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First time builder Budget $1500-2000

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August 11, 2010 5:10:01 PM

Hi, I'm completely new to this and I was referred by my friend to this site. I'm a pretty high user but I pretty much know nothing besides the baseline stuff for hardware. I've been looking through the guides and whatever else I can find but to say the least, all this information is quite overwhelming. I'm looking to build a gaming rig and I appreciate any help I can get.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I can take my time

BUDGET RANGE: 1500-2000 (flexible) After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Main use is for gaming.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com, www.amazon.com, any sites you can suggest.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU, I have a coupon for GTX 400 series but I'll get what would work best

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - I know what it is, but I don't know how to do it. I heard it can decrease the life of the PC and I'm looking to make it last at least 3-4 years.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe - I don't know what this is. I tried looking up information for it but I didn't really understand it.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to use a 80-120gb SSD and a 500-1000gb mechanical for storage. I'm currently using a G9 logitech mouse and a Razor Lycosa keyboard. They're wearing out so I might look into new/different ones. Also own Windows 7 64 bit already.

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Include a list of any parts you have already selected with descriptively labeled links for parts.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Will update as we go along. Again, I appreciate any help since I pretty much don't know anything.
August 11, 2010 5:16:30 PM

Waste of money.
a 700-1000 dollar build would be better, at your screen res. Is this a joke?

August 11, 2010 5:20:19 PM

That's just the max screen res I can use right now. I've never owned anything that can run higher than that so i can't really comment on higher.
Related resources
August 11, 2010 5:22:13 PM

Well, you don't need a GTX4XX at that res
August 11, 2010 5:23:44 PM

Here is a build, use the extra money to get a 1920x1080 monitor ;) 


August 11, 2010 5:33:19 PM

Thanks, I'll be looking into it
August 11, 2010 5:47:07 PM

Aira said:
Thanks, I'll be looking into it

sure thing. but only get this type of build if you buy a monitor 1920x1080 or 1920x1200
August 11, 2010 6:10:29 PM

Just wondering about some of the suggestions.

Why haf932 when the 922 is half the price and has more than enough space for everything?
Why i5 instead of i7? For a $1500-2000 build, won't an i7 930 be a better choice?
The 650 watt power supply, won't that be too low if he decides to upgrade later on (SLI, more memory, maybe more HDD space, etc.)?
August 11, 2010 6:15:03 PM

not a bad build but that's a pretty old ssd isn't it? and no need for ultimate.

And btw that case is very ugly IMO so if you don't like it either I can give you plenty of alternatives.
August 11, 2010 6:16:43 PM

fps_noob said:
Just wondering about some of the suggestions.

Why haf932 when the 922 is half the price and has more than enough space for everything?
Why i5 instead of i7? For a $1500-2000 build, won't an i7 930 be a better choice?
The 650 watt power supply, won't that be too low if he decides to upgrade later on (SLI, more memory, maybe more HDD space, etc.)?


1: good question

2: because there needs to be room for a screen

3.I'm sure a 650w can handle 2 460s at stock speeds.
August 11, 2010 6:20:11 PM

Somebody_007 said:
1: good question

2: because there needs to be room for a screen

3.I'm sure a 650w can handle 2 460s at stock speeds.

I think 750w would be good
[:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2] [:isamuelson:2]
August 11, 2010 7:40:32 PM

Somebody_007 said:
2: because there needs to be room for a screen


Well, a screen doesn't cost $400 (of $600 since he doesn't need the OS). Then there's another $80 off from the case because haf 932 is useless.
August 12, 2010 2:51:55 PM

bump

Best solution

August 12, 2010 3:23:25 PM
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do you have access to a microcenter?

because if you do,
i would say i7 930 - $200 @ microcenter

mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128423 - $209.99

ram: same as mr.pizza,great ram - $149.99

psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006 - $109.99 - 20 rebate = $89.99

graphics card: same as mr.pizza, great card - $229.99

ssd:
120gb: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227543 - $309.99 - 30 rebate = $279.99
90gb: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227608 - $239.99 - 25 rebate = $215.99
sold out atm.. but keep an eye out unless you want the 120gb

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185 $59.99
best non-ssd hdd out there


total without case AR (120gb ssd): $1220
total without case AR (90gb ssd): $1155

add a case, lets say ~150 MAX. either 1370 or 1305
personally, i like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216
or the antec nine hundred 2.
both cheapish cases with good airflow, more fans for even better airflow

get this monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236052 $190 - 10 rebate = $180

add any cd/dvd drive, ~$25

grand total: 1575 or 1510 (hope my math didnt die)

id say from there, since you're very close to your budget minimum, you could:
get aftermarket cooler and oc the crap out of the 930
aftermarket gpu cooler (although this gigabyte card alreayd has one of the best)
get more videocards
better case fans for excellent airflow
August 12, 2010 3:45:00 PM

Seriously, Mr Pizza, stop recommending the original Vertex. It's been outclassed by more recent drives. If you're going to recommend something over 6 months old, at least recommend the Intel X25-M 80 GB.

