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$1000-2000 Gaming PC

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July 29, 2011 2:20:25 AM

Hello Community!

My name is Nathan, and this is my first post and question set here, I hope ya'll can help. I am planning to build a new gaming desktop to replace my laptop as my main gaming computer. Games I am anticipating are Elderscrolls 5: Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and Diablo 3 (if the graphics style of the games has a major impact on how a PC should be built), and it will be used alot for streaming movies and videos from Netflix and youtube as well .

I read through the Homebuilt PC Buying Guide by jbakerlent on the website here ( http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/288311-31-homebuilt-b... ). It seems to be a year old, but I'll still use it as a reference for myself as I continue on here.

Based on the BestConfig threads in the New Builds forum I am looking at around 1-2000 dollars, but my budget for the project is more flexible than that.

I don't know if this is a bad idea, but I was thinking about spending less on the processor (based on jbakerlent's charts, so to avoid extra cost on features not needed by running intense game visuals) and instead focus most of the investment into a high end graphics card or crossfire set up. I haven't kept up on my computer stuff for several years though and my logic here is probably very flawed. Any input from the community to correct my thinking if so would be great.

Based on jbakerlent's buying guide, I was mostly considering these. I figure they are out of date now though and I'll be getting different hardware, but as an example I'll use them because I find the BestConfig threads more confusing. The jbakerlent's post has lots of definitions and explanations to help me understand whats what :) 

Processor-
AMD Athlon II X3 445 (though I don't have a personal preference for AMD vs. Intel yet though)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo-
Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU-
I got stuck when looking at Graphics cards. I'm not a graphics/visual craver exactly, mostly because my current and previous computers were quite limited. I usually use high resolution and lower game graphic settings to try and smooth jaggies and keep higher frame rate, and I like having a far view distance (I dislike object/world pop-in), and very low to no shadows. Like I said though, mostly because of my system, but I probly would use and like high to max settings if I had the option.

Monitor-
I have an Acer 20" 1680x1050 LCD stored from my last desktop I will probably use for this again. The box says it has DVI connections as well as the older blue monitor cable (seriel?), so a GPU that would support one of those naturally or with a converter cable would be prefered, though I could get a new monitor if needed.

I have been thinking about this project a long time, but have been too afraid of hitting hardware compatibility issues to go through with it. Any help and pointers from the community will be amazing.


Thank you every one!

-Nathan-



More about : 1000 2000 gaming

July 29, 2011 3:10:41 AM

hey nathen, welcome to tom's
with 1000-2000, you can make a beast machine you have ever imagined.
athlon ii x3 is only recommended when person has 400$ budget but you got pretty high,
so here are some recommendation based on your resolution and needs.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K 220$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard 160$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 250$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply 95$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case190$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 65$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
21$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
60$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Vertex 3 Series – MAX IOPS Edition VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
275$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
total:1335$



July 29, 2011 5:16:13 AM

1-2k is not very specific how much do you really want to spend? and manu is right about the athlon
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July 30, 2011 1:17:42 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
1-2k is not very specific how much do you really want to spend? and manu is right about the athlon



Um.. maybe 1,200 with a single GPU that can be upgraded to a crossfire (two cards, right?) later for 1,600 or less. Maybe with that the OS and other software costs will fit under the 2,000 total? I'm ganna need to get a new OS/license, blah :( 

And will do on the CPU. Is there any really big performance or purpose difference between AMD Phenom II x4 and Intel i5? These all came out after I stopped keeping up on computer stuff.
July 30, 2011 1:38:35 AM

Fantastic stuff manu, many thanks!

I don't know what Ready SLI support means. Could you fill me in?

And for the hard drives, what is the advantage of combining a solid state and disk drive? I haven't seen them combined before (just got back into hardware searching after 3-4 years).

