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What is the best CPU, motherboard, memory, storage, case and graphics card that can be bought for less than $3,000?

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October 18, 2013 5:50:00 PM

What is the best CPU, motherboard, memory, storage, case and graphics card that can be bought for less than $3,000?
October 18, 2013 5:58:23 PM

It would be better to know what you are using this computer for.

But for an initial stab at it:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-PLUS ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($153.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.46 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($162.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($80.62 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($638.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1600.01
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-18 20:55 EDT-0400)

That should be good enough for high-end gaming at 1080p as well as everyday multi-tasking and some moderate productivity work on photoshop, video editing, etc. Obviously it comes nowhere near $3k so you have lots of room to upgrade.
October 18, 2013 6:02:03 PM

aznricepuff said:
It would be better to know what you are using this computer for.

But for an initial stab at it:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-PLUS ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($153.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.46 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($162.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($80.62 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($638.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1600.01
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-18 20:55 EDT-0400)

That should be good enough for high-end gaming at 1080p as well as everyday multi-tasking and some moderate productivity work on photoshop, video editing, etc. Obviously it comes nowhere near $3k so you have lots of room to upgrade.


I'm willing to spend up to $2,500 and i am very interested in modding games such as skyrim

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October 18, 2013 6:12:56 PM

If gaming and modding are your primary goals, then what I put up there is a good start for you. Those parts would be able to handle Skyrim and almost all other games out there no problem at max settings 1080p.

If you want more juice, you can upgrade RAM to 16 GB (not necessary for gaming, but if you do some heavy productivity work like 2d/3d modeling/rendering for your mods it will be helpful for that). You can also wait a month for Nvidia's new GTX 780 Ti card, which will probably be a bit more expensive but likely more powerful than the 780. Or alternatively you can wait to pick up a R9 290x (supposedly launching within a few weeks), which is almost certainly more powerful than the 780 is.

Also, I didn't include a PSU because you didn't specifically ask for one. Do you already have one of those?
October 18, 2013 6:14:47 PM

aznricepuff said:
If gaming and modding are your primary goals, then what I put up there is a good start for you. Those parts would be able to handle Skyrim and almost all other games out there no problem at max settings 1080p.

If you want more juice, you can upgrade RAM to 16 GB (not necessary for gaming, but if you do some heavy productivity work like 2d/3d modeling/rendering for your mods it will be helpful for that). You can also wait a month for Nvidia's new GTX 780 Ti card, which will probably be a bit more expensive but likely more powerful than the 780. Or alternatively you can wait to pick up a R9 290x (supposedly launching within a few weeks), which is almost certainly more powerful than the 780 is.

Also, I didn't include a PSU because you didn't specifically ask for one. Do you already have one of those?


I don't have anything right now and i have no idea where to start so any advice is appreciated.
At this point is it better to wait until the new card comes out or to start?

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October 18, 2013 6:22:05 PM
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If you are looking for best performance it would fall along the lines of :

Ivy Bridge-E i7-4930k + a good LGA 2011 Mobo like an Asus Rampage IV Formula or similar
GPU: 780/290x(on release)/780Ti(on release)/Titan/dual modern gpus

rest will probably fit in the price, these will be the wallet breaker pieces.

note that IB-E is a 6 core cpu with 6 hyperthreads, itll make use of the advantage AMD will get when games are multithreaded past 4 cores, along with intels lead in Single core optimized games.
October 18, 2013 6:30:47 PM

Smartalec3509 said:
I don't have anything right now and i have no idea where to start so any advice is appreciated.
At this point is it better to wait until the new card comes out or to start?


Well the PSU and an optical drive are the only hardware you are missing at this point (not including peripherals and monitor).

Here's an updated list:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-PLUS ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($153.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($68.46 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($162.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($80.62 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($638.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit) ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1871.21
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-18 21:26 EDT-0400)

So you have roughly $600 to play around with for more upgrades if you want.

I don't think you need a 4930k or LGA 2011 for what you say you want to do. However you certainly have enough monetary headroom to upgrade to those parts if you to (it will help to future-proof your rig to some extent). If you're primary intent is to game, though, then I say use the extra money for a better GPU (not the Titan, though - that thing is just ridiculous).

Whether waiting is worth it is up to you. I think if you're willing to wait the R9 290x or the 780 Ti will both be better options for you than any of the currently available GPUs.
October 18, 2013 6:31:55 PM

dudewitbow said:
If you are looking for best performance it would fall along the lines of :

Ivy Bridge-E i7-4930k + a good LGA 2011 Mobo like an Asus Rampage IV Formula or similar
GPU: 780/290x(on release)/780Ti(on release)/Titan/dual modern gpus

rest will probably fit in the price, these will be the wallet breaker pieces.

note that IB-E is a 6 core cpu with 6 hyperthreads, itll make use of the advantage AMD will get when games are multithreaded past 4 cores, along with intels lead in Single core optimized games.


That sounds great if i wanted to build it but i would like to get a prebuild pc so that it comes with a warranty because then my father is willing to pay more if i can get a full warranty
!