Need some advice building ~$750 gaming/everyday desktop

Hey everyone! I'm building a new desktop for myself and I could use some help selecting some parts. I'm currently a college student and I'd like to have a gaming desktop to play some games (specifically titles such as Battlefield 3 and in the future Crysis 3, Guildwars 2, and other system demanding games, etc.). I also would like it to use this computer to complete my school work and enjoy some multimedia from time to time. (I'm also getting a new laptop or a tablet too, so I can take my school work elsewhere.) Ok, so back to building this system. Here is a quick overview:

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime this week
Budget Range: $750 (excluding rebates from this estimate)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (I play a lot of video games, mainly fps), school work, movies, music, surfing the web, etc.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, DVD drive, gaming headset, and hard drive (I got a 7200 RPM 200 GB one...prices are too expensive right now, so I'll wait for some sales).
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: mircocenter.com/frys.com, so I can go and pick it up. Newegg.com works too. I also have amazon prime, so definitely amazon.com
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: I just want parts that will last me a long time (at least for 3 more yrs until I finish my undergraduate degree, longer would be nicer)
Overclocking: I want to try to, so maybe.
SLI or Crossfire: SLI maybe. I don't want an AMD gpu. Nvida only.
Monitor Resolution: A 24" TV running at 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I really need help deciding on processor/motherboard. Look below to see the two different builds I came up with. I can't decide whether to choose the Intel processor or the AMD processor. (Prices are estimates)

Intel based
CPU: i5-3570k ($190-http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0388577)
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M ($110-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157306)
OR GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H ($120-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128543)

AMD based
CPU: Fx-8150 ($200-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103960)
Mobo: ASRock 970 EXTREME3 ($85-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157280)
OR MSI 970A-G46 ($90-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130637)
OR GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 ($90-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128521)
OR GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 ($110-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128519)

Shared stuff in the builds
Memory: 2x4GB= 8 GB DDR3 (It should be around $45. I really don't know which to get, but I was thinking 1833 MHz speed)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ($45-http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Elite-Window-RC-430-KWN1/dp/B003O8J11E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337408213&sr=8-1)
PSU: ZS Series 750 Watt ATX Power Supply ($85-http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0367316#tabs)
GPU (I prefer them in this order): EVGA GeForce GTX 570 ($300-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130593)
OR 560 Ti ($280-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130683)
OR 2x GTX 460 SLI ($140x2=$280-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127646).


So which Processor and mobo option should I choose for my needs? Also any other recommendations?
Thanks! Let me know if I missed something. :)
7 answers Last reply
More about need advice building gaming everyday desktop
  1. Intel based
    get GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H. The GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H is a single card configuration motherboard.

    Case: Not a fan of that case. Here are suggestions based on the price similar to Cooler Master Elite 430
    Antec Three Hundred Illusion
    Rosewill Challenger
    GPU: EVGA GTX 570
  2. Thanks for your suggestion! :D Btw, do these cases have better ventilation or more room?
  3. Rosewill Challenger is Tom's Hardware Recommended Buy 2010. Also comes with three fans compared to 430's one.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nzxt-gamma-rosewill-challenger-silverstone-precision,2723-8.html

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion is a better version of it's previous well respected version Antec Three Hundred. The issue with the three hundred is bad cable management. But, the airflow should be very good.
  4. Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...
    Model #:CHALLENGER
    Item #:N82E16811147153
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $59.99 -$10.00 Instant $49.99


    Update

    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Model #:Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
    Item #:N82E16813157271
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $129.99 -$8.00 Instant $121.99


    Update

    EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Model #:015-P3-1480-KR
    Item #:N82E16814130759
    Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $299.99 -$70.00 Instant $229.99


    Update

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
    Model #:CMPSU-650TXV2
    Item #:N82E16817139020
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card

    $119.99 -$30.00 Instant $89.99


    Update

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
    Model #:BX80623I52500K
    Item #:N82E16819115072
    Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    In Stock

    $219.99 -$15.00 Instant $204.99
    Subtotal: $696.95
    that would be a decent mid high range gaming beast the 480 is a kick ass gpu it just as good as a gtx570 it's only downfall is greater power usage and attendant heat and noise output. Here these are theoretical benchmarks but i find them accurate. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CGEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hwcompare.com%2F9000%2Fgeforce-gtx-480-vs-geforce-gtx-570%2F&ei=ZYe4T-u4GvLYiQK5lYQI&usg=AFQjCNH9oSaapkvZhdfNxoQwnRdQh-llKw&sig2=qO9bVHzLQGHpoQxTSfjmjQ
  5. oh one last thing don't try and overclock without a better heat sink the stock one just won't cut it and depending on what type of overclocking you want to do here is some suggestions on heat sink mild overclocking CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065 Extreme overclocking CPU Cooler:Noctua NH-D14 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018 if you can get over the color of the NH-D14 despite what some may say the NH-D14 is a beast i use it on my littler rig and i have cpu overclock to 4.7ghz 1.3v @ 59c full load. i run it like that 24-7 i crank up my overclock for benchmarking to 5.1ghz my temps run 75-78c though so it's not recommended even if you get that good of a chip lol most i5-2500k can hit 4.5ghz though ;)
  6. Thanks for all the help! I bought all my parts and built it! Its awesome :D. I went with the i5-3570k, Asrock z77 extreme4, 8 gb low profile memory, 1 tb hdd (64 mb, 7200 rpm, sata 6 Gb/s), gtx 570 sc (the 2.5 gb one), and the 750W psu I listed above. All about 900 with tax. Once I turn in all rebates, it should bring me down to about 800 which is nice and manageable. Thanks again for the suggestions! I really appreciate it :)
  7. drguru25 said:
    Thanks for all the help! I bought all my parts and built it! Its awesome :D. I went with the i5-3570k, Asrock z77 extreme4, 8 gb low profile memory, 1 tb hdd (64 mb, 7200 rpm, sata 6 Gb/s), gtx 570 sc (the 2.5 gb one), and the 750W psu I listed above. All about 900 with tax. Once I turn in all rebates, it should bring me down to about 800 which is nice and manageable. Thanks again for the suggestions! I really appreciate it :)
    No problem anytime!Nice choices btw sounds to me like a kick ass beast you have build for yourself. :D
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Gaming Desktops Systems Product