Suggestion for $1000-$1200 Gaming PC

Hi everyone,

I am looking for your help & suggestion about my build, I am looking to build this PC within this month or in the coming month.

My budget is around $1,000-$1,200 (OS, Monitors, Keyboard & Mouse are excluded).

I am new in PC building thus I need some suggestions from you guys about the system that I'm gonna build.

I have asked around about the possible specification that I will get within this budget and they told me that I can get:

- Intel i5 / i7 processor - sandy bridge
- 2x2GB RAM or 2x4GB RAM
- 1TB HDD
- Geforce 560Ti / HD6950 equivalent video card

However I'm not sure about which brand to choose for the motherboard, videocard, RAM, HDD, PSU, casing, etc.

I need your suggestion for the most optimum PC specification that I can get within this budget.

Moreover, I have read a few articles and forums about the idea of using SSD to operate OS & some basic software (Office, etc.), while playing games from the normal HDD. Will it make a big difference? Should I really get an SSD with my budget?

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your help.
18 answers Last reply
More about suggestion 1000 1200 gaming
  1. Thermaltake VL90001W2Z Armor A90 Black ATX Case - $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133176&Tpk=Thermaltake%20VL90001W2Z

    ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 - $154.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) - $219.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm – $29.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $106.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441

    Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" - $54.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148697

    Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $52.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220558

    GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $219.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125401

    Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Bronze W0382RU ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $79.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153136

    LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive - $17.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106276
  2. Emelth said:


    Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $52.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220558




    definitely NOT this RAM
    Sandy Bridge will live long and prosper with 1.5 volt RAM

    The system builder marathon $1000 build is a good reference
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-cpu-ssd,3027.html

    If you need to save $25 then cut the RAM to 2 x 2 gig . It wont affect gaming performance
  3. Depending on what games he is playing more ram is better then a little, also enlighten me on the 1.5V vs 1.65V,
  4. Emelth said:
    Depending on what games he is playing more ram is better then a little, also enlighten me on the 1.5V vs 1.65V,

    The only game really going over 4 gigs right now is metro 2033
  5. Well since he didnt list any games since I play WoW a lot which for us (more RAM the better) I kinda just gave him more RAM just incase. Also his price range is from 1,000-1,2000. This current setup cost $1,027.90, what else can we upgrade or readvise to make better.
  6. Wow!

    Thanks for the reply everyone.

    I mainly play games such as PES2012, COD, and Battlefield, and I am really looking forward to play the next Battlefield 3 on my PC. I also use the PC for 3D engineering software such as AutoCAD, Solidworks, and ArcGIS. I also use it occasionally for photo / video editing.

    Regarding the SSD, I wonder if it is really necessary to have one, and how much it will influence the performance of my pc? If I were to opt whether to use an SSD, upgrading my processor (to i7 i guess?), upgrading my GPU, or upgrading my motherboard, which one will give me the most optimum performance?

    I used Gigabyte's motherboard & Sapphire ATi GPU on my previous PC and I am quite satisfied with the performance. If I want to change the 560 to an equivalent ATi GPU, will that give me a cheaper price? Do you have any suggestion if the ASRock motherboard has an equivalent model to Gigabyte's?

    Moreover, the system proposed to me will cost about $1030 which will leave me with about another $170 to spend. If I want to spend the whole $170, which part should I upgrade to get the most optimum performance?

    One more thing, I have no preference on pc casing, as for me a normal casing will be sufficient as long as it possess enough fan to make sure the hot air coming out. Is there any other choice than the "Thermaltake VL90001W2Z Armor A90 Black ATX Case" that will cost me less while maintaining the same performance for air cooling?

    Thanks a lot for the suggestion :D

    I really appreciate that.
  7. Awesome good the more RAM is good for you since your designing as well, god im glad i made that call...

    Besides that putting the OS and or games on the SSD will greatly boost your loading times.

    i5 is currently the best CPU for gaming, the GPU if you want you can switch it to an ATI since the board is SLI and CrossFire ready.
  8. If you want to play games with better graphics, spend more on graphics. If you edit video, get an i7.

