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Guide: Custom Build a Gaming PC to play in 2K resolutions (Basic)

Guide: Custom Build a Gaming PC to play in 2K resolutions (Basic)

February 21, 2014 6:59 am0 comments

Let’s face it, nowadays, playing in 4K resolution is something that is not available to everyone, as the price of an acceptable monitor that supports that resolution while maintaining acceptable refresh rates is essentially prohibitive.

This large stone on the road will gradually get smaller, since some manufacturers have shown products that will arrive in the coming months and will be priced below 1000 dollars. As an example, we can cite the Dell P2815Q, which is already available in the US for 699 USD.

Yes, the price is very attractive, but its refresh rate at 3840 x 2160 is 30 Hz, something that considerably tarnishes its appeal.

2K resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels) is the best option nowadays for those who want to go beyond Full HD, since 4K resolution monitors will be devalued tremendously in next months.

With this approach in mind, we wanted to offer two guides to build to price/performance-friendly computers capable of running any game at 2K resolution, divided into two categories, basic and premium.

In this guide we will focus first, as anticipated, on choosing the best components to build a PC to play at 2K resolutions, but always looking for the most basic setup possible, that is, trying to keep the budget under 2500 Dollars, including monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers.

On the other hand, in the second guide, we will opt for a premium configuration, that is, with a much larger budget, but certainly not falling into unnecessary and absurd waste.

Note that in the first configuration (basic) the resulting rig will also be able to run games at 3840 x 2160 and 5760 x 1080, which will be a nice investment but, yes, will not always offer ultra-high quality.

Without further ado, let’s get to work and review the most important details of each component.



Let’s start with the most basic component: the motherboard.

All benchmarks and resources have clearly shown the dominance of Intel Haswell when t comes to gaming performance, so we opted for the LGA 1150 platform.

Now it’s time to consider the different options in motherboards and we see that, without a doubt, the GIGABYTE Z87 G1 Sniper is the best you can get.

There are many reasons for this, but the most important is its solid construction, the integrated Creative Sound Core3D chip, which guarantees excellent sound quality and prevents you from buying an independent sound card and support for multi-GPU configurations with NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire, which opens the door to many possibilities.

Not bad, right? But the best thing is its price: $208.00.


Core i5-4670K

Like we said, we opted for an Intel LGA 1150 platform. We chose the Core i5-4670K, which has four physical cores at 3.4 GHz, (3.8 GHz in turbo mode), 6 MB of L3 cache and comes with an unlocked multiplier, making it very easy to over clock and reach over 4 GHz.

The Z87 G1.Sniper will make everything even easier, as it always ensures system stability.

Why did we choose this processor? Basically, because of its price/performance ratio. Its IPC (Instructions per cycle) is the highest on the market, while its overclocking potential is pretty good.

In other words, we have a solid and very reliable build for $219.99.


At this point, choosing between either of the models may seem complicated, since we started with the idea of ​​featuring 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3 RAM.

After various considerations, we chose the G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 2133 PC3-1700. This memory comes in a kit of two 8 GB models working at 2133 MHz with CL9 latency, and it’s quite affordable.

If we jump to 2400 MHz DDR3 memory, we’ll face a price increase, so this seemed like the best choice in this case.

Currently the most demanding games are beginning to ask more than 4 GB of RAM, so 16 GB should be more than enough for now.

This G.Skill kit costs 90 Dollars.

Graphics Card

R9 290

This guide aims to build rigs capable or running games at 2K resolutions, but also being competent at 4K.

With this goal in mind, we must look for a high-end AMD or NVIDIA graphics card, and we found two interesting options: the R9 290 and the GTX 780.

The GTX 780 is around 510 Dollars, while the R9 290 can be found for 650 Dollars, a very large difference that, unfortunately, does not really translate into a better performance in favor of the NVIDIA card.

Both cards perform the same depending on the game, while in others, like Metro Last Light, the R9 290 dominates the GTX 780, so the choice is clear, the AMD with its 4 GB of GDDR5 memory is the winner.

Like we said, it costs 650 Dollars.

Power Supply

Corsair RM850 850W 80 Plus

Now it’s time to find a PSU that’s able to provide enough energy for the components we’ve chosen.

Clearly we need a quality PSU, but without spending too much, obviously.

When choosing a PSU, its power matters, but also its actual performance. With this in mind we have chosen a PSU with an 80 Plus Gold certification, obviously trying to keep within a limited budget.

