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$1000 Gaming PC - First Time Builder

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March 24, 2011 3:07:33 PM

Hey everyone. I was recommended by a few people to this site so I finally decided to make an account and ask users from Tom's community to help me out. I finally have enough money to build my own computer after saving up for a long time. This will be the first time I build my own computer.


Approximate Purchase Date: Today, tomorrow or as soon as I get feedback from the help of the community.


Budget Range: $1000 (no mail-in rebates but instant rebates are okay).


System Usage from Most to Least Important: I do a little bit of everything, but I'm mostly on it for gaming.


Parts Not Required: Mouse, keyboard, speakers, monitor, case.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canada Computers (buying locally in Hamilton or Hamilton Mountain)


Country of Origin: Canada.


Parts Preferences: I have my eyes set on the new Intel Core i7-2600.


Overclocking: No.


SLI or Crossfire: No.


Monitor Resolution: 1440x900, 1920x1080.


Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC that has to last a minimum of 2.5 years.

Game's I'll be playing on this new PC: Starcraft 2 (and future expansions), Civilization V, Rift, and Diablo 3 when it comes out.
March 24, 2011 6:44:16 PM



I won't be paying for the case so we can exclude that on the list. That money saved could go towards the OS.

On another note, I'm going to pay in cash so I can't exceed $1000 (before taxes). I'd prefer not to deal with mail-in rebates as well, sorry for any inconvenience.

After browsing multiple threads, I should've gave more detail as to what I'm going to use my PC for. I've went ahead and added additional comments to my original post. I'm also buying my parts locally (Hamilton or Hamilton mountain) for warranty purposes.
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March 24, 2011 8:14:34 PM

Good afternoon Version-eX!

I noticed that you specified wanting the i7-2600 CPU, but could I perhaps persuade you into changing your mind over to the i5-2500k? First off, you'll be saving ~$100 CDN, which you could reallocate elsewhere (whether that be to an improved motherboard, GPU, RAM, or spread across several components). Another bonus would be that you would be saving money, while at the same time experiencing no loss in performance (if we retain the fact that you'll be using the PC mostly for gaming purposes). Also, the i5-2500k allows for great overclocking if you do decide to take that option later down the road, but I believe an aftermarket heatsink is suggested if you do plan to overclock the CPU (the Cool Master Hyper 212+ is a fantastic buy at it's price point and performance!). Unless you're looking to make use of the integrated graphics processor (and judging by your discrete GPU, you're more than likely not :kaola:  ), Quick Sync, etc., on the non-K models, I can't see any benefit from staying with the H67 chipset over the P67 boards.

Just figured I'd pitch in some food for thought! Also, do you happen to have a Memory Express near you? If you do, they have much lower prices for either of the Sandy Bridge CPU's over Canada Computers & Electronics. NewEgg Canada also has much lower prices over CC&E on those CPU's, if you're willing to purchase from an e-tailer. Well, hopefully that tidbit of information helped you out some in making choices for parts (at least on the CPU, anyway). Perhaps someone who is much more knowledgeable on the subject than I can fill in the gaps for ya!


Some Helpful Links:
  • Guru3D.com 2500K/2600K Review
  • Tom's Hardware P67 Motherboard Roundup
  • Memory Express Intel i5-2500K = $219.99 CDN
  • NewEgg Canada Intel i5-2500K = $219.99 CDN


    EDIT:
    Well, since you're buying locally, my store suggestions become moot :kaola:  , but the recommendation for the Intel i5-2500K over the i7-2600 still stands!
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    March 24, 2011 8:59:47 PM

    SolMaverick said:
    Good afternoon Version-eX!

    I noticed that you specified wanting the i7-2600 CPU, but could I perhaps persuade you into changing your mind over to the i5-2500k? First off, you'll be saving ~$100 CDN, which you could reallocate elsewhere (whether that be to an improved motherboard, GPU, RAM, or spread across several components). Another bonus would be that you would be saving money, while at the same time experiencing no loss in performance (if we retain the fact that you'll be using the PC mostly for gaming purposes). Also, the i5-2500k allows for great overclocking if you do decide to take that option later down the road, but I believe an aftermarket heatsink is suggested if you do plan to overclock the CPU (the Cool Master Hyper 212+ is a fantastic buy at it's price point and performance!). Unless you're looking to make use of the integrated graphics processor (and judging by your discrete GPU, you're more than likely not :kaola:  ), Quick Sync, etc., on the non-K models, I can't see any benefit from staying with the H67 chipset over the P67 boards.

    Just figured I'd pitch in some food for thought! Also, do you happen to have a Memory Express near you? If you do, they have much lower prices for either of the Sandy Bridge CPU's over Canada Computers & Electronics. NewEgg Canada also has much lower prices over CC&E on those CPU's, if you're willing to purchase from an e-tailer. Well, hopefully that tidbit of information helped you out some in making choices for parts (at least on the CPU, anyway). Perhaps someone who is much more knowledgeable on the subject than I can fill in the gaps for ya!


