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Help selecting a 1k gaming desktop

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July 16, 2010 3:46:36 PM

I'm in the market for a $1000 ballpark desktop for casual gaming (mainly Blizzard titles, Civ V when that comes out) that I intend to keep for a while (3+ years). I have nothing reusable for this computer other than mouse and keyboard, so I need everything if I were to build it. I've never built before, but I've heard it is cheaper/fun/empowering.

I put together a wishlist on newegg built around an i5 750 and a Radeon HD 5770 (the CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 is just a placeholder for a Hyper 212 Plus off Amazon for the same price). I don't really need a 650W PSU, but it's actually cheaper than getting Corsair's 550W PSU because of the money I save on comboing it with the 5770. With tax and shipping, minus rebates and the money I save on combos, the whole package clocks in at a few dollars over $1000. I may be able to get my hands on a free copy of Win 7 (legit! my friend may have a spare and I have a birthday incoming), but if not, I'd have to pay an additional $100 for an OEM copy, pushing me 10% over budget.

However, I played around on HP's website, and I can get a Pavilion Elite using the same CPU and graphics card, same size monitor, bigger HDD, and Windows 7 (along with sundry software) included for a grand total of $1070. I am having a hard time reconciling this with the conventional wisdom that BYO is substantially cheaper than buying a prebuilt from a major vendor. Should I really go to the trouble of building my own computer from the ground up when I can get a seemingly identical prebuilt for essentially the same price? If so, why?

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a b 4 Gaming
July 16, 2010 4:02:02 PM

I like the original build more, as i5 750s are very solid and clock for clock outdo AMD Phenom X4 955. However, batuchka does have a solid gaming build there.

The GTX 460 is a good choice. I'd probably take that over anything else for it's price right now, and even upgrade to the 1gb model for $30 more.

The Corsair 650TX is a great PSU, I'd keep it. Tons and tons of amperage. Also the DVD and HDD are cheaper in batuchka's build.
The ram and case he linked is a good deal, $50 savings. You could put those into the original build and save $30.
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July 16, 2010 4:52:48 PM

Thank you for the combo insights, guys. I combined the case/ram and psu/gpu combos from batuchka's build with the i5 750/mobo combo from my original build, grabbed the cheaper optical drive from batuchka's build, and added in the fan placeholder from before. With a $140 monitor from tigerdirect (here), tax/shipping, and minus rebates, the whole system is $970, making it unequivocally superior to the HP competitor.

The only thing I'm concerned about is the new PSU choice. It's so cheap with the combo that it's practically free, and it's got good reviews, but it has two 12V rails instead of one, pushing 25A on each. As a first-time builder, will that cause me issues in trying to balance my power needs?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 16, 2010 5:16:07 PM

I've never used a PSU with 2 12V rails so I don't actually know how it works... It sounds fishy to me tho lol. Sorry. All I can say is the Corsair 650TX is a beastly PSU, highest quality.
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July 21, 2010 2:18:04 AM

Best answer selected by two_eyes.
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