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New Gaming Build for $800-950

Hello. I am anticipating building my own home PC somewhat soon and was hoping the veterans here could lend me a hand, because I am simply stressing myself out now from picking parts. I want the most for my money, and I would like it to be a fun and somewhat easy learning experience. I will answer the questions from the template:


Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime in the next month I hope.

Budget Range: $800-950 after rebates and shipping.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the web, light video editing.

Are you buying a monitor: No


Parts to Upgrade: Completely new computer. Maybe I don't understand this question.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. But I may be able to get a copy for free from my college.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anything really. I've been using the PC Part Picker website.

Location: Iowa, USA. I'm nowhere near any in-store pickup locations.

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU and I'd like the Radeon 7850.

Overclocking: I don't know, this has me really