The OCZ Vertex 2 is an excellent modern SSD. The original Vertex is not.

With a $1500-2000 budget and a desire for an SSD, I agree with Mr Pizza's recommendation of going i5-750/760 (or you could go AM3, of course).

Posting a full build shortly.
August 12, 2010 4:00:01 PM

i5-760 build:

CPU - i5-760 - $210
Mobo - Asus P7P55D-E Pro - $160 - CrossFire at 8x/8x, USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 Gb/s
RAM - G.Skill ECO Series 1600 MHz CL7 4 GB kit - $103 - or Mushkin Blackline 1600 MHz CL7 4 GB kit - $97 (very very slightly looser timings, higher voltage)
GPU - Gigabyte 480 - $450
or
2x Gigabyte 460 - $200 each, total $400 - better deal, less of an upgrade path
SSD - OCZ Vertex 2 100 GB - $355
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - $60 (big sale right now, apparently)
ODD - cheapest SATA DVD burner with free shipping - $20
PSU - Seasonic 850W 80+ Silver Active PFC - $120
Case - HAF 922 - $90 + 10 shipping - or whatever else tickles your fancy

Total: $1578 (didn't search for combos, no shipping calculated except on the case, G.Skill RAM & 480)
Total with 2x 460: $1528

The SLIed 460s will provide more graphics power now, but going with a single 480 allows you to upgrade by adding another 480 in the future. Could go with a smaller PSU if you go with the 2x460s, but that's an excellent deal on the Seasonic.

Change that to an i7-930 build for about $150 more. (Links incoming.)

CPU - i7-930 - $290
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R - $210 - supports USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 Gb/s.
RAM - G.Skill PI Series 1600 MHz CL7 6 GB kit - $160

Difference: +$187 (unless my math is off)
Total for i7 build: $1765
August 12, 2010 4:08:24 PM

i agree with coldsleep. couple of comments:

only thing i would change is the ssd to save some money i guess. the agility 2 and vertex 2 are very close in performance, but the ssd in my post above is 20gb more for a little cheaper.

i think 850w might be an overkill for 460 sli, but necessary for 480 sli. so if 460 sli, id say go for corsair 750. cheaper too. 460 sli's seems to scale very very well, and depending on what games you play, it might be more than enough, PLUS best bang for buck.

i7 vs i5, your choice. i5 for gaming, i7 if you need it for more.

ram: eco series for i5, ripjaws or pi series for i7. keep in mind pi series are very tall, so if you want aftermarket cooler, keep that in mind. might have to stick with ripjaws for compatibility

and of course, a microcenter would shave off 90 bucks the i7 930. perfect for a noctua nh-d14 :D 
August 12, 2010 5:13:19 PM

what would the difference in i5 v i7 be, at least in how snoshy relates to it? Is it just that the i5 would be sufficient for gaming and i7 only if you want more out of it?
August 12, 2010 5:20:32 PM

alright. pretty much an i5 overclocked will make the most out of any games under 2 assumptions:

1. your graphics card is not bottlenecking
2. you dont sli/crossfire with the highest end cards

if you graphics card is crap but you have an i5, the i5 cant do anything to improve your gaming. but if your graphics card is good enough (like the 460 or 480), i7 will not make a difference compared to the i5.

however, if you start adding more 480's or 460's (like 3 way sli), past a certain point, your gpu's will scale better with a better processor. but thats for ridiculous enthusiasts for like 2560*whatever resolutions with max AA settings and stuff. i5 should be sufficient for what you play.


An i7 will make a difference if you want to multitask, or run apps with higher cpu / multithreading needs. for example, if you need to photoshop, hd video edit, encode stuffs, folding, multitask WHILE gaming, then the i7 provides a faster alternative.


does that make sense?
August 12, 2010 6:07:50 PM

Agree with snoshy, paying particular attention to the definition of "multitasking". If you're just running a web browser, a game, your email client, antivirus, all at the same time, the i5-750 will be plenty. For most users, the i5-750 will be more than enough processor.

