Gaming Rig for ~$1000 Advice?

Hey all,

I've recently decided that I wanted to try my hand at building my first computer system. A couple days ago my 4850 melted on my old tower, and instead of replacing the GPU on an older machine, I thought I might upgrade the whole rig. My budget is ~$1000 and I want to be able to play games at a 1920x1080 resolution.



PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, HDD (WD Caviar Black 1TB), OS (Win 7 64bit Pro)


OVERCLOCKING: Not necessary



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Case with good cooling is important. The computer will get decent airflow, but it is not the most open space available. Also trying to keep the cost down. Also, I'd like the case to have a window.

With all that said, these are the parts I picked out myself (but please be easy, this is the first time I've attempted something like this.)


Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC

Video Card

SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail


G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

CD/DVD Drives

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 LightScribe Support

(Should I put in two dvd drives or is one sufficient? Every computer I've ever had, has always had two. One for reading and one for burning)

CPU & Mobo

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor

ASUS P5E3 PRO LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard

TOTAL COST: ~$950.93 (before taxes and shipping.)

Now I'm willing to cut costs, or buy a better product if it isn't way out of my budget/price range, and even though I did my best making this list. I know I prolly made a dumb mistake with compatibility somewhere. Also, I didn't include any aftermarket coolers or anything, although I believe that I will need them since the environment my computer is in gets quite hot.

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone has for me.
10 answers Last reply
More about gaming 1000 advice
  1. Big problem. You're building on the extinct LGA 775 socket.

    Here's my changes:

    CPU/Mobo: Phenom II X4 965 BE and Asus M4A79XTD EVO Combo for $279 after rebate

    Case: You don't want to put all of this in that tiny case. I recommend the HAF 922 for $100.

    PSU/Optical: OCZ StealthXStream 700W with a Lite-On SATA burner Combo for $64 after rebate

    GPU: HD 5870 $400

    CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 $30

    Total of $988.
  2. Well, that's embarrasing. Thanks for picking up on that one. So thats a decent machine? I'm not looking for screaming performance, but I want to be able to run most games well, and have it last for me at least a while.
  3. The Antec 902 is not a tiny case. It will handle that system fine. The 922 is often a bit cheaper. If you go with a 5850 it would even fit in an Antec 300 illusion, but the 5870 requires a large case like the 900/902 or HAF 922.
  4. After looking at both cases, I'm having a hard time deciding between them. I had chosen the Antec because it was recommended to me as a case with really good airflow. The HAF also looks really nice though, and I like the ability to turn off the leds on the front. Despite it not having a "real" window.

    The Antec seems to have more fans though. Since this is my first computer I'm going to build, I'm not really sure which one to choose. I don't have any experience wiring things up in my PC (other than the minor upgrades I've done over the years)
  5. Both cases are very good and will serve you well. Choose by balancing price and aesthetics.
  6. Anyone else got any suggestions or improvements from Mad Admiral's post? Or has hit the nail on the head for the price point?
  7. It will outperform your original selection due to the faster CPU and stronger graphics card.
  8. Alright. I'll be looking to order in the next two weeks or so. I'll be purchasing the parts Mad Admiral has recommended.
  9. After computing shipping and taxes, this brings me over $1100, and I was hoping to stay under that mark. If I swap the 5870 for a 5850 am I going to see a noticeable drop in performance? It might be worth it for me saving that $100.
  10. The 5850 is around 20% slower than the 5870. You might notice it if you play Crysis, but many games it will still max out at 1920x1080.
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