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[REQUEST][FirstTimer]~$700-1200 Gaming Build Opinions

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March 27, 2013 9:39:11 AM

Hello everyone, I'm going to purchase my first gaming rig set up and build my first computer. I've made various lists ( http://pcpartpicker.com/user/pman/saved/ ) and I feel as if I'm shooting too high. I currently have a mbp late 2011 with 16gb ram i7 2.8ghz dual core, 750gb hybrid, and 750gb hdd. I'm looking to up performance by buying a gaming computer. My builds are very expensive, and I've seen others first builds are much cheaper than mine. Should I shoot lower for my first build, then get a high cost gaming rig? Do you have any opinions on what kind of build I can get for around 700-1200 dollars? Preferably 700-1000 but I can stretch for performance. I will start gaming and will play some high fps games and I'd like to have the best possible PC to handle all of it. Mediocre photo shop and video editing, and movies. Is it smart to invest all this money now, or just build a budget PC now, and wait for better things to come out then build a high performance gaming rig. Opinions?
March 27, 2013 9:45:20 AM

a while ago toms published an article saying that the 800$ build is the sweet spot for price/performance. meaning aLL the parts in a 800$ build did not bottleneck anything...as soon as they went to 1000$ 1 or 2 parts were capable of more than what the others couldve done. ya get it?....something to make ya say hmmmm?

now others may come here and max out your 1200$ budget with stuff u dont need like overclocking and mad gaming gpu's...what you said about a gaming platform that you can upgrade in the future is a great idea. i often see people here saying "i need a upgrade" and theyre comp is total crap....but if you plan this well with cheaper UPGRADABLE stuff...youll be fine

advice given.
March 27, 2013 10:17:35 AM

Your original post is kind of confusing. You are looking to build a gaming PC that can also do some light photo and video editing for roughly $700-1000 correct? What is your monitor resolution? or does it need to be figured into the build cost? I was looking at some of your builds and I must say that some of them need some work.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2013 10:51:45 AM

Corsair 430W for a 7950 you can't be serious ?A build like that needs a bigger psu Radeon HD 7950 - On your average system the card requires you to have a 500~550 Watt power supply unit.
March 27, 2013 12:17:32 PM

ryan5609 said:
Your original post is kind of confusing. You are looking to build a gaming PC that can also do some light photo and video editing for roughly $700-1000 correct? What is your monitor resolution? or does it need to be figured into the build cost? I was looking at some of your builds and I must say that some of them need some work.


Yes of course. They are a work in progress. First builds are typically like that?

Yes the monitor needs to be included in price. The gist of my post is that I just want to see an improvement playing high fps games. Forget the photoshopping and video editting - that can be done on my mbp.

tl;dr - I want to see more performance than my current mbp laptop. I have made many expensive builds, but seeing other first timer's computer builds has made me think I'm blowing away too much cash on something that should cost less, but still give that performance boost I want.
March 27, 2013 12:18:49 PM

bigcyco1 said:
Corsair 430W for a 7950 you can't be serious ?A build like that needs a bigger psu Radeon HD 7950 - On your average system the card requires you to have a 500~550 Watt power supply unit.


Ok. honestly guys, the link has all of the builds I've made. My First Build is a work in progress - check out the updated/newer lists I've made on that same link/list. I'm just showing you all the kinds of products I was looking at for my First Build.
March 27, 2013 12:38:02 PM

Here is a build I made. This is a high performance gaming rig, complete with monitor and Windows 8 for under $1200. Under $1000 if you do not include Win 8 or a monitor. It would be a very good starting unit that will allow plenty of expand-ability in the future. This setup will allow you to run just about any game not named Crysis 3 or Metro 2033 at or near max settings.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500 AT Ball Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ TigerDirect)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($71.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Samsung E2420L 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1170.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 16:31 EDT-0400)
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2013 1:14:40 PM

try this out

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($377.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: NZXT HALE 90 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($103.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1131.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 16:14 EDT-0400)
March 27, 2013 3:01:35 PM

ryan5609 said:
Here is a build I made. This is a high performance gaming rig, complete with monitor and Windows 8 for under $1200. Under $1000 if you do not include Win 8 or a monitor. It would be a very good starting unit that will allow plenty of expand-ability in the future. This setup will allow you to run just about any game not named Crysis 3 or Metro 2033 at or near max settings.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500 AT Ball Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ TigerDirect)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($71.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Samsung E2420L 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1170.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 16:31 EDT-0400)


I would like to put in a vapor x though. Could this computer take it?

