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Advice for a 1200$ gaming PC

Last response: in Systems
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March 23, 2012 5:55:36 PM

Hey guys,

Somebody broke in to my apartment and stole my alienware m15x laptop.
While the laptop's place in my heart cannot be replaced, the empty space on my desk can.
So I've come up with specs for a gaming PC at about 1200 usd, and would like to hear what you think about it.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week
Budget Range: 1200$ , I can break this budge if convinced it's worth it
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, movies, internets.
Parts Not Required: I've got nothing.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: irrelevant.
Country: Israel.
Parts Preferences: None.
Overclocking: Maybe. No good reason not to.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. But this doesn't seem like a good idea at my price range.
Monitor Resolution: depends on build.
Additional Comments:
  • Shouldn't be too noisy.
  • I'd like a USB 3.0 port at the front of the case.
  • My budget doesn't permit an SSD, but I might buy one in the future.


  • Here's what I have in mind:
    Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 R695OC 1GD *OR* Radeon HD 7850. (Any thoughts on what would be a better choice?)
    Hitachi DeskStar 7k1000.D 1TB
    Monitor - Dell u2311h
    Core i5 2500k tray
    Motherboard - Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3
    Logitech gaming combo G100 (links to logitech.com; couldn't find this on newegg, sorry)
    Coolmaster Hyper 212 plus

    I still need to choose a case and a PSU for about 140$. Any recommendations?

    Thanks! :) 
  • More about : advice 1200 gaming

    a b D Laptop
    a c 276 4 Gaming
    March 23, 2012 6:09:33 PM

    Quote:
    Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 R695OC 1GD *OR* Radeon HD 7850. (Any thoughts on what would be a better choice?)


    The 7850 is brand new and was completely redesigned from the ground up where the 6950 is based on somewhat existing architecture. If you can squeeze the 7870 into your budget that would be ideal but the 7850 is a good choice nonetheless.

    Quote:
    I still need to choose a case and a PSU for about 140$. Any recommendations?


    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    PSU: Seasonic S12 II 620W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    March 23, 2012 6:58:07 PM

    Quote:
    The 7850 is brand new and was completely redesigned from the ground up where the 6950 is based on somewhat existing architecture. If you can squeeze the 7870 into your budget that would be ideal but the 7850 is a good choice nonetheless.

    The 7870 is 100$ more, so I think I'll go for a 7850. Is there a particular make you can recommend?
    Also I see it only comes in PCI Express 3.0 variants. Will that work with a 2.0 slot?

    ... and it seems I forgot an optical drive and memory. funny. =|
    Related resources
    March 23, 2012 8:30:35 PM

    Japandroid said:
    Overclocking: Maybe. No good reason not to.
  • My budget doesn't permit an SSD, but I might buy one in the future.

    Here's what I have in mind:
    Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 R695OC 1GD *OR* Radeon HD 7850. (Any thoughts on what would be a better choice?)
    Hitachi DeskStar 7k1000.D 1TB
    Monitor - Dell u2311h
    Core i5 2500k tray
    Motherboard - Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3
    Logitech gaming combo G100 (links to logitech.com; couldn't find this on newegg, sorry)
    Coolmaster Hyper 212 plus

    I still need to choose a case and a PSU for about 140$. Any recommendations?

    Thanks! :) 
  • [/b]

  • If you skip the OC then it might save you enough money to put in an SSD and a smaller HDD. No, the SSD won't improve your frame rates when gaming, but it will improve your startup and load times.

    Do you already have your OS, or is that something else you forgot?

    I changed a few of the specifics on your build, but consider:
    (prices are before Mail-In Rebates)
    Monitor: Asus VH238H 23" LED $158 ($10 MIR)
    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 $60 ($10 MIR)
    PSU: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80Plus Bronze $85
    MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 $130 (Combo Deal w/ OS)
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 $190 (Combo Deal w/ RAM)
    RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $34 (Combo Deal w/ CPU)
    GPU: ASUS HD7850-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7850 $260
    SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 120GB for $130 or Corsair Force 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 120GB for $150 ($30 MIR) or Patriot Pyro PP120GS25SSDR 120GB for $160 ($40 MIR)
    HDD: 500GB Western Digital WD5000AAKX for $85 or 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS for $110
    DVD: LITE-ON iHAS224-06 $21
    OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit OEM $140 (Combo Deal w/ MB)

    Total: $1293-1330 (~$1263-1293 after MIR)
    Total w/o OS: $1168-1215 (~$1138-1168 after MIR)


    Gives you the speed of an SSD and the volume of an HDD while just sacrificing the ability to OC. But that build should give you some pretty great performance in the vast majority of games today. It is a little over the $1200 limit if you need to buy an operating system, but then again you would have ended up over anyway as you only had $140 to work with and still needed the OS, RAM, Optical Drive, PSU and Case.


