Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Gaming PC for $1200

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 29, 2009 6:00:49 AM

Hello folks. I'm new to the forums so I hope I have this in the right section and posted appropriately. I'm looking to build my own PC for the first time and I have to admit I'm a bit lost with some parts selection. I've gotten opinions of a few friends and done some of my own research online but I figured it can't hurt to come here and get some advice from the pro's.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as possible. Willing to wait a couple weeks if absolutely necessary

BUDGET RANGE: $1400 is about the MAX that I can spend. I would love to be in the 1100-1200 range.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 99% of the time I'm gaming. I do use my computer for music/movies/web browsing aswell though

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I'm upgrading an old PC so I already have keyboard/mouse/monitor/speakers and all that. Just need the case and everything that goes inside.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer Intel over AMD. Don't really have a preference between Nvidia/ATI.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (Honestly I'm not even sure how to do it. But I will be looking into it and learning how most likely)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (I'm told SLI is mostly just for bragging rights and isn't really as good as its made out to be. Better off going with a more expensive single card. If that's incorrect then I'd be willing to go SLI/Crossfire. Thats why I'm here asking you guys)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm a hardcore gamer. I've never had a PC that was able to play my games at max settings without lagging. Now that I have a decent amount of money to dump into a PC that's my goal. I want to be able to throw Crysis at this machine full settings and not see a hiccup. Any game on the market I want to be able to run it at max. I'm told thats easily attainable within my budget so I hope thats true and you guys will be able to help me make the right choices to get there.



I've put together a list of parts based on my friends opinions and my own research. I would really appreciate it if you guys could look over this list and pick it apart. Tell me if its good or bad and if it will accomplish what I'm looking to do. Also let me know any changes you would recommend like going with a differnet Mobo or PSU or whatever you think needs to be changed. If my list sucks all together I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me a list of your own parts that you recommend.


Cooler Master Full Tower ATX Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 650w PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Asus ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Intel i5 Lynnfield 2.66GHz CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


XFX HD5870 1GB GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Kingston Hyperx 4gb memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Western Digital 1TB HD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



The total price of all these parts comes out to $1,188.93 which is very close to my preferred price. Only thing I'm not too sure on is processor I can't decide if its worth the extra $90 to go for the i7 processor over the i5.

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...





I'm told by several of my friends that the i7 is overkill for what I'm looking to do and the i5 will be more than enough. I'm just paranoid cause I don't want to drop this kind of money on a computer unless I'm sure it's going to perform the way I want it to. So like I said go ahead and pick apart my parts choices and weed out the bad tell me what I did wrong. Or go ahead and make your own list from scratch if I'm completely off in my choices. I would be a very very happy camper if I can get a monster gaming rig that will tear up anything I throw at it for under $1400 (Ideally closer to 1200)

Thank you very much in advance for your time I appreciate it.

More about : gaming 1200

September 29, 2009 6:17:25 AM

WR2 said:
Moving up to the i7 860 is a good idea and will seem a little easier
if you spend $70-80 less on a case choice: CM Centurion 590 $60 or CM 690 $70 vs Haf-932 $140



Will a Mid tower fit everything comfortably? I was told to go with a full tower cause with how big video cards are getting its hard to SLI/Crossfire without a full tower. However the person that told me that may not have been correct.

If those cases will do the job I'd be thrilled. I don't want to skimp on cases and have overheating issues either though.
m
0
l
Related resources
September 29, 2009 6:42:09 AM

A full tower will usually only be higher than a mid tower. A mid tower should do you fine unless you have a sht ton of hard drives and cd drives (6+ each) you want to plug in.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 6:47:21 AM

The 590 Centurion and RC-690 both fit a 4870x2 and should handle the 5870 fine.
Both case's can be outfitted with extra fans but probably won't need any extra till you're ready to add a 2nd 5870.
The RC-690 is probably half-way between an average mid and full tower case. It has 12.3" (314.9mm) of clearance for a video card.

m
0
l
September 29, 2009 6:54:20 AM

The 5780s look to be coming in around 11.1" (282mm)
The Centurion 590 has 12.7" of clearance for video cards, but at the expense of some HDD cage usage.
RC-690's side facing HDD cage avoids that issue.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 7:12:38 AM

That Asus Pro is over kill imo for the fact this build is a single card set up.

Down below is memory that has better timings and latency not to mention it's also cheaper than that Kingston you have.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail

m
0
l
September 29, 2009 10:31:29 AM

Why_Me said:
That Asus Pro is over kill imo for the fact this build is a single card set up.


