Mostly, we see PC builds centred on US markets, and since the general budget of those people is higher than Indian people, most of those builds go too expensive for us.
Here is how to create a good PC for low, medium and high budget. Note that this includes only the cabinet and parts inside it, it doesn't include a monitor, speakers, mouse, keyboard, and UPS.
The three budgets are 28000 INR, 55000 INR and 100000 INR.
Obviously, I know people's preferences are different, but still, here goes.
The Low Budget Build
Since this build is centred on a budget that's fairly low, it'll be mainly consisting of core parts. It'll not have a very high end graphics card, and a low power PSU. This build is best for entry-level gamers or general PC users.
Here, we're not going to start off with the processor and graphics card contrary to other builds, as those two are often the priciest components, and we can't allow to compromise on any other important part. So we start off with the motherboard, which we're going to consider a recent one. We could go with a cheaper one than this, but it'll show its age faster, so this one is the best value.
We'll not be doing any overclocking, so a Intel H87 or B85-based board is our best bet:
Gigabyte GA-B85-D3H INR 5962
Note If you want two hard disks in a RAID array, get the H87, otherwise the B85.
Contrary to popular belief, MicroATX boards are sufficient for builds with upto one graphics card. Also, an ATX board will be too expensive at this budget level.
Next component: the power supply, which is more expensive than what local shops offer, but is worth every single rupee you pay for it, as it's the main component of the PC, and if you buy a cheap one and it goes, it takes an expensive component(like the graphics card or motherboard) down with it.
Corsair CX 430 INR 2938
This PSU is one of the entry-level PSU's of the Corsair line, and it's 80PLUS Bronze rated which allows you 82% efficiency. If you run this power supply on full load(i.e. 430W) it'll pull 524W out of the wall socket. Cheap local PSU's that you find for around INR 500-700 have only 65% or so efficiency, and will pull 660W out of the wall. You'll need a separate power cord, as this PSU is shipped from the UK to India, and contains a UK power cord with rectangular socket plugs.
Now we go with the mainstream components.
It doesn't really matter here which hard disk you pick, as most are more or less the same.
I'm going with the Seagate Barracuda.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM INR 3860
Some people may find 1TB space to be too much, but 500GB hard drives cost only around 200-300 less, and it's simply more value to get a 1TB to futureproof a bit.
I wouldn't recommend getting generic memory, as they tend to put low quality chips in there, you may save around a 1000 rupees, but it isn't worth it.
Corsair Vengeance 4GB DDR3-1600 INR 3110
We're short on cash here, so I'm only recommending 4GB of RAM, but the motherboard has 4 slots, so you can add an additional 24GB easily later on. If you have another 3100 left over, the best thing would be getting an identical 4GB stick. 8GB is enough for today's games, and you'll get the benefit of fast dual-channel RAM.
Note To utilize dual channel RAM insert second stick in the same colour slot as the first.
These are pretty cheap nowadays, and you can get it even cheaper from your local store.
I personally use an LG one:
LG GH24NSB0 24x DVD Burner INR 1023
I find that local cases don't have space for any additional fans, and if you want to get one of those gaming cases, they go way too costly for our budget.
Antec have launched a couple of cases for the Indian market. One of these is the X1:
Antec X1 CPU Cabinet INR 2345
This cabinet has a front and side intake fan slot, the front one will serve for case airflow, and the side one as an extra one for cooling the graphics card.
This build is not intended for high-end gaming, so we're not going to put a very high-end processor in there, nor are we going to put in a very low-end processor as people don't upgrade the CPU very often, although the motherboard will allow to do so for a while.
We're going with the i3-4130, which is a dual-core processor which supports hyperthreading:
Core i3-4130 Dual Core Processor @ 3.4GHz INR 7992
That's all. Due to budget limitations, this build does not include a graphics card, but the integrated graphics processor of the i3-4130 is enough to run many games at low settings, and the power supply of the build is enough to allow upto a 140W or so graphics card later on.
Total Cost of Build: INR 27230
The Medium Budget Build
This build is more or less the same as the first build, but we're going to enhance some components here.
