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Building a $1500 gaming desktop. Need suggestions for specs.

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October 27, 2013 3:37:23 AM

I'm new to computer hardware and am planning to build my own gaming desktop on a $1500 dollar budget. I know a little about what I want, but some stuff I'm just completely clueless to so please dont be harsh :) . I recently posted specs on a build I had designed from a website and many comments told me to just build it myself, so I am taking that route. However, I don't know exactly what I should be buying to get the most for my money, while also having it meet my expectations.

My expectations/desires: I would like to be able to run games such as WoW and Rift at maximum settings while maintaining a smooth fps (90~) and being able to tab through several different programs (ie: Itunes, web browser) with no delay/long loading times.

CPU - Was thinking of going for an i7-4770 here, but not sure if it would even be worth it for gaming. Will an i7 make any significant difference over an i5?

HDD - Wanting to go for a solid state hard drive, but unsure of which I should get

MEMORY - Completely unsure here. I've been told games can take up to 8 gigs alone, so keeping my expectations and budget in mind, could really use some suggestions here

MOTHERBOARD - Another spot I am completely clueless as to what I should be looking for

VIDEO - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB GDDR5 seems like it would be a good option. Any arguments against or for? Also should I go with 1 or 2 of them?

Everything else is still a toss up for me as well. I will be following guides from this website while attempting to build my PC, but I could really use all the help as possible since it's my first time ever trying this. Thanks for the help!

EDIT: One thing I forgot to mention is the monitor. Will I be getting the full experience on a 40 inch tv run through HDMI or would it be best to get an actual monitor? Is there any significant difference?

More about : building 1500 gaming desktop suggestions specs

a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2013 3:39:52 AM

do you live in the US and did you mean US$1500 ?
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October 27, 2013 4:01:32 AM

cpu: i5 4670k and a good aftermarket cooler could net you a good oc to push those games to high fps, rift is not going to go well on any pc, that game crushes my rig to its knees.

storage: some kind of 500 gb ssd should suffice, evo from samsung maybe.

memory: 16gb 1600mhz is cheap and needed, nice with a ssd.

motherboard: z87 maybe from asus, just check if it has wifi, go cheapest board with your needs, how many cards can is put in sli and so on.

video: nvidia is about to drop prices and get a new ti card, maybe a 780 is a sweetspot after some weeks now. and get a aftermarked cooler on it, asus, gigabyte and msi got good ones, can run silent if wanted and good overclockers.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2013 4:50:37 AM

CPU: i5 is generally all you'll need in the CPU department, if you're just using your PC to game, you definitely won't need an i7 for the next few years, at the very least.

HDD: I would advise getting a 250gb Samsung EVO for your OS/games,and a Seagate/WD 1tb hard drive for all of your other media and whatnot. The difference between a SSD and a HD are definitely significant and I firmly believe any gaming rig should have one.

Memory: The recommended amount of RAM for a gaming PC would be 8gb, 16gb is for when people use their machines (usually paired with a CPU with a higher core count: i7/FX-8350) to video encode and whatnot, CPU intensive things. I would suggest a Corsair memory kit, 2x4gb 1866 mhz to be exact.

Motherboard: You're just looking for a board that will satisfy your needs. If you plan on adding a second card, you will want a board that supports it and runs in at least 8x/8x when in SLI/Crossfire. If you only ever plan on having one GPU, then obviously that isn't needed. You'll want a Z series motherboard if you plan on overclocking, but if you aren't H series is what you're looking for. I would recommend pairing an i5-4670k with either an ASUS Z87 series board, ASUS Maximus VI Hero (depending on whether or not it can fit on your budget, but it is a great motherboard), ASRock Z87 Extreme4/6 motherboard, or a MSI Z87-GD43/45

GPU: Nvidia is planning on dropping the prices of numerous cards, as well as releasing a few new ones. I would recommend going with a newer gen card as they tend to run a little more efficiently. A 760 is comparable to a 670, and if your build can fit it, you could go for a 770, or the new 760 ti when it releases.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1TLQc

I would recommend something similar to that. Your PC will be ready for SLI whenever you choose; chose the appropriate PSU so that you can just drop a new GPU in. You can swap out the 4GB GTX 770 with the 2GB version (and save roughly $40) if you're only playing on a single 1080p monitor. With that savings you can either choose to keep the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, or swap it out with a Noctua NH-D14 (which is my favorite).
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a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2013 4:58:41 AM

i5-4670k + z87 mobo / xeon e3 1230 v3 + b85/h87 mobo

r9 280x better p/p then gtx 770

1k build is all you would need.
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October 27, 2013 10:31:16 AM

IRONBATMAN said:
do you live in the US and did you mean US$1500 ?

Yes and yes
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October 27, 2013 12:14:56 PM

enemy1g said:
CPU: i5 is generally all you'll need in the CPU department, if you're just using your PC to game, you definitely won't need an i7 for the next few years, at the very least.

