So you don’t actually need a lot of fancy stuff to make an ok computer. Stuff like a solid state drive or certain gpu’s don’t actually add that much. What you do want is a decent motherboard, some sort of i5 processor (processor speed doesn’t really matter a lot in gaming so unless you also wanna be able to do something really computation heavy don’t bother with a really fancy processor), 8 gb of ram although if you can afford 16 gb that’s better (only reason to not get 16 is if you can’t really afford it), a big hard drive (like 1tb), a case that can hold all your parts and will allow efficient cooling, a power supply, and a decent gpu.
The thing that is gonna improve your graphics and game performance the most of any part is your gpu and the fancier the gpu is the longer it will last you. The gpu is the thing you should invest the most in since its basically the most important part. The differences between the higher end gpu’s though can be quite small even though their price differences can be quite large. I used to have an nvidia gtx 760 and I replaced it with a gtx 970 and evolve looks a little bit better but it isn’t a huge difference graphically. When it comes to the gpu you want a nice one but you also want the cheapest one that will do the job you want it to just as well as the most expensive one. What I mean is evolve will look just as good on a gtx 980 as on one of the nvidia titan cards except the gtx 980 is around $650-$700 and the titans are pretty much all over $1000. If you want to run evolve at max graphics, 60 fps the 980 will do it just as well as the titan but for a lot less money.
There is other stuff about the gpu to consider also. I was going to buy the gtx 980 but then went with the 970 instead because really the only differences between the 970 and the 980 are the 980 can run stuff in 4k and the 970 can’t and the 970 has a problem with it’s ram but is also only around $300. My monitor isn’t capable of 4k resolution and the 970’s ram problem (massive performance loss if a game draws more than 3.5 gb of visual ram) can be avoided by not running at crazy resolutions (somewhere way above 1080p) and not using crazy anti aliasing either. Realistically if you’re running a game in 1080p and using the built in anti aliasing, current games won’t ever draw over 3.5 gb of vram so there won’t be any issues. If your monitor can’t support 4k the 970 is probably going to do just as good of a job as the 980 but for $300 less. I run evolve with max graphics at 60 fps and since my screen doesn’t do 4k the 970 was a good choice because I would have just been wasting the 4k capability of the 980. Basically you want a nice balance between cost and performance with the gpu. It’s easier if you have a specific goal in mind like running evolve at max graphics and 60 fps because then all you need to do is figure out which cards can do that. After that you can decide how long you want the card to last and what the advantages of the different cards are.
I talked about an i5 and nvidia cards but there’s also the AMD stuff which I’ve never used and don’t know a ton about. What I do know is Intel chips (processors) generally work better with nvidia (I’m not even sure you can use nvidia with an AMD processor) and the Intel chips are always more expensive but the really high end ones have significantly better performance than their AMD counterparts. As far as AMD Radeon (their gpu brand) vs nvidia I don’t really know the difference. I kind of assume it’s the same sort of trend where the really high end nvidia stuff is better than the AMD Radeon equivalents but that’s just an assumption.
Something that is sort of optional but really nice to have is better fans and upgraded heat sinks. It’s not super expensive to upgrade the cooling on the parts and it makes a noticeable difference. Water cooling is really great but it’s also a huge pain to set up and if you screw up while you’re setting it up you can destroy all of your parts. In most cases it isn’t worth the effort and should probably only be set up by someone who has experience setting it up. In my computer I just have a bunch of fans (upgraded) and my gpu is only 28 C after 5 hours of evolve. Air cooling works fine and is cheap and easy.
The power supply is pretty mundane but also surprisingly important. A power supply is basically a transformer and the different models are all rated and designed for different power outputs. A cpu and gpu both use a lot of power and if you have extra fans there is going to be an even larger power drain. It may sound a little insane but you probably want a 1000 watt power supply. I don’t know if you’re going to actually use all of those 1000 watts but if you don’t have enough power your computer simply won’t work and if you have too much there isn’t a drawback aside from the price of the supply. I only have a 625 watt supply because my computer is a pre built thing I’ve upgraded and when I put my new gpu in I was really worried I wasn’t going to have enough power. The gtx 970 uses around 150 watts, my processor uses another 100 roughly so right away I only have 375 watts left. My fans probably use quite a bit and then after that there’s all the other random things that draw power. If I wanted to put another 970 into my computer I would probably have to buy a new power supply (and a new case since the 970 is pretty big).
For the case you want it to hold all the things you want to put in. That’s kinda all there is to it. A big one can hold more fans and parts but costs more and is also physically bigger so it takes up more space.
Something that is totally optional but nice to have is a wireless card. You can always buy a little usb adapter for a lot less but a built in wireless card tends to work a little better.
Random peripherals you’ll want and need are a mouse, keyboard, screen, some sort of sound system, and maybe a mic. The mouse and keyboard are probably the least important parts. A cheap mouse works basically as well as an expensive one but won’t have a million buttons on it and might not be as comfortable or as reliable and certainly won’t last as long. I have a razer naga. I bought it for WoW since it’s got a ton of buttons. I used to have to get a new mouse like once a year but I’ve had my naga for 3 years now and it’s still working just as well. Being able to keybind the abilities/weapons in evolve to your mouse is neat but most of it’s functionality is wasted. The keyboard is pretty similar to the mouse in that a cheap one works but is gonna break sooner and won’t do any tricks. For your sound I recommend a reasonably priced headset with some sort of surround sound in it. I used to buy cheap headsets but after the 3rd one with bad audio quality and bad mic quality that quickly broke I finally decided to spend more than $10 and bought a $50 one. It’s ok. I think I should have spent a little more and gotten 7 channel surround. Surround sound in evolve is a huge advantage and a built in mic is bonus so the headset is worth spending a little more on. The screen is probably your most important peripheral and a good one will be expensive. With the addition of Slim’s spore grenade having a big monitor suddenly matters a lot since trying to find a tiny hunter on a 19" screen is a lot harder than on a 27" screen (granted it still isn’t easy). I would bet you can get a decently sized 1080p monitor for a reasonable amount of money though. My screen is 1080p, 27" and has touch so it was really expensive but touch is totally optional. For most people there isn’t a reason to have it. I do a lot of math so being able to write on the screen is useful but in a purely gaming pc a touch screen is like an appendix.
That’s about all the advice I can offer. Basically I would just try and make a computer that does what you want it to do without being fantastically expensive which really isn’t that hard. A lot of the stuff that makes high end gaming pc’s expensive are parts that are more powerful than what you need. My friend recently built a computer for about $1000 that I think runs evolve at max quality and 60 fps (I don’t think it’s in 4k though). That might be the cheapest you can do if you want max quality and 60 fps but maybe cheaper is possible. The price difference between a console and a pc is absolutely worth it.
If you want your computer to be able to do more than game (internet browsing doesn’t count) the cost might go up really fast. If you want it to run CAD software an i5 processor might not work anymore and you may need an i7 with a high clockspeed since CAD is pretty calculation heavy. With CAD the faster your processor cycles the more calculations it can do in a second and the less time you’ll have to wait for your computer to finish whatever it’s doing. If you wanna do a lot of video editing you’ll again need a fast processor but you’ll probably want a second hard drive and maybe even more than 16 gb of ram. Games don’t usually really push hardware but other types of programs will so if you want to do those other things you gotta take that into consideration.