We’ve also considered the maximum consumption of the R9 290 while in CrossFire so we’re sure we’ve made the best choice.

Since the maximum consumption is 495W, we’ve chosen the Corsair RM850 850W 80 Plus Gold Modular, as it not only guarantees a quiet and reliable operation, but also continuous power.

The price is: $139.98

Main Storage Device

Samsung 840 Evo SSD

An SSD is the most intelligent choice, as these types of storage units guarantee shorter loading times, more agile operation while installing and copying files and, in general, a smoother experience.

Again, we looked for a model that offers good performance, but without spending more than necessary, and our choice was the Samsung 840 Evo SSD Series 250 GB.

This device offers read and write speeds of 540 MB/s and 520 MB/s, and random writing and reading speeds of 66000 97000 IOPS, respectively.

Price: $155

Secondary Storage Device

WD Black 1TB

Clearly the Samsung 840 Evo can limit us pretty badly, as it only has 250 GB, so of course we need a second HDD.

The model we have chosen is the WD Black 1TB, which offers excellent value for your money, a good performance, reliability and a 5-year warranty.

Price: 88 Dollars

CPU cooling

Scythe Katana 4

Both the motherboard and CPU that we have chosen have great overclocking possibilities, so we’ll need a good heatsink.

Currently there are many CPU fans available, so choosing one can be quite overwhelming.

We have chosen the Scythe Katana 4, a quiet and very capable fan. We will not have worry about our CPU temperatures going up, even above 4 GHz.

Price: $45


When choosing a suitable case for this rig, must consider two key points. The first is that it must be big enough, because the R9 290 is about 27 inches long.

The second is that it must be well ventilated, as this we will avoid headaches in the future if we want to add a graphics card to the computer.

With those two ideas in mind, and always looking for an affordable but quality choice, we chose the Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Advanced USB 3.0, because it meets all our needs.

It is not only well ventilated but also supports up to 30-inch graphics cards and has several frontal USB 3.0 ports.

Price: $90


A DVD unit is still an essential component of any gaming PC, as the physical format is still very strong.

This choice poses no major problem and we opted for the ASUS DRW-24FIST 24X.

Price: $23


Dell UltraSharp U2713HM

Since our intention is playing games at 2K resolution (2560 x 1440), we’ll need a decent-sized monitor, which obviously supports that resolution and offers a refresh rate of at least 60 Hz.

One again, the idea is to find the best value for the money, and the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM meets our requirements.

This monitor features a 27-inch IPS panel and offers a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1440 at 60 Hz.

Its image quality is really good and its response time is 8 ms, so it’s a great choice.

Price: $600


Creative Inspire T6300 5.1

The motherboard we’ve chosen integrates a Creative Sound Core3D chip, ensuring excellent sound quality.

It is worth to go for a 5.1 speaker set that can exploit the potential of our integrated sound card.

We chose the Creative Inspire T6300 5.1, which offer very good sound quality and are very affordable.

Price: $50

Keyboard and mouse

Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator

At this point, there are many possibilities. We opted for some of the cheapest, but which also offers a good performance, the keyboard and mouse kit Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator.

Both devices feature blue backlighting and a very nice design. The mouse has a resolution of up to 2000 DPI and the keyboard is a membrane one, which does not prevent it to provide a good performance.

These are obviously not comparable to other more expensive solutions, but considering their affordable price, they are a very good choice.

Price: $30

The final cost of this rig is 2380 Dollars, a price that leaves room for more expensive components like a better keyboard and/or mouse, in the event that our budget is 2500 Dollars.

In the end we have a formidable machine. Here are some of the results of our tests while running various games at 2560 x 1440:

  • Metro Last Light (and DirectX11 tessellation): 45 FPS.
  • Crysis 3 (4xAA enabled): 26 FPS.
  • Far Cry 3 (4xAA enabled): 32 FPS.
  • Hitman Absolution: (4xAA enabled): 36 FPS.
  • Battlefield 4: 42 FPS.
  • Diablo III (AA on): 149 FPS.
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (4xAA enabled): 38 FPS.

As you can see, this is a very capable rig, capable of maintaining constant and steady frame rates.

If, instead, we would’ve increased the resolution to 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K), we could’ve safely played most games without filters, but still with every setting on max.

We hope you have enjoyed this article and as always we invite you to leave your comments.

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