Build Your Own Computer and Max Out GW2 for Under $500


Guild Wars 2 has given a much needed boost to the MMO world. Not only has it delivered a unique and enjoyable in-game experience in a genre that is overcrowded with stale combat and copycat features, but it has also delivered a new standard of high quality graphics and gameplay for fans to enjoy.

However, with improved graphics and more immersive gameplay, there is a much higher demand on your computer. While some Guild Wars 2 players have gaming systems that can easily play the game with the highest graphics settings, many struggle to get good frame rates on even the lowest of settings.

Fortunately, for those of you who are struggling to play Guild Wars 2 there is an easily affordable option: you can build your own gaming computer!

By building your own PC, you will cut out the middleman and save yourself a lot of money in the process. In fact, for just $500 you can put together a system that will be -powerful enough to play Guild Wars 2 on the highest settings.

In this article, I’m going to go over the components you’ll need in order to build a gaming computer that is capable of maxing Guild Wars 2 out for only $500.

$500 Part List for Guild Wars 2 Gaming Computer

The following is a list of all of the components you will need for your computer:

  • CPU -  AMD Phenom II X4 965
  • Motherboard - ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+
  • Video Card - XFX Radeon HD 7750
  • RAM -  Corsair Vengeance BLUE 4GB
  • HDD - Seagate Barracuda 500 GB
  • Case -  Rosewill Micro ATX Mini Tower
  • Power Supply -  Antec VP-450
  • Optical Drive - Samsung 24x SATA DVD RW
  • Operating System – Windows 7 Home Premium

Grand Total: ~$480-$520 (Prices fluctuate on a daily basis)

I have taken all of the prices for these components directly from Amazon. Since the price of components changes on a daily basis, I did not include specific prices. However, you can check the current prices of these components by going here. Also, by shopping around, it’s likely that you can find better deals and save even more money.

This list comes with everything you need to build your own system and get it up and running (except for maybe a SATA cable or two, for your hard drive and optical drive, which can be had for about $3-$4 each.)

Of course, you’ll need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse if you don’t already have them. However, these parts are everything you need to build the actual computer.

How These Parts Stack Up to the Guild Wars 2 Requirements

The following are the recommended requirements for Guild Wars 2 according to

  • Intel CPU – Core 2 Quad Q6400 or better
  • AMD CPU – Phenom 9650 Quad-Core or better
  • NVIDIA GPU – GeForce GTS 450 2GB DDR3 or better
  • AMD GPU – Radeon HD 5670 1GB or better
  • RAM – 4GB or more

First, it’s important to note that these are the recommended requirements and not the minimum requirements. These requirements show what you’ll need to play the game at a high level.

Since the build I listed uses an AMD CPU and an AMD GPU (or video card), we’ll compare those to the AMD CPU and GPU in the recommended requirements.

First, as shown by, the AMD Phenom II x4 965 is a much more powerful processor than the Phenom 9650, outperforming it in single-core performance, multi-core performance, and overclocking ability.

The only downfall of the Phenom II x4 965 is that it requires more power. Fortunately, the Antec 450-VP power supply is a quality unit and will supply more than enough power to handle the processor and all of the other components in the build. (You can check the power requirements for this system here.)

Next, we’ll compare the Radeon HD 7750 from the parts I suggested to the Radeon HD 5670, which is the GPU that is recommended for Guild Wars 2. Using GPUBoss, we can see that the HD 7750 outperforms the HD 5670 in every test/benchmark.

And, finally, for the memory, the $500 list of components comes with 4GB of RAM, which meets the recommended requirements for GW2.

So, when we go by the recommended requirements listed on, it’s easy to see that the provided list of components will easily meet and surpass all of the recommended requirements for Guild Wars 2.

Start Playing Guild Wars 2 on Max Settings – Build Your Own Gaming Computer

The bottom line is that if you’re tired of playing on the lowest settings and you don’t have a huge budget, you can still build an affordable gaming computer for under $500 that will allow you to play GW2 on max settings.

And, if you’d like to get even better performance, you can always stop by Elite Gaming Computers and check out these gaming computer builds for more ideas on parts and pricing.

Author Bio: Brent

Brent runs—a site dedicated to helping gamers build their own PC. If you’re in the market for a new gaming computer, check out EGC today. There you’ll find a number of different gaming computer builds for affordable gaming computers and high-end systems alike.


