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First Time Builder - $1000 Budget PC

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February 15, 2011 5:30:51 AM

Hey guys, I am looking to build a new PC with a budget of ~$1000. I have copied the template from the sticky. This is my first PC build and I would appreciate any input you can offer me.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week


Budget Range: $1000 after rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW and other MMOs, FPS like CoD, RTS's, Simulation games), Watching Movies, Microsoft Office


Parts Not Required: Monitor (have a 24" ASUS), speakers, Power supply? (I currently have an Antec Earthwatts 650W but can upgrade if needed/recommended), mouse.

Additionally I have an Antec P180 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) case that is 4 years old, but the fans are buzzing a lot when I start it up and I feel I may need more air flow in order to cool off more a more powerful CPU, GPU, and RAM.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect, those are the only two I really know of but would be open to suggestions


Country of Origin: United States of America


Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I don't really have a preference here, whatever will get me the most power for my $. I have used intel in the past and had great experiences, but they seem to be a lot more expensive and do not offer the same performance for the price according to this benchmark: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html (Note i5 760 and X6 1090T)


Overclocking: Maybe if I can learn how to do it properly and not destroy my components


SLI or Crossfire: Yes, in the future in order to extend graphics abilities w/o having to buy a new system, but for now no.


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments:

I am currently looking at the ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition processor, but am confused as to what kind of RAM I can take full use of. The integrated memory controller concept confuses me because the processor only supports up to 1300MHz? I would like to use 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, but do not want to waste the extra money if it will not be usable at its capacity.

Additionally I am a fan of coolermaster cases, but am open to suggestions. I do not like the HAF coolermaster case because it seems to let too much dust get through.

I also want this computer to last for about 4 years.

Lastly I would like to use Windows7 64 bit edition in order to use my full set of memory.

Best solution

February 15, 2011 7:50:09 AM
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Firstly, about your processor, with a budget of $1000, you really need to be looking at intel.

The i5 760 beats every AMD processor out there in general tasks (There are a few specialized tasks which the 1100T etc, benefit from having 6 cores). However, that passmark you've been looking at gives you a 'benefit' from having more cores, and secondly its a BENCHMARK. In gaming and most other applications, the i5 760 or even the 750 is superior compared to every single AMD processor out there, therefore for your budget it would be prudent to get that.

Here's a comparison.

Basically, the 1100T wins in most rendering and encoding and they trade blows in other 'benchmarks' etc. I'm guessing you don't do much of that, so its less important. Also, another 2-4 seconds to 'encode' something doesn't mean you should drop gaming performance. As you can see, in each gaming test, the i5 760 wins, comfortably. 5-20fps or something. That's a lot of difference for a processor to make.

The case will sadly need to be replaced.. The Antec Earthwatts 650W is fine...(Good in fact, but another will be needed if you decide to SLI in the future - It won't power 2 powerful graphics cards as it doesn't have enough PCIE connectors, but it will power any single card easily.)

I'd recommend... either a 560Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $250 (This ones overclocked a bit) or a GTX 570 (This ones good) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Some people also like flashing HD 6950's to 6970's .. you can do that if you want.

The 560TI will have EASILY enough performance (Even a GTS 450 or a GTX 460 would) but well. you have $1000 and want this to last so ... choosing better things will allow them to last longer.

look to others for mobo advice.. however if you plan on overclocking try get one with 8x/8x PCIe slots in SLI mode, at worst 16x/4x is fine. Don't be fooled by people telling you to get 16x/16x lanes... they give like 5% more performance max for like.... $50 more.

For case... Antec 300 illusion is nice and cheap.. adding some fans is good too.
Other popular cases are good too.. looks come first for me - Most cases above $80-90 from a reputable brand have decent airflow.. remedied too by more fans!

Getting some HYper 212 will help keep things cool in there.. ($30)

For memory... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is good. If you keep 50 thingss open at once while playing wow, you can get 8GB.. but 4 is really enough unless you can warrant another $47 for your laziness.

You'll need windows 7.. (student discount available if u are a student) and you can combo it with something else... but thats for you to hunt.

Cost around ~ 210 (CPU) + 150 max (Mobo) + $250-350 (graphics) + $100~ (case) + $30 (Cooler) + 50 (RAM) + w7 ($100)

$640+ graphics card you pick. You'll get some rebates back, and if you pick say a slightly cheaper mobo/case than i quoted, and say the 560Ti or if you save $$ elsewhere or increase your budget, you can consider an SSD if you want.
Getting a 64GB + is really what you need if you are going to buy an SSd.
February 15, 2011 8:25:06 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99
ASRock P55 EXTREME4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Price: $442.98 FREE SHIPPING
EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support FPB Video
Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ... $28.43 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 Hyper 212 Plus

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $42.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 996946

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $18.99
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 1.5MB Cache SATA 24X Burner LightScribe Support - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Price: $154.98 FREE SHIPPING
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Related resources
February 15, 2011 12:20:56 PM

First of all thank you very much for your reply. Your argument for the i5 is a good one and I think I will go with that one instead of the AMD.

