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1200-1500 Gaming Build

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February 2, 2012 12:16:27 AM

Hey guys,
Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. I know there are a few of these on here, hopefully you don't mind seeing one more.

Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of the month.

Budget Range: 1200-1500 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming first and foremost. I'd like it to be able to chug through the most graphically intense games on the highest settings. After gaming, streaming media, browsing, etc.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg and Amazon are the ones I know, but I'm open to sites that don't look too shady.

Country:USA

Parts Preferences: No preferences.

Overclocking: Maybe, I've never done it before.

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Monitor Resolution: Well, something ideal for gaming. I've read that 23 in is about where you want to be for that.

Additional Comments: Nothing flashy on the case needed, I wont turn down a case because it has LED and a pretty glass side, but it certainly isn't something I'm looking for. Just the best deal. I don't live near a Micro Center, so strictly online sources please. Thanks for taking the time to help me out!

More about : 1200 1500 gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
February 2, 2012 12:55:26 AM

SLI or Crossfire YES :p 
You should get a mobo and PSU that will allow you to drop another card in in a couple of years for a very easy upgrade. This will definitely save you money in the long run.
$230 2500K (Amazon)
$160 Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3
$150 decent monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 Rosewill Challenger case
$85 Seagate Barracuda 500gb HDD, unless you think you need more space. If you do, make it a $125 Barracuda 1tb.
$20 ODD, any old thing
$135 after rebate Patriot Pyro 120gb SSD
$35 212 EVO
$40 Kingston HyperX 8gb 1600mhz RAM

This puts us at $905 without a GPU or PSU. I'd go 750W for any decent Xfire build, and this XFX is good and $100 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Leaving $765 for the GPU! You're looking at a 7950, dude.
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February 2, 2012 1:31:41 AM

Here's my suggestion for you

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4hZX
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4hZX/by_merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
This is the best gaming processor out right now, the i7's hyper threading doesn't add anything to game performance. Plus, it's unlocked so if you decide to overclock and milk a little more speed out of your system you can.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
This will keep your processor nice and frosty and will leave you plenty of thermal headroom should you decide to OC.

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
Everyone has their own favorite brand of motherboard, but this should at least give you an idea of what price range and feature set you should be looking at.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
You don't need more than 8GB of RAM for excellent gaming, and these provide a very nice bang for buck.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($82.99 @ SuperBiiz)
A data hard drive. I know it's only 500 GB, but hard drive prices are ridiculous these days. If you could get your hands on an older one from another build, I'd recommend doing that instead.

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.95 @ B&H)
I feel with the budget you have, a SSD would be an excellent feature to add. It increases the boot time and general responsiveness of your computer significantly. Just load your OS to it and enjoy the blazing speeds.

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($568.49 @ Newegg)
This is the best single graphics card available at the moment. This will take everything you throw at it and laugh.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Good solid case. There's tons of choices in this price range, so I would take a peak and see if there's something you might like better. As long as they have good air flow, it's mostly just to taste.

Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($143.99 @ Amazon)
Corsair is about the best brand you can get for a power supply. This one is also 80+ silver so it has an excellent efficiency rating and it's modular to boot for easy cable management. The wattage is also a little bit above what is truly necessary, but I like to err on the side of caution.

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($27.97 @ Newegg)
any optical drive will do

Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Good reviews, good brand

Total: $1514.19
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-02-01 22:06 EST-0500)


The only thing about this build that I'm shaky about is of course the price. This puts you just a smidge above maximum budget. There's a few things that you can do about this. First one would be to step down the graphics card to a GTX 580, 570, or a 560Ti - 448 or their AMD equivalents. You could drop the SSD or find a hard drive from an older build to use. Lastly, maybe save up for another month if its too much? Either way, I would try to make this build as is if you can because you will be absolutely blown away by its performance.

Anywho, I hope this help!
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Related resources
February 2, 2012 1:38:57 AM

kajabla said:
SLI or Crossfire YES :p 
You should get a mobo and PSU that will allow you to drop another card in in a couple of years for a very easy upgrade. This will definitely save you money in the long run.
$230 2500K (Amazon)
$160 Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3
$150 decent monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 Rosewill Challenger case
$85 Seagate Barracuda 500gb HDD, unless you think you need more space. If you do, make it a $125 Barracuda 1tb.
$20 ODD, any old thing
$135 after rebate Patriot Pyro 120gb SSD

This puts us at $830 without a GPU or PSU. I'd go 750W for any decent Xfire build, and this XFX is good and $100 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Leaving $650 for the GPU! You're looking at a 7950, dude.


