maximum settings long with heavy multitasking and Photoshop/AutoCAD rendering.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX @ $174.99

Processor: AMD FX-8350 Vishera 4.0GHz AM3+ 125W @ $199.99

Video Card: SAPPHIRE DUAL-X 100363BF4L Radeon R9 280X 3GB @ $419.99

Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866@ $99.99

Case: Corsair Vengeance Series C70 ATX Mid Tower @ $139.99

Power Supply: XFX Core Edition PRO650W 650W @ $69.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 @ $69.99

Subtotal: $1194.92

Specialty Builds:

The following builds are specialty builds, meaning that they serve a purpose for a certain task for PC enthusiast. Unless you are certain that your PC requirements extends to one of the following builds, our normal Intel and AMD builds above will suffice.

Specialty TOC$700 Micro ATX Intel | $700 Micro ATX AMD | $1800 Workstation Intel | TOC

$700 Micro ATX Intel Build:
Compact, yet still a powerhouse. Designed around a micro ATX case, our $700 micro ATX Intel build is small but capable machine that can handle anything from moderate gaming to light graphic design. Being a micro ATX build the PC is significantly smaller then a typical PC.

Motherboard: ASUS H81M-A LGA 1150 Intel H81 @ $64.49

Processor: Intel Core i5-4430 Haswell 3.0GHz LGA 1150 @ $189.99

Video Card: EVGA SSC 02G-P4-3653-KR GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB @ $174.99

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 @ $86.99

Case: Fractal Design Arc Mini @ $99.99

Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W Modular Active @ $74.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Hybrid Drive ST1000DX001 1TB @ $109.99

Subtotal: $711.93

$700 Micro ATX AMD Build:
Smaller then any other PC here, our $700 micro ATX AMD build is designed to be placed on a desk as it is compacted in size. Still capable of light gaming and internet browsing, this build should fit your needs so you desire a small form factor.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A85XM-HD3 FM2 AMD A85X @ $76.99

Processor: AMD A8-6600K Richland 3.9GHz Socket FM2 @ $109.99

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100368-2GL Radeon R7 250 2GB @ $84.99

Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866 @ $84.99

Case: SilverStone Sugo Series SG10B @ $119.99

Power Supply: SeaSonic SSR-450RM 450W @ $79.99

DVD ROM Drive: This build’s case does not support a DVD ROM.

Solid State Drive: Samsung 840 EVO MZ-7TE120BW 2.5″ 120GB @ $109.99

Subtotal: $666.93

$1800 Workstation Intel Build:
Crafted to be a PC build that can handle extreme Photoshop/AutoCAD rendering or multiple virtual machines, our $1800 workstation build is the only build to out perform any PC on the market. With server like components, this build can handle any multitasking, gaming, rendering or any other task you may provide.

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 @ $339.99

Processor: Intel Core i7-4820K Ivy Bridge-E 3.7GHz LGA 2011 @ $324.99

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 140mm and 120mm @ $84.99

Video Card: EVGA 02G-P4-3771-KR GeForce GTX 770 2GB @ $399.99

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 @ $189.99

Case: NZXT SWITCH 810 @ $169.99

Power Supply: Seasonic SS-660XP2 ATX 12V 660W @ $163.99

DVD ROM Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner @ $19.99

Hard Drive: Seagate Hybrid Drive ST1000DX001 1TB @ $109.99

Subtotal: $1803.91

PC Accessories

Accessories TOCWindows OS | Mice and Keyboards | Speakers | Monitors | Networking | Printers | Additional Software | TOC

Windows Operating Systems
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit @ $99.99
Windows 8.1 Full 64bit @ $99.99

Mice and Keyboards
Logitech:
Logitech MK710 Wireless Combo @ $99.99
Logitech MK270 Wireless Combo @ $29.99
Microsoft
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 Combo @ $69.99
Microsoft Wired Desktop 600 Combo @ $29.95
Corsair
Vengeance K70 Gaming Keyboard @ $129.99
Vengeance M65 FPS Laser Gaming Mouse @ $69.99

Speaker Systems
Logitech X-140 5 watts 2.0 Speakers @ $29.99
Logitech Z313 25 w 2.1 Speaker System @ $49.99
Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers @ $99.99

Monitors
Recommended brands are Asus, Samsung, Acer or Dell monitors.
ASUS VS Series VS247H-P Black 23.6″ 2ms LED @ $199.99
Samsung S23C570H Glossy Black 23″ 5ms @ $239.99
Acer S200HQLbd Black 19.5″ 5ms @ $129.99
Dell S2340M Black 23″ 7ms @ $209.99

Monitor Cables
Coboc 3 ft. High Speed HDMI Cable @ $2.50
Coboc Model CO-DDMM-3-BK 3 ft. DVI Cable @ $7.14

