$1,000 Gaming PC (First Time)

Hi guys,

Working on building a gaming PC for the first time. I really only use it for gaming and surfing the internet. I want to futureproof to the point where I don't need another computer for awhile, and I want to be able to upgrade it as needed.

Games I currently play: Star Wars The Old Republic, The Sims 3, Starcraft 2, and hopefully Diablo 3. I stick with consoles for my FPS's

Price range - $800-$1000 After rebates

Country - United States (NJ)

Preferred website - newegg, tigerdirect

Purchase date - Mid to late Feb (tax refund). If a REALLY great deal comes up I can buy 1 or 2 parts this month.

Overclocking - Yes, but never done it before.

SLI/Crossfire - Maybe

Parts not required - Monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse

Looking for compatibility and suggestions (especially on MOBO)

Here's my list so far:

MOBO: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 ATX LGA1155

ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA1155 Intel Z68

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

Those are the 3 I'm torn between, as I don't really know a whole lot about motherboards

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory x2

Is 16GB overkill on the RAM for an exclusively gaming PC? Is that money worth putting elsewhere?

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card

If I'm running single GPU for now, should I go higher?

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Should I go SDD?

PSU: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply

Or should I jump up to this ANTEC 750W for future upgrades?

ODD: Samsung SH-222AL/BSBE DVD/CD Writer

CASE: Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)

Additional Comments: Probably going to have it in the living room, so I would like it to be somewhat quiet

Priced out I have it at a little over $1,000

I apologize because I know that was alot, but I'm really excited/overwhelmed about this. Thanks in advance for any input!
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  1. Best answer
    I definitely suggest this board. Gigabyte is great manufacturer and you can be rest assured that this is of good quality. It can also do SLI AND Crossfire which is nice to have both (it'll last you awhile). Also, it's much cheaper than most Crossfire/SLI capable 8x/8x boards from good companies. For instance, you'd have to pay up quite a lot from Asus to get pretty much the same thing.
    If your not satisfied with my recommendation then I would definitely go with the ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 LGA1155 Intel Z68. It's all up to you... I'm actually leaning more to this Asus board right now, since it has pcie 3.0 slots. This means if you decide to upgrade to a next-generation video card (i.e. gtx 600-series or AMD 7000 series) then you'll get the most out of them. And btw PCIe 3.0 IS compatible with PCIe 2.0 products.

    You chose a very nice CPU that will last a long, long time. You don't have to worry about that one.

    8gb of RAM is more than enough. For ANY gamer, 16gb is complete overkill. It's nice RAM that you chose, too.

    Well, that video card... It's OK and all but you'd be MUCH more "future-proof" with a single gtx 560 ti now and then another in SLI mode later. The 560 ti is a card with the best price-performance ratio out of ANY of the mid-high end cards out there. It's around $210 lowest. (usually around $220-240ish).
    I can't express how nice of a card it is. If you run 2 of them in SLI mode later on down the road you would be achieving speeds that are 20% greater than the fastest single-gpu card out there (the gtx 580 which is, btw, $550). It's a great choice.

    The hard drive is a really nice one and NO you should NOT go with an SSD. Especially not with that type of budget. Get all the parts of your system put together first, then play on it for awhile. Then see whether or not you need an SSD.

    The power Supply. DEFINITELY go with the Antec 750w power supply. It's a very nice power supply and has the cords needed to SLI/Crossfire. Also, it will be under less load and therefore last longer and produce less heat. It also gives you much more options for upgrading.

    The case. Although it looks like a decent case unless you want a red color scheme I would go with an Antec 900.
    I'm not crazy about the Storm Scout's cable management... Although if you do want to go with a red color scheme, by all means, grab one of those.

    The CPU heat sync you chose is phenomenal, but you'll need some good thermal paste. The only thermal paste I ever get is Arctic Silver 5.
    It's the best thermal paste you can get out there and, trust me, it DOES make a difference.

    Well, if you went my way you would probably be spending a bit over $1000 but I can tell you it makes ALL the difference.

    Good luck with your build! Hope this helps! Any more questions? I'd be glad to answer them!!
  2. I have an Asus motherboard, and I love the auto-OC, and the built-in bios. It`s awesome!
    Ah! And no need to go crazy about PCI-E 3.0, I`m sure when the VGA need a fully PCI-E 3.0 it would be time to exchange the system again.
    But, if won`t cost too much don`t hurt to get it already.

    Please consider this PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-NLB9) 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    It costs $119.99 + $5.99 -> but with the mail-in rebate it goes to $89.99 + $5.99
    This PSU have the advantage of a single 12V, fast explanation: You won`t have any problems of requiring too much of a given 12v rail, and it`s 100w powerful than the other.

    Ram memory: For games, stick with 8GB. Given that you going with Sandy Bridge you don`t need a memory faster than DDR3-1333, it won`t translate in real world measurable gains (Llano is the unique plataform that really could use a faster ram). If DDR3-1333 is cheaper, go for it.

    VGA: usually at $200+ Nvidia and AMD have equivalent competitors cards. Commonly AMD cards are cheaper.
    Here it all depends of personal taste, and technology affinity. I myself like Nvidia cards, like the drivers. And I`m a 3D Vision user. I use CUDA and Physx too. It`s all Nvidia technologies.
    For Nvidia side you could aim at GTX 560, GTX 560 Ti or GTX 570. Do not aim at GTX 560 ti-448. It`s a limited edition card, so it will be hard to SLI it in the future.
    I would aim at GTX 560 Ti.

    Case: I have a Cooler Master 690 II Advanced, it`s a midtower, but with a lot of features. I use and recommend it!
  3. Thanks so much for the input guys. I think I will go with the GTX560 Ti for the video card, and probably throw a in a 2nd one in a few months. I'm also gonna get that Antec case (color isn't really a factor, but I do like blue a little better).

    I'm still a little torn on the motherboard, as far as the Gigabyte vs Asus. I've heard good things about both, so I think I'm just gonna do a little more research before I make my decision on that one. The important thing is everything seems to be compatible with either mobo.

    Vitor, can you elaborate a little more on the PSU? You don't think the Antec 750w will be enough?

    Thanks again guys!
  4. Best answer selected by phantompenguin.
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