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A good gaming PC for under ~$1,500.

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December 11, 2013 9:34:47 AM

Well, this is my first post here, I hope you guys can help me.

I'm looking into getting a new computer, and I can't decide between a laptop or a desktop. I've been using a god-awful laptop for the last six years. I like to game on it, but I want to be able to run newer games, faster, and on higher settings(Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite, etc.). I've found a desktop here that I like, but would like other opinions on it.

I can't decide between a laptop or a desktop. I would like the portability of a laptop, but I don't really think that I'll be moving it around anytime (except maybe to hook it up to the big screen TV in the living room, when my friends come over. But even then, rarely).

I'd like it to have a decent sized SSD, as everyone says that that's one of the best things you can do for your system. I think I've decided on an i7, unless anyone can tell me that the difference between an i5 & i7, preformance wise, would be minimal.

I think I might prefer a premade system, as I'm afraid that I'd end up messing something up, or breaking it (I have huge hands, and I'm afraid that I'd put too much pressure on a part, or I wouldn't be able to reach into small spaces if necessary). I've look at the Alienware computers, and if I get a laptop, I'll probably get the 14inch here(Alienware laptops seem to be pretty good. Plus, I kinda like the AlienFX software included. I know that that's not a good reason to buy a new computer for, but still, I like it).

I budget now is a bit lower than $1,500 at the moment, but in a few months I'll have enough, but $1,500 should be considered about the max.


Edit: Sorry, guys. I hit the 'best solution' button by accident.

More about : good gaming 500

a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2013 9:39:36 AM

for purely gaming purposes, a desktop is your best bet. especially if you want it to last.

honestly, I'd spend about $1000-1200 on a quality gaming desktop, and then get a cheap chromebook or something for light mobile computing needs

other than that, a 128GB SSD is more than sufficient for you to reap the benefits of having one. having a bigger SSD is just luxury and not advised for people on a strict budget

Also, there is virtually no difference between an i5 and i7 when it comes to gaming. save yourself $100 and get an i5
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2013 9:45:28 AM

vmem said:
for purely gaming purposes, a desktop is your best bet. especially if you want it to last.

honestly, I'd spend about $1000-1200 on a quality gaming desktop, and then get a cheap chromebook or something for light mobile computing needs

other than that, a 128GB SSD is more than sufficient for you to reap the benefits of having one. having a bigger SSD is just luxury and not advised for people on a strict budget

Also, there is virtually no difference between an i5 and i7 when it comes to gaming. save yourself $100 and get an i5


+1 , Agreed

You could watch Newegg's Video for help
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls

Some of your local stores may offer to help you assemble the PC if you buy from them.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2013 9:55:45 AM

The ssd is an overkill. 128gb is more than enough for your operating system and programs

8gb of ram is more than enough for gaming. No need for 16gb, unless you do heavy multi tasking or video editing

An i5 4670k or 3570k (depending on the socket) is perfect, and can be overclocked. No need for the more expensive i7

With all that money saved up, you should be able to get yourself a better gpu
December 11, 2013 10:07:45 AM

vmem said:
for purely gaming purposes, a desktop is your best bet. especially if you want it to last.

honestly, I'd spend about $1000-1200 on a quality gaming desktop, and then get a cheap chromebook or something for light mobile computing needs

other than that, a 128GB SSD is more than sufficient for you to reap the benefits of having one. having a bigger SSD is just luxury and not advised for people on a strict budget

Also, there is virtually no difference between an i5 and i7 when it comes to gaming. save yourself $100 and get an i5


Well, I have a 140GB partition on my hard drive for my OS and programs, and I've found that I can't have many games installed at once, and they boot fairly slow. And I struggle to keep all of my files on my it, and I have to move things to my external fairly often.

Also, I'm amazed at the response time to my question.
December 11, 2013 10:11:51 AM

Scremin34Egl said:
The ssd is an overkill. 128gb is more than enough for your operating system and programs

8gb of ram is more than enough for gaming. No need for 16gb, unless you do heavy multi tasking or video editing

An i5 4670k or 3570k (depending on the socket) is perfect, and can be overclocked. No need for the more expensive i7

With all that money saved up, you should be able to get yourself a better gpu


Well, I'd prefer something prebuilt, as I am kind of nervous about building my own, and messing something up. If you can point me towards a prebuilt system within my budget, that can play modern games on high settings, with a decent FPS, that would be great. I would prefer that it be upgrade able too.