July 30, 2011 3:10:59 AM

Rosewill blackhawk & i5 2500k- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 300$

Gigabyte z68 UD4 & GSKILL 8gb 1600mhz- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 190$

OCZ zx 850w psu & lite on dvd burner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 170$

Vertex 3 120gb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 250$

Samsung spinpoint f3 1tb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 60$

Corsair h60- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 70$

aftermarket fan for the h60- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 13$

MSI 6970- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 340$

Total=1393$ before rebates and shipping
there is over 100$ in rebates.
sli is taking 2 of the same gpu's putting an sli bridge on them and that adds 80% more performance. crossfire is amd's sli.

you dont combine an ssd and hdd you let the ssd run on it own as a boot up drive and you also put your most used applications/games on it.

you can crossfire the 6970's later or right now.

os- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 95$

are you sure ur screen isnt 22"- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 130$ get another one of these for a duel screen setup. maybe later you can get a tri screen setup

do you have a headset/speakers, mouse and keyboard?

July 30, 2011 3:13:38 AM

ready sli means you can put 2 560ti's in your motherboard to maximize your performance. infact the 560ti in sli scale very high.you have a pretty low resolution, you can max out any game with that card

and for your second question, no they do not run combined, just you can use an ssd to speed up your windows boot time. but for real storage, a harddrive is required, samsung spinpoint f3 is perfect for it.
July 30, 2011 10:20:45 AM

I bought a corsair graphite 600t and I love it. I bought the white edition because its very stylish. But the black is 20 bucks cheaper. You can change out the top 200mm fan and replace with 2 120mm fans, it has a fan speed control, and the hard drive bays can be configured in multiple ways...you can take out the top stack and place it next to the bottom stack or leave it out completely. Also the cable routing options are very nice, the side panels come off very easily...they use 2 clips at the top of each and you can also lock the case to make it so nobody can open it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its very spacious for a mid tower. It also comes with a mesh screen, which can hold 4 120mm fans, to replace the plastic window.

Definitely get a water cooler. I personally bought the corsair H60. Recently ran Intel Burn Test on maximum with 5 cycles and the max temps
I got were 53c 61c 57c 61c with an i7-2600k. It's very easy to install, comes with pre-applied paste and no maintenance. The biggest thing you need to worry about is making it fit in your case if you decide to use 2 fans for a push/pull setup...fits very easily into my case

Check this out to decide on a video card. The cards are listed most powerful first and descending, you can also sort by power to performance ratio.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html#va...

I personally went with the 6870 because I too will set my graphics settings lower to achieve a higher frame rate. But I also plan on crossfire setup before the end of the year, and this was cheaper and relatively close performance. I play crysis 2 on very high and starcraft 2 on ultra with my card clocked to 950/1300 and see temps around 70c and don't really notice dips in frame rate.
July 30, 2011 10:45:48 AM

manu 11 said:
hey nathen, welcome to tom's
with 1000-2000, you can make a beast machine you have ever imagined.
athlon ii x3 is only recommended when person has 400$ budget but you got pretty high,
so here are some recommendation based on your resolution and needs.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K 220$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard 160$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 250$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply 95$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case190$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 65$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
21$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
60$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Vertex 3 Series – MAX IOPS Edition VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
275$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
total:1335$


This build sounds really good. I would simply replace that motherboard with an ASUS P8P67 Pro, but that's just personal preference and not a performance issue! :) 
July 30, 2011 4:17:59 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
Rosewill blackhawk & i5 2500k- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 300$

Gigabyte z68 UD4 & GSKILL 8gb 1600mhz- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 190$

OCZ zx 850w psu & lite on dvd burner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 170$

Vertex 3 120gb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 250$

Samsung spinpoint f3 1tb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 60$

Corsair h60- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 70$

aftermarket fan for the h60- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 13$

MSI 6970- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 340$

Total=1393$ before rebates and shipping
there is over 100$ in rebates.
sli is taking 2 of the same gpu's putting an sli bridge on them and that adds 80% more performance. crossfire is amd's sli.

you dont combine an ssd and hdd you let the ssd run on it own as a boot up drive and you also put your most used applications/games on it.

you can crossfire the 6970's later or right now.

os- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 95$

are you sure ur screen isnt 22"- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 130$ get another one of these for a duel screen setup. maybe later you can get a tri screen setup

do you have a headset/speakers, mouse and keyboard?



The monitor's box says its a 20" wide screen, 1680x1050, its a few years old. For duel screen it wouldn't split a game's display in two would it? I don't know if I will have room for it a duel display set up though. Something to look into after we move to our new apartment.

