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Gaming Rig for $1000 or less

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March 29, 2012 5:05:05 AM

I know very little about computers, but my laptop has died, and I'm looking to finally get a proper gaming desktop. I looked through a few large retail places, and some of the "midrange" as I was shown by a few sales associates were around 750 with the upper range computers leveling out at 1500. I can't help but think that better computers can be built for less money, but I have no clue where to begin in terms of stats as well as brands.

Help an amateur out?

More about : gaming rig 1000

a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2012 5:08:41 AM

Its late. I can't read. Going to sleep. :( 
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March 29, 2012 5:09:43 AM

Yes, I would start by looking at the system builder marathon PC for the $650 build on the mane page here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-gaming-pc-ove...

Everything looks good on it, though I personally would have gone with an intel brand motherboard since I have had bad luck with Gigabyte in the past.

Also consider going with a HD 7850 instead of the HD 6950, their performance is about the same. But the HD 7850 has more features and is more readily available.

The extra money over the $650 can be used for monitor, keyboard, etc.
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Related resources
March 29, 2012 5:14:44 AM

gary1 said:
Gaming laptops, well, aren't really gaming laptops. Sure, you can buy a "gaming" laptop, but a desktop will destroy any laptop. I would looking into a desktop, any reason you need a laptop?

It's my laptop that broke. I'm looking for a desktop now. One of the salesmen showed me a $786 HP desktop, but @him it's only mid-range. My friend has one that he says cost him around $2200, and he says it's one of the best. What would drive the price up like that?

I had seen a thread on here showing how someone made a gaming desktop for $310 by buying used components, but as I've said I don't know where to begin in terms of brands as well as what exactly goes into making a desktop strictly devoted to gaming.
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March 29, 2012 5:36:21 AM

you should be able to pull off an 2500k;z68 mobo;gtx 560ti based rig for that price...If they dont offer at least that, build your own.
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March 29, 2012 8:10:29 PM

sempifi99 said:
Yes, I would start by looking at the system builder marathon PC for the $650 build on the mane page here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-gaming-pc-ove...

Everything looks good on it, though I personally would have gone with an intel brand motherboard since I have had bad luck with Gigabyte in the past.

Also consider going with a HD 7850 instead of the HD 6950, their performance is abosut the same. But the HD 7850 has more features and is more readily available.

The extra money over the $650 can be used for monitor, keyboard, etc.


that 650 dollar build you said at the marathon...is it capable of running like perfect world, 9 dragons, suns online, jade dynasty...battlefield, skyrim, etc... smooth in max setting?
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March 29, 2012 8:12:20 PM

and what intel motherboard would have the capability going with that? any?
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March 31, 2012 12:21:39 AM

So I was fortunate enough to run into a truthful salesman this time who told me bluntly that the store nor anyone locally sold gaming machines. If nothing else, all doubt in my mind has been wiped clean, and I've decided to build my first computer.

I took a look at the $650 marathon build, but since I'm new to the building world, I really don't know where to begin when it comes to choosing brands. My initial thought is to replicate the $650 build, but some of the assembly issues have me a tad bit worried considering that the minor issues they had with assembly could be major issues for someone who's never done it before.

Also since my budget is $1000, I'd like to maximize my gaming experience, so I'm all for opting for a few more expensive options, and since there were issues with the budget case; probably get something larger, if that's the correct terminology.

My main concerns are brands, compatibility, and utility.

1. Besides the GPU, what goes into improving performance?
2. Are there compatibility issues if I decide get better, more expensive components than the ones listed in the marathon page?