Networking
It is best to run a desktop with a wired connection. If that is not an option the following WiFi cards will work for an alterative.
ASUS PCE-N15 Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n @ $28.99
TP-LINK TL-WN881ND Wireless N300 802.11b/g/n @ $20.84
Routers
Linksys E2500-NP Dual-Band Wireless N600 Router @ $89.99
ASUS RT-N56U Wireless Router Dual Band N600 @ $85.99
Bluetooth
ASUS USB-BT400 USB 2.0 Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter @ $19.99
Kensington K33902US Bluetooth Micro Adapter USB 2.0 @ $19.99
VoIP
Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service @ $139.99

Printers
HP Photosmart 7520 Wireless InkJet All-In-One Color Printer @ $179.62
HP Officejet 6600 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Color Printer @ $149.99
EPSON WorkForce WF-2530 9.0 Wireless InkJet All-In-One Color Printer @ $99.99

Additional Software
Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium 5 Devices @ $99.99
Microsoft Security Essentials Antivirus @ FREE
Bitdefender Internet Security Antivirus 2013 – 3 PCs @ $69.99
Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Windows @ $699.99
Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2014 for PC @ $869.99

** Notes **


Notes TOCNeed Help? | Memory Installation | Hard Drive Installation | Video Card Installation | Power Supply Installation | Overclocking? | AutoCAD/Photoshop | Comments on Retailers and Prices | International Buyer? | Compare Prices | Credits | TOC

Need Help?
When building a computer it can be at times confusing. If you are unfamiliar with how to build a custom PC, please post in our TSF Building Section for assistance or consult your motherboard’s manual for quick and easy help.

Memory Installation
When installing the RAM (Memory) be sure to use slot numbers 1 and 3. You need to run the RAM in a dual setup. Consult your motherboard’s manual for more help.

Hard Drive Installation
Be sure to connect the hard drive or solid state drive and DVD ROM drive to the SATA 6.0Gb/s ports to achieve maximum speeds.

Video Card Installation
When installing your video card, make sure to connect it to the PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot. Typically the slot closest to the CPU, the PCIe 3.0 slot is backwards compatible and will run at maximum speeds.

Power Supply Installation
Make sure to perform good cable management when installing the power supply. Good cable management will allow for excellent air flow which will keep your PC cooled and running at optimal temperatures.

Overclocking? Read here!

It should be noted that if any type of overclocking is performed on the PC, it will VOID warranties.

TSF does not recommend overclocking any PC component as the gain is minimal and it may shorten the life of your PC.

If overclocking is applied to the CPU, it is highly recommended to buy a 3rd party CPU cooler; as the stock fan will not be sufficient. By contacting our Overclocking support, you can quickly find the right CPU cooler for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD CPU Warranty Statement
This Limited Warranty shall be null and void if the AMD microprocessor which is the subject of this Limited Warranty is used with any heatsink/fan other than the one provided herewith.

Do not use a water cooling cooler on these systems. Water cooled PCs offer no extra advantage over typical air cooled systems. Water cooled systems only run the risk of leaks.

Still need overclocking help? Create a new thread in our Overclocking section to gather quick and easy support!

AutoCAD or Photoshop Design
Are you a AutoCAD or Photoshop designer? Our builds above are suited to work with Photoshop or AutoCAD with ease. If the build above that you have chosen does not have 16GB of memory, you may be inclined to upgrade.

Either brand below will be suitable for both AutoCAD and Photoshop design.

Corsair: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600MHz @ $179.99

G.Skill: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600MHz @ $159.99

Comments on Retailers and Prices:
All links above are from Newegg.com as they have a premier website for specifications information and excellent customer service, as well as outstanding prices.

Prices shown will change often as manufacturers promote new products; the prices shown are for evaluation purposes and may not be accurate at time of viewing.

International Buyer?
If you are buying from outside the United States of America or Canada, you will need to purchase your PC components from another website. Newegg will only ship to US or Canadian citizens.

If you are a United Kingdom buyer then please click here.

Compare Prices
If you are looking for the best bang for your buck the you may wish to compare prices with different PC retailers. Below is a list of recommended websites that are alternatives to Newegg.

It should be noted that our builds above are built to be extremely cost effective.

United States Websites:
goHardDrive.com
TigerDirect.com
Mwave.com
provantage.com
Directron.com
Amazon.com
NCIX.com
Micro Center – This company had physical locations as well.

Canadian Websites:
newegg.ca
directcanada.com
canadacomputers.com
NCIX.com
Memory Express

United Kingdom Websites:
scan.co.uk
novatech.co.uk
dabs.com
amazon.co.uk
overclock.co.uk – Alternative to Newegg
yoyotech.co.uk
ebuyer.com
aria.co.uk
maplin.co.uk
microdirect.co.uk

Credits
A special thanks goes to: Wrench97, GZ, Masterchiefxx17, Joeten, and the rest of the hardware team.

Did our build guide help you? Create a TSF account (It’s Free!) and let us know here!

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  • xd feng

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