I have a few questions as well:

1) The GTX 570 is pretty expensive, which isn't initially a problem, but I wanted to make sure I am not bottle-necking my system by buying a graphics card that is significantly more powerful than the CPU. In a video I watched on youtube they said you want your processor price to be about the same as your graphics card price. Will the i5 be able to keep up? Additionally, what do you think of the Sapphire 5870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) or the XFX 6950 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )? Will these cards have the same compatibility with CPU/mobo and will my case selection need to change in order to compensate for the size of these GPUs?

2) Will there be a noticeable performance difference if I want to run 1600mhz RAM? I know with AMD processors (namely the 1090T) there is an integrated memory controller that runs stock max @ 1300mhz so I was not sure if I would get to use my RAM's full speed. Is this motherboard the same or is that strictly an AMD thing?

3) What does 'flashing' mean? "Some people also like flashing HD 6950's to 6970's .. you can do that if you want. "

Is that doubling up graphics cards? Sorry I am very new at building computers :p 

4) Lastly, what do the bronze, silver, and gold 80 ratings on power supplies mean? I have not checked my Antec power supply to see if it is at least bronze certified, but I have had it since the summer of 2008, so I was not sure if I needed to replace it for fear of it going out later on.

Again thank you so much for your suggestions! I greatly appreciate the time you took to write them.
February 15, 2011 12:47:45 PM

whatistaters said:

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW and other MMOs, FPS like CoD, RTS's, Simulation games), Watching Movies, Microsoft Office


Parts Not Required: Monitor (have a 24" ASUS), speakers, Power supply? (I currently have an Antec Earthwatts 650W but can upgrade if needed/recommended), mouse.

Additionally I have an Antec P180 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) case that is 4 years old, but the fans are buzzing a lot when I start it up and I feel I may need more air flow in order to cool off more a more powerful CPU, GPU, and RAM.

I am currently looking at the ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition processor, but am confused as to what kind of RAM I can take full use of.


Cut a long story short: 24/7 and gaming only (no render/encode/etc) u are looking at the wrong chip and over estimated costs by a bit maybe hehe


$587AR with 955BE + HD 6870 and still room for crossfire and USB/SATA 3.0 support - cheaper since u have that nice Antec 650 PSU and Case
February 22, 2011 12:30:09 AM

Best answer selected by whatistaters.
February 23, 2011 3:51:20 AM

whatistaters said:
First of all thank you very much for your reply. Your argument for the i5 is a good one and I think I will go with that one instead of the AMD.

I have a few questions as well:

1) The GTX 570 is pretty expensive, which isn't initially a problem, but I wanted to make sure I am not bottle-necking my system by buying a graphics card that is significantly more powerful than the CPU. In a video I watched on youtube they said you want your processor price to be about the same as your graphics card price. Will the i5 be able to keep up? Additionally, what do you think of the Sapphire 5870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) or the XFX 6950 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )? Will these cards have the same compatibility with CPU/mobo and will my case selection need to change in order to compensate for the size of these GPUs?

2) Will there be a noticeable performance difference if I want to run 1600mhz RAM? I know with AMD processors (namely the 1090T) there is an integrated memory controller that runs stock max @ 1300mhz so I was not sure if I would get to use my RAM's full speed. Is this motherboard the same or is that strictly an AMD thing?

3) What does 'flashing' mean? "Some people also like flashing HD 6950's to 6970's .. you can do that if you want. "

Is that doubling up graphics cards? Sorry I am very new at building computers :p 

4) Lastly, what do the bronze, silver, and gold 80 ratings on power supplies mean? I have not checked my Antec power supply to see if it is at least bronze certified, but I have had it since the summer of 2008, so I was not sure if I needed to replace it for fear of it going out later on.

Again thank you so much for your suggestions! I greatly appreciate the time you took to write them.


Sorry been busy with work.

Anyways, the 5870 is a good card but slightly old. Get it if you want but GTX 460's will do what you want for much much much much much cheaper :) . The way i see it is GTX 460 (768mb) vs 560TI vs GTX 570.
You can get 2 460's if 1 isn't enough. If you want performance though, 2 460's or 1 570. Flashing is through bios and basically turns your 6950 into a 6970. I wouldn't personally do it however!

No there won't be a tremendous difference if you run 1600MHZ RAM, however there will be a difference, ESPECIALLY if you overclock, and no, the majority of intel mobo's aren't effected. You can check on newegg in the specs column of the motherboard, and it will tell you what RAM it supports. Lastly, 1333MHZ is getting a teensy old AND its not noticeably cheaper than 1600mhz ram now... maybe $5-10 which isn't worth it.