Also, I accidentally hit the 'best solution' button. Sorry.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2013 10:41:12 AM

Unselected it. More people should help since the " solved " tag is removed
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2013 10:47:01 AM

here's a good base configuration from cyberbuypower (their price premium is fairly low)

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/CyberPower_Z87_i5_Co...

select for 8gb of memory, 128gb (or 120gb) SSD plus a bigger mechanical HDD, and ugprade the GPu to something like a R9 280X or GTX 770 and you'll be all set for high-end gaming
December 11, 2013 5:24:39 PM

IRONBATMAN said:
Unselected it. More people should help since the " solved " tag is removed


Thanks!
December 11, 2013 5:31:27 PM

vmem said:
here's a good base configuration from cyberbuypower (their price premium is fairly low)

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/CyberPower_Z87_i5_Co...

select for 8gb of memory, 128gb (or 120gb) SSD plus a bigger mechanical HDD, and ugprade the GPu to something like a R9 280X or GTX 770 and you'll be all set for high-end gaming


There's a liquid cooling system in that build. I know nothing about them, so what would I have to do differently compared to having an air cooling system? Like, how often do I have to change the coolant, how much is it, should I treat the system any differently?

a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2013 7:17:36 PM

it's a fully customizable system based on their list of parts. don't worry about the liquid cooling, it is 'closed loop', which basically means it won't affect any of your other components and is self-contained.

in addition, you get to enjoy the benefit of buying a pre-built computer from a computer building company. if there are any problems at all, they'll take care of it for you, and they'll tell you how to take care of your system (if any at all) should maintenance be needed. :D 
December 11, 2013 7:26:30 PM

vmem said:
it's a fully customizable system based on their list of parts. don't worry about the liquid cooling, it is 'closed loop', which basically means it won't affect any of your other components and is self-contained.

in addition, you get to enjoy the benefit of buying a pre-built computer from a computer building company. if there are any problems at all, they'll take care of it for you, and they'll tell you how to take care of your system (if any at all) should maintenance be needed. :D 


Wouldn't I still need to buy coolant or anything? Or could I just more or less forget that it's even there?
December 12, 2013 9:06:57 AM

vmem said:
here's a good base configuration from cyberbuypower (their price premium is fairly low)

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/CyberPower_Z87_i5_Co...

select for 8gb of memory, 128gb (or 120gb) SSD plus a bigger mechanical HDD, and ugprade the GPu to something like a R9 280X or GTX 770 and you'll be all set for high-end gaming


I took what you gave me, and built onto it, putting every I'd need, like a monitor and keyboard. The price is still a little higher than I'd like so, is their anything I can change out to make it a bit cheaper, while not sacrificing too much performance?

Gaming Chasis: * Apevia X-Cruiser 3 w/ USB 3.0, Temperature & Fan Control, Side Panel Window (Black Color with Green LED)
Internal USB Expansion Module: None
Neon Light Upgrade: None
Extra Case Fans: Default case fans
Noise Reduction Technology: None
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-4670K 3.40 GHz 6MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1150 (All Venom OC Certified)
Freebies: Intel GRID 2 Gaming Coupon
Performance Tuning Protection Plan by Intel: Intel® Core™ i5-4670K Performance Tuning Protection Plan by Intel
Venom Boost Fast And Efficient Factory Overclocking: No Overclocking
CPU / Processor Cooling Fan: Intel Certified CPU Fan & Heatsink
Coolant for Cyberpower Xtreme Hydro Water Cooling Kits: Standard Coolant
Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z87-HD3 ATX w/ Ultra Durable 4 Plus, GbLAN, 2 PCIe x16 (1 Gen3, 1 Gen2), 2 PCIe x1, 2 PCI
Freebies: None
Intel Smart Response Technology: None
RAM / System Memory: 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB GDDR5 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
Freebies: Batman Arkham Origins + Assassin's Creed Black Flag + Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Game Coupon
Video Card 2: None
Freebies: None
Video Card 3: None
Power Supply: 600 Watts - Corsair CX600 600W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Hard Drive: 2TB (2TBx1) SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Drive)
Secondary Hard Drive: None
Hard Drive Cooling Fan: None
External Storage: None
USB Flash Drive: None
Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2: None
External Optical Drive: None
Sound: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
LCD Monitor: 24" Widescreen 1920x1080 LG 24EN33VW-B 5ms LED Backlight, DVI, HDMI Input
2nd Monitor: None
3rd Monitor: None
Speakers: 120 Watt Stereo Speakers (Black Color)
Internal Network Card: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
Keyboard: AZZA Multimedia USB Gaming Keyboard
Mouse: AZZA Optical 1600dpi Gaming Mouse with Weight Adjustable Cartridge
Mouse Pad: None
Headset: None
Gaming Gear: None
Fan Controller/Temperature Display: None
Internal Wireless Network Card: PCI Wireless 802.11n 150Mbps Network Interface Card
External Wireless Network Card: None
Wireless Routers/Hubs: None
Bluetooth: None
Flash Media Reader/Writer: None
Video Camera: None
Tablet: None
Cable: None
Power & Surge Protection: None
USB Hub & Port: Internal USB 3.0 4-Port Hub
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
Media Center Remote Control & TV Tuner: None
Office Suite: McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2014
Games: None
Ultra Care Option: None
Service: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
Rush Service: Standard processing time: Cannot Guarantee Christmas Delivery