The case, optical drive, hard disk and motherboard are going to be the same, they're good enough for this build's purposes too.
We start off with the power supply:
Seasonic S12II 620W INR 5750
Seasonic is one of the best brands when it comes to PSU's, and they're the OEM of many other brands of PSU's as well.
This power supply has got much more power than the CX430, and we can accomodate a hefty graphics card in this build.
We add another 4 GB of memory:
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 2x4GB INR 8140
Buying memory in kits ensures they're compatible with one another, and we're getting a kit of 2, which will enable dual channel, allowing a theoretical double speed.
Note As said above, to utilize dual channel RAM insert second stick in the same colour slot as the first.
We're using a 4 core CPU in this build, as it's intended for gaming:
Intel Haswell Core-i5 4440 3.1 GHz INR 12508
Games don't need more than 4 cores, so this CPU would be enough to play any games. We're not considering k series processors, as they're more expensive, and our motherboard doesn't support overclocking, so they're not any better than non-k's.
Most people tend to buy a cheap graphics card, so they suffer from low framerates in games. Our budget, however, allows for a good graphics card:
MSI GTX750Ti/TF 2GB OC GDDR5 INR 13250
The GTX750Ti is the fastest NVIDIA card which is not SLI capable, and it's also the best performance/watt card, having twice the performance of a GT640 at 5W less power consumption.
MSI cards are one of the best quality cards on the market and its TF cooler is pretty quiet, especially for this card.
If you prefer AMD as your brand, here is an AMD alternative:
Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 270 OC 2GB GDDR5 INR 15052
Note This motherboard supports AMD CrossFire technology, so we can add a second AMD card in the future alongwith the original. However, the card should be the same, with equal amount of memory and clock speed.
This build includes a beefier PSU, more RAM, a more powerful gaming CPU, and a graphics card.
It'll allow for mid-high end gaming on current games at 1920x1080, and allows the user to upgrade to more RAM and a more powerful graphics card in the future.
Total cost of Build: INR 52838(NVIDIA)/54640(AMD)
The High Budget Build
This build was originally meant to be of 80000 INR, but I couldn't fit any good components in there without sacrificing many others, so I decided to increase the budget.
In this build, most of the parts have changed, only the fairly basic parts such as hard disk and optical drive remain the same.
We start with the mobo again:
This time we're using a really high-end motherboard, which supports overclocking for our processor, and SLI for using multiple NVIDIA cards as well as CrossFire for multiple AMD cards.
Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H INR 15582
This motherboard supports overclocking for the processor, which allows to squeeze more performance out of the processor by allowing to increase clocks and voltage of the processor. Be careful while overclocking though, as doing this wrong can damage the processor. Fortunately, the overclocking section has many guides dedicated to overclocking, which should help beginners.
Overclocking requires a 'k' series processor, which we're taking next:
Intel Core i5 4670k 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor INR 16589
This is the ultimate processor for gaming. Plus, it can be overclocked, to increase its performance.
The CPU includes a cooler from Intel. But overclocking increases heat dissipation, which the included cooler will not be able to cope with, hence we're using our own cooler.
An aftermarket cooler allows for more airflow, and is rated for a higher thermal design power(TDP) so overclockers use aftermarket coolers in their builds.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Cooler INR 2857
The cooler has a large heatsink and fan, and runs quiet. It can also be fitted with an extra fan, and it also includes a baseplate, which is to be installed on the bottom of the motherboard, to support the weight of the large cooler. It also includes an attachment that allows it to fit on more sockets.
Note This CPU cooler is rather big, and it may come above some RAM slots, and so the user may not be able to use all four RAM slots. The CM Hyper TX3 Evo cooler may be used too, which is smaller, but also less powerful.
Allowing for a SLI setup for a high end graphics card, and an overclockable high-end processor means we're going to go for a big power supply too, and that we are:
Seasonic X-750 80PLUS Gold Full Modular Power Supply INR 10600
This is a fully modular power supply, which means all cables can be removed from the power supply. This is good, as these power supplies come with a lot of cables, and this arrangement allows to use only as much as needed.
