Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

[Help] Advice on a $1000-1400 budget gaming build

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 12, 2010 1:45:29 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Will be purchasing around (mid-late) November - should I be waiting for the new chips and other releases that are set for November?

PRICING: Looking to stay within the $1400 budget; the lower the better (ideally around $1200) and the final price shouldn't include any possible discounts, rebates, etc.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming & Music/Movies, School Work (Word, Excel, etc).

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Case.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: I plan on buying/using the Antec P183 case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., so include that in the overall price. Also looking to incorporate a SSD (120GB, I believe), instead of a HD. Looking to keep this PC super cool and quiet at the same time - Noctua fans and/or CPU cooler would be nice if they're in fact worth it.

OVERCLOCKING: n/a

MONITOR RESOLUTION: n/a

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm not very well-versed in the actual building of a rig from the ground-up. I don't know too much about motherboards, for example, which is the best and what one will work with what card and with what RAM, etc.

Other than that, I do plan on gaming with this PC; mainly World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2, so the games are a bit "older" but I'm also looking forward to upcoming titles such as Brink (http://www.brinkthegame.com/) so playing at high settings with great/comfortable FPS is key.

Essentially, I'm looking to build myself another PC that's going to last 5+ years. My current desktop was built in 06' and I'm just considering upgrading now so being able to last for a while is definitely key. Besides that, my only other concern is keeping my PC cool and quiet - looking to buy another couple of super quiet and efficient fans would be nice.
September 12, 2010 3:28:24 AM

What is your budgeted price?

That's a very low-res monitor, you really don't need a powerful system for that resolution. It's pretty major overkill if you're really considering a 480+i7 for 1600 resolutions.
September 12, 2010 3:46:13 AM

My budget is in my thread title: between $1000-1400.

As far as the resolution, my current monitor is one of Dell's LCD that I purchased with my last build ~4 years back. I plan on grabbing a new one eventually after I purchase this new rig but for now, wasn't planning on including it in the price upfront.

Other than an i7, like I said, I've been out of the peripheral game for a while so I'm not sure what video card to grab. The one I linked in my original post is one that a friend of mine just purchased recently and is very pleased.
Related resources
September 12, 2010 3:54:30 AM

Yes, but is lower better? Is it including MIRs?

First, some benchmarks: i5 vs equally clocked i7. Notice the gaming benchmarks -- the i7 loses. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/47?vs=109 And the i5 is 100$ cheaper, a better overclocker, and saves ~100$ in mobo/ram costs.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/158?vs=160 Look at the 16 benchmarks, I realize 16*12 is a more difficult resolution, but is there really any game at 1680 the 470 can't do and do well? Every bench on there is with 4x AA and settings maxed. If you're willing to drop the 4xAA you can max everything with a single 5770.
September 12, 2010 4:31:48 AM

I apologize, didn't understand your question. The lower the better, of course, yes. And I suppose getting the price as low as possible not including rebates as I'm not sure the exact date of purchase (other than sometime in November).

I've been reading up on the debate between i5 vs i7's for gaming (dual core vs. quad core). It definitely makes my wallet a lot happier but one of my concerns is longevity. I figure if I go with a high end i7 vs an i5, I'd be able to stay ahead of the curve for an extra year or so - maybe I'm over-thinking and going about that all wrong? I suppose something like this instead of the i7's is what you were talking about:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(not sure if I mentioned in-depth in my original post, but I'm not overly skilled with the whole PC building process and as such, I don't plan on overclocking - take that into consideration)

I plan on picking up this Dell display soon after I purchase my parts from Newegg:

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/pr...

It's a 21.5" full HD display; I plan on playing and viewing everything in 1920x1080.
September 12, 2010 9:04:18 AM

Get a 200$ monitor, and cut 200$ off of your budget.
September 12, 2010 2:11:15 PM

The only i5s worth looking at the i5-760 and i5-750 (~200$). The dual cores are major bottlenecks at this point in games.

