With all the deals flying around right now, it can be difficult to separate the great products at a good price from the great prices on hardware that's perhaps not quite so desirable. Those who don't know their GB from their GHz are at a disadvantage, so we've put together a PC build using our favorite parts. It ends up being similar to our best gaming PC, but with a catch: With the current sales, we're able to add in a mechanical keyboard and mouse and still shave $200 off the price. Obviously, this is a short-term deal, and many of these parts are liable to go out of stock before the end of the day. We'll try to update our picks accordingly, but for now, here's the best Cyber Monday PC.
Processor - Intel Core i5-6600K: $215, Amazon (save $25)
The processor is the heart of your system, and you don't want to skimp here. While Core i7 parts do have some advantages, Core i5 remains the best overall value, and the i5-6600K also allows for overclocking. You'll still need to add in an appropriate cooling solution. The Corsair H60 ($50, Newegg – save $40 after $10 rebate card) is a nice little closed-loop liquid cooling solution that would be great for overclocking to 4.6-4.8GHz, or the Cryorig M9i ($19, Newegg – save $7) is an inexpensive but decent mini tower that should allow for at least 4.5GHz.
Motherboard - Asus Z170-E: $91, Amazon (save $59, after $20 MIR)
If the processor is the heart of your system, the motherboard combines the nervous system, respiratory system, and circulation system. In other words, you don't want to cheap out on the motherboard and end up with a flaky system. Asus makes many good boards, and the Z170-E has everything you need: M.2 NVMe, multiple x16 slots, USB 3.1, and overclocking features all add up to a great board.
Graphics card - Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Dual: $365, Newegg (save $65, after $30 rebate card)
Nvidia's GTX 1070 is an awesome GPU, performing slightly better than last year's GTX Titan X and GTX 980 Ti, all while using about 80-100W less power—and it also costs $250 less than the former 980 Ti price. This is a card that can handle any current game at settings most other cards balk at, but which one to buy? For this article, we're going with the least expensive card, because all of the 1070 cards are very good. Asus wins the prize here, coming in at least $5 below anyone else (after rebates).
SSD - Crucial MX300 525GB: $100, Amazon (save $25)
M.2 NVMe drives are speedy and their tiny size is cool, but if you just want a decent chunk of solid-state storage, Crucial's MX300 is the lowest price per GB right now, at just 19 cents per GB. It's decently fast as well—not better than a Samsung 850 Evo, but we can't argue with the value proposition. 525GB is room enough for a moderate collection of games, along with your OS and applications, but games are increasing in size. Check out the SanDisk Ultra II 960GB ($198, with code EMCFFGM222) as an alternative if capacity is your goal.
RAM - Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2x8GBDDR4-2400: $70, Amazon (save $32)
Most memory performs nearly the same, and higher RAM clocks don't typically matter on games in our testing. DDR4-2400 strikes a reasonable balance between clocks and latency, and this is currently the lowest price we can find on a 16GB kit of DDR4. (We saw $57 pricing earlier today at Newegg, but it's now out of stock.)
PSU - Corsair CS550M 80 Plus Gold: $40, Newegg (save $60, after $20 rebate card)
Always get a good power supply for your PC—it will keep it running quieter and cooler, and potentially save you money in the long run. Going beyond 80 Plus Gold isn't really necessary, as the final 1-2 percent in power use adds a lot to the price, and with Corsair's CS550M selling for $40 you can't beat the value.
Case - Carbide Series 300R: $60, Corsair (save $50)
Corsair's cases are also easy to build in, clean, and upgrade components. It's hard to go wrong with any of their Carbide series, and with the 300R being nearly half off right now, it gets our pick for the box that holds everything else.
The keyboard and mouse are the two elements of your PC that you'll physically touch, but they're often overlooked. Almost all of the PCG staff uses mechanical switch keyboards, which normally cost closer to $100, but Cyber Monday puts the Vengeance K65 within reach of our midrange build. Similarly, the Razer Diamondback Chroma is a great mouse with an awesome sale going on right now. Pick up both for under $100, or if you don't need them, save the money and drop the total well below $1,000.
Total Cost: $1,037 (save $407), or $1,068 with H60 cooler (save $440)
How fast is this build when it comes to playing games? With only a few exceptions, the i5-6600K will perform similarly to any Core i7 part in games, and GTX 1070 cards all fall within a narrow band of performance. We've been recommending the GTX 1070 as the best overall graphics card for a few months now, with good reason. If you're building a completely new gaming PC, it ends up providing the best performance for the money on a $1,000 build.