~$1300 Gaming Build

Hey guys,

So for my studies I have been granted a $2000 loan towards the purchase of a computer and I decided that this was a good time to put together a pretty decent computer that will last me ages. I don't need the latest or best equipment, and I will be using this computer to multi-task, for gaming, video encoding, among other things.

As well, I am trying to keep the costs around $1300 so I won't have too much to pay back at the end of my studies.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: probably towards the beginning of July BUDGET RANGE: looking to spend $1000-1600 max, cheaper the better (but without sacrificing too much performance)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, watching movies, video encoding, surfing the web


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: & for reference, ultimately will be buying from (local shop) but similar prices so newegg/ncix is fine COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: I lean towards Intel since I've always heard that they are better for multi-tasking, video encoding, etc.. And I would have chosen nVidia but the 5850 looks like it can't be beat for value.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe just slight increases SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably not, at least not for a long time

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like the case to be somewhat stylish, but airflow/cooling, space, and a low level of noise is more important to me (computer will be in bedroom)


After a lot of my own research, tentative build at the creation of this topic:

SAPPHIRE 100282-3SR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor

Total so far: $1432.43 before taxes

Having trouble choosing a PSU, dvd drive(with writing capabilities), keyboard, mouse, speakers...

I could probably shave some cost on the hard drive and the case, I think 500gb would suffice for me. That case appeals to me because of it's superb airflow and space, along with fan control and ease of installation, I wonder if there is something similar for a better price?

I really take a hit on the processor and motherboard, but I just don't know how much of a difference in performance dropping to, say, a i5 750 would be.

13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1300 gaming build
  1. bump
  2. I'd go for an i5 750. It performs only a marginally worse in general stuff (excluding hyper threading) and performs marginally better in most games.

    if you do choose to use the 920 though, I'd recommend opting for a 930 instead:

    basically a slightly faster revision of the 920

    750 vs 940 - (there's no 930 on the benchmarks. 940 is slightly better than the 930, but closer in performance than the 920)

    2 good mobos for the i5 750 are:

    Gigabyte P55A-UD4P

    Asus P7P55D-E Pro

    Sniper's nice, but scout's almost as good and a bit cheaper too:


    if you don't plan on crossfiring:

    if you're going to crossfire:

    for your burner, the Sony Optiaric drives are good

    for speakers, logitech z-323 or -523 are pretty good, but z-323's not on or ncix

    for k/b something fairly basic should suffice, mouse is more of a preference, I like the logitech mx-518

    good luck :)
  3. Thanks for the reply Mark,

    My main problem right now is that I think I may be spending too much, but I would rather future proof a little than save a hundred or two. Wouldn't it be better to get the cheaper 920 (which is about $52 cheaper at my local store), and just do the slight overclock to get the difference? I would probably only go as far as 3.0ghz in overclocking.

    Also, those motherboards are great, I was looking at the asus one myself, but overall I would only save about $70 dollars if I dropped down to that with an i5 750...

    I just don't know if it would be worth it, how does $70 do against hyper-threading and the lga 1366 motherboards?

    I'm also a bit concerned that the psu and speakers are a little too much out of my price range, unless I should be spending that much on a psu?

    Anything a bit more affordable? :kaola:
  4. PSU is the one part you don't want to skimp on. Using a cheap one is a great way to turn your $1300 PC into a $1300 doorstop.

    i7-930 is an i7-920 with a x21 multiplier instead of x20. Basically, if it's costing you more than a few dollars extra, not worth it.

    Research the software you use, see how well it's threaded. Then decide if you want i7 or not. Gaming wise, not worth it.

    No such thing as futureproof. Both Intel socket types will be replaced soon. 1156 this year, 1366 next year.

    Also, Intel is introducing a new chipset, a new architecture and a die shrink in the next 1-1.5 years.
  5. based on that, go with the 920 if you find that your apps use the threading more then.

    You might be able to find similar quality psus cheaper, just make sure you go with good brands (Antec Seasonic Corsair etc)

    For speakers, you can choose something more affordable from your local place I guess. Pick a few that you like in your budget, check feedback on them and stuff. Z-523's are expensive. But they're also pretty good.
  6. Best answer
    I had a similar dilemma last month when i was building my system, save a small amount and go i5 750, or spend a bit extra and go i7 930 and get hyperthreading.
    In the end i bit the bullet and went for i7 930, and for a few reasons which i hope will help you
    1: you get hyperthreading

    2: you can drop in the high end 6 core cpus down the line, without having to change the mobo when the new sockets come out

