New System - trying to stay under $1000

Due to some issues with a couple of older computers I have for my kids (previous builds of mine they have inherited) I have decided to build them two "new" computers, just not really high end ones. I was hoping to stay under $1,000, although if there is a major reason to spend more than that, budget is not a major issue.

I currently have a top end gaming rig I use, this will be for my kids to use - school work and some games (BF3, Diablo 3, etc..).

What I have come up with so far. Please let me know if I am missing something or should look in a different direction. I am most familiar and comfortable with Intel/Nvidia which is why I went that route.

ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $144.99

Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52500 - $209.99

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR1 - $49.99

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom - $67.00

ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $239.99

Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $99.99

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B - OEM - $17.99

ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - $44.99

ASUS USB-N13 Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates - $22.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - $11.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59.99

The total works out to $969.90. With a few cables, etc.. it should bring me to just over the $1,000 target.

I have a new copy of Windows 7 Prof that I will plan to use for my OS.

One comment - I am guessing I could find a lower cost GPU but 1) I have two of these Asus 560 Ti's on an i7 rig I have, and they work great; 2) at some point I may upgrade the i7 GPU's - at which point I could use them in these new lower cost rigs for running SLI.

Lastly, I can have AVADirect build this nearly exact build for about $120 more - which would then get me a 3 year warranty. What value would you put on a 3 yr warranty? I also realize most companies like this have a right to swap out "similar" products, which worries me a bit!

Thanks for any feedback/comments.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. If I were you I would've picked the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler over the Zalman. Great performance. Great price.

    You might just as well go with the stock CPU cooler because you're not overclocking.

    Also, check if thermal compound is included with the CPU cooler (it is with the Hyper 212, and it's pre-applied to the stock ones).
  2. I'd switch that 560ti for a Radeon Hd 7850 if you want better performance at same price. You also get 2gb of vram!
    And I agree with nafoni. 212 EVO is an awesome cooler.
    You are getting a cpu cooler,why not get an unlocked cpu and boost that performance! the 2500k is only $10 more.

    Good luck with the build!
  3. I'd switch that 560ti for a Radeon Hd 7850
  4. Save a little check out my $850 build here:

    But as suggested above, I'd go with the 7850. At max overclock, a simple OC by just sliding bars in drivers @ 1GHZ the 7850 performs like a GTX 580 with much less power consumption, much lower heat and it's quieter.
  5. Ok I made a number of those changes, thanks for the input. I have never had a Radeon card in any of my builds but there is a first time for everything. If the 7850 is that much better than the 560 Ti at the same price point, then it's certainly worth giving it a shot. I like the less heat aspect also. I also updated to the Cool Master cooler and went with the i5 2500k.

    Last question - I have a 1 TB Seagate drive I just purchased locally to try and "save" the old rig I was working on - and it appears the HD was not the culprit in that rig. Can I pull that HD out of the old computer and use it for this new rig? I can no longer get the old computer to boot up - but I have Windows 7 already loaded on that new 1 TB drive.

    I assume I would need to somehow erase/wipe that drive before installing Windows 7 with the new build? How would I do that? Or when I boot the new system is there a way to wipe it and install Win 7 onto it fresh?

  6. Yep definitely. You can use your old drive's OS as well as long as it was Windows 7 Full. Not the OEM version. If you bought the cheaper $99 OEM version then once you swap motherboards, the code no longer works.

    As for formatting, you can do that as you setup Windows 7, it'll ask you if you want to wipe and install.
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