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$1250 Gaming PC Build - ASUS STRIX B250F Gaming / i5-7500

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BoyScout Feb. 24, 2017

For this month's featured build guide video, we started with our Great Gaming Build Guide, but added a few tweaks.

We wanted a motherboard with RGB LED support to allow us to easily add a software controllable strip along the LED light channel in the DUKASE V2. The ASUS Strix B250F with Aura support fit the bill. We also wanted to upgrade the CPU Cooler to something a bit nicer than the stock cooler to improve the overall look of the build through the case's large side window.

Check the part list below to see our final selections and watch the video to see how it came together.

A special thanks to ASUS for providing the motherboard and graphics card used in this build.

To see how Barry got the cables under control, be sure to check out the cable management time lapse video:

To see some benchmarks and see some final build pictures, check out the Completed Build write up.

PCPartPicker part list

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-7500 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $201.89
CPU Cooler CRYORIG H7 49.0 CFM CPU Cooler $34.99
Motherboard Asus STRIX B250F GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $129.99
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $96.99
Storage PNY CS1311 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $119.99
Storage Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $69.99
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card $429.99
Case Deepcool DUKASE WHV2 ATX Mid Tower Case $49.99
Power Supply EVGA 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $73.50
Other CableMod® WideBeam™ Magnetic LED Strip RGB $19.99
Total at time of filming $1227.31

Comments Sorted by:

Specter-Builds 6 points 26 months ago

I Like the look Asus is putting on their new generation of motherboards, would like to see a z270 Asus build though.

joeseppie113 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago


tussiez 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago


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Berfs1 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

lol go to home page and they have one with a 7700K lol

Specter-Builds 1 point 25 months ago

As far as I know there is no Asus z270 i7 7700k build... are you referring to the gigabyte build?

Berfs1 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Oh Asus. I thought you meant just a Z270 build. My bad!

Specter-Builds 1 point 24 months ago

It's ok!

NicoSalis 5 points 26 months ago

What do you do with your PC builds after you are done making the videos on them?

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 2 points 25 months ago

It varies. Some are put to work around the office for assorted tasks as-is or with minor changes. On occasion, some parts are on loan and must be sent back to the manufacturer. But most are disassembled after a few weeks of testing and the parts (depending on what they are) usually get absorbed into other projects or future videos/content.

dalekusa 4 points 25 months ago

Why did you use a Cryorig cooler on a non-overclockable mobo and CPU?

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

It's mostly for something nicer to look at through the large case window. Considering the assorted RGB/lighting upgrades, the stock cooler didn't feel right. You can get a bit more insight into the part selection rationale by reading the completed build write-up if you'd like.

BigAll 5 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Imo the c7 would've accented nicely with the case too.

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Agreed -- the C7 would also look nice and right there in that same "minor upgrade" price range, though it does change the air flow a bit. We used the C7 a few months back in a build, so since we had a bigger case to work with this time around, we wanted to give the H7 a try. Both were pleasant to work with and seemed to perform well.

seraphicx 3 points 25 months ago

Fantastic guide! I followed the tutorial (mostly) to the letter and have a great new machine that replaced my aging 4-year build. It was my first done completely solo without the aid of a friend who had done it before! These tutorials are incredibly empowering and professionally done. Please do more.

A few comments about the end product:

  • This build is wicked silent. My old computer (built in a Corsair 500R) was a clanker compared to this. You can hardly notice it's on if it weren't for the rainbow LED's.
  • When the machine is powered off, the mobo oscillates colors by default. Makes a pretty night light.
  • Tested with Battlefield 1 and Rainbow Six Siege with all settings maxed to ultra - R6 runs in the mid to high 100's. Battlefield never dipped below 60 fps in 64 player games of Conquest and Operations. Looking forward to seeing how ME: Andromeda plays this week.
  • I passed on the RPM drive and instead used two large SSD's. I used an EVGA 1070 instead of the Asus card here, but only because I had it on my old machine.

Some words of warning to newbies like me trying this for the first time:

  • Be really careful about getting the standoffs properly inserted before securing the CYRORIG. The thing nearly fell off when I tipped the mobo over to tighten the screws, because one of the standoffs wasn't depressed all the way.
  • The Intel chips are getting really small (at least the i5-7500 seemed smaller than the chips from my last two builds), so don't overdo the thermal paste.
  • Wire management gets trickier if you use both SSD bays. The extra SATA power cable is a pain to get through the case hole.

