Advice for first time PC builder with $1300 budget

Hi guys,

This is my first time building a PC and I have a $1300 budget.

I will primarily use the pc for gaming (BF3, Civ, Shogun2), photography (Adobe CS5) and some HD video editing. This is what I'm thinking of getting so far:

Can you please advise me if the the GTX 560 Ti is good enough or should I invest in something better?

I was also thinking of the i7 2600k as well for my video work, but I don't know if the price difference really justifies the change.

CPU: Core i5-2500k
Cooler: Corsair CWCH60 Hydro Series H60
GPU: GTX 560 Ti 1GB
Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V LX
Ram: Patriot G2 Series 8GB DDR3
SDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB
Sound: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1
Drive: Lite-On Internal DVD Writer
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid-Tower
PSU: Ultra LSP650 650-Watt Power Supply
OS: Windows 7 home

Monitor: Viewsonic VX2453MH-LED 24-Inch
Keyboard: Logitech G110
Mouse: Razer Deathadder 3500

Thanks in advance for your help.
10 answers Last reply
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  1. You can get rid of the sound card because all the motherboards come with intergrated sound and it's usually HD sound so it's good enough. I have a super high end system and no sound card , the sound comes from the motherboard and is very good.
    So take that money from the sound card and put it towards a video card I know it's not much of an increase but maybe you can get a GTX 570? Also you can get a less expensive cpu cooler since you don't really need the H60 and with the additional savings the 570 may be in the budget.

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

    EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    $279.99 and a $25 rebate makes the final price $254.99

    Everything else is good.
  2. The only difference between the 2600k and the 2500k is the hyperthreading so you would have to determine if your work apps would be taking advantage of the additional cores.
  3. I'll list you choices followed by comments / suggestions:

    CPU: Core i5-2500k - HT will give a significant boost in video editing...if you can justify the 2600k, you can certainly justify the 2700k as it's the exact same price ($320 - $20 off w/ promo code EMCNDNB33, ends 6/14 )....the 3770k would be the "current generation" choice tho.

    Cooler: Corsair CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 - Not a good choice. Most decent air coolers embarrass the H series coolers and do it w/ less noise

    Corsair H50 73.1
    Corsair H70 (high)* 65.3
    Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM
    Thermalright Silver Arrow* 61.8

    GPU: GTX 560 Ti 1GB - Get the non reference model with beefed up PCB, beefy 7 phase VRM, more efficient cooler and OC the crap outta it :)

    Two of those cards get 862 fps in SLI "outta the box"....two 570's get 873 fps

    If ya go 570, watch out for the ones w/o beefed up VRM's

    Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V LX - No SLI capability....this is an easy way to keep ya system current boosting performance by 75% for just the addition of a 2nd vid card.

    The Z68 Pro version of that card is $190

    The Z77 Pro version is $210

    Ram: Patriot G2 Series 8GB DDR3 - Corsair low profile would be my choice|20-233-186^20-233-186-TS%2C20-233-196^20-233-196-TS%2C20-233-199^20-233-199-TS

    SDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB - as goo as any.

    Sound: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 7.1 - Drop it, redundant, already on MoBo

    Drive: Lite-On Internal DVD Writer - Given the price of BR media, might wanna reconsider whether you need to write BR and just write DVD's ...tho goven the current price difference of 412, doesn't matter a whole lot.

    BR Player / DVD Writer $58
    BR / DVD Writer $70

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid-Tower - No USB 3 ports !!!!

    $60 Antec Series one Illusion
    $100 Antec 900
    $130 Corsair 500R

    PSU: Ultra LSP650 650-Watt Power Supply - ahhhh, run away....and for the later upgrade to SLI, you'll want 750 watts

    $90 Corsair TX750V2
    $90 XFX Core Edition 750

    Both get 9.5 performance ratings from jonnyguru
  4. Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it.

    Will def leave out the sound card, get a mobo with SLI capabilities and a case with USB 3 ports. Will probably ditch the cooler too.
  5. I would put some extra effort into what video card to get since that will be the main focus of your system.
  6. What would be the next step up from a 560?
  7. A 560Ti , then a 560Ti 448 cores and then a 570.
  8. Thanks
  9. This is a build I just bought and am about to put together.

    It's $96 over your budget(and missing a keyboard/mouse) but you could use it as a starting point, maybe cut the 670 down or down-grade the case.
  10. Thanks for sharing rsheets1991, you have a nice build there.
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