Your dell link is broken, but in general monitors (especially IPS and 120hz) are the best investment in computer hardware possible.
September 12, 2010 3:03:26 PM

Hmm the Dell link seems to be working for me. Link a better monitor for the price (this Dell model is 21.5" for $189 with a 1 year warranty) and I'll check it out.

So does my logic about going for a i7 make sense, or should I just stick with the an i5?
September 12, 2010 3:07:11 PM

Could you provide the model number of the Dell or something? Still not working for me.

For 190$ it'll be hard, but you could probably get an LED. If you're willing to spend more (~300) you can get a nice IPS or 120hz screen. For 20$ more you could get an LED backlit 23in http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

For what you have listed, no the i7 does not make sense. However, the dualcore i5s don't either.
September 12, 2010 3:13:51 PM

ST2220M 21.5 inch Widescreen LCD Panel Monitor with High Definition LED Display is the item # / name of the Dell monitor I was looking at.

As I mentioned, my biggest concern (besides building a great system as cheap as possible) is building a system that is going to last me another 5+ years, which is why I was looking into the quad-core i7's. I know it's probably overkill for a "gaming" system but my whole idea was, as I said, to stay ahead of the curve and have a system that's going to afford me an extra year or two because I dumped extra cash into it now.

If the i5's can do the same thing, then let me know. Like I said I'm probably over-thinking this whole thing.
a b 4 Gaming
September 12, 2010 3:21:51 PM

here's the thing: in 3 years, the new systems that run 800-1000 at that time will beat up on your i7 by then. If your primary purpose is gaming, a ~800-1000 system every 2-3 years is the most effective method.
September 12, 2010 3:23:13 PM

Hmm, well this is a decent deal I found on SD. http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?s...

Though really if you're going to keep this for 5 years I would spend more of the budget on non-volatiles like case, PSU, monitor, KB/Mouse. Computers move too fast. In 2 years a budget system will trash any i7 system built today. Computers just don't have longevity, I would build a smaller system every few years instead.

I just realized you'll be buying in late November, by that time the next-gen chips will be shipping. IMO come back a weak before you buy.
September 12, 2010 9:30:26 PM

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, I appreciate the replies on the topic (longevity).

What do the new chips look like? I suppose I should be waiting around for those, or should I go with something right now? I guess I can rephrase my question and goal: looking to build the best possible system in the $1000-1400 price range that can handle current/upcoming games (WoW and Stracraft 2, for example). I'm looking for something that's really fast, quiet, and cool (temperature wise).
September 12, 2010 10:36:09 PM

This is where I'm at right now. Nothing is final, just some parts that have gotten good reviews (items that I've read about and have looked into myself):

Processor: i5-760 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E Pro - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 460 x2 SLi - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 120GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Antec P183 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: Corsair HX Series 850W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (is 850W overkill?)

In addition to the above, I'm also looking for the best way to keep these build as cool as possible:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 13, 2010 12:54:09 AM

I have the same processor. This is what I got for my system build. Works great. plays the games you listed with no issues. And even plays crysis at nearly 100 fps.

For the PS I got http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the graphics I got http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... X2 SLI set itself up so no issues there.

For the motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Its a great motherboard. And as for over clocking. This motherboard does it for you. with one click it will balance everything out by itself so I hope you would reconsider.

As for the ram I think that the I5 works in sets of 2 gigs of ram at a time. So I would get either 4 gigs or 8 gigs. And since most games will never even use 3 Id get 4 and that will be enough future proofing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(2_x_2GB)_240-Pin_DDR3-_-20-231-277-_-Product
September 13, 2010 1:10:11 AM

Drayeon said:
I have the same processor. This is what I got for my system build. Works great. plays the games you listed with no issues. And even plays crysis at nearly 100 fps.

For the PS I got http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the graphics I got http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... X2 SLI set itself up so no issues there.

For the motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Its a great motherboard. And as for over clocking. This motherboard does it for you. with one click it will balance everything out by itself so I hope you would reconsider.

