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Building a Gaming PC for ~$1000. Is this good??

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June 6, 2012 1:30:23 AM

Hi everyone. I would just like some help on the components I'm saving up for my new gaming rig. Its going to be used mainly for gaming, some student work (microsoft word, powerpoint) sometimes for school, and general internet browsing. The games I will be playing are, in general, FPS's of all kinds and Guild wars 2(woo hoo).

This will be my first build entirely by myself so I am not quite sure of all the components and if they will be compatible with each other or not. I tried to fit everything into my workable budget of more or less $1000.

Amazon has all these components totaled to around 1200~~ more or less


CPU - i5 2500k
Mobo - Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H
GPU - Gigabyte Radeon 7970
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
Ram - Corsair Vengeance 8 GB
Case - Corsair 500r
PSU - Corsair TX650 v2
Cooling - Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus


A couple of questions/extra comments on my would be build:
1. I am not familiar with motherboards and their specs but is the GB board okay? will it bottleneck the other components at all? Also what is the difference between z68 and z77 chipsets, as there is the Asrock z68 Extreme 3 Gen3 mobo I am looking at as well.
2. I went for the Radeon 7970 - partly because I like radeon cards (much like how I like nikon over canon for no apparent reason). this is because I figured for that for pure gaming the GPU is the most important. If this doesnt matter much, I'm looking at the HD Radeon 6950/6970.
3. Going with corsair Ram for reliability. Is there any difference between the vengeance and dominator lines?
4. I dont know if the coolermaster heatsink will fit and leave enough room for the ram sticks.
5. If all components are good to go, will this system be future proof for at least 3 or 4 more years?
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June 6, 2012 5:20:19 AM

I have the same case, it is great. I would go 3570k Ivy bridge and the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard - you can still OC (again, this is what I have and I am very happy). Or stick with the older 2500K Sandy Bridge and get a Z68 motherboard.
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June 6, 2012 5:34:26 AM

I'm trying to max out at around 1200 dollars so I think I might go with the asus p8z68 motherboard + 2500k sandy bridge.

Can anyone else confirm if my choice in components are okay enough for a gaming build? :)  Thank you in advance
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June 6, 2012 5:36:51 AM

It's a good built that will definitely satisfy your need, just a few comments and answers to your questions.

1) GB is one of my favorite board makers due to the way they space their PCI slots ,I have a fetish for asus DCII GPUs and they eat up 2.5 slots each so for SLI/CF you need to be careful with the motherboard. Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H is very good motherboard and will not bottleneck anything on the contrary it offers more than you can use.

The main difference between z68 and z77 as I see it is that z77 offer support for PCIe 3.0 the important bit to mention that the CPU you picked only support up to PCIe 2.0. But don't be alarmed it's a none issue from my personal dialog with Chris Angelini Worldwide Editor-in-Chief of Tom’s Hardware he said: "the GTX 600s don’t work at 8 GT/s yet because Nvidia’s driver deliberately disables it. Fortunately, because even modern graphics processors don’t tax a 16-lane PCIe 2.0 connection, the results in gaming tests should not be affected." (we were talking about gtx 680 benchmarks specifically but the second sentence still applies to everything).

I am less familiar with Asrock motherboards (they are less common in my region) but from what I hear and read from reviews and forums it is a good quality board. Judging from performance/price point of view I'd suggest going with it over Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H. Despite my personal love for it you'd be spending extra 50$ - 70$ on things that you don't need/won't use.

2) First of all, Nikon is better than Canon. Second but not less important, 7970 is amazing card I feel that if you only plan on playing with resolution of 1920 on 1080 you are overdoing it. On the other hand if you intend to game on multiple screens or high resolution( 2560 on 1600 or higher) it might be justified

Indeed for gaming GPU is the most important bit however out of personal experience and judging by benchmarks 6950 is roughly what you looking for. I've got 40+ FPS running guild wars 2 unoptimized beta client with everything maxed out on 6950 (my setup up is two screens one for gaming and second for browsing/vent/messenger so you might get slightly better results on single screen),moreover all of the FPS (Stalker, BF2, MW2, Mafia 2, Crysis 2) maxed out never dropped below 59 FPS, Metro 2033 and BF3 are bit harder so 40-60 on ultra or 60+ if you lower some settings. I can understand that you'd like to take a bit of safety distance and hence I'd suggest stepping down to 7870, it will handle everything we have now and still costs 150$ less than 7970.


3) The difference between vengeance and dominator is mainly the frequency, Dominators sticks are faster but also much more expensive. The funny bit however that for that margin of price difference they hardly give the results that worth it. The most difference I've seen in roughly 1.5-2 FPS going from 1333 to 2600. So don't sweat it. Not worth the trouble. You'd get a better results with just a minor overclock of GPU or CPU.

4) Yeah, it will fit. However if you add a second fan it might get little bit tight in there however if only have two RAM sticks you should be able to move them to the other two slots and that should be enough room.


5) Yep, you won't be needing an upgrade for 3-4 years. At least judging by how well two gen backward cards hold up by current standards (gtx 480 and hd 5870). We see a new gen of CPU and GPU roughly every 18 month. Since we just got the new lineup from AMD, Nvidea and Intel we are not going to see any real improvements for a while and even once they are released because you got top of the line hardware you'd still be near the top. Only in two or three hardware iteration would you really feel the difference once you upgrade to top of the line again. Additional support for that claim is that next gen consoles are about to come out and therefor the requirement for new games will plateau for a while.

I hope that this answers your questions and enjoy your new build.
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June 6, 2012 7:38:20 PM

^ Thank you for the very detailed reply! That helped me tremendously.

It seems like the 6950 is okay for my standards as the games I'll be playing wont be as graphically intensive as say BF3 but I would still leave room for improvements if game developers do improve their technology. I am also thinking of adding another monitor for general browsing windows, skype etc. but that would have to wait a while.
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June 6, 2012 9:41:57 PM

briandinh1 said:
I'm trying to max out at around 1200 dollars so I think I might go with the asus p8z68 motherboard + 2500k sandy bridge.

Can anyone else confirm if my choice in components are okay enough for a gaming build? :)  Thank you in advance


i have the 2500k and a z68x mobo and they are worth $1,000,000 it is only second generation but it will do anything it can run any games with the right graphics card. Go with 2500k
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