Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$1200 gaming rig

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
May 5, 2010 2:40:25 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: June 2010

BUDGET RANGE: $1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, surfing, a little bit of statistical software/photoshop

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, speakers, dvd burner

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, Florida

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel core i7 or core i5 and NVIDIA GPU. I have had problems recently with ATI and AMD drivers.

OVERCLOCKING: No / Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: N/A

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The last time I built a PC was 2004, a lot has changed and was looking for some constructive critiscm. Let me know if this is overkill and if I am better off with a p55 build. I do not plan to SLI as the only games I play are SC2, TF2, HoN, L4D2, and BCBF2. I also doodle with photoshop, mostly HDR photography. I probably don't plan on overclocking unless I need to because I believe this build will be sufficient to run anything I currently do at full settings.


CPU: [Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

CPUFan: [Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB: [ASUS P6X58D-E ATX Intel Motherboard]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

GPU: [GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 260 GV-N26SO-896I Video Card]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

RAM: [G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

HD: [Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

PSU: [CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Case: [Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Total build $1,305.88 (without windows 7 OS)

This may be noob suicide on here as this is an expert hardware forum but I was comparing some of my parts to a alienware build found on dell outlet. Part of getting a new PC for me is the research and building every single little piece, it is the hunt I love. I know alienware's are generally a rip off but the specs on here make do a double take. I have bought a couple laptops for college from dell outlet when they have ongoing 20% coupons (which is often) and have had 0 problems with any refurb or scratch/dent laptops.

Alienware Aurora Desktop
http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/desktops/alienware-auror...

System Price: $1,499.00

Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
Memory 6 GB Triple Channel DDR3 1067Mhz (3 DIMMs)
Hard Disk Drive
300 GB SATA Hard Drive (10K RPM)
Video Single 1.8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Sound Card Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme AudioSystem
Alienware TactX Mouse
Alienware High-Performance Liquid Cooling
Alienware MM Keyboard
Processor: Intel Core i7-920 Processor (8MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 2.66GHz)Software Upgrade
64BIT Operating System DVD
Network Interface Card Killer Xeno ProBase
24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability

This build has a better sound card, network card, comes with OS, and has liquid cooling. With a 20% coupon it would come out to about $1199 and that is why I do a double take and look at the specs I built. Am I crazy for thinking that this may actually been better than my own build? It is tempting b/c it comes with the OS and some superior parts. Some things are sketchy to me though as I have no experience with alienware: no idea what kind of MB (just that it is x58), no idea what kind of hard drive, have never seen a 1.8gb nvidia gtx 260, unknown PSU (believe default build is 850w alienware brand), and maintenance free liquid cooling (b/c closed loop).

Edit: Sorry, need an OS. Have a license on a laptop I might give to my brother who already has a license too.

More about : 1200 gaming rig

May 5, 2010 2:57:00 PM

Honestly, sound cards aren't really necessary these days (unless you're a very demanding audiophile), and I've never seen any proof that "gaming" network cards provide any useful speed boost, so I wouldn't worry about those components.

You selected better RAM than that build, and you can easily get a decent (the WD 640 GB drives are usually not recommended) hard drive at about the same price point as the one you picked. Additionally, you almost certainly selected a better motherboard than the Alienware, and you could get a better graphics card on that budget...and theoretically, you could buy an i7-930 for just a little more.

I'll be back with a build in a little bit...based on your indicated usage though, I don't think you really need to go with the i7.
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:17:32 PM

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE - $160
Mobo - Gigaybte GA-890GPA-UDH3 AM3 890GX SATA 6 Gb/s USB3 - $140
RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 MHz CAS 7 4 GB kit - $120
Graphics - XFX 5850 - $318 (including $8 shipping)
HSF - Hyper 212+ - $37.50 (including $7.50 shipping)
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 - $55 (uses 1x 500 GB platter for faster speeds & better data density) or Seagate 7200.12 for the same price
PSU - Antec Earthwatts EA650 650W 80+ Active PFC - $81 (including $6 shipping)
Case - Antec Nine Hundred Two - $131 (including $10 shipping)
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - $100

Total $1142.50 including OS
$1192.50 with a 2nd 500 GB drive
$1262.50 with 8 GB of RAM

I didn't change the case, as I was assuming that you chose that one because you liked the looks. You could also go with an HAF 922, Antec 300 Illusion, or other good case that's a little less expensive.

