$600-800 gaming/media PC, strictly core components

Approximate Purchase Date: This Saturday

Budget Range: Initially $600-800, lower HIGHLY preferred.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, some 1080p video

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, hard drives, optical drive, bling.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg, Mwave, Tiger Direct (in that order)

Country: 'Murica

Parts Preferences: All parts are intended to be "bang for the buck" picks and will never be "upgraded" the system will just be added to (discrete GPU, more RAM, etc)

Overclocking: Doubtful

SLI or Crossfire: Doubtful

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Noise acceptable, micro ATX case prioritized (off-hand media use, secondary PC for girlfriend/guests when retired for a major epeen gaming rig, system will reside in the living room), no OC to keep heat lower, a personal desire for a stable, harmonized rig.

GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52500

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model 997015

XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

SILVERSTONE SUGO SG02-BF Black ABS / SECC Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case

VIDEO CARD NOTE: I was hoping to get by for 2-4 weeks with integrated video (I'm currently coming off of a system that is largely a 2007 Acer purchased for $300 from a long, long time ago) and then invest more money into the system by purchasing a discrete video card. My idea was to get:
EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1461-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

I'm a bit impatient and wish to get the core necessities of the system in order so I can order it all over this weekend. I'm open to any suggestions the community may have. I'll be pouring more money into non-essential upgrades as the weeks roll by. An SSD, large storage drive, discrete GPU, more RAM, etc. Any recommendations on how I can enhance the system after first purchase without making incremental upgrades to existing hardware is VERY welcome. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gaming media strictly core components
  1. Looks good so far, but you might want to spend a little bit extra on a I5-2500k for future overclocking in case it starts to run slow. If you don't you wouldn't need a Z68 motherboard, a H61/H67 will do you fine and be cheaper too. Here's one that would be good MSI H67MS-E43 Only problem is that there is no USB 3.0, but if you need that you can just look around and find one for cheap.

    Here's some RAM that's a little bit cheaper too. Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
  2. The RAM you linked is Mushkin 1600, not Mushkin 2133. Just wanted to point that out.

    I can't vouch for the quality of this brand, though. I would advise you to stick to brands well known for low failure rates like Crucial or Kingston.

    Case = This is something you can take with you for 10 years. You might want to consider getting a good one now. The good ones more than pay for themselves with good airflow to extend the life of components.

    The SUGO case is kinda scary to me. Looks like a mini ITX case to me which I would avoid categorically.

    A HAF 912 or 922 or an Antec 300 or 300 Illusion are all good low end cases that are more than worth the expenditure over generic cases.

    They can all handle regular ATX boards if it comes to pass later that you would like to have one of that size.

    For 20 dollars more you will be MUCH happier with the card above. (209.99 after rebate).
  4. I'd say Mushkin is a well known enthusiast brand. I've had a good experience using their RAM.

    As for the case, I recommend Fractal Design. Small, smart-looking and cools well for a mATX case. This one's cheaper and uglier but still performs well
  5. Fantastic suggestions. I swapped to-

    Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    RAM: Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH (At $35, I don't mind replacing this later if needed/I OC the board to do 2133 in all four channels and go for that instead)

    Video: EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (spending a bit more on this makes sense to me, and is a secondary purchase/pay check)

    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Any opinions on my processor choice? The PSU? Any issues using on board video for the time being (2-4 weeks, as stated previously)?
  6. Best answer
    Corsair is a pretty well known RAM brand too, even though their failure rates are among the highest in the industry.

    That is why they end up in newegg deals like FX processors do. Some undesirable quality that makes them hard to sell outside of special deals.

    - Edit - the CPU is fine, but most people are advised to pay for a 2500k in case they decide later to OC it. The XFX 550w is a top of the line PSU. I doubt anyone will tell you to change it.

    I would get something else other than Patriot RAM though, like the two kinds I suggested.

    RAM is one of the absolute biggest causes of new build problems and the two brands I suggested maximally limit the likelihood of these problems. Saving $5 or $10 over these brands just plain isn't worth it.
  7. Looks like both the Mobo and CPU are well suited to overclocking at some point, which is a good option even if it won't immediately be utilized.

    This seems like a good, cheap stopgap for RAM for only $5 more:

    Would you approve Raiddinn?
  8. Corsair (worst in industry, for major brands) has like 5x+ the failure rates of comparable Crucial RAM (best in industry). If that sounds like a good deal to save the $5, go ahead.

    I am not going to do it for my PC's though, and I have a lower tech budget than 99% of people that come on these boards.
  9. Whoops, I was a couple items off. I think I meant to link this:
  10. I typed in

    GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 crucial ram

    in google and went to the first link that went to their website and looked for that part number and it wasn't on the webpage which means the combination isn't tested and proven to work.

    If you want to see which crucial ram options you have, you can go to the same page.

    Things not on there are reasonably likely to work, but if you want to be maximally likely to have your stuff work it helps to have the combination tested already by the company.

    The one I mentioned is on the list.
  11. I too would suggest getting better ram, g.skill is know for their quality also; the video card is dependent on your preference.
  12. G.Skill is like OCZ. You take generally worse performance to get something not so much performance oriented. For OCZ that is usually modular cabling. For G.Skill its looking cool.

    If you can suffer through boring looking RAM, there is RAM with lower failure rates you can get instead.
  13. Best answer selected by abein.
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