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Build Gaming rig for $1000 - $1200

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December 23, 2011 9:04:44 AM

Hello,

I am thinking of build a gaming PC, but I don't have a particular what system and hardware to buy. So if you guys could, just show me the systems that you think is good. My budget is around 1300 or below, and I use it mostly for gaming.

Approximate Purchase Date: in the next 2 weeks

Budget Range: $1000-$1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the internet, Watching movies

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, directron.com (don't have any particular one)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD CPU and full tower case or mid-case

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (if have enough money)

Monitor Resolution: don't have one in mind now, anything is fine

Additional Comments: why need a gaming rig so bad, you may ask? Well, probably because I'm too frustrating with my 6 years old eMachine that I have inherited from my dad. I never got to play game with it.

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This is what I have pick so far. Have a look and see if they're all compatible and/or if I can get some better parts with good price:

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 Black

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition

ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ AMD 990FX

XFX HD-687X-CNFC Radeon HD 6870

ALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler

Corsair Vengeance DDR3 4 x 8GB

Lite-On iHAS424-98 DVD

About HDD: well, I'm thinking of take the old drive and put it back for the new one, because I don't want to spend money to buy another 1TB drive since my old one is already 1.5TB and I'm not even use 1/3 of it yet. The only problem is compatible, the old computer I'm using right now is Windows 7 and pretty much all up-to-date, so hoping it will work on the new system.

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The total is: $1176, which not exceed my budget range, but hope someone can help me with the RAM, because 4 of those RAM cost too much
December 23, 2011 9:13:28 AM

Is there any particular reason you want an AMD cpu? At your budget you should really be considering an i5-2500k or if budget is that big a deal an i3-2120. Really.

Yeah, about that RAM. 32GB @ 4x8 might want to check out the 2x4GB dimms, funny how fast your total system cost can drop.
December 23, 2011 10:18:30 AM

a4mula said:
Is there any particular reason you want an AMD cpu? At your budget you should really be considering an i5-2500k or if budget is that big a deal an i3-2120. Really.

Yeah, about that RAM. 32GB @ 4x8 might want to check out the 2x4GB dimms, funny how fast your total system cost can drop.


I will definitely keep an eye out for that i5-2500k, in case if I change my mind about the AMD. But what about the i7-2600k (let not think about the price for this one)?

About the RAM, I definitely considered about your 2x4GB suggestion, but the thing is the MOBO can support up to 32GB, so I think why not use to the max of it.

Oh and hopefully all the parts that I pick out are compatible
Related resources
December 23, 2011 10:34:29 AM

The reason you don't want to put 32GB in your machine is because there's nothing that's going to use that much and there's actually very very little that uses over 8GB. Obviously if they were the same price then 32GB would be better but they're not the same price. One 2x4GB kit costs less than one 8GB stick. You can upgrade later if you need to. You shouldn't be spending more on RAM than on your GPU...

The i7-2600K is better than the the i5-2500K but it's not $100 better for gaming. If they were the same price you would pick the 2600K but since they're not, there's no reason to spend the extra money. Also, if you're not overclocking then go with the i5-2400. It's almost the same performance.

If you're looking for the best performance you can get out of your machine in your budget then there's nothing that competes with the LGA 1155 core i5 processors.

Here's about what I would do in your budget for $1217:

($220) i5-2500K: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($125) ASRock Z68 Extreme3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(2x $240) 2x Gigabyte 1GB HD6950: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($42) Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($150) Corsair HX750: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($110) Crucial M4 64GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($70) Antec Three Hundred: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($20) Whatever DVD drive you want
December 23, 2011 10:55:39 AM

danraies said:
The reason you don't want to put 32GB in your machine is because there's nothing that's going to use that much and there's actually very very little that uses over 8GB. Obviously if they were the same price then 32GB would be better but they're not the same price. One 2x4GB kit costs less than one 8GB stick. You can upgrade later if you need to. You shouldn't be spending more on RAM than on your GPU...

The i7-2600K is better than the the i5-2500K but it's not $100 better for gaming. If they were the same price you would pick the 2600K but since they're not, there's no reason to spend the extra money. Also, if you're not overclocking then go with the i5-2400. It's almost the same performance.

If you're looking for the best performance you can get out of your machine in your budget then there's nothing that competes with the LGA 1155 core i5 processors.

Here's about what I would do in your budget for $1217:

($220) i5-2500K: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($125) ASRock Z68 Extreme3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(2x $240) 2x Gigabyte 1GB HD6950: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($42) Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($150) Corsair HX750: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($110) Crucial M4 64GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($70) Antec Three Hundred: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($20) Whatever DVD drive you want


Oh, wow! That was such a nice system, and I even have enough money to do the CrossFire. Thank you so much

And yeah, because I having nightmares about my old computer every night, so I just afraid not having enough memory. It only have 2GB and was never enough to even open Firefox (took 70% of memory), and I also feel weird when I have to spend money into RAM more than GPU. But thank you for clarifying everything for me.

