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$1,200 gaming PC

Greetings, hardware gurus! I'm excited to be taking the plunge and building my first ever desktop PC. However, I'm also scared as hell. There's just a lot I don't know, and it seems like there are many opportunities for me to do something wrong and end up wasting a lot of time and money. I already have a build tentatively planned out, but I'd really appreciate any advice, comments, or feedback you could give me.

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible.


Budget Range: $1,000-$1,200 Before Rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching movies, surfing the internet.


Parts Not Required: The OS. I've already got a copy of Windows 7.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.com


Country of Origin: United States


Parts Preferences: I have no brand loyalties. I just want parts that work well, and work well together.


Overclocking: Maybe? I know nothing about overclocking, but I definitely plan on looking into it.


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: Negotiable. The one I have picked out currently is 1440 x 900.


Additional Comments: The physical appearance of the computer really isn't important to me. I don't need to see inside it, or have fancy fan lights, or anything like that. My main concern is that it works and works well.

Here's a link to my Newegg wishlist: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=9871929

The parts included are as follows:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I7860

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Hanns·G HW-191APB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified

Logitech S120 2.3 Watts (RMS) 2.0 Speaker System - OEM

LITE-ON SK-1788/BS 2-Tone PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard

EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM

GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical - OEM

As I said, the main purpose of this computer will be gaming. I'm pretty new to PC gaming, but it's won me over, and I don't plan to invest in consoles any longer. I'd also like to be able to use it as a Blu-Ray player. My computer area is quite close to my TV area, so I shouldn't have any trouble running a cable from one to the other when I want to watch something. And of course, I'll be using it to browse the internet.

My main concern is whether or not this build will work, period, and that I don't have any missing pieces or incompatible parts. But I'm also quite open for suggestions as far as which parts to purchase. The ones I have picked out so far are mainly based on a combination of price and their score and reviews on Newegg (though I did make use of this site's charts when picking out the graphics card).

So... any thoughts?
26 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Trade CPU for GPU, huh? Thanks, I'll look into it, as well as the parts you suggested.

    gkay09 said:
    ^ If you want a very good gaming PC, then invest less on the CPU and more on the GPU...
    The i7 over the i5 or even the AMD Phenoms have very less impact on gaming performance...

    Here is a complete rebuild, which would be very good for gaming...
    X4 955 + Gigabyte 870A
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.543364

    Corsair 4GB DDR3 + Corsair 650TX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.553657

    CM HAF 912 + Samsung F3 1TB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.543371

    HD 6870
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161349

    KB + Mouse -
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.540770

    Monitor -
    http://www.buy.com/prod/asus-vh236h-23-widescreen-hd-lcd-monitor-1920x1080-20000-1-2ms-hdmi/q/loc/101/210917291.html
    Or Dell LED backlit
    25% off coupon code: Q?P77?9ZRWW5D2
    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=320-9332&cs=19&c=us&l=en&dgc=CJ&cid=24471&lid=566643&acd=10550055-1727683-

    Antistatic
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261001

    Total - ~$1036

    If there is room left in the budget, then maybe a SSD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227542
  2. Best answer
    I would recommend waiting until at least January because AMD is releasing the 69xx card series. Also by then Intel is expected to release sandy bridge, which is suppose to be better then the i5, i7 series they have out right now.
  3. mk-ultra said:
    I would recommend waiting until at least January because AMD is releasing the 69xx card series. Also by then Intel is expected to release sandy bridge, which is suppose to be better then the i5, i7 series they have out right now.

    So, do you recommend waiting because I should buy those parts, or because their release will lead to a drop in price of the older components?
  4. Well depending on your budget, you could wait just for the price drop. But I recommended waiting so that you could buy the next generation CPU, and seeing if you should got with Nvidia or ATI.
  5. mk-ultra said:
    Well depending on your budget, you could wait just for the price drop. But I recommended waiting so that you could buy the next generation CPU, and seeing if you should got with Nvidia or ATI.

    I see. Well, my budget is between $1,000-$1,200. Do you think I'd be able to afford these components when they come out?
  6. ^ I guess you could get those parts within your budget...
    I think Intel would price the Sandybridge(their newer CPUs) at the current i5 7xx CPUs price and the same with graphic cards as they would only replace the current ones in the same price range...
  7. gkay09 said:
    ^ I guess you could get those parts within your budget...
    I think Intel would price the Sandybridge(their newer CPUs) at the current i5 7xx CPUs price and the same with graphic cards as they would only replace the current ones in the same price range...

    Huh. So, do you think I should wait as well? I gotta say, I'm itching to get started, and feeling pretty reluctant to wait two more months for my new PC.
  8. ^ If it is an absolute requirement now, then go ahead and build your PC right away, but if you could hold a bit longer, it would be advantageous to you only, so its your call...
  9. Quote:
    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching movies, surfing the internet.


