Your Best Sub-$1000 Gaming Tower

I was reading the recent article about the best $1000 PC and noticed there were some disagreements as to what the best setup really is. Here's what I am looking for:

- A sleek, simple design with efficient components
- All components that work together nicely and have minimal known defects or problems associated with them
- Enough power for everything to run correctly

I am planning on running xp pro, so don't worry about vista compatibility. Also don't worry about monitor, keyboard, etc as I'm only asking for the tower itself to be under $1000. Feel free to respond with opinions on individual components, but what I'm really looking for is a complete list of all the best parts necessary to create this machine. It might help to read the article that Tom's Hardware did as well as the comments after it to see their opinions.

Whichever design I like the best I will build exactly as you list it and post pictures after I am done. Think of it like a contest where the winner gets to see his creation come to life! Thanks guys I will be looking forward to your ideas
13 answers Last reply
More about your 1000 gaming tower
  1. Definitely get a Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. It's $26.99 at Newegg right now. I just bought one this morning, it'll make a good, quiet processor HSF for OC'ing. I would stay with a P35 motherboard or pick a good X38 motherboard and if the budget allows pick up a 4870 or 4850. At that budget you can probably get a E7200 for $129.99 or either the Q6600 or the E8400. Right not, the E8400 is under $200 and the Q6600 is more than $200 at Newegg. As for hard drive disks, a Western Digital WD1600AAJS will cost you $43.99 and has read/write speeds of 64MB/sec or you can look at the Western Digital WD6400AAKS that performs at 92-93MB/sec. The latter can be found for about $89.99 which is very cost effective.
  2. If you want someone to give you a idea for a build, and havent investigated anything enough to do it on your own, then go buy a presario.
  3. CPU: (Video Edit)Q6600 $195 / (Gaming)E8400 $190
    MOBO: ASUS P5Q Deluxe P45 $210
    GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 4850 $165 after $30MIR
    RAM: 2gb G-Skill $45
    HDD: Seagate 250gb $60
    PSU: Corsair 520w $99 after $20MIR
    HS: XIGMATEK S1283 120mm Rifle $37
    CASE: Thermaltake Tsunami Black $120

    before MIR $976-$981 (depends on CPU)

    after MIR $926-$931

    use the left over for another harddrive($60) or 2 more gb of ram($45) or both if you dont mind going over a tiny bit($1036).

    E8400 overclocks very well and Q6600 is the same depends on what you need.
    P5Q D. has very good reviews and is pretty affordable for an Intel based board.
    ATI 4850 here should be a no-brainer...
    G-Skill Rams are known for great performance among the PC masses.
    Seagate 250gb, these are very slim harddrives fast and quiet! i own 2 of them and love them.
    Corsair has high quality power supplies and this one is a modular gives you more flexibility for upgrades later.
    "Rifle" heatsink performs very well and comes with a high quality fan, you cant lose here.
    Black Tsunami is by far one of the best looking mid-tower i have ever lay my eyes on check it out:

    hope you get it built soon

  4. Q6600 for any solution; game or video editing. If you are into overclocking it to 3.0, it is even more of a gem. I don't see the point of recommending a same-price dual core over a quad core merely for the point that the dual core 'is more ghz'. You might see a handful of frames better with a dual vs. quad at stock speeds. Might. From this point forward, however, OS's (Including XP) do pretty well at using 2 or more cores effectively. Yes more games are single threaded vs multi threaded; but this trend is shifting. And yes, you might have a faster dual core, but 2 processors handling the game AND all background services are probably ~ equal with a 'slower' quad doing the same.

    To play devil's advocate with myself, either one of gaiden's CPU choices would do well; both of those coupled with a ~$200 graphics card from (insert ATI/nVidia here) will do you very well.

    Both CPUs mentioned above OC very well (my Q6600 is currently running @ 4.0ghz) and smokes every game with my 9800gtx. I don't play Crysis, but even it ran well with my 8800GTS 640 before. (I just don't really like the game that much aside from the graphics).

    Hope that makes everything as clear as mud!
  5. gaiden said:
    CPU: (Video Edit)Q6600 $195 / (Gaming)E8400 $190
    MOBO: ASUS P5Q Deluxe P45 $210
    GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 4850 $165 after $30MIR
    RAM: 2gb G-Skill $45
    HDD: Seagate 250gb $60
    PSU: Corsair 520w $99 after $20MIR
    HS: XIGMATEK S1283 120mm Rifle $37
    CASE: Thermaltake Tsunami Black $120

    after MIR $926-$931

    Wow nice build thanks for your response gaiden. I notice pcgamer12 also recommended the E8400 or Q6600, with rubix preferring the Q6600. Is the E8400 slightly better for gaming in your opinion? Also I am assuming the ASUS P45 motherboard supports either CPU, is that correct? Are you basing this build off of personal experience or things you've researched?