If you really want to go with Intel, this can be switched to an i5-750 or i7-860 build for not too much more. I stay away from i7-920/930 builds at this price range, because you have to sacrifice too much in other areas.

What that $1150ish gets you is: a CPU that's approximately as good at gaming, better RAM, mobo, fast HDD, much better GPU, more reliable power supply (than the generic that is likely in the Alienware).

EDIT: I didn't bother searching for combos, if you're buying in June, they'll have changed by then. I figured coming in under budget was enough...if you have the time to search for combos, even better. :) 
m
0
l
Related resources
May 5, 2010 3:32:56 PM

I got an Intel build. Although I like the AMD build coldsleep put together.

CPU: i5 750
Mobo + Cooler: ASUS P7P55D-Pro + CoolerMaster Hyper 212+
GPU + PSU: Evga 470 + Corsair 750TX
RAM: G. Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB CAS 7
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
Case: Antec 900

Total w/ shipping - $1,131.17. Total after MIR - $1,121.17.

I stuck with pretty much the same case also. Just bumped down to the 900. Heard the 902 only has a couple extra features like removable dust filters. If it's worth 30 dollars extra is up to you.

I'd also recommend something like the HAF as it's cheaper and provides just as great airflow. You'll need as much airflow as possible especially with this GPU in your rig.
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:37:53 PM

Thanks coldsleep, I appreciate your time for linking everything. I'm not deadset on the case and was considering the antec 300 illusion and will probably go for that instead (almost half price). I don't plan on using a 2nd hard drive, have heard too many stories about drive failure in raid 0. The ram you suggested seems to have a lot of problems with AMD chipsets as it was designed for core i7. I think I would like to go Intel still, too many benchmarks are showing intel is superior. Also, the core i7 860 is the same price as the core i7 920.

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

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

m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:39:26 PM

That's pretty much the CPU & mobo I'd go with, unless you (the OP) really want the hyperthreading i7-860, but that's going to drive the cost up. Great Intel build...though I'd say that nVidia 470 vs. ATI 5850 is very much up to whether or not the person spending the money wants to go that route. They're both good cards, though I think the 5850 is slightly better value at the moment.

143Miah - does that cost include OS?
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:43:36 PM

rxgator said:
Thanks coldsleep, I appreciate your time for linking everything. I'm not deadset on the case and was considering the antec 300 illusion and will probably go for that instead (almost half price). I don't plan on using a 2nd hard drive, have heard too many stories about drive failure in raid 0. The ram you suggested seems to have a lot of problems with AMD chipsets as it was designed for core i7.


Oh, I didn't mean to go RAID 0...I hardly ever recommend that. I meant if you want a separate data drive vs. a boot/apps drive. You could also go with the 1 TB version of either of those disks for about $90 total.

From everything I've heard, the G.Skill RAM is pretty quality. The "designed for Intel" is just marketing-speak for "runs at 1.65V or less". If you set the timing & voltage on them, you should be fine.

Sticking with Intel, going with an i7-860 and the board 143Miah linked should work out just fine.

EDIT: And I just realized that I totally didn't read your Intel & nVidia bit, sorry about that. I've been recommending AMD around this price range recently, as both Intel sockets are due to be replaced next year, while AMD seems to be keeping AM3 possibly until 2012, and has a better history of backwards-compatibility.
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:48:06 PM

coldsleep said:
That's pretty much the CPU & mobo I'd go with, unless you (the OP) really want the hyperthreading i7-860, but that's going to drive the cost up. Great Intel build...though I'd say that nVidia 470 vs. ATI 5850 is very much up to whether or not the person spending the money wants to go that route. They're both good cards, though I think the 5850 is slightly better value at the moment.

