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Building a $1000-1500 gaming PC

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March 3, 2012 8:27:54 PM

Hello, I'm new to this forum as well as building PC's (First time) so please feel free to critique and give your input on the current build. Thanks.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 1-3 weeks.

Budget Range: $1500 is the maximum before rebates, preferably would like to keep it around the $1300 mark.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing, watching movies/tv, school work, other daily uses.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS, and speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.ca, tigerdirect.ca, ncix.ca

Country: Canada

Current Setup (subject to change):

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k 3.3 GHz

CPU Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper N520

GPU: GeForce GTX 560 Ti -448 Cores

Motherboard: ASROCK P67 Extreme4 GEN3

Hard Drive: WD Caviar Black 750Gb 7200rpm SATA 6.0Gb/s

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16Gb

PSU: OCZ ModXStream 600W
Wasn't sure if this is big enough, I've used a bunch of different calculators and they all come up with different numbers... (Probably user error but still any help is appreciated)

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Mid Size Tower

Standard DVDRW Drive, and I'll be re-using my old mouse and keyboard.

Total comes to: ~$1332.06 (Includes tax and S&H) ~$1262.06 after mail-in rebates.


Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 Samsung LCD


Additional Comments: As I said before this is my first build so if I'm missing any extremely obvious parts please let me know. Also feel free to recommend upgrades or better products if you think they are necessary. Thanks again!

PS The case and motherboard were off the newegg.com site by accident. The actual price on newegg.ca is about $20 more for both.
March 3, 2012 8:49:13 PM

system looks good - here's what i'd recommend to change -

i like that motherboard - and it comes with a front 2 x USB3.0 connector - so i'd recommend changing your case to this (in order to have front USB3.0 ports):

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- Antec Three Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded 2 x USB 3.0: $75

i'd also recommend a PSU from either Corsair, Seasonic or Antec only like this one:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- Antec BP550 Plus 550W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular: $80

and last i'd scale down the CPU cooler to this:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
- COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO: $37

Related resources
March 3, 2012 9:07:36 PM

Thanks for the feedback!

Great find on the Barracuda, I was looking long and hard for that one. I also changed the cooler to the scaled down one.

Also what do you think about this case?
Rosewill Ranger Mid Tower

The one you linked looked awesome, but the shipping is going to cost me about as much as the case itself for it.
March 3, 2012 10:01:34 PM

that case looks awesome, take it... and it's got the proper front 2 x USB3.0's too

March 3, 2012 10:02:43 PM


Hi Ncix has this 2TB hard drive for the same price. Twice the space! sale only good till the seventh, but even then it is only $20 more for twice the storage.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=66010&vpn=ST2000DM001&...

Wassup mike is right about the 212 cooler as it has always had great reviews for economical price. However for three more bucks to get the same brand upgraded model may be a great deal to. Its hard to say cause it is a new product and hasn't recieved many reviews yet.
I am getting one for my next build and I will be one of the first to rate it I suppose. lol

Your case you linked is a good choice as is wasupmike's. In the end the case is a matter of preference as it is you who will have to look at it every day.
Wasupmike's suggestion to get front usb 3.0 was spot on. especially if you have devices or plan to, that will use the supercharge function. There aren't many other peripheral devices that take advantage of 3.0 yet, but I'm sure there will be.

You should beat your budget with the components listed. If it were me I would skip the asrock board and go with this.

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

or this

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

The second one is out of stock at the moment but you can find another vendor or they will get it back soon I'm sure.

The reason I say this is that Asrock, while getting better, has been having troubles with slots not working, wether memory slots or pci.e slots.

I have read of at least three people here in these forums having those issues, and I have personnally experienced a person who is in our lan party group who has gotten a dead board and then when recieving the rma'd replacement(5 weeks later) found it to have a dead pci.e slot. He returned it as well and went with the maximus board from Asus and has not looked back.

In our lan group, we have a saying...asUS means use US, asROCK means used for a paperweight. lol.
It may be a little harsh, but really who wants to ask for an opportunity to have to rma a board.