The intel i5 will not bottleneck the 460's or the 570. However, if you got 2 x 580's then no processor wouldn't bottleneck it. However the i5 is perfectly good and the graphics will be slower than it. I'm not sure about having 2 570s and an i5 760, but it shouldn't be much if it does bottleneck. (In any case if you do get to the stage where an i5 760 is the bottleneck in a game... either the game doesn't care about the GPU which you can't help or your playing on settings a $3000 build won't do either).

The bronze/silver/gold ratings on your powersupply just show how efficient it is.
Say you have a 1000W power supply for the sake of easier math.
If it does indeed supply 1000W (Not all power supplies do what they say they do, and if they do, it may be under conditions that are very unrealistic. i.e. 50% load at 0 degrees).

and is say, 50% efficient, that means the power supply will indeed give 1000W to your computer, but it will require 2000W from the wall. Just like a lightbulb WILL provide 75W or w/e it says it does, but it generally wastes around 500W in heat etc.

The efficiency rating of a power supply does not mean quality. It is just a characteristic that is desirable if the supply is highly efficient, but high efficiency can be had in a bad power and a low efficiency in a good power supply.

Your power supply is 80+ bronze. That means under particular conditions it gives 80% efficiency which is good. Also, the earthwatts 650 w you have is of high quality do not replace it unless it goes bust or you neeed a bigger supply. in your current budget it would be unwise unless you are offered one for free or something. It will operate under bad conditions probably at least at 75~% efficiency, perhaps a shade less.

It is of high quality and is a recommended power supply as long as the price is right. It is up there with corsair although yes a bit old. If you want to SLI however, you will need to get a bigger power supply as it doesn't have enough pCi-E connectors. Even the GTX 460 needs 2 x 6 pin PCIe connectors for the card, and 2 gtx 460's need 4 x 6 pin (or 2x 6+2 + 2x6 pin etc).

LASTLY, if you have by any chance buy an AMD processor (Which i dont advise considering prices/performance) you cannot buy 2 Nvidia cards (the gtx 460/560/570 etc etc) as the motherboards which support an amd processor with 2 nvidia cards are no short of terribly overpriced and terribly terrible terrible. (having 1 nvidia card is fine on any amd motherboard).

good luck, mind posting a build before you buy so i can shout or praise you, whichever is required!
February 23, 2011 5:11:06 AM

vibhas said:


good luck, mind posting a build before you buy so i can shout or praise you, whichever is required!


Sure! Thanks for your input by the way! I actually ordered earlier this week and decided on the following:

CPU: I went with an i5 760 CPU since I didn't want to wait for Sandy Bridge haha

RAM: 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance @ 1600MHz

GPU: HIS Radeon HD 6950 2 GB

Motherboard: I went ASUS P7P55D-E LX since I decided against doing crossfire/sli (just didn't see myself needing it right now esp because of the required extra money and power)

Hard Drive: I ended up getting a simple 640GB @7200 rpm western digital HD

Heat-sink: Zalman LED 110mm 2 ball cpu cooler

Case: CoolerMaster HAF 932 full tower ATX

PSU: I have an EA-650 from my old comp that is about 2.5 years old but pretty much everyone I've talked to said that it should be fine since my system doesn't need a crazy amount of power.

Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to order windows 7 64 bit or use XP 64 bit edition...
February 24, 2011 1:34:36 AM

whatistaters said:
Sure! Thanks for your input by the way! I actually ordered earlier this week and decided on the following:

CPU: I went with an i5 760 CPU since I didn't want to wait for Sandy Bridge haha

RAM: 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance @ 1600MHz

GPU: HIS Radeon HD 6950 2 GB

Motherboard: I went ASUS P7P55D-E LX since I decided against doing crossfire/sli (just didn't see myself needing it right now esp because of the required extra money and power)

Hard Drive: I ended up getting a simple 640GB @7200 rpm western digital HD

Heat-sink: Zalman LED 110mm 2 ball cpu cooler

Case: CoolerMaster HAF 932 full tower ATX

PSU: I have an EA-650 from my old comp that is about 2.5 years old but pretty much everyone I've talked to said that it should be fine since my system doesn't need a crazy amount of power.

Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to order windows 7 64 bit or use XP 64 bit edition...

'windows 7 is def. worth the $$ in a new pc, esp if u use the pc often. 8 GB of ram is fine - you definitely wont need any new ram for another 3+ years EASILY.
The 6950 2GB isn't the best buy imho, but to be frank there wont be too much difference in price/performance, especially as you opted for a single card build. The harddrive, unless you already had it, wasn't a great buy, spinpoint is faster, and the bottleneck in pc's is now the harddrive, so im thinking you spent the same amount for lesser GB and less speed but thats fine. The case is pretty good, and looks nice to me, and obviously to you to.

That said, im sure this PC will be easily sufficient for your needs for the next few years and i hope that all your parts come in great condition :) 

Good luck buildin!
!