First time builder: $1100-$1400 gaming rig

**EDIT** I cut down on the price a bit, to make it a bit easier to narrow down parts.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Over the next few weeks.

BUDGET RANGE: $1100-$1400

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming mostly, but with general Internet use.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case, optical drive, and power supply (Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5).






MONITOR RESOLUTION: Honestly not sure, due to lack of knowledge and as not knowing what exactly monitor/video card setup to go with.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: In the emergency medicine field, might eventually do some detailing/modding/customizing of the case to fit that theme, so any random tips you'd like to throw in towards that would be good as well.

Hello there, and thanks for taking the time to help my with my new project. First off, I'll be honest, my technique ability is... well, decent. I took some years of electronics courses in highschool and college, and have always tinkered with my pre-built computers in the past. I have no problem with assembling all the parts, fiddling with them, and getting my hands 'dirty' in getting this thing built. My problem comes down to actually selecting the right parts for the right price. All the information out there is a bit of an overload for me when it came to all the really technique stuff and there was a bit of a disconnect for me of why this part which works best with that part and should be used along with this part. As well all the different chips sets and features and... so on and so forth. And couldn't really tell why one thing was better then the other or why I'd want this feature instead of another. Example, the whole monitor/resolution... thing. I mean... like... I want a high resolution and a good monitor... so, not quite sure how to 'pick' what I want.

So case in point, working with hands, assembling, and problem solving good. Super technical, comparing parts, and actually understanding it all bad. Hah, part of it might also be that with all the medical know how and what not I deal with everyday, to go from constantly studying all of that for training and higher certifications, to have to go from that to trying to study up on computer hardware specifications is a bit jarring.

But so, the build I found was a 'pre-made' one as well, as in December's $1300 Enthusiast System build here on this site. Which ya can find right here.,review-31759.html?xtmc=system_builder&xtcr=3

Problem being though, after some research, it seemed that the general opinion of that build is 'meh'. Though that was not entire after I already started buying parts from the list. Luckily, nothing major that I believe I wasn't going to be getting anyway and are super critical in what kind I got. I got the power supply that is on that build list ( Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5), a optical drive the most closely resembled the drive on the list (for what ever reason, couldn't find it anywhere, so went with a Samsung Internal Half Height DVD-W Supermulti SATA 22X Lightscribe), but I went with a different case then the one on the list, after doing some research and able to spend a bit more on it then what they budgeted for, so got a Cooler Master RC-922M-KKN1-GP HAF 922M ATX Mid Tower Case.

So that my start, a case, a power supply, and a optical drive. And other then that apparently less then stellar building guide, not much else. Which is why I came here for some advice. So thanks in advance for any help you can give me, feel free to ask me any questions if ya need something clarified, and please excuse me for anything newbish/dumb I've said if I have. I'm trying. XD
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More about first time builder 1100 1400 gaming
  1. Case / PSU - For the same price listed the build you referred to, you could get this combo. Note that the PSU they referred to is $180 not $110. 650 watts is more than enough power for twin 5850's's enough even for two 5870's. Antec case is better looking, better built and has better cooling.

    However, if it was me, I'd buy the bigger 1200 / CP-850 combo if budget can stand another $70. The $244 price for this:

    is only $24 more than the actual $180 for the HX750 and $40 price of the NZXT case.

    Alternatives to the 900 / EA-650 ($180) combo are the HAF 922 / Corsair TX650 ($200 - twin $20 MIR = 160)
    Alternatives to the 1200 / CP-950 combo ($244) are the HAF 932 / Corsair HX850 ($360)

    Given the pricing (and MIR's), I'd go the the full tower 1200 / CP-850 as 1st choice, esoecially if you intend to over clock; if budget doesn't allow, then te mid tower 922. / TX650.

    MoBo - build listed one no longer available at newegg. Suggest Asus w/ USB 3 / SATA 3 (not crippled like Gigabyte boards)
    ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    CPU - Per Build you referenced

    Memory - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 Model 996782

    XFire GFX - XFX HD-585A-ZNBC Radeon HD 5850 1GB Black Edition

    Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The 2 TB WD Black and LX from Seagate are good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):


    Heat Sink - For performance and ease of installation, the Prolimatech Megahalems fits both criteria. Here's what I'm putting in new builds Mega w/ IC Diamond TIM and twin Scythe PWMfans (make sure ya MoBo can handle the fan wattage). ($95 for the HS, TIM. two PWM fans and a Y cable splitter)

    If that's a budget breaker, look at the Xigmnatec S1283 or one of the others here:

    pick a TIM from the top few here:

    Here are the specs on the PSU he already has ... just FYI.

    Looks like it's good for anything up to 2 cards of (almost) any flavor.

    = Al =
  3. Alvin Smith said:

    Oh damn, sorry, blanked on putting that in there. Thanks!
    Here as well is what I already have.


    CD/DVD Drive/Burner:

    Also as well, in regards to Jack's post. Thanks for the help and suggestions. I was wondering though, if you meant just that one graphics card, or that I should think about getting two of them. Also, still wondering about a monitor suggestion if anyone has a good one. But I will look into that MoBo, memory, and hard drive stuff.
  4. 200.00 Intel Core i5 750
    205.00 EVGA P55 FTW
    600.00 2x Radeon 5850
    045.00 Scythe Mugen 2
    120.00 2x 2GB G.Skill ECO 1600Mhz 7-9-7-24
    220.00 2x 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda @ Raid0

    Total: 1390.00
    You can also add a SSD for operating system.
  5. There are several kinds of those MoBo's evil, any specific one? As well, couldn't find that specific kind of memory.
  6. Instead of 2x 5850, I suggest 1x 5970 for ~$80 more. Take a Phenom II 955+2x PCIe x16 790FX mobo/Core i5+any P55 with 2 PCIe x16 slots (example: MSI P55 Trinergy), That way he can simply bolt on a second 5970 when the need arises- quad GPU scaling seems pretty decent at the correct res, look at the Far Cry 2 bench here:

    From 81 to 142....not half bad....
  7. Dont forget a big PSU...
  8. I have this monitor and I strongly recommend it:
    ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail

    Its large, gorgeous, and the price is hard to beat.
  9. Thanks a lot Lucid for the suggestion, that is an excellent monitor and I think I'll be getting it.
    And hmm... ok, there's a question, since there is different opinions. Two good video cards linked, or the one massive one?
    Also if able, some clarification on the motherboard picks, curious as to why those different ones and all that.
  10. Was going to add, that I cut the price down in both directions, just to make it a bit easier to narrow down parts. And as well, I'm including the monitor in the price, and after Lucid's suggestion, that will leave about $1100-1200 for the actual computer, maybe $1300 if someone really convinces me I should. But sorry for any confusion, but wanted to make that clear.

    Also, thanks for all the help I have been receiving, has been very helpful.
  11. To answer the two 5850's or 1 5970 question. It is simple 1 5970 will out run two 5850's. Especially if you are getting a MOBO that only supports X8 X8 when the Cards are in Xfire.

    You would be really silly to get 2 5850's in my opinion. But at 1300 you are almost limited to 1 5870 anyways. You would be fine if you stuck with closer to 1400-1500 but other then that the 5870 is the way to go.
  12. get a 5870 nd Xfire it after a year or 2 when u hav da budget
  13. bhagat666 said:
    get a 5870 nd Xfire it after a year or 2 when u hav da budget


    By the time you need to Xfire the 5870 the prices should be down a bit as well assuming Nvidia ever gets off of their butts.
  14. +2 on the 5870
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