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Inexperienced PC builder, hardcore gamer, please give insight.

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November 30, 2011 5:00:24 PM

Hey guys and gals. I am the typical gamer dude but I unfortunately took up other hobbies/interests that didn't revolve around computer building. I wish I had the time to learn more about it as it is a great skill to have under your belt. Anyway, I'm trying to make a gaming PC that can handle the newer stuff on ultra settings. Things like Skyrim, SWTOR, Diablo III, etc. If anyone can throw me together a rig in their spare time I would be greatly appreciative.


Approximate Purchase Date: Between Christmas Eve and New Years.

Budget Range: $800 to $1000 (This is debatable since I have no clue on how to range quality and performance in price.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Strictly gaming performance, MMORPG's specifically, and the occasional web-browsing.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, headset, mouse, all the accessories.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: My brother and friends have used Newegg in the past so I'd assume to stick with them considering it is what I am familiar with.

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: I have no real preference, again because of my ignorance.

Overclocking: I have heard things about overclocking, but I'm unsure how to do it. So perhaps a maybe would fit here.

SLI or Crossfire: Again, unsure. My brother has used crossfire in the past and had success with it. That is all my experience with the two.

Monitor Resolution: 1440 x 900 (wide)

Additional Comments: -IMPORTANT- I wish to purchase individual parts over pre-built rigs because I have heard it is considerably cheaper to do it this way. I will have my friend build the computer with me so I can learn how and he is very experienced with these things. If this is a myth and buying a pre-built rig can be worth the value, I am interested.

Thanks so much for the help folks!
November 30, 2011 5:22:22 PM

I think that prebuilt maybe cheaper and easier for you but with building it yourself you have total control over the parts that are to be used. I also think that your budget is a little low if you intend to build a high performance gaming rig. I'm not saying to spend a couple thousand but $1500 would be a resonable budget.

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme 1091LQ Desktop PC Intel Core i7 960(3.20GHz) 12GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 6870 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
$1349.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is an example of a prebuilt and the good part is you can add another 6870 for crossfire if you wish.
November 30, 2011 5:26:22 PM

Thanks so much for your input bud. Learning more and more as the day goes on. ;P I'll edit that right away.
Related resources
November 30, 2011 5:33:30 PM

I don't agree with the above statement that you need to spend 1500 , not even sure I agree you need to spend 1000
I put this together in about 5 minutes with out any problem or searching for good deals really and came up with about $889 before rebates and can basically max almost any thing now or in the next couple months coming out.

CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CASE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Let me make a huge disclaimer * First off i didn't look for any deals , second I did not go with any junk brands used ASUS ,XFX, GSKILL ,Intell and western digital and when you figure in that HDD prices have almost tripled (a 1 tb cavair black is 250$ I got one about 2 months back for like 75$) even with all that I didn't even hit 900$


November 30, 2011 5:35:39 PM

Your budget is low for a good gaming rig, but I recommend that you build it yourself. You can build a better rig for less than the CyberpowerPC rig.
November 30, 2011 5:36:05 PM

Let me point out also that the prebuilt that is shown up there has way to much ram any thing over 8gb is effectively wasted money , has less storage and a cpu that you wont really see much difference with in games for 450$ more just to give you a idea of the premium there is on prebuilts.
November 30, 2011 5:38:16 PM

Illfindu's suggestion is good.
November 30, 2011 5:39:55 PM

Thanks again so much for the comments and suggestions guys, trying to soak it all in at the moment. Any other builds are ideas are highly appreciated! I'll check in on these few that you guys set up for me.
November 30, 2011 5:41:03 PM

mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $124.99 ($114.99 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think this mobo would be better since it has PCI-e 3.0 so you can upgrade in the future.

*and I think Illfindu pretty much listed the perfect setup, those parts are everything you need. If you want a larger case maybe look at the Cooler Master HAF 932 or HAF X.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <- HAF X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <- HAF 932

November 30, 2011 5:49:44 PM

If you let some of our other members who have a little more time right now or I can do it when i get home we could probably get you more power for probably less money with some searching. As a side note can I say again OMG hdd prices i knew it was coming but holy crap 339$ for a 3tb seagate WOW.
November 30, 2011 5:50:15 PM

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K $224.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $124.99 and a $10 rebate for $114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
$129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F90GBGT-BK 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 012-P3-2068-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 448 Cores Classified 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $299.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ZALMAN CNPS12X 120mm Long Life Bearing High Performance Triple Fan CPU Cooler
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12LS28 OEM LightScribe Support - OEM $53.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model GH24LS70 LightScribe Support $20.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now this is an example of a buiold it your self gaming rig that will do very nicely in all games and the price as shown is , $1424.89. If you want to add another video card for SLI then add $300 to that amount.