    Some Helpful Links:
  • Guru3D.com 2500K/2600K Review
  • Tom's Hardware P67 Motherboard Roundup
  • Memory Express Intel i5-2500K = $219.99 CDN
  • NewEgg Canada Intel i5-2500K = $219.99 CDN


    EDIT:
    Well, since you're buying locally, my store suggestions become moot :kaola:  , but the recommendation for the Intel i5-2500K over the i7-2600 still stands!


  • I have to have the i7 2600, it's something I really need to have. I don't know why, but I just know I'm going to regret it down the line if I buy anything else. Thanks for the reply though, I appreciate it.
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    March 24, 2011 9:07:37 PM

    I hear you on the i7! I know that the 2500k would be plenty for anything I plan on doing with my computer but I just had to have i7 on my case!
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    March 24, 2011 9:14:36 PM

    majin ssj eric said:
    I hear you on the i7! I know that the 2500k would be plenty for anything I plan on doing with my computer but I just had to have i7 on my case!


    Glad we're on the same page, lol.
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    March 24, 2011 9:28:38 PM

    someguynamedmatt said:
    TomsHardware just did their $1000 System Builder Marathon build. Honestly, it's the best thing that I can possibly suggest to look at.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-unlo...

    The case is a bit on the ugly side, but you can easily swap it out for something different.



    I've used the link you've given me as a guideline, and this is what I came up with:

    Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4 (B3) $179.99

    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600 $309.99

    Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz $49.99

    Graphics: PowerColor (AX5770 1GBD5-H) ATI Radeon HD 5770 $149.99

    Hard Drive:Western Digital Caviar Black (WD5002AALX) 500GB SATA3 7200RPM 32M Cache (OEM) $54.99

    Optical: ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD-Writer 24xDVD+R/-R 24xDVD+/-R DL 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 48xCD-R OEM $24.99

    Power:Corsair TX Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX 12V 60A $129.99

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM) $99.99
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    March 24, 2011 9:45:16 PM

    Version-eX said:
    I have to have the i7 2600, it's something I really need to have. I don't know why, but I just know I'm going to regret it down the line if I buy anything else. Thanks for the reply though, I appreciate it.

    Haha, completely understandable. I've recently picked one up myself. Another suggestion though, if I may, for $10 more, you should consider picking up the i7-2600K over the standard i7-2600. I realize in your original post that you said you did not want to overclock, but it is always nice to have the option, especially later down the road (and I'm sure majin ssj eric can attest to that as well). Although, you'll have to change over to a P67 board to utilize that potential.

    The following board seems to be fairly well-recommended by most Tom's users:
  • CC&E ASRock P67 Extreme4 (B3) = $179.99 CDN
  • Anandtech ASRock P67 Extreme4 Review
    I think that should still fit within your $1000 budget when you exclude the pricing of the case. Anyway, cheers and happy parts hunting! :hello: 
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    March 24, 2011 9:47:00 PM

    Get the 2500K you'll be able to OC in the future. You could also check out the guide in my siggy.
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    March 24, 2011 9:55:13 PM

    While I was editing 1 of my post, a couple of you guys have replied. I was wondering if you guys could just double check what I put together myself so far, based on my budget and online reviews.

    EDIT: I've made the changes based on your suggestions

    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600 $309.99

    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K $329.99

    Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4 (B3) $179.99

    Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz $49.99

    Graphics Card: PowerColor (AX5770 1GBD5-H) ATI Radeon HD 5770 $149.99

    Hard Drive:Western Digital Caviar Black (WD5002AALX) 500GB SATA3 7200RPM 32M Cache (OEM) $54.99

    Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD-Writer 24xDVD+R/-R 24xDVD+/-R DL 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 48xCD-R OEM $24.99

    Power Supply:Corsair TX Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX 12V 60A $129.99

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM) $99.99
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    March 24, 2011 10:55:39 PM

    ^ A little of everything, they you're like me. I edit w/ PS and a little Premiere/After Effects on the side (all CS5) while mostly gaming. You only need a 2500K I guarentee you. The 8 threads would be beneficial but hardly noticeable. I'd only recommend going the extra 100$ for a 2600/2600K if you were using VMware or Maya/3DMax

    But for your usage save the 100$ on the 2500K and spend it on the GPU. With that said, get the 560 Ti DirectCu II or the 560 Ti MSI Twin Frozr II. If your not a fan of Nvidia. Get the 6870.

    Drop that PSU, wayyyy to expensive. Get this cheaper, about the same wattage. Modular, higher efficency. Not bad for about 40$ cheaper.
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=53331&vpn=OCZ750FTY&manuf...

    http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/power_supply/ocz_fat...


