"Wait, what?" You might ask yourself, after seeing the title, "Why not 2016?". And the answer to that is simply because nothing new is out yet. So, with my keyboard in one hand and my mouse in the other, it's time to list some builds!...or at least, the first part of it.
Note that none of these builds include an optical drive, peripherals (such as a monitor, mouse or keyboard) or an OS (such as linux or windows) and that I'm unaware on how US taxes work, so this may or may not be before taxes.
"Devil" - AMD $750 USD Build
We'll start with a "Gamer" tier AMD PC. It's powered by an AMD FX-6350 clocked at just under 4 Ghz and has 6 cores. It's cooled by the tried and tested Cooler-Master 212 EVO. I run one of these in my toaster of a PC and it hasn't failed me in years. Next we have two 4GB sticks of Corsair Vengeance RAM with a speed of 1600mHz. With all this gear, we need something to mount it to and that would be the MSI 970 Gaming Motherboard. With support for up to 32gb of DDR3 RAM (more than you'll ever need) and crossfire support this will work great for small upgrades. Making our games look bad-ass is an XFX R9 380 video card running at 990 mHz and 4gb of GDDR5 Memory this will be more than enough for most current games to play with decent frames on the higher settings. For the operating system and basic software we have a SanDisk Z400s 128 GB SSD, with its blazing speeds and decent storage at this price point it is perfect for a $750 build. And, of course, for all your games, music and 100% legitimately bought movies is a trustworthy and reliable WD Blue 1TB hard drive at a speed of 7200 RPM. To power all of this is a Corsair RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Power Supply, and with modular cables your PC will be easy to manage and nicer to look at, and finally holding this all together is a Corsair SPEC-02, with plenty of space for upgrades and compatibility with corsair all-in-one water coolers and multiple other company coolers this will work perfect for multiple upgrades to come, and all of this for just $740!
"Paladin" - Intel and nVidia $900 USD Build
Next is the "Gamer" tier Intel/nVidia build I dubbed the Paladin, as to contrast the AMD Devil and to make the point that this thing is really really white and nice looking. Seriously, with its' blindingly white and highly modular NZXT H230 and it's equally blinding but super-reliable 8GB of Kingston HyperX Fury Memory this thing lives up to its title. The i5-4690 from Intel runs this beauty at 3.5 Ghz and 4 cores your computer will run like a breeze. Talking about a breeze, keeping this cool is the Cooler-Master 212 EVO once more. This cooler is just too good to ditch, with its' great price and reliability it will keep your CPU from melting under some of the most intensive conditions (assuming you don't overclock it). Holding this all together is a MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition Motherboard, and other than its' stunning color scheme it blows the competition away with SLi capabilities and support of up to 32 GB of DDR3 (once again, more than you'll ever need). An MSi GTX 960 OC Edition is the video card of choice with this build, with 3.5GB of GDDR5 Memory and a core clock of 1.1 GHz this will run most games at high without a problem. Holding your OS is a 120GB A-Data Premier SSD and your precious, precious library of cat memes and steam games is the WD Blue 1TB HDD once more. And now, finally, powering this thing with juice is a 500W Silencer Mk III from PC Power and Cooling, with a 80+ Bronze certification this thing won't literally toast the components of your build. At $907 USD, this PC costs more than the Devil, but with the undeniable benefits of NVidia software and smoother sailing with an intel CPU, to some the extra $150 is worth it.
"Toaster" - mATX $1650 USD Build
Now, despite the hot name this thing is anything but a toaster, with a Antec KUHLER H2O 650 Liquid Cooler to keep the 4 GHz Quad-Core i7-4790k processor from melting and a water-cooled XFX Fury X and its' 4GB of cutting-edge HBM Memory to keep it chugging along at 1.05 GHz nice and smoothly. Connecting the dots is the
Asus H97M-E motherboard with support for 32 GB of DDR3 (still, more than you'll ever need) and basic CrossFire/SLi capabilities. Two 8GB sticks of Kingston HyperX FURY Memory running at 1600 mHz keep the machine running smoothly even with Google Chrome open, and with a 120gb Intel 530 Series SSD for the OS as well as the reliable and sturdy WD Black 1TB HDD you will never lose data again. A 550W Fractal Design Tegra M is what powers this box of goodies and to hold it all together the small but sturdy and highly modular
BitFenix Prodigy M. With a total cost of $1650 this is for the gamer/enthusiast who really wants a great portable monster of a PC.
This is only the first part of two, be sure to come back see the enthusiast builds and the almighty BEAST!