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New gaming computer under $1k (need advice!)

Last response: in Systems
December 11, 2009 1:34:51 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: the sooner the better! BUDGET RANGE: $600-1000 (possibly a little more...but I'd prefer to keep it in that range)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: modern gaming (smooth gaming), surfing the internet, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (keyboard, mouse, speakers, I have a case but its old and would consider a new one...) I HAVE: Rocketfish 700W power supply



PARTS PREFERENCES: My computer is about 10 years old and I don't know much about the current standards for a sick gaming computer (under $1k), but I would like at least 2gb ram preferrably 4gb, a nice 1gb graphics card (or better if it doesn't conflict with the budget), a good amount of HD space (i've seen 500 gb's for around $70, but I really don't need that much space). A nice processor and mobo able to support everything above. I would consider getting a new power supply if you all think mine will not handle this :) .


MONITOR RESOLUTION: Heck I don't even know, I use my garbage CRT monitor from the stone age on 1024x768 but I'm thinking I should get a 20-22" lcd although I would imagine it will conflict with my budget...

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm not up to date on all of the modern parts however I can build the computer and I appreciate all the help and advice I can get from you! :)  If you could provide me with links that would be awesome, but if not I can find them on Newegg.



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a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 1:45:42 PM

You've been out of it really long if you think 2 GB of RAM is good and 500 GB cost $70.

CPU: i5-750. This is a good chip, and built for gaming. $200 (unless you're around a microcenter, then it's $150)

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P $185

RAM: G.Skill Eco 4 GB (2x2 GB) DDR3 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 $98

GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5770 $180. Tried to squeeze an HD 5850 in there, but didn't quite make it.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $55

Optical: Sony Optiarc 24x SATA $27

Case: Antec 300 Illusion $70

Monitor: Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor $170

Total: $980 (plus or minus some change). Didn't look to see if there were combos.

Do you need an OS? If so, (and you want Windows 7) you might have to go with an AMD build...

EDIT: Added links.
December 11, 2009 1:48:26 PM

I know, 10 years (college mixed with lazyness and unwillingness to drop the $ for a new computer!) I appreciate your quick response! I'll check these out

EDIT: Yes I need an OS, been using XP with no complaints, but I was planning on w7
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:07:24 PM

An AMD on the higher side would be to start with batuchka's build, switch the CPU for a X4 955 for $165.
Switch the Mobo to the ASUS M4A79XTD EVO for $115.
Switch the GPU to the one I listed.
Switch the RAM to the ones above.

I think that all totals $886, so with Windows 7, it'd be $1001.

EDIT: Added links.
December 11, 2009 2:10:38 PM

I've been told to stick with intel however I'm not sure about the differences.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:12:09 PM

Actually just stick with Mad's original build and pick up a $30 of Win 7 at If you're outta college just find a random college kid to buy it for you.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:26:21 PM

The difference isn't big.

IMO, AMD is usually a better option if you're on a budget under $1000 for just the tower, but benchmarks show they aren't as good in gaming. The cheaper cost does allow you to pick up a better video card though.

The i5's are better for gaming because they automatically overclock the core that is being used. However, due to the price, you typically have to sacrifice on the video card. IMO, the ideal budget for these is above $1200 for the tower.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:31:52 PM

Well peeps are still gaming on dual cores from previous gen and i think its a common assumption that every one even needs quads for a gaming rig Toms has done a how many cores u need article and a tricore is good to go for gaming hehe

a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:39:58 PM

Yes, I've seen that many times, but so many people (or at least I do) tend to run other programs while gaming (downloads, background apps, browsers, etc.) that having the extra core to handle that is useful. Besides, that's the advantage of the i5's turbo mode...
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:42:39 PM

It doesn't look too bad. It really depends on how well it cools, which can't be shown in a picture (maybe a graph...)

You can definitely skimp on the monitor. I wasn't looking too hard for a deal, just grabbing one to fill the hole. I'd keep that HDD though.
December 11, 2009 2:49:58 PM

I can get a copy of w7 for free, so I'm probably going to go with the i5. That motherboard looks expensive unless I'm really that far behind in the times. Would you have any other recommendations to go with this build?
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:54:24 PM

pianozim said:
I can get a copy of w7 for free, so I'm probably going to go with the i5. That motherboard looks expensive unless I'm really that far behind in the times. Would you have any other recommendations to go with this build?

Stick with that MOBO. It's got dual x8 PCI 2.0 lanes which if you plan on Xfire in the future is critical. Also has USB 3.0 SATA 6gb/s.

So it's basically future proof and its a small change to the UD4P, which is reliable AND one of the few boards not on the Foxconn sockets which may result in cataclysmic failure at >4.0ghz OC's.

Also, don't change the HD. The spinpoint F3 has same performance as a Velociraptor for ~$245 less and has 200gb more storage space.

Edit: Save $20 with MOBO/CPU combo
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 2:57:38 PM

It is expensive, but it's updated to include the upcoming USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/s ports, so assuming no other big changes, it will be useful for several years. It's a great board for future-proofing. It's also pretty reasonable compared to most Intel boards.
December 11, 2009 3:00:41 PM

Thanks banthracis, and MadAdmiral for all of your advice, I really appreciate it. I'll let the idea of dropping $900-1k simmer for a little ;)  but I'll most likely go with this build, and a cheaper monitor :) 

PS. thanks for the combo link

EDIT: and batuchka... thought you were the same person!
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 3:08:01 PM

Don't skimp too much on the monitor. It's a waste to get such a great computer and then not be able to take advantage of it's capabilities.

I wouldn't recommend going lower than 1680x1050
There's a nice 22" Hans G for $149.99

Don't worry about the company name, Hans G is actually the supplier of the displays for most dell monitors, so the visual quality is the same. Dell just has fancier stands =P

Edit: If you really wanna push it, there's a 19" ASUS for $119.99 with 1680 x 1050