Most want working hardware the first time. Not saying the asrock wont work, just going from rescent experience.
March 3, 2012 10:43:58 PM


Thanks for the reply donlev.

That HDD looks like a great deal with the prices skyrocketing lately. Unfortunately the deal isn't available on ncix.ca, so it will cost me about $160 CAD.

After looking over the three mobo's multiple times now I think I agree with you. The ASRock has a bunch of people complaining of broken SATA ports and being DOA. I found a great deal for the ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 so thats what I'm going with now (189.99 CAD).

I'm also contemplating changing to this GPU instead, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448

The other one has a lot of complaints about insane heat and power usage while idle.
March 3, 2012 11:17:11 PM

andy7117 said:
Thanks for the reply donlev.

That HDD looks like a great deal with the prices skyrocketing lately. Unfortunately the deal isn't available on ncix.ca, so it will cost me about $160 CAD.

After looking over the three mobo's multiple times now I think I agree with you. The ASRock has a bunch of people complaining of broken SATA ports and being DOA. I found a great deal for the ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 so thats what I'm going with now (189.99 CAD).

I'm also contemplating changing to this GPU instead, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448

The other one has a lot of complaints about insane heat and power usage while idle.


Yeah, Ive seen that with zotac. Sometimes they are good and other times not.

Gigabyte is good tho, as is evga, and asus if you can find the 448.Also msi twin frozr or hawk models offer 448 core gpu's. I hear good about them as well.
The only problem with the asus 560 ti 448 is that it is a three tier card and takes up 3 spaces which could hinder sli attempts later or at least crowd your cards.

I think the Asus Mobo will serve you well. I have the Maximus iv gene-z and love it. It has great o.c. stability as I am sure will the V-Gen3.
The asrock may have been fine to but who knows. I hear that when they work , they are great. At least with asus you will get a 3 yr warrantee and high quality components.
March 4, 2012 4:07:19 AM

I would use directcanada.com they are cheaper and have free shipping.
March 4, 2012 4:32:23 AM

You don't need 16GB of ram if your main purpose is gaming.

For psu, prefer corsair, seasonic and antec are preferred but, I suggest you go for a 650W power supply. It'll give you more room for future upgrade(crossfire or SLI, more drives, etc) and room for the power supply to provide enough power because all power supply will degrade in time. Have a look at corsair TX650W V2

I suggest you have a look at MSI power edition 560ti 448. It's has a great cooler, silent and great for overclocking



March 4, 2012 5:05:38 AM

N3wfieBullet said:
I would use directcanada.com they are cheaper and have free shipping.


Wow, you just saved me over $100! :bounce:  Thanks!
March 4, 2012 5:13:27 AM

EzioAs said:
You don't need 16GB of ram if your main purpose is gaming.

For psu, prefer corsair, seasonic and antec are preferred but, I suggest you go for a 650W power supply. It'll give you more room for future upgrade(crossfire or SLI, more drives, etc) and room for the power supply to provide enough power because all power supply will degrade in time. Have a look at corsair TX650W V2

I suggest you have a look at MSI power edition 560ti 448. It's has a great cooler, silent and great for overclocking


I know 16 is a bit overkill, but I'm getting a great deal on it (~$81).
I changed to the exact psu you said about 2 minutes before I read your comment lol.
I upgraded the GPU to the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448, and it runs 3 fans and heatsink for cooling. It seems almost the exact same as the MSI version, but I'm not quite sure?
Plus the added benefit of a free BF3 and Arkham City coupon :lol: 
Thanks for the input :) 
March 4, 2012 5:38:03 AM

Sounds like your on the right path and headed for success.

I am not sure how comfortable you are with building your first pc, but you should check out these three vids before you get started and make sure you read your mobo manual fully,before you get started as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Store/Computer.aspx?name=Computer...

You probably already have seen them but I just wanted to point them out just in case. There are others around to that someone else may point out links to.

Asus usually has a little adaptor plug for plugging in your front power plugs to so you can then plug it to mobo for ease of handling. so that will help.

