$1500 Gaming Computer

Hi all, this is my first build and I would definitely appreciate some help on part selection.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next week or two

BUDGET RANGE: $1500 is the absolute max. Maybe 20 or 30 dollars above that, but no more. Also, if I can get a better build for cheaper I will take that as well.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (mostly FPS’s and RTS’s), Music/Movies/Surfing the internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None. First desktop and build so I need everything

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anywhere reputable
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe later, not now

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Probably looking at 1900x1080 or 1900x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I’ve been doing some basic research and I have a general idea of what I can get for my budget but I definitely need recommendations on certain parts.

CPU: I live near a Microcenter so I can get an i7-930 for $200. I figure the CPU’s only $20 more than an
i5-750 and $40 more than a Phenom II X4 955 so it seems like a really good deal.

GPU: Probably looking at an ATI Radeon 5870 here (~$400)

RAM: Probably 4 GB, but need recommendations on specific parts

HDD: 500 GB but once again need specific part recommendations.

Everything else: No clue. I have looked at some Asus 24” monitors that I could get for around $200, but I’m by no means sold on that. My biggest concern is whether I can get a good i7 and 5870 build for less than $1500 since it seems all the builds I’ve looked at with those parts are worth more. But I’ll see what the experts cook up. Thanks!
25 answers Last reply
More about 1500 gaming computer
  1. CPU: i7 930
    MOBO: P6X58D-E
    RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 Cas7
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
    GPU: XFX 5870
    PSU: Corsair 750TX
    HSF: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922
    DVD: Any cheap DVD Burner
    OS: Win7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Monitor: ASUS 21" 1920x1080 Monitor

    If I did my math right it should be under $1500 depending on where you purchase from.
  2. Got one:

    CPU: i7 930 from MC $200
    Mobo: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
    RAM: G. Skill Pi Series 3x2GB CL7
    GPU: XFX 5850
    PSU: Corsair 750TX
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
    ODD: Sony CD/DVD Burner
    Case: CM 690
    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 OEM
    Monitor: ASUS 24" 1080p

    Total w/ shipping - 1525.07 Total after MIR - 1515.07.

    Figured you could probably find yourself a keyboard and mouse set for cheap.

    Also, if you're really wanting to keep under budget and get a 5870, you could maybe change that processor to an i5 750 or a Phenom II X4 955. Since you're mostly gaming, you probably wouldn't notice a big difference in performance.

    You'd also have to change the motherboard though.
  3. 143miah: That's kinda what I was originally thinking with the CPU, but I figured with the MC deal it's really not that more expensive. I do have a couple of questions though:

    1. From what I've seen, the motherboards for the i7-930 are going to be more expensive than the i5-750 or 955. Do you know how much I would save in terms of both motherboard and CPU cost if I went down to either of those processors?

    2. A lot of experts I've seen have said 4 GB RAM is enough for gaming. Is there a specific reason you recommended 6 GB?

    Tecmo34: Seems like a good build to me. Do you know how much more it would cost to move up to a 24" monitor and if it would make a significant difference? Also, same question about the 6 GB RAM

    Thanks to both of you!
  4. The i7 920+ CPUs use triple channel RAM.

    So, not only would you save money with the CPU and motherboard, but the RAM, too.

    If you go with an AMD build, you're looking at saving about 150-200 dollars.
  5. 1366 mobos are around $100 more then say the amd am3 boards. And the memory kits are as well another $100 more then amd kits, granted its 4 gb vs 6 gb but still And the proc itself is $40-50 more so total about $250. I say don't cut it short, go with the 930.
  6. 143miah said:
    Got one:

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA UD4
    RAM: G. Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB CL 7
    GPU: XFX 5870 w/ Free Game
    PSU: Corsair 750TX
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
    ODD: Sony CD/DVD Burner
    Case: CM 690
    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 OEM
    Monitor: ASUS 24" 1080p

    Total w/ shipping - 1426.22 Total after MIR - 1401.22

    Figured you could probably find yourself a keyboard and mouse set for cheap.


    Changed the build to reflect how much change it would make if you went with a 955 CPU. I also added in a XFX 5870 with a free game since your budget allowed for it.
  7. 143miah said:
    Changed the build to reflect how much change it would make if you went with a 955 CPU. I also added in a XFX 5870 with a free game since your budget allowed for it.


    What advantages would I get from an i7 over a 955? I'm leaning towards the 955 build though if I can save $200 over the i7.
  8. tecmo34 said:
    CPU: i7 930
    MOBO: P6X58D-E
    RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 Cas7
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
    GPU: XFX 5870
    PSU: Corsair 750TX
    HSF: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922
    DVD: Any cheap DVD Burner
    OS: Win7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Monitor: ASUS 21" 1920x1080 Monitor

    If I did my math right it should be under $1500 depending on where you purchase from.


    Would you be able to show me individual prices/links of those parts? I tried finding all those parts from Newegg and I got a build of well over $1600. Maybe I'm missing something obvious though
  9. chitownballa said:
    What advantages would I get from an i7 over a 955? I'm leaning towards the 955 build though if I can save $200 over the i7.