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    March 24, 2011 11:01:10 PM

    You might want to consider switching from the Caviar Black to the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB which is only $65.

    I am also getting a 5770. I did a good amount of research on this though, and even though they are all quite similar, the Sapphire Vapor-X version is considered probably the best or close. It is only $129.99 (even less if you did decide to use the mail in rebate).

    The rest of your build looks good. If I made any more changes to it I would add more RAM and/or add an SSD for your OS and programs...but those are just extras I would add if the budget allowed.
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    March 24, 2011 11:05:41 PM

    ^ Canada, The F3 costs about 70$ plus shipping.
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    March 24, 2011 11:11:28 PM

    The i7 is a complete waste if your main focus is gaming. I'd recommend the Samsung drive over western digital as well, I've got 3 of them all running like champs. You need to get the 2500k and dump more money into a video card.
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    March 24, 2011 11:12:46 PM

    aznshinobi said:
    ^ A little of everything, they you're like me. I edit w/ PS and a little Premiere/After Effects on the side (all CS5) while mostly gaming. You only need a 2500K I guarentee you. The 8 threads would be beneficial but hardly noticeable. I'd only recommend going the extra 100$ for a 2600/2600K if you were using VMware or Maya/3DMax

    But for your usage save the 100$ on the 2500K and spend it on the GPU. With that said, get the 560 Ti DirectCu II or the 560 Ti MSI Twin Frozr II. If your not a fan of Nvidia. Get the 6870.

    Drop that PSU, wayyyy to expensive. Get this cheaper, about the same wattage. Modular, higher efficency. Not bad for about 40$ cheaper.
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=53331&vpn=OCZ750FTY&manuf...

    http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/power_supply/ocz_fat...



    I can't shop anywhere else but Canada Computers. My cousin works there and she'll be using her employee perks. If my hardware ever breaks down, they'll replace it on the spot. I won't have to ship anything out and wait for it to come back. I thought about asking her coworkers to help me with my build, but she told me they weren't very knowledgeable about their products. As she would put it, "they're just regular sales associates trying to earn their commission".
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    March 24, 2011 11:20:17 PM

    eloric said:
    Glad you have changed your mind about overclocking! You should add an after market heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $25

    The configuration is unbalanced: You have way too much CPU for a gaming rig, and not enough video. Scale back to an i5-2500K $235

    There is also twice as much power than you need. OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W $80

    Put the extra budget into a video upgrade: Zotac (ZT-40402-10P) GeForce GTX 460 1GB b $185


    I can't buy the after market heatsink yet, due to my budget. If I ever do deicde to overclock in the future, I'll just buy it then.
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    March 24, 2011 11:25:03 PM

    Hey let me know if your store does not have any of those parts. I understand completely.

    You have no worries for the assembly. Check out this guide for building your own machine: Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC. Print that out and study it, then follow the directions closely and take your time. Above all, Enjoy!

    Another good place to go is Newegg and look up the feedback on your case - often there are tips that will help you out and avoid pitfalls.

    If you get finished and have a problem, then this is the place to go troubleshoot: PERFORM THESE STEPS before posting about boot/no video problems!. Consider it a security blanket - plus you have all these folks here on the forum that will help out if you get into trouble.

    You are going to have a tremendous machine when you get finished here. The satisfaction of building it yourself will just be icing on the cake!

    Good Luck.
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    March 24, 2011 11:29:23 PM

    Version-eX said:
    I can't buy the after market heatsink yet, due to my budget. If I ever do deicde to overclock in the future, I'll just buy it then.



    I added up all the costs, and you were about $50 under $1000 for the cash outlay. Also, you can still overclock without the heatsink - just keep it really mild. Asus has tools that let you crank that CPU up to about 4.2 Ghz in a couple of minutes. no hurry on that, just take it one step at a time.
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    March 24, 2011 11:31:12 PM

    eloric said:
    Hey let me know if your store does not have any of those parts. I understand completely.

    You have no worries for the assembly. Check out this guide for building your own machine: Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC. Print that out and study it, then follow the directions closely and take your time. Above all, Enjoy!

    Another good place to go is Newegg and look up the feedback on your case - often there are tips that will help you out and avoid pitfalls.

    If you get finished and have a problem, then this is the place to go troubleshoot: PERFORM THESE STEPS before posting about boot/no video problems!. Consider it a security blanket - plus you have all these folks here on the forum that will help out if you get into trouble.

    You are going to have a tremendous machine when you get finished here. The satisfaction of building it yourself will just be icing on the cake!

    Good Luck.