    EDIT: P.S. The Monitor is $174 right now but there is a 10% off Promo Code that applies before the MIR, bringing it down to ~$158.
    March 24, 2012 12:24:31 PM

    Isaiah4110 said:
    If you skip the OC then it might save you enough money to put in an SSD and a smaller HDD. No, the SSD won't improve your frame rates when gaming, but it will improve your startup and load times.

    Do you already have your OS, or is that something else you forgot?

    I changed a few of the specifics on your build, but consider:
    (prices are before Mail-In Rebates)
    Monitor: Asus VH238H 23" LED $158 ($10 MIR)
    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 $60 ($10 MIR)
    PSU: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80Plus Bronze $85
    MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 $130 (Combo Deal w/ OS)
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 $190 (Combo Deal w/ RAM)
    RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $34 (Combo Deal w/ CPU)
    GPU: ASUS HD7850-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7850 $260
    SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 120GB for $130 or Corsair Force 3 CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 120GB for $150 ($30 MIR) or Patriot Pyro PP120GS25SSDR 120GB for $160 ($40 MIR)
    HDD: 500GB Western Digital WD5000AAKX for $85 or 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS for $110
    DVD: LITE-ON iHAS224-06 $21
    OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit OEM $140 (Combo Deal w/ MB)

    Total: $1293-1330 (~$1263-1293 after MIR)
    Total w/o OS: $1168-1215 (~$1138-1168 after MIR)


    Gives you the speed of an SSD and the volume of an HDD while just sacrificing the ability to OC. But that build should give you some pretty great performance in the vast majority of games today. It is a little over the $1200 limit if you need to buy an operating system, but then again you would have ended up over anyway as you only had $140 to work with and still needed the OS, RAM, Optical Drive, PSU and Case.


    EDIT: P.S. The Monitor is $174 right now but there is a 10% off Promo Code that applies before the MIR, bringing it down to ~$158.


    That looks like a really good deal.
    But, unfortunately, newegg don't ship to my country.
    Would you still recommend this build, even without all the combos and MIRs?
    I was also thinking that since adding an SSD is an easy upgrade, I should put more of an emphasis on the other components and wait a few paychecks for the SSD.
    Oh, and I've got an OS. Didn't forget it =)
    March 25, 2012 7:16:57 PM

    Japandroid said:
    That looks like a really good deal.
    But, unfortunately, newegg don't ship to my country.
    Would you still recommend this build, even without all the combos and MIRs?
    I was also thinking that since adding an SSD is an easy upgrade, I should put more of an emphasis on the other components and wait a few paychecks for the SSD.
    Oh, and I've got an OS. Didn't forget it =)

    If you can get all those parts for similar prices then I would definitely still recommend that build. I switched the monitor simply because the two monitors are pretty much equal in performance and quality but the one I put there was cheaper on Newegg. Pretty much any 23" LED-LCD monitor from LG, ASUS, Samsung, or Viewsonic should do very well for you. They will all give you good performance in general so whichever has the best deal works.

    The CPU change removes the ability to OC, but saves you (Newegg prices) $30 on the process and removes the need for the $30 CPU cooler. It shouldn't damaatically affect your overall performance either.

    The RAM is $47 without the combo deal. I like Patriot, Corsair and Kingston (HyperX). I've seen others here also recommend Geil and GSkill. Any DDR3 1600 RAM from those manufacturers should do well, so again decide on price. I've heard some on TH say they have had bad experiences with Patriot, but I haven't myself. As long as you are getting a lifetime warranty they I don't think you will have a problem.

    Radeon 7850 GPU are pretty much the same price no matter the brand. I prefer XFX (none of that model available yet) then ASUS and MSI. I have also had good experiences with EVGA video cards.

    As far as adding a solid state drive later, keep in mind you will probably want to reinstall everything at that point (unless you have access to imaging software). The way I look at it, it is easier to add a storage drive later than it is to change your system drive. In picking a specific drive, any one of those three I listed should give you good performance and I have heard good things about the brands. If you can find a Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe or Patriot Wildfire for the same price then I would pick those first, but your best bet for the $120-150 price range is one of those three I listed first.

    Where are you planning on purchasing the parts? Website or physical store? If it is a physical store then do they have a website where they list their prices?



    In a nutshell, I do believe that would be a great build if wherever you are planning on acquiring the parts has them all for your price range. It is hard to say anything else about specific parts/models without knowing how much they cost wherever you can get them. I don't know which websites ship to Israel.
    !