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Building a system for ~$1k

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Last response: in Systems
March 21, 2012 2:46:59 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next 2-3 weeks (or earlier).

Budget Range: About $1k, could go up to ~$1150 if its worth it. Prefer to aim for $1k though.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing internet, watching movies, possibly hackintosh iphone developement

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, OS, SSD (Intel SSD 520, 120gb), Optical Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,,,

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Leaning towards intel+nvidea because 1) I may try to install Mac OSX also (not 100% sure on this though, so if it costs a lot more to get the same gaming performance, forget it) and I've heard nvidia+intel is the way to go for this and 2) I picked up a 3d monitor on boxing day and it seems nvidia > ati for 3d but correct me if I'm wrong here.

Overclocking: Maybe, not a top priority though.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, having hard time deciding if its better to get 1 pimped video card or 2 good video cards

Monitor Resolution: 3d monitor is 1920x1080 and another monitor at 1680x1050.

Additional Comments: It shouldn't matter but I would prefer a cool looking case with LEDs and stuff, even if it costs a little extra :) 

Heres my thoughts so far:
Processor: either intel i5-2500k or if I have left over $, i7-2700k
Motherboard: I'm not really sure here, thinking to just go with one of the processor + motherboard bundles, such as this one (i7-2700k + Asus P8Z68-V Pro / Gen 3Asus P8Z68-V Pro / Gen 3.
Video card: Having hard time deciding, either Gigabyte nVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 at $380 or 2x GTX 560Ti (such as this one, not sure exactly which 560Ti is the best, all of them around same price
Memory: Anything at 8GB is fine by me, lets go with GSKill Ripjaws 1600Mhz DDR3 (2x4GB) at $50 ??
HDD: Dont need to pick this right away as I can run with my SSD + I have a 1tb external. I'm just waiting for a nice deal on a 1 or 2tb. But this should be a part of the cost, lets say I can score a 1tb at $90.
Case: I like Coolmaster Haf X but realistically in my budget thinking something like NZXT Appllo ATX Mid-Tower or Apevia-X Dreamer3 Mid-Tower
PSU: really not sure here. I was thinking to just use a power supply calculator and get a reasonably priced one that meets my needs? This depends a lot on if I go with 1x video card or 2x though.
Cooling: I'm unsure but based on my browsing the COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 at $35 seems to be a popular choice.

Just to get a final cost on my estimate so far, lets just throw this 'rough' build together:
Process+MOBO: i5-2500k + Asus P8Z68-V / Gen 3 = $365
Video card: Gigabyte nVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 = $380
Memory: GSKill Ripjaws 1600Mhz DDR3 (2x4GB) = $50
HDD: Whatever = $90
Case: Apevia-X Dreamer3 Mid-Tower = $57
PSU: Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 700 Watt Power Supply = $70
Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 = $35
Total $997, wow that came out right where I was aiming.. I'm willing to go up to maybe $100-$150 more if its worth it but would prefer to stick to $1k.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

More about : building system

March 21, 2012 3:24:33 AM

Case: I like Coolmaster Haf X but realistically in my budget thinking something like NZXT Appllo ATX Mid-Tower or Apevia-X Dreamer3 Mid-Tower

Do not get an Apevia case - they are flat-out garbage compared to a lot of the cases I've used. The HAF X is nice but it is major overkill on a <=$1K build.

And don't get a 580 when the 7870 beats it easily in benchmarks and the 7850 is putting up GTX 580 numbers.

Try this:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $99.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair TX750 V2 - $104.99 ($15.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3H - $159.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $29.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 1333MHz 1.5V - $42.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda ST 1TB 7200 RPM - $109.99
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 - $259.99

Total: $1,045.99 - $25.00 MIR = $1,020.99