Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

[New Build] Sharing My Intel-Based Gaming PC Build - $1,000

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
September 6, 2011 10:35:03 PM

I spent the entire day yesterday reading articles/forum posts here at TH and researching components for an Intel-based gaming PC build for around $1,000 so I thought I would share my build for anyone who is interested. Feedback welcome/appreciated.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor - $219.99
  • CPU Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $27.99
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2133 LGA 1155 Motherboard GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 - $121.99
  • RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 - $54.99
  • Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE FleX 100312FLEX Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $279.99 ($259.99 AR)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $59.99
  • Solid State Drive: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive - $114.99
  • Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59.99
  • Power Supply: CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 (CMPSU-650HX) 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 - $119.99 ($74.99 AR)
  • DVD Burner: LG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS70 OEM - OEM - $18.99

    Total Price: $1,078.90 ($1,013.90 AR)


  • *TIPS:
  • To get everything under $1,000 you could substitute the CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 Power Supply with a CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 ($69.99 AR) and substitute the CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 with a G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ($44.99) bringing the total to $998.90 AR.
  • Get free 2-Day Shipping by signing up for free-trials of Amazon Prime and Shoprunner (for Newegg). All prices listed are from Amazon and Newegg.
  • Get an additional 1.5% cashback on Newegg purchases through FatWallet.
  • Newegg charged me sales tax, so for non-discounted items I used Amazon for no sales tax.
  • Get an extra $10 off Newegg purchases by using the Promo Code NEWCUSTOMER10 at checkout.

  • Here are the reasons for my choices: The Intel Core i5 2500K was a no brainier as it is the best bang-for-your-buck CPU for gaming and can easily be overclocked to 4.4GHz. Also a no brainer is the excellent Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU fan.

    For the GPU I chose to go with a single-card setup, the SAPPHIRE FleX 100312FLEX Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5. I had originally wanted to have a pair of Radeon HD 6850's/6870's or a pair of Geforce GTX 560 Ti's, but 1) They are more expensive and the budget was better spent elsewhere in terms of practical current-day performance, 2) SLI/Crossfire means more heat, more noise, and more power consumption, 3) It's more future-proof because I can later buy a second Radeon HD 6950 2GB when the price comes down and when I will need the extra performance. After all, why pay a premium for additional fps you won't be using until later down the line? I chose the SAPPHIRE FleX model mainly because of price and the VaporX cooling system which seems to do a better job than most at keeping the card running cool.

    For the Motherboard, I chose to go with techno's recommendation, the Gigabyte Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2133 LGA 1155 Motherboard GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 because 1) The new Z68 chipset allows overclocking and dynamic GPU/IGPU switching, 2) It supports SLI/Crossfire at x8 x8 or a single card at x16 and most importantly, 3) It supports Intel's new Smart Response Technology which allows on-the-fly caching to an SSD.

    Which brings me to the Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive. This 64GB model has plenty of room for caching, it's fast, reliable, and it has received rave reviews thus far.

    For the case I opted for another one of techno's recommendations: the Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid-ATX. At first, I thought this thing looked pretty ugly, but the look is growing on me and more importantly, it is packed with great design features and good airflow. Be sure to check out this video at newegg to see what I mean.

    The rest of my choices are pretty standard: A good CORSAIR 650W Power Supply, CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 SDRAM, a 1 TB Seagate SATA 6Gb/s and the cheapest optical DVD-RW drive I could find.
  • More about : build sharing intel based gaming build 000

    September 6, 2011 10:54:18 PM

    In a reasonably big case I wouldnt bother with the modular psu

    I would spend the money you save on a bigger SSD

    The Samsiung F3 hard drive is a little cheaper [ usually] and a little faster
    September 7, 2011 12:20:12 AM

    Outlander_04 said:
    In a reasonably big case I wouldnt bother with the modular psu

    I would spend the money you save on a bigger SSD

    The Samsiung F3 hard drive is a little cheaper [ usually] and a little faster


    You are right, the modular PSU is not necessary with the Cooler Master HAF 912 setup, but at the time of purchase the CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 was sold out and priced at $90 so the HX650 was a better deal. I checked Newegg again today and the new CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650's are in stock at a lower $69.99 AR.

    As for the SSD, Intel's Smart Response Technology doesn't support SSD's larger than 64GB. In my build I chose to use the SSD for caching, as opposed to a storage hard drive, hence the Z68 motherboard as opposed to a P68. It's a personal preference, and SSD caching is more laissez-faire than having to constantly manage what goes on or off the small SSD.
    Related resources
    September 7, 2011 12:29:02 AM

    I'd rather put a 570 in there than a 6950 because of the better driver support and performance boost in PhysX games, but that's just me
    September 7, 2011 12:55:01 AM

    Nice build. I like the choice of components. The only thing I would say is that if you expect to later upgrade to a 6950XFire setup then the (nice!) power supply will not be enough. You might need to go up to an 800W version or 850W if you also want to overclock - and I assume you do, as you are going for the i52500k.
    September 7, 2011 12:57:05 AM

    des74 said:
    I'd rather put a 570 in there than a 6950 because of the better driver support and performance boost in PhysX games, but that's just me


    Hi Des,

    I also toyed with putting a GTX 570 in there. I'm a long time Nvidia fan and I wanted to have PhysX support. In the end it came down to 1) Price: The GTX 570 is $319 vs the Radeon HD 6950 at $259, 2) The GTX 570 runs hotter and consumes more power, meaning it would be less stable for a future SLI configuration than two 6950's, and 3) The 6950 has 2GB of RAM vs the 570's 1.25 GB of RAM. Also, I have to admit I was drawn to Newegg's offer for a free copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution with purchase of a Radeon card ...even though I already bought a copy haha. I guess I'll just sell the extra copy.

    Also, if anyone is interested in comparing the performance of SSD caching vs a standalone SSD, check out these benchmarks from Anandtech.
    September 7, 2011 1:43:15 AM

    You can run Physx on an AMD graphics card .
    Google can tell you how easy this is to do

    Thanks for the caching link .
    It looks like its a handy way of increasing performance , but I'd still prefer an SSD boot drive
    September 7, 2011 1:57:02 AM

    orionite said:
    Nice build. I like the choice of components. The only thing I would say is that if you expect to later upgrade to a 6950XFire setup then the (nice!) power supply will not be enough. You might need to go up to an 800W version or 850W if you also want to overclock - and I assume you do, as you are going for the i52500k.

    Good point, however the 6950's have some of the lowest power consumption numbers in their category so I believe thee HX650 (which is reported to max at up to 735W) will suffice. Check out this power consumption chart for the cards in Crossfire from Guru3d and Legit Reviews performed on Core i7 systems. The power consumption maxes at ~480W which is 74% capacity of the 650W power supply.

    Also, I did take some care to calculate the required power supply wattage for my build beforehand. In the screenshot below you can see that I can set the PSU calculator for an overclocked i5 at 4.4GHz, Corssfire 6950's, 1 HD, 1 SSD, 2 DIMMS, multiple fans, etc. and the result is a recommended wattage of 553W.



    I hope I didn't miss anything in the calculation, but a reliable 650W power supply appears to be sufficient even with dual 6950's.
    September 7, 2011 4:48:12 AM

    syclonix said:
    [...]
    I hope I didn't miss anything in the calculation, but a reliable 650W power supply appears to be sufficient even with dual 6950's.


    Nice link. I hadn't used that tool, but rather did a much less detailed estimate over at newegg. If those numbers are true that definitely allows for some serious money saving on the PSU. Thanks for following up!
    !