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Gaming on the Cheap, $1,000 Value Rig

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June 9, 2012 7:48:14 PM

Long version (scroll to bottom for short version):

Hi everyone, I'm a first time system builder who's found this site to be enormously helpful, and I'm hoping to consult you fine gentlemen and ladies for advice on my first build. After bricking my laptop on a flight from Australia to the US (note to self: never pack your machine in baggage no matter how many stacks of clothes you've wrapped around it), I've decided to assemble my own desktop after discovering that one doesn't need to be a tech wizard to pull off the feat. Plus my laptop sucked anyway: playing Diablo 3 on Hardcore Mode where you only get one life, and trying to dodge monster attacks at single digit FPS was a very bad idea.

I have roughly a $1,000 budget, and my goal is to put together a PC that'll be able to handle every game out today, and new games four years from now even if it's only on the lowest settings. Since I'm starting from scratch, the budget will have to incorporate all peripherals as well, like monitor and keyboard. My guiding principle is long term value: while I would like to spend as little as possible, if I have a choice between a $100 component that'll last me two years and a $180 component that'll last me four, I'll go for the more expensive one even if it might bring me over the budget.

After doing some research, here's what I've got so far:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9MJ4

Since I'm no computer whiz, a lot of these parts were chosen based on reviews by those who are, as well as benchmarking scores. I originally went with the i3-2120 for my processor with thriftiness in mind, but after reading some stuff about how dual cores are rapidly becoming obsolete, I decided to go with the i5-2500k to future proof my machine, as well as for its overclocking potential. Of course, that meant I had to also pick up a CPU fan, but hopefully it's worth it.

What do you guys think? Is everything on this list compatible? Will all these parts work well together as a whole? Is there any component where I can cut back? Did I make any extremely boneheaded choices? Let me know!

Short version:

Approximate purchase date: Within the next two weeks
Budget Range: $800-1200
System Usage: Gaming
Parts Not Required: None
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: None
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: Willing to go over budget to maximize cost-effectiveness, willing to spend money on stuff that'll improve overall computing experience even if they don't result in a higher benchmarking score (eg gaming mouse)

What I have so far: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/9MJ4

Thanks everyone! :) 

More about : gaming cheap 000 rig

June 9, 2012 8:22:12 PM

Over clocking these 1155 cpu's gains you about zero in regards to more FPS. Google some benches. I would go for newer tech and one solid card and when that card gets tired then replace it instead of adding another tired card for dual cards later down the road. Ivy Bridge with native PCI-E 3.0 support and PCI-E 3.0 is the latest tech.



http://www.amazon.com/Technologies-TEMPEST-210-Massive-... $54.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
NZXT Technologies TEMPEST 210 Massive Mesh Style Midtower Case with USB 3.0

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $144.98 save: $15.00 - $20.00 Mail In Rebates
OCZ ZT Series 550W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-3450-Processor-BX80637... $197.74 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Intel Core i5 3450 Processor 3.1 4 BX80637I53450

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $46.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $74.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200RPM SATA NCQ 16 MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Desktop Hard Drive ST3500641AS-RK-Retail Kit

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD-RW-Serial-Internal-DR... $21.48 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graph... $249.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2 GB DDR5 HDMI/DVI-I/Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 11200-00-20G

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BZNDOO/ref=pd_lpo_... $129.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | LED Backlit with 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI

Total: $1,021.14 *not including shipping & rebates
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June 9, 2012 8:30:37 PM

I'd get corsair vengeance ram

Don't get a B75 mobo, get Z77, B75 boards are beneficial mostly for businesses...

WD blue is better than seagate, well known

Get an asus 24 b3st optical drive, nice and reliable

the monitor suggested has bad ghosting, look at the samsung 350 and 550 ranges

A microsoft sidewinder x4 keyboard is perfect for gaming and normal use

That razer mouse is cheap and you'll probably notice many problems with it after a while, I'd step up to the deathadder black edition.
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June 9, 2012 8:39:22 PM

GeForce6 said:
I'd get corsair vengeance ram

Don't get a B75 mobo, get Z77, B75 boards are beneficial mostly for businesses...

WD blue is better than seagate, well known

Get an asus 24 b3st optical drive, nice and reliable

the monitor suggested has bad ghosting, look at the samsung 350 and 550 ranges

A microsoft sidewinder x4 keyboard is perfect for gaming and normal use

That razer mouse is cheap and you'll probably notice many problems with it after a while, I'd step up to the deathadder black edition.

