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1000-1200$ Gaming/Video Editing PC

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August 8, 2011 5:39:45 AM

Hello everyone!!! I need to build a 1000-1200$ gaming PC. I've never built one before so it's a little overwhelming. I'd prefer Intel and Nvidia but would accept ATI and AMD if they if they had better performance for the $$$. I have only a mouse and operating system, so I would need all components and a monitor besides those.

I would like to do gaming like Starcraft II on it and HD video editing I record off my television. Here's what I've gotten together so far. What do you guys think? Are these parts compatible first of all? It comes out to $1188, which is in my budget, but I would like to cut some fat from the final price more towards 1000$ if possible. Please edit my build as I am sure you guys are more knowledgeable than I am.

Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 50$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) 209$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 240$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor:ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 200$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 300$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 50$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blu Ray Burner: LG 79$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 60$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 8, 2011 5:53:15 AM

To start off, all your parts are compatible. Do you live near a Microcenter? You can purchase Intel Sandy Bridge for at least $40 cheaper than newegg there and there's usually combo deals where you get an additional x amount off a compatible motherboard. You should switch to 1600mhz RAM because Sandy Bridge benefits from that. You will notice a drop in performance when you go from 1600 to 1333.. and you're using 1066. If you only plan to play SCII, the 6850 will handle it fine. I do like the 6870 but the 560 ti is a good card for its price.

Hyperthreading will help in video editing if the software is multithreaded. What softwares are you planning to use? You're doing this for a hobby so I don't think you really need hyperthreading. The i5-2500k will save you $80 and has great overclocking. Another way to cut your cost is to drop down to a 23" monitor. Acer has a great budget one for $150. Spectre was selling a 23.6" for $150 I don't know if it's still there. Hope this clears some things up for ya.

I just saw your PSU. I don't think you should skimp out on the PSU cuz its the heart of your rig. Rosewill may not be an unknown brand but they aren't exactly up there in the power supply segment. I would go for either XFX or Antec. Corsair works fine as well. Anything made by seasonic is good. 500-550W is enough to handle your system.
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August 8, 2011 6:00:30 AM

No :(  I live in FL.

I feel like I am paying too much for my motherboard and the CPU since my video editing is only a hobby. Do you have a good motherboard cpu combination? I figure I should figure that out first before I pick specifics on ram and such.

This monitor for 150 does seem to do the trick for only 1" less (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

I only play SCII right now but I would like to test my computer with more graphics intense gaming.

EDIT: How is this corsair for 90$ after rebate? Overkill or just right? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 8, 2011 6:08:39 AM

Yep, you foudn the Acer 23" I was suggesting. I think you will be fine with the i5-2500k along with a P67/Z68. It will be $220 for the CPU and around $100-130 for the motherboard. If you don't need to overclock, the i5-2400 along with either a H61/H67 will also do the job for you. I believe the i5-2400 is $190 and the H61/H67 range from $60-75. I would make sure you have USB 3.0 and Sata 6gb/s [that should be around $75 for ASRock].

Do note that the H61/H67 usually only come with 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slot so no crossfiring or sli. I think you should drop down to either a 6850 or 6870 for starcraft 2. Here's a benchmark with no AA [Anti-Aliasing] 8x AF [Antiostropic filtering] AF does cut back on fps a lot. If it's disable, you will be fine. They are benching it with ultra setting.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade...

Use this to help to help benchmark! http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU11/188
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August 8, 2011 6:28:35 AM

Found this combo and switched the ram so now my build looks like this:

CPU+MB -SB I5-2500k and MSI w/SATA 6gbs+USB3.0 332$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Memory - CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 110$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W 90$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Still unsure on a graphics card. I would prefer Nvidia. Still have good money to spend on it

along with 150$ monitor, Blu Ray drive for 79, case for 50, and samsung HD for 60$ (should I upgrade this to SATA 6.0?).
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August 8, 2011 6:41:46 AM

noleknight16 said:
Found this combo and switched the ram so now my build looks like this:

CPU+MB -SB I5-2500k and MSI w/SATA 6gbs+USB3.0 332$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Memory - CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 110$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W 90$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Still unsure on a graphics card. I would prefer Nvidia. Still have good money to spend on it

along with 150$ monitor, Blu Ray drive for 79, case for 50, and samsung HD for 60$ (should I upgrade this to SATA 6.0?).


