$1200 gaming rig advice? (first build)

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime over the next two months (ideally before skyrim :D )

Budget Range: Maximum $1200 AUD for the PC

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, future music production/recording and movies and entertainment

Parts Not Required: I need the lot but the budget is for the PC which is really what i need advice on.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None

Country of Origin: Australia (near melbourne)

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: In a modest way, yes.

SLI or Crossfire: Unlikely, though i wouldn't mind having the ability to do so down the track.

Monitor Resolution: The higher the better really (i don't have a lot of experience in this area)

Additional Comments:

This is what i've got so far:

intel i5 2500k

Corsair force series 60gb ssd boot drive

Samsung spinpoint f3 1tb storage drive

Sapphire hd6950 GPU

Corsair hx650 psu

g skill 8 gb (2x4gb) 1600hz ram

Antec nine hundred two v3 case

Asrock z68 pro 3 motherboard

Thanks in advance :)
10 answers Last reply
More about 1200 gaming advice first build
  1. Looks solid, however id consider swapping out that motherboard out for a "ASRock Extreme 4 Gen 3" motherboard for the "future proof" PCI 3.0 slots.

    (I would recommend Extreme3 Gen3, however this doesn't support Front Panel USB 3.0 - which the case you've listed supports, where-as the Extreme4 Gen3, does come with front panel USB 3.0 support).
  2. ^+1
  3. Great advice thanks. USB 3.0 is definitely something i want.

    It does however put me slightly over budget. Do you think the benefits of an ssd boot drive are worth the extra expense?
  4. Personally I didn't buy an SSD with my initial build, and I do regret that decision.

    Certainly I think an SSD as a boot drive is worth the expense.

    I'll probably wait until Windows 8 now and grab a nice 120GB SSD then along with the nice new OS for a fresh install :) SSD's should be nicely cheaper then as well.
  5. Mmm that's interesting man.

    Do you think 60gb is good enough for the benefits of an ssd to come through?

    I noticed you're using an asus z64 board. Any reason you chose that?
  6. *ASUS P8Z68-v PRO motherboard*

    And I chose it due to the SLI support, great reviews and SSD cache feature (however after reading many reviews and threads around TOMs, if and when I get an SSD ill use it as a dedicated drive, not as a cache). I also liked the idea of the Z68 having on-board graphics, just in case I ever ran into any problems with my GPU. The price difference between Z68 and P67 was so minor, it was worth the few extra ££ for the extra features a Z68 offers.

    Gigabyte offers some slightly cheaper alternatives at a slightly lower price, but again nothing major and i'm really pleased with my ASUS board so its all good :)

    60GB is plenty to use an SSD as a boot drive and have a few desktop applications (web browser ect in particular) just for that extra speed and quicker boot times.
  7. It does seems like a pretty worth while investment.

    If you had to pick an area for me to save some money on this build what would it be?
  8. Well over-all you've got a nice balanced mid-range build.

    You could - if you wanted to save money;

    Get a non-SLI ready motherboard (still socket p67/z68)
    Get a good 500w PSU (enough for a single card).


    Stick with an SLI ready motherboard and still get a 500w PSU (would mean grabbing a new PSU if you ever wanted to SLI though).

    You could also get a cheaper SSD, i think the Crucial M4 comes up a fair bit cheaper than the Corsair Force GT.

    Checking prices for the GTX 560Ti might not be a bad option either, it performs at a very very similar level to the 6950 (practically equal) so if one is selling for cheaper than the other, its probably worthwhile.

    Another very minor money saving tweak would be getting 4GB RAM over 8GB (still the same 1600MHz CL9 spec though).

    You could also buy a cheaper case. Full tower isn't necessary. Any mid-tower ATX should be fine for your build - and would cost about half the one you listed costs.
  9. Monitor, keyboard, mouse included in the budget? If not,

    I just built this build for another person with similar requirements.

    Processor : Intel Core i5 2500K - $220

    HeatSink : CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ - $30

    Motherboard : ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $125

    RAM : Gskill Ripjaws X Series 8(2x4GB) DDR3 1600 - $52

    Graphics : XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $320

    Power Supply : XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt - $125

    Hard Disk : SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $60

    SSD : OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive - $90

    Case : COOLER MASTER HAF 922 BLUE RC-922M-KWN2-GP Black ATX Mid Tower - $100

    Optical Drive : LG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD - $17

    Total : $1129 after rebates
  10. Some really good ideas in that build, the mother board especially looks like a good compromise between the pro and extreme4. The OCZ's are quite a bit cheaper than other ssds but they get a few complaints; what's your experience been with them?
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