What advantage does the Z77 board have over the B75 board in regards to gaming?
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June 9, 2012 10:43:39 PM

Why_Me: PassMark's bench for the i5-2500K is 6740, while the OC'ed version goes up to 8528, which ain't too bad. Would you still prefer the Ivy Bridge processor? That is definitely a sexy graphics card, another one I'm considering in that range is the GTX 480, which Newegg is selling for $200 right now (just gotta decide if it's worth it to spend more).

GeForce6: Should I go for the Z68 or upgrade to a Z77? The Asrock has great reviews, but apparently it's incompatible with Ivy Bridge processors out of the box, though right now I'm only looking at older generation CPUs so that's not a problem for me unless I decide to upgrade.
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June 10, 2012 12:08:53 AM

x6unsound said:
Why_Me: PassMark's bench for the i5-2500K is 6740, while the OC'ed version goes up to 8528, which ain't too bad. Would you still prefer the Ivy Bridge processor? That is definitely a sexy graphics card, another one I'm considering in that range is the GTX 480, which Newegg is selling for $200 right now (just gotta decide if it's worth it to spend more).

GeForce6: Should I go for the Z68 or upgrade to a Z77? The Asrock has great reviews, but apparently it's incompatible with Ivy Bridge processors out of the box, though right now I'm only looking at older generation CPUs so that's not a problem for me unless I decide to upgrade.

Over clocking with a socket 1155 cpu (SB & IB) nets you gains in Passmark, progies such as AutoCad, etc... but in gaming it doesn't net you much gain at all.

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- that's the gain you get in over clocking a IB and/or SB cpu in regards to more FPS.

IB offers native 3.0 USB, PCI-E 3.0, native support for 1600Hz RAM and an IB cpu o/c to 4.2Ghz (which means no voltage added) runs dead even with a SB cpu o/c to 4.4 - 4.5Ghz. There is no reason to use older tech like the SB and Z68, but many reasons to use the new IB and Z77 boards along with a new generation vid card (AMD 7xxx / Nvidia 6xx series cards).
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June 10, 2012 12:10:10 AM

Now if only one person knew this...
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June 10, 2012 12:15:20 AM

azeem40 said:
Now if only one person knew this...

If gamers ever paid attention to the benchmarks there would be a lot more 3450's being sold and alot less 3570K's.
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June 10, 2012 12:18:12 AM

Yeah.
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June 10, 2012 12:32:00 AM

To be honest, if its purly for gaming and not for load speeds, a i5-2300/2400/3450 will suffice for the quad core use in high end games, and the rest of the budget should heavily go in favor of the gpu, since it does at least 80% of the work.
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June 10, 2012 12:58:51 AM

This is a very generalized statement and only applies to GPU bound games. For CPU bound games such as BF3 on Multiplayer mode, WoW or others, overclocking Sandy/Ivy still yield significant gains if the graphic card is not bottlenecking the entire system.
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June 10, 2012 1:02:04 AM

Good luck with your system, as a side note, $1000 is not gaming on the cheap. $1000 gets you a standard gaming RIG designed to run games at 1920x1080 at high detail. I would say $500-$600 is a "gaming on the cheap" rig.
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June 10, 2012 1:29:37 AM

jacknhut said:
This is a very generalized statement and only applies to GPU bound games. For CPU bound games such as BF3 on Multiplayer mode, WoW or others, overclocking Sandy/Ivy still yield significant gains if the graphic card is not bottlenecking the entire system.

I don't know how cpu bound BF3 but in a gaming build you want to try and get the best gpu your budget will allow without shorting you in other parts of the build. Over clocking any 1155 cpu in regards to gaming doesn't net you much gain...in fact very little gain. Best thing to do is google some benchmarks.
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June 10, 2012 1:31:49 AM

kulmnar said:
Good luck with your system, as a side note, $1000 is not gaming on the cheap. $1000 gets you a standard gaming RIG designed to run games at 1920x1080 at high detail. I would say $500-$600 is a "gaming on the cheap" rig.

$1000 build when throwing in a monitor and o/s doesn't get you as much as you would think. Price cpu's gpu's and psu's these days. They ain't cheap.
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