And the monitor is 5ms response speed... Does this make a difference?
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2013 3:27:43 PM

Try to get inside a 7870 XT, more performance for a few dollars more, the vapor x might cost a bit more but asus' cooler should perform pretty nice

try to get a monitor with 5ms or around there if you are going to game
March 27, 2013 3:30:07 PM

boulbox said:
Try to get inside a 7870 XT, more performance for a few dollars more, the vapor x might cost a bit more but asus' cooler should perform pretty nice

try to get a monitor with 5ms or around there if you are going to game


I saw some with 2ms... seemed good, but I'm sure Samsung's screen is better
March 27, 2013 5:48:55 PM

pcoog said:
ryan5609 said:
Here is a build I made. This is a high performance gaming rig, complete with monitor and Windows 8 for under $1200. Under $1000 if you do not include Win 8 or a monitor. It would be a very good starting unit that will allow plenty of expand-ability in the future. This setup will allow you to run just about any game not named Crysis 3 or Metro 2033 at or near max settings.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500 AT Ball Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ TigerDirect)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($71.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Samsung E2420L 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1170.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 16:31 EDT-0400)


I would like to put in a vapor x though. Could this computer take it?

And the monitor is 5ms response speed... Does this make a difference?


This setup should be able to handle just about any gpu on the market. The monitor was just something I found quickly. You can probably get a really nice Samsung LED monitor for under 150 if you do some more looking around. I would go with a 5ms and under monitor for gaming.
a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2013 7:14:57 PM

You are making the build for gaming, it is overpriced in many places not needed.

If you are willing to spend up to $400 this is the build you should get.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($392.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N53 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Arctic White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1400.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 22:14 EDT-0400)
March 27, 2013 7:22:46 PM

boulbox said:
You are making the build for gaming, it is overpriced in many places not needed.

If you are willing to spend up to $400 this is the build you should get.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($392.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N53 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Arctic White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1400.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 22:14 EDT-0400)


Why not the vapor x? People say it is one of the best and only ~50 bucks more. And I would want to get corsair vengeance because of its good reviews.

And would this play all the games I'd want at near max settings?
March 27, 2013 7:47:06 PM

pcoog said:
boulbox said:
You are making the build for gaming, it is overpriced in many places not needed.

If you are willing to spend up to $400 this is the build you should get.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($392.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N53 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Arctic White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1400.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 22:14 EDT-0400)


Why not the vapor x? People say it is one of the best and only ~50 bucks more. And I would want to get corsair vengeance because of its good reviews.

And would this play all the games I'd want at near max settings?


If you add on a Radeon 7970 (yes the vapor x is a great choice, if a bit expensive) or GTX 680 to any of the builds we mentioned, then yes, you will most likely be able to play anything at max or near max settings. Adding on a 7970 basically makes your PC the exact same as my build, and I can play Crysis 3/Far Cry 3/Bioshock Infinate at max settings 1080P, quite easily. Crysis 3 can drop a little below 30FPS at some points, but for the most part it is 100% playable. If you got with a 7970 though, I would recommend getting a PSU that is at least in the 750W range, just to be safe.
March 27, 2013 7:59:46 PM

ryan5609 said:
pcoog said:
boulbox said:
You are making the build for gaming, it is overpriced in many places not needed.

If you are willing to spend up to $400 this is the build you should get.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($392.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N53 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($27.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Arctic White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1400.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-27 22:14 EDT-0400)


Why not the vapor x? People say it is one of the best and only ~50 bucks more. And I would want to get corsair vengeance because of its good reviews.

And would this play all the games I'd want at near max settings?


If you add on a Radeon 7970 (yes the vapor x is a great choice, if a bit expensive) or GTX 680 to any of the builds we mentioned, then yes, you will most likely be able to play anything at max or near max settings. Adding on a 7970 basically makes your PC the exact same as my build, and I can play Crysis 3/Far Cry 3/Bioshock Infinate at max settings 1080P, quite easily. Crysis 3 can drop a little below 30FPS at some points, but for the most part it is 100% playable. If you got with a 7970 though, I would recommend getting a PSU that is at least in the 750W range, just to be safe.


This will be my final build. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MHU9

Thank you for your suggestions.
March 28, 2013 5:14:42 AM

That is a very nice build. You should be destroying games for years to come. You kind of went way above your "budget" of $700-1200, but you should be set for a few years. I hope the build goes smoothly.
a b 4 Gaming
March 28, 2013 12:44:36 PM

No need for i7, get the Gaia for cooling, it will do a great job at it while being cheaper, 16GB of ram is unnecessary, get the 8GB kit, the vengence have tall heatsinks so it can block CPU coolers, patriot ram are used for by intel's ram, the ultra plus SSD is cheaper and uses MLC which is better than the 840s TLC, the seasonic PSU(750w bronze) is a lot better than Corsair's(they make corsair's PSU) and cheaper.

Don't go spending over $50 on a keyboard that is not even mechanical.


Not a fan of wireless items, would choose something different like Steel series mouse.


Also forgot to mention that the ASUS wireless USB is cheaper with no real performance increase/decrease

If going for a GHz version, get an 850W because when you CFX the 7970s, they can use more power than normal 7970s because it is an unlocked card meaning stronger overclocks
!