Building a new gaming PC ~$800

Hi guys. I am in the process of putting a new PC together.

I plan on mainly gaming with this PC, but would of course want it to support things such as being able to Photoshop and do video work with it.

Anyways, my budget is ~$800-$900 for a reason. I have already purchased a new GPU and PSU for my old computer which I will be putting into my new PC.

(Note: the 800-900 range does include my GPU and PSU which was ~$350).

I am clueless on a few things to buy as I have no knowledge in their departments, so any help there is appreciated.

So far:

[CPU] I want an Intel i5, but am clueless otherwise. It needs to be able to be to the standards of my GPU, but I do not want to overkill it as I am trying to save as much as I can on this.

[GPU] EVGA 012-P3-1571-AR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

[PSU] CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

[RAM] I am going to be using the RAM from my old PC; 8gb.

[Case] One of these two..not sure which. I don't think it matter which I get as they are big enough to support any motherboard, cpu, psu, etc..correct?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156250
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119240

[Coolers] I know nothing about.

[HDD] I know nothing about.

[Motherboard] I know nothing about except that it needs to fit with my CPU.


Also, am I forgetting anything else that I would need to buy or could salvage from my old PC that would work perfectly fine? I have 1tb of storage on my old PC, but am unsure of how that works with building a new PC.

Thanks for all help.

EDIT: I plan on playing mainly Guild Wars 2 and wish for it to be Flawless on high settings, at least.
47 answers Last reply
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  1. You could probably get away with an i3-2120 for the CPU but since you can afford it, I'd get the i5-3570K. Especially if you plan on overclocking. With that i5, any Z77 motherboard will be great, since you're looking at mid tower cases, I'd get an ATX board. For the cooler, the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo is fantastic value. It's easily one of the best selling CPU coolers and for good reason. Any SATA hard drive is fine for you, get a 3.5'' 7200RPM though otherwise it might feel a bit slow. SATA 2 vs SATA 3 doesn't matter on normal hard drives, if you plan on getting a SSD I'd get SATA 3 though. Even with SSD's it doesn't make a big difference though. Also, both of those cases are big enough for almost any standard PC component.

    Here are some popular suggestions:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    Sorry about the wall of text but I hope it helped.
  2. Are you going to plan to overclock your cpu?
  3. @JMSellars1 - Thanks for the suggestions. I will see what others have to say as well.

    @Shadow - I've heard the term to overclock it, but am not 100% sure of its means. I have friends who have built their PCs, so I am sure they could help me do so if it will benefit me.
  4. Overclocking is running your CPU/GPU at a higher frequency than is intended. It will create more heat but so long as you have adequate cooling, you can get decent performance boosts. Generally anywhere up to +50% more performance if you have a particularly good overclocker on your hands.
  5. Well if I buy a good enough cooler with it, then yes I suppose I will overclock.
  6. Also for the motherboard if you want to spend $10+ you could get:

    ASUS P8Z77-V LK
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837&Tpk=asus%20p8z77-lk

    I have it and its really great but the Asrock is really good too.
  7. For good cooling I would recommend the corsair H60. Its a water cooler and works really well with overclocking. If you don't want that then you could get the 212 evo which is air cooling and still really good but not as good as the H60.

    H60 ($50 after MIR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181015

    212 evo ($30)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
  8. Here what i suggest any of these three motherboards take your pick all are solid and offer lots of future expandability it's best not to skimp on your motherboard trust me you will thank yourself in the long run MOBO:ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131819#top

    mobo:GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128545#top

    mobo:ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157295&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Motherboards%20-%20Intel-_-ASRock-_-13157295&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=#top
  9. -> ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 read the last page of review source http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme4_review,1.html
    The only negative I have for this motherboard is that it slips outside of typical ATX specifications. It’s 3cm thinner than a standard ATX motherboard and as a result may lack secure mounting on the far side since this isn’t a common size, which also means you should be very careful when plugging in the 24-pin ATX motherboard power – as the motherboard may flex. P.S. on a side note i personally think it's a solid budget board. ;)
  10. @Shadow - I may go with the water cooler you linked.

    @Bigcyco1 - Which of the three would you consider to be the best bet on lasting for a long time and suiting my needs?