HDD: I would advise getting a 250gb Samsung EVO for your OS/games,and a Seagate/WD 1tb hard drive for all of your other media and whatnot. The difference between a SSD and a HD are definitely significant and I firmly believe any gaming rig should have one.

Memory: The recommended amount of RAM for a gaming PC would be 8gb, 16gb is for when people use their machines (usually paired with a CPU with a higher core count: i7/FX-8350) to video encode and whatnot, CPU intensive things. I would suggest a Corsair memory kit, 2x4gb 1866 mhz to be exact.

Motherboard: You're just looking for a board that will satisfy your needs. If you plan on adding a second card, you will want a board that supports it and runs in at least 8x/8x when in SLI/Crossfire. If you only ever plan on having one GPU, then obviously that isn't needed. You'll want a Z series motherboard if you plan on overclocking, but if you aren't H series is what you're looking for. I would recommend pairing an i5-4670k with either an ASUS Z87 series board, ASUS Maximus VI Hero (depending on whether or not it can fit on your budget, but it is a great motherboard), ASRock Z87 Extreme4/6 motherboard, or a MSI Z87-GD43/45

GPU: Nvidia is planning on dropping the prices of numerous cards, as well as releasing a few new ones. I would recommend going with a newer gen card as they tend to run a little more efficiently. A 760 is comparable to a 670, and if your build can fit it, you could go for a 770, or the new 760 ti when it releases.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1TLQc

I would recommend something similar to that. Your PC will be ready for SLI whenever you choose; chose the appropriate PSU so that you can just drop a new GPU in. You can swap out the 4GB GTX 770 with the 2GB version (and save roughly $40) if you're only playing on a single 1080p monitor. With that savings you can either choose to keep the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, or swap it out with a Noctua NH-D14 (which is my favorite).


Really helpful post. Thank you so much. I know you've basically already selected my entire build and I'm satisfied with what you have chosen, but I do have a few questions and would like just a little more help if you don't mind.

Could I possibly go lower on the PSU to cut back the price so when I select my operating system, sound card, etc. it still fits into my budget? I don't think I would need that much wattage to power the build. Is there any specific reason you chose this one?

Also, I could use help choosing my sound card, operating system, and case fans as well if you have the time. I just don't want to get something wrong and have to re-order and all that. I want Windows 7 and unsure of whether I should get 64bit or 32bit.

One last thing - I need a wireless network adapter to have wi-fi correct? If so, this is a necessity for me as well. If you could select the last bit I need, swap some other hardware out for cheaper prices, while getting the same performance, to fit into my budget better, and send me a link like before that would be great :)  If the price is still 1600~ and there's no way to slightly downgrade some hardware with little-no change in performance, then I will be willing to go a bit higher on the budget.

Appreciate all your help and time!
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a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2013 1:26:53 PM

I chose the 860w PSU because I figured if you ever wanted to use a second graphics card, you wouldn't need to change out anything. Generally you probably won't ever need to, so I can adjust things accordingly.

I have not the slightest clue on sound cards, but from what I've read, the ASUS Maximus VI Hero/Formula have great on-board sound, but from my adjusting I'll end up swapping out the Hero for another board and do a little research on sound cards.

Windows 8.1 is getting great reviews for gaming and what-not, but I've used Windows 7 since it's release, and I don't think I'm going to change until Windows 7 stops receiving support. There's absolutely no reason you need to use a 32-bit OS, 32-bit only supports 4GB of RAM, and since you're building your PC to game, you want to utilize every bit of the 8gb of RAM.

Yes you would need a wifi adapter, I use an ASUS N53 PCI Wifi Adapter, it doesn't have stellar reviews, but two of my rigs have it and it works just fine.

With the case I chose (I have two rigs using the same case) the fans should be completely fine, but if you're ever not satisfied with the fans, the rear exhaust one is a 120mm, and there's a top and front 200mm fan. Some people have recommended using a BitFenix fan for the front, and you could change out the rear exhaust for a Corsair AF120 fan.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1TVAi
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a c 288 4 Gaming
October 27, 2013 1:45:36 PM

Without monitor keyboard and mouse (which I generally leave up to the builder) I would do this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($133.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($71.30 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1297.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-27 03:05 EDT-0400)
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October 28, 2013 6:08:31 PM

Alright I have everything set and ready to order. Which thermal paste should I use for the i5 4679k processor and the Cooler Mastery Hyper 212 evo that you suggested? Also is there anything else im missing that I need while building my computer? I already have the static reduction wristband
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a b 4 Gaming
October 28, 2013 6:53:52 PM

People seem to favor Arctic Silver 5, or something of the likes, but I found that my Noctua NT-H1 does just fine. Generally any paste will do as temperatures between pastes will be only a few Celsius.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 29, 2013 1:51:19 AM

looks good

prefer r9 280x 3gb,
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!