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$1000(trying to go lower) first gaming PC to play Skyrim and others

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August 29, 2011 11:41:40 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Roughly this or next week, just because I want it to be set up soon and make sure all the parts are not D.O.A. before the games I want to play come out.

Budget Range: 600-800 would be ideal (After Rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3D modeling, photoshop and most importantly, high-end gaming.

Parts Not Required:I have speakers, monitor (32" 1080p television @1920 x 1080) as well as mouse & keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg would be nice so I do not have to deal with more shipping costs etc.

Parts Preferences: by brand or type Somewhat prefer intel and nvidia but no preference if the price is right

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe later but not at the moment

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

So I have never really done much high end gaming largely because I have only really just used a game console and a laptop for technical programs for work like Photoshop and whatnot. However, I do love playing older games on my computer because of the bigger modding community for games like Bethesda's as well as MMOs and shooters like TF2. Unfortunately, come this holiday season, I know my laptop will definitely not be able to handle the new slew of awesome games.

So that is why I come to you guys for help.

I have filled and emptied my newegg shopping cart countless times due to all the conflicting articles and posts I have found over the past few months and have grown very paranoid of not getting the best for what I need so I decided to just make a thread and ask for certain what I should be buying for these new games.

I will be using a 32" HD television at 1920 x 1080 resolution, but outside of that, I have no parts, not even a case, for this rig.

If it isn't asking a lot, a list and why that component is the hot thing on the market right now would be immensely helpful in reassuring myself that I am not just taking a shot in the dark as to what parts will be the best cost for what it gives.

My main questions are largely about the CPU, GFX card, and RAM.

Which CPU should I get that is relatively "future-proof" and could last for awhile without bottle-necking future upgrades?

For a first time rig, is intel or AMD with a compatible mobo for either, the better choice at the moment? I see so many things for each and it's hard to find an unbiased opinion. Again, is there a set out there right now that is also, relatively "future-proof" that could give me longevity without having to replace both the CPU and mobo in like, a year or so?

Lastly, the biggest scare I have is in what graphics card I need and what I can skip just because the previous generation is only a hair of a difference for a fraction of the cost. I don't know if I should get the most recent Nvidia and just crossfire it with another one later on down the road when they are cheaper, crossfire 2 older models for around the same price as the one, or go for AMD? (e.g. buying one or two that are relatively cheap and unlocking them to a better model)

I would really appreciate clarification from the seasoned hardware veterans here to help me through this process for the first time.

~Plague

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 12:13:03 AM


Currently the most future proof system is a LGA1155 based intel system. Basically at the $1000 budget you want to go with a i5 2500k for a quad core and overclocking and
Z68 based motherboard.

Memory is so cheap at the time that 2x4GB kits are the way to go at about $50-60 or even lower 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz.

GFX it is all about how much you want to spend on the graphics card. AMD 6850/6870/6950 or NVidia GTX460/560/560Ti. from about $130 after rebates to $210 after rebates.

CPU: i5 2500k $219.99
HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 27.99
Mobo:Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 $129.99
Memory: Gskill RipjawsX 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $54.99
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $59.99
DVD: Asus 24x DVD+/-RW $20.99
Case: Antec 300 Illusion $44.99 after CC
PSU: Antec HCG-750 $94.99 ( before $25 rebate )
OS: Windows 7 home premium 64-bit $91.99

~ $760 before rebate

And the GPU: ( this is about the highest end price wise )
GPU: Asus DirectCUII 560TI TOP $249.99 ( before $20 rebate )

$1010 before $45 in rebates.

Which pretty much plays at high settings at 1920x1080, it allows for SLI/Crossfire with all the listed graphics cards as the PSU can handle it.
But for now you should manage just fine with a single card.

You do have to add a keyboard and mouse, but those are very personal choices so I left them out.

By getting a cheaper graphics card you can save a little.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 12:20:02 AM

Well if you want to go AMD i wouldn't get anything too expensive because their new CPU's come out very soon. To be honest though i think an i3-2100 is your best bet, it's cheap and shouldn't have problems with any game:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

I would say the only reason to get an i5 at this budget is if you only play strategy games and other CPU bound stuff. Most games, especially the ones you mentioned are going to demand less CPU power and more GPU power.

With the RAM, most games aren't going to use any more than 4GB but most people like to get 8GB just in case since it's cheap anyway. 1333Mhz or 1600Mhz is usually best because again, it's cheap and you won't notice much of a difference with higher speeds.

Basically i would go for this:

Intel Core i3-2100 - $124.99
8GB G.Skill Sniper - $48.99
MSI Twin Frozr GTX 560Ti - $239.99
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99
ASRock H61M-VS - $59.99
CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 430W - $44.99
Antec 300 Illusion - $59.99
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - $91.98
Samsung DVD Burner - $16.99

Total: $747.90 before shipping and rebates ($40)

Youre not going to be able to overclock or SLI/Crossfire on that but it's cheap and shouldn't have any problems with games like Skyrim.

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August 30, 2011 12:31:44 AM

Wow I had no clue the i3 was so close for that much of a price difference. I will probably pick and choose from the above two suggestions and mayhaps swap out with any further ones.. I really appreciate how fast of a response I got!

So far, since I already have Windows 7 for my laptop, I can save that 100 bucks, and so with jmsellars1 build in exchange for the ripjaw ram from rvilkman (was only a dollar more when I checked and I am worried about ram since I have seen people go for lower name brand rams and have them defective) so aside from that, I am just comparing a few cases to see if there are any others I like. The biggest thing is definitely the CPU tip. I am excited now because, at this point, the build will only be about 650 or so.