    3: if you are looking at using usb3 and sata 6gps, then socket 1156 has a bandwidth issue when you want to crossfire or use both of the two interfaces at the same time (basically not enough x16 lanes). Socket 1366 has 3 lanes, so there are no bottlenecks when using 2 cards

    (the cheapest 1156 board that gets over the bandwidth issue is the Asus P7P55D-E PRO which in turn comes very close in price to the best 1366 board, the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3) this in turn means you only need to spend extra on the cpu

    4: if you need more than 4gb ram (which i did), then buying 8gb for 1156 is alot of money. Because 1366 needs triple channel ram, then i only needed to get 6gb, which in turn saved me a packet!

    also +1 on getting a decent PSU. whats $20/30 extra when youre spending ten times that on a single component, dont let your system down with a bad supply.
    I got an XFX 650w, which is fantastic, the units are bascially slightly cheaper seasonic units and look great!

    Hope this helps your dilemma
  7. I am surprised you only save $70 going i5 750 instead of i7 920
    You save on:
    CPU - (208.99 for i5, 289.99 for i7 920)
    Motherboard - $30 difference if going for high end P55 board
    RAM - you need Triple Channel RAM for the i7 920 not Dual (which you linked) so you need to spend $52 more for the RAM with same speed but worse latency

    i5 750 - $208.99
    Asus P7P55D-E Pro - $199.99
    RAM - $122.99

    Total: $531.97

    i7 920 - $289.99
    GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R - $229.99
    G Skill 1600mhz CL9 - $176.99

    Total: $696.97

    So, $165 difference.

    That is the difference between getting a 5850 for your system or getting a 5870 and still having $65 left over. I can guarantee you will get a MUCH better performance from an upgraded GPU than you will from an i7 920 over i5 750 for gaming.

    Added to that, that is the price difference if you want to spend money on top end mobo which gives you XFire which you may not use. Downgrade to a 6gb/s SATA and USB 3.0 mobo with no XFire as an option and you save even more. If you didn't care about the new SATA and USB then a mobo would cost you about $80 less, though you probably will want to buy a mid range one with no XFire but the new USB and SATA. I would probably keep the high end board just in case XFire is something worth doing at some point

    But the point is, there is plenty of money to be saved and if gaming is going to be the main stress on your machine then i5 is a better choice especially if you can then get a better GPU.

    Both i5 and i7 sockets will be obsolete by the time you need to change your CPU so futureproofing is not really relevant, the key is to have a system that can last as long as possible - the i7 and 5850 will show signs of struggle before the i5 750 and the 5870 does
  8. Philly is mostly correct, but he's got a few errors.

    2. The only 1366 hexacore planned is the 980x, $1,000 and already out. Intel will be releasing Sandy Bridge quad cores this year, sandy bridge hexacores next. The only place you might get more 1366 chips is the server oriented Xeon line.

    No sandy bridge CPU will work with current sockets. IE, 1366 and 1156 are obsolete end of this year/next.

    3. Bandwidth issue only occurs on Gigabyte mobo's, due to their horrible implementation. Not Intel's fault. He is right though, that the cheapest Asus xfire board w/ USB 3 SATA 6 is $190 ATM.
  9. Thanks for all the replies,

    I realize that it would be impossible to futureproof with a specific motherboard or processor, but my futureproofing only goes as far as usb 3.0, sata 6, room for maybe a second video card and more ram later on. Still iffy on hyperthreading, will have to check into what programs I use and if they use hyperthreading.

    I will definitely go for a better psu, it makes sense not to skimp here.

    I guess I'm not looking to exchange parts for a better GPU, if I can save some money for similar performance that's mostly what appeals to me.

    It looks like if I dropped to an i5 750 I would go for that asus motherboard since the gigabyte has issues with the bandwidth as hereisphilly and banthracis pointed out.

    As well I have to buy from local shops because my government's condition is that I have to pay quebec sales tax, so shops only in quebec. As asteldian pointed out, from newegg I would save about $111 if I went to a i5 750 and p7p55d-e pro (keeping the 4gb ram since the x58a-ud3r supports dual channel and triple channel I believe). From my local shop, that difference is only about $61.

    So it seems to boils down to whether I value $61 dollars over hyperthreading and triple channel ram, if I have my info right..

    I will probably bite the bullet and go for the i7 920, unless there is a glaring mistake I made perhaps?

    Thanks again guys
  10. Yup seems, like you got it all covered, thats basically the only choice. In my view, i would bite the bullet, as it warrants enough performance gains, but it ultimately is up to you.
  11. At that small a difference I would probably grab the i7 920
  12. Alright, going with the 920! Thanks alot everyone, wish I could select more than one best answer

    Best Wishes
  13. Best answer selected by Idlewild.
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