The Round Up: Affordable 4k Gaming?

1080 vs 4k

The Round Up: Affordable 4k Gaming?

February 3, 2015 12:00 PM

By: Ben Kuyt


Everyone can see it. 4k monitors are coming down in price. While they aren't as cheap as 1080p monitors, and some aren't as good, a lot of people still want them. So is there a way to get affordable 4k gaming? That's what this build will be for. However, this build won't be for the most intensive games. It'll be for the most popular games people seem to play. League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, and a few others. So when you read this build, keep in mind that we're not trying to play Battlefield at 4k on ultra. You could, but not at optimal framerates. As usual, all prices are from Amazon (unless otherwise noted) and in USD. If you would like some help with local pricing, let me know in the comments. Let's get started. 

CPU: AMD FX-8320




The little brother to AMD's popular FX-8350, the 8320 does great work. It's essentially an underclocked 8350 for $30+ less, meaning you can get as good if not better performance for the same money if you put a good cooler on it. However, even stock this chip is great, perfect for anyone who wants to stream League of Legends or other at a good resolution while playing in 4k.

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Plus



Another little brother, this one to the Hyper 212 Evo, this cooler is wonderful for the price, especially if you take advantage of any rebates. This will overclock the CPU great, and easily get you to 4.0Ghz or higher if you get good air flow. If you added another fan, cooling potential increases even more, allowing you to get a bit higher on the overclock, or lower temperatures with a moderate overclock.



Motherboard: Asus M5A99X Evo R2.0

Argued by many as the best $100-ish 990X board available, this board will go perfectly in this system. Great chipset, Crossfire support, tons of ports, eSATA, heatsinks on a lot of stuff, and enough space to upgrade pretty much anything. It's a wonderful board for the money, and you can't go wrong.

RAM: Kingston Fury Series 16GB

We're gonna go with pretty much the cheapest RAM you can get in a 16GB kit. While it is only 1333Mhz, it should be more than enough for how much it costs, at just $110 at time of writing. That's a steal, seeing as how 8GB kits are still between $60 and $90. Great deal for RAM, and if you're just gaming, 1333Mhz will be fine.



SSD: Corsair Force LS 120GB

It was in the last 4k build and it returns again. It's a really good SSD for the money. Not the best, certainly not the worst, and it's got enough storage for your main games and OS. It's also dirt cheap compared to some other SSDs with similar capacity, so I'd scoop it up if you need an SSD.

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ES 1TB

I just grabbed the cheapest HDD I could. Hopefully it doesn't crap out on anyone, but the reviews on it are high, it is a Seagate, and it'll get the job done for whatever your sick minds want to load onto it. I see you, you playing Huniepop with no pants. Ya nasty. I'm joking, obviously, if that really isn't obvious. Don't hit me.



GPU: XFX R9 290 DD

XFX is really, really cool. They're one of the few graphics card makers who have a lifetime warranty on the card for free, no questions asked. Even if you overclock it too much, you can RMA it. The R9 290 is a great card, too. Similar to the GTX 970, but with more RAM (snarf snarf), it actually outperforms the 970 at 4k resolutions. However, the high TDP needed is a bit of a turn off, but the card is $240 after a rebate. That's just insane. And great for someone wanting affordable 4k.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912

The HAF series from Cooler Master is pretty legendary. Really roomy, great to work in, and looks like a Mack Truck. It has really good airflow and expansion, so nothing will need to be broken to make everything fit. If you want something more clean looking, the Cooler Master N400 is great too, and a little cheaper, but doesn't have as many features as the HAF 912.

PSU: Corsair CS850

We want good, clean power going to this system, which is why we want 80+ Gold. This will give us more than enough power to push this system, and even let us upgrade to dual graphics cards in the future if you get sick of playing League of Legends. This will feed everything and have enough to spare, but not so much that it wastes energy.

So, there we have it, for a little under $1000 USD before rebates on PCPartPicker, you can get what some would call affordable 4k. High resolutions are growing fast, so this would probably be my personal minimum if I had a 4k monitor. It's great to play the most popular games available that happen to cost very little and can be upgraded in the future if you want to play some more intense games. This will be a great machine for anyone who just so happens to have a 4k monitor laying around for some reason not hooked up to an amazing PC.

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