Western Digital 1TB uses 3 platters of 333gb while Samsung uses 500gb per platter. If you plan to stick within 1TB of hard drive, your performance king is the Samsung Spinpoint F3 for $60. The 560 ti is a good graphic card will be able to handle whatever you throw at it [other than those crazy games like Crysis 2 and Metro 2033] The game will probably be fine if youre not playin Crysis 2 with maxed Directx 11 setting

Consider this PSU Antec HCG 750W for $90 or $65 after MIR Quality level at budget price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 8, 2011 6:44:46 AM

Please fill this out: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

It's a list of general questions for putting together a new build.

We need to know how important video editing is compared to gaming to decide between the i5 and i7. We'll need to know if there's a possibility of overclocking (yes, you should OC) to determine if you'll go "K" series.

22" is the sweet spot for monitor prices right now. How serious are you about super perfect monitors or are you generally happy with most LCD screens you see? Fitting a monitor into this build complicates the price range quite a bit.
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August 8, 2011 7:00:44 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Purchase in 2-3 weeks

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) Before rebates ~1000-1200$,

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing internet, casual video editing, writing documents

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Operating System, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: NVIDIA and Intel

Overclocking: Yes – ive never done it before though

SLI or Crossfire: No but would like an extra PCI express slot anyways

Monitor Resolution: unsure but the recommended for my monitor is 1920x1080 so I assume that resolution

Also for the monitor, I'd say I am not too picky. Most people on newegg seem happy with the 150$ monitor wintermint found so that should work for me.

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August 8, 2011 7:02:08 AM

wintermint said:
Western Digital 1TB uses 3 platters of 333gb while Samsung uses 500gb per platter. If you plan to stick within 1TB of hard drive, your performance king is the Samsung Spinpoint F3 for $60. The 560 ti is a good graphic card will be able to handle whatever you throw at it [other than those crazy games like Crysis 2 and Metro 2033] The game will probably be fine if youre not playin Crysis 2 with maxed Directx 11 setting

Consider this PSU Antec HCG 750W for $90 or $65 after MIR Quality level at budget price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Cool! Thank you for the help! :) 
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August 8, 2011 7:07:28 AM

No problems. We're always here to help. If you're satisfied, choose one of us as best answer to close the thread :D 
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August 8, 2011 7:51:54 AM

@noleknight16--You're welcome to stay much longer and discuss your build more thoroughly. I'd like to leave you with the best build you can get instead of something that we just give you a quick "OK" on.
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Best solution

August 8, 2011 8:05:05 AM

Okay, if you want a system in 2-3 weeks, I personally feel you should start buying parts today. That means to pick up parts that are particularly good deals as they come up. Too bad you can't get someone to pick something up at Micro Center for you. It'd save you at least $80, possibly more.

I'm not going to give you a specific part for everything because I mostly want to give you the information you need to buy a good part when it's available.

CPU: $215 i5-2500K
That's the part you want. It's often cheaper on Amazon.com than Newegg. The 8 threaded i7-2600(K) will do better in video encoding, that's about it. And since gaming is your focus, you'll notice $100 spent on graphics MUCH MUCH more. The "K" means it's the version with the unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking. It's well worth the couple extra bucks.

Mobo: $129 GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There are a lot of choices. Since you are not a hardcore overclocker, I went with a lower end board with moderate overclocking abilities. Since gaming is your focus, I left the door open for SLI/Crossfire, which cost about $18 to allow. Notice that it's a Z68 board, not a P67. The reason for this is that Z68 can have onboard video too, which can be very handy in troubleshooting. Additionally, Z68 has Quicksync, which will allow huge time savings in video encoding with programs that allow it. Alternatively, this mobo might overclock higher: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Make sure you get one with Virtu since you're into video editing. Here's a review of why Z68 is better than P67 http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-s...

RAM: $65 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600CL8 or 1866CL9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You'll see here that the RAM speed impacts gaming performance: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/sandy-b...
Now it's not worth paying a lot for more expensive RAM, but it's worth a couple bucks. Also, you'll want all the RAM you can get for video encoding--games would be happy with 4GB. It's important to sign up for Newegg.com's email list and wait for a deal. It can often be found on slickdeals.net for $55 or so. If ram provides a 2% performance increase, then $1000x2% = $20, what it's worth spending for better RAM. You will be disappointed if you buy the 1066MHz RAM you linked above.

