$1000-1200 gaming PC help please!

Hi guys,

I'm new to these forums and have come for help with a new gaming PC build. I've never built my own computer before (have always bought from Dell), so the process of picking out all of the parts is somewhat daunting.

BUDGET RANGE: $1000-1200 after rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, HD video playback (1080p .mkv files), surfing the net
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (windows 7 pro)
PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to use an intel processor and an ATI video card (I've heard good things about sapphire). I've also been told that asus makes great motherboards.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (unlikely but maybe add another card down the line)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like my PC to be highly reliable and I don't want to have to worry about it overheating this summer when it gets up to 90 degrees with no air conditioning in my apartment.

Here's what I've been considering so far:

GPU: $200
SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ATI Eyefinity Technology

This card is on sale this weekend for only $200 after mail in rebate. I know the 5850 is a better card, but it costs over $120 more... is it worth it?

CPU: $200
Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

I know very little about motherboards, but I noticed that there is a combo offered with the processor I listed above and the EVGA P55 SLI 132-LF-E655-KR LGA1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard (

HSF: ?

RAM: ? My guess is 4gb (2 x 2gb) of DDR3 from a reliable manufacturer

HDD: ? At least a 1TB drive

PSU: ? I've heard more than 1 rail is essential

DVD: Pretty much anything will do, not worried about this one

Case: ? I value good design and cool temperature more than looks

I'm willing to spend $1000-1200 or even a little bit more if it makes a significant difference. Thoughts and suggestions? Thank you for your time!
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1000 1200 gaming please
  1. here's a starting point for you:

    Hyper 212+ ($30)

    $1058AR. nothing wrong with bumping that 5850 up to a 5870 either, especially if you're going to be gaming at 1920x1080.
  2. Best answer
    cpu: i5-750
    Hands down the best gaming cpu on the market today. We still haven't reached a stage where 6 core or hyperthreaded cpu's are utilized outside of a small range of productivity software.

    mobo: asus p7p55d-e pro
    Pretty much the hands down consensus P55 mobo atm. Has usb/sata 3 interface, supports x8/x8. Great spacing layout.

    gpu: 5770
    performance is within spitting distance of 5830 and is much more affordable. Can add 2nd at later date to get you back towards that 5850 level of performance.

    hsf: CM Hyper 212+
    Best budget cooler around.

    psu: Corsair, Antec, Silverstone, ABS, Seasonic - 650w
    Whatever you can combo or find cheapest. Stick with quality here, seriously. 650w is enough for 2x 5770.

    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws or Corsair XMS 2x2GB
    Whichever is cheapest or best combo'd. Stay away from the OCZ Gold at all costs.

    Case: CM 690 II Advanced, Lancool K62, Antec 902
    These are the three that offer the total package. Wire management, painted interiors, dust filters, and superb cooling. Take your pick.

    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 or Samsung F3
    Both are based on the newer and more efficient 500GB platters. Stay away from the WD drives as they are based on the older 320GB platters, unless you move to the overpriced 2TB Black.

    Best of luck.
  3. Thanks for the quick replies guys! I have a few questions for both of you:

    GPU: Is the extra $120 really worth it for the 5850 rather than the 5830? I could get a good 5850 for $315 + shipping or the best 5830 for $200 with free shipping (weekend sale + rebate). Also, wouldn't the mere $50 price difference between the 5770 and 5830 make it worth it? It seems like an extra $50 for a 256-bit card rather than a 128-bit card would make a significant difference. I had the idea that a 5850 might be a bit overpowered, whereas a 128-bit 5770 might bottleneck a bit.

    MOBO: Is there an obvious choice between the
    $208.50 ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer with NF200 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
    and the $180 ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Both motherboards look great, but are there any significant differences I should take into account? One thing I did notice is that the cheaper one supports USB 3.0..

    HSF: I'm glad you guys both recommended the same one. I'm actually really surprised that it is only $30 with free shipping on amazon, but $60 + $7.56 shipping from newegg. Odd, isn't it?

    Any additional insight / suggestions would be very much appreciated!
  4. At this point the only reason to go with any of the 58xx series is eyefinity and ultra-large resolutions.

    A 5770 will push 1920x1080 just fine with most settings at max. You might need to lower AA and shadows for a few games, but only you can answer if that's worth another $120. That being said, even with my 5870 I have to lower settings in select games (*cough* Crysis, WoW *pos engines*) of course I'm running at 3150x1680.

    At only $50 dollars in difference then the 5830 becomes an attractive solution. I wouldn't sacrifice anything out of the build for it however.

    The WS Supercomputer has the NF200 chip on it. It supports true x16/x16 crossfire/sli. It's also built and intended as a workstation mobo, you're not building a workstation and I'd advise avoiding it. It does not ship with standard Asus bios and overclocking it will be a trial of patience. It also does not support usb/sata 3.

