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Gaming PC for under $1300, will it work?

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  • Hard Drives
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December 26, 2011 11:13:58 PM

Hey All,

I've been putting together a parts list for a new gaming PC for under $1,300 and wanted to get some feedback.
I don't think I'll be overclocking, but I might do an SLI with 2 GTX 570s later down the line. As you can see, I prefer newegg for parts :) 

Parts Not Required: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, DVD drive) as I already have them.
Also, this is going to be a 1920x1080 dual monitor setup.

Here is the list:

CPU: Core i7-2600 ($300)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Asus GTX 570 ($350, $320 after MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: Asus P8Z68-V LGA ($170)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 (8GB) ($44)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO850W ($120)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 ($50)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Win 7 x64 OEM (or the student upgrade version if it's cheaper) ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD/SSD: So for the hard drive, there are 2 options. I can either get a 120GB SATA II SSD ($130) and expand storage with a spinning hard drive when the prices go down, OR I can buy the cheapest SATA III, 64MB cache, 1TB hard drive I can find ($120).
For gaming I like the SSD option, but I'm not too happy about spending the extra money. My question is this: Do you guys think I can get away with just buying the spinning hard drive?

Here are the links:
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Also, I want to get this before new year in order to qualify for the Mail-in-rebates on the video card and PSU.

More about : gaming 1300 work

a b 4 Gaming
December 26, 2011 11:41:57 PM

Even if you're not OCing, the i5-2500 is the same for gaming but tons cheaper.
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December 27, 2011 1:46:07 AM

Alright so here is an update:

i5 2500K ($220)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Radeon HD 6970 ($330, $300 after MIR + lifetime warranty)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also went ahead and used the money saved on the CPU to double the memory from 8gigs to 16.
The Grand total with tax and shipping so far is just above the target price at $1,323.

As a last check, can you guys please let me know if I'm missing anything as far as compatibility, known issues, or better/more reliable parts?

Much appreciated :) !!
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December 27, 2011 3:17:05 AM

That's a nice case. It looks like it has a lot of room for cable management. I looked at the picture of your setup and it looks really neat and uncluttered.

As for the motherboard, how hard is it to get it to run the 1600 RAM? It it just changing one value in bios or do you have to put in different values based on the type of memory? Also, does it have connectors for all of the ports (USB 3.0, IEEE 1394, Audio) that are on the front of the case?
I like that the MSI board has an easy to use bios, but it is $20 more and does not have the onboard Bluetooth.

EDIT: I can actually just get a bluetooth adapter if needed, so that's not too big a deal... if the msi mobo has the connectors for the front of the case then I can just spend the $20 and upgrade.
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December 27, 2011 3:40:31 AM

No no no no no no no! 570 = S**t

Get the following, a DUAL FAN HD6870 (pref OC version) and buy TWO
It's the same price as ONE 570 and performs better then ONE 580/6970

PLUS games that DON'T support Xfire wont even need a 570...

Don't buy a 6970 as the 7970 is out soon and findinga 6970 is going to be hard. TRUST ME.

EDIT: Check, I didn't see the price of that 6970 lol. + up too you, check reviews.
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December 27, 2011 5:34:12 AM

Alright, looks like I'm going to go with this setup then:
i5 2500k
MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3) MOBO
Carbide 400R CASE
G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 16GB (4x4GB) RAM
XFX Core Edition PRO850W PSU
Seagate 1TB HDD

and see below for the GPU.


sod16 said:
No no no no no no no! 570 = S**t

Get the following, a DUAL FAN HD6870 (pref OC version) and buy TWO
It's the same price as ONE 570 and performs better then ONE 580/6970

PLUS games that DON'T support Xfire wont even need a 570...

Don't buy a 6970 as the 7970 is out soon and findinga 6970 is going to be hard. TRUST ME.

EDIT: Check, I didn't see the price of that 6970 lol. + up too you, check reviews.

sod16 makes a good point. What I'll do is get everything except the video card for now and run the computer off of the onboard video until the 7970 comes out in the next couple of weeks, after which the price of 6970 cards should drop, so I can probably get a card from a better manufacturer like Sapphire with a dual fan heatsink for around $300.
And if the price doesn't drop I might either go with the new card or do a crossfire setup with different cards off the bat.
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December 27, 2011 5:56:32 AM

for gaming, no point of 16gb ram, save the money. and if you don't plan on overclocking your cpu, the 2500K is throwing away money. it is VERY easy now to overclock though.
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December 27, 2011 6:21:22 AM

I also do a lot of multi layer, high resolution image processing and some HD video editing so it should contribute to that.
Plus, for $44, you can't go wrong. :) 
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December 27, 2011 6:23:17 AM

then yes. and if you are doing that kind of work, i'd consider switching back to the i7 2600k. depending on the programs, it may be worth it for you!
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December 27, 2011 6:52:06 AM

The important question here is can you wait ? Ivy bridge will be the same price as sandy but much cooler.

To get the best of both worlds it really depends on what your current pc specs are ?

If its a quad core. either a core 2 quad q8000 series or phenom 2 and above, it will be able to push a 7970, more so if your over-clock.

Then wait till Jan, get the fastest single gpu card available then, the Amd 7970.

Now if you only use you PC for gaming and basic work tasks only , you can decided to stop here or spring for an SSD.

If you do alot of multi layer, high resolution image processing and some HD video editing, or any anything that will utilize the CPU effectively then go for the Ivy bridge.

Seeing as you decided to wait till now to get a new pc when sandy bridge was released almost a year ago, Im guessing that the above usage scenarios may not be so time sensitive or a high priority and therefore I would recommend waiting for Ivy bridge.


Save some cash by reusing your case, existing hard drives and PSU and you will get a PC than will be able to game at 1080p and be able to process anything you throw at it for a long time.(or at least until the new consoles come out that will finally up the ante for game graphics)
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December 27, 2011 8:06:52 AM

to p07h34d: With the z68 chipset on the motherboard, I was actually thinking of running an SSD caching setup. That way, it will automatically cache the most used programs to the SSD.


to assudc01: You actually make a really good point! When is Ivy Bridge coming out like March/April of next year? My current setup is an intel core 2 quad with 4GB RAM and a fried video card (Im currently running on the onboard video) so I'll have to push it, but I can probably wait until the new processor comes out...

Also, I'm going to be giving this old machine to my parents so I wont be able to salvage anything from it.
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