November 30, 2011 5:50:18 PM

Thanks so much Bizzy. A question for you though. The case that Illfindu suggested is $59 compared to the larger case you suggested at $149 to 179. Am I paying for only the size of the case or is there a downfall for the considerably cheaper one? I would like to stay away from water cooling. (Not sure if thats relevant to the price difference.)
November 30, 2011 5:52:06 PM

Double post. @Inzone, looks pretty darn cool. I had no idea the prices could be so drastically different! Shows my inexperience with this for sure. I thought this was gonna be easy. ;P
November 30, 2011 5:54:21 PM

I have the Haf X and I LOVE it really cooled down my system a breeze to work in study as a rock pricey though. Bizzys mother board pick is a little better then mine personally I would stick with ASUS but there's not much difference between the two brands hes right though try and get PCI-E 3.0 if you can. Even if you deiced you like the parts I picked look around a little some times you can get a little better prices on some of that stuff although I wouldn't change the CPU and don't down grade the GPU you can go with nivida but don't get some thing less powerful and o DONT skimp on the PSU might not seem important but it is very much so.
November 30, 2011 6:00:16 PM

That is a quirk with this site as the last post on a page is ususlly posted again on the next page. These posts are all examples of what you can do with computer building and you have a variety of components to choose from. My posts are purly examples of what you can get and for what price , i don't tell people what they should get because in the end you are the one paying for it and building it so it is your choice as to what parts to use. Like you said in an earlier post you had no idea and what you have to do is a lot of research to come up with "your build".
November 30, 2011 6:02:40 PM

Thank you Inzone, and everyone else for putting up with me. ;P I came here looking for some examples I can branch off of and thats exactly what I got. I'm gonna take this knowledge with me and I'll check back when I figure out exactly what I want for some well deserved criticism.
November 30, 2011 6:04:47 PM

Yea I wouldn't skimp on the PSU or case. I also recently purchased a HAF X (haven't received it yet, estimate is tomorrow) and can't wait to start building in it. It has pretty much every option you would want in a case: motherboard tray, fan filters, extra room for radiators, removable drive bays, the list goes on. You pay for what you get in the case honestly, I wouldn't skimp on it at all.

I would also suggest this PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has enough power if you choose to go SLi in the future or want to OC some things a bit.
November 30, 2011 6:05:03 PM

you are paying MOSTLY for size there are some things like USB 3 built in and alot of the price is in the details parts and hinges in side are metal not plastic , more space sturdier construction.
November 30, 2011 6:07:39 PM

Yes that would be the thing to do look around at different sites and come up with a build and then post it for us to look at and see how good a job you do. Keep in mind that the examples used today are from the Sandy Bridge 1155 socket , the 2011 cpu's have been released and are more powerful but also that makes everything more expensive.
November 30, 2011 6:12:02 PM

Yes please do post up your build after you're done, I am also building a new rig and I'll post screens if I can get it up and running fast enough.
November 30, 2011 6:17:15 PM

Last thing I intend to do is thread jack but i do have some questions about the approach to a build right now that may help the op and myself...

1) given the prices of ssd to hard drives is getting a larger (>60gb) ssd to put the OS and everything else on while waiting for hdd prices to fall an acceptable approach?

I personally got a lower rpm hdd on BF and was wondering if ssd + 2tb @5900rpm would leave me gimped vs flat out overpaying for a reg hdd atm.

2) In looking at an 1155 Mobo, and using a 6850/6870 gpu now and then adding a second if need be later...how do you evaluate the PCI-e slots for crossfire or sli later on vs costs now?

"2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE4: single at x16 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4), or dual at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4)) (PCI Express 3.0 with Intel Ivy Bridge CPU, PCI Express 2.0 with Intel Sandy Bridge CPU)"
November 30, 2011 6:21:25 PM

im an amd fan but the I3-2100, and the 2500k are the 2 cpus for gaming. get at least a 6950 1gb. look for 120gb ssd on sale. read up on wire management and spend the extra money on a modular psu. ram speed is just marketing, 1333 is just fine. if you feel like spending alot on cpu cooling, get the h70 and use a push/pull set up after you read up on it.
November 30, 2011 6:23:11 PM

Well right now the prices of regular hard drives are ridiculous since the floods in Thailand pretty much wiped out all their stock, so retailers here had to rely on their own stock. This is probably the worst time to buy a regular hard drive.