Graphics: $200 GTX 560Ti
I didn't link a specific card, but it's often around this price right now, especially on Amazon.com. Keep an eye on slickdeals.net and feel free to pull the trigger on this card if you see it for this price. Only you can decide if you trust rebates or not. The GTX 560Ti is about the same performance wise as a Radeon HD 6950.

PSU: $65 Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A 750W PSU can handle two GTX 570's. Two GTX 560Ti's would do fine on a 650W PSU, but some people like to get extra big PSUs for fun. The important thing with PSUs is the brand. Cheap brands are dangerous and can blow up at any time, potentially destroying all of your components. Good brands are MUCH safer. Unless jonnyGURU or a similarly very thorough site gives a stellar review (here's a jonnyGURU BAD review: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&fil...), do not buy any PSU other than an Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX.

HDD: $60 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
There is only one choice for the HDD. The only question is whether it's $60 or on sale for $50. It's fast, it's reliable, it's cheap. I own 3.

Case: $80
Only you can decide. The important thing is that it has a bottom mounted PSU, good airflow, decent cable management, and good airflow. Myself, I have an Azza Solano 100R and I love it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's not worth the price it's currently listed at. I got it for $80 w/ free shipping.

CPU Cooler: $27 Xigmatek Gaia
There are a lot of choices in this department. Just check frostytech.com and make sure it's a good one. I'd say it's this cooler or the Hyper 212+ though.

DVD: $60 Okay, a Blu-ray burner.
I wouldn't buy one of these because the media is inexplicably expensive. It's like $10 a disc. They can be found on sale for $60 though. I'd buy a DVD burner for $20.

Monitor: $150 23"
Your choice. Look at brand, response time, and whether it's LED. I prefer LED to LCD, but it's really not a big deal since they all look good. LG's a good brand. Acer's what I have and it's supposedly worse, but looks fantastic still.

TOTAL: $1051

I would work a 128GB SSD into the budget if you can afford a $200 one. I recommend the OCZ Vertex 3. Crucial also make some very good ones. Here, read these:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sf-2200-sandforce-s...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-ssd-caching,29...

Here's some performance tips if you get an SSD: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-performance-twe...
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August 8, 2011 7:41:37 PM

hi dalauder,

I'm also trying to build a gaming + casual video editing rig (for $1000-$1200) and was looking to get a second opinion.

Note that i'm also going for a corsair + asus build and I have a WD 1.5TB SATA 7200rpm HDD.

Here are the parts I've bought already:

Case: Corsair Mid-Tower 600T $120
RAM: Corsair Vengeance (low profile blue) 8GB 1600 $70
DVDRW: ASUS 24x drive $17
Monitor: ASUS 24 inch LED LCD 2ms $160

Total so far: $370

Here are the parts I'm hoping to get:

CPU: i5 2500k $230
MB: ASUS Z68-V PRO $210
GPU: ASUS 6950 1GB $300
PSU: Corsair TX850 V2 $150
Cooler: Corsair A70 $70

I missed out on the 2500k + Z68 combo a few weeks ago on memoryexpress for $350 ($90 savings!!) and I'm waiting for it to go on sale again.

As for PSU I'm not sure if I should get the 850W or 750W, in the future I will be Crossfiring with moderate overlocking on the CPU as well as a SSD, wireless PCIe card and TV tuner. I'm waiting for the price of the PSU to drop to $130 or below.

The GPU I'm not in a hurry to get right now, I can wait for the prices to drop in the winter and use the iGPU for now. Though I'd prefer to get it by the time Battlefield 3 is released (october/november).

If I add up the potential prices and current total: 370 + 350 + 250 + 130 + 30 = $1130. Just within my budget.

So what do you think? Is everything compatible and is the build good quality and value?
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August 8, 2011 11:18:51 PM

It's all compatible...but not the best value.