If you're attempting to crunch a big excel spreadsheet, play a game, and transcode a DVD all at the same time, then the i7 might show the benefits of hyperthreading.

The hyperthreading that the i7 has (and the i5 doesn't) is completely irrelevant to gaming.
August 12, 2010 6:35:18 PM

an i7 will almost always add a few average fps to games though even with a single 460. But not anything noticable. I got a 930 with a 470 for future upgrades. And know 8months orso down the line I'm thinking of adding another 470 where a 930 will prove quite an advantage.

And in things like a compressing a 930 will be a lot faster to. IMO if you can get it from microcenter it's no-brainer. Otherwise it depends on your needs.
August 12, 2010 6:44:59 PM

It's not necessarily a no-brainer. It's a great deal if you have the budget, but if your budget is around $1200-1500, it may be a poor decision. That doesn't necessarily apply in this case, just as a ballpark figure.

Even if the processor is the same price as an i5-750 at microcenter, the total platform cost is still higher. RAM will be minimum $50 more, and the motherboard is probably $75-100 more. That could just as easily be spent on stepping up to a bigger GPU.
August 12, 2010 6:48:26 PM

lol, any SSD is good these days, i'm trying to save some $$$ for this dude.
August 12, 2010 7:41:30 PM

coldsleep said:
It's not necessarily a no-brainer. It's a great deal if you have the budget, but if your budget is around $1200-1500, it may be a poor decision. That doesn't necessarily apply in this case, just as a ballpark figure.

Even if the processor is the same price as an i5-750 at microcenter, the total platform cost is still higher. RAM will be minimum $50 more, and the motherboard is probably $75-100 more. That could just as easily be spent on stepping up to a bigger GPU.


well I meant in this case. Obviously paired with a 5570 it's not such a good idea. And well yes it's not cheap in any way but x58 proves certain advantages over p55 like 32lanes, option of going for a 980/990 one day and then the tripple channel memory those features are more or less worth the extra 75. And as for the ram it's not like you'll notice a real difference by getting 2x2gb. but then again you get 6gb instead of 4 which is worth it's money.

Btw: I have 6gb and I find it the minimum. You can live with 4 but 6 gives you much more breathing space.
August 12, 2010 8:10:08 PM

if you look at the build from my post, assuming NO sli, the total is only 1550ish. tops out at 1560 for sure. also if you go to microcenter, the gigabyte board i suggest is also 200$ AR. so you're really not spending THAT much more.

but its still more. is it worth the performance gain? i would say so, only because its a great deal at microcenter right now.

the ram may cost a little bit more, the mobo is already discounted with rebates.

and in the case of sli, bump the price up to 1700 like coldsleeps build and you have a great build with flexibility (other than gaming in case you ever decide gaming is not just all you want) and you lose the bottleneck with sli or tri sli.

its only worth it right now because the price does justify the performance gain (overall snappiness and multitasking breathing room) because he is far from his budget limit.
August 12, 2010 11:12:04 PM

God I love this thread. I love the back and for about i5/i7 builds and what experienced people would put in them.
August 13, 2010 12:47:46 AM

got it for i5 v i7. I think I'll just grab the i7 from microcenter while they have it since I do happen to have one about half a hour and it is a great deal. I'm currently wondering about the GPU. I have a 20% coupon off for the 4xx series and that'd put the 480 at $400. About the same price as SLIed 460s and opportunity for any future upgrades.
August 13, 2010 1:17:06 AM

also, what about GTX 470 and 465?
August 13, 2010 1:47:56 AM

470 or 460, not the 465, it's just a poor performer for the price range.
August 13, 2010 4:16:25 AM

Added a list, currently finding out about which GPU to use and deciding on a case. Would a single 460 bottleneck with this? Also, I'm wondering what the main difference between the vertex and agility is. I noticed it was 50,000 IOPS to 10,000 IOPS, but how does this convert to performance? How noticeable is it?
August 13, 2010 4:25:50 AM

why gigabyte gtx 460 1gb and not msi gtx 460 1gb cyclone ??
August 13, 2010 4:32:38 AM

there are so many review comparisons, honestly it comes down to what you want. the gigabyte is cheaper, its has an excellent QUIET cooler even at high loads, but doesnt cool as well. also its clocked at 715mhz.

msi has a higher grade heatsink, runs cooler by a little bit a high loads, but is slighty louder. costs a little more. except it oc's better. the voltage tweak is oficially supported by msi afterburner.

i went with msi cyclone for cooler, i dont worry about noise because i fold 24/7
but against noise value temp performance, gigabyte i think. PLUS gigabyte board and card...pretty cool =p

also between vertex and agility, performance is neglible. right now i believe vertex 2 is cheaper, so get that. WARNING. DONT GET THE ORIGINALS. GET THE 2'S. SO VERTEX 2 OR AGILITY 2
August 13, 2010 4:35:35 AM

If you have the time to read this techreport article comparing SSD value against HDDs, it's a worthwhile read.

