$1100 First-timer gaming PC

Approximate Purchase Date: Preferably sometime this month

Budget Range: $1000-$1300 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Moderate gaming mostly

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU in a mid or full tower case and 21.5" LCD display

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I've pretty much chosen my CPU and video card but I'm open to suggestions if my selections are poor. Mainly I'm lost in choosing a power supply, case, and I'm not sure if my choice in motherboards is good either. As you can probably tell, this is the first time I've ever tried to build my own system so any help is much appreciated!


Parts already (tentatively) selected:

Intel Core i7-875K Lynnfield 2.93GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Unlocked Desktop Processor BX80605I7875K

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

(I don't need the "unlocked-ness" of the CPU, but the combination of that CPU+motherboard was cheaper than an equivalent locked processor anyway)

ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/768MD5 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
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  1. Best answer
    As you said, you don't need the unlocked CPU, especially since you have no plans to overclock. You also don't need the i7 if you're only planning to use this system for gaming. The main bonus of the i7 over say the i5-760 or 750 is that it has hyperthreading, which increases performance in threaded apps (like rendering and video encoding). For gaming, the i5-760 will give you the same performance for $120 less. Also, if you really want the GTX 460, you should get the 1 GB version at your price range; it's a much better card (though you can go even higher and get a GTX 470).

    Here's an i5-760 build for under $1k:

    Case/PSU: Antec 300 + Antec EA750 $129.99

    Mobo/GPU: EVGA P55 SLI + EVGA GTX 470 $459.98-$70 MIR = $389.98

    CPU: i5-760 $208.99

    RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2GB CL7 $94.99

    HD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 $74.99

    Optical: Cheap SATA burner $16.99

    Total: $985.88-$70 MIR = $915.88

    Potential upgrades:
    i7-860 (+$70):

    i7-870 (+$80):

    SSD Boot Disk (+$110 AR):
  2. Thanks! I thought I linked the 1gb version but I guess I'm crazy. Anyway, this setup is basically exactly what I was looking for! I'll probably go for the i7-870, but if I end up wanting 8gb memory do you think I should just buy two of the one you linked or try to get an 8gb set on its own? Also, since I'm not overclocking or anything, should I be worried about heat and get a separate CPU fan/heatsink or do you think the one included with the processor will be adequate?

    Thanks so much for your help!
  3. The RAM is mostly up to you, but anything over 4GB (or 6GB for a LGA 1366 system) is overkill for a gaming system. Both options are feasible since the motherboard I linked has 4 memory slots.

    Also, IMO, the better upgrade to get would be the SSD. It won't improve your gaming performance (but neither will the i7), but it will greatly decrease your boot time and the load time for any programs you put on it.
  4. Fair enough, I'll stick with 4GB memory for now and I'll think about the i7. You've pretty much got me all settled, but my only remaining issue is that in the reviews for the CPUs some people were complaining about the cooling systems that came with the processors. Since I'm not overclocking do I need to worry about getting a separate CPU fan or something?
  5. I wouldn't worry about it too much since you aren't overclocking. If you want to get one though, the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ and Scythe Mugen 2 rev.b are both excellent, will fit in your case, and are about $30.
  6. Cool, thanks! You've been really helpful. I think this'll be my system!
  7. Best answer selected by Kalamoko.
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