New Build Advice

Approximate Purchase Date: About 1 month

Budget Range: $1000-$1200

System Usage: Gaming, Programming, Web surfing

Parts not required: Mouse, monitor, keyboard, OS

Preffered Websites: I would pick newegg but unfortunately they don't shp to my country. www.mwave.com.au, www.arc.com.au and www.jw.com.au.

Country of origin: Australia

Parts Preferences: Not really just want a good gaming computer to play on a 1280x1080. Hopefully it should be able to run battlefield 3 on nearly maxed out settings.

Overclocking: It would be better if the graphiv card was factory overclocked. I don't intend on overclocking anything.

Monitor resolution: 1280x1080

Additional comments: Hopefully it should be able to run most games maxed out, and I don't want to have to upgrade for at least 2 years.
41 answers Last reply
More about build advice
  1. Already done.

    Check out the builds here at this link: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/toms-hardware-bestconfigs-system-configurations-builds,13257.html

    Try picking one, then optimizing for your situation, then posting the result.

    Additionally, given that AMD is releasing Bulldozer chips in a few weeks, I would recommend you wait until we get some benchmarks and final prices. That could definitely change your build advice.
  2. I'll throw a few parts at you to look at. Graphics I would choose either the GTX460 1GB or the HD6850 in the $150 range.
    Minimum PSU for a gaming rig I would choose at least 500W. If you have any desire to add another graphics card down the road, I'd get a 650W. Check http://www.jonnyguru.com/ for the latest word on power supplies. DON"T get the cheapest one you can find, gaming systems are demanding and require a solid PSU to power them. You can skimp elsewhere.

    Biggest choice at this point is Intel or AMD. You can't go wrong with a core i5 and p67 mobo, or z68. Get at least 4 gigs ram, but 8 is more cost effective currently.
  3. Why_Me said:



    will a 560 ti be able to almost max out battlefield and what is better the i5 2500k or an amd phenom ii x6 1100t black edition.
  4. kanoku said:
    will a 560 ti be able to almost max out battlefield and what is better the i5 2500k or an amd phenom ii x6 1100t black edition.

    At the resolution you stated up above that 560ti will rip through games. At 1920 x 1080 that card won't max out BF3, and a few of the newer games like Metro and Cyrsis.

    As far as the that X6 1100T BE is concerned...it's a dog. The 2500K mops the floor with it.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=288 <----- AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE vs Intel Core i5 2500K
  5. you might want to ask this question a little bit later on seeing as prices of these components or alternatives may arrive in one month.

    For example here is a link to some pricing info about the AMD bulldozer CPUs. . The release of these CPUs would most likely drive down the cost of the i5 2500k. Furthermore the performance may be better, or equal to the i5.
  6. Why_Me said:
    At the resolution you stated up above that 560ti will rip through games. At 1920 x 1080 that card won't max out BF3, and a few of the newer games like Metro and Cyrsis.

    As far as the that 1100XT BE is concerned...it's a dog. The 2500K mops the floor with it.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=288 <----- AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE vs Intel Core i5 2500K


    What fps do u think i will get for bf3 with 560 ti
  7. kanoku said:
    What fps do u think i will get for bf3 with 560 ti

    Take a look at this benchmark page on tomshardware

    It show Metro 2033 arguably the most gpu intensive game currently.

    You could probably expect fps above or around 60 at high settings, but that is just an educated guess. If you are specifically building this computer for BF3, I would wait until the recommended system requirements are released, then create the build that would exceed those specs, to "future proof" your system a bit.
  8. kanoku said:
    will a 560 ti be able to almost max out battlefield


    Haha. Time to get that crystal ball out mate. I would think the 560 Ti should go pretty close to maxing BF3 @ 1280x1080. Have a look at how the gtx 570 doesn't quite get Crysis 2 dx11 to 60fps at that res. With that extra space in your budget (based on Why_me's nice build)... a 570 might not be a bad idea if your wanting to play BF3 on high.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-2-directx-11-performance,2983-6.html
  9. If you decide to go with the gtx 570 then change up to this psu down below.