    Thanks for the links, they've already been bookmarked.
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    March 24, 2011 11:42:49 PM

    I decided not to overclock after all. I just can't be hassled enough to do so, even though I'm sure the benefit of it is great. This is what I have so far though:

    CASE - FREE
    Cooler Master HAF X

    CPU - $309.99
    Intel Core i7-2600

    OS - $99.99
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)

    Optical Drive - $24.99
    ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD-Writer 24xDVD+R/-R 24xDVD+/-R DL 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 48xCD-R OEM

    Hard Drive - $54.99
    Western Digital Caviar Black (WD5002AALX) 500GB SATA3 7200RPM 32M Cache (OEM)


    I took away the motherboard and the memory because I was having doubts about it. On a good note, I've managed to get an additional $200 from my mom. Now I've got a total of $1200 to buy my parts tomorrow.

    As for the power supply and graphics card, any well known brands will do. I base my reviews off of Newegg
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    March 25, 2011 12:16:30 AM

    NICE a HAF X for free. That's really sweet. Get an Asrock Extreme4 P67, I'm serious. It's a great deal!
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    March 25, 2011 12:18:36 AM

    aznshinobi said:
    NICE a HAF X for free. That's really sweet. Get an Asrock Extreme4 P67, I'm serious. It's a great deal!



    I was editing my post when you responded. I've managed to get another $200. I was wondering if we can allocate that fund into a better memory, motherboard, graphics card and power supply.
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    March 25, 2011 12:28:17 AM

    Awesome case! Power supply makers to purchase are Antec, Cooler Master, OCZ, Corsair. You do not need more than 550 to 600 watts. Any more is a waste. Brand is not so important on the graphics. If you can swing it, get an HD Radeon 6950 2GB - that will give you the sweetest performance for the money - it is running between $290 to $310. Seriously consider dropping the CPU to the i5-2500 instead of the i7-2600, if nothing else to get the better card. I would also think about spending the extra money on an extra monitor.
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    March 25, 2011 12:38:53 AM

    Eloric is correct.

    The Asrock Extreme4 is good enough, really you don't need to get any motherboard more than 190$ (Gigabyte UD4, Asus P8P67 Pro, Asrock Extreme4 P67). Here's the reviews all in one.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-motherboard-rou...

    As for graphics, 6950 2gb, 560 Ti, 6870 really all the cards that are worth the price performance. As for the PSU, XFX 750 would future proof you, the XFX 850 would be good enough for OC'd 2500K/2600K + SLI 560 Ti or CF 6950 2GB.

    Memory 8gb is ideal and DDR3 1333 is really all you need.
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    March 25, 2011 1:31:08 AM
    March 25, 2011 2:12:04 AM

    850w psu is super overkill for a single graphics card setup. I would get a cheaper power supply and upgrade to a hd 6870.
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    March 25, 2011 2:21:46 AM

    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...

    Pay the extra bit. Better dealeo.

    The Silent Pro for sure! I have a 700w version, I can't even hear it. Runs cool and quiet. Plus better efficency and in your HAF X it'll cable manage a LOT better since you have that nice side window to check out your build.

    As for mobo, there should be an indication in the manual or something along the lines of inside the box.

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    March 25, 2011 2:39:23 AM

    aznshinobi said:
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4...

    Pay the extra bit. Better dealeo.

    The Silent Pro for sure! I have a 700w version, I can't even hear it. Runs cool and quiet. Plus better efficency and in your HAF X it'll cable manage a LOT better since you have that nice side window to check out your build.

    As for mobo, there should be an indication in the manual or something along the lines of inside the box.


    What's the difference?

    EDIT: Nevermind
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    March 25, 2011 2:39:54 AM

    dgriffs said:
    850w psu is super overkill for a single graphics card setup. I would get a cheaper power supply and upgrade to a hd 6870.



    What would you suggest? Preferably modular and quiet
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    March 25, 2011 3:01:23 AM

    Can I just get a proper list so I can select a best answer from someone =)?
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    Best solution

    March 25, 2011 3:38:50 AM

    Sure. Since your only going to CA computers it's obvious what the link should be.

    HAF X - Free
    i5 2500(K) [Depends if your OCing I'll let the final decision be your choice] - 215$/235$
    Asrock Extreme4 P67 - 180$
    Ripjaws 8gb DDR3 1333 (Future Proof, you have the budget to get this) - 84$
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...
    Asus 6870 DirectCu listed above - 200$ AR
    Cooler Master 700w/850w Silent Pro - 115$/130$ (Even though this is overkill you'll have the option to crossfire in the future, I suggest the 700w since that's the recommended. If you don't feel that's good enough 850 is an option)
    WD Black 500gb - 50$
    OS - Win7 100$
    CD/DVD 25$

    Give or take - 989$
    Share
    March 25, 2011 4:01:03 AM

    Best answer selected by Version-eX.
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    March 25, 2011 4:01:28 AM

    I know, I just wanted to give you the "Select Best Answer" for your help
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    March 25, 2011 4:34:42 AM

    Alrighty no problem GOOD LUCK
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    !