CPU: $215 i5-2500K
That's what you should get, but it's cheaper on Amazon.com

Mobo: $129 GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3
How hardcore of an overclocker are you? If you love to OC and 220MHz means the world to you, then a more expensive board than the $129 GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 makes sense. But performance wise, the Asus P8Z68-V Pro doesn't give you much bang for your buck. Let me know if you'd like some capable overclocking alternatives. For video editing, make sure your mobo has Virtu.

GPU: $265 ($245 AR) Sapphire 6950 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus, Corsair, whatever...it doesn't matter that much. But $300 can get you a 6970. Why would you spend that much for a 1GB 6950? If you're planning on Crossfire, the 2GB version is much more useful. Besides, the Sapphire 1GB for $245 (before $15 rebate) will get you the same performance (marginal difference depending on your final OC). Also, I think that Asus card is a triple slot card--that might not fit with all mobos & cases. Also, the cheaper GTX 560Ti matches the 6950 in single card configurations (although loses in SLI/CF where the 6950 2GB matches a GTX 570).

PSU: $65 for the Antec 750W I list above.
750W is plenty for dual 6970's. 850W is completely pointless for your build and will hurt your efficiency when idling. Any Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX PSU will be good enough...although the Antec Basiq & Neo Eco lines and Corsair CX lines are lower than you should aim.

Cooler:
I guess you can get that if you're committed to sticking to Corsair. It's a very good, albeit overpriced, cooler. The thing is--the i5-2500K isn't heat limited. So you'd get the same overclock with a Xigmatek Gaia. If you want to max out your OC, pick a mobo that OC's well (like 12 phase Gigabyte boards) and do water cooling so that you can use higher voltages. But I don't think you should do either of those unless you're a seasoned OC'er anyways. If you do look at water cooling, anything less than the Corsair H70 is a waste. I'd go H80 and it's still a lousy idea and pointless without a good mobo.

And, of course, you should go to Micro Center.
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August 8, 2011 11:40:48 PM

First time OCer and not going to go crazy trying to get the max overclock. Probably going to OC to 4.5Ghz from the stock 3.3Ghz on the i5 2500k.

Well I'm going for the ASUS Z68-V Pro since it was at a good price with the i5 2500k ($350) and it has SSD caching + Virtu, plus its ASUS.

I won't spend $300 on a 6950, don't worry, I'm going to wait till it drops below $250. How is the 2GB more useful in crossfire than the 1GB 6950? Also, the 2GB is massive and I'm not sure it would fit in my Corsair 600T case and might run into cooling issues since the case doesnt have a side window fan.

Ok I'll go with the 750W, thats what I had initially but was worried it wouldn't be enough. Thanks!

Going with the A70 since its Corsairs high end air cooler and i've seen it on sale for $30. I'm a complete noob in overclocking so I don't know what you mean by heat limited, 12 phase, use higher voltages. :S Can you point to a site about overclocking for beginners? Thanks.

I can't use micro center, i'm in canada. Been using NCIX, been good so far. Their sales suck though! :) 
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August 9, 2011 12:43:25 AM

TBH, you should start your own thread. I don't mind answering questions at all, but I feel a bit guilty filling up this thread. I'm going to PM you.
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August 23, 2011 2:58:58 AM

Hello again all. I've officially ordered the parts, mostly from the list dalauder compiled together. I have one question about the cooling fan. I really would prefer a CPU cooler that has the compound already ready to go on it. Why could I not use the stock one that comes with the processor? If I cannot, then which fans have the compound already ready to go on it?

Here's what I've bought:

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

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

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

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

CD/DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

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

Network card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

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

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

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

Well, how did I do? :) 

Also, are there any good videos or write ups on building your first ever PC. I'm nervous about doing this and do not want to screw up! :-p
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August 23, 2011 10:04:58 PM

Here ya go. Add a case and monitor to this down below.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $58.99 FREE SHIPPING
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-520 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99
ASRock Z68 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $352.98 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $27.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99 FREE SHIPPING
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $19.99 FREE SHIPPING
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner 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 AD-7260S-0B - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $239.99 - $219.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Total: $639.93 *not including shipping and rebates

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Pro3 <----- Here's a better look at that board

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4084/asrock_z68_pro3_i... <----- Review of that board




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August 24, 2011 4:20:32 PM

Best answer selected by noleknight16.
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