I5 Gaming Build ($1000-$1200)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 1-2 weeks.

BUDGET RANGE: 1000-1200 after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (WoW, SWTOR,etc...), Surfing the Web, and possibly some very very light video editing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: This is what I have put together so far.

Case:
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197

Motherboard:
ASUS P7P55D PRO LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131405

GPU:
XFX HD-585A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150442

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

CPU:
Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115215

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276

Hard Drive:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181

DVD/CD:
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030

Cooler and Thermal Paste:
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 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

**Total Cost** $1118.89

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Plan to add another 5850 for X-fire somewhere down the road.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 (will likely upgrade this as well when I add the second 5850)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This will be my first build, I have some experience with overclocking however so I dont anticipate any problems in that department provided I get everything up and running correctly.

The one thing im really curious about is my RAM selection. Right now I have opted for the 1333 ram with tighter timings but I see alot of people going for the 1600. Would either one be more appropriate for my build with a decent overclock on the CPU or is it simply a matter of preference?

I am well within my current budget but would rather not go much higher unless it provides a noticable performance boost. Really I just want to get some opinions from the community about anything that seems dead wrong or any combo deals I might have missed. Thanks for the help!
27 answers Last reply
More about gaming build 1000 1200
  1. Parts look pretty good. I'd probably not do X-fire on a i5 setup, but that is just me. I'd rather spend the extra $ on an upgrade to a single GPU (5870 - 5970). Sticking with a single GPU will allow you more $ for upgrades or for savings. If you stick to a single GPU solution you get:

    * More $ for upgrades.
    * Less $ needed for a PSU/Mobo.
    * Less power expelled/used due to more parts used.
    * Less driver complexity and better game support overall.
  2. You have put together a very nice set of components. I have just a few suggestions for you to think about.

    If you live near a Microcenter store you can pickup a i750 processor for $150.

    The motherboard you chose is excellent. However, for $20 more you can get the same motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/s capabilities (P7P55D-E PRO). USB 3.0 will quickly become mainstream in the next 6 months, and the ASUS MB has a very good implementation with their PLX chip for USB. I think it is worth the $20, but you could always add a USB 3.0 card in the future if you decide to stick with your original choice.

    Your CPU cooler, hard drive, graphics card, PSU, and case are all excellent choices.

    Your memory choice DDR3 1333 MHz and CAS7 is very good. In general, memory speed (MHz) is slightly more important than timings (CAS), but with memory prices fluctuating so rapidly in recent monthes it gets expensive. This article gives you a good sense of the trade-offs of speed versus timings when choosing memory.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,2482-9.html

    Good luck with your build.
  3. I think Arctic Silver 5 isn't useful because there is a thermal Compound with COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
  4. Have a similar build (i5-750 + 5850) and I LOVE IT. Excellent bang-for-the-buck.
  5. Thanks for the replys!

    Lunyone - Yea I thought about that as plenty of people I know run x-fire or SLI and for them it simply causes one big headache but I think I def want the option to go for it if I choose. I can always run a single GPU upgrade in the future anyway and a x-fire board gives me more flexibility.

    dpaul8 - I noticed the other board myself and almost went with that instead but also as you mentioned I can always add a 3.0 card at a future date if it becomes important. Also, thanks for that link, cleared up alot for me.

    mac_50 and obsidian86 - So I should just stick with the compound that comes with the 212? I have read conflicting reports about it, some say its fine but alot of people just go with the AS5 because its one they know and are comfortable with.

    rodney_ws - Glad to hear it. =)
  6. I'd still get the AC5, since you might need to troubleshoot and/or replace your CPU HSF later. Each time you pull off the CPU HSF, you should clean off the old thermal paste and install new/fresh thermal paste. It's always handy to have extra thermal paste around :) I recently had to use some on my Xbox 360, because of the RRoD :( Fixed it though!!! :)
  7. dpaul8 said:
    You have put together a very nice set of components. I have just a few suggestions for you to think about.

    If you live near a Microcenter store you can pickup a i750 processor for $150.

    The motherboard you chose is excellent. However, for $20 more you can get the same motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA 6 GB/s capabilities (P7P55D-E PRO). USB 3.0 will quickly become mainstream in the next 6 months, and the ASUS MB has a very good implementation with their PLX chip for USB. I think it is worth the $20, but you could always add a USB 3.0 card in the future if you decide to stick with your original choice.

    Your CPU cooler, hard drive, graphics card, PSU, and case are all excellent choices.

    Your memory choice DDR3 1333 MHz and CAS7 is very good. In general, memory speed (MHz) is slightly more important than timings (CAS), but with memory prices fluctuating so rapidly in recent monthes it gets expensive. This article gives you a good sense of the trade-offs of speed versus timings when choosing memory.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,2482-9.html

    Good luck with your build.



    Microcenter jacked there prices the i5 750 is now 189.99 :(


    nice build BTW close to mine, i went with a mobo to xfire down the road if i do or not i dont know yet i got my HD 5850 when they first came out for 260 so ATM prices are to high. but reading about the 16x16x vs 8x8x 4 % hit over that is not that bad IMO

    gl with your build enjoy
  8. Niklas -- Thanks for the update on the i750 price at Microcenter. I wonder if the introduction of the i3 processors forced Microcenter to increase the i5-750 price to create a price gap for the i3s. It is shame because the i750 was such a bargain at $150.

    Best regards.
  9. dpaul8 said:
    Niklas -- Thanks for the update on the i750 price at Microcenter. I wonder if the introduction of the i3 processors forced Microcenter to increase the i5-750 price to create a price gap for the i3s. It is shame because the i750 was such a bargain at $150.

    Best regards.



