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Looking for the Best Build in Terms of Value, Future-Proofing (~$1200 max)

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November 13, 2013 10:54:23 AM

I'm looking for the best possible specs in terms of value. In other words, a build where I'm getting the most for my money. As a casual gamer, I'm not concerned with maxing out games so much as just being able to run my games at decent settings and FPS. As such, I'm really looking for the best way to conserve money and get the most years out of my rig.

To put that in practical terms, I want an affordable computer that will be able to run most any game released in the next ~4 years at decent settings. However, I will also want to upgrade at that point, so maybe put more money into areas that will age better (e.g. parts that feasibly wouldn't need to be upgraded for 7-8 years). Future-proofing and cost-effectiveness are my top priorities.

Obviously this is asking a lot, and I'm more looking for pointers than anything. I don't even know if such a build is possible, but I thought I'd appeal to the experts for help.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within the month.

Budget Range: ~$1200 max, but I'd prefer to spend less if more cost effective.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming only.

Are you buying a monitor: No.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference.

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Parts Preferences: No preference.

Overclocking: Possibly, if cost effective.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, if someone can give a compelling reason to do so.

Additional Comments: Regarding the case, I'm looking for the cheapest, sturdiest option that gets the job done. A little room for upgrades doesn't hurt, but I don't care at all about the appearance of the case.


Thanks in advance for any help or advice!
a c 324 4 Gaming
November 13, 2013 11:25:06 AM

as you wish

i5 haswell
2x 4GB
GTX 760
good PSU

all at sub $850

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.94 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($42.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $822.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-13 14:25 EST-0500)
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November 13, 2013 12:22:17 PM

AMD Radeon said:
as you wish

i5 haswell
2x 4GB
GTX 760
good PSU

all at sub $850

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.94 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($42.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $822.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-13 14:25 EST-0500)


Thank you very much! Quick question, if you don't mind, how do you think this build will scale into the future? Should be able to play most game releases over the next 4 years or so?
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a c 276 4 Gaming
November 13, 2013 1:02:31 PM

If you've got a $1200 budget you should definitely get an unlocked CPU, an i5-4430 is a good choice for a sub-$800 build but not a sub-$1200 one.

Do this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($225.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($52.21 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($122.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1191.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-13 16:02 EST-0500)
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November 13, 2013 1:47:30 PM

g-unit1111 said:
If you've got a $1200 budget you should definitely get an unlocked CPU, an i5-4430 is a good choice for a sub-$800 build but not a sub-$1200 one.

Do this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($225.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($52.21 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($122.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1191.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-13 16:02 EST-0500)


Thanks for the build! I really appreciate the recommendation.

My only concern is if this build is a little overkill. Obviously I stated in my OP that I would like a PC that's capable of running the next ~4 years of gaming releases at decent settings (this is because I heard that it would be most economical to upgrade every ~4 years rather than just buy the best PC within my budget), and it looks like this build should be more than powerful enough to do that.

But I'm not very experienced with PC gaming, so I'll just ask: Is this build a good value? I've heard the best rigs in terms of value are in the $1000-$1200 range, but I've also heard $800. Is it better to save some funds for later upgrades or just buy the best rig within my budget?

Sorry to be so inquisitive, I've just been having a hard time making a cost analysis on gaming PCs because so many parts can't just be compared directly by their specs (especially VCs). It seems like it really takes an experienced PC gamer to say which parts provide the most bang for your buck.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 13, 2013 3:46:37 PM

TAC93 said:
AMD Radeon said:
as you wish

i5 haswell
2x 4GB
GTX 760
good PSU

all at sub $850

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($82.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.94 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($42.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $822.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-13 14:25 EST-0500)


Thank you very much! Quick question, if you don't mind, how do you think this build will scale into the future? Should be able to play most game releases over the next 4 years or so?

I think about 2-3 years.
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