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$900 Gaming PC

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  • Gaming
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Last response: in Systems
January 24, 2012 8:38:47 AM

I already built a PC around one year ago (thanks to the help of this forum!) and I am thinking of upgrading my PC by getting a new GPU, CPU, motherboard, and ram. My old parts that I won't be reusing will be used for a gaming PC I will be making for my brother.

Approximate Purchase Date: The sooner the better (within 1 week)

Budget Range: Around $900 USD after rebates (I can go a little over but I'd much rather not)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Recording my gaming, internet browsing, watching videos

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS, HDD, Case, PSU (I currently have a Corsair 750w... will that be enough?)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg. Willing to use different site(s) if savings are significant enough

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (SLI isn't that important to me but I may consider in future)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080



IMPORTANT Additional Comments:
I am planning on buying the GTX 580 gpu and the i5 2500k cpu, unless you guys advise me not to for whatever reason (better deals/ performance with other parts). I think I would be okay with this cpu and gpu but I am not very sure what motherboard I should get since I don't know the difference between motherboards except for their compatibility. I mean, if my cpu and gpu fit perfectly on the mobo, does it matter if its a $70 mobo vs a $150 mobo? Would there be a significant performance difference? Anyways, please give me any advice or tips that you can. I highly appreciate it! :) 

More about : 900 gaming

January 24, 2012 8:42:19 AM

I'd also like to add that I might be interested in big bundle deals that include psu, case, keyboard, mouse or monitor as I might be able to use it for my brother's PC I will build.
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January 24, 2012 8:48:54 AM

Yeah that all sounds solid so far.
With the motherboard you want one with the z68 chipset, and I read something about motherboards with NF200 PCIe bridges doing very good with multiple video cards. Otherwise you would just look for a z68 mobo with enough pcie slots. (You arent planning on OCing the 25k are you?)
750w should be enough. Check how much the video card eats.

Also I'm assuming you've already compared price and performance of GTX580, AMD HD6970, and the new AMD 7970?
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January 24, 2012 9:11:52 AM

Max1s said:
Yeah that all sounds solid so far.
With the motherboard you want one with the z68 chipset, and I read something about motherboards with NF200 PCIe bridges doing very good with multiple video cards. Otherwise you would just look for a z68 mobo with enough pcie slots. (You arent planning on OCing the 25k are you?)
750w should be enough. Check how much the video card eats.

Also I'm assuming you've already compared price and performance of GTX580, AMD HD6970, and the new AMD 7970?


Thanks for the quick reply! Actually I haven't really compared them... I know that the 6970 is inferior though. I was considering dual 6950's but I just don't want to deal with crossfire at the moment. I don't know how to choose a good motherboard. That's my main concern. If it runs 16x/16x for a dual gpu setup, does that mean the mobo is amazing? There are mobos that do not have those specs but still cost a lot on newegg or they're rated very well so I am confused.
I'm thinking about OCing the 2500k but I don't think it should be necessary. Will I get much better frame rates from my gpu if it is OC'd?
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January 24, 2012 9:21:04 AM

A cpu OC will barely/not really affect fps.
A gpu OC will directly affect fps, but wont be necessary with that much graphics power, youll be constantly getting at least 60fps.
If for some reason you do want dual GPU power without the hassle of two cards, the GTX590 and HD6990 are dual gpu, single cards.

Most motherboards will run 16x on the first, and then 8x on the second. However, 8x dosn't affect performance much at all, so I wouldnt worry about it. Also, most new mobos have PCIe3, not PCIe2, and since gen 3 is twice as fast as gen 2, PCIe3 8x = PCIe2 16x.

For mobo choosing, these are the newegg 1155, z68, pcie 3 mobos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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January 24, 2012 4:03:18 PM

Max1s said:
A cpu OC will barely/not really affect fps.
A gpu OC will directly affect fps, but wont be necessary with that much graphics power, youll be constantly getting at least 60fps.
If for some reason you do want dual GPU power without the hassle of two cards, the GTX590 and HD6990 are dual gpu, single cards.

Most motherboards will run 16x on the first, and then 8x on the second. However, 8x dosn't affect performance much at all, so I wouldnt worry about it. Also, most new mobos have PCIe3, not PCIe2, and since gen 3 is twice as fast as gen 2, PCIe3 8x = PCIe2 16x.