Im guessing he's going to want to add a second card in the future and wants to keep his options open.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 10:38:05 AM

DariusT said:
Im guessing he's going to want to add a second card in the future and wants to keep his options open.


And I guess you didn't look at his build. He has a 650w psu and a 5870. You think he's going to run two of those 5870's on a 650w psu? That and the purchasing of a CM 590 is being discussed on this thread and we all know that case is a great single card set up, but a doubt full one for Crossfire with two of those 5870's.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 10:44:26 AM

Why_Me said:
And I guess you didn't look at his build. He has a 650w psu and a 5870. Now what's that tell you "DariousT" ? You think he's going to run two of those 5870's on a 650w psu "DariousT" ? Let me know when you figure it out ok.


Dakidd4990 said:
Will a Mid tower fit everything comfortably? I was told to go with a full tower cause with how big video cards are getting its hard to SLI/Crossfire without a full tower. However the person that told me that may not have been correct.


He's not baught the psu yet "why_me", since this build is still in the design stages "why_me", and clearly he's shown some interest in having multiple gfx cards, "why_me". So he might either go with a more powerful psu based on recomendations, or upgrade it once the time comes to add a second card, "why_me" There's no need to be so patronizing, "why_me", i was just making an observation.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 10:46:52 AM

DariusT said:
He's not baught the psu yet "why_me", since this build is still in the design stages "why_me", and clearly he's shown some interest in having multiple gfx cards, "why_me". So he might either go with a more powerful psu based on recomendations, or upgrade it once the time comes to add a second card, "why_me" There's no need to be so patronizing, "why_me", i was just making an observation.


You are correct, and I apologize for that uncalled for post of mine.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 1:30:24 PM

Correct I do want to keep my options open to add a 2nd card in the future. I figure if I build a PC with the option to later add a 2nd video card and additional memory then I have lots of room for upgrading and helps the longevity of the machine. If thats the case should I stick with the Asus mobo and Kingston memory? Or is it still overkill with future plans for a 2nd video card and additional memory? I honestly don't mind being a little bit overkill as long as it isn't detrimental to my system in any way.

I changed my case choice to the RC-690 and saved some money there. So the PSU is fine for single card but would be underpowered if I added a 2nd one later? Whats the cheapest PSU I could get that would work for 2 cards? Cause I do want to keep my options open and not have any bottlenecks. I found this one thats 750 watts for only $10 more

Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


My friend swears by Corsair but I've always had decent luck with Antec stuff. If you guys highly recommend Corsair over Antec theres a 750 watt for $10 more than the Antec.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 2:20:34 PM

Dakidd4990 said:
If thats the case should I stick with the Asus mobo and Kingston memory?


Kingston tends to not be very good, they have a reputation for being bargain bin ram providers. Corsair has been my memory provider of choice, the G.Skill ones why_me linked though seem to be favoured by alot of guys on tomshardware.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 2:58:01 PM

Interesting...

Well if I go with the cheaper G.Skill memory that will almost completely cover the cost of upgrading to a 750w PSU. I still need an answer on my previous post regarding power supply. Would the Antec 750w work decently with a future crossfire setup or should I go for the Corsair 750? Do I need more than 750? If so what do you recommend?

Also just for clarification the RC-690 case I switched to will be able to fit 2 Crossfire'd 5870's correct? Why_Me posted that the other case probably wouldn't but just wanted to make sure this one would.

Appreciate all the help so far and thanks in advance for the help in the future guys :) 
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 4:41:00 PM

Dakidd4990 said:
Interesting...

Well if I go with the cheaper G.Skill memory that will almost completely cover the cost of upgrading to a 750w PSU. I still need an answer on my previous post regarding power supply. Would the Antec 750w work decently with a future crossfire setup or should I go for the Corsair 750? Do I need more than 750? If so what do you recommend?

Also just for clarification the RC-690 case I switched to will be able to fit 2 Crossfire'd 5870's correct? Why_Me posted that the other case probably wouldn't but just wanted to make sure this one would.

Appreciate all the help so far and thanks in advance for the help in the future guys :) 


This 750w down below is every bit as good as the Corsair imo. And yes that CM 690 should do just fine for two of those cards.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $99.99 Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling SILENCER 750W QUAD S75CF Power Supply Retail
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 6:26:28 PM

Dakidd4990 said:
So the PSU is fine for single card but would be underpowered if I added a 2nd one later? Whats the cheapest PSU I could get that would work for 2 cards?

Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There's a very good chance the Corsair 650TX would power 2x 5870s. It has more +12V power than some average 700W PSUs out there.