The keyboard, mouse, and McAfee were free. I do need a monitor, and I'd like a 1080p one.
a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2013 9:22:33 AM

actually, that is exactly the build I was thinking, I simply did not expect you to be buying a monitor and speakers along with the desktop box.

oh, you don't need an internal USB hub if that's what you added

what is your current total? $1300 or so?
December 12, 2013 9:37:10 AM

vmem said:
actually, that is exactly the build I was thinking, I simply did not expect you to be buying a monitor and speakers along with the desktop box.

oh, you don't need an internal USB hub if that's what you added

what is your current total? $1300 or so?


$1473. I'd be a while before I could get that much together, so if I can bring down the price without bringing down performance too much, that'd be great.
a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2013 9:45:39 AM

the only thing I can think of is to buy 1 stick of 4GB memory and add another 4GB stick on your own later.

other than that, the cost may come down overtime while you save up...
December 12, 2013 9:53:34 AM

vmem said:
the only thing I can think of is to buy 1 stick of 4GB memory and add another 4GB stick on your own later.

other than that, the cost may come down overtime while you save up...


Well, the GPU is $80 off right now. What would be a cheaper GPU option that wouldn't sacrifice too much performance?
a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2013 10:06:28 AM

well, you can always take one step down to the gtx 760...

honestly I generally ignore the idea of catching a 'sale' in tech... most prices drop to the sale level by the time the sale ends anyway, it's rare that hardware go up in price (such as AMD GPUs recently due to the bitcoin mining craze)

a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2013 9:24:05 PM

The HD 7970 , R9 280 , and R9 280x have similar performance to the GTX 770. Their performance varies in different games.

The R9 280 which is supposedly cheaper , can be overclocked to match the performance of the R9 280x , so I'm not comparing the R9 280



a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2013 9:25:23 PM

Oops..... Did I post the same comment 4 times ? Sorry, When I clicked " submit your answer " it didn't load, so I clicked it a few times.
a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2013 9:54:30 PM

lol, sure makes for a long thread

I am well aware that the AMD cards you mentioned are just as good as the gtx 770 for supposedly cheaper. however, people mining cryptocurrencies have practically bought all of them out atm (look around, almost none in stock at the original price). if you're willing to wait for them to come back into stock, an R9 280x would be the best choice imo (it is supposed to be only $300 or so)
December 13, 2013 8:18:30 AM

vmem said:
lol, sure makes for a long thread

I am well aware that the AMD cards you mentioned are just as good as the gtx 770 for supposedly cheaper. however, people mining cryptocurrencies have practically bought all of them out atm (look around, almost none in stock at the original price). if you're willing to wait for them to come back into stock, an R9 280x would be the best choice imo (it is supposed to be only $300 or so)


From CyberPower, the HD 7970 is $105 more,and the R9 280X is $9 more.

Also, what's up with the whole Bitcoin mining craze? Is their a specific reason AMD cards are selling out compared to Nvidia cards?
a b 4 Gaming
December 13, 2013 9:14:48 AM

let's clear up a few things: the 7970 and the R9 280X have the exact same architecture except for a few tweaks. the R9 280X is basically a re-branded 7970 in terms of performance. you want to get the R9 280x if you want to go AMD.

as for bitcoins and cryptocurrency in general, it has to do with the pure compute potential of the GPU, and not just 3D texture rendering ability. in this respect, AMD cards are SIGNIFICANTLY better than the Nvidia equivalents, to the point where Nvidia cards are not worth considering for this purpose.

and it looks like you have a really good build there... time to beg friends and relatives for Visa gift cards for xmas :p  (cmon, $20-50 per person isn't too much to ask now hehe)
December 13, 2013 9:22:04 AM

Changed a few things: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1FNHBM

I added another fan. I live in the desert (Like, two hours from Death Valley) and we get 115+ in the summer, so I figured it'd help keep is cooler during the summer. Will the fan be loud, though? I could get the sound absorbing foam too.
a b 4 Gaming
December 13, 2013 9:30:29 AM

Pushed the wrong button :)  This thread was deleted for a few seconds.... restored now. Hope everyone retained their flags.
a b 4 Gaming
December 13, 2013 10:28:00 AM

lol, everything seems fine. thanks Proximon

@OP, adding an extra fan probably helps, but I assume you have AC in that crazy heat? if so your computer should run fine. FYI, sound dampening foam does dampen sound, but also traps heat
December 13, 2013 1:39:50 PM

vmem said:
lol, everything seems fine. thanks Proximon

@OP, adding an extra fan probably helps, but I assume you have AC in that crazy heat? if so your computer should run fine. FYI, sound dampening foam does dampen sound, but also traps heat


We do have AC, but I like it cold, and it's always too warm in my room.

