$1000 gaming build, first time

Any advice would be appreciated on how to get the machine down in price without too much of a performance dive, and especially what case and cooling would be ideal with the budget. Thanks!!!

Approximate Purchase Date: End of June

Budget Range: $900-$1100 Before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, watching movies, surfing the web

Parts Not Required: Windows 7 Pro, monitor (Apple 30" Cinema Display), speakers, keyboard, mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, SLI/Crossfire ready but only 1 good GPU to start

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Yes but as above - only want 1 good GPU for now, will add a second one down the line

Monitor Resolution: 2560x1600

Additional Comments: Will be my first PC build, currently am using a first generation Mac Pro with a Mac-hacked Radeon HD 4890 running Windows 7 Pro through Boot Camp. Power expandability wise, I'll need something with enough juice to power a second video card eventually and three HDDs. Would appreciate any help in terms of cases with good cooling, preferably without all the LEDs shining out the front of the case.



Processor: INTEL Core i5-2500K (BX80623I52500K) @ $225

Motherboard: Asrock Extreme4 P67 @ $160

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) @ $85

PSU: ENERMAX NAXN 82+ ENM750AWT 750W @ $120

HD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB @ $65

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6950 2GB @ $263
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1000 gaming build time
  1. I think your ideas are exactly 'on track', as they stand...

    Start spending! :)
  2. Better quality psu and costs less. Although a lot will change by the end of june since amd releases their new stuff on the 6.
  3. Best answer
    Gaming builds dont need or benefit from more than 4GB of RAM, nothing else you have stated seems to justify more than 4GB either, so that is one way for you to save some money.

    If you are not going to overclock (ever) then you don't need a K variant of the CPU and you can save ~$15 getting the i5-2500:

    I would also change to the Corsair 750TXV2 unless you end up buying a small case which would benefit from having a modular power supply. In which case I'd prefer to have this:
    Xigmatek NRP-MC702 700W 80Plus Bronze Modular $110 ($6 shipping)
    Information I have seen in reviews have led me to think that it can be a good idea to run systems with two 6950s on a 650W PSU. Perhaps it would be better to have a 750W unit if you want to buy two 6950s and unlock them both to 6970s, or if you were going to overclock, or if you wanted the upgrade options which are provided by 750W PSUs but not by 650W PSUs.

    A pretty decent budget case:
    Cooler Master HAF 912 $60 ($10 rebate)
    This case 'only' comes with two fans, I'm sure that your hardware won't overheat in this case, but it is possible that you will have to buy additional fans if you find that you are not happy with the temps that you are getting. So you may think that it is better to buy a more expensive case to start with that comes with a larger number (or higher quality) fans. Cases can also be seen as an investment as a good one can last for many builds.

    Another popular budget case is the Antec 300/300 Illusion (comes with more fans than the 300)/100 (updated, smaller, better cable management than the 300s).
  4. And then you could add another 8 gigs of ram and you'd be at 16 (overkill but future proof) and your total with the SSD would be like 1120
  5. 1134 with SSD + 8 more gigs of ram
  6. I5-2500K Combo:
    695$, 30$ rebates.

    Graphics Card:
    Depends on what do prefer, I recommend one of this two cards :

    XFX Radeon 6950 1GB OC'd to 830MHz
    MSI GTX560 Ti Hawk 1GB OC'd to 950MHz

    U Can add another 4GB kit of Ram (you will not need more than 8Gb of ram)
  7. Best answer selected by adamda.
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