Michael Mann

Michael Mann

Computer component manufacturer NZXT steps away from hardware for a moment to release their first bit of software: meet CAM. CAM is an elegantly designed PC monitoring program that finally does remote system observation right. After using other PC monitoring software like System Mechanic, which overloads their program with a lot of unneeded and non-functional features, CAM delivers with the bare basics for enthusiasts, focusing on everything you should need to monitor your gaming rig.

nzxt-cam-2

I rarely have the chance to do an enthusiast build as I'm normally tasked with doing the cheaper PC builds, like the $475 Cheap Bastard's Gaming PC that we recently published. It's been a while since we've done an enthusiast build -- in fact, this is the first of its type this year. We decided it'd be a great time to see what we could do with a higher budget while retaining a small and versatile form factor. The goal was to build a small form factor PC that could do just about anything you typically required from a gaming or video editing rig; this could double as an HTPC for those who'd like a living room gaming machine.

htpc-streaming-may

I was able to fit a core i5-4670k, MSI Z87i motherboard, and GTX 770 all inside the extremely versatile Corsair Obsidian 250D mini-ITX case that we saw at CES. This $1100 gaming HTPC build can handle just about anything you throw at it, including gaming at max settings and video editing / game streaming tasks.

Many of you may not be familiar with Cryorig. They're a relative newcomer to the PC Cooling game and have only just started putting out CPU coolers; last fall they released their R1 Ultimate cooler that reportedly did reasonably well for an initial release. Now, they're venturing into the small form factor arena with the upcoming C1 Cooler. Cryorig makes some bold statements when it comes to performance and seem to have done their homework.

cryorig-c1-1

It's been a while since we've done a true Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build -- our last one was our $506 Titanfall gaming computer back in February. This time we've done it a bit differently than before. My goal here is to build an entry-level gaming rig at the lowest price possible while offering plenty of room for upgrades. This build would be great for the gamer who plays games that do not require a great deal from the GPU. I included an FM2+ motherboard because it provides all the newer features missing from the dying AM3+ platform, like an onboard USB 3.0 header, and a newer Bolton chipset that makes it a more viable option than an older AM3+ motherboard.

ultra-budget-pc-apr

In this $475 ultra-budget, cheap gaming PC build, we'll make component selections for building your own computer for lightweight gaming; a how-to video guide is included below, as is a list of upgrade options for those with a bit more cash to spend. If you've got some more money, we'd suggest checking out the $740 EverQuest PC (Intel) we posted recently.

So let's get to the build.

Welcome to another addition of our Weekly Hardware Sales round-up that I affectionately call Mik's Piks. I have been away on paternity leave, but am now back with some sweet deals. I found a Xion case, some HyperX RAM, Zalman CPU heatsink, an XFX HD 7870, and Crucial 240GB SSD.

m500-ssd

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