Gaming rig for friend ($900-$1000)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week, Monday or Tuesday.

BUDGET RANGE: 900-1000 before rebates, lower is better.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, movies, internet, everything else.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers. Everything else is needed, building from scratch.



PARTS PREFERENCES: No preferences really.

OVERCLOCKING: Probably not, my friend's not very tech savvy and I don't know much about overclocking.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, depends on if it's worth it and/or if it can fit in the budget.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680X1050 probably works best with the budget and card I have in mind.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: He'd like it to work without any foreseeable hassles down the road, but I could help him with those. He wants to play games mainly like Starcraft 2, generally RTS games, and probably RPGs such as Mass Effect. Maybe the occasional FPS title. Also he'd like it to last a fairly long time, 2 years at least maybe.

My friend's been planning to get a gaming computer, and I suggested that I help him build one to save money. I've been scouring for good deals and whatnot, hoping to get him the best bang-for-buck rig. I just wanted to show you guys what I picked out for him, and if there is room for improving my parts selection. I haven't built a computer in a while, but I think I did alright with parts. Please read and comment, thanks!

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Video Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 1GB
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Case: Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
DVD Burner: LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Keyboard + Mouse: Logitech 967973-0403 Black PS/2 Standard Deluxe 250 Desktop - OEM

Monitor: SAMSUNG 22" 5ms Height &Pivot Adjustable Stand Black Widescreen LCD Monitor

Comes to about $953.75 after shipping and handling.
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More about gaming friend 1000
  1. I only have a few objections, I myself had built my own rig with no experience-so the mistakes I made were most clear to me.

    Now I don't advocate piracy but if you can cut an OS or a monitor out of the picture I would suggest a few things.

    *If you intend to use a CD drive down the road don't go cheap. You get what you pay for. I paid $20 for a Read/Write drive and it now does not write.

    *Mouse and Keyboard are a personal choice and I'd be surprised if he doesn't have a keyboard. Also if he REALLY wants to game I would go with an independent mouse. I'll be honest; I have relationships with my gaming mice. I stuck it out for my old stock Microsoft mouse, I cherished my G5, and now my death adder is being distant and uncooperative. Nothing is wrong with that mouse or keyboard though. Cheap keyboards have done me the best.

    *I would go for a bit more quantitative RAM. After some research I now realize RAM has gotten EXPENSIVE. But why pay for 64 bit (or not) and not utilize it.

    *That power supply does not offer much room for improvement. I would not be against not eating lunch for a week and getting 150W more.

    *Do NOT think of the Case as a box to contain all of your shiny parts. Proper Ventilation is very necessary. All of those fans need to be hooked up and running all of the time for that machine to not burn down that room. My ATI 3870 X2 sometimes overheats causing my entire computer to take 5 second breaks. All because I went big on Video card and threw caution to the wind with my Case.

    Maybe somebody more experienced can help you more than I
  2. Looks good but get a full HD monitor, he can play at lower resolutions if he wants.

    ASUS VH236H Black 23"
  3. Thanks for the replies and suggestions guys.

    For my build of about 3.5 years I've been using a $20 DVD-burner, and it's still purring along very nicely. I do get the you get what you pay for argument, though this is a less risky area. Sorry about your drive though.

    My friend does want to game but not at a super competitive level of bringing his rig to tournaments and whatnot. As he's upgrading from a laptop, then he really doesn't have a keyboard laying around. I wish I could have suggested something better honestly, but I've made my mistake purchasing a Logitech G15 keyboard and G5 laser mouse. They're a very nice keyboard and mouse, but I've never used them as advertised really.

    Everywhere I've looked around says that 4GB RAM is plenty, 6GB on high end i7 platforms. Compared to me my friend's lucky, I paid $200 for a 2GB DDR2-800 set back in the day. :kaola:

    I had a hard time picking a PSU honestly and you're kind of right. I managed to find the 700W version of that PSU for only about $5 more, so he should be set.

    Ventilation is my main priority for choosing a case. That one looks really good, and includes 3 120mm fans right off the bat with room for more. I think that's plenty.

    Yeah, I was bouncing between a 1680x1050 and 1920x1080 resolution, but he could play with lower resolutions if he needs to. So I chose this 21.5" monitor:

    Also changed the motherboard, so he can Crossfire the 5770 later on:

    Final build now:
    CPU + PSU:

    GPU + OS:

    Case + HDD:




    DVD Burner:

    Keyboard + Mouse:

    Total: $992.31 after S&H, $927.31 after MIR.
  4. If you feel the need for an extra 2 inches:

    The other stuff looks alright to me.
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