*edit*
Also, since I don't know one component from the other, is there a page that breaks down the different options on the market in terms of price vs performance. And again, is it as simple as mixing and matching different different brands and levels of performance? Let's say I have the more expensive Radeon HD 7970 and the budget Intel Core i3-2120 CPU. Are problems to be expected?
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March 31, 2012 4:31:47 AM

re: :"Also, since I don't know one component from the other, is there a page that breaks down the different options on the market in terms of price vs performance. And again, is it as simple as mixing and matching different different brands and levels of performance? Let's say I have the more expensive Radeon HD 7970 and the budget Intel Core i3-2120 CPU. Are problems to be expected? "

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You want a machine to be in relative balance. An expensive graphics card (for your budget anything over $250) would be wasted without surrounding parts that would allow it to reach its potential. Follow the threads that discuss the $650 build. You can spend a little bit more here or there, but emember that you will need an operating system, a monitor, keyboard, mouse and possibly speakers or headphones.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 7:38:26 AM

Hey R-R-R :sol: 

I prefer best performance at lowest possible cost when it comes to the motherboard and CPU, while maximizing the GPU performance, essentially you get a lot more out of a GPU than anything else so maximize your costs in the GPU area rather than in the CPU/Mobo area.

You may want to consider looking at the MSI HD7870 OC TwinFrozr III's, I overclocked one to 1400mhz on the core on air, thats 9800P in 3Dmark 11, pairing them will give you plenty performance, you can also look at the 7850 OC cards which also hit hefty overclocks. Pairing a 960T with a cheap ECS 990FX motherboard is another option at cutting costs, also consider your storage issue, do you need a SSD, what kind of drive size do you need. Also start everything with a PSU, if you are looking at a multicard solution then the 750w range is perfect, personally I like the Coolermaster silent pro gold 600/800w versions due to modularity and efficiency adding complete silence to the equation.

Ideal setups

AMD:

FX 8120
Asus Crosshair V formula 990FX
8GB DDR3 1600
Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold 800w
MSI HD 7870 OC twinfrozr III in Crossfire.
Crucial M4 128GB SSD
1TB 64mb cache HDD
NZXT Switch 810
HD 1920x1080P screen
peripherals

Estimated cost : $1800

Intel:

i5 2500K
MSI Z68A GD65 Gen3/Asus Z68 V Pro Gen3
8GB DDR3 1600
Corsair AX850/Seasonic X 850w
HD 7970 crossfired
HDD
SSD
Chassis
Screen
Peripherals

Estimated cost : $2200







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March 31, 2012 7:42:57 PM

And AMD vs Intel? For gaming is one superior to the other?
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March 31, 2012 8:13:03 PM

Thinking about AMD at the moment. If I go with the Radeon HD 6950, could I effectively pair it up with a cheaper motherboard like the Sabertooth 990FX or the even cheaper Biostar TA990FXE?

*edit*
Also, I'm thinking about saving some money by getting an HDD instead of an SSD. Would that cause problems with a higher end CPU and GPU?

Would the Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB be acceptable?

*edit2*
Why have an SSD and HDD?

*edit3*
Are there any blaring compatibility issues with memory?

AMD Entertainment Edition 4GB 240-pin work?
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 7:13:55 PM

Intel is faster, but you will hardly notice with a good GPU bar maybe crysis 2 and dirt 3.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 9:25:14 PM

you can either go with amd or intel and on amd or nvidia.

you can see difference in numbers but on real world performance you won't notice squat unless your eyes are used to these stuff or your God,

go with seasonic psu, seagate HDD,

but if your budget involves 1 monitor/3 monitor and a windows 7home premium then try to look at those at 500-600$ build
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April 1, 2012 11:41:13 PM

Overall, Nvidia and Intel are better than AMD.

Good brands:

Mobos - Asus, ASrock, Gigabyte, MSI,
RAM - Corsair, Gskill
GPU - EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Point of View, Zotac
PSU - Corsair, Cooler master, antec
HDD - Samsung, Hitatchi, Western Digital, Seagate


This is not a comprehensive list, there are more good brands out there, but off the top of my head, these are well established and respected.
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April 5, 2012 6:15:25 AM

What would you all go with? this ASUS board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) or this ASRock one (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Also thinking about pairing it with this Sandy Bridge (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) which is around the same price range. A good match?