    The SSD will basically just help with load times for programs installed on it. Otherwise, it won't make your system do anything faster. I'd probably get one if I was building a new computer today and money wasn't really limiting.

    For video editing, it's a big deal that you don't get a P67 motherboard like the one linked above. You need to get a Z68 with Virtu.
  9. Emelth said:
    Depending on what games he is playing more ram is better then a little, also enlighten me on the 1.5V vs 1.65V,


    There is no point using 8 gig of RAM for gaming , let alone 16
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,2778-8.html

    RAM needs to be 1.5 volt or less so it doesnt damage the cpu
  10. Outlander_04 said:
    There is no point using 8 gig of RAM for gaming , let alone 16
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,2778-8.html

    RAM needs to be 1.5 volt or less so it doesnt damage the cpu


    Ah okay didnt know it damages the CPU if higher then 1.5V.

    dalauder said:
    If you want to play games with better graphics, spend more on graphics. If you edit video, get an i7.

    The SSD will basically just help with load times for programs installed on it. Otherwise, it won't make your system do anything faster. I'd probably get one if I was building a new computer today and money wasn't really limiting.

    For video editing, it's a big deal that you don't get a P67 motherboard like the one linked above. You need to get a Z68 with Virtu.


    Agree, if you want better gaming go with what I said but if you want to do more Video editting and what not go with the above quote. Dont forget that even if you go with my build you still have extra money left over to put towards getting a better GPU or whatever you want
  11. Also found a great website about RAM and how much you would need based on waht you do

    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/ram5.htm

    One part I would like to quote from it...

    "It's been said that you can never have enough money, and the same holds true for RAM, especially if you do a lot of graphics-intensive work or gaming. Next to the CPU itself, RAM is the most important factor in computer performance."
  12. Emelth said:
    Also found a great website about RAM and how much you would need based on waht you do

    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/ram5.htm

    One part I would like to quote from it...

    "It's been said that you can never have enough money, and the same holds true for RAM, especially if you do a lot of graphics-intensive work or gaming. Next to the CPU itself, RAM is the most important factor in computer performance."


    So which type of RAM should I get for my system? What is the difference between 1.5 and 1.6? Is it the frequency (1600 and 1333)?

    I'm getting a lil bit confused here :o

    After some consideration, I think I will build my system around $1000-$1100 so that I have some spare money to buy the OS and accessories.

    So what do you think I can add up / upgrade with the remaining $70?
  13. Emelth said:
    Also found a great website about RAM and how much you would need based on waht you do

    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/ram5.htm

    One part I would like to quote from it...

    "It's been said that you can never have enough money, and the same holds true for RAM, especially if you do a lot of graphics-intensive work or gaming. Next to the CPU itself, RAM is the most important factor in computer performance."
    So...you do realize you're quoting a website from 2002, right? Notice he acts like, "You'd want 256MB or RAM in your computer." And here we are talking about 8GB of RAM. That doesn't apply because the systems we're using today usually don't use more than 2GB of RAM. Notice he says that a high-end graphics card for gaming should have at least 32MB of RAM? Low-end cards have 512MB now. If you want to provide information, try using a tech website as a source rather than a 9-year old Layman's guide.

    A better way to look at it is...if you will only need more than 2GB of RAM 10% of the time, then it's worth more ram for that 10% when you run a RAM intensive program. If you need more than 4GB of RAM 0.1% of the time for the twice a year you run Photoshop on a 20MP photo, then it's probably not worth it. And if you find that your computing needs change away from gaming, then add more RAM. But if your system is only using 3GB of RAM, then the extra 5GB you have won't speed anything up.
  14. ivandjaw said:
    So which type of RAM should I get for my system? What is the difference between 1.5 and 1.6? Is it the frequency (1600 and 1333)?

