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$1500 Gaming PC - First time builder

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Last response: in Systems
December 28, 2011 5:04:34 PM

Hello All,

This is my first time building a PC. I have had some help from friends, but I would appreciate a critique or any advice & fine-tuning. Thanks!


Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: 1,500 max, will gladly come in under. Willing to consider going over for a compelling reason.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming exclusively. My short-term goal is to play SWTOR at max graphics 1920x1080 and consistently be above 60 fps. But I also want the system to continue to perform well for a couple years with little or no upgrading.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon & newegg. Open to suggestions if there are better options.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, Asus mobo.

Overclocking: yes

SLI or Crossfire: no - I would prefer single graphics card. my understanding is that sli / crossfire can be less reliable especially with new games?

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Quiet would be nice - not a deal breaker


Selected Parts -
Processor: i5-2500K OR i7-2600K. Any thoughts about whether the i7 is worth the extra $75?
Graphics: Radeon 6970 HD
Mobo: Asus P8P67 -
System Drive: Intel 320 Series 120 GB SSD
Storage: WD Caviar Blue 500GB -
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2x 4GB DDR3 - Saw this as a good deal.
PSU: XFX Core 850W -
Case: Antec Nine Hundred TWO v3 -
Cooling: Hyper 212 EVO -

Current total ~ $1205

I'm looking for any input or critique. Am I missing good values? Making any bad choices?
Thanks for the help!

More about : 1500 gaming time builder

December 28, 2011 6:22:52 PM

Updated after selecting some parts based on other threads. Looking for any input - thanks!
December 28, 2011 7:00:23 PM

CPU: The i5 is fine for gaming, there is very little performance difference between the two gaming-wise, not enough to justify the extra $75. If you were doing 3D rendering or video editing however, the i7 would be worth it.
GPU: You can get the standard PCB model from XFX for $330, or get a better cooled version from Gigabyte for $350:
Mobo: This board is the same price but also supports PCI-E 3.0:
Everything else looks good.
December 28, 2011 7:35:33 PM

Ok I'll try to keep your blue theme while choosing parts.

Processor: Save the money on the CPU and go with the 2500k. Since it's gaming exclusive, that's all you'll need!

Graphics: How much was the 6970 you were looking at? You probably can get a GTX 570 for cheaper...

Mobo: That one's ok. If you ever want to upgrade to Ivy Bridge you could get something like the ASUS P8Z68-V GEN3.

SSD: Just got the 80GB version of that. Curious to see how it performs. Just keep in mind that this is SATA II not SATA III. If you want SATA III a great option is the Kingston HyperX 120GB.

HDD: Get this for now and when prices go back down you buy another one for RAID if you want :D 

RAM: Not sure if that'l fit with your cooler. Try the LP version.

PSU: Here's a much better one plus it's modular (it's got a $30 promo gift card too):

Case: There are better cases around this price. If you want that one that's fine but my suggestion is the Corsair 600T.

Cooler: Great choice! Nothing else to say :) 

Ok so let's go through pricing (prices exclude rebates & promos):

CPU + Cooler Combo: ($245)

Motherboard: ($190)

SSD: ($250)

HDD: Same as what you have listed

RAM: ($47)

PSU + Case: ($300)

GPU: ($340)

Total: $1458.24 (After rebates & promo: $1338.24)

So mine comes out a little over $100 more than yours. You could save by going with a 750w and maybe dropping the SSD down to a lower capacity. This is just my thoughts you don't have to do this :)