And in terms of GPUs, would this MSI card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) be a good fit? or should I get something more matching the motherboard/CPU in price? Since I'm on the subject, is price a good way to gauge performance if I'm trying to match performance so as to not have one component disparately better than another?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2012 8:54:09 PM

red-rock-run said:
Thinking about AMD at the moment. If I go with the Radeon HD 6950, could I effectively pair it up with a cheaper motherboard like the Sabertooth 990FX or the even cheaper Biostar TA990FXE?

*edit*
Also, I'm thinking about saving some money by getting an HDD instead of an SSD. Would that cause problems with a higher end CPU and GPU?

Would the Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB be acceptable?

*edit2*
Why have an SSD and HDD?

*edit3*
Are there any blaring compatibility issues with memory?

AMD Entertainment Edition 4GB 240-pin work?
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)


Motherboards

MSI 990FX GD80
ASRock Fatality
Asus Crosshair V Formula
Asus M599X Evo
Asus Sabertooth 990fx
Gigabyte 990FX UD7
Biostar TA990FX
Gigabyte GA-970 UD3 (for single card setup)

GPU

Sapphire 7850 OC
Sapphire 7950 OC
MSI twinfrozr3 7870


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April 5, 2012 10:02:44 PM

sarinaide said:
Motherboards

MSI 990FX GD80
ASRock Fatality
Asus Crosshair V Formula
Asus M599X Evo
Asus Sabertooth 990fx
Gigabyte 990FX UD7
Biostar TA990FX
Gigabyte GA-970 UD3 (for single card setup)

GPU

Sapphire 7850 OC
Sapphire 7950 OC
MSI twinfrozr3 7870

Thanks for all the help. Probably gonna go with the ASRock Fatality. What CPU would you pair with it? Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge work?

*edit*
Also I assume crossfiring is using two GPUs. Is there a page that details how to set something like that up? In addition, are there any good overclocking resources for beginners?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 6, 2012 5:03:51 AM

red-rock-run said:
Thanks for all the help. Probably gonna go with the ASRock Fatality. What CPU would you pair with it? Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge work?

*edit*
Also I assume crossfiring is using two GPUs. Is there a page that details how to set something like that up? In addition, are there any good overclocking resources for beginners?


1] I am assuming you are going with the 1155 Fatal1ty which is a good board, you will be very pleased. It will be very prudent to get a I5 2500k or 2550K to go with that, you have better resale value with a k chip, and the option to overclock.

2] Crossfire is as easy as put in, click and go.....you will not find it difficult.

3] OC'ing, well Toms has a few guides, you can also post in the OC section for assistance, or you can consult Overclock.net and other dedicated overclockers sites for assistance. But with a i5 it is as simple as, upping your CPU multi to 48 or whatever target you are aiming for and upping your Vcore, at 4.8ghz it will likely be around 1.45v~ give or take, but then that is the beauty of ocing, you have to find the lowest and stable vcore you can achieve at said clock. To much vcore creates more heat which is very bad, to little and your system doesn't post, or if it is enough to boot you will blue screen as the transistors are not providing enough volts to transition between vcore and zero volt quick enough.
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April 6, 2012 5:58:33 AM

So a GPU like the MSI twinfrozr3 7870 wouldn't be out of the i5 2500k/Fatal1ty's league in terms of performance. On that note, is it usually better to have a better CPU than GPU?

Also here's a dumb question:

I watched Newegg's 3-part guide to comp building, and as he went over memory sticks, he only installed 2 even though there were 4 slots. All the MBs I've looked at have 4 slots as well. Was this just a brevity thing on his part, or are there two different kinds of memory slots?

Speaking of memory, are there brand-specific types that match up with intel/AMD?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 6, 2012 5:40:17 PM

1] The 7870 is a great card, with some cleaver tweaking you can hit P10000 in 3Dmark 11 which is more than a GTX 680 stock, with the 680 being a highest end card and the 7870 being the highest mainstream card with the 79XX series being the enthusiast series. As a general rule of thumb in gaming the larger performance yield is from the GPU.

eg: 2500K with a 560Ti will not beat a FX8120 with a HD7970 due to GPU limitations.

