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Building a Gaming PC - $1,600 Budget - Need Any Advice You Can Offer

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December 28, 2011 2:01:27 PM

Guys, hey, I've scraped together $1,600 this year and want to assemble a gaming PC to replace my custom rig from 2006.

I've been out of the loop for a little bit, but have a Micro Center near me with a good selection as well as full Internet access to the usual providers (Newegg, Best Buy, etc.)

Basically just want to build something that screams, has a nice monitor and runs a killer game of "Star Wars: The Old Republic". What would you recommend and what do you think I could build with $1,600?

Please let me know and thanks. :-)

Chris
December 28, 2011 3:15:33 PM

Hmm...you said you have a micro center...that means that some of the components that I list will be cheaper at the center than on newegg (which is the site i'll be using)


CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k $220 (i think it's $190 at the micro center)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: 2x Gigabyte gtx 560Ti $210 each $420 for 2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Nine Hundred $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD (storage): HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD (boot): OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB Desktop Memory Model PGD38G1333ELK $34
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: CM Hyper 212 EVO $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blu-ray drive: ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM $58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Win 7 Home premium 64bit $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: Acer X223WDbd Black 22" $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1527

Explanation: I chose this set up because of the intel i5 processor and SLI of the 560Ti. This rig will surely enable you to game into the future. The i5 2500k is one of the best gaming CPUs at its cost. Anything over that and you're spending too much for extra performance. The SLI of the 560Ti's is better than 1 gtx 580: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/441?vs=305 . The motherboard is decently priced and is SLI capable. The PSU is more than enough to handle the 2 gfx cards and the other components. The 900 case should be roomy enough for all the components. A 1TB storage device for normal storage and a 60GB SSD for a boot drive. The 8GB memory is more than enough for current needs. The Hyper 212 EVO allows you to overclock the i5 to around 4.5Ghz. Blu ray drive for movies and the rest is self explanatory
December 28, 2011 3:27:17 PM

^ what he said lol
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December 28, 2011 4:03:08 PM

same here as well apart from maybe wait for the ati hd7970 which is close to a 590 and 6990 around £400 and without xfire/sli issues they should be out january
December 28, 2011 4:18:40 PM

Agree with porl, wait until like February when the new AMD gfx cards come out, they'll be better in your system than 2 560ti's
a c 205 4 Gaming
December 28, 2011 4:54:58 PM

Dragondude made agood build.....but......

The GFX card is 820 Mhz...the factory OC'd model @ 900Mhz is $25 more
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Jump up to the Antec 902 V3, has front USB 3 port
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I recommend a 120 GB Tier 3 SSD, you'll be struggling w/ 60GB in 6 months.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-price-ssd,3070...

This PSU gets me 9.5 jonnyguru performance rating and is $40 cheaper .... pays for the better case and the GFX card upgrade
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 28, 2011 5:59:18 PM

agree with everything jack says EXCEPT the gfx card, you can easily OC the 560Ti to 900Mhz and save $25 per gfx card.
December 28, 2011 6:24:50 PM

All fine and good. but all these high end graphic cards do nothing without a high definition display. A 1920 X 1080 is a must even at a single 560 Ti level.

Good luck!
December 28, 2011 6:39:37 PM

I would get a gtx 580 so in the future if you sli you will get a lot better performance and be future proof for a while.
December 28, 2011 7:55:51 PM

I have a 580 an no longer feel future proof ;-(
December 28, 2011 8:20:25 PM

Future proof? I don't think it exists in reality. I just bought my components and the GPU (EVGA 570 - 2560MB) was the most expensive at $411 total. I figured I'd wait and see what came out (rumored) in the spring if I needed to and saved $180+ in the meantime. If anyone ever finds future-proof, or the fountain of youth, please post! :sol: 
December 28, 2011 9:39:02 PM

Think im gonna stop reading tech sites rumour sites an forums and just replace my hardware when it slows down lol
a c 205 4 Gaming
December 28, 2011 9:54:49 PM

r0aringdrag0n said:
agree with everything jack says EXCEPT the gfx card, you can easily OC the 560Ti to 900Mhz and save $25 per gfx card.


But that won't get ya the more robust VRM unit nor the bigger / better cooler
a c 205 4 Gaming
December 28, 2011 9:58:44 PM

residentdean said:
I would get a gtx 580 so in the future if you sli you will get a lot better performance and be future proof for a while.


Not so future proof

Twin 580's ($1000) get 953 fps in Guru 3D game test suite ....

Twin 900Mhz 560 Ti's ($430) get 862 fps......

That's $670 extra ..... an extra $570 for the cards + $150 for the beefier PSU....267 % of the price for 10% performance increase.
December 29, 2011 11:46:47 AM

$1600 is plenty... but personally i would get these parts...

cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel Core i5-2500K - $220

mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $115 after rebate

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 - $47

hsf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR CAFA70 - $24 after rebate

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB - $130

ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5" 120GB - $130 after rebate

odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LG DVD Burner 24X GH24NS70 - $19

psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-NLB9) - $90 after rebate

case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Fractal Design Arc Midi Black - $100

gpu: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970/
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB - $550

lcd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI - $170 after rebate

total: $1595 after rebate excluding shipping
!