Out of curiosity, what other upgrades would be worth doing to this? I noticed the DUKASE has an empty fan bay on the top of the case. It would be cool if you all did a follow up video on more mods you can make to it. Not sure how much flexibility there is, but would be good to know what else you could do with it.

All in all, thank you so much PCPP! This was a fantastic and enjoyable weekend project.

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 3 points 25 months ago

Glad to hear the video was helpful and congrats on your first solo build!

seraphicx 1 point 25 months ago

Thanks! Any thoughts on future expansion/upgrades re: the DUKASE?

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 2 points 25 months ago

Lots of possibilities. The case has a fair bit of room for expansion, so it mostly depends on how your needs change over time.

adcope 2 points 24 months ago

How has the build treated you?

seraphicx 1 point 22 months ago

I'm a bit late to this, but it's still running excellent! Let me know if you have any specific questions

seraphicx 1 point 2 months ago

An update on this rig. It's still running beautifully, and I've made a few upgrades along the way:

  • I swapped out the 1070 for a 1080ti FE.
  • I bought a 1440p Asus monitor overclockable to 165 hz
  • I just swapped out the 7500 for a 7700.

If you're planning to still do this build, it's imperative that you spring for the i7-7700 (You can get the K for a minor boost, but you can't OC with this build). The i5's meager four threads are a huge bottleneck for most recent AAA titles. I found the i5 struggling to keep up on BO4 and Battlefield V, to the point where it was nearly unplayable (constant dips under 60 fps).

This shouldn't happen when you're rocking a card like the 1080ti.

If you want to look at the most recent part list, here it is:


AmericanHomeSchoolers 2 points 24 months ago

Hi ya'll. I'm looking for some much needed advice/direction/support, please. :-) I need to buy four gaming systems between $800-$1200 per system, with WiFi capabilities, CD/DVD reader/writers, and with cases that will fit this CPU holder http://buydirectonline.com.au/office-furniture/cpu-holder135?gclid=CMa_xsyXptMCFUsIvAodHmkMsw. I have six children, and these systems are for my homeschooled children, who are 14, 10, 8, and 6.

They all attend "skype-like" video lessons, all day, every day, with their teachers and peers, in The U.S. They'd like to return to participating in massive multiplayer online environments, as well as playing Ark Survival Evolved which is hosted on a dedicated server, that being my Alienware desktop. They all have office 365 subscription licenses, which gives them 1TB (each) on OneDrive to store their school, and personal files. Of this, they're only using 100GB each to store these files, and I realize that they also need to allow storage space for the OS and any games they have, and might get in the future.

I've received 11 quotes from multiple businesses, and they vary greatly in price, quality, and system inclusions. I've never built a computer in my life, and I wouldn't know where to begin, so I was hoping someone might be kind enough to help me build them, or tell me if this system is suitable, having regard to my specific application requirements, and whether or not it is upgradeable (e.g. GPU) in the future.

Thanks in advance, from the AU Mommy of these AmericanHomeSchoolers! :-)

pragz28 1 point 25 months ago

Where do they connect the anti static wrist wrap??

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

It connected to a resistive circuit that you can kind of make out attached to our anti-static mat (left side of the table when watching the videos), then that is wired to an electrical ground.

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xJackson 1 point 25 months ago

This is no joke almost exactly what I've had in my list for the past couple of days haha

andhypno 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Just wow i wish i could have those cable management skills :D is just awesome would like to learn about that. very nice build btw..

simaczysko 1 point 25 months ago

Hi. In the original Great Gaming Build, did the mobo work with the i5 right out of the box or did you have to update the firmware?

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

I'm not sure if I understand exactly what you're asking, but the build guide we based this on uses a parametric selection of Kaby Lake motherboards that shouldn't need a firmware update just to use the i5-7500. That said, most boards generally have a few UEFI/BIOS updates shortly after they release, so it is probably worth checking on after you get your system built.

simaczysko 1 point 25 months ago

Hi. Thank you for reply. I built it and it powered on fine. When I press restart it reboots without an issue but when i shut it down and then try to turn it on, pc starts for a sec then goes off. Then just stays in this loop. I need to force power off, power on/off few times and eventually it will work. Any ideas why this is happening? Can I send you a video if you need it?

simaczysko 1 point 25 months ago

I should also add that to turn in on right after I powered it down I need to flip the PSU switch off for a min then flip it on and start the PC. If I shut the PC off for the night them it runs fine. Like the power needs to be drained before your can do a cold boot. Any ideas?