    The Game Rundown: Finding CPU/GPU Bottlenecks, Part 2
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/game-performance-bottleneck,2738-16.html
    Quote:
    Conclusion: A Trend Toward 3+ Cores

    The average optimal number of CPU cores suggested by the test results is 2.75, showing a clear trend towards at least three CPU cores.The question of whether the CPU or GPU is most important is easily answered. If you don't have a multi-core CPU, then upgrade it. If you have a dual-core CPU at around 3 GHz, then invest your money into a graphics card, as most games are GPU-limited. This is not something that will change with new DirectX 11 games.



    so +1 gkay but hit a CFable 870 like the Asrock 870Extreme 3 hehe

    Why


    HD6K: single/CF review
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-6850-renewing-competition-in-the-midrange-market/8
  10. ^ These articles are very good articles, which should clear your doubts about GPU over CPU for gaming and also the Crossfire option...
  11. gkay09 said:
    ^ These articles are very good articles, which should clear your doubts about GPU over CPU for gaming and also the Crossfire option...

    Well, consider my doubts cleared, concerning CPU vs. GPU, at least. As far as Crossfire goes, I have only the loosest idea of what that even means. We're talking multiple graphics cards working together, right? Wouldn't that get a bit expensive?

    The real thing that's bugging me at this point is to wait or build it now. I've been doing a lot of saving and a lot of thinking about this, and it kills me to put it off for two more months. Still, if the payoff will be worth it... I guess two months isn't THAT long in the grand scheme of things. :(
  12. ^ Crossfire is running multiple graphic cards(Similar ones) together and it is a way of increasing the graphic performance without spending much in the long run...Assume that you have a graphic card right now, say in about a year, it might show signs of slowing, you could add 1 more similar card in Crossfire, and by that time, its price would also have gone down considerably...

    And certainly the next-gen CPUs hold good promise, but how effective for gaming, that am not sure...
    I would worry more about the GPUs which are to be released than the CPUs...
  13. gkay09 said:
    ^ Crossfire is running multiple graphic cards(Similar ones) together and it is a way of increasing the graphic performance without spending much in the long run...Assume that you have a graphic card right now, say in about a year, it might show signs of slowing, you could add 1 more similar card in Crossfire, and by that time, its price would also have gone down considerably...

    And certainly the next-gen CPUs hold good promise, but how effective for gaming, that am not sure...
    I would worry more about the GPUs which are to be released than the CPUs...

    Oh, I see. So crossfire isn't really something I'd consider now, but later on, when I need to upgrade.

    Right, I get that CPUs are less important than GPUs for gaming. But the next gen of GPUs will be released in January as well?
  14. The HD 6.9K i.e Cayman Pro/XT are scheduled end Nov/early Dec IIRC
  15. batuchka said:
    The HD 6.9K i.e Cayman Pro/XT are scheduled end Nov/early Dec IIRC


    what about that post on the homepage now listing them for Q1 2011? That bummed me out cuz I'm doing my build on like Dec 23rd.
  16. In general the net is reporting delays that may or may not be ironed out by the planned end Nov launch so we have to hear from the cow's (AMD) mouth hehe
  17. yea they better come out before I do my build.
    Cuz I'm not delaying my build and I don't wanna settle for 2 6870's :P.
  18. Okay, so just to make sure I've got everything straight:

    I should wait until January to start building my computer, because

    A. Intel's new "Sandy Bridge" processors will be out, and I'll be able to buy one for the same price as I'd pay for an i5 now, only it would work better.

    B. AMD (And Nvidia?) will be releasing their next generation(s?) of GPUs, which, again, will be the same price as the ones out now, but work better.

    Am I following along correctly?

    And what would be a good way to keep an eye on these release dates, so I know for sure when to start ordering parts?
  19. Yes.
    Although I am doing my build on Dec 23rd.
    1. I have already been waiting 6 months and I don't want to wait any longer than that.
    2. Want to buy when theres some before Christmas sales.
    3. I don't want the brand new CPU's. Because if I have some kind of problem/bugs there will be no info online to help because it will have just been released.

    and just watch Tom's homepage, they are pretty on top of things around here.

    *also unrelated but I'm e-raging :x. the DF-85 went up $40 overnight on newegg >:O *
  20. vindictive said:

    3. I don't want the brand new CPU's. Because if I have some kind of problem/bugs there will be no info online to help because it will have just been released.


    Okay, that's a very good point. As I'm sure you've picked up on, I'm not very knowledgeable about these things. Since I'm a beginner, do you think I should stick with the safer, older model, rather than grabbing something that's brand new?
  21. Timzor said:
    Okay, that's a very good point. As I'm sure you've picked up on, I'm not very knowledgeable about these things. Since I'm a beginner, do you think I should stick with the safer, older model, rather than grabbing something that's brand new?


    I think its about how much your willing to mess with it if it has a problem. I'm sure if you experience a problem, its probably already happened and you can contact Intel or the new mobo manufacturer and they can help you. I just don't want to deal with it/ won't have the time.
  22. vindictive said:
    I think its about how much your willing to mess with it if it has a problem. I'm sure if you experience a problem, its probably already happened and you can contact Intel or the new mobo manufacturer and they can help you. I just don't want to deal with it/ won't have the time.

    Okay, I see. Well, this is a pretty hard decision. But I guess I'll have two months to think about it. x_x
  23. I've basically been waiting since Oct 2009 to build a PC (moved onto a sailboat sailing around the Caribbean at the moment. Will be back in the US for college in Dec.) So I'm very impatient at this point :P
  24. vindictive said:
    I've basically been waiting since Oct 2009 to build a PC (moved onto a sailboat sailing around the Caribbean at the moment. Will be back in the US for college in Dec.) So I'm very impatient at this point :P

    Ah. Well, that's understandable.
  25. Best answer selected by Timzor.
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