As for the ram I think that the I5 works in sets of 2 gigs of ram at a time. So I would get either 4 gigs or 8 gigs. And since most games will never even use 3 Id get 4 and that will be enough future proofing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(2_x_2GB)_240-Pin_DDR3-_-20-231-277-_-Product


I appreciate the reply man.

750W PS, that's more than enough power right? The only reason I ask is that in every other similiar i5 Gaming build I've seen, it seems that people have 800W+, especially with the SLi setup.

I was actually looking at the same graphics card; seems a lot of other people in other recent build threads are using the same one - a lot of good reviews out there so that's probably the reason. Now you said you purchased two at $250 a pop (so $500 for the SLi setup), correct?

As for the RAM, I've heard the same discussion about "all you need to game is 4GBs, anything more is overkill" so that would make sense. My current desktop has 4GBs, so I might go with 8GB for the whole future proof factor - not sure if there's a huge difference between 4 vs 8?
September 13, 2010 1:48:02 AM


prolific said:
I appreciate the reply man.

750W PS, that's more than enough power right? The only reason I ask is that in every other similiar i5 Gaming build I've seen, it seems that people have 800W+, especially with the SLi setup.

I was actually looking at the same graphics card; seems a lot of other people in other recent build threads are using the same one - a lot of good reviews out there so that's probably the reason. Now you said you purchased two at $250 a pop (so $500 for the SLi setup), correct?

As for the RAM, I've heard the same discussion about "all you need to game is 4GBs, anything more is overkill" so that would make sense. My current desktop has 4GBs, so I might go with 8GB for the whole future proof factor - not sure if there's a huge difference between 4 vs 8?


1) I was actually recommended only a 600 watt power supply for that setup. I got 750 just to make extra sure.

2)It does come out at 480 Dollars.

3) There will be no difference between 4 and 8. I have not heard anyone using more than that, even though I have friends that have 8 and 12 gigs. Be careful about using 8 gigs in that setup. There is something special that you have to do in the bios or something to get it to work. I'm sure its something a lot of people on the forums know how to do I just havn't tried it yet.
September 13, 2010 3:04:14 AM

Yeah, sticking with 4GBs of RAM - definitely the right call.

It seems that Mobo is no longer carried over at Newegg. Any idea where to turn?
September 13, 2010 4:17:14 AM

Sorry for the bump, quick update of where I'm at. Any further advice and critiques would be much appreciated - much thanks to everyone who has offered a reply thus far, everyone's been very help.

Processor: i5-760 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E Pro - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 460 x2 SLi - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 120GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Antec P183 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: Corsair HX Series 850W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (is 850W overkill?)

In addition to the above - still looking for a proper Mobo, I'm also looking for the best way to keep this build as cool as possible:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2010 5:36:36 AM

Why 6 GB of memory? You'll force single-channel mode rather than dual-channel (which is what you want). 4 GB is enough for most applications. If you want more than 4 GB, consider going to 8 GB instead. The G.Skill PI series also doesn't fit underneath the Noctua NH-D14, so you'll either want to switch to either Ripjaws/Eco Series or a different brand with low-rise heatsinks.

Assuming you're still within budget, I'd get the Asus P7P55D-E Pro for $180. 8x/8x SLI, USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 Gb/s. It's pretty much the best 1156 motherboard available.

Of course, if you're not buying for a few months, most of this info is going to be out-dated.
a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2010 10:05:39 AM

If you step back to an i5, You need only get dual-channel memory. Only the X58 socket 1366 boards use triple channel
September 13, 2010 3:20:03 PM

coldsleep said:
Why 6 GB of memory? You'll force single-channel mode rather than dual-channel (which is what you want). 4 GB is enough for most applications. If you want more than 4 GB, consider going to 8 GB instead. The G.Skill PI series also doesn't fit underneath the Noctua NH-D14, so you'll either want to switch to either Ripjaws/Eco Series or a different brand with low-rise heatsinks.

Assuming you're still within budget, I'd get the Asus P7P55D-E Pro for $180. 8x/8x SLI, USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 Gb/s. It's pretty much the best 1156 motherboard available.

Of course, if you're not buying for a few months, most of this info is going to be out-dated.


