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Building Gaming PC with $1,200 budget

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December 27, 2013 4:41:41 PM

I am looking at building a gaming pc with a budget of $1,200 and I was wondering if I should go with a GeForce GTX 770, GeForce GTX 760, GeForce 680(maybe in SLI if price low enough). if not these then what? I am also looking for a little future proofing if possible and this will be done over the course of a couple months so I might have an extra $100-$200 to work with.
Any help on finding parts for the pc like the cpu or motherboard that fit the budget would be appreciated. (also not looking into OC anything and don't need a mouse, keyboard, or monitor atm that can come after I have more money to work with)


-Thanks for help in advance


EDIT - Best solution by MorkS (11th response)
a b 4 Gaming
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
December 27, 2013 4:47:18 PM

Um... GTX 690 in SLI? That's going to cost double your budget.
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December 27, 2013 4:55:57 PM

HeyyScott said:
Um... GTX 690 in SLI? That's going to cost double your budget.


Sorry meant the 680 and the SLI is going for all of them not just that one, but only if the prices are cheap enough that I could get two GPUs instead of one, but still get a good cpu, motherboard, ram, etc
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a b 4 Gaming
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
December 27, 2013 5:02:29 PM

SLI 680 will be the most powerful compare to the 760/770. SLI 680=690. 690, king of the GPU (maybe not anymore because of 780ti)
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December 27, 2013 5:08:23 PM

HeyyScott said:
SLI 680 will be the most powerful compare to the 760/770. SLI 680=690. 690, king of the GPU (maybe not anymore because of 780ti)


how does 1 680 compare to 1 770 or 1 760 performance wise?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2013 5:16:17 PM

You could go for something like this....

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($393.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 530 White ATX Full Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($128.54 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1185.46
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-27 20:16 EST-0500)
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December 27, 2013 5:24:12 PM

A 680 is between a 760 and a 770 in terms of performance. Still a great card, but unless you're getting an amazing deal then I wouldn't bother. 770's are cheaper right now as well.

SLI is something that I would see as an afterthought. It's great if you can get one for a great price to stave off an expensive upgrade, but I wouldn't do it otherwise.

If you're wondering...I have a 770 and it's great.
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December 27, 2013 6:12:19 PM

So i was picking parts to see what they came up to and I was wondering if adding a liquid cooler for the CPU would be worth it or just a plain fan
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a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2013 6:13:54 PM

actowolfy said:
So i was picking parts to see what they came up to and I was wondering if adding a liquid cooler for the CPU would be worth it or just a plain fan


Depends if your going to overclock or not.
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December 27, 2013 6:18:45 PM

FractalDesignCore said:
actowolfy said:
So i was picking parts to see what they came up to and I was wondering if adding a liquid cooler for the CPU would be worth it or just a plain fan


Depends if your going to overclock or not.


As stated in the original post I will not be overclocking, so just get a regular fan?
( I also live in a very hot area during the summer 78-98, will that still be fine with a regular fan?)
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December 28, 2013 12:16:47 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($209.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($133.60 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($518.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower Case ($128.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($132.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1569.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 03:15 EST-0500)

it is 400 over my budget, but any suggestion on making it a tad lower and keeping or increasing performance
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Best solution

December 28, 2013 3:14:19 AM

Since you aren't planning on overclocking and this build is primarily for gaming I see a few things you can change that will have very little impact on the performance but will save you $$$.

-CPU can be lowered to an i5. There is very little difference in gaming between an i5 and an i7. Also, since you don't want to overclock you don't need the K version. However, if you want the ability to overclock in the future then the K version is what you want...don't worry. It'll only add about $10 to the build.

-Motherboard can be changed to a cheaper one. To me, the only reason to go for a super expensive mobo is if it has features that a cheaper one doesn't have. The one I've linked has everything I would need, and should fit the current build nicely. However, I didn't know what features you'd want from a mobo so this may not work out for you.

-RAM can be lowered to 8GB. No games take advantage of 16GB now, and it is a relatively cheap upgrade for later on.

Besides those changes, there isn't a whole lot of room to change the components while still maintaining the quality of your system. You could probably save ~$30-40 bucks by going for different brands on different components, but nothing major.

You do realize that you don't have storage on your list right? I'm assuming it's because you already have it?

The only other thing I could think of to lower the cost further would be to go with a 770. Which would make the system less of a powerhouse but still be quite capable. For reference, with my system I play every game I've tried on ultra. I've added that to the bottom too (the 4GB version because why not, you can save another ~$40 to go with the 2GB version)

Revised Build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($66.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($518.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower Case ($128.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($132.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1298.11
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 06:19 EST-0500)

GTX 770 version:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($66.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 770 4GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower Case ($128.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($132.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1149.11
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 06:20 EST-0500)
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December 28, 2013 11:36:10 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ TigerDirect)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.30 @ Amazon)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($133.60 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($509.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower Case ($128.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($78.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($132.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1553.08
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 14:37 EST-0500)

You could drop the motherboard for an MSI. I would go for the more money build as its future proof. You could always add another GTX780 as well.
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December 28, 2013 11:47:11 AM

MorkS said:
Since you aren't planning on overclocking and this build is primarily for gaming I see a few things you can change that will have very little impact on the performance but will save you $$$.