    Also if anyone else has a build they think might work for me as well don't hesitate to post. I am impressed with the quick responses it already seems I have good candidate for my new PC setup.
  6. 9800GTX...$199
    AMD 6000+ 3Ghz dual core...$111
    PC Power & Cooling 49 Amps @ 12 volt -constant load rated-...$119
    2X1GB of DDR-2 800Mhz Corsair XMS2 ram...$29
    Seagate 7200.11 32MB buffer 500GB...$74

    No need to bother OC'ing the above parts at all...unless you really want.

    Pick your MB and case.
    I Like DFI and Coolermaster yet used a Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe on my last build.

    If you want after market CPU cooler and fans,I only use Thermalright (the best) and Silverstone FM-121 (110 q.f.p.m. and free speed controler).
  7. bman4000 said:
    Is the E8400 slightly better for gaming in your opinion? Also I am assuming the ASUS P45 motherboard supports either CPU, is that correct? Are you basing this build off of personal experience or things you've researched?

    Slightly better. Correct. And both. Im using the E8400 on my HTPC and it runs like a champ. Most games today dont make use of all the cores on a quad cpu so that's why you may see better performance with E8400. It's quite a dilemma here. you can choose an almost(or already)perfected Q6600 or you can embrace the new line of technology that has more 'green power'. I picked E8400 with space/heat/power in mind (because of the small form build) if you are one of those "im on budget but still want to have it all" type of guy then go for Q6600 :p either way you cant go wrong. Flip a coin if you cant make up your mind like I did :lol:

    go crazy
  8. mobo: ASUS P5Q Pro $150

    CPU: Intel Q6600 $200

    GPU: 4870 $300

    RAM: CORSAIR (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $60

    case: antec 300 $70

    PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W $90

    cooler: Cooler Master HyperTX 2 $30

    hdd: Western Digital 640GB 7200 RPM $90

    total: $980 (prices rounded up to nearest $10)
  9. Thanks for your posts guys. I'm also wondering what DVD-RW to get; I hear Samsung is good. Multiple people recommend the ASUS P5Q Pro, does that have good embedded audio? Also I am reading multiple types of cases and cooling components being recommended, which combination will give me the best results? I am leaning toward rammar16 or gaiden's build but I want to make sure I get the most for my money
  10. With one caveat, I'd recommend something from LG Electronics. If you can go for the full HD experience (meaning you're using a high definition monitor or TV as your visual output device), then I'd recommend the LG Blu-Ray/HD-DVD/DVD-RW drive; it's a great all-in-one. Otherwise, get the LG DL DVD-RW Lightscribe drive, since it has anything else that you might need.

    The only issue that I've ever had with LG drives is that I bought a copy of FarCry, which is apparently not compatible with certain LG drives (meaning the ones I got). All I know is that when I try to install the game, the install program starts hacking up on the third CD, always in the same file. (Yes, it could be a bad CD, but I've already seen messages about FarCry not liking LG drives among others.)

    Other than that, I've been pleased with my LG DVD drives.
  11. Here's my reccomended setup:
    Case: Cooler Master RC-690 $80
    Mobo: Asus P5Q Deluxe $210.
    CPU: Q6600 $195
    GPU: HD 4850, $160 with rebates
    PSU: Xigmatek 650W $110. They're made by the guys that make Thermaltake's.
    RAM: Corsair 2GB DDR2 800: $60
    HDD: WD Caviar 640GB: $90
    Optical Drive: LG 22x DVD DL Burner w/ Lightscribe $28
    CPU Cooler: Xigmatek S1283 $27 with rebate
    Total (with rebates):$960
    If you want to go over your limit, you get get a second HD 4850, and and LG's Blu-ray DL burner that plays HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and has Lightscribe.
  12. Thanks guys. I think I have enough info, let me think about which build I like best and I will come back and announce my final choice.
  13. When you said sleek simple design I am going to assume you ment a sleek and simple case right? If you are going to make a powerful rig then try to get the biggest case you can cause now a days expensive hardware runs really hot and you want good (very good) ventilation in that case for the hardware otherwise there are going to problems
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