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Sorry, I missed your reply. I'd recommend you head over to our Troubleshooting forum and post your question to get more help.

kubaj 1 point 25 months ago

is possible to put in these build an optical drive

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Sure -- the DUKASE V2 has two 5.25" bays, so you could easily add an optical drive to this build if that's something you'd want.

kubaj 1 point 25 months ago


mydaoqq 1 point 25 months ago

Very useful. Thank you. I am wondering will there be a new game PC build released this month soon?

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Thanks -- glad you enjoyed it.

And yes, we have several new build videos in the works as well as a couple more live streams planned. Stay tuned!

Carbon47 1 point 25 months ago

Would the pc still work as good with the stock cooler? Just wondering if you got the upgrade just for looks or it's actually needed in this build. thanks

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

It would still work fine with the stock cooler. And yes, the Cryorig H7 was mostly added to complement the look of the build since it has a window on the case. It's also a fair bit quieter than the stock cooler if that's a concern for your build.

Carbon47 1 point 25 months ago

thanks a lot for the response. Would you recommend that build for someone who tries to get the best value for his money? The PC looks very nice and all but I'd like to know if I could get a better value for more or less money. thanks again BoyScout! :)

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

For this build video, we decided to start with the Great Gaming Build Guide, which comes in around $1000 USD. Then we added the extra personal touches and upgrades we wanted until we hit our goal for this build (which was $1300). So it's not perfectly tunes to value/dollar, as we made some choices like your mentioned based on aesthetics.

If you're trying to squeeze a better price/performance out of this build, you'll likely make some changes (the same $1250 USD could be used with our Excellent Gaming Build Guide, for example). It comes down to the balance of where you are willing to spend your money.

And of course, you'll want to also keep in mind a budget for your operating system and accessories (mouse, keyboard, monitor) if you are building from scratch.

R3DL1G3RZ3R0 1 point 25 months ago

Brother, thanks for another awesome build guide! The way these videos are edited is my favorite part, limiting the cuts in post and leaving in even the small hands on build details (showing each screw installation, how your flipping the mobo and resting it down, etc.) is genius. It adds a layer of dynamic detail that n00bs like me greatly appreciate and adds to the feeling that we're right there with ya hanging out for the build.

iamsalar 1 point 25 months ago

Just in case you were looking for some who followed through on the guide, here I am.

The only changes I made was step up to the beefier i5-7600K, step down to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, and downgrade to a Samsung 250GB Evo drive. (two 'Evo' tagged parts in one machine, where's my cookie?) In case you're nervous about the changes, don't be.

This build cost me $1,749 CAD (including taxes) to put together within 2 days. The breakdown:

  • Amazon Canada ($647) - the ASUS card
  • Newegg Canada ($610) - the Deepcool case, ASUS motherboard, EVGA power supply, Corsair memory and CM fan
  • NCIX Canada ($492) - the 7600K processor and Samsung SSD

I should be getting the card tomorrow via Amazon. Looking forward to the completion.

conbirk 1 point 24 months ago

The DUKASE is currently sold out across a variety of retailers. Can you recommend an alternate that works with this build and has room for upgrades?

Also, is this build compatible with a wireless adapter? That's likely a stupid question, but I'm a potential first-time builder, so I'm incredibly nervous about deviating from your guide and screwing up.

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

Sorry about that! It looks like we noticed that as well when we updated the guide that this build was originally based on last week. It looks like we now list the Black version of the DUKASE V2. So that's certainly an option with no change in upgrade options, but it does change the look of things a bit.

You can also take a look through the history of the Great Gaming build guide to get ideas of similarly priced cases we've recommended in the past for this build budget (revision history links are on the left side of any Build Guide page).