  1. Pingback: This week in Guild Wars 2 | Guild Wars 2 News, Podcast, Videos & Articles | GuildMag

  2. Hey man I believe that a better option would be to get a AMD A10-6800k instead of a phenmon and to get g skill 2400 MHz ram (ram speed affects apu’s a lot). You can run a Radeon 7750 in crossfire with the intergraded graphics with the A10

    • That’s true, but then the title of this article would have to be changed, because adding the A10-6800K and 2400MHz RAM takes this build over $500.

      • Thanks for the reply!
        Guild Wars 2 can be played on Linux so you don’t have to spend money on your OS.
        Guild Wars 2 is more CPU intensive and doesn’t support multi gpu set ups.

        $501 as of 9/22/13 with CD Drive
        about $490 with CD Drive

    • Nice build but man it’s amazing how far we’ve come in one year. At this point you could get a much better CPU and GPU - especially if you get the right rebates

  3. My pc specs are AMD FX 8350 not oc’d 16 gb of ram and a gigabyte radeon hd 7970 3gb and i still dip in the high 40’s when theres alot happening i just dont understand it

  4. Brent that system would *never* max out Guild Wars 2 and be able to keep decent frame rates. The GW2 game engine is notoriously inefficient. I’m running an OC’d 3700k with an OC’d EVGA Superclocked GTX660ti and 8GB of RAM (I normally have 16gb but had to RMA 8gb last week), which is obviously far more powerful then the system you spec’d. And even when i have my full 16gb of RAM I have trouble maintaining decent framerates when huge zergs are present, sometimes the FPS get down to just 10-12fps. That’s with everything “maxed out”. I gotta dial down a few settings to keep decent frame rates at all times.

    So maxing out settings for me just won’t work because most of the fun parts of the game will have zergs present.

    So how in the world can you possibly “max out” the settings with such a weak system and not have stuttering frame rates?

  5. Better build:

    CPU - AMD FX-6300 [$109]

    Motherboard - MSI 970A-43 [66.99]

    Combo Price: $161.98 (Savings of $25)

    Video Card - Radeon 7850 [$139.99 + $20 MIR bringing it to $119]

    RAM - 8GB Team Vulcan Orange [$68]

    HDD - Seagate Barracuda 1TB [$49.99]

    Case - DIYPC FM08-B [$31.99] - Cheapest case with a USB 3.0 Header. Comes in White, Blue & Red.

    Power Supply - Antec VP-450 [39.99]

    Optical Drive - Lite-On Model iHAS124-04 [$14.99]

    Operating System – Ubuntu - Free

    Grand Total: ~$507

    When you get your MIR & $10 more or so, you can get a Hyper 212 EVO & ditch the stock cooler. :)

  6. For a few bucks more, Newegg has G.Skill Ripjaws X series 2133 DDR3 RAM on sale for $71.99… *wiggles her eyebrows*

    All of the prices I listed were current as of October 4, 2013.. On Newegg.. And I used combo pricing & price reductions. :)

    The Seagate HDD is actually here Newegg Item # N82E16822178115 with a $20/off promo code. :) Just ditch the enclosure. From the reviews it is not any good anyways, but the drive inside is fine!

    If you already have a DVD burner or a case take those off & buy the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. :) And if you can crunch out a bit more $, a 7870 (even a used, working one) would be better.

    Hope I helped someone!

  7. Sorry for posting again, but I forgot to mention, you can use an addon for firefox & chrome called hover hound.. it compares prices between newegg, amazon & they’re working on having tiger direct prices, too. if you visit amazon, you won’t see it, but if you go to newegg & look at parts, you can mouse over the item(s) & see how much they are at amazon or tiger direct. it’s really convenient. look it up!

    money saving tips:

    buy used items. amazon marketplace is great for buying used items.

    i would also recommend joining, hardforum, etc.. that way you can buy, sell & trade pc parts.. you can pick up some great deals on good, working equipment & find people always willing to help you out… and you can negotiate prices!