    Also can anyone provide me with a list of things i need to complete a PC so I know I have it all?
  11. I don't understand why anyone would buy the Corsair H60. The whole point of water cooling is to move the heat to a place where you can fit a larger heatsink, why get a water cooler with a 120mm radiator?
  12. Do you want a list of all the parts you already have and what you still need to get?
  13. Basically what I know that I have so far:

    GPU
    PSU
    RAM
    Case
    Cooling
  14. Ok so this is what you still need:

    HDD-(If you can afford it then you should go for a ssd/hdd combo but in your budget range you'll probabbly just want to go with a single hdd.)
    Seagate Barracuda 1tb HDD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148697

    (If you can afford it) OCZ Agility 3 60gb SSD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227725

    MOBO-(Probabbly go with one of @bigcyco1 suggestions)

    DVD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
  15. I do want an SSD.

    Is there anything I can just take from my old PC and use?

    Also, how does space work with this? Is that what an HDD/SSD is? By space..I mean I have 1tb on my old PC now.
  16. Ya you can take a the 1tb from your old computer that should work fine.
  17. Is that was an SSD/HDD is though?
  18. No if you want you can add a separate ssd for your OS so that it will boot faster and overall perform smoother and faster. Then you have your HDD to store your music/documents etc.

    If you a hard drive that is both a SSD and HDD you can look at the Seagate Momentus XT.
  19. An SSD/HDD combo is cheaper and is cheaper.
  20. I'm still confused as to what an SSD does and it's importance and what I do with my 1tb of storage.

    If I didn't take my storage from my old PC would I need to buy some?
  21. Yes, because SSDs aren't really meant as storage. They are mainly for system stability and opening programs and loading them faster.
  22. Okay so could I use my old HDD I have in my old PC and buy an SSD for faster operating?

    Any other suggestions for an SSD?
  23. phomatic said:
    Okay so could I use my old HDD I have in my old PC and buy an SSD for faster operating?

    Any other suggestions for an SSD?


    If you are looking for just OS and few programs then go with the OCZ Agility 3 60gb it's like $60 on newegg.

    If you can afford it go with a Corsair Force 3 120gb ssd for $125.
  24. For $120, you can get a Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, which is faster and more reliable.
  25. phomatic said:
    @Shadow - I may go with the water cooler you linked.

    @Bigcyco1 - Which of the three would you consider to be the best bet on lasting for a long time and suiting my needs?


    Also can anyone provide me with a list of things i need to complete a PC so I know I have it all?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131819#top ;)
  26. Thanks bigcyco1. As of now that is my motherboard. But I will still take suggestions.

    What I still need:

    CPU
    Perhaps another SSD. Unsure.
  27. CPU:Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504#top $229.99

    SSD:Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe MX MKNSSDCR120GB-MX 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    3.5” adapter bracket included
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226318#top $114.99
  28. I would also suggest not getting "fisher price" pretend water cooling such as the Corsair H-60 reason why is performance wise is no better than heat sinks that cost less lol pretty much a joke and waste of your hard earned money..
  29. I would suggest you get any of these for your aftermarket cooler if you don't plan to overclock your CPU though just save your money and use the stock heat sink that comes for free with your CPU CPU Cooler:Noctua CPU Cooler NH-U12P SE2
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=12&ved=0CHYQFjAL&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FNoctua-CPU-Cooler-NH-U12P-SE2%2Fdp%2FB002TG3K14&ei=o83wT7mDFumY2wWxnL2mCg&usg=AFQjCNEBzpbIVySbM3pd-iHZ-oDt3BqoiA&sig2=emGPUDh_8GeuKOeSnFbpzw

    CPU Cooler: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+
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    CPU Cooler:COOLER MASTER V6 GT RR-V6GT-22PK-R1 120mm DynaLoop CPU Cooler w/ Universal bracket & Dual Fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103089#top
  30. The SSD you said just has double of this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227725 , correct?

    Would getting the one you suggested improve performance a lot?

    As for cooling, I will go with this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103089
  31. That's a decent choice for cooler as for the SSD yeah it is faster and has 60gb more than the one you linked.Moving on... well no it won't really improve performance allot it's for your OS so that it will boot faster SSD are mainly for opening/closing programs elect. And loading them faster. so if you rather save your money then go ahead
  32. I only need 1 DVD driver, correct? For some reason I put in two =/

    Anyways..I have the following parts:

    Case
    SSD
    CPU
    Motherboard
    RAM (from my old PC)
    Cooling
    Windows 7 OS
    GPU
    PSU

    Is that all I need?
  33. Also I think I am going to get a CPU like the one you showed but without the Ivy Bridge as I don't deem is really..necessary..is it?
  34. phomatic said:
    Also I think I am going to get a CPU like the one you showed but without the Ivy Bridge as I don't deem is really..necessary..is it?
    no you could get a i5-2500K if you wanted http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072 any less i wouldn't if i were you but it's totally up to you of course. ;)
  35. I've talked to some others about this as well. One said to perhaps get the one you linked right there.