What kind of PSU would I need to run this rig? I honestly am pretty new to this, so I wouldn't have a clue.

Edit: Yeah, so I'm dumb, I see you posted the power suggestions right there. My bad.
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February 2, 2012 1:42:19 AM

Grand_Admiral_K said:
Here's my suggestion for you

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4hZX
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4hZX/by_merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
This is the best gaming processor out right now, the i7's hyper threading doesn't add anything to game performance. Plus, it's unlocked so if you decide to overclock and milk a little more speed out of your system you can.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
This will keep your processor nice and frosty and will leave you plenty of thermal headroom should you decide to OC.

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
Everyone has their own favorite brand of motherboard, but this should at least give you an idea of what price range and feature set you should be looking at.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
You don't need more than 8GB of RAM for excellent gaming, and these provide a very nice bang for buck.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($82.99 @ SuperBiiz)
A data hard drive. I know it's only 500 GB, but hard drive prices are ridiculous these days. If you could get your hands on an older one from another build, I'd recommend doing that instead.

Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.95 @ B&H)
I feel with the budget you have, a SSD would be an excellent feature to add. It increases the boot time and general responsiveness of your computer significantly. Just load your OS to it and enjoy the blazing speeds.

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($568.49 @ Newegg)
This is the best single graphics card available at the moment. This will take everything you throw at it and laugh.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Good solid case. There's tons of choices in this price range, so I would take a peak and see if there's something you might like better. As long as they have good air flow, it's mostly just to taste.

Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($143.99 @ Amazon)
Corsair is about the best brand you can get for a power supply. This one is also 80+ silver so it has an excellent efficiency rating and it's modular to boot for easy cable management. The wattage is also a little bit above what is truly necessary, but I like to err on the side of caution.

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($27.97 @ Newegg)
any optical drive will do

Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Good reviews, good brand

Total: $1514.19
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-02-01 22:06 EST-0500)


The only thing about this build that I'm shaky about is of course the price. This puts you just a smidge above maximum budget. There's a few things that you can do about this. First one would be to step down the graphics card to a GTX 580, 570, or a 560Ti - 448 or their AMD equivalents. You could drop the SSD or find a hard drive from an older build to use. Lastly, maybe save up for another month if its too much? Either way, I would try to make this build as is if you can because you will be absolutely blown away by its performance.

Anywho, I hope this help!


This all sounds very good, and I do have a couple older systems around, one of which I'm almost positive has a 500gb in it. Is it just not worth the cost for a TB? Thanks again.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 2, 2012 1:56:23 AM

At the moment, hard drive prices are very high due to this summer's floods in Thailand, where most of the the world's hard drives are made. Reuse a drive if you can. If you don't have a backup, though, by all means buy one ASAP. Losing your data is no fun.

I noticed that I left out a couple of parts, so I updated. You've still got room for a 7950. Alternately, you could go Admiral's route, with a 64gb SSD and a 7970, or you could go closer to $1500 and just get both. Personally, I recommend the larger SSD; you'll fill 64gb awfully quickly without a lot of clever management.
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February 7, 2012 7:51:49 PM

All very good stuff, and lots of help. Where I do have the 500 gb harddrive, I'll probably go with both as you suggested, and forgo purchasing a harddrive til the prices come back down. Thanks again for all the suggestions!
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a b 4 Gaming
February 7, 2012 8:23:49 PM

inhumanharvest said:
All very good stuff, and lots of help. Where I do have the 500 gb harddrive, I'll probably go with both as you suggested, and forgo purchasing a harddrive til the prices come back down. Thanks again for all the suggestions!

If you don't feel like messing with dual vid cards...and many don't, then take a look at this for an option.

http://www.amazon.com/PRO550W-Wired-Bronze-Power-Supply... $73.23 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $104.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-11196-00-40G-Radeon-PCI-... $449.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Sapphire 11196-00-40G Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 HDMI / DVI-I / Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD%C2%B1RW-Serial-Intern... $22.88 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Asus 24xDVD±RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $41.99 FREE SHIPPING
Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $154.99 FREE SHIPPING
ADATA S510 Series AS510S3-120GM-O 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
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