    I'm getting a lil bit confused here :o

    After some consideration, I think I will build my system around $1000-$1100 so that I have some spare money to buy the OS and accessories.

    So what do you think I can add up / upgrade with the remaining $70?
    If you want us to recommend a full build, fill this out: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice

    If you just want a good computer, you don't have to spend $1100. I built mine for $700 or so. Do you have a Micro Center nearby, that will save you a bundle?

    As far as RAM...lower voltage can be easier on your motherboard and CPU and it's worth getting the 1.5V since it is common nowadays. Here's everything you need to know about what speed you should get (1600 vs 1333): http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/sandy-bridge-ddr3_7.html#sect0
    Skip to the performance benchmarks if you don't want to read. In general (due to pricing), most people recommend no slower than 1600MHz Cas Latency 9.
  15. dalauder said:
    If you want us to recommend a full build, fill this out: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice

    If you just want a good computer, you don't have to spend $1100. I built mine for $700 or so. Do you have a Micro Center nearby, that will save you a bundle?

    As far as RAM...lower voltage can be easier on your motherboard and CPU and it's worth getting the 1.5V since it is common nowadays. Here's everything you need to know about what speed you should get (1600 vs 1333): http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/sandy-bridge-ddr3_7.html#sect0
    Skip to the performance benchmarks if you don't want to read. In general (due to pricing), most people recommend no slower than 1600MHz Cas Latency 9.


    great, i will use that form.

    sorry i'm new here and i think i kind of miss look that form or something, i should have seen that before I really post this request :o :o
  16. I tried to edit my first post but the forum just doesn't allow me to do that. Should I post a new thread in the forum or can someone help me to move this form to my first post?

    Thanks!! :D


    Hi everyone,

    I am looking for your help & suggestion about my build, I am looking to build this PC within this month or in the coming month.

    My budget is around $1,000-$1,200 (OS, Monitors, Keyboard & Mouse are excluded).

    I am new in PC building thus I need some suggestions from you guys about the system that I'm gonna build.


    Approximate Purchase Date: These 2 months

    Budget Range: $1,000-$1,200

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, CAD Software, Surfing the internet

    Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS)

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

    Country of Origin: USA

    Parts Preferences:
    - I prefer Intel's processor, however I'm not a big fans of cosmetic, thus LED and some other fancy case is not necessary. As long as the tower has enough fan to circulate the hot air out of my system.
    - I think I will only need HDD with the size of 500GB - 750GB because I own 2 external drives (500GB each) thus I think it will be more than sufficient to store data.
    - After some consideration, I think 4GB of RAM should be more than sufficient for my need, however if the price difference to upgrade the RAM to 8GB is insignificant, I may change my mind.
    - SSD is not necessary, but if there's a good and cheap SSD it will be a great addition.

    Overclocking: Maybe (Trying to exploring more about Overclocking)

    SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, in the future if budget allows

    Monitor Resolution: no idea, but I'm thinking to get either a Samsung / LG 23" LED/LCD monitor

    Additional Comments: a quiet PC will be great.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here are some parts that I have chosen (based on the recommendation from this forum):

    Motherboard : ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265
    (still open for revision of better board)

    Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
    (after some review that I read, this is the most suitable and most optimum processor for my need, isn't it?)

    Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102948
    or
    GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814162074
    (not sure which one, but I'll go with sapphire ati's if it is sufficient enough to run my requirement in a good quality.


    However I'm not sure about which brand to choose for RAM, HDD, PSU, casing, etc.

    I need your suggestion for the most optimum PC specification that I can get within this budget.

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your help.
  17. I'd start a new thread and post the link at the bottom of this one so anyone here that's interested can join.
  18. dalauder said:
    I'd start a new thread and post the link at the bottom of this one so anyone here that's interested can join.


    Hi, thanks for the advise.

    I have created a new one

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/323517-31-gaming

    and I finally decided to squeeze the budget within $1,000 (the lesser the better)

    Thanks for the help :D
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