I have a Dynex mouse at the moment; http://www.amazon.com/Dynex-DX-WMSE-Optical-Mouse/dp/B0... . I really like it, but the grip material on the sides is coming unglued :(  I have a couple keyboards and other mice stashed in closets from our last two desktops, as well as a set of speakers already.

I do not have a head set though, and I have been thinking to get one. We will be moving and my brother's xbox will be in the same room as my computer now. Any recommendations on a headset?

I read in another post (sorry I couldn't find it again for reference) that the brand of PSU is very important as to its durability/quality. Is the OCZ zx 850w psu http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... made by a good company? The only brands I remember from the post I mentioned are Corsair and Antec, but there were a bunch more.


For this below I pulled stuff from your build and Manu's. Grabbed manu's PSU and DVD drive because they were cheaper than the OCZ 850W and I was thinking the 750W would have less unused power (don't know if that is correct, and I don't know if the Antec 750W will give enough power for the GPU set ups in the next sentence). I used the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti instead of the MSI 6970 because its $90 cheaper each, cheaper to SLI right away. Would it be best to get one GTX560, two, or one MSI 6970 with a possible crossfire update down the road? And which would scale better if I upgraded to a higher resolution monitor than 1680x1050 I have now?
*Also, I don't know if these hardwares are compatible with each other :( 

Rosewill blackhawk & i5 2500k $300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Gigabyte z68 UD4 & GSKILL 8gb 1600mhz $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

x2 SLI -- EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 250$ (x2 $500)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply 95$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM 21$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Vertex 3 120GB $250
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung spinpoint f3 1TB $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair h60 liquid cooling $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

h60 aftermarket fan $13
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total from Above -- $1249 single GPU, $1499 SLI GTX 560 Ti's

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Is this Windows 7 the whole OS, just a Vista upgrade, or a service pack?! I asked what its price was at BestBuy when I was browsing Desktops there and they said it was $200+ 0.0
July 30, 2011 4:35:29 PM

add this promo code at purchase an win7 is only 80$- EMCKCHB36
July 31, 2011 2:04:29 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
add this promo code at purchase an win7 is only 80$- EMCKCHB36

Cool, thank you very much!
August 2, 2011 12:40:44 AM

Thanks so much for your help every one! This is the build I've come up with. Work for a couple hours comparing all your recommendations and other stuff on Newegg, and trying to make sure I picked everything that will be compatible with each other. Can some one double check my work please? I'm mostly concerned about the power supply and graphics cards; the graphics card details say a "+12volt current rating of 30 amps", and I couldn't find that in the PSU details.

Processor- Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
$220 (heatsink and fan included) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo/Memory bundle- GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard/G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin
$190 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU- EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$250 (x2 for SLI, $500) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD- OCZ Vertex 3 Series – MAX IOPS Edition VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$290 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU- Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC PSU
$95 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive- ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
$21 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case- Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Five Fans, window side panel, top HDD dock
$100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1476

I am still searching for a gaming head set though, does any one have any recommendations for one?

August 2, 2011 1:04:52 AM

Thank you very much mjmj! I'm ganna try and order the parts tomorrow and see if I can have it built by the weekend :) 

Last questions: How do I close this thread when it's complete? Guess I should switch to the Homebuilt forum now?
August 2, 2011 6:12:39 AM

you select a best answer that is the fastest way
August 2, 2011 9:21:55 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
you select a best answer that is the fastest way


I was going to order the parts today, and the Mobo/Ram combo was done. I am having trouble picking a new mobo to go with the PSU (I dont know if the power connectors will fit)

I looked at a lot that probly would work, but I couldnt tell. These are the closes things that I could figure to replace the combo. Matches CPU's 1155, and Ram 1600, 240 pin matches the MSI mobo.

ram-
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mobo-
MSI Z68A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you get a chance could you please make sure I picked things that will work together?

Thanks so much

Best solution

August 2, 2011 10:19:14 PM
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first off get this shell shocker today- http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=S...

you dont need a z68 a p67 will be fine for you- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... this motherboard will be fine
there is also this motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... there is also an all black version of this motherboard that looks pretty cool but you have to pay 9$ more because of shipping
August 2, 2011 11:36:40 PM

Alrighty, got everything ordered. Thanks again for all your help, mjmj.
August 2, 2011 11:37:16 PM

Best answer selected by schlagnath.
!