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_995&products_id=15349 $99.00
    Silverstone Strider Plus 600W ST60F-P
  10. I'm going to go with the system mentioned above but just change the gtx 560 ti to a msi 570 twin frozr iii.
  11. Nice. As Why_me says go good rated 600W with the 570. I wouldn't expect most games to be as taxing as Crysis 2 dx11 for a while yet... the 560 Ti will eat most games at your resolution, but hey, you've got a bit extra so why not? 570 Twin Frozr iii is a beast.

    Just incase you've got an outlet near you... Check www.msy.com.au. Their website aint great and range isn't huge. I just download their pdf pricelist and call them to check stock etc. They are about as cheap as it gets. Even if you can get a few parts from there will save your shipping $ from PCCaseGear.
  12. Why_Me said:


    Hi Why Me - so how is "pccasegear.com " at supplying components for the best price and customer service? I have not heard of them before.
  13. yea thanks msy is a great website and i have an outlet near me. Also this is my first rig and i i don't know how to put a computer together, so is there anyone that can put it together or do i have to do it myself. Any tutorials on putting computers together would be very helpful as well.
  14. You might want to take a look at the Corsair HX 750W (or HX 850W) PSUs. They frequently go on sale for about the same price as silver rated 650W PSUs. For example, I got my HX 850 for $144 on sale and it has gone as low as $120.

    They are modular (makes building with them MUCH easier) and are two of the highest rated PSUs in existence by professional reviewers. They also come with a 7-year warranty which is backed by Corsair's best in the business customer service.

    Don't worry about them being "overkill" for wattage because they will run at their most efficient range (50%) for your build. Yes a 650W PSU will also work and so look for the best price and efficiency and then make your choice.

    The advantage if the HX 850 is that if you decide to go SLI you will have plenty of power available for both video cards.
  15. My take on building a system yourself for the 1st time is that it is not necessarily easy, but definitely achievable. Tom's step by step guide:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-guide-building

    There are some ageing parts in there, but the principles are all the same. A couple of people who recently built for the 1st time also mentioned that looking at the following trouble shooting sticky was really useful. Not to suggest that something will go wrong when your building, but it has heaps of info that is handy to have in the back of mind if you encounter something.

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/261145-13-read-posting-boot-problems.

    There are heaps of Youtube videos too, but if you think you can follow that guide I would go for it.
  16. hey thanks for thr guide, in the guide he talks about a heat sink a Cooler Master 212 plus, do I have to buy one as well, or is that alreasy built into one of the parts. Also the second link doesn't work.
  17. Oops updated link:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-steps-posting-boot-video-problems

    Your CPU will come with a 'stock' intel CPU Cooler, which you would put on at that stage if you don't buy an aftermarket one like the Cooler Master 212 +. The CM 212+ CPU Cooler helps you get significantly cooler CPU core temperatures which is what you need for overclocking. If you don't plan to overclock it's probably not necessary. If you do... for $30 the CM 212+ is a good one.
  18. I was thinking how about I get a gtx 560 ti now, and save up and SLI with another one in the future, it would be cheaper than 2 570s and people say that 2 560 ti's have better performance than 1 570. So is it worth it? And would I have to change my case, motherboard or psu because of doing SLI?
  19. kanoku said:
    I was thinking how about I get a gtx 560 ti now, and save up and SLI with another one in the future, it would be cheaper than 2 570s and people say that 2 560 ti's have better performance than 1 570. So is it worth it? And would I have to change my case, motherboard or psu because of doing SLI?

    For dual 560ti's in SLI you want to make those changes down below to that build...psu and board. Also if and when you decide to add another card you want to add another case fan or two to that case. I wouldn't add another card though without upgrading the monitor to something like 1920 x 1080 or your going to get a gazillion FPS on that resolution you have atm.

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=138_711_1183&products_id=18137 $145.00
    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_226&products_id=16142 $139.00
    Antec High Current Gamer 750W Power Supply HCG-750

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extreme3%20Gen3 <----- there's a better look at that board

    http://www.asrock.com/microsite/IntelZ68/index.asp <----- Z68 features

    http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/ <----- PCI-E 3.0 that will be supported by Ivy Bridge due out in April/May
  20. yea I'm probably just going to stick with the single 570 for now. Might SLI when I get a new monitor in a year or so.
  21. I found this great deal on msy.com.au on a 23 inch monitor. The resolution of that is 1920x1080 resolution. If I were to buy this monitor would the 570 still be able to max out most games.
  22. It's pretty hard to say to anyone definitively "Yes the 570 will max out most games... and here is my guarantee! hehe

    On the nVidia website you can search recommended settings for games you play and see what they offer using different models (560Ti, 570s etc) and also the fps they get at those settings.