143Miah - does that cost include OS?


Didn't know he needed that OS as it wasn't in his original build. :/ 

If the OP bumps down that case to a 300 Illusion and adds an OS he'll be within budget. :D 
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:49:35 PM

Thanks 143Miah. I like the build you put up: simple and powerful. I think I will go for a HAF 922 or antec three hundred illusion. My concerns about your build are about the GPU. It is an amazing card and I think will last me a long time but is it worth it at this point as it is still early. It looks to have a lot of driver issues (as any new card will). People are also citing the temps running up to 93, I suppose that isn't a con but that is hot. It will require some serious cooling--increased fan power, any danger of running that hot, especially in a antec 300 or HAF 922?
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:57:40 PM

rxgator said:
Thanks 143Miah. I like the build you put up: simple and powerful. I think I will go for a HAF 922 or antec three hundred illusion. My concerns about your build are about the GPU. It is an amazing card and I think will last me a long time but is it worth it at this point as it is still early. It looks to have a lot of driver issues (as any new card will). People are also citing the temps running up to 93, I suppose that isn't a con but that is hot. It will require some serious cooling--increased fan power, any danger of running that hot, especially in a antec 300 or HAF 922?


Don't know about the 300, but with the 922 I'm always hearing about the great airflow in the case. It's also about the size of a HAF 932 (Full Tower) just a little shorter.

EDIT:

Dimensions of HAF 932 - (LxWxH) 22.70" x 9.00" x 21.50"
Dimensions of HAF 922 - (LxWxH) 22.20" x 10.00" x 19.70"
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 3:59:28 PM

Nice build.

i7-860 is $80 more.

If that $1200 budget is firm, you could lose the HSF for now and go with the 5850 + 650W PSU, that should get you down low enough. Running out of ideas that don't sacrifice quality otherwise. :) 
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 4:06:54 PM

rxgator said:
It supports sata 6 gb/s, is it worth it at this point to get a 6 gb/s hd?


In short, no. All mechanical hard drives are currently slower than the SATA II speed cap.

However, if you're attached to Western Digital, the WD1002FAEX 1 TB SATA 6 Gb/s drive is the one I'd recommend right now. Not because of SATA 6 Gb/s, but because it uses 500 GB platters. WD doesn't have a Caviar Black at 500 GB that uses 500 GB platters at the moment, and the more competitively priced 1 TB FALS doesn't use 500 GB platters either.

Getting a motherboard that supports it is reasonable, as you may wish to upgrade to an SSD if they come down in price in the next year or two, and they can surpass SATA II (if RAIDed right now, presumably natively in the near future).
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 4:45:57 PM

CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo + Cooler: ASUS P7P55D-Pro + CoolerMaster Hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3463938-10521304?URL=htt...

RAM: G. Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB CAS 7
http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-3463938-10521304?URL=htt...

GPU: ASUS EAH5850 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 home prem 64 bit OEM

Total: $1,081.92

Thanks guys, specifically 143miah and coldsleep. I still have about a month before I start buying and will be doing some more research. I am willing to spend some more to get to $1200 and might spring for 8gb ram and a gtx 4 series.

Edit: When it comes down to it, this thing will be more powerful/reliable than the alienware I posted earlier?
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 5:23:00 PM

I wouldnt get Intel out of principal but they are ahead of the game right now.
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 5:30:06 PM

antisyzygy said:
I wouldnt get Intel out of principal but they are ahead of the game right now.


principal? Expensive? I feel they have been ahead for several years now, and am not aware of AMD surpassing them in the near future.
m
0
l
May 5, 2010 5:36:16 PM

I'd argue that Intel is ahead for high-end and mixed workload stuff, largely due to hyperthreading, but for gaming, there's not a huge difference between a 955/965 Phenom II and an i5 (at any reasonable resolution, you're much more likely to be GPU-limited). At that point, it comes down to price & features.

The new AMD X6 processors seem to be good...if you have something that's going to keep most/all of the cores utilized. Which, sadly, isn't most desktop builds.
m
0
l
!