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Gaming PC <$1000

I'm planning on upgrading my current build. I'll be reusing the following:

Case: Antec Three Hundred (currently only has two fans, a 120mm rear fan and a 140mm top fan)
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W (bought back in 06/2009)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s (also bought back in 06/2009)
Monitor: Asus 21.5" w/ speakers

This is what I'm thinking of upgrading to:

CPU: AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz - $210
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103961)

HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus - $26
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065)

MOBO: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ - $190
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131736)

GPU: XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit, 2 cards for CrossFireX - $340 (2 cards)
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150561)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $45
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314)

Case Fans: Antec TRICOOL 120mm Case Fan - $20 for 2 fans to add to the front of the case

Storage: I'm on the fence on adding an SSD... for what I need, the 500GB HDD I already have is fine. Though down the road I figure I will need some more capacity, so should I go ahead and add an SSD now as a boot drive and free up some space on my HDD, or should I wait for prices to go down on SSD? i.e. does anyone know if prices on SSD are going to come down anytime soon?

Total: $830

A few questions:
Will my 650w PSU be able to handle this build, or should I consider upgrading my PSU as well?
If I do decide to upgrade my storage, should I go for a 1TB HDD or a 120GB SSD? Will I really notice much of a performance boost with an SSD?
I'm planning on doing some mild CPU overclocking, will the Cooler Master Hyper 212+, as well as adding a couple of fans to the case, do the trick?
What do you think of these components in general? I want to stick to AMD, do you think this is a good AMD build?
18 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gaming 1000
  1. - Why want to stick with AMD?

    - What will be your primary usage for your pc?
    In general:
    If is gaming, I would recommend intel sandy bridge, but since you don't want it I would recommend a Phenom 2 X4. It games faster than this CPU you selected (besides it's slower too than i5-2500)
  2. AMD is all about doing Video Encode and other stuff except those Quad AMD CPU which is good for Gaming... Intel on the other side, is way better at gaming... It was proven that the AMD FX reach the highest clock BUT is too slow for it record, Intel at same clock can defeat it on any bench or games... Intel single core is a 3rd faster than AMD single core...

    i5-2500k $220
    Asus Maximus $170
    since you have so much money left, get a bigger CPU cooler such as
    Zalman CNPS12X for $100
    or better RAM
    2x4GB 2133MHz $100-$150
  3. vitornob:
    No particular reason except for brand loyalty / AMD tends to be the better value. All my builds have been AMD builds in the past... But I guess I can be convinced to give Intel a try if you think it'll make a better gaming build.

    And yeah, I'll be using this computer mostly for gaming.
  4. wnb said:
    vitornob:
    No particular reason except for brand loyalty / AMD tends to be the better value. All my builds have been AMD builds in the past... But I guess I can be convinced to give Intel a try if you think it'll make a better gaming build.

    And yeah, I'll be using this computer mostly for gaming.


    It WILL BE a better gaming machine. Check the cpu best buy from this month. They recommends the i5-2500k
  5. So, based on feedback so far, I've done the following changes:

    Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2133 - $100

    MOBO: ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $170

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz - $225

    Total is now $880.

    btw, what's the difference between these two i5-2500k? The only difference in description is one is Intel HD Graphics 3000 and the other is Intel HD Graphics 2000, whats the deal with that?

    1) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
    2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115073

    Also, I noticed that the Asus Maximus doesnt support dual x16 PCIe (only dual x8), while the Asus 990fx does support dual x16... are there any LGA 1155 boards that support dual x16? Also, should I consider going with an nvidia GPU instead of an AMD GPU if I'm doing an intel build?
  6. lol you still got $120 lol... get a faster GPU like Radeon 6950 "2GB VRAM" and unlock it to be a 6970...
    The different is just the K on the 2500...
    2500k = OverClockable to as high as you want but there's a max...
    2500 = UnOverClockable but probably 100-200MHz

    EDIT: If your OCing your 2500k, you should look up about the 2500k OCing so you dont struggle when you get the computer build and say "It's not being stable" lol...
  7. wnb said:
    So, based on feedback so far, I've done the following changes:

    Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2133 - $100

    MOBO: ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $170

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz - $225

    Total is now $880.

    btw, what's the difference between these two i5-2500k? The only difference in description is one is Intel HD Graphics 3000 and the other is Intel HD Graphics 2000, whats the deal with that?

    1) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
    2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115073

    Also, I noticed that the Asus Maximus doesnt support dual x16 PCIe (only dual x8), while the Asus 990fx does support dual x16... are there any LGA 1155 boards that support dual x16? Also, should I consider going with an nvidia GPU instead of an AMD GPU if I'm doing an intel build?


    The difference is the the 'K' series is unlocked, in other words you can overclock the i5-2500k while the i5-2500 has no overclocking capabilities. If you chose not to overclock then I would recommend a 2400 without a third party cooler, however my overall recommendation would be to buy a 2500k anyway. As for the GPU, the 6870 is a good choice, but if you want a little for performance go for a 560 ti.
  8. Quote:
    are there any LGA 1155 boards that support dual x16? Also, should I consider going with an nvidia GPU instead of an AMD GPU if I'm doing an intel build?

    This,
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157269

    Currently the "cheapest" one to give x16/x16 config. lol :p
    Side note, there's not much performance gain against x8/x8, so save bucks.
  9. naqqash said:
    Quote:
    are there any LGA 1155 boards that support dual x16? Also, should I consider going with an nvidia GPU instead of an AMD GPU if I'm doing an intel build?

    This,
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157269

    Currently the "cheapest" one to give x16/x16 config. lol :p
    Side note, there's not much performance gain against x8/x8, so save bucks.


    Damn that's an expensive board... thanks for the info, I'll just stick to the dual x8 then :D
  10. the differen't between dual x8 and x16 isn't very much nor even at x8 + x16...
  11. Yes, but it's good thing to have for the heck of curiosity. But that when budget allows, that's the only thing I love in new AMD 990FX chipsets. Anyway..

    All the best, an advice don't go for ROG budget board get Z68 Extreme3 GEN3 or even a GA-Z68XP-UD3/UD3P the choice is yours all are good and are ATX.
  12. that means he would have to upgrade to ivy bridge for full compability with GEN3 PCIe
  13. Best answer
    Bulldozer's current chips are best avoided for gaming at least for now. In any case, over 800 bucks, you're seriously getting into Intel territory. And that's for the whole build. Also, are you sure you want to start off with 2XGPUs?

    Also, for "minor overclocking" as you put it, you need a board half as expensive. You'll have absolutely no use for a 200 dollar board.

    So, basically you need CPU, MOBO, RAM, HSF, GPU and PSU depending on teh GPU choice, right? Your OP seems to indicate that you already have a 650 Watt unit.

    To answer your questions -

    1. Yes, but personally, if my above statement is true, I won't be going the Bulldozer + 2X6870 way tbh.

    2. 1TB or 120GB will depend on your personal needs. It's very difficult for anybody to say from the outside. It will basically depend on how much of a media junkie you are. If you think you can wait for the better part of a year without a lotta storage, then yes, an SSD is absolutely the way to go at this stage. That's what I'll do personally.

    3. Yes.

    4. The components are plenty good. Nice brands, nice specs, but your budget is crying out for a high end Intel build. Just change the CPU down to a Phenom quad unless you plan to run a lot of multi-threaded CPU intensive apps, of which, PC games are not. In any case, the new chips are just not as fast as the older ones.

    For most purposes - including gaming - an i5 will annihilate the BD 8-core chips sadly.

    So either drop down to the Phenom IIX4 9xx + $100 AM3+ board or get the i5-2500K + Z68 with the GTX 580 (650 Watt/850+ for SLI complience) or 69xx CrossFire if you're comfy with the idea of that straight out of the box.
  14. calguyhunk said:
    Bulldozer's current chips are best avoided for gaming at least for now. In any case, over 800 bucks, you're seriously getting into Intel territory. And that's for the whole build. Also, are you sure you want to start off with 2XGPUs?

    Also, for "minor overclocking" as you put it, you need a board half as expensive. You'll have absolutely no use for a 200 dollar board.

    So, basically you need CPU, MOBO, RAM, HSF, GPU and PSU depending on teh GPU choice, right? Your OP seems to indicate that you already have a 650 Watt unit.

    To answer your questions -

    1. Yes, but personally, if my above statement is true, I won't be going the Bulldozer + 2X6870 way tbh.

    2. 1TB or 120GB will depend on your personal needs. It's very difficult for anybody to say from the outside. It will basically depend on how much of a media junkie you are. If you think you can wait for the better part of a year without a lotta storage, then yes, an SSD is absolutely the way to go at this stage. That's what I'll do personally.

    3. Yes.

    4. The components are plenty good. Nice brands, nice specs, but your budget is crying out for a high end Intel build. Just change the CPU down to a Phenom quad unless you plan to run a lot of multi-threaded CPU intensive apps, of which, PC games are not. In any case, the new chips are just not as fast as the older ones.

    For most purposes - including gaming - an i5 will annihilate the BD 8-core chips sadly.

    So either drop down to the Phenom IIX4 9xx + $100 AM3+ board or get the i5-2500K + Z68 with the GTX 580 (650 Watt/850+ for SLI complience) or 69xx CrossFire if you're comfy with the idea of that straight out of the box.


    Thanks for addressing all my questions and for all the great information. It looks like I'll be going with an Intel build based on all the comments... And for my budget's sake, maybe it is a better idea to start off with one solid GPU and upgrade to SLI down the road.

    Again, thanks for all the useful feedback, I'll tinker around a bit with my build plan and post an updated list shortly.
  15. Best answer selected by wnb.
  16. Updated build:

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz - $225
    (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072)

    MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $170
    (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128506)

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2133 - $100
    (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231476)

    HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus - $26
    (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065)

    GPU: EVGA DS Superclocked 015-P3-1587-AR GeForce GTX 580 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 - $500
    (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130658)

    Case Fans: Antec 120mm Case Fan - $20 for 2 fans to add to the front of the case

    Total: $1041

    Any thoughts? I've never spent more than $200 on a GPU before... hopefully it'll be worth dedicating half my budget to :)
  17. wnb said:


    Any thoughts? I've never spent more than $200 on a GPU before... hopefully it'll be worth dedicating half my budget to :)


    You will be future proofing your pc buy spending a bit extra on your gpu. Besides the GTX580 is an amazing card, I know from experience.
  18. wnb said:
    MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $170
    (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128506)

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2133 - $100
    (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231476)
    Mobo: Newer Gen3 boards with native PCIe 3.0.

    Option 1. $190 ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3

    Option 2. Cheaper but feature rich $125 ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

    RAM: The sweet spot for SB is 1600Mhz CL9. While speed is more important than latency, anything over 1600 won't be worth the extra money anyways because of minimal real world performance increase. For the same price, you'll make your rig more future friendly by getting 16GB or save $$ by dropping down to a 1600Mhz CL9 kit.

    TBH, there's no real world gaming benefit from much beyond ~4GB, but seeing as RAM is at it's cheapest it has been for some time, won't hurt to get some more ;)

    Option 1. $45 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 - More than enough for now.

    Option 2. $90 CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 - Won't need RAM upgrade for years to come.
    wnb said:
    I've never spent more than $200 on a GPU before... hopefully it'll be worth dedicating half my budget to :)
    If you feel uncomfortable spending so much on a single GPU, you can drop down to a more mainstream GTX 570/Radeon HD 6970 for now and that should be good enough for almost all current games. What's your monitor resolution anyways?
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