Next comes the case, which fits nicely with the modular power supply and the tall CPU cooler we're using:
Corsair Carbide 330R ATX Quiet Mid Tower Case INR 6625
This case has some of the features which we'll use:
- The PSU will be bottom mounted rather than top mounted as normally observed. This will help with the modular cabling and airflow, which I'll cover in a moment.
- The case has wire grommets(holes for putting wires through) which are also useful for modular cabling and good cable management.
- It has front fans with air filters.
- It has top fan mounts for radiators, if the user is going to watercool their setup.
A bottom mounted PSU sucks in air from the bottom of the case rather than the inside of the case, and exhausts from the back. Since the inside of the case has hot air, this allows for the power supply to keep cool(and hence quiet).
Having a bottom mounted modular power supply means we're going to route our cables through the back of the case(behind the CPU and motherboard) and through the wire grommets. This'll keep them from making a mess over the components, and allow for smooth airflow. It'll also look very tidy.
Note In this case all the hard drives are going to be installed facing backwards, rather than forward, as our cables are coming from the back.
The case also has a toolless design, which means all you have to do to install your DVD writer, SSD or hard drive is snap them in and lock them in place - no screws! However, for stability it is recommended that a few screws are used.
About watercooling loops - this case also supports custom watercooling loops and closed loop coolers(like the Corsair H100i). They're very expensive, though, even for this budget.
Another feature of this case is that it has a noise dampening design.The interiors are designed to keep noise in, and the case doors are padded.
Tip The case comes with one front fan and one rear fan. It is recommended that the user installs one fan(120/140 mm) pushing air out(exhaust) for more effective airflow.(Thanks to P1nnacle for this.)
I know this is quite a lot to digest, but changing the build design requires this, and don't worry, you'll get it! It's not that difficult.
We're sticking with the same memory that we used in the 55k mid-end build:
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 2x4GB INR 8140
8GB is enough for today's games, and we'll have to wait, it seems, as 16GB kits are out of value right now.
Again, install in alternate slots for dual channel.
We're going for a fairly high-end graphics card this time:
MSI NVIDIA GTX770/TF 2GB OC GDDR5 INR 27751
The GTX 770 is an overclocked version of the 600 Series flagship GTX 680 card. It has good RAM too, which allows for good overclocks.
The user may also opt for a 4GB version, but the 2GB is seen to be enough in benchmarks, and 4GB is needed only for 4K resolution(UHD or 3840x2160).
For SLI, the 770 is pretty powerful and exceeds the GTX 780 and 690 in performance.
For AMD users, this card is equally powerful as the 770:
Sapphire R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 VAPOR-X OC INR 25970
VAPOR-X cards overclock to pretty high values, and are Sapphire's best cards you can buy.
As boot drive, we're going to use a SSD:
Samsung 840 EVO 120GB TLC SSD INR 6275
Samsung is one of the OEM's of flash memory, i.e. they own the chips inside many SSD's and flash drives, plus this drive is one of the best they have to offer.
60GB is typically enough for an OS drive, but the extra 60GB should be useful for work applications and games that take a bit of time to load (such as Half-Life 2).
Note As is the case with normal hard drives, the actual space usable is less than 120GB(around 111.75 GB), keep in mind when migrating partitions to an SSD.
The Barracuda is again the one we're going for as storage disk:
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM INR 3845
Note The Z87 chipset supports RAID configuration and B85 doesn't, so this motherboard allows two identical hard drives to be used in a RAID 0 configuration for increased speeds. This is upto the user though.
Same LG one:
LG GH24NSB0 24x DVD Burner INR 1011
Total Cost of Build: INR 99275(NVIDIA) / 97494(AMD)
If you want to experiment with any of these builds, these are the links from PCPartPicker:
Low End 28k comp
Mid End 55k comp
High End 100k comp
I'll be creating a thread in the Systems forum for this tutorial. If there is any feedback, please let me know.
Thread is here: thread
As always, thank you for reading, and hope you enjoyed reading the tutorial.