This build doesn't include any wireless adapter, but you could edit the part list and add one yourself. The compatibility checker should keep you on track for that. If you run into any questions, feel free to ask either on the guide you decide to follow or perhaps in our forums! Lots of folks here that are happy to help you make that first build go smoothly.

conbirk 1 point 24 months ago

Thank you very much. The three-month revision history build uses the white Phanteks which looks incredibly sweet! However, I noticed that you've upgraded a lot of the parts since then. Few questions on that:

  • Is it possible to follow that old build, but upgrade the motherboard and CPU to the ASUS Strix and i5-7500 respectively used in this guide?
  • Would making those upgrades require me (or would it be highly recommended) to adjust any of the other parts?
  • With those upgrades, would the building process be similar to what's highlighted in the video? Again, I'd be a new builder, so I'm really nervous about not having proper instructions
  • Lastly, the compatibility notes in that revision build seemed concerning. Is it a big deal that some of the drive bays would be blocked?

Thanks again for all of your help. I apologize if some of these are stupid/basic questions.

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

It's easier than that -- if you like the Phanteks P400S, I'd recommend just customizing the current guide and replace the case: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/G9JHbj

Most of the filters have stayed pretty similar over the past 3 months, so not much has changed beyond the motherboard and CPU. We cycle through difference cases with each update to show people new options -- but we fully understand that the case (more than most) is very subject to the taste of each builder.

Note that the Motherboard, Memory, Storage, GPU and PSU are all parametric selections and filters on the guide that show the cheapest option based on the filters we selected. You'll want to expand those to see the alternatives to narrow down your final choices.

The basics are the same, but there will be some details that change based on where you place things, etc. We actually did a livestream build in the P400S a while back -- so you could probably take cues from both videos as you plan and work on yours.

On the blocked drive bays warning, you should be fine. That message is a bit confusing (sorry about that) but it actually just blocks some of the front side mounting for additional (optional) drive bays. The included 4 drive mounts (2 x 3.5 and 2 x 2.5) are on the back side and below the shroud and will be unaffected by the GPU length.

Eagleye2nai 1 point 24 months ago

Hi I'm a new builder as well, and I'm looking at the part list and was wondering if the cpu cooler is necessary for this build since the cpu doesn't need to be overclocked. Or is it better to have it? Thanks

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

If you're looking to save a few dollars, it can certainly be left off and you can just use the stock Intel cooler that comes included. But for the price, it's a good value. While we mostly wanted it to improve the look of the build through the window, it will also typically run a bit more quietly than the stock cooler.

noa.h.ossain 1 point 21 months ago

how would you be able to install the operating system?

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

Simplest way is to use a USB drive. For some help, check out our tutorial from a while back where we show you how to install Windows 10 from Microsoft's digital download version. You can also purchase Windows 10 on a USB key.

noa.h.ossain 1 point 21 months ago


noa.h.ossain 1 point 21 months ago

Can this build connect to wi-fi wirelessly? Sorry if these are stupid questions.

BoyScout staff submitter 21 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

This particular motherboard doesn't come with on-board WIFI, so if you need wireless you'd just need to add a compatible PCI or USB wireless adapter.

SpaceCadetKevin 1 point 20 months ago

So this is my first pc build and so far so good. The machine's performing excellently. The only thing I can't figure out is how to hookup the dukase's fan speed control switch to the rear fan. Help a guy out?

matt51098 1 point 18 months ago

Such a shame Intel just dropped the coffee-lake bomb making that build instantly obsolete...

seraphicx 1 point 11 months ago

This is roughly a year on from my initial build of this - can confirm everything is still working 100%. I've made a few upgrades - mostly to accessories - but just popped in a 1080Ti FE from NVIDIA. This thing just melts anything you throw at it.

Here's my update to the initial build list - I saved over time to get all these things - but this build is great to get you started with a dependable machine that is very moddable and easy to navigate.


Namnguyen 2 Builds -10 points 26 months ago

"Im really am an Asus rog fanboy."

Why not go for a 7600k, btw nice build though.

SuperSonic14045 1 Build 9 points 26 months ago

The Intel Core i5 7600K would be an unwise choice with a motherboard with the B250 chipset, since it would be impossible to overclock it.

Namnguyen 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

i forgot to say about the asus strix z270 motherboard on the 7600k

ATeensTwoCents 1 point 25 months ago

"I'm really am," nice grammar there, mate.

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