I just recently decided to venture back into PC gaming on a part time basis. I haven't built a computer in about 8 years now, but my wife and I decided its time to get back in the game! I need a computer that is functional to play MMOs and RPG games, and maybe the occasional bout of BF3. My budget is under $1k, and ideally I am staying under $950. I dont believe I will be doing any overclocking, so I am not sure if I should invest in more cooling right now. I haven't tried it in the past, but have some other friends who could show me if I am interested. I would like to buy this ASAP because I am becoming very impatient. =)

I do not need a monitor, I have a newer 32" TV that I want to use, so having HDMI on my video card is a requirement. Here is my build so far, so any advice would be appreciated. I did have one pretty big question, concerning PCI... are PCI 2.1 cards compatible with a 2.0 PCI motherboard? Silly, I know, but it has been some time. Thank you for your imput!

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

MOBO ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

MEM CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

POWER SUPPLY OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

VIDEO Card ASUS EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

Cost: $915

I also have my Hard Drive, CD Drive, and case picked out, but I didn't include them because I don't believe they will make a difference. I didnt go SSD with my hard drive, I just don't see the point since I won't be hard core gaming. Maybe when they come back down in price. Included in my budget is my copy of windows 7 *$99*
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  1. i would like to recommend
    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $121.99

    and you can drop down to 8 Gig of RAM
    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) Now: $54.99

    oh a good quality "cheaper" PSU:
    SILVERSTONE Strider Essential series ST70F-ES 700W Was: $84.99 Now: $69.99
  2. Do what looniam said. Also drorp the PSU to a 600W model like the Corsair TX650. IF you're not OCing, drop down to the Core i5-2400. USe the money you saved to get a 7850.
  3. yes PCI-E2.1 cards work with a 2.0 mobo. Nothing fully saturates PCI-E 2 anyway.
  4. Thank you for the quick responses! I would definately like to get into that bigger badder GFX card. Made the changes for the Power supply. And I can put a 2.1 PCI card into a PCI 3.0 slot?
  5. yes.
  6. But at your budget I wouldn't focus on a PCI-E 3.0 mobo.
  7. Best answer
  8. angaddev said:
    But at your budget I wouldn't focus on a PCI-E 3.0 mobo.

    Yeah. I most likely won't be adding anything to this build for some time. My plan is to get one rig for myself and later this year another one for the wife to play with as well. So this is sound advice. Without dual GFX cards the 600 watt PSU is plenty enough. I like saving some money on the MOBO though. I definately made that change. I looked into the 7000 series Radeon cards, but im not seeing much difference performance wise *according to reviews* to the 6850s.

    How about this GFX card instead?

    SAPPHIRE 11201-00-20G Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16
  9. the 7770 is ok IF you are looking at just playing like diablo 3, its just below the 6850 you posted before.

    if you can grunge up the extra cash for a 7850. you will be pleased.
  10. Proximon said:
    Some good advice there, but let me maximize the build a bit. And yes it makes a difference. You need proper cooling and want to select a fast HDD. You do want an SSD but it's not in the budget.
    TOTAL: $938.91

    First of all, your Guide to Choosing Parts is a great read. I am glad I sent the time to sit down with that, and browse the links. I could have used this a few days ago when I was getting started on all of this! And I really like the suggestions for places to cut. You also found better deals on the Hard Drive and Case than I was able to find. That also enables me to look at those higher end cards that Looniam, angaddev and I were discussing. I'll have to compare those two and get somethign worked out. You guys are great!
  11. Since I fit it into my build, I kept the memory I had before, but made the other changes. I also can't save my HDD for some reason in the wishlist, but here is what I have:
  12. Your wish list doesn't display... I think there is a way to do that, I stopped using those long ago. Let me see

    That may help.
  13. I cant get it to display. Guess they disabled the sharing feature? I'll just post it the good ole fashioned way!


    Of course Windows 7 64 bit

    I went with most of your suggestions, but I wanted to keep my 16gb of Ram for now, other than having to upgrade it later. But my last question; would it be better to go with the I-5 2500 processor and get 8gb of Ram or stick with what I have now? Thanks again for your time!
  14. Best answer selected by Corsair1122.
  15. Ouch. A refurbished AAJS 320GB WD HDD is not a good deal. It's an old, hot, noisy design.

    Populating all 4 DIMMs is always a bit of a problem, and there is really no need. You won't use more than about 6GB unless you are doing some CAD or 3D rendering or something like that. It's really no place to be spending extra $. You will not get any more performance out of fancy heatsinks and extra RAM Mhz.
    If you absolutely have to have this then this 2x8GB kit is a far better buy:

    The Raidmax PSU is asking for trouble. It's not even 80Plus certified, probably because it would never pass. Stick with PSUs that have had reviews done by competent reviewers.

    Rosewill 630W


    Finally, the NZXT gamma case fits cards "up to 10" " However the video card you have selected is 10.2" long.
  16. Or if you want to deal with the rebate, this highly rated PSU ends up being $23
  17. Awesome. I replaced my case with the one suggested, and found a non refurbished hard drive. All told, I kept my budget and got everything I needed! Thanks again for all your input!
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