    Wow, Newegg is doing some massive overcharging there. Glad you pointed that out. For the longest time they had it for 24.99 + s/h.
  5. With your budget it's not wise to compromise to a HD 5770 for Full HD so at the very least a HD 5850
  6. Alright, I'm set on the P7P55D-E Pro :)

    What do you guys think of this power supply?
    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

    Seems like a pretty good PSU for $100, but I've been advised against getting a single rail PSU. Thoughts?
  7. batuchka said:
    With your budget it's not wise to compromise to a HD 5770 for Full HD so at the very least a HD 5850

    I'm not even considering a 5770. The question is whether a 5850 is really worth $100 more than a 5830. Keep in mind that I likely won't be OCing my card.
  8. There's nothing wrong with a single rail. Some people actually prefer them because there have been a lot of really cheap multi-rail psu's that split the rails evenly causing a massive imbalance of power to the pcie slots.

    Here's a great article concerning it from the authority on psus:

    Yeah, that Corsair 750tx is a solid pick.
  9. batuchka said:

    You could take that deal a step further even and do:

    XFX 5850 + Antec 1200 + Antec 750w psu Combo 459.94

    That's a heck of a deal. That's cheaper than I paid for my 5870 by itself. 1200 is a rock solid case. Antec psus (even if they're Earthwatts) are solid as well.

    If the 1200 is too large, they also have this combo:

    XFX 5850 + Antec 900 + Antec 650w 399.99
    900 is probably the best selling gaming case ever made and with good reason. This is what a 5850 by itself cost 3 months ago lol
  10. I say go for the 5850 if you're going to be running at 1920x1080. The 5830 doesn't have a real position in the ATI lineup as it performs close to a 5770 but is priced closer towards the 5850. The 4890 outperforms it in most if not all games and is also cheaper (you're losing out on dx11 but meh). Its also massive in size because its pretty much an extremely crippled 5870.

    For card manufactures Sapphire is definitely one of if not the best. However, most of their recent cards are non reference which means you'll lose out on the more expensive voltage regular which means that you can't over volt (may limit your OCing if you're aiming for the extremes). A lot of people like XFX for their warranty but I don't find their products to be the best of quality (their cooling kind of sucks on most models). This card has has great cooling and comes with factory OCed (seems like its got a lot of headroom from the reviews). Just pray you get a card with the newer F5 bios so you won't have to flash

    For your board maybe you could go for Gigabyte over Asus. I might seem like a fanboi here but I prefer their Bios more and they make a pretty good 5850 as linked above. Its priced for $5 more but it has a $15 m&r if you're willing to wait a bit to get your savings.

    You really can't go wrong with Corsair as they make great PSUs at almost every price point above $80.

    The rest of your build looks very solid.
  11. MOBO:
    As the ASUS is only $2 more than the Gigabyte after shipping, I think I'm going to stick with the ASUS motherboard. I first became attracted to it when I saw it listed under the $1150 recommended gamer build here:

    The quality of XFX's 5850 and lack of reviews worries me a bit. I think that if I am going to spend at least $80 (in the case of the XFX) more to get a 5850 rather than a 5830, I would rather spend the little extra to get a sapphire. I noticed that the toxic edition can be combined with the processor that I want for a $20 discount.
    Thoughts on the toxic edition vs. the 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?

    That same normal edition of sapphire's 5850 is $300 with free shipping on amazon (
    as opposed to $323 on newegg after shipping, so if the difference between the normal and toxic edition isn't significant, I might combo my i5-750 with something else instead and buy the $300 5850 from amazon.

    EDIT: The Toxic card has GDDR5 memory. Is that compatible with the ASUS motherboard I was going to get? Also just noticed that the toxic is $340 on amazon with free shipping.

    PSU and RAM:
    Are the power supplies that come with those cases good quality? I noticed that I could combine the corsair 750tx with this RAM for $170 total.
    CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9

    Alternatively, I could bundle the same PSU with this RAM for $180:
    CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7

    The difference between the two types of RAM seems to just be in the "cas latency" and the timings, but I know nothing about the implications of those differences.

    I apologize for all of my questions but thank you all very much for all of the help!
  12. ^
    bump (sorry!)
  13. The Antec combos will have solid psus. More than likely Earthwatts but honestly I didn't dig too deep. With that being said the Corsair psu + XMS kit is a heck of a combo and one that would be difficult to pass up.

    It's a tightrope when piecing these things together. On one hand you're going to find combos that are exceptionally great values, on the other you're going to have the parts you really want, but perhaps with less of a combo value.

    Only you can answer which way to lean there. When I built my machine I picked the parts I wanted and made the combos fit around them, not vice versa. I wasn't too concerned about budget though.
  14. Best answer selected by Armor42.
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