Mid Range System Leaderboard; try to keep it under a grand
So you are serious about gaming on a PC but like most of us you have more sense than money and want to get a good bang for your buck? At under $1000 the Mid Range is within target if you behave yourself and hold onto those dollars instead of spending them with Bender. Skip the locked i3's and go straight to the lowest priced unlocked Haswell processor, the Intel Core i5-4670K. The HD 4600 is going to need some help with graphics but you can spend some time tweaking this CPU to ensure you get good value for your investment.
The MSI Z87-G43 may not have quite as many features as the the comparable 85X board from the Low End system but it has a comparable price and can still handle more than the Mid Range System recommendations if you use this as a base system to upgrade from.
Graphics on the other hand get a huge upgrade in the Mid Range system, in fact the MSI Gaming N760 TF OC GeForce GTX 760 costs more than the CPU and motherboard combined but also allow you to game at higher resolutions than a console and with far more tweaking possible … did I mention it is designed to be overclocked?
8GB of RAM, assuming you pick the 64 bit install, really does pay off nowadays for both general usage and for gaming but nowhere near as much as an SSD does. It won't increase your frame rates but loading and boot times will both benefit greatly from the 250GB Samsung 840 EVO. For large file storage keep an eye out for sales or look to online solutions.
If you want to offload some CPU cycles and pick up a discrete sound card the ASUS Xonar DSX 7.1 is a good mix of features and price but for most the onboard sound your motherboard offers will be more than enough. This system is powered by the 80 PLUS Bronze rated CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 and its single 12V rail will ensure your GTX 760 gets the power it needs.
|Mid-Range System Leaderboard|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-4670K – $222|
|Motherboard||MSI Z87-G43 ATX – $128|
|Memory||G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 – $83|
|Graphics Card||MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC 4GB – $316|
|Sound Card||ASUS Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 – $56|
|Storage||Samsung 840 EVO Series 250GB SSD – $169|
|Case||Corsair Carbide 200R – $59|
|Power Supply||Corsair Builder Series CX500 – $59|
|Optical Drive||ASUS 24x DVD-RW – $21|
|OS||Windows 8 OEM – $99|