Oh did not notice the 15 dollars off on that case, that's a pretty amazing price for that case o_o I think I might have to order all this now.




So after shipping and the 15 bucks off, it came to 663 and some change, and then after the MIB's that would be just a bit over 600... That's a much better budget PC than my previous attempts!

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a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 1:06:50 AM

If you go to anandtech and compare an i3 2100, and an obsolete but highly overclockable e8400 YOU MIGHT AS WELL BUILD WITH THE E8400

Or a phenom 955 which will spank the 2100 EVERYWHERE except gaming , and then it will lose even that advantage when you get the Phenom clocked to about 3.6 gig

The i3 2100 is not that awesome

Use a quadcore .
rvilkman's build is solid
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a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 1:58:08 AM

I think only a pretty heavily overclocked Phenom II x4 955 would beat that i3 in gaming and the i3 doesn't need to beat it anywhere else for a gaming rig. Don't get me wrong, the Phenom is a completely viable choice, i'm just defending the i3 because it is excellent for the price.

To be honest though, if you want a quad core i would just keep the same build and change the i3 for an i5-2400 unless youre an overclocker. If you are then the Phenom or i5-2500k may be better choices.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 2:04:14 AM

The intel quad is the choice if you have the budget for it IMO .

Quads make more sense gaming in 2011 than they ever have . And I believe they add a measure of future proofing that the dual core doesnt have .

I dont think the phenom is s mart choice at even $800 , let alone $1000 . And only mentioned it to point out the i3 is not an ideal cpu for 1/ the money 2/ gaming

I think the 2400 is a good option to trim the budget

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August 30, 2011 2:29:30 AM

Alrighty I guess ill try the jump to either 2400 or 2500k
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a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 2:39:25 AM

The i5-2500k is excellent but only get it if you want to overclock, you would want a Z68 or P67 motherboard for this. Possibly a more powerful PSU too.

EDIT: Typo
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August 30, 2011 3:35:39 AM

A bit more expensive, but if it is more future-proof, utilizing rvilkman's build may be the way I will go.
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August 30, 2011 3:56:10 AM

Thanks for the link Why_Me, I edited the original post if no one wants to read beyond that using the outline in that thread. Although, I think I am pretty much set on the first build posted unless someone would be able to find equivalent parts for cheaper.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 30, 2011 4:07:17 AM

plagueology said:
Thanks for the link Why_Me, I edited the original post if no one wants to read beyond that using the outline in that thread. Although, I think I am pretty much set on the first build posted unless someone would be able to find equivalent parts for cheaper.

Beautiful build you have posted up top. :) 

Go with rvilkman's build! The only thing I would change on his build is the case...something larger/wider.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... <---- Nice combo here, and the RAM matches that Asrock board and saves you money

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <----and then get this case...roomy and has USB 3.0 ports, SSD bracket, etc...

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August 30, 2011 4:29:41 AM

@ jmsellars1

+1. Best build for that budget.

@ rvikman

+1, best build for that budget.

lol.
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August 30, 2011 4:40:17 AM

Thanks for finding me the deal there! And yeah I see what you mean about needing a slightly larger case.
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August 30, 2011 4:43:07 AM

Best answer selected by Plagueology.
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August 31, 2011 7:46:14 PM

Hi! I'm new here, so please bear with me :)  I'm just wondering if the final build for the OP is the one that he selected as the best answer? I mean, with all the changes and everything. Thanks!
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August 31, 2011 7:57:09 PM

Yeah Hayden I decided on pretty much exactly the best answer build. :) 
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August 31, 2011 11:17:07 PM

plagueology said:
Yeah Hayden I decided on pretty much exactly the best answer build. :) 

Alright, thanks!! :D 
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October 24, 2011 8:22:39 PM

rvilkman said:
Currently the most future proof system is a LGA1155 based intel system. Basically at the $1000 budget you want to go with a i5 2500k for a quad core and overclocking and
Z68 based motherboard.

Memory is so cheap at the time that 2x4GB kits are the way to go at about $50-60 or even lower 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz.

GFX it is all about how much you want to spend on the graphics card. AMD 6850/6870/6950 or NVidia GTX460/560/560Ti. from about $130 after rebates to $210 after rebates.

CPU: i5 2500k $219.99
HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 27.99
Mobo:Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 $129.99
Memory: Gskill RipjawsX 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $54.99
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $59.99
DVD: Asus 24x DVD+/-RW $20.99
Case: Antec 300 Illusion $44.99 after CC
PSU: Antec HCG-750 $94.99 ( before $25 rebate )
OS: Windows 7 home premium 64-bit $91.99

~ $760 before rebate

And the GPU: ( this is about the highest end price wise )
GPU: Asus DirectCUII 560TI TOP $249.99 ( before $20 rebate )

$1010 before $45 in rebates.

Which pretty much plays at high settings at 1920x1080, it allows for SLI/Crossfire with all the listed graphics cards as the PSU can handle it.
But for now you should manage just fine with a single card.

You do have to add a keyboard and mouse, but those are very personal choices so I left them out.

By getting a cheaper graphics card you can save a little.

Hi! Could you please give me an opinion on this build vs. the best answer one? http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-cpu-ssd,3...
It's for gaming (Skyrim, BF3, etc.).
Thanks a lot!.
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