-CPU can be lowered to an i5. There is very little difference in gaming between an i5 and an i7. Also, since you don't want to overclock you don't need the K version. However, if you want the ability to overclock in the future then the K version is what you want...don't worry. It'll only add about $10 to the build.

-Motherboard can be changed to a cheaper one. To me, the only reason to go for a super expensive mobo is if it has features that a cheaper one doesn't have. The one I've linked has everything I would need, and should fit the current build nicely. However, I didn't know what features you'd want from a mobo so this may not work out for you.

-RAM can be lowered to 8GB. No games take advantage of 16GB now, and it is a relatively cheap upgrade for later on.

Besides those changes, there isn't a whole lot of room to change the components while still maintaining the quality of your system. You could probably save ~$30-40 bucks by going for different brands on different components, but nothing major.

You do realize that you don't have storage on your list right? I'm assuming it's because you already have it?

The only other thing I could think of to lower the cost further would be to go with a 770. Which would make the system less of a powerhouse but still be quite capable. For reference, with my system I play every game I've tried on ultra. I've added that to the bottom too (the 4GB version because why not, you can save another ~$40 to go with the 2GB version)

Revised Build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($66.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($518.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower Case ($128.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($132.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1298.11
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 06:19 EST-0500)

GTX 770 version:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($66.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 770 4GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower Case ($128.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($132.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1149.11
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 06:20 EST-0500)


I am taking your suggestions on lowering to 8Gb instead of 16Gb and at 1600MHz (I can always buy a different set later on if I do decide to overclock)
I also lowered to PNY's 770-OC2 with 4Gb instead of Zotacs 3Gb 780(it is cheaper and if needed I can always just buy another 770 and put it in SLI for games that will need it in the years to come)
I also downgraded the case to something cheaper, but still nice
I have kept everything else the same because now that I think about it I might want to OC in the future, but until then I will stay with the fan instead of the liquid cooling method and stay with 1600MHz ram for now
Here is the new list:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($209.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($78.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 770 4GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($132.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1307.57
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-28 14:42 EST-0500)

any new suggestions? or is this good for atleast 4-5 years (or more)?

EDIT - I was originally going add a SSD as the OS drive, but due to price constraints I will just take the extra 1TB I have in a another computer and use it as the bootdrive until money allows a SSD
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a b 4 Gaming
December 28, 2013 11:48:43 AM

That looks great Actowolfy the gtx 770 is an amazing card and you can overclock the i7 4770k and still remain future proof.
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December 28, 2013 11:52:19 AM

Just pick an AMD card that supports mantle and you're good. You won't even need to overclock your cpu. So that leaves much room for the graphic card. I would say go for Asus 290x.
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December 28, 2013 2:02:59 PM

Taruntj5 said:
Just pick an AMD card that supports mantle and you're good. You won't even need to overclock your cpu. So that leaves much room for the graphic card. I would say go for Asus 290x.


I personally prefer Nvidia cards not AMD, but AMD has really good cards to and usually for less, but also a tad slower than Nvidia cards
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December 28, 2013 4:27:32 PM

actowolfy said:
Taruntj5 said:
Just pick an AMD card that supports mantle and you're good. You won't even need to overclock your cpu. So that leaves much room for the graphic card. I would say go for Asus 290x.


I personally prefer Nvidia cards not AMD, but AMD has really good cards to and usually for less, but also a tad slower than Nvidia cards


You probably haven't heard about mantle.
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December 28, 2013 5:18:55 PM

How about this?

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/WillDano/saved/3gXb

This build is $200 below your budget, so you can probably add a GTX 780 and it will still fit your budget.
You'll also get Assassin's creed 4, batman arkham origins, and splinter cell blacklist for free with the GTX 770.

If you want, you can upgrade to i7 and 16gb ram in the future, which will make your computer even more beastly, but for today's games, this is all you need.

I hope I was helpful in any way.
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December 29, 2013 5:29:54 AM

You know I find it so funny when people are still recommending Nvidia cards. I just don't get why. Maybe it's because they made the same mistake and want to drag people down with themselves. I'm not an Amd Fanboy or anything, I have an Nvidia Card in my rig. But I don't know why people can't understand that the performance boost is gonna be phenomenal with Mantle. I'm not even excited about the performance, but i'm excited about the consistency in performance with Mantle. Even people with $1000 cards sometimes get frames like 40ish at some highly graphical intense scene. That's because Directx itself is a bottleneck. I don't know how to educate you guys.
Maybe this will help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIWyf8Hyjbg
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