For mobo choosing, these are the newegg 1155, z68, pcie 3 mobos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Thanks. so even if my card is "PCI Express 2.0 x16", a mobo that says "PCI Express 3.0 x16" is still compatible since that has nothing to do with size, right? I know sorta n00b question x.x
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January 24, 2012 4:42:13 PM

Pcie is all backwards compatible.
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January 24, 2012 4:50:02 PM

yeah, its all compatible, my point was: if you are running pcie 3.0x8 because of Crossfire, its the same as pcie2 x16, so no worries
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January 24, 2012 5:05:06 PM

Hi Divs and good luck with your build.

I am not really sure but depending on the deals you are getting you are eating up allot of your budget with just the gpu and cpu. Most of the 580's are over $500 bucks and the 2500k is over $200 that means only about $150 left for ram, and mobo and you will need a a\m cooler for o.c.,and you might want another $20 bucks for a optic drive, just in case you want to load an operating system. LOL

I can see a budget build but putting a 580 gpu in it kind of takes the (budget) out of it.

I am no expert and my opinion may not mean much to most, but you could save allot by going with a smaller monitor and a 560 ti. In this way I see you staying in your budget, otherwise you are going to need more cash.

It is normal to spend more on gpu than anything else and there is nothing wrong with your choices, I'm just not sure you will be able to maintain your budget.

I think that is a great psu and as long as it is in good shape ... Use it!
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January 24, 2012 6:28:11 PM

Well I can play BF3 @1080p on ultra fluidly with an HD 6950, which is right in between a gtx 560ti and a gtx 570, so I would agree, gtx 580 is a little bit overkill...
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January 25, 2012 4:21:13 AM

rmiiirusty said:
Hi Divs and good luck with your build.

I am not really sure but depending on the deals you are getting you are eating up allot of your budget with just the gpu and cpu. Most of the 580's are over $500 bucks and the 2500k is over $200 that means only about $150 left for ram, and mobo and you will need a a\m cooler for o.c.,and you might want another $20 bucks for a optic drive, just in case you want to load an operating system. LOL

I can see a budget build but putting a 580 gpu in it kind of takes the (budget) out of it.

I am no expert and my opinion may not mean much to most, but you could save allot by going with a smaller monitor and a 560 ti. In this way I see you staying in your budget, otherwise you are going to need more cash.

It is normal to spend more on gpu than anything else and there is nothing wrong with your choices, I'm just not sure you will be able to maintain your budget.

I think that is a great psu and as long as it is in good shape ... Use it!

Haha yeah, I sort of realized that... I saw some decent deals that would leave me closer to $200, I think. I guess I forgot to add that I didn't need an A/M Cooler (since OCing is not important for me right now so don't count it part of the budget), and I already have an extra optic drive. Jeez, I forgot to add a lot of things to my original post. I really want a powerful gpu so I can run all games max. I actually played BF3 @1080p with an HD 6950 as well and I can handle ULTRA with frames dropping to 30fps sometimes. I also don't think I can have max AA on most games. I feel that with a better cpu and a significantly better gpu (gtx 580), I should be able to play on max graphics for games much more fluidly (I'm hoping for 60fps ish) even with at least some AA turned on.
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January 25, 2012 4:28:35 AM

Even then, it seems my budget is a bit short... Do you guys know when new Intel GPUs will come out/ when GTX580 prices will drop? I may just decide to wait. I guess my primary concern was getting a good mobo. I mean, I think I could find a compatible mobo for less than $100 but I wouldn't know if the mobo was honestly any good.
For example, what are wrong with these mobos?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Best solution

January 25, 2012 5:31:50 AM

divz said:
Even then, it seems my budget is a bit short... Do you guys know when new Intel GPUs will come out/ when GTX580 prices will drop? I may just decide to wait. I guess my primary concern was getting a good mobo. I mean, I think I could find a compatible mobo for less than $100 but I wouldn't know if the mobo was honestly any good.
For example, what are wrong with these mobos?