But I really do like the reviews out on the Antec TruePower New 750W PSUs. JonnyGuru review & HardwareSecrets review
It should be more expensive than the 'not-blue' version but its $20 less at the moment. TruePower New TP-750s Blue & not-Blue

m
0
l
September 29, 2009 6:40:49 PM

Alright I think I'll go with the Antec 750w PSU just to be safe. My updated build looks something like this:


Cooler Master RC-690 Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Asus ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Intel i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


XFX HD5870 1GB GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Western Digital 1TB HD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


With total price coming out at: $1,209.89


What do you guys think? All those parts should work well together? Case fit everything and Mobo supports everything? Any ideas for significant improvement for under $100? MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF ALL: Will it run every game currently on the market at max settings with very little to no lag?


1 more thing I saw that concerned me was a comment on the Newegg reviews for the HD5870 video card. Somebody said it won't work with XP. Is there any truth to that? Cause I have a spare legit copy of XP Pro thats been laying around for a year now that I was finally planning on using on this build. I really really don't want to resort to using Vista if at all possible. Hopefully that guy doesn't know what hes talking about or ATI has updated their drivers to make it work. Any ideas on that?
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 6:52:36 PM

Dakidd4990 said:
Also just for clarification the RC-690 case I switched to will be able to fit 2 Crossfire'd 5870's correct? Why_Me posted that the other case probably wouldn't but just wanted to make sure this one would.
2x 5870s no problem for the RC-690. Its a really good value and a good case to work with.

The 590 Centurion will handle 2 5870s but will loose most of it's HDD cage space. You'd have to fit your HDDs into areas where the video cards didnt intrude into the HDD cage space.

Here is a picture of a 690 case with 2x GTX 280 10.5" video cards. You'll see how the side loading HDD cage keeps them from intruding into the area the video cards use. RC-690 and 2 video cards and RC-690 cable mangement
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 9:03:59 PM

Excellent. I really like the look of those pics WR2. The neatness of the wiring is much nicer than my current case.

Looks like everything is pretty much good to go. Just 1 more question before I leave you guys alone and go order my parts.

Whats your honest opinions on performance with this rig? Do you think it'll have no problem max settings on pretty much any game out there? That's my ultimate goal and if I can't achieve that I may put things off longer til I can afford to do that.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 9:48:29 PM

Dakidd4990 said:
Do you think it'll have no problem max settings on pretty much any game out there? That's my ultimate goal and if I can't achieve that I may put things off longer til I can afford to do that.
At 1680x1050 you should be right in the ballpark. Close enough to that ultimate goal to not have to worry about that question.
That 'any game out there' issue is always a moving target so there's no perfect generic answer. If you're out just to have fun you should be happy with the performance you'll get for a very reasonable price.
And you'll have nice future upgrade options if you find a hump in gaming hills you need to climb over later.
m
0
l
September 29, 2009 10:04:09 PM

Sounds good enough for me I'll probably be ordering these parts tomorrow morning :) 

Just out of curiosity lets say I do run into a snag in the future while gaming. What is the weak link in my system that should be upgraded first? In other words what is the current "Weak link"
m
0
l
September 30, 2009 1:28:22 AM

I have a feeling my GPU isn't the bottleneck. My friend just linked me this video of a guy running most games at max settings on 3 linked monitors with ATI's new Eyefinity technology with the HD5870 video card. If I'm only running a single monitor I can't imagine having any issues video card wise.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/09/28/amds_ati_eyef...


I was told my processor was a bit overkill too. All I can think of that would be holding me back is memory? Or is it something else?
m
0
l
September 30, 2009 4:08:41 AM

Depending on the game it could be the CPU, the video card or the motherboard. I doubt it would ever be the 4GB or RAM.
ATI HD 5870 Scaling Performance: X58 vs P55 Showdown
If you stare at that article long enough you'll probably find a way to show that each of the big 3 - CPU/MB/GPU - could be the limiting factor. But you are getting a $1200 system, not a $1800 system.
I think you have a 'balanced gaming build'. For 1680x1050 res you're CPU/MB/GPU are overkill
m
0
l
December 1, 2009 1:48:21 PM

I'd go for the I7 860. In fact I just did. I was looking a Lian case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and 650 watt power supply to go with it. I too was not sure if I wanted the I5. In the end I decided the I7860 was the sweet spot. I mean compare it to the $500 dollar model in the 900 series processors.
So I got the I7 and this case power supply combo.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Yes everything fit very nicly and it has plenty of power for my needs.
You get this most excellent case and power supply combo and you have saved enough to get the I7 860.
m
0
l
!