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[Build Critique] <$1000 Budget Gaming PC

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January 6, 2010 7:01:15 AM

[Build Critique] <$1000 Budget Gaming PC


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: open

BUDGET RANGE: <$1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming/Digital media creation, music, web surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor (have 23" Acer HD monitor), keyboard, mouse, speakers, video card (have an ATI Radeon HD4870x2)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel based, somewhat future-proof

OVERCLOCKING: not looking to overclock much, but i may experiment given the time


Hello everyone! I am looking for some feedback on my newest build. I may not be building this PC for a month or two, but i wanted to get some opinions. This will be my third build, and I am becoming interested in overclocking, so opinions on whether or not my selections would leave much room for that would be great, or even any compatibility issues i may have missed. I am also looking to make this system last a good 4-5 years, so future-proofing it is a somewhat high priority. I also understand that PCI-e 3.0 is due out Q2 this year, but i'm not sure if it would be worth waiting. Anyways, here is what I have so far.


MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

HEATSINK/FAN: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

POWER SUPPLY: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

RAM: 2x (8gb total) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

VIDEO CARD: have already SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

HARD DRIVE
: 2x (1tb total) Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive

DVD DRIVE: Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe

CASE: Rosewill FE-A030 Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case -OR (depending on my funds)- Antec P183 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

WIRELESS: Rosewill RNX-N300X IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP, WPA PSK and WPA2 PSK (TKIP and AES)

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

NEWEGG TOTAL (w/ shipping): $1,027.61
a b 4 Gaming
January 6, 2010 11:58:33 AM

Some changes to reduce price slightly and improve quality.

PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W $50 after rebate ($80 before). Just to lower cost. That Corsair is excellent, but the OCZ is under half the price, and still high quality. If you don't want to switch, 750W is overkill for what you need. At most, you'll need 550W.

RAM: You don't need 8 GB of RAM. Should probably decrease and save yourself $100. If you do, (or even if you don't) there's some Ripjaws that are CAS Latency 7 for only $3 more. A great upgrade for almost nothing.

HDD: Ditch WD. They're sucking right right. Pick up a pair of 500 GB Samsung Spinpoint F3s. These drives are the best available right now, and at $55 a piece, the cheapest. If they're sold out, the Seagate 7200.12 500 GB are close in performance and the same price. Both are better than the WD.

DVD: You can save $3 by getting a Samsung 22x drive. It's $27 with free shipping.

Case: HAF 922 $80 after rebate ($100 before). The best case at an excellent price.
January 6, 2010 4:58:09 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Some changes to reduce price slightly and improve quality.

PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W $50 after rebate ($80 before). Just to lower cost. That Corsair is excellent, but the OCZ is under half the price, and still high quality. If you don't want to switch, 750W is overkill for what you need. At most, you'll need 550W.

RAM: You don't need 8 GB of RAM. Should probably decrease and save yourself $100. If you do, (or even if you don't) there's some Ripjaws that are CAS Latency 7 for only $3 more. A great upgrade for almost nothing.

HDD: Ditch WD. They're sucking right right. Pick up a pair of 500 GB Samsung Spinpoint F3s. These drives are the best available right now, and at $55 a piece, the cheapest. If they're sold out, the Seagate 7200.12 500 GB are close in performance and the same price. Both are better than the WD.

DVD: You can save $3 by getting a Samsung 22x drive. It's $27 with free shipping.

Case: HAF 922 $80 after rebate ($100 before). The best case at an excellent price.



Yeah, the only reason i picked that PSU was i used it in a friend's build which is a lot more power hungry than this will be. That OCZ one looks pretty solid though. I didn't even see that RAM, so that is great! Just one thing about the HDD, i noticed that the Samsung only has a 16mb cache as opposed to 32mb on the WD one. Will that make much of a difference? Only reason i have two HDD's listed is I am planning on dual-booting OS's and would like them on separate disks
Related resources
January 6, 2010 8:27:20 PM

mkyan978 said:
If you're a student or know someone who is you can get Win 7 Upgrade for 29.99

http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimates...


Thanks for the tip! I am currently a student, so that is awesome. I don't see the Win7 $29.99 upgrade, but they do have Win7 Ultimate for $64.95 which is still a great deal.

As for the HDD's the F3 does look like the better option after reviewing that chart. I will go with those.

I am pretty comfortable with the heatsink/fan that i have selected now, but it seems there isnt that great of a selection for the 1156 socket. Would something like XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight work? even though it is for 1366? I am not really sure how big of a difference there is, because Xigmatek has a bracket set for 1156, but no coolers.
January 6, 2010 8:58:33 PM

I'd stick with the Hyper 212 for your HSF. One of the best around, and a steal at the price. As for the PSU - follow your initial instinct and get the Corsair. The OCZ would probably be fine, but there's nothing to beat the reliability and stability of a Corsair or Antec - except maybe PC Power & Cooling, but those are a little pricey. As for the HDD's - I disagree with the above poster that WD has nothing good going on right now. The Caviar Black series kicks ass. Check the benchies and you'll see it owns the F3's and the Barracuda .12's. That said, the F3's would still be a solid choice, and more affordable. Good luck on the build!
January 6, 2010 10:10:45 PM

The 2 platter caviar black 500gb/640gb are older technology and slower to the newer 500gb, single platter spinpoint f3. The WD black 2tb also uses 500gb platters. If you're comparing the 500/640 blacks to the 500gb, its no contest in favor of the f3. The bench that you're looking at is probably the 2tb. Sub 1001gb, the f3 is king, with some exceptions where the 7200.12 performs better.
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