    On builds that I have seen using the gtx 570 (not many) more based on reviews etc, you could say the 570 is playing most current games on very high settings, and can max some at 1080p. Not my personal build, but a system I game on frequently that has a 560Ti usually will get to av 50-60fps at 1080p by dropping a setting here and there like an AA level or shadow quality from extreme to high, and it's pretty tough to pick a big difference in visual quality. If you look at the Crysis 2 dx11 link in an earlier post, the 580 doesn't max out 1080p.

    If you are planning on putting in another 570 down the track make sure you get a PSU that accommodates for it.
  23. Which gtx 570 do you think is the best for my budget and also has good performance.
  24. MSY can be pretty limited in the range of their cards, if you go down that path. And don't rely on the website pricelist for card range. Talk to the one near you to see what they stock. Get exact models numbers from them too. A lot of places don't bother stocking reference gtx570s anymore... but MSY has a few. Nothing wrong with ref cards, but on this gen of GPUs I do like ones with AM cooling! If you are wanting something more specific you might have to look to PCCaseGear or MWave. I don't too excited about Super Mega Ultra Uber OC versions either (although a lot of them are), but nice cooling is always welcome. Stick with the solid manufacturers (with good warranties) Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA and you'll be right :)
  25. Yea I think I'm going to go with msi gtx 570 twin frozr iii, because it's got great performance and really good cooling. People say that gaming computers should have an SSD, but are they worth it?
  26. kanoku said:
    Yea I think I'm going to go with msi gtx 570 twin frozr iii, because it's got great performance and really good cooling. People say that gaming computers should have an SSD, but are they worth it?


    YES! I installed a 120 GB Corsair GT Force 3 for the first time in my computer and having it run your operating system makes everything wicked fast. The difference is really noticeable.

    It will involve a learning curve on how to install SSDs and run them but there are several guides out that are very good.
  27. flong said:
    YES! I installed a 120 GB Corsair GT Force 3 for the first time in my computer and having it run your operating system makes everything wicked fast. The difference is really noticeable.

    It will involve a learning curve on how to install SSDs and run them but there are several guides out that are very good.


    Approixamteley how much do they cost and do u have any guides on them?
  28. Expect to pay roughly between $1.25 to 2.00 per GB for a ssd.

    here is a link from Thw

    Solid State Drive link
  29. kanoku said:
    Approixamteley how much do they cost and do u have any guides on them?

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=210_902
  30. That is not really a solid state drive, it is a hybrid it is not as fast as a true ssd. You can also find it much cheaper. google it, Here is the link to the benchmark for that drive.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/seagate-momentus-xt-hybrid-hard-drive-ssd,2638-2.html
    edit. Sorry I forgot you live in AUS, it might not be cheaper.
  31. kanoku said:
    Approixamteley how much do they cost and do u have any guides on them?


    In your price range a 120 GB SSD would be your best bet. The Kingston Hyper X Extreme, Corsair GT Force 3, Mushkin, Patriot Wildfire and OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS are the fastest SSDs on the market right now in the 120 GB size.

    The Hyper X Extreme is expected to drop significantly in price in about a month because Kingston has a large volume advantage over other manufacturers and so you might want to keep an eye on it.

    All of the above SSDs are about equal and any one of them would be a good choice. Look for the best sale. Adata also puts out a good 120 GB SSD. You probably will not be able to see any discernible difference between all of these in real life use and there are no quality reliability studies available. Intel is supposed to make the most reliable SSD and they probably do, but their SSDs are slower than the top tier SSDs and so I have a problem recommending them. Also avoid the Corsair Force 3 non-GT.

    In America they cost anywhere from $180 - $280. $180 Price SSDs are the best pricing that I have seen and I have only seen the Corsair GT at this price and it wasn't very long. A more realistic price is approximately $225 on sale for one of the above.