Oh, and I just want to make sure one thing: is that mid-tower case will be able to fit 2 GPU into it?
December 23, 2011 11:00:27 AM

Only 64gb's of storage? Oops, reread the OP.
December 23, 2011 11:03:44 AM

andynguyen12 said:
Oh, wow! That was such a nice system, and I even have enough money to do the CrossFire. Thank you so much


Glad to help!
a c 227 4 Gaming
December 23, 2011 11:21:57 AM

I can't justify an AMD build over $800

The OCZ ModStream is on no one's "Best of " Lists

At your budget, you should have a better GPU

Ya wanna buy RAM in matched pairs (2x 2GB, 2 x 4GB, 2 x 8GB). more than 8GB will show no benefit in gaming rig and ya wanna lose the tall toothy heat sinks.

YA can't just plop in the old HD, Windows will have ti be reinstalled.

If Ya not OC'ing, there's no need for a 3rd party CPU cooler

Case - $ 115 - Corsair Carbide 500R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 90 - XFX Core Edition-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 190 - ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 220 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - Later - CM Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 42 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - later - Same
HD - Existing - Spinpoint F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $ 210 - 120 GB Mushkin Chronos Deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total $1,160 ..... $1349 w/ 2nd GFX card

I wrestled with going with the bigger SSD versus the second GFX card or the smaller case and finally decided to put off the 2nd GFX card.....well with another $150, you could have it all.

-I went w/ a bigger case.....as much as I like the Antec 300 Illusion, it doesn't have the size and cooling capacity of the Corsair 500R (Antec 902 V3 is a good alternate). The Illusion also does not have a front USB port which I see as a big deal.

You're not planning on OC'ing and though I will try and talk ya out of that, you won't be jumping into the extreme level OC's that require a 10.0 performance rated PSU. the XFX Core Edition gets a9.5 performance rating from jonny and i just $90....750 wattas is just enough for twin cards but I'd be more comfy w/ 850 w/ overclocked cards and CPU....and the 850 from XFX is the exact same price as the 750 so no reason to skimp.

-I can't get behind a MoBo manufacturer that holds out as the only MoBo vendor that doesn't offer an industry standard 3 year warranty. The MoBo is the base of the entire build and I have trouble putting my confidence in equipment that they don't have confidence in.

-You said you weren't OC'ing but had a 3rd party cooler.....that cooler isn't needed then. But the SB CPU was designed w/ overclocking in mind and Intel is continuously bragging about the 2500k's OC ability. With 50% OC's readily doable, stable and well within temperature limits, I'd be jumping on this horse. The 612 will get ya 5-7C cooler than its lil brother (Hyper 212) .... make the switch if ya think it's worth the $25 but personally, I'd use the 612.

-RAM is low profile so it won't hit ya cooler, great specs, low price, great company.

-It's a tossup between the 6950 and 560 Ti in single card configurations. The factory OC'd versions of the Ti tho are the same price or just $10 over the reference models .... the factory OC'd 6950's carry a bit more of a surcharge. The factory OC'd 6950 Twin Frozr gets 484 cps in Guru3D's game test suite as s single card, whereas the factory OC'd 900 MHz 560 Ti's get 495.....call it a draw. But when paired, in SLI those 560's get 862 fps to the 6950's 759 fps in CF....that's a lot of fps.

-I had the F3 HD in there cause yesterday it was $110.....use ya old one till prices drop.

-It was a tough decision but I hadda go with the larger / faster SSD rather than the 2nd GFX card. Every 64 GB PC I have built for someone has since been brought back for "cleaning" as the owner filled it up w/ junk within 6 months. The Mushkin is a Tier 3 unit.....that's the fastest tier that you will find a 120/128 GB model in. However, having a dual boot system here, I'm seeing 15.6 second boots off the SSD and 21.2 second boots off the Barracuda XT.......frankly, I'm not all that excited about saving the 5.6 seconds. If you agree, then pulling the SSD and inserting the 2nd HD brings ya new total to $1,180 ....throw in the cooler and you're at $1,230 which seems the best place to be IMO given your stated needs.
December 23, 2011 11:29:50 AM

raptorxrx said:
Only 64gb's of storage? Oops, reread the OP.


Oh yeah, haha...I see what you mean, but since I'm not really care about Hard Drive and not really a fan of SSD...so I can pass on that one and save some money.
December 23, 2011 12:04:34 PM

andynguyen12 said:
Oh yeah, haha...I see what you mean, but since I'm not really care about Hard Drive and not really a fan of SSD...so I can pass on that one and save some money.