The other rule of thumb is to get the best and cheapest possible CPU and Motherboard to put more to your GPU and PSU, thats most performance tweakers and gamers ideal scenario.

2] AMD and Mainstream intel platforms share 4 DIMM slots while the Intel Extreme level platform (LGA2011 and 1366) share 4/8 or 6 DIMMS, running quad channel or tri channel while the former run dual channel. Outside of benchmarking and heavy threaded and memory using apps the amount of DIMMS is hardly relevant.

3] AMD has slower IMC performance so the cheaper and more you put in the better but Kingston HyperX or Corsair Dominators are good for the AMD FX chips. while Intel G.Skill Ripjaws, Corsair Vengeance, Patriot Viper Extreme are all good.
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April 13, 2012 11:37:53 PM

Would you go with the G.Skill Ripjaws 1333 or 1600 with the ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Professional?

Also I just noticed that the board I had bookmarked (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) was out of stock, and a subsequent search brought up this seemingly identical board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), but now it's $40 cheaper. There something I'm missing, or was the price just brought down after it went out of stock?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 14, 2012 7:52:47 PM

You will hardly notice memory SPD performance in real world situations, it is purely synthetic, it will come down to your budget. Intel chips respond well to SPD rather than latency but that is a different issue all together that you don't really need to worry about. G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 2x4GB and you will be on your way, alternatively consider Patriot G2 or Viper Extremes.

As for the motherboard, one is open box and the other is retail, they may be sold out and with the P67 and soon the Z68 chipset being made EOL I would consider a Z77 motherboard.

What kind of budget are you on for a Motherboard?
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April 15, 2012 5:15:50 AM

So I guess I want to stay away from OEM's?

I'd rather not spend more than $200 on the board. Gonna be spending most of it on GPU, and I may crossfire as well.

Should I match price in CPU? Right now I'm going with the Sandy Bridge i5 2500k. By the way what is the difference between this product:

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

and this one:

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

On the surface the only difference I can see is a difference in integrated graphics. That something worth considering?

*edit*
Thoughts on the ASRock Z77 Extreme6?
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April 15, 2012 7:06:25 AM

the 2500k is overclockable, the 2500 isn't.

I'm working with a similar budget, but I'll be going a bit over for a better gpu. here's what i have so far.

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
bundled with:
1x CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (pretty highly recommended around here)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Those are the basic parts that you could possibly use as well, i didn't add everything because i'll be getting a SSD and a radeon 7870 and a case is personal preference. although, i'm waiting for ivy bridge i think so i'm not pulling the trigger quite yet.

All that adds up to $641. Add in a 7850 for $250, could get a coolermaster haf 912 case for $60 to put you at around 950. Then just add a harddrive and it should be a pretty solid system. (i didn't add in monitors or anything, so you might have to make some downgrades if you still need that stuff, i did however add in the OS)

I'm not an expert by any means, but these guys have helped me out quite a bit with that build, so i figured i would pass the help on.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 12:24:36 PM

With more Z77 boards out I would look at;

Gigabyte Z77X UD3H - entry level board but has all the necessaries for a reasonable $160

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

For $30 more you get the UD5H

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

For $170 you can get a MSI Z77A GD65 which is a very nice option, I used the MSI Z68A GD65 gen 3 and this board is right up there, improved aesthetics too.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 15, 2012 11:30:06 PM

$189 works well for my budget, buy saving a bit of money wouldn't hurt either. How noticeable of a difference is there in terms of performance between the Gigabyte Z77 GD65 and the MSI Z77 GD65?

Also concerning Wifi, can I just buy a card and plug it into a PCI slot?
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April 26, 2012 2:46:55 PM

red-rock-run said:
$189 works well for my budget, buy saving a bit of money wouldn't hurt either. How noticeable of a difference is there in terms of performance between the Gigabyte Z77 GD65 and the MSI Z77 GD65?

