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Looking for some advice on a $1000-$1500 build

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November 3, 2011 4:33:54 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better)): November-December 2011 (waiting for BF/CM deals)

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates: $1000-$1500 before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies): Gaming only. For everything else I work from a laptop.

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**: Potentially I can reuse my computer case (a dusty 2008 Rosewill ATX). Potentially I will keep my 1440x900 monitor.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: newegg.com, ncix.com -- to show us selection & pricing): Any website with decent return policy in case parts arrive DOA.

Country of Origin: (e.g.: Grand Fenwick) : United States

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to use an AMD CPU & Biostar mobo with a 24" LCD and full tower case): None

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe: Maybe (how bad is micro stuttering an issue?)

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200): Currently I have an old monitor at 1440x900. If I do upgrade, I will likely look for a 1920x1080.

Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC). Looking for a PC that will provide a good price/performance ratio for gaming. I have built two systems in the past. The first one I tried when I was 13. It turned out to be a brick and I never figured out why. The second one I built in 2008. That was a success and has lasted me for a good three years until now.

What I am looking for with this post are mainly advice on two issues: (1) how to adjust the components within the budget to avoid bottlenecks in the CPU/GPU/Memory; and (2) how to avoid any incompatible parts or power issues.

Currently I have in mind a build like this:

-Solid PSU (corsair?) (approx. $120)
-Core i5-2500K (approx. $220)
-Z68 motherboard in the lower budget end (approx. $130), although I'd love to hear advice on how a $200+ z68 affects gaming performance.
-GTX 570 (approx. $350)
-DDR3-2000 memory @8GB (approx. $100).
-cheap 7200 HDD (approx. $80).



Does anyone see any immediate problems with this kind of setup? Are there any places where a few hundred dollars would net noticeable gains? Based upon what I've seen, it seems like tackling on another $150 to go to a GTX 580 might be beneficial, but again I'm not sure how that would impact my other parts such as the CPU and the PSU. Any advice would be appreciated!

More about : advice 1000 1500 build

November 3, 2011 6:39:30 PM

If you want a cheap HDD, buy it ASAP. Prices are skyrocketing because of flooding of factories in Thailand. Prices are not likely to come down to normal levels for months so buy a "cheap" HDD now while they are still cheap.
November 3, 2011 7:17:03 PM

For the motherboard I would go with a ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 for $125. It is SLI capable, a capable overclocker, and has all the features you'd need. You can probably get a better overclock with a better board, but as always there is a bit of luck involved too. Having used mine I love it, but I need to RMA it due to bad capacitors/VRMs (it makes a high pitched squealing noise as soon as the PSU is plugged in and turned on). Considering it is the first faulty part I've bought in the last 4 complete builds I can't complain too much.

I'd go down to DDR3-1600 CL9 1.5V 2x4GB for $50 or less (I think I paid 40 on sale). Put it toward your new monitor fund. You won't even notice the difference in speed. Why in the world would you buy a $350 monitor and game on 1440x900.

For the PSU a Corsair TX650 should have you covered if you don't SLI. I think it costs like $95 or so.

CPU Cooler - CoolerMaster Hyper 212 + for $25. Why buy a Z motherboard with a K chip if you aren't going to overclock a bit. You don't have to do anything crazy, but you can hit 4GHz no problem and most chips can do 4.5GHz.

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November 4, 2011 12:34:13 PM

Thanks for the advice so far! I'll keep in mind to step down to DDR3-1600 and try to look for a new monitor.

As far as hard drives are concerned, do you know if SSD are similarly affected by the Thailand flood? I've never looked at SSDs in the past so I wouldn't know what a "normal" price range is for them, but if SSDs are not extra expensive right now I may just get a small (<=120 GB SSD) and live with that until the HDDs are down again. As I said before, this system is pretty much gaming only.

Thanks again for your input!
November 4, 2011 12:39:43 PM

SSD prices have not been affected, if you want one go with the Crucial M4 they are very good and very reliable.
November 4, 2011 1:48:03 PM

What some people do is get a 64 gb ssd to run the OS and get a 1 tb or 500 gb 7200rpm hd to store all data. This may be a good combo for you.
For hds, Amazon is the cheapest place to get them at the moment. They have not adjusted many of their prices yet and you can get a Seagate Barracuda 1 TB for $74.95. The same hd would cost $140 on newegg at the moment. These deals will not last long though.
SSD prices are likely to remain stable because they are not manufactured in Thailand. I have read that they may go up a bit because hd availability is going down rapidly and people may turn to ssds instead driving up demand and consequently the price. But theis will be nowhere as dramatic as with hds.
November 4, 2011 9:05:34 PM

roblaw42 said:
What some people do is get a 64 gb ssd to run the OS and get a 1 tb or 500 gb 7200rpm hd to store all data. This may be a good combo for you.
For hds, Amazon is the cheapest place to get them at the moment. They have not adjusted many of their prices yet and you can get a Seagate Barracuda 1 TB for $74.95. The same hd would cost $140 on newegg at the moment. These deals will not last long though.
SSD prices are likely to remain stable because they are not manufactured in Thailand. I have read that they may go up a bit because hd availability is going down rapidly and people may turn to ssds instead driving up demand and consequently the price. But theis will be nowhere as dramatic as with hds.



Yes, I have heard about the SSD/HDD combo as well and I think that may be something I will do. My only worry is that I'll buy a harddrive/SSD right now and then miss out on good deals during thanksgiving, when I plan on doing the rest of my component shopping.

Also TIL Microcenter has a combo deal for a i5-2500K and Gigabyte Z68 motherboard for $220. Is that a good deal to snag up now or should I wait for Intel to release the new Ivy-Bridge line of processors and the impending price drop on Sandy Bridge?
November 4, 2011 9:22:51 PM

Ivy Bridge is not coming out until spring so I would only wait if I REALLY want Ivy Bridge. Don't wait that long just for the price drop for Sandy Bridge, it won't be worth it.
You can wait on the SSD because there will probably be a good deal on it.
Do not wait on the HDD, there will be no sale during Thanksgiving that is better than the price I listed above. Hard drives are unlikely to have very good sales prices this year so buy now.
The CPU/Mobo combo looks too good to be true. Make sure you look up the mobo on newegg and read the feedback to make sure it is good and compatible with everything else you want. If it is good, that looks like an awesome deal because the mobo is essentially free.
November 4, 2011 9:53:21 PM

The only problem I see with that mobo is that it does not support USB 3.0. I don't know if you want/need this feature but the 3rd deal to the right has a mobo with USB 3.0. This is just something to consider but is by no means mandatory.
!