I guess I'll stay away from the foam then.

a b 4 Gaming
December 13, 2013 2:06:43 PM

expect your room to warm up significantly when you game (upto 10 degrees F). consider getting a large box fan to blow cooler air into your room from a different room or something

I live in the north east so I actually don't have central air. while it doesn't get super hot in the summer my small AC unit can't keep up with the heat from my computer and my room can go over 100 degrees T_T (I really need to rewire the house so the cables in that room can withstand more current)
December 13, 2013 8:39:54 PM

Turns out we're going to be ordering it before the end of the year, so I'm excited about that, but I want to get a few things figured out before we order.

On the CyberPower website, there's a option for a 'USB hub and port' and a 'Internal USB expansion module'. What's the difference? I simply want more USB 3.0 ports on the computer.

The build requires a 500W power supply. Should I get precisely a 500W, or get a 600, or 750?

There's also an option to have the processor oveclocked at the factory. Is there any danger to this, ie. reduced processor life? It's $19 for a 10% overclock, is that any decent performance boost?

I'm still confused as to the liquid cooling system. Would I ever need to do anything with it, change the coolant? I'd like to over future costs. However, if it helps keep the system a bit cooler, then I'll get it.

Lastly, does any one have any comments, or suggestions on the build? Anything I should change? http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1FNJYL
December 14, 2013 9:27:47 AM

Some quick answers would be greatly appreciated, as we may be ordering within the next two days, and I would like to have everything finalized.
a b 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 12:07:26 PM

if you simply want more USB 3.0 ports, you want to just get an external USB hub, it doesn't have to e from cyberpower, there are cheap ones on amazon and newegg etc. the internal USB expansion module is exactly what it's named. it is internal, and allows you to plug in USB accessories inside the case and just leave it there. some people use this to plug in various USB adapters, or a large USB stick as data back-up. personally I don't like doing that.

for power, I recommend getting a 600 to 700W just to give yourself a little extra room. power supplies are most efficient at 60-80% capacity anyway.

10% overclock translates to 8% or so performance boost. it can be worth it, but it's not too hard to do yourself either. you can ask about doing that yourself on here after getting the machine.

the type of liquid cooling they offer (closed loop) is maintenance free. you would never have to do anything with it... ever. if something goes bad, contact Cyberpower, it should be within your warranty for them to fix it
December 14, 2013 12:27:16 PM

vmem said:
if you simply want more USB 3.0 ports, you want to just get an external USB hub, it doesn't have to e from cyberpower, there are cheap ones on amazon and newegg etc. the internal USB expansion module is exactly what it's named. it is internal, and allows you to plug in USB accessories inside the case and just leave it there. some people use this to plug in various USB adapters, or a large USB stick as data back-up. personally I don't like doing that.

for power, I recommend getting a 600 to 700W just to give yourself a little extra room. power supplies are most efficient at 60-80% capacity anyway.

10% overclock translates to 8% or so performance boost. it can be worth it, but it's not too hard to do yourself either. you can ask about doing that yourself on here after getting the machine.

the type of liquid cooling they offer (closed loop) is maintenance free. you would never have to do anything with it... ever. if something goes bad, contact Cyberpower, it should be within your warranty for them to fix it


Thank you very much! I didn't notice the four 3.0 ports on the back at first, so I feel kinda stupid.

On the 770, CyberPower has a 'EVGA Superclocked ACX Cooling' option that is free right now. A little more information on that would be great. It just looks like it has a fan built into the card, to keep it cool, I assume.

And, I was lucky enough to snag a free headset and McAfee Plus.
a b 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 12:38:00 PM

the EVGA superclock ACX cooling option is basically this card here:
http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=02G-P4-277...

it has the manufacturer's own cooler rather than the default reference cooler. it is a better and quieter cooler, you should get it if it's free

December 14, 2013 1:06:43 PM

vmem said:
the EVGA superclock ACX cooling option is basically this card here:
http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=02G-P4-277...

it has the manufacturer's own cooler rather than the default reference cooler. it is a better and quieter cooler, you should get it if it's free



Well, I think that's everything then. You sir, have been an enormous help.

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
December 14, 2013 4:46:44 PM
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you're very welcome and happy gaming.

don't forget to pick best answer on your way out :D 
December 14, 2013 7:29:49 PM

vmem said:
you're very welcome and happy gaming.

don't forget to pick best answer on your way out :D 


Dude, you more than earned it.
!