One newbie mistake is to have 1 to many standoffs applied to the mounting board when they install the mobo. That could short out everything and ruin your components, so make sure where your holes are on mobo and that you have the right amount of standoffs placed in the correct position.

Also do the breadboard test like in the vids to make sure everything works before you install it.
Otherwise- good luck with your build and let us know how it goes.
March 4, 2012 5:41:39 AM

Yeah, feel free to give feedback and let us know if there are any problems
March 4, 2012 11:37:10 AM

Thanks for all the feedback! I think I'm nearly 100% happy with the build, a few minor tweaks and I'll be ready to buy sometime this week hopefully!

Wish me luck :) 
March 5, 2012 5:29:58 AM

hi buddy,

you've got the general idea. short summary of my thoughts:

cpu: good
mobo: this is a great motherboard but pretty expensive for your budget range. you could go with something less expensive and use the savings on...
videocard: this is where you're really skimping and you shouldn't. gpu is the main bottleneck in most games, so do yourself a favor and get the best card you can get in your price range. i'm recommending the radeon 7950 right now.
power supply: based on your choice of cpu/mobo it seems you may want to do some overclocking and potentially run an SLI setup. i can tell you right now this setup will not support SLI. go for at least 750 watts if you plan to overclock cpu/gpu or go SLI. (for example a system with i5 + radeon 7950 stock will draw about 400 watts at 100% gpu load...overclock the radeon to 1100/1300 and power draw will hit close to 550 watts...add a 2nd vid card and...)
ram: 16 gigs is overkill at this point, youll get the most benefit by going with 8 gigs here and spending the savings on your gpu
harddrive: good if you want space, otherwise go for a 120gb ssd or something like a seagate momentus hybrid SSD/HDD
i recently put together sub-$1k and sub-$1.6k gaming rigs that easily run today's games at max settings 1920x1200 over 60fps. check em at www.rightrig.tumblr.com
March 5, 2012 6:03:08 AM

The new radeon cards are pretty good but they are a bit pricey.

The 560ti will max out ultra settings on bf3 with a 22" monitor by itself, let alone the 448 core which is almost a 570 anyway. No need to sli but if a game comes out sometime in the next few years that will require a better setup you could get another 448 core and be set for a few more years and all for about the same price as 1 of the new radeon cards.

If you are already getting 60 fps with 1 setup, you wont gain anything from 100 fps as far as your gaming experience. It is my opinion that you would be throwing your money away. I would stick with 8 gigs for now as you won't even use all of that.

I have a 630 watt psu and sli 2 560 ti's. They are not 448 core but my psu doesn't seem taxed at all. You could go with a larger supply if you want to be sure. It couldn't hurt anything but your power bill.
In my other system I run 2 550 ti's on a 500 watt amp. Both have i5 2500k oc'd to about 4.4gigs and both have gpus overclocked as well.

March 5, 2012 6:13:59 AM

donlev said:
The new radeon cards are pretty good but they are a bit pricey.

The 560ti will max out ultra settings on bf3 with a 22" monitor by itself, let alone the 448 core which is almost a 570 anyway. No need to sli but if a game comes out sometime in the next few years that will require a better setup you could get another 448 core and be set for a few more years and all for about the same price as 1 of the new radeon cards.

If you are already getting 60 fps with 1 setup, you wont gain anything from 100 fps as far as your gaming experience. It is my opinion that you would be throwing your money away. I would stick with 8 gigs for now as you won't even use all of that.

I have a 630 watt psu and sli 2 560 ti's. They are not 448 core but my psu doesn't seem taxed at all. You could go with a larger supply if you want to be sure. It couldn't hurt anything but your power bill.
In my other system I run 2 550 ti's on a 500 watt amp. Both have i5 2500k oc'd to about 4.4gigs and both have gpus overclocked as well.


I agree. You've just delivered the message that I was trying to deliver today that you don't need to get TOO overkill for the psu. Overkill is good but only when it's within reason. 650W is enough for 2 560ti
!