The SSD is not going to affect your gaming performance, however it is one of the biggest overall system upgrades there are for the price. If you've never used one before and just can't justify the extra cost then I would bet that once you try them you'll never go back. Boot times and application load times are incredible on an SSD. If you've used one before and you just don't like them then you're the first one I've ever talked too.

Of course, it's your money and if you don't want to spend the extra on an SSD then feel free to leave it out - I just wanted to give some of the pros.

As someone else mentioned, you're not going to be able to put your old hard drive in the new machine and boot it up - you'll need to reinstall windows.
December 24, 2011 12:00:13 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
I can't justify an AMD build over $800

The OCZ ModStream is on no one's "Best of " Lists

At your budget, you should have a better GPU

Ya wanna buy RAM in matched pairs (2x 2GB, 2 x 4GB, 2 x 8GB). more than 8GB will show no benefit in gaming rig and ya wanna lose the tall toothy heat sinks.

YA can't just plop in the old HD, Windows will have ti be reinstalled.

If Ya not OC'ing, there's no need for a 3rd party CPU cooler


Thanks for clarify for me, now I have a good idea of what to do about memory and how to buy it.

I guess I will probably have to buy a new HD and transfer files from old to new one. And, do you have any good way of transfer most of files if not all from one drive to another, either by using software or DIY way?
December 24, 2011 12:29:42 AM

danraies said:
The SSD is not going to affect your gaming performance, however it is one of the biggest overall system upgrades there are for the price. If you've never used one before and just can't justify the extra cost then I would bet that once you try them you'll never go back. Boot times and application load times are incredible on an SSD. If you've used one before and you just don't like them then you're the first one I've ever talked too.


I love SSD the first time it have been introduced to the market, and have researched a lot about it too. The only thing that keep me from buying it is its volume, its kinda small. But I will definitely give it a try if I later have some spare money left
December 24, 2011 1:08:29 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
You're not planning on OC'ing and though I will try and talk ya out of that, you won't be jumping into the extreme level OC's that require a 10.0 performance rated PSU. the XFX Core Edition gets a9.5 performance rating from jonny and i just $90....750 wattas is just enough for twin cards but I'd be more comfy w/ 850 w/ overclocked cards and CPU....and the 850 from XFX is the exact same price as the 750 so no reason to skimp.

-You said you weren't OC'ing but had a 3rd party cooler.....that cooler isn't needed then. But the SB CPU was designed w/ overclocking in mind and Intel is continuously bragging about the 2500k's OC ability. With 50% OC's readily doable, stable and well within temperature limits, I'd be jumping on this horse. The 612 will get ya 5-7C cooler than its lil brother (Hyper 212) .... make the switch if ya think it's worth the $25 but personally, I'd use the 612.

-It's a tossup between the 6950 and 560 Ti in single card configurations. The factory OC'd versions of the Ti tho are the same price or just $10 over the reference models .... the factory OC'd 6950's carry a bit more of a surcharge. The factory OC'd 6950 Twin Frozr gets 484 cps in Guru3D's game test suite as s single card, whereas the factory OC'd 900 MHz 560 Ti's get 495.....call it a draw. But when paired, in SLI those 560's get 862 fps to the 6950's 759 fps in CF....that's a lot of fps.


Wow, thank you so much for those useful info you give. It save me a bunch of time of going to research about those components.

Yeah, I had trouble with what to pick between: new release PSUs of ATI vs. NVIDIA. But anyway, thanks for point out for me many differences between the ATI and NVIDIA.

And thank you so much for talk to me about the OC'ing, I have been wondering about it a lot. But maybe I will think about it later along the road, I'm a scaredy cat when it come to something like OC'ing.

December 24, 2011 3:23:05 AM

All the info that you guys gave me is more than enough for me. So if there's nothing new in the next few days, I will vote for the best answer and start with my shopping.

Thank you so much for y'all help, much appreciated.
December 24, 2011 5:01:35 AM

Just to answer an earlier question that I missed - yes case that I recommended will fit both graphics cards.

In a $1300 build where you don't need a hard drive at all (if you're not going with an SSD) and you don't need a monitor or OS, I can't justify anything less than either a single GTX580 or (preferably) two 560ti's/two 6950's. I think it's a tossup between the two even in crossfire or SLI. I've seen benchmarks favoring each setup.

I agree with JackNaylorPE about overclocking. It can be intimidating but with the most recent CPU's it really is very easy.