The Agility 2 and Vertex 2 are pretty close to each other in performance. When the prices are close at the same capacity, it's reasonable to pick the Vertex 2 over the Agility 2. If the Agility 2 is a lot cheaper, you might as well go with it instead.

Interestingly, the Vertex 2 60 GB is actually cheaper than the Agility 2 at the moment. It also appears that the 120 GB models are selling for less than the 100 GB models, which I don't have an explanation for, unless it's just that I'm super tired.
August 13, 2010 4:38:39 AM

The difference between the agility 2 120gb and the vertex 2 100gb is like $80 after everything on newegg. Seems like a pretty big price gap so I think I'd get the agility 2 if performance is negligible
August 13, 2010 4:39:38 AM

usually theyre more closely priced, but discounts, rebates, etc.
just recently the price gap has increased, so yah take advantage of the price
August 13, 2010 4:41:19 AM

I added an edit about the GPU above but I guess it was after everyone read it. Would it be a better idea to get a single 460 or 480 with what i currently have?
August 13, 2010 3:11:38 PM

The Vertex 2 120 GB appears to be the same price as the Agility 2 120 GB. Unless I'm smoking crack. No idea why the 100 GB is more.

For gaming at 1920x1080, if you're just getting a single card, the 480 is a better idea. A single 460 is likely to struggle with some games at that resolution.
August 13, 2010 3:20:40 PM

depends if you plan to go sli and how soon.
if you plan on going sli in the future, 480 now.
but if you dont and want to get 480 now, get 2x 460 instead. it scales very well and 2x460 will beat the 480 in fps.

a single 460 WILL perform pretty well in 1920*1080 res, but some games, just because they are more graphically demanding, will not play as well (eg metro 2033)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-radeon-hd-5570-gaming,2697-4.html

it also costs about $420-460 for 2x460, depending on which card you buy.
but a 480 will cost you around at least $450, for lesser performance.
i would link you to some 460 sli reviews right now, but im pretty busy. just search around, you'll find plenty
August 13, 2010 4:00:28 PM

Well, guess I'll get the vertex 2 120 then. That price discrepancy is pretty dam weird....

For GPU, I think i'll get the 480 then since i have a 20% off coupon and for EVGA.

Updated list again, still deciding for case. Any last comments otherwise?
August 13, 2010 4:15:58 PM

The only concern I have is that if you SLI in the future, that 750W isn't going to be big enough for 2x GTX 480. Check out SLI Zone for nVidia recommended PSUs. PSUs not on that list may/may not work, but you'll get a better idea of the wattage needed to power 2x GTX 480.

You can, of course, buy a 750W PSU now and take into account that if you decide to SLI you'll need to buy a new PSU as well, and just live with that.
August 13, 2010 4:23:20 PM

Hm. My friend said he thinks that the 750 should be enough, but I guess i shouldn't ride on maybes. I'll consider getting the 850 you suggested or look for others in your link.
August 13, 2010 4:25:56 PM

It's possible that a 750W PSU could do it, and you've definitely got a quality PSU...it'd just be a shame to spend that much overall on the rig and have to replace the PSU if you wanted to SLI/upgrade.

Note that I'm not suggesting you get 1200W or anything...just make sure you have enough headroom to do everything you plan on now. :) 
August 13, 2010 4:45:33 PM

http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

well according to that, sli'd 480 and i5 750 with ssd, hdd, and misc usb case fan devices at 90% system load only recommends 661 ish watts. but again, it depends on psu effeciency.

750w is enough, but thats cutting it close. i mean it will handle it fine maybe 90% of the time, ASSUMING you dont stress everything 100% (no overclocking), which i dont see how you could while gaming. but incase of power spikes or something, theres a chance a power overload could overload the psu. id say 850 watts is more than enough if you dont watn to risk 750.

if you're unsure about how soon you will do sli, 750 is waay more than enough. if you plan to sli a year away, you could jsut stick with 750 for now. who knows, you might want to just build an entire new system that far away =p
August 14, 2010 3:05:10 AM

Ya, i can just get the 850, its not too much of a price difference. As for case, I was thinking about the darkfleet 85, what do you guys think of it?
August 21, 2010 2:48:55 PM

Best answer selected by Aira.
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