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~$1200 Gaming Build, First Time

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Last response: in Systems
January 11, 2012 10:56:13 PM

Hi guys, I am planning on building a gaming pc for around $1200 before rebates in the next month or so. This is my first real build so I would greatly appreciate any advice you guys can give me. I am open to all suggestions, so please let me know if these components are acceptable/will work or if I am making a stupid mistake haha, I am new to this process.

These are the components I have chosen so far based on a decent amount of research, but again I am a noob at this.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower - $150
- I probably don't need a full tower, but I do intend to make several future expansions, so I figured it would be best.

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Processor - $315
- I am definitely looking to overclock

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 - $30

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 - $50


Graphics: XFX Double D HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB - $280
- In the future I would like to utilize crossfire but not for a while

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III SSD - $110
- I already have other HDDs for storage, I heard solid state drives made great boot drives

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular - $90

Already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, optical drive, and I am gonna get Windows 7 with my student discount for $35.

So with that, ~$1190 before the various rebates.

So if someone could tell me if these components play well together, or if I am making a horrible mistake, or just any other advice? There is some wiggle room with the budget if someone knows a component vastly better than something I have here that isn't too much more expensive, or if someone knows that I can get one of these components for cheaper.


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Best solution

January 11, 2012 11:15:56 PM

If strictly for gaming/typical use (internet, media, etc) I would not go for the i7, get the i5-2500k instead. They go for 220 right now on newegg, but if you live near a micro center I think they are 180

You can overclock the i5 just as well, and with the i7 you wouldnt be utilizing hyperthreading so it's not worth the extra cost

The hyper 212 has a big brother now, called the hyper 212 evo ($45), either will be great

Other than that this build looks solid. Its a pretty standard build right now for gamers (I have a very very similar build and love it)

Case choice is solid, I'm not sure how many you looked at but you can also check out the haf x and the nzxt phantom. Anyone will be a good choice. On another note- having a full tower isn't about needing the space for components, they also provide much better air flow for cooling because there is a lot more 'empty space' than a smaller mid tower

Good luck with your build! I hope it goes flawlessly
January 11, 2012 11:34:04 PM

i would get the hyper evo 212 + and drop to an i5-2500k i would get a cheap gpu and wait till i had budget for 7970 because anytime soon 6900 series is gonna not gonna be the "new" thing so to be future proof i would get 7970
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January 11, 2012 11:35:03 PM

and corsair vengeance or g skill for ram i would avoid X3S3 i had some bad experiences with that ram
January 11, 2012 11:37:02 PM

You can never be future proof. It doesn't matter as much if you have a mid-range card when talking about gpu's You can get a $300 card now and get a second one in 6 months for cheaper, and it will out perform a single $600 card. On the other side, you can get a $300 card and run it at about 80% of a $600 card... IMO the extra 10 fps (when you're already getting 60+ on ultra) isn't worth $300

Again that's my opinion
January 11, 2012 11:44:50 PM

Excellent, thanks for the replies! I will switch to the i5 then, and that will free up some money.

I'll look at the RAM as well, I haven't had much experience with that.

Another question, is the 700W PSU sufficient for all my needs, even if I choose to crossfire at some point? Also, out of general curiosity, is the haf x significantly better to justify the extra? It looks pretty great.

Thanks so much for the help
January 11, 2012 11:53:01 PM

It's not significantly better, they are both great cases.

I just wanted to make sure you looked at a few different ones and didn't just get a suggestion from a friend. The case is what you will be staring at forever, make sure you get one you like
January 12, 2012 12:24:01 AM

Cripple13 said:

You can overclock the i5 just as well, and with the i7 you wouldnt be utilizing hyperthreading so it's not worth the extra cost

As he said, the i7-2600k is sexy but won't perform any bether then a i5-2500k ATM and surely no worth +100$ for a gaming PC on a budget build.
January 12, 2012 1:49:30 AM

Best answer selected by srt252.