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The Round Up: Mid Range Build

Ben Kuyt / March 10, 2015 at 11:00 AM / Guides, Technology

After a little bit of a hiatus, The Round Up is back, and we’re gonna do a simple, affordable build for the people who don’t have the money to spend on a super build, so we’ll go for a Mid Range Build this week. Nothing too crazy, just something everyone would agree would be good for the price. As usual, all prices are American and from unless specified. Let’s get started.

CPU: AMD FX-8320

This might seem a bit odd for a Mid Range build, but at $140, it’s a really good deal. It’ll prevent any major bottle necks in games, and multi-core applications will do really well from the eight cores on this. It is essentially an underclocked FX-8350, but if you’re daring and have a few bucks to get a good cooler, you can up that to a standard 8350 or higher. I’ve seen these at 4.8Ghz on all cores with water cooling, so if you are comfortable with having water in your case, you could get amazing performance.

Motherboard: MSI 970A-G43

A perfectly capable motherboard, especially for the price. Comes with everything you want, 8 USB ports in the back, front USB 3, plenty of PCI-e ports, and capable. Even though it doesn’t have the heatsinks on the MOSFETs and capacitors, it is still a good motherboard. I would recommend good cross air flow and a rear exhaust fan.


We’ll go go with some cheap PNY RAM. PNY makes the OEM RAM for some of the higher end desktops you might see, so they need to last a decent time. They also make a lot of flash drives and stuff. 8GB of RAM is fine at this amount, and you’ve still got plenty of space to upgrade since it’s only a single DIMM.

HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda

Seen it once, seen it plenty of times. Good HDD, perfectly capable for most people. I really don’t recommend less than 1TB these days, cause 500GB is about $10 less. Double your space for $10? Deal.

GPU: PowerColor R9 270 TurboDuo

This is a nice little card. Capable of averaging about 40FPS in Battlefield 4, and it won’t go below 30 in pretty much any other game. It can even run Metro Last Light at very high with 4x AA perfectly fine, and you won’t experience any major bottlenecks between it and the CPU, so you’ll be all good.

Case: ThermalTake Versa H21

A perfectly good case for the money, at just $30. Front fans, plenty of space, lots of room for drives, good air flow, etc. As usual, it’s subjective, but you really can’t go wrong with a $30 ATX case.

PSU: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze

We want some clean power to make this system work, so 80+ bronze is a minimum. EVGA makes a good one for $50, and they definitely changed their ways from when they first started making them. Perfectly capable of upgrades as well, so a GTX 970 or R9 290 would be a good choice. You might need to be careful if you want a 290, but the 970 is a lower power card, so you’d be fine.

For about $530 USD according to PCPartPicker, you can get this stellar build. You could also do a few adjustments, like an FX-6300 and putting the saved money into an R9 280. Up to you and depending on what you like to do. This build is more than capable of powering the latest games, from Battlefield 4 to GTA V and even The Witcher 3. You’ll get better framerates, resolution, graphical fidelity, and longevity than the consoles.

Happy Gaming.

Ben Kuyt

Gamer, Computer geek, Musician, Writer. Favourite series are Star Fox, Halo, Battlefield, and Forza. My last name is pronounced kite. Or kout, for the European Football fans.