    Don't go with a hybrid SSD like the Momentus (they are really slow) - get a real SSD. The reason to get an SSD is SPEED - you want to get the fastest available for the best price to maximize your price.
  32. Not deliberatley trying to confuse things... but for consideration:

    your gtx 570 Twin FrozrIII + that 120GB SSD = 399 + 219 = 618

    Personally I'd hold off the SSD and go 2 x gtx 560Ti Twin FrozrII = 510 (for 2)

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=193_1193&products_id=16578

    SSD's are great, but I always try to max a GPU setup for the budget, and with the budget outlined in your OP I hold on it. You can always put one in later (pain of a job but...)
    I don't know... it's just my opinion. Don't forget what you want the build to do. Game like a beast right? Having Windows load quick is nice, maybe when you've got $1500AUD + to spend. Not to say that the 570 is a compromised GPU setup but... I'm guessing we've gone beyond 1200 now right?
  33. Formata said:
    Not deliberatley trying to confuse things... but for consideration:

    your gtx 570 Twin FrozrIII + that 120GB SSD = 399 + 219 = 618

    Personally I'd hold off the SSD and go 2 x gtx 560Ti Twin FrozrII = 510 (for 2)

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=193_1193&products_id=16578

    SSD's are great, but I always try to max a GPU setup for the budget, and with the budget outlined in your OP I hold on it. You can always put one in later (pain of a job but...)
    I don't know... it's just my opinion. Don't forget what you want the build to do. Game like a beast right? Having Windows load quick is nice, maybe when you've got $1500AUD + to spend. Not to say that the 570 is a compromised GPU setup but... I'm guessing we've gone beyond 1200 now right?


    The 560 Ti and the 570 are great cards no doubt but why is no one suggesting two ATI 6950s in crossfire. This is more than enough to play any game on max setting (for a single monitor) and is much cheaper. Two 6950s can probably be found for $450 after rebates. Tom's Hardware recommends the 2-6950 in crossfire as the best bang for your buck.

    I would definitely include an SSD in your build - the entire desktop industry is moving this way fast. Again it improves you WHOLE computer experience speed-wise, including gaming. This is especially true if you load your bigger, resource hungry games on the SSD which a 120 GB SSD will allow you to do. I virtually eliminates you waiting on your computer for most issues as they happen instantly (keep in mind that internet speed is independent of the SSD performance and depends on your connection bandwidth).

    It is one of those things that is hard to understand until you try it.
  34. Am I the only person on this thread that saw the resolution in the OP?

    @ the OP. If you don't plan on going with dual vid cards at a later date, then look at the original build I posted on here. If you want the dual card option left open then look at this build down below. If and when you eventually pick up a 1920 x 1080 monitor then you can always add another one of those cards for SLI.

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_1278&products_id=14258 $59.00
    Xigmatek Asgard Pure Black Edition

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_226&products_id=16142 $139.00
    Antec High Current Gamer 750W Power Supply HCG-750

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=138_711_1183&products_id=18137 $145.00
    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=187_346_1184&products_id=16531 $219.00
    Intel Core i5 2500K

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_912&products_id=13931 $65.00
    G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_344&products_id=12711 $55.00
    Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HD103SJ

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=658_667&products_id=17957 $25.00
    ASUS DRW-24B3ST 24X DVDRW Drive

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=193_1193&products_id=16652 $259.00
    ASUS GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II Overclocked 1GB

    Total: $901.65

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=375_974&products_id=17003 $95.00
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_902_1006&products_id=17369 $219.00
    Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SSD
  35. Why_Me said:
    Am I the only person on this thread that saw the resolution in the OP?

    @ the OP. If you don't plan on going with dual vid cards at a later date, then look at the original build I posted on here. If you want the dual card option left open then look at this build down below. If and when you eventually pick up a 1920 x 1080 monitor then you can always add another one of those cards for SLI.