Very informative reply, thanks for that.

I completely forgot to edit the 6GBs of RAM out; I plan on using 4GB, but am definitely interested in 8GB if there's a good value out there.

As for that Mobo, it looks good. Like the other parts, I've seen it posted numerous times in other similar builds.

I know I mentioned mid-late November but I'm definitely interested in getting this thing moving and built sooner. I'm not sure if I should wait, however. I figure there's going to be a significant price reduction when the new Intel chips and such arrive, but I haven't seen a solid date set in stone so I'm not really sure what I'm waiting for.
September 13, 2010 3:35:36 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
If you step back to an i5, You need only get dual-channel memory. Only the X58 socket 1366 boards use triple channel


Thanks for the reply man. I don't plan on overclocking at all - I'm more of a plug and play kind of gamer - so let me just state that again before I go on.

I'm torn between 4GB vs 8GB, and DDR3 1600 vs DDR3 1333. I think I'll have a little extra cash so I don't mind upgrading to 8GBs of RAM but only under the assumption that it's going to be cash well spent - is there a huge difference in gaming performance between 4 vs 8? Also, since I don't plan on overclocking, I don't think the whole 1600 vs 1333 makes a difference; I can probably save some cash and go with the DDR3 1333?
a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2010 3:53:55 PM

prolific said:
I'm torn between 4GB vs 8GB, and DDR3 1600 vs DDR3 1333. I think I'll have a little extra cash so I don't mind upgrading to 8GBs of RAM but only under the assumption that it's going to be cash well spent - is there a huge difference in gaming performance between 4 vs 8? Also, since I don't plan on overclocking, I don't think the whole 1600 vs 1333 makes a difference; I can probably save some cash and go with the DDR3 1333?


If you're just gaming, you won't notice any difference between 4 GB and 8 GB. As far as I know, there are no games designed that need that much memory.

Right now, you can save about $5 going with 1333 MHz CAS 7 RAM, but you can get a G.Skill ECO Series 1600 MHz CAS 7 1.35V low-voltage 4 GB kit for $98 ($6 more than the cheapest 1333 MHz CAS 7 RAM), or you can get this Mushkin 1600 MHz CAS 7 kit for $90, less than the cheapest equivalent 1333 MHz kit.

In other words, 1333 MHz and 1600 MHz kits are almost the same price these days, and sometimes 1600 MHz RAM is cheaper. Just look for the best deal, don't lock yourself into a specific clock speed.
September 13, 2010 4:25:20 PM

Thanks again for the quick and well-informed reply, coldsleep. I was taking a look at this RAM actually right after I posted, let me know your thoughts - seems to be a bit cheaper than some other options out there, also has the Newegg Customer Choice Award so that means something:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

One of my last concerns has to do with the cooling. What's the best way to go about it? Keeping my case as cool as possible with fans/coolers that are as quiet as possible is key. I've heard nothing but good things about these Noctua products. Is the CPU Cooler + 2 additional fans a good setup? What other options can I exhaust to provide the coolest and quietest results.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (x2?)
a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2010 4:37:25 PM

I would only go with a Noctua NH-D14 if you're planning on overclocking, which you said you weren't going to do. Spending about $100 just for a low-noise cooler isn't worthwhile...you should be able to get something reasonable for half that or less. You might even just go with the stock cooler and see if that's quiet enough for you, then upgrade later if it's too loud.

Take a look at Frostytech's top "5" heatsinks and try to track down one of the top silent HSFs. You may have to venture further afield than newegg. Frozencpu.com is usually pretty good, there are probably other options that you could google.
September 13, 2010 4:54:12 PM

Yeah, good call. I'm a bit worried about keeping this new build cool, only because I sort of overlooked that aspect with my last build, had to go back and add fans and such after the fact.

So, for my setup, and the fact that I'm not overclocking, I should probably just go with a cheaper CPU cooler (Scythe comes to mind) in addition to some extra case fans (Noctua). Essentially, I'm just looking for the best setup in order to keep my whole rig as cool as possible while being as quiet as possible.
!