Also concerning Wifi, can I just buy a card and plug it into a PCI slot?


Seeing that you are new to all this, you'll probably not be overclocking on LN2 or the like, so you really don't need the high end performance parts.

Unless you are heavily overclocking, any of the new Z77 or older Z68 boards should be fine. They all run the same chipset and the difference in most motherboards comes down to what features you want, and how far you wish to overclock.

When choosing a motherboard it's important to pick out the features that you'll be using. It's very easy to pay extra for features you'll never use. For example, if you're only planning on having 1 hard drive, there's little point in purchasing a board that has 8 or 10 SATA ports that you'll never use. You also want to consider form factor (the size of the board), a smaller micro ATX board will allow you to use a smaller case, but if you plan on getting something like a mid or full tower case, you're better off with a regular ATX board. Given you're budget of $1000 I would suggest trying to stay below the $150 point for a motherboard. There are plenty of really good boards in this price range.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (an excellent board at a great price)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So figure out what you'll need the board to do first, then decide on the board. Some things to consider:
- How many HDD's will you be using
- How many USB ports will you be using
- Do you need Firewire or eSATA ports?
- Will you need things like debug codes, VM check points, dual bios, ect. (if you don't know what these are you don't need them).
- Do you need to support legacy ports like floppy, com, PS, ect.

Next you want to consider your CPU. I would go Intel since the performance to price ratio is in their favor. If you want to overclock you really only have 2 choices the i5-2500K or the i7-2600K. The i7's are out of your price range, so your best bet would be to go with the i5-2500k. If you're not overclocking there are even less expensive options like a 2400, 2300 or even an i3.

After that you'll need to pick your memory. Again how aggressively you plan to overclock will be the deciding factor. If you are not going to be heavily overclocking, you can get away with Value Ram. If you plan to aggressively overclock, you'll need to be concerned with timings, voltage, and latency. If you are planning a light overclock, you can pretty much ignore those. If you go with an i5 or i7 CPU, you'll need DDR3 memory. Given your budget 4GB is the most you should be looking for, and that's really a good amount of ram for most applications. 4gb of value ram is pretty cheap and you can use the money you save towards a better GPU.

Here are some acceptable Ram options:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The power supply is one part you don't want to skimp on. The most important thing about selecting a power supply is determining what size to get. A lot of people jump on a 750W or higher PSU, but for most systems that's really overkill. Even with dual GPUs, you can easily get by with a 650W PSU and have some room for growth. I would suggest keeping an eye out on Newegg for sales. I recently picked up a SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W for only $100. For example this PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is on sale for $75 with a $25 rebate bringing the price down to only $49.99!

You'll also need a hard drive. Since your budget is $1000, I would stick to a standard HDD rather than an SDD/HDD combination. Get the biggest HD you can afford. There aren't many bad HD brands out there, so find a nice 7200 in the capacity you need for the cheapest price.

For the DVD drive, you can pretty much choose anything they're all pretty cheap.

The case is were most people save money. Cases are a personal choice. Looks for most people are the deciding factor, but you should also consider what features you need. Figure out your price point, find something in that range that appeals to you aesthetically, and then go by the features each has. Some features to consider are:
- Space to work with
- number of drive bays
- Cooling ability (number of fans)
- Front/Top IO panel
My personal sub $100 choice is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but there are a lot of great cases for under $100.

And last but not least you need a GPU. You want to find the highest powered card that you can afford. Given your budget Crossfire or SLI is out of the question. I would shoot for something in the $175-$250 range if you can afford it. You can read the GPU threads to figure out what you want.

That should pretty much cover the innards of your build. You'll also need to get a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and if needed speakers. A monitor can eat up your budget quickly, but is probably the most important part of your build. You'll most likely use this monitor for all your future PC's, so I would allocate a decent amount of your budget to the monitor. 22" and 24" monitors can be found for under $200 these days. You're budget will dictate what you can afford.

