How to Build a PC for CS:GO

May 20, 2016 | By Harry Nong | PCDIY

Before you optimize your CS:GO settings like a pro, you’ll need to build a pc so you can play the game. The PC you build will depend on your budget and how serious you want to get with CS:GO. If you’re having a tough time deciding which hardware to select, this blog post is for you!

Here are three different PC builds for various budgets goals in mind:

Build #1 – The Silver Elite Console Killing PC ($400)

The first build that I picked for CS:GO is a super budget-friendly build where almost anyone that is thinking about going into the world of PC gaming can try out. It rounds out at about $400 which is about the same price point as the current consoles out in the market today. However, this PC can do so much more.

Other than the daily tasks that this PC can do, it can also play many of the newer games at the standard of 60FPS and 1080p (not at ultra). Since the focus for this is for CS:GO, the benchmarks for this build would be around 100+ FPS at the graphic settings of medium to high using the R7 360. If you want to upgrade later to play other games at higher graphic settings, it is also easy with the change of 1-2 parts.

The i3-6100 would be changed so that you would have an i5 and maybe the video card since the price to performance ratio of the R7 360 at $83.98 at the time of writing makes it the MVP of the build to easily play CS:GO. Of course if you are adventurous enough, you can always try your luck at buying used or refurbished parts which would easily drive the price of this build down to around $300 which would beat out any modern console or you can try to use the extra money to put into better parts.

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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor $110.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler CRYORIG M9i 48.4 CFM CPU Cooler $33.74 @ Amazon
Motherboard MSI H110M PRO-D Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $47.99 @ Amazon
Memory Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory $26.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $44.99 @ SuperBiiz
Video Card Sapphire Radeon R7 360 2GB NITRO Video Card $83.98 @ Newegg
Case NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case $32.49 @ NZXT
Power Supply EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply $27.99 @ NCIX US
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $434.16
Mail-in rebates -$25.00
Total $409.16
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-05-20 12:26 EDT-0400

Build #2 – The Master Guardian Competitive Rig ($600)

This 2nd build is a build that is more than enough for CS:GO and keeps your costs under 600 bucks. This build costs a little bit more compared to the previous one but it can do so much more in terms of what settings and FPS this system can run at for CSGO. This system should benchmark at around 150+ FPS, 1080p at High-Ultra which means if you want, you can even get a 144hz monitor.

This build, when compared to the previous one, is more than enough for most games that are out there. It will be able to play most games at high-ultra settings with at least 60FPS while leaving you the luxury to upgrade in the future. If a user wants to upgrade this system, most likely the only thing that would be needed is to just change out the GPU for a better one and you are good to go since most games nowadays do not bottleneck an i5.

This build is what I would consider a mid-range build that is optimized for competitive CS:GO gameplay. Anyone that wants to take CS:GO a little bit more seriously but not reach the pro level would do just fine with this build because it will give you a competitive advantage.

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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $169.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler CRYORIG C7 40.5 CFM CPU Cooler $37.49 @ Amazon
Motherboard MSI H81M-E34 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $49.89 @ OutletPC
Memory Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $26.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $44.99 @ SuperBiiz
Video Card Asus Radeon R9 380 2GB Video Card $159.99 @ Newegg
Case NZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case $59.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply EVGA 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $48.99 @ NCIX US
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $658.32
Mail-in rebates -$60.00
Total $598.32
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-05-20 12:34 EDT-0400

Build #3 – The Global Elite Wrecking Machine ($1,000)

The last build is a build that can not only easily play CS:GO on ultra settings at 250+ FPS and 1080p, it can also play most games out right now at ultra at around 60+ FPS. This build is for the user that has a bit of money to invest into PC gaming and wants to dominate in CS:GO competitive gameplay – possibly at a professional level.

This build should easily last you a while considering you can overclock the processor to get a bit more performance.  This build also has a solid state drive which is different than the previous two builds because ans SSD can load up pretty much any game faster than your normal hard drive. Even with new graphics cards coming out soon from AMD and Nvidia, the GTX 970 is still the best bang-for-your-buck video card to play CS:GO – especially since you can now get it for under $260 at the time of this writing.

This build is the most expensive of the three but it’s a worthwhile investment if you can afford it and are serious about reaching the farthest ranks of the game. I can’t guarantee you’ll become one of the Global Elite, but I can promise you it will help you improve your CS:GO gameplay.

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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor $233.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler CRYORIG H5 Universal 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler $58.02 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock H110M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $67.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $49.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sandisk SSD PLUS 480GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive $111.49 @ Amazon
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card $259.99 @ Newegg
Case NZXT Manta (Black/Red) Mini ITX Desktop Case $125.99 @ Directron
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA G2 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $89.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $1027.45
Mail-in rebates -$30.00
Total $997.45
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-05-20 12:44 EDT-0400

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Harry Nong

Harry Nong

Harry is a Customer Service Specialist at NZXT and loves helping people out on Reddit. In his free time, he really likes to play League of Legends with his friends along with Diablo 3. Lately he has picked up Hearthstone and is really enjoying it because there are many people at NZXT who also play.
Harry Nong

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