Help For a New $900 build

I'm looking to make a new $900 build, I want to use Tom's $650 PC as a baseline with a few upgrades.

-Minimum: Core i5 2300 (4 physical cores)
-Preferred: Core i5 2500K

I want at least a 4 physical core Sandy Bridge based processor (AMD just doesn't seem attractive), but would really like the 2500K for overclocking

CPU Cooler:
-Minimum: Stock HSF if not OC'ing
-Preferred: Good cooler for overclocking 2500K

Do not really care about brand, would prefer a 1-tower cooler (ex. not one of those split coolers with space for 3 fans)

-Minimum: 6950/7850
-Preferred: 7870

I'll also take the nvidia equivalent (performance-wise) if the price is better, not partial to either company and I'm just using AMD's cards as a performance-level.
Targeting 1920x1080, want to be able to max out settings and maybe apply 2xAA for a few years.
I'm also looking forward to overclocking the card.

-I really don't know much about mobo's
-Preferred:OC support, CF or SLI(depending on gfx card) support (2 PCI-E slots), solid state capacitors

I know that you need a certain chipset (Z68?) to overclock, other than that I would like to be able to add a 2nd gfx card later, and solid state capacitors would be nice

-Minimum: 8GB DDR3-1333
-Preferred: 12GB DDR3-1600

All the 12GB kits I find seem to be for triple channel systems (ex. i7 920), so maybe 16GB is the only upgrade after 8GB. What is the performance difference of 1333 vs 1600 Mhz RAM? I value size over speed (so rather 12GB 1333MHz over 8GB 1600Mhz)


I bought a 500GB drive pre-flood, and used it as an extra storage drive, going to rip that out and use it as I don't want to spend $120 on a 128GB SSD and HDD prices are still through the roof

Mid-size tower (do not want full-tower)
Have good ventilation
Looking for 2 intake, 2 exhaust fans (or more)
Looking for larger fans (120mm) for less noise

Want a cheap mid-tower with good ventilation, 2 intake and exhaust fans (120mm) would be nice, willing to buy fans separately. However I note Tom's many complaints against the cheap case they used, definitely willing to spend an extra $40-50 on a better case. Looking for tool-less installation, rubber padding/dampening, and high build quality.

-Minimum: Enough for OC'd CPU + 7870
-Preferred: Have room for a 2nd 7870 (later on), at least semi-modular

I think any quality 400/450W PSU will be good enough, and a 600W PSU will probably be enough for a CF 7870. I am willing to play a bit risky with the PSU and get a lower wattage one than recommended by AMD

DVD Drive:

Any cheap DVD burner, the $16 one Tom's used will be fine
4 answers Last reply
More about help build
  1. It can't be done on $900 with a 7870 unless you cut some major corners but then you get a motherboard that won't support the GPU - the 7850 might be a good bet for this build. If you up the budget to $1K then that would be doable:

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
    PSU: Corsair CX600 V2 - $69.99 ($20.00 MIR)
    Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
    CPU: 3.30Ghz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
    Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X 8GB 1600MHz 1.5V - $46.99
    HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
    Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 - $249.99

    Total: $906.91
  2. I don't need a hard drive (already have a spare). So that's $85 off the total, then adding a 7870 over the 7850 would end up:
    ~$920, which I can manage.

    I really like the case btw, thanks for the suggestions.
  3. sabot00 said:
    I don't need a hard drive (already have a spare). So that's $85 off the total, then adding a 7870 over the 7850 would end up:
    ~$920, which I can manage.

    I really like the case btw, thanks for the suggestions.

    Oh I didn't catch that - if you don't need an HD then yes it can be done. I'm getting a 7870 relatively soon for my system.

    Yeah the case is great - I have the HAF 912 myself and it's been a great case so far, I will easily recommend it.
  4. $59.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1) $89.99 - $79.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING 15% off with promo code Corsairsale15
    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply $44.99 FREE SHIPPING
    G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAB
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