    That"s more likely the reason behind it, but they also raised the i7 920 from 199.99 to 229.99

    I am glad i got my i5 750 for 149.99 and my HD 5850 for 260 :)
  10. They jacked them alright. Kinda blows. Now they have the i5-661 at $150.
  11. Let me ask you guys. Is it necessary to use a heatsink like the one linked? I have a CM Storm Scout case, and the ASUS board linked above. I'm putting my unit together this week, and am wondering if I should invest in this heatsink the OP linked.
  12. Thanks again for the help guys!

    real world - Im going with an aftermarket HSF because I plan to overclock the CPU quite a bit and want more room to do so (lower temps). As far as I know if you dont plan to OC or just want a very minor one the stock heatsink is fine provided the case you plan on using has decent airflow (which the Storm Scout does).
  13. You don't need an aftermarket CPU HSF for stock or close to stock speeds. If you plan on doing some medium to heavy OC'ing, your going to want a good CPU HSF to keep temps down. It won't hurt to have a CPU HSF that is better than the stock one, but the stock one will work for most situations (assuming you have a well ventilated case, like Calick posted). :)
  14. Calick said:
    Thanks again for the help guys!

    real world - Im going with an aftermarket HSF because I plan to overclock the CPU quite a bit and want more room to do so (lower temps). As far as I know if you dont plan to OC or just want a very minor one the stock heatsink is fine provided the case you plan on using has decent airflow (which the Storm Scout does).


    I would go with DDR3 1600 if your going to OC you dont want to OC the memory
  15. Yea that was basically the only thing left I was debating, I think I will go with the 1600 for just that reason. Thanks!
  16. Awesome guys. I've never OC'd before, but I do plan to. First I've got to make sure I get my build to work. It's my first. I've swapped out parts in PC's plenty of times, and have a decent understanding of how PC's work, so I think I'll be ok. Is it ok to add a HSF down the road, when I do OC, or is it best to do it now, when I'm putting the rig together?
  17. Your case, the HAF 922, has a cutout in the cable management section that gives you access to the back of the motherboard in the CPU area, so you could install a heat sink fan later without having to remove the motherboard from the case. However, you would still have to remove the Intel heat sink from the CPU, and this can be a PITA.

    If you can fit the extra $30 in your budget now for the Hyper 212, I would just get it and avoid the hassles of trying to install it after your system is all put together.
  18. dpaul8 said:
    Your case, the HAF 922, has a cutout in the cable management section that gives you access to the back of the motherboard in the CPU area, so you could install a heat sink fan later without having to remove the motherboard from the case. However, you would still have to remove the Intel heat sink from the CPU, and this can be a PITA.

    If you can fit the extra $30 in your budget now for the Hyper 212, I would just get it and avoid the hassles of trying to install it after your system is all put together.


    +1 ^
  19. Great looking build, similar to the one I'm putting together. Let us know how the build goes and put up some pics if you can!
  20. Calick A few pics of my build i did a few months back http://img163.imageshack.us/g/137sm.jpg/
  21. Just put the order through, hoping to get the parts by Friday.

    If not, then early next week and ill post some pics if I get a chance.
  22. niklas_13 - Looks sweet man! Nice setup, your desk/workstation there is very similar to my own as well. Parts cant some soon enough!
  23. real world said:
    Let me ask you guys. Is it necessary to use a heatsink like the one linked? I have a CM Storm Scout case, and the ASUS board linked above. I'm putting my unit together this week, and am wondering if I should invest in this heatsink the OP linked.


    I have the Scout and an i5-750, but I can't really answer your question because I never touched the heatsink that came with the processor in the retail box. I'd read too many reviews to even consider going down that road... too much noise and too much heat... and most people with i5s are getting them with the intention of overclocking... so an aftermarket cooler is a must. That said... be careful if you do choose one... your case limits your options... mainly you have to worry about a heatsink that extends beyond the top edge of your motherboard... that one will be all up in the top exhaust fan.
  24. rodney_ws said:
    I have the Scout and an i5-750, but I can't really answer your question because I never touched the heatsink that came with the processor in the retail box. I'd read too many reviews to even consider going down that road... too much noise and too much heat... and most people with i5s are getting them with the intention of overclocking... so an aftermarket cooler is a must. That said... be careful if you do choose one... your case limits your options... mainly you have to worry about a heatsink that extends beyond the top edge of your motherboard... that one will be all up in the top exhaust fan.



    Thanks Rodney. Which HSF would you recommend then? I have a CM Storm Scout case, Radeon HD 5850 GPU, and am using the ASUS P7P55D Pro board like the OP has linked.
  25. I did OK with my heatsink selection (CoolerMaster Hyper N520) but you don't get to set the fan RPM on that one (I knew that going in) and it's a little louder than I imagined it in my head. It's obviously a good step up from the stock fan and it does fit in the Scout without any problems.

    These guys...

    http://www.overclock.net/computer-cases/525009-coolermaster-storm-scout-club.html

    Helped me make sure I didn't end up with something that doesn't fit... right there at the top they give you the maximum recommended dimensions.

    Assuming you don't have optional side fans, this should fit without any extra modifications on your part...

    http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2480

    Had this one existed when I put my system together, I'd have done everything possible to make it work. It does work against a red and black color scheme, but whatever... it performs and it's quiet. The N520 I have isn't a bad cooler at all... there are better.
  26. Also, be aware that not all heatsinks come with 1156 mounting hardware. I had to order an extra little kit (direct from CoolerMaster) just to mount mine... I knew that going in and ordered both at the same time, but lord was CM slow to ship.

    And here's what mine looks like...

    http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/3645/newrigw.jpg

    Not the best picture, but it should give you an idea.
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