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Build a $600 PC that can play 'next-gen' games

7:00 PM on 02.21.2013 // Joshua Derocher
  @Josh_Derocher

An alternative to new consoles

The PlayStation 4 is coming soon, and a lot of people are talking about "next-gen" games and what the future holds for gaming. Well, if buying another console isn't something you want to think about, maybe this would be a good time to look at building a gaming PC. I've put together an idea for a system that will let you stay ahead graphically and be ready for this year's biggest releases.

This rig will be around $600 to build, and it meets the recommended system requirements for current games like Max Payne 3, Battlefield 3, and even Crysis 3. It should also work great for upcoming games such as Watch Dogs and Grand Theft Auto V, based on rumored system requirements.


(Watch Dogs will be releasing on current- and next-gen systems)

First, let's pick out a processor. The AMD FX-8120 is a nice eight-core CPU running at 3.1 GHz that costs around $130. To go along with it, I picked an ASUS M5A78L-M LX ($59.99) as the motherboard, because it's cheap and it will easily support what we need it to do. We'll pair this up with an Antec 550 watt power supply ($64.99) and you can easily find a case, fans, and a 500 GB hard drive for around $150.

This mother board can handle up to 8 GB of DDR3, so let's we'll go ahead and fill that up with a couple of 4 GB sticks from Crucial. For graphics, we'll use an overclocked Nvidia GTX 660. It has 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, so it will be able to handle high-quality textures with ease.


(The Unreal Engine 4 was shown off again yesterday during the PlayStation 4 event)

All of this put together will cost around $600. It will cost another hundred bucks to add Windows to this system, but with the rising support of Linux from Steam and other PC game companies, you might not need to worry about spending the extra money. 

It's not a crazy beast of a system like what Jim's been playing Crysis 3 on, but it is a decent rig. It will be easily able to smoothly run any games coming out this year, and it should be able to run anything designed to work on the PlayStation 4.

So maybe it would be a good time to get into PC gaming instead of buying a new console. With Steam sales, free-to-play games, and other bargains galore, you'll make up the extra cost of the system by saving on games in no time at all. With Steam's Big Picture mode, it can take over your living room as your entertainment platform and can be upgraded easily in the future to keep up with the latest technology. 



Joshua Derocher, PC Contributor
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Josh is a PC gamer. He can usually be found flying around in EVE Online. He's been known to enjoy playing role-playing games like Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim, and Planescape Torment. He starte... more   |   staff directory



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