Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

First build, gaming/entertainment PC for under $1000

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 16, 2010 1:45:55 AM

Hi guys, been browsing some of the posts and getting myself up to speed on current trends in PC building. My father has built all of my past PCs and I have helped, but never built a system completely on my own. Thanks to your excellent guides and what little knowledge I already have, I feel comfortable in giving this a shot.

My current computer is an AGP-based relic, running a barely functioning Radeon 9800 Pro. Used to be spectacular back in the day, now, not so much. I cannot upgrade anything because of the fact that it is AGP only. Because of this, I would like to buy components that will allow me to upgrade to stay current for 3-4 years.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: end of January/beginning of February BUDGET RANGE: 800-1000 after rebates. I'd really like to keep it closer to the $800 side of possible.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet TV/Movies, Gaming, Music Notation Software (Sibelius), Word Processing, Browsing, Playing Music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (more on this later), speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com, but I'm open to anything - whatever is cheapest

PARTS PREFERENCES: would like to stick with an Intel processor. I want to get a motherboard that's as future-proof as possible. I would like to get a competitive (though not top-of-the-line) GPU that I can use on its own now, and possible still be able to get another one in a year or two to run in Crossfire/SLI

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, if it's not too hard or risky. I've never done it before.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Decided against it - by the time I could afford to crossfire the card I'm looking at, I could probably spend the same or slightly more to upgrade for significant improvement.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x720. I am running my desktop off a 22" LCD HDTV. I do not have the room in my current living situation for another monitor. I also cannot justify spending ~$200 on another display when I just spent $250 on the TV 4 months ago.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am a gamer, but I have a PS3. I am not playing anything on PC right now, but I will certainly be playing StarCraft 2 when it comes and would probably be open to more PC gaming if I had a computer that could actually handle things. I would love for the GPU to have an HDMI port that supports both audio and video - I tried to upgrade my old computer but it cannot handle HDMI audio in its current configuration.

I am leaning towards an Intel quad-core processor and a Radeon 5750 (apologies if I slightly screwed up the model number). Don't need much more than 500GB hard drive space and I will just be using the stereo speakers on my TV for now so I don't need any fancy audio solutions.

PARTS: I am not attached to any of these, so feel free to change whatever!

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Combo for $320

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail $94

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Combo for $115

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail $135
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Combo for $225

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM $27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also getting the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus for $30 and some Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound for $9 (Amazon, along with the case, because of gift certificates). That adds about $8 tax. Therefore, my total right now is at $787.79 (newegg) + $105.64 shipped (Amazon) for a total of $893.43.

I'm basically set on these components right now. All I really need is for someone to come in and tell me that everything looks good, compatibility should be fine, and that I should just go ahead and bite the bullet!
January 16, 2010 11:37:02 AM

That may be as close as you are going to get with an Intel build. You can get a much more powerful gaming machine with an AMD option. You will save money in CPU/Mobo configuration and used that saved money on a more powerful GPU.

You won't need any new heatsinks if you decide on not to overclock. If you decide to overclock slightly you can still get by on the stock heatsink. The Antec 300 Illusion comes with all the airflow you will need already installed.

Check these out if you are interested in the AMD option:

Phenom II X4 955: $165 (great performer)

Gigabyte AM3 UD3P: $80 (excellent overclocker but only carries one PCIe 16X slot. also has an upgrade path)

ATi 5850: $300 (you won't need to Crossfire)
January 16, 2010 12:26:11 PM

Only problem I have with that option is that I don't get a mobo that has USB 3.0 and STA 6GBs.. if I'm getting the OEM version of Windows 7 I'd really like to avoid the headache of having to upgrade my mobo and then going through the re-activation process.
Related resources
January 16, 2010 2:41:55 PM

Understood. As said before, that is probably as low a price for quality Intel parts you are going to find.
January 16, 2010 3:18:14 PM

Thanks very much for the input. I'm browsing the combo deals on Newegg right now. I already found a combo that saves me $20 on the (same) processor and mobo. Looking at this combo of the HDD I want and a different PSU, is there any reason I would not be okay with this different power supply?

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Also, I apparently mixed up mobos somewhere along the line, and the one in my current combo package is not USB 3.0 or SATA 6GBs like I thought it was. I'm looking for a combo that would include either the processor and/or RAM for about the same price as I'm already spending. Good news is combo deals brought it down to around $880.

How about this mobo? It's a little cheaper than the one I had... I'm leaning away from worrying about Crossfire at the moment.

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 17, 2010 1:22:07 PM

Edited first post for combo deal changes and a few minor component switches.

Also getting the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus for $30 and some Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound for $9 (Amazon, along with the case, because of gift certificates). That adds about $8 tax. Therefore, my total right now is at $787.79 (newegg) + $105.64 shipped (Amazon) for a total of $893.43.

I'm basically set on these components right now. All I really need is for someone to come in and tell me that everything looks good, compatibility should be fine, and that I should just go ahead and bite the bullet!
January 17, 2010 4:21:05 PM

That power supply will do just fine. It just doesn't have as long of a warranty as the Corsair. If you are not concerned with Crossfire thats a pretty good board. I think you should spend a bit more and grab a 5770 but if you are content with the 5750 everything is good to go.

!