    Trying to find a some benches with the i7 930 and the 955, but from what I've read... the i7 930 performs slightly better. However, games are more so GPU limited, so with a good GPU I doubt you'd notice a huge performance jump that would justify the extra cost.

    The i7s are also more so useful for multithreaded programs like photo editing software, video encoding, etc.
  10. chitownballa said:
    Would you be able to show me individual prices/links of those parts? I tried finding all those parts from Newegg and I got a build of well over $1600. Maybe I'm missing something obvious though

    I don't think I did my math well enough in my head... Sorry :( I think your cost is more accurate to the actual cost.

    Here is a set of benchmarks between the i7 920 & X4 955, which will be pretty similar with an i7 930... http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=47
  11. chitownballa said:
    What advantages would I get from an i7 over a 955? I'm leaning towards the 955 build though if I can save $200 over the i7.


    Yoou are correct in leaning that way.

    The only benefit for gaming is that the i7-930/x58/trip channel ram is like 300$+ more in the end.
  12. Would anyone be able to recommend a MOBO for an i5-750? Right now it looks like the decision is coming down to the three CPUs, the 955, the i5-750, or the i9-930. It would be nice to have a comparison point for the i5 as well
  13. The ASUS P7P55D-E Pro is the best LGA 1156 motherboard for the price & features IMO.
  14. I must agree with tecmo. I just ordered it myself after much research.
  15. So after much deliberation, I have decided on this build:

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
    GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD 5870 (Combo with CPU)
    MOBO: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4
    RAM: G Skill Ripjaws 2 x 2 GB
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB
    PSU: Corsair 750w
    DVD: Sony CD/DVD Burner
    OS: Windows 7
    Case: HAF 922 (got good reviews by people on this board and it's only $50 if I buy by the 15th)
    Monitor: Asus 23"

    The total price comes out to a little over $1300. I was debating between this and an i5 build but I just can't justify the increase in price from a 955 to an i5 when there doesn't seem to be a significant increase in performance. My questions are these:

    1. Are the parts good? Are they all compatible with each other?

    2. I read on Newegg that the Gigabyte Radeon 5870 crashes when playing videos. Normally I don't put a ton of stock into consumer reviews, but a ton of people said this. The only reason this part is in my build is because it's in a combo with the CPU and I'd save $30 by getting the combo. Does anyone know of this issue and if I should avoid the card?

    3. This is kind of a noobish question but... this build will play pretty much any game I throw at it on max settings, right?

    Thanks for everyone's help in this! Oh, and I'm looking at buying this within the next few days, so replies are needed ASAP.
  16. 1. Yes.

    But I would get a 890FX board.

    2. No. Newegg reiews are trash.

    3. Except for Crysis :)

    And Metro 2033.

    Maxing out Metro requires 3 480s with 19x12.

    Crysis requires 2 if you want to crank up the aa and the af.
  17. builderbobftw said:
    1. Yes.

    But I would get a 890FX board.

    2. No. Newegg reiews are trash.

    3. Except for Crysis :)

    And Metro 2033.

    Maxing out Metro requires 3 480s with 19x12.

    Crysis requires 2 if you want to crank up the aa and the af.


    Any particular reason for the 890FX board? The only thing recommended to me so far was the 790FX. And if there's a good reason, the i5 build I was looking at isn't really that much more expensive.
  18. THe 890Fx is simmarly priced, but with a faster southbridge.

    As well as with USB 3,0 and Sata 6.0gpbs.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157196&cm_re=890fx-_-13-157-196-_-Product
  19. chitownballa said:
    And if there's a good reason, the i5 build I was looking at isn't really that much more expensive.
    If you keep everything the same except the MOBO & CPU, I would go with the i5. If you have to skimp on any components, stick with the X4 955 build.
  20. builderbobftw said:

    The OP comments said the cost isn't that much more so it is a valid option, if the OP wants to. And my key statement was without skimping on components or giving up things. So if the OP is going to do away with USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 Gb/s, lesser GPU, decrease PSU... Etc., it isn't a good option to make the switch.

    Also, AM3 boards aren't the only ones that support USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 Gb/s :)


    Edit: "Fixed AM3 boards are" typo to correct "AM3 boards aren't"
  21. ^ For reals?

    Wow.
  22. builderbobftw said:


    These are my two options (from what I've put together):

    i5-750: $180 at Microcenter
    P7P55D-E Pro: $190 at Newegg

    VS

    AMD 955: $160 at Newegg
    ASRock MOBO: $155 at Newegg

    That's $370 vs. $315. The other option I have been looking at is getting an i7-860 ($200 at Microcenter) and using that instead of the i5-750, since I believe all the other parts would be the same.

    This doesn't help that I'm a really indecisive buyer... well, let me know how you guys feel and I'll make a decision in the next few days or so
  23. Woah, Thats tough.
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