Moderate Gaming Build $1000-$1300

Hi everyone, this is my first build (At the strong urging of my friends). However, I currently do not have the monetary resources to get every component I want (I make $310 a month as a college student) so I plan on beginning my purchases around Black Friday 2010, so the prices on the components I am about to list will surely be cheaper then. Anyway, I have already spent about a month an a half of research and here is what I have so far:


BUDGET RANGE: $1000-$1300. Somewhat flexible but I don't want to overspend or anything.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Downloading / Watching HD Content, Gaming, Web Surfing. More or less of equal importance to me.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse (I currently have several old USB mice, though I may decide to buy a new MX 518 when it goes on sale again), OS (I already have extra Windows 7 discs / licenses)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, TigerDirect, hell ebay if there are some good deals there!


PARTS PREFERENCES: Anything Socket AM3 compatible

OVERCLOCKING: By default, no, but maybe in the future

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not really interested, for now I would rather stick with a single GPU solution

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080 or greater, though obviously not 2560 x 1600 since that is far too expensive

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: To summarize, I am mainly looking for something versatile as my computing interests are diverse.


The current build:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3

Honestly, I don't have any plans on crossfire / SLI right now, so I don't think I'll need anything beyond an 870 board. I also like SATA 6.0 and USB 3.0 quite a bit.

CPU: AMD Phenom II 940

To reiterate, I am picking AMD over Intel because I feel that AMD wins in the pricer / performance ratio, and I probably won't need many of the extra features of Intel's i5/i7 processors (not to mention I would need a significantly more expensive motherboard). I am also considering splurging a bit to the 955 BE as newegg has some nice combo deals with it sometimes, but right now I don't think it is worth the extra expense as I don't have immediate plans for overclocking.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 2x2 GB DDR3 1600

I am honestly not very knowledgeable about memory, but the very positive reviews and $95 price tag made this seem like a good choice (other than the fact that my motherboard doesn't natively support DDR3 1600).

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5770

I originally wanted a 5850, but right now I think it is still a little too expensive for my budget. Other options that look appealing to me are the GTX 460 and the HD 5830 for a little bit more.

Storage: WD Caviar Green 2 TB HDD (Data) / Intel X-25M G2 80 GB SSD

Admittedly, the most important thing to me. I not only plan to game but I already store tons of videos / music and what not (I am almost beyond 1 TB currently). So I picked the Caviar Green due to solid reviews and price. I have also always wanted to try an SSD, and 80 GB seems like enough (though soon 160 GB will cost what the 80 GB does now).

Case: Cooler Master HAF 922

Seems like a very good value. Roomy, good cable management, and a plethora of positive reviews. Only other case I would consider over this is the CM 690 II Advanced, but this one is a little more appealing to me.

Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W

I had a hard time picking this, as there were many attractive options. Currently I like seasonic due to their high reputation although several Antec PSU's looked nice, such as the BP 550 and the TP 550. I am very open to suggestions here, as long as they are modular and not too big.

Monitor: Asus V222H 21.5"

I am also very unsure about the monitor choice. The 22" and 23" versions aren't much more expensive and I am considering those as well. Dell also offers a 23" 2048 x 1152 monitor for $199. But again, anything that is around 1080p is fine with me.

Keyboard: Rosewill RK-800G Black 104 Normal Keys PS/2 Wired Gaming Keyboard

Once again, I don't really know what is best here so I kept it simple. I wouldn't mind some advice though.

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

Didn't look too much into this.

So, while this is just a starting point, given my needs are there any suggestions or improvements you can think of?
3 answers Last reply
More about moderate gaming build 1000 1300
  1. I've just got a couple of ideas to throw at you. I've heard great things about Asus mobos; though Gigabyte is good too. Here's one that's cheaper than the Gigabyte and I think would fit your needs minus the SATA 6 and USB 3 (don't know how important those are to you).

    ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard $65 after rebate

    Also I would recommend an Antec case and PSU combo. Here's one that might work for you.

    Antec Nine Hundred + EA650 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 650W Power Supply $150

    Both your CPU and GPU are good choices imo. Hope this will help.
  2. Hmm moderate gaming?

    Tower $649AR

    23.6" LCD Free photo printer free ship $180
    60GB Sandforce based SSD $140AR
    $969AR Grand Total
  3. If you're not even starting to buy till november, come back and ask then. That's very close to sandy bridge release date.

    There may be major price shifts by then.
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