    Another suggested boosting up the money into my CPU and taking it out of the motherboard since I will be streaming games as well. Below is what he suggested.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

    Any feedback is helpful! :)
  36. phomatic said:
    I only need 1 DVD driver, correct? For some reason I put in two =/

    Anyways..I have the following parts:

    Case
    SSD
    CPU
    Motherboard
    RAM (from my old PC)
    Cooling
    Windows 7 OS
    GPU
    PSU

    Is that all I need?
    what is your old ram just so i can make sure your o.k. there is it DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 if not it won't work :( and yes you only need 1 DVD driver and yes you have everything you need :)
  37. Check out the post above if you missed it. :P

    Not sure about my RAM. Waiting for my replacement parts to get to me by the end of the week (since they were defected). Didn't feel like putting my old stuff back in.

    I'll be sure to post though when I find out.

    This is my PC if you can find out from it: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=c02481314&prodTypeId=12454&prodSeriesId=4269972
  38. phomatic said:
    I've talked to some others about this as well. One said to perhaps get the one you linked right there.

    Another suggested boosting up the money into my CPU and taking it out of the motherboard since I will be streaming games as well. Below is what he suggested.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

    Any feedback is helpful! :)
    Same deal with that motherboard The only negative I have for this motherboard is that it slips outside of typical ATX specifications. It’s 3cm thinner than a standard ATX motherboard and as a result may lack secure mounting on the far side since this isn’t a common size, which also means you should be very careful when plugging in the 24-pin ATX motherboard power – as the motherboard may flex. If your willing to risk it i say go for it
  39. Not sure that I'm willing to risk it and wait weeks for a replacement. Anyways..check out above about the RAM.
  40. this one is full sized ATX and not made flawed

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157264
  41. I think I'll stick with what I had. I can't spend any more money on those. I think I'll be in great condition with what I have.

    Also, about that RAM..I posted the standard things that came with my PC above. Does it show anything useful for it?
  42. phomatic said:
    Not sure that I'm willing to risk it and wait weeks for a replacement. Anyways..check out above about the RAM.
    I believe that ram is for amd only although i might be wrong so i would let one of the other guys check that out as i don't want to tell you it will not work because i am unsure sorry
  43. Well thanks for much for all of your help. I will be sure to find out whether or not I need RAM.

    Hoping someone else can answer that from all of this within the next few days.

    Once again..couldn't appreciate the help anymore!
  44. No problem anytime your very welcome!
  45. That i5 will be better and cheaper than the i7 for games, while consuming less power. It is also more futureproof because it has native DDR3 1600Mhz and PCI-E 3.0 support. It's not quite as good for photoshop etc. but it really won't make that much of a difference unless it's incredibly heavy work.

    A SSD would run alongside your hard drive as a separate drive. Anything you want to load quickly should go on there, generally that means your OS and programs. Then all your bulk data such as music, photos and movies can go on your hard drive.

    As for your SSD, ignore the read and write speeds advertised. They rarely actually reach those speeds and they're not important anyway. The high read and write speeds don't actually make a difference for most people. That's why it's best to go with the most reliable option. Intel, Samsung and Crucial seem to have the best track record for reliability in my experience.
  46. jmsellars1 said:
    That i5 will be better and cheaper than the i7 for games, while consuming less power. It is also more futureproof because it has native DDR3 1600Mhz and PCI-E 3.0 support. It's not quite as good for photoshop etc. but it really won't make that much of a difference unless it's incredibly heavy work.

    A SSD would run alongside your hard drive as a separate drive. Anything you want to load quickly should go on there, generally that means your OS and programs. Then all your bulk data such as music, photos and movies can go on your hard drive.

    As for your SSD, ignore the read and write speeds advertised. They rarely actually reach those speeds and they're not important anyway. The high read and write speeds don't actually make a difference for most people. That's why it's best to go with the most reliable option. Intel, Samsung and Crucial seem to have the best track record for reliability in my experience.


    That was incredibly helpful, thank you.

    When I boot up my PC for the first time, I assume there will just be two drives to store things on..my HDD and SSD, correct? And I manually choose which to put my stuff on, correct?

    Is it possible for me to just use my old HDD since that's all I have on my old PC?
  47. Yes, that's how the SSD would work. You don't have to use one either, you can just use your hard drive if you want.
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