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First time custom build for ~ $1000

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March 8, 2012 3:35:27 PM

Hello All,

After searching online for a decently priced gaming pc for about $1000 I found that I could probably homebuild a pc for around $1000 that is much better than any similarly price professionally built pc.

Here is what I have come up with so far. I would appreciate any feedback/criticisms you have. This will be my first homebuilt and I know I have a lot to learn before putting it all together.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 22. I've read great things about this. I was orginially going to go with the NZXT Apollo because of the price, but I am worried about airflow/heat issues.

CPU: Intel i5 2500k. I was orginally intending to go with the Phenom II x4 965 BE but decided Intel performance would be work the extra $$.

Motherboard: ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB

Hard Drive: Hitachi 0F13180 Deskstar 7K1000.D

DVD Burner: ASUS 24X DVD Burner

PSU: COOLER MASTER GX Series 750w

OS: Windows 7

Finally, I am unsure about the GPU. I was thinking about the HD 6870 (I've had great experiences with AMD GPU's in the past), but I saw I could get a GTX 480 for about ~250 online, which isn't bad. Let me know what you think. Any advice would be great appreciated



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March 8, 2012 3:44:37 PM

Well I think the 6870 is a great choice. For a bit more then 350 you can get a 2gb 6950

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

the 2GB will give you more memory for high AA gaming AND you can flash/unlock your 6950 to be a 6970.

Depending on the game a good 6870 can be OCed and work AMAZING. I have a 6850 and overclocked it and it runs everything I want (BF3, Tera, SWTOR, Skyrim) on all High/max settings besides BF3 which I run at All high settings.
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March 8, 2012 4:04:44 PM

Hoo please change the psu. That one has been known to not be able to deliver full wattage(only 600W iirc) and has some serious ripple issues. Get something like a corsair TX650W V2 or something equivalent from corsair itself, seasonic or antec. XFX also has some good power supplies.

If it was me, I'd go for z68 just because of the features and the price is quite similar to a p67 board, but if you found one significantly cheaper then no objection.
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March 8, 2012 4:18:46 PM

Change the PSU; CM really isn't the best of coices in the PSU business, Antec/Enermax/OCZ/Corsair fare better in reviews.

I've personally have horrible experiences with Hitachi hard drives, well, now that I think about it, I've been really unlucky with hard drives in the past 5 years heh... WD has been the least problematic (just stay away from the Green series).

Get a good HSF & OC that 2500k, if not, just get the 2500 and save a few bucks.

As for Z68 vs P67, unless you wanna use SSD caching or do a lot of media encoding, then stay with the P67; costs less and will be compatible with Ivy Bridge with a BIOS upgrade.
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March 8, 2012 4:50:40 PM

Thank for the quick replies. Definitely going to change the PSU. Any thoughts on the case? I like the look and price of the Apollo, but I am worried about over-heating.

Also I was thinking this card when I orginally spoke about the GTX 480. It seems like a midway point between the HD 6870 and HD 6970 in terms of price and performance. It is significantly cheaper than other GTX 480 brands which makes me a little hesitant.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 8, 2012 4:59:24 PM

It's quite a good price for a card that performs equal to the 570. If you're buying one, make sure you have a well ventilated case. The cm haf series is pretty good for air cooling. Make sure to install fans wherever possible and have the side panel as an exhaust
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March 10, 2012 5:35:13 PM

Thanks for the help I think I am going to go with the HD 6870. It seems like a good deal. And yes, in the orginal post I should have put HAF 922 not 22. I decided to go with that case as well.

I just came across a Phenom II x4 960t for about $105. I haven't purchased it yet, but it made me think that it could be a better value than the i5. I figure that a i5 and a Motherboard will run me about $325, whereas, a Phenom II x4 and Motherboard will be less than $200. I know that overall the i5 performs better, but which one do you think would be the best value?

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a b B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2012 8:56:53 PM

The phenom can be a better value, once overclock it can perform almost equal to an i5
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