    ************** if you want to buy something from someone on a forum, ask for their “heat”.. it’s a scoring system for people to rate their transactions with eachother. :) if they have good transactions, you’ll feel better about your purchases!!! it works like ebay feedback.***************

    of course there’s always ebay. :) ebay always seems to be more expensive than anywhere else, though. :/ well, for me anyway. *shrug*

    this is also a really good time to buy video cards, since everyone’s selling theirs off in order to upgrade to the latest & greatest. lol

    okie dokie, i think that’s about it!

  8. seems my last post(s) got deleted or something?…

    anyway.. here’s a better build.. i made it in this time. it includes an aftermarket cooler.. which you could forego to save a little extra money.

    - AMD FX-6300 6 core processor

    - MSI 970A-G43 ATX AM3+ motherboard

    - 8GB (2×4) Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600 (NCIX has Kingston Predator series 2133 RAM on sale for $58, but it’s out of stock!)

    - Antec 450W PSU

    - XFX Radeon HD 7850 1 GB card

    - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (helpful, but stock fan will work until you can save up enough for one of these)

    - Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD burner ($15. skip it if you already have one & upgrade the video card to a 7870 instead!)

    - DIYPC FM08-B Mid Tower Case (comes in white, blue & red. chose this because it’s inexpensive & has a USB 3.0 port in the front to go with the motherboard).

    grand total, $515..

    if you have anything that can be reused, do so & get yourself a 7870 instead!!

    to illustrate how easy that would be for you to do, simply drop the aftermarket cooler & reuse your old dvd burner/case/ddr3 memory/etc. for example, if you dropped the dvd burner (which is only $15!!) and the aftermarket cooler, then the price would only go up by $3, to $518. see?: — but to do that you do need to already own a dvd burner, so don’t skimp out on it if you don’t already have one that you can use.

    happy gaming. :)

    • Hey Candy, thanks for the input - I’m sure a lot of people will find them helpful!

      As for the deletion of your previous posts, they were simply in the moderation queue and have now been verified!

  9. So, this will come off pretty noob-ish, but don’t worry, that’s only because I’m a noob at this. ;)

    I am looking to put together new gaming machine, and after looking at the usual suspects (looking at you alienware) I was pretty discouraged. paying over a 1000 for a machine that I “think” would run gw2 better than I can now (2011 Mac Book Pro… lol) But then I stumble onto this page and see that there is another option. Pretty stoked about it, but I do have one question:

    I realize that these are just the parts, and they will need to be put together and installed and such, but I have not done that before, and it sounds like a lot of fun. Do you have any advice on a site (or go old school and recommend a book) that would help me put this together without destroying it?

    Any and all help is much appreciated.

    Cheers, and thank you for the resources!

    • Depending on your country, there are some companies that will let you select your parts and build it for you. Obviously there is usually an extra charge for this, but you do get more benefits such as a warranty and personal support for any troubleshooting or questions you have about the machine. They can even “overclock” it for you which increases the pc’s performance!

      If you do want to build your own computer, it really isn’t that hard and any difficult parts literally have thousands of “how-to” videos on youtube. The only downside to this is that you will have to troubleshoot any errors, spend time installing the operating system and risk the possibility of breaking any of the parts. When I built my own PC, I personally spent at least 6 frustrating hours trying to troubleshoot an error which turned out to be a cable that I had plugged into the wrong socket.

  10. Ok, this machine CAN play GW2 at highest settings, but I’d never do that personally. This is the system I built for GW2, where it’s unplayable without everything on low in WvW (and constantly dropping fps even in PvE)

    *Core i7 930 2.8 GHz (overclocked to 3.8 and stable)
    *Corsair H100i
    *12GB G.Skill Ripjaws X @ 1600MHz
    *120GB Intel SSD + 500GB Samsung HDD
    *MSI Geforce GTX 560Ti (slightly factory overclocked)
    *Nzxt Phantom case and Corsair 850W Power supply
    *Ducky Shine 3 keyboard and Steelseries GW2 Mouse
    *Samsung 226bw monitor @ 1680×1050

    I’ll get about 40-50fps in WvW, without any enemies nearby. Fights will drag it down to about 10-15fps. PvE battles will result in about 25-30fps if it isn’t like Tequatl, then it will drop to about 10.

  11. Overclocked my system 3.5 system to 4.8 still having shitty lags on liw specs and high specs
    Oh FTR that monster is 1.4 thousand euro’s of harware and runs cod withouth problems

  12. maybe i need to rework my settings yup hardware pro but software noob

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