Personally, the two year warranty ASRock offers on it's sub-$200 boards doesn't bother me. If you're worried about it then I would go with the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 for $150.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You said you're using a 1.5TB HDD and you want to install windows without losing all your old files. If you have some kind of a supplemental hard drive then you can transfer your files to that drive, install windows on the 1.5TB drive, and then transfer whatever files you want bad. If you don't have a supplemental drive then you can use the extra space that you have on your existing 1.5TB drive to do what you want. You can shrink the existing partition down to 500GB, make a new 1TB partition, install windows on the fresh 1TB partition, transfer whatever files you want from the 500GB partition, delete the 500GB partition, and then expand the 1TB partition to the size of the whole drive.
December 24, 2011 5:23:28 AM

danraies said:
If you have some kind of a supplemental hard drive then you can transfer your files to that drive, install windows on the 1.5TB drive, and then transfer whatever files you want bad. If you don't have a supplemental drive then you can use the extra space that you have on your existing 1.5TB drive to do what you want. You can shrink the existing partition down to 500GB, make a new 1TB partition, install windows on the fresh 1TB partition, transfer whatever files you want from the 500GB partition, delete the 500GB partition, and then expand the 1TB partition to the size of the whole drive.


Oh, I forgot to mention that I also have a second 500GB HD that I have been use to do backup every week over the entire thing in the 1.5TB, so I guess problem solved then. Thanks for answer my questions and help me clear out my problems
December 25, 2011 1:27:21 AM

And while we at this, I would like to ask: usually, when are you clean your PC (i.e.: is it like every 6 month or 1 time per year) and what do u clean it with (is it air compressor or any kind of tools), also how do u clean it (take out every single part of the fan and clean it or what is it like)
December 26, 2011 7:25:10 AM

At the moment my box has

AMD Phenom II X4 965 at stock 3.4 GH
EVGA GTX 460
4 x 2GB Kingston HyperX DDR2
2 x Patriot Inferno SATA II SSD 60GB in Raid 0 with an old leftover 160 HHD to back everything up
Running everything on a sub $100 MIS bord in an Antec 900 case

All of this around the $1000 mark. Windows Experience Index puts my CPU at 7.4 and the rest at 7.5, if that means anything to you. Skyrim looks amazing and loads anything under 3 seconds. Settings are one under the highest. Fallout 3 was all the way up. Again, only if that helps. I don't do true benchmarks because the numbers can tell me if my experience with my computer will be smooth, crash-less, and with out worry. A solid and tested CPU is more likely to give you a steady predictably experience, and the GPU should be looked at the same way. I have always went with AMD in my builds because I find the boards and CPUs to deliver more bang for my buck. If you do go with an SSD BACK IT UP, I know they are suppose to last but if they crash everything on it is gone. Can't swap platters in an SSD. Happy building!

December 27, 2011 12:59:27 AM

Blimping said:
All of this around the $1000 mark. Windows Experience Index puts my CPU at 7.4 and the rest at 7.5, if that means anything to you. Skyrim looks amazing and loads anything under 3 seconds. Settings are one under the highest. Fallout 3 was all the way up. Again, only if that helps. I don't do true benchmarks because the numbers can tell me if my experience with my computer will be smooth, crash-less, and with out worry. A solid and tested CPU is more likely to give you a steady predictably experience, and the GPU should be looked at the same way. I have always went with AMD in my builds because I find the boards and CPUs to deliver more bang for my buck. If you do go with an SSD BACK IT UP, I know they are suppose to last but if they crash everything on it is gone. Can't swap platters in an SSD. Happy building!


Interesting info, thank you so much!!!
December 28, 2011 9:19:18 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
Case - $ 115 - Corsair Carbide 500R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 90 - XFX Core Edition-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 190 - ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 220 - Intel Core i7-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - Later - CM Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 42 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 230 - Asus GTX 560 900Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - later - Same
HD - Existing - Spinpoint F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $ 210 - 120 GB Mushkin Chronos Deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Would love to get one of those RoG Mobo, but why it has to be so darn expensive (I know that it's only comprise of the best), and beside most people really recommend it and said it would gaming experience a whole lot better.

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb $99.99 or 120 GB Mushkin Chronos Deluxe just so I can transfer my stuff from the other drive out
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136769

ASUS Black SATA 24x DVD Burner $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827135204
About the DVD, I don't think I would need Blu-ray, so I'm thinking of going with this one instead, a lot cheaper.

If there is nothing else, then I will order them soon as possible (maybe not, cuz I'm kinda sick these day), but just wait for the good news when I got it up and running. If you guys have any more advices then feel free to say, it will really help me gain some valuable knowledge and along the way with building

Thanks
December 28, 2011 11:37:12 AM

andynguyen12 said:
Would love to get one of those RoG Mobo, but why it has to be so darn expensive (I know that it's only comprise of the best), and beside most people really recommend it and said it would gaming experience a whole lot better.


There is a low-priced ROG board - the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-z:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't generally recommend it though unless you're going for a lot of overclocking. I try to stay away from the micro-ATX form factor unless you need the small size.
December 28, 2011 11:40:06 PM

danraies said:
There is a low-priced ROG board - the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-z:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yeah, I saw that one but when I see that it's a micro-ATX, I have to shake my head. I'm not really a fan of micro-ATX. But thanks though, I will try to stay away from overclocking.
!