The Asrock may be descent but allot of people are having issues with asrock boards with either the pci.e slots not working or a memory slot not working. Having to rma the boards quite often. Also the h61 chipset is not a known overclocker and you have only 1 pci.e slot so you could never use two gpu's

If you should have to back up to an h series board I would suggest an h67

The foxconn board appears to be feature rich and if every thing worked like it should may be a descent board. However Foxconn is not known for their quality and in no way are they compareable to the big dogs like asus,msi,and gigabyte

I would stick with a board like the following ones or maybe a gigabyte board if you have to save a few bucks.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All of these are z68 which is the latest 1155 chipset that allows your pc to switch between your video card and the graphics controller on your i5 processor which will save power consumption and give your gpu a break between gaming

It is not a must have but is definately a good feature.I would try to stick to the z68 or at least a p67 chipset
I wouldn't back up much from this type of board if you want to use it for a while.

If however you decide you must go cheaper stay with the brands listed and at least get a h67. In this case you will be giving up allot of good features, including pci.e 3.0

Personnally I would save for the good one.

If you insist on a board under a hundred bucks, try this one

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-LGA1155-B3-Motherboard-H67MS-...

I put this one in my gf's computer with an i3-2100 and it rocks. It is very stable and has overclocking software for easy oc when you decide to do it. It has only 1 pci.e slot for your gpu but with a good sized card that is all you should need
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January 25, 2012 5:34:29 AM

I hope you can make sense of my post, I backed out of the page and when I came back I must have put my curser in the wrong place to continue. I thought I was missing some of my writing so I rewrote some of it .I'm sorry.
somehow my post mixed with your quote and the first two links are your links. there were two more boards that I wanted to show you and they are these
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 25, 2012 6:02:25 AM

+1^ Those last two would be my pick. You dont want cheap Foxconn z68 boards, you want these. I personally had to choose between these two for my build, and I chose the p8z68 because although the red looks sexy with the ROG theme and other ASUS cards, its really just a smaller, expensive, very good m-atx board, compared the the bigger, less sexy, very good full sized ATX board.
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January 25, 2012 9:53:10 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! I'm thinking about going with this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Even though it is rated lower than the micro atx board. are there any major differences between ATX and Micro ATX? Or are there major differences between those two boards specifically? The micro atx board was rated better I think.
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January 25, 2012 10:00:20 AM

Thats the board I bought. (though not gen 3) Its a very solid board, overclocks your cpu like a beast, full sized, up to 3 cards for sli/CF, etc. Can't go wrong.

Micro ATX are smaller and usually cheaper. Thats basically the only difference. The reason the GENE 3 m-atx costs the same as the p8z68 is that the GENE 3 is a smaller version of the high-end boards like the MAXIMUS boards.
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January 25, 2012 3:32:07 PM

Yeah, the maximus micro board is the one I have albeit not the gen3. I love it. It doesn't have a third pci.e slot but I don,t even use the second one.

The Maximus boards are Asus's republic of gamers boards, and asus conciders them the best of the best. They have a couple of features that are useful to hardcore gamers. For instance you can plug in a laptop or any other computer to the back io port and while ingame you can tweek your oc settings from the other pc. They are rock hard stable when it comes to o.c. but you know , so is the blue version. It is practicly the same thing.


The only problem you might have with the smaller maximus board is if you want to plug in 2, 3 tier gpu's, you know the gpu's that take up 3 spaces on the back. The pci.e slots are not far enough apart for that but 2 tier cards are fine.
you can get even the gtx 580 in 2 tier cards. Here is a link to a computer I am selling on ebay to see what it looks like in a system with a asus 550ti card.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/220936715416?ssPageName=STRK:ME...

It is overclocked to 4.4g and though I have not tried a higher setting would prob approach 5g. The 550 ti gpu is oc'd as well and as you can see on the pcmark vantage scores the result is very good. The picks enlarge for you to see them better. I only use a 22" widescreen monitor which suites me fine with 1600x 900 res but because of this I am able to near max settings on bf3 with only occasional fr's below 50fps
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January 26, 2012 1:23:53 AM

Best answer selected by divz.
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January 26, 2012 1:37:30 AM

Thank you for the best answer divz and I hope you have fun with your build. I messed up that post so bad it is a wonder you could even make sense of it.LOL

Let us know how your build goes and ask any more questions you need to. Also, if you haven't already done so , watch these three videos before you get started. They will help you with allot of questions you may have when building.

http://www.newegg.com/Store/Computer.aspx?name=Computer...
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a b 4 Gaming
January 26, 2012 11:43:23 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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