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_1278&products_id=14258 $59.00
    Xigmatek Asgard Pure Black Edition

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_226&products_id=16142 $139.00
    Antec High Current Gamer 750W Power Supply HCG-750

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=138_711_1183&products_id=18137 $145.00
    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=187_346_1184&products_id=16531 $219.00
    Intel Core i5 2500K

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_912&products_id=13931 $65.00
    G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_344&products_id=12711 $55.00
    Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HD103SJ

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=658_667&products_id=17957 $25.00
    ASUS DRW-24B3ST 24X DVDRW Drive

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=193_1193&products_id=16652 $259.00
    ASUS GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II Overclocked 1GB

    Total: $901.65

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=375_974&products_id=17003 $95.00
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_902_1006&products_id=17369 $219.00
    Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SSD


    Yeah I saw it but I am assuming that the OP will upgrade since his/her clear goal is SLI. I think we should provide a setup ofr 1920 x 1080 resolution because that is where the OP wants to go. Excellent point though.
  36. The HX 850 is listed on sale at the site that Why Me suggested (thanks Why Me - it looks like a great site) for $219.00. The link is here: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_354&products_id=12111

    The HX 850 is no doubt $80 more than the Antec 750 suggested above, but Antec's Gamer series has had some poor reviews. They are noisy and they don't meet their power ratings.

    The HX 850 is much more efficient (uses less electricity), much more quiet, much more stable (it won't damage your components), it has a 7-year warranty, it is modular (less cable mess) and it will easily power and SLI or crossfire setup. The Antec - not so much as their quality control has been questionable at best.

    Antec's high-end PSUs are second to none but their gamer series is low-end, poor quality IMO. Their 950W gamer PSU would not even put out 950 W before it overheated and shut down in one professional review. The HX 850 put out nearly 1100W in one professional review and remained stable.

    The difference is that you can use the HX 850 on your next build and not have to buy a better PSU and it will still be under warranty for your third build. This is well worth the extra $80.

    Also, I would suggest going to a minimum of 1600 RAM, preferably 1866 (in the 2 x 4GB configuration). The 1866 is the best bang for your buck, but 1600 is still good. You don't need more than 8GB of RAM.
  37. Why_Me said:


    First let me say you are one of the best posters on Tom's Hardware. You help a lot of people and about 95% of the time I agree with your recommendations. You especially deserve credit for learning the best sites in foreign countries to buy computer parts - I never cease to be amazed that you know so many computer supply sites for so many countries.

    Thanks for the reviews - I will take a look at them.

    There is a review here at Hard OCP but I cannot get the review to come up fully ( must be a problem with the website): http://www.hardocp.com/news/2011/02/15/antec_high_current_gamer_900w_psu

    They talk about how Antec missed with this one.

    In Johnny Guru's review here: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=211

    the first unit he had shut down. The second one (the replacement) did fairly good in the review. He just barely mentions it on the second page during the hot box tests.

    There is another review I found where the unit failed to put out 800W and shut down and I cannot find it right now.

    The point is that the quality control is not good for these Antec units and so I don't trust them. There are several good reviews of the 900W unit like those you post but there are 2-3 reviews where the unit failed.

    In general I am uncomfortable with recommending bronze rated units when silver rated units which are much higher quality are available for either the same cost or $50 - $100 more. Depending the on the build's budget, I think that a quality PSU is a great investment.

    I got the Corsair HX 850 for my build for $144 after rebates and right after I bought mine it went down to $120 on Newegg :-(. It is a phenomenal PSU and it just doesn't cost that much more than the cheaper bronze PSUs.

    I know that some people disagree with my philosophy but I think that the PSU affects every component of the system and as one poster said in a Tom's Hardware's recent PSU guilde, "I cannot afford to play Russian roulette with cheaper PSUs for my system just to save $50."

    Buying cheaper PSUs is like playing Russian roulette with your costly components. Sure you may be lucky and get a good unit and have not problems but if you get the bad unit that slips through then you can have serious problems and $50 is just not worth the gamble.

    Again Why Me, you are a credit to Tom's Hardware forums, I am just not a fan of the Antec gamer bronze rated PSUs.
  38. To clarify my GPU setup reasoning. The OP called for a 1280 x 1080 resolution. But then we had...

    kanoku said:
    I found this great deal on msy.com.au on a 23 inch monitor. The resolution of that is 1920x1080 resolution. If I were to buy this monitor would the 570 still be able to max out most games.
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