Oh and you'll need an OS to run everything, I assume you're going Windows, in which case Win7 Home OEM edition is the way to go.

As far as wifi, yes you can just plug in a card, there are even USB dongles you can use.

It's hard to put together a high performance gaming PC with a budget of $1000, but by making some minor concessions here and there you can do it.

Good luck on your build, it's really not that difficult, give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction, and makes for a great learning experience.
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May 20, 2012 2:19:36 AM

Here is the build so far. I've scrapped the $1000 budget since I'm going for performance over frugality. $1000 was only a starting line since I went into this not knowing how to correctly value computers.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Heatsink: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SDRAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Haven't looked for any keyboards/monitors/speakers yet. Sort of a low priority. Also not sure if I should be going with a CPU that's more expensive than my GPU, when gaming is the intention. I'm also on the fence about motherboards. Besides the Gigabyte Z77 I also have these bookmarked:

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

Also if I was to go with the posted build, would I run into any compatibility issues?
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May 20, 2012 7:18:38 PM

The last motherboard you have listed is an X70, which means you would also need a SB-E CPU which are very very expensive.

You should be fine with those components you selected. You didn't mention if you'll be overclocking or not, that can make a big difference in what kit you should be looking at.

Personally I would go with an Ivy Bridge CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., but the Sandy Bridge you selected is just fine.

You could save some money on the MB if you don't plan on running a 3-waySLI, or require less than 4 6GB SATA ports by going with the DH3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you give us an idea of what features you want, it would be easier to offer suggestions.

- How many HDD do you expect to be using?
- Will you be overclocking, and if so how extreme do you think you'll take it?
- How many USB peripherals do you have (external hard drives, game controllers, usb hubs, ect.
- What games do you plan on playing?
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May 24, 2012 9:03:53 AM

mfarlow said:
The last motherboard you have listed is an X70, which means you would also need a SB-E CPU which are very very expensive.

You should be fine with those components you selected. You didn't mention if you'll be overclocking or not, that can make a big difference in what kit you should be looking at.

Personally I would go with an Ivy Bridge CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., but the Sandy Bridge you selected is just fine.

You could save some money on the MB if you don't plan on running a 3-waySLI, or require less than 4 6GB SATA ports by going with the DH3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you give us an idea of what features you want, it would be easier to offer suggestions.

- How many HDD do you expect to be using?
- Will you be overclocking, and if so how extreme do you think you'll take it?
- How many USB peripherals do you have (external hard drives, game controllers, usb hubs, ect.
- What games do you plan on playing?

One HDD.
I will be OC'ing, but having never done so before I'll need to do a bit of research on it.
Need three USB ports.
SWTOR, Minecraft, Shogun 2 Total War, probably Skyrim, Team Fortress 2.

Thanks for the info on the X70. I'll scrap that choice. Initially, I was thinking about an Ivy Bridge, but they looked pretty pricey.
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May 25, 2012 1:38:50 AM

red-rock-run said:
One HDD.
I will be OC'ing, but having never done so before I'll need to do a bit of research on it.
Need three USB ports.
SWTOR, Minecraft, Shogun 2 Total War, probably Skyrim, Team Fortress 2.

Thanks for the info on the X70. I'll scrap that choice. Initially, I was thinking about an Ivy Bridge, but they looked pretty pricey.



Oop that should have read X79 (not X70)

For your needs you should be able to find a motherboard in the $150 range that will give you everything you're looking for. Any of the mid-range Z77 boards would work for you. You can spend more, but you'll be paying for features you'll never use.

I'd look at the ASRock extreme 3 or extreme 4, the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-DH3, the MSI Z77A-G45. or the ASUS P8Z77-V LK. All are great boards, and all have more than you'll need for under $150

All you're chosen components will work well together. You'll need an an i5-2500K or i5-3570K if you intend to overclock.
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