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Gaming/Balanced build for $800

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January 30, 2011 4:35:54 PM

Hi all,
After 5 good years with my old rig, it's time for a new build.

I'm looking to spend about $750-$850 on the components.

My needs are for a balanced system that can game well at 1920 x 1080. I'm not a performance addict and my gaming time will diminish over the next few years so I'm aiming for balance and longevity in the system. I might overclock a bit (have never tried before) but I'm not planning on anything too far beyond stock.

This will be the first time I've put a PC together so any comments/suggestions are appreciated. All prices taken from Newegg.



My planned build:

Not needed: monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers

Processor - Intel i5-2500k ($225)

Motherboard - ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 ($190)

Memory - Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ($62)

Graphics - HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) ($140)

Storage - WD Caviar Black 500GB ($60)

Optical Drive - ASUS 24X DVD+RW ($20)

Power supply - Corsair CMPSU-650TX ($90)

Heat sink - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 ($30)

Case - Antec 300 Illusion Black Steel ($70)



That puts me at $887 so a little over budget especially after buying the OS. Do you think waiting 2 or 3 months will let prices drop to put it more in budget? I'm willing to spend a bit more, wait for prices to drop or deal shop each component if it will increase the rig's longevity.

If necessary I have a WD Caviar Blue 350GB I can take from my current PC and put in the build to save some money.

I'm a big music fan too so should I get a sound card?

Anyway, thanks for any help!
January 30, 2011 4:58:19 PM

bsteck said:
Hi all,
After 5 good years with my old rig, it's time for a new build.

I'm looking to spend about $750-$850 on the components.

My needs are for a balanced system that can game well at 1920 x 1080. I'm not a performance addict and my gaming time will diminish over the next few years so I'm aiming for balance and longevity in the system. I might overclock a bit (have never tried before) but I'm not planning on anything too far beyond stock.

This will be the first time I've put a PC together so any comments/suggestions are appreciated. All prices taken from Newegg.



My planned build:

Not needed: monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers

Processor - Intel i5-2500k ($225)

Motherboard - ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 ($190)

Memory - Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ($62)

Graphics - HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) ($140)

Storage - WD Caviar Black 500GB ($60)

Optical Drive - ASUS 24X DVD+RW ($20)

Power supply - Corsair CMPSU-650TX ($90)

Heat sink - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 ($30)

Case - Antec 300 Illusion Black Steel ($70)



That puts me at $887 so a little over budget especially after buying the OS. Do you think waiting 2 or 3 months will let prices drop to put it more in budget? I'm willing to spend a bit more, wait for prices to drop or deal shop each component if it will increase the rig's longevity.

If necessary I have a WD Caviar Blue 350GB I can take from my current PC and put in the build to save some money.

I'm a big music fan too so should I get a sound card?

Anyway, thanks for any help!


seems good but you know sound cards arent really necessary just gonna give you a slightly better quality compared to your on board sound device, it can slightly boost performance on games sometimes tho. and if u can wait and earn more just lurk around newegg for good deals. that is if u can wait.
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January 31, 2011 12:59:33 PM

Either splurge on a top-end sound card or use the onboard audio. Why? The mid-range sound cards are more or less the same as integrated audio. In some cases, the sound card may use more cpu processing power than the onboard one. Which one? I don't know. You have to read reviews of each sound card to find out.

Also, if you do get a high-end audio card, be sure to match it with quality headphones or better yet a 7.1 speaker system. Otherwise, you're missing out on the goodies in the audio card.

If you use regular earphones or earbuds, forget a sound card altogether.

You can save some money by going with another mobo with more or less the same features. FYI, ASROCK is a unit of ASUS.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 31, 2011 1:36:29 PM

let's get you within your budget with a Sandy Bridge system + better parts:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVDRW: $17

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB: $65 -> the 1TB HD's are now the best bang-for-your-buck... and you won't saturate your SATA6 with a normal HD anyways

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower: $70

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W: $80 -> you won't need more than 500w for your system

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2x2) DDR3 1333: $40

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
- [COMBO] Intel Core i5-2500K + GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3 SATA6 USB3: $340 -> you definitely don't need the Asus 'Pro' mobo... get this combo and save lots

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- GIGABYTE GV-R685D5-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB: $180 -> much, much better video card than the 5770...

TOTAL: $792

also you won't need an extra CPU cooler... as the Sandy Bridges run quite cool on the stock coolers... even when overclocked. Since you mentioned a slight or minor overclock... stick with the stock cooler for sure
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January 31, 2011 1:43:43 PM

as for your sound card question... the onboard audio will be more than enough (unless you're recording music)

speaker quality will mostly dictate the 'sound-quality'
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Best solution

February 1, 2011 1:03:56 AM

you may want to hold off on Sandy Bridge: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/cougar-point-sandy-bri...
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February 1, 2011 6:33:29 PM

Thanks everyone for the help. With the SB issues it looks like I might be waiting until summer to make the purchase. But that will let me add some more to the budget!
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February 1, 2011 6:59:33 PM



Checkout this build using this combo you selected
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
meh for $10 +/- 2GB HD 6950 hehe[/quotemsg]

ASUS M4a79XTD EVO Combo
Antec 300 Illusion
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec EA 650W PS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Lite-On iHAS124-04 CD/DVD Burnder
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HIS H695F2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost: 834.93 Total Cost AR: 789.93 :bounce: 
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February 2, 2011 3:30:53 AM

Antec 300 would be fine for a single GPU all its life rig but for a potentially HD6950CF i would pick another case and with heavy OC on the table 650W is too close headroom wise for CF as well
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February 2, 2011 10:25:38 AM

wasupmike said:
as for your sound card question... the onboard audio will be more than enough (unless you're recording music)

speaker quality will mostly dictate the 'sound-quality'


You said it better than I did. I suck at articulating.
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February 13, 2011 2:25:10 PM

Best answer selected by bsteck.
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