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$1500 budget Gaming Computer

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January 15, 2012 5:38:33 PM

Hey everyone. Soon, I will be constructing my first homebuilt PC and would like the help and advice of anyone here who is willing to give it. I've always been much more of a software person than hardware and figure it's time to learn the hardware side since it is time I got a new computer anyway. I'm looking to make a gaming computer that can comfortably run Skyrim and other games (but Skyrim likely being the most powerful).

Approximate Purchase Date: A month from now or sooner

Budget Range: (1200-1500) Willing to spend extra if the benefits are well, WELL worth it.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Parts Not Required: All parts needed.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'm completely new to this so any suggestions are welcome.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel i7 processor. Link to the motherboards I'm looking at are below also.

Overclocking: Yes (I'm unsure I completely understand the concept but from what I've read, it's something I will want)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (I was thinking no and just getting a single Graphics card. From what I read, it seems not many games really benefit from this yet)

Monitor Resolution: Not sure yet but am looking to get dual monitors.

Additional Comments:
1. I'd like the PC to be quiet. I'm willing to spend a little extra. I'm not interested in the water cooling though because of the supposed added difficulty it brings.
2. Even though it doesn't bring any added performance, I'd like the case to have a window with some blue/red/purple lights inside. (not all of them, but I have yet to decide among those three)



Motherboards
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ASUS P9X79 PRO Intel X79 Motherboard - ATX, Socket R (LGA2011), Intel X79 Express, 2400MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA 6.0 Gb/s, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, PCI-Express 3.0, CrossFireX/SLI, Bluetooth
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...

ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboard - ATX, Socket R (LGA2011), Intel X79 Express, 1866MHz DDR3, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, PCI-Express 3.0, CrossFireX/SLI
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...

ASUS P8P67 PRO REV 3.1 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel P67 Express, 2200MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA 6.0 Gb/s, RAID, Gigabit LAN, 8-CH Audio, USB 3.0, SLI/CrossFireX, Bluetooth
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...

For now, I'm focusing on the motherboard first. I read about P67 being a good choice for gaming PCs. Also, I don't plan on using bluetooth at the moment. Sound quality will probably also be a priority. I was considering LGA 1366 but saw something about LGA2011 and LGA1155 being better choices for future upgrades.
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I'm not really set on any parts so any feedback at all is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
January 15, 2012 11:43:39 PM

You have some money to spend on a gaming machine, however, you do NOT have unlimited money...so don't go with any motherboards over $150. At that cost, I would go with a machine with the i5 2500k and the ASRock Extreme 3 Z68 board.

CPU: Intel i5 2500k $225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: 2x EVGA GTX 570 $340
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: ASRock Extreme 3 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Thermaltake V9 BlacX Edition $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM HDD $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: OCZ Solid 3 60GB $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: CM Hyper 212+ $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-ROM: Samsung 22X DVD burner $17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1484

Explanation: The i5 2500k is one of the best gaming CPUs for your money, anything better is just a waste, however, if you wish to add another $100, you can go with the i7 2600k for the hyperthreading ability, even though it doesn't help in gaming performance. The gtx 570 is a great graphics card, it is top notch in performance, you will want to buy 2 of them for SLI which will give you unbelievable performance. The ASRock motherboard is a great motherboard with the ability to SLI and CF, it also has PCIe 3.0 slots, so it can support the newer graphics cards (Radeon 7000's series). The 750W PSU is more than enough for SLI and mild overclocking. The Thermaltake case has a window, and that is the only reason I chose that case. Otherwise, I would have gone with the HAF 912:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
which is cheaper. 500GB of storage should be enough for your videos and pictures, I would not recommend buying anything with higher storage capacity because the HDD prices are so high. The SSD is for a boot drive for faster computer start up. 8GB of RAM is more than sufficient for your system, you'll almost never reach the 8GB of RAM usage point. The CM Hyper 212+ is a great mid level HSF that is able to OC your CPU to higher clocks. The DVD Burner is for DVDs and Windows installation. You can change this system by going with 1 Radeon 7970 (wait for it to be back in stock):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and with the money saved, go with the i7 2600k. The Radeon 7970 is a great graphics card that is between the 6970 and the 6990.
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January 16, 2012 4:13:40 AM

This is amazing info to know. I figured I would need an i7 processor to play games (such as Skyrim) but it seems I underestimated the i5 then. I gotta get some sleep now but will be looking at all the parts in detail tomorrow once I get home. I especially appreciate all the links to the parts since I had no idea what the hell to aim for before.

I'll check in tomorrow once I get home, and thanks again!
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January 16, 2012 4:14:31 AM

Best answer selected by Antagonistt.
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