I'm not really sure I understand your second question, but getting that ASRock mobo I linked above isn't even really that much more expensive than a PCI-e 2.0 board, if at all. I would get PCI-e 3.0 only if you plan to upgrade to the newer gen GPU's that will be coming out next year, otherwise you won't be able to take advantage of the speed increases.
November 30, 2011 6:24:24 PM

oh i have had extreme touble with blue ray software and amd/ati cards. just watch blue ray on your tv.
November 30, 2011 7:19:18 PM

Looking forward to seeing what system you come up with.
November 30, 2011 7:41:47 PM

I'm inclined to agree with illfindu, especially about not needing to spend lots of money. The current astronomical prices of hard drives threaten that sentiment, but an 80GB-120GB SSD with a less expensive but slower "green" drive for data storage should still fit in a reasonable budget. Also, look for combos. I've seen a few pop up (they tend not to last) where you can get a 500GB HDD cheaply if you buy it with something else, e.g. RAM. BTW, there is a "Shellshocker" on RAM coming up in a few hours.
Check out Rosewill for cases. I've used one or two of at least half a dozen different models, and had no trouble from any of them. By contrast, I gave up on Coolermaster due to persistent (but minor) quality issues; and that was BEFORE I realized that they are a dishonest company and do not deserve anyone's business. HardwareSecrets found that some of their PSUs have liar labels on them, or claim protection circuits that are actually missing. Even if they made an absolutely pristine case or cooler, I wouldn't buy it because I don't care to support dishonest companies. Fortunately they have competitors who offer equivalent products, so you need not take a hit in the wallet for not buying their stuff.
November 30, 2011 8:52:18 PM

inzone said:
I think that prebuilt maybe cheaper and easier for you but with building it yourself you have total control over the parts that are to be used. I also think that your budget is a little low if you intend to build a high performance gaming rig. I'm not saying to spend a couple thousand but $1500 would be a resonable budget.

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme 1091LQ Desktop PC Intel Core i7 960(3.20GHz) 12GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 6870 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
$1349.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is an example of a prebuilt and the good part is you can add another 6870 for crossfire if you wish.


crappy build for way to much. old cpu and a slow gpu for the money

illfindu said:
I don't agree with the above statement that you need to spend 1500 , not even sure I agree you need to spend 1000
I put this together in about 5 minutes with out any problem or searching for good deals really and came up with about $889 before rebates and can basically max almost any thing now or in the next couple months coming out.

CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CASE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Let me make a huge disclaimer * First off i didn't look for any deals , second I did not go with any junk brands used ASUS ,XFX, GSKILL ,Intell and western digital and when you figure in that HDD prices have almost tripled (a 1 tb cavair black is 250$ I got one about 2 months back for like 75$) even with all that I didn't even hit 900$


6870 might max out games at his current resolution but at 1080p it will not if he chooses to upgrade.


i saw a 560ti suggested and that too will not max out all games at 1080p and for the budget you have theres no reason you cant fit a 570 or 6970 into the build.
November 30, 2011 9:12:56 PM

I do agree with the 69** remark its kinda about how much you feel you need to max things out because if you get a 6870 now bye the time you need to upgrade u could get a fairly cheap second 6870 cross fire and be back on track JUST my opinion fyi i find this some times to be a better choice because it can be hard to unload old used GPU's at any decent price so if you totally upgrade and don't reuse the old gpu your out that money instead of rolling it in to a crossfire combo
November 30, 2011 10:22:29 PM

Hi ImNewHere,

Many good thoughts on hardware, would like to add my thoughts. I have built 300 or so computers while I lived in Dubai, and as a pilot, I purchased parts in; Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, NY, loads in Dubai itself, and my home, Vancouver, Canada. The place i deal with in Canada has become a major player in computer parts, with 6-8 locations in Vancouver, and several more in Toronto area. They ship all over North America, are very reputable, website is incredible, and they have EVERYTHING, New Egg isn't even in the same league, PLUS, they do something that none of these other places i have listed above do..................they have a sale flyer every week!!! On their webpage, at the top, near centre, is always a cartoon image, that is the link to that weeks sale items, and you will not be disappointed. starting about 6pm PST Wed night that weeks flyer comes out, good till Tues the following week. Plus they do "bundle deals", where they may add MB and CPU together, and knock money off. Their recent black Friday sale had some real killer deals, and believe me, I know a deal when I see one. In just under 24 hours, I will be on my way to Hong Kong, and i can tell you from spending thousands over the years, nobody in HK or anywhere else, will bundle a MB and CPU together, then knock 33% off. Never! Plus the exchange rate is almost always in your favour. I am not going to get into my choice for hardware, but you can stay under a grand, give or take. But i would strongly suggest you break away from X-mas dinner at 6pm on the 25th, and go to;
www.ncix.com , because in canada, our black friday is the day after x-mas (Boxing Day), and that will be there real "killer" deals for the month. The new sale flyer comes out in just a few hours, have a look, but the best deals will come out later this month. I missed a couple of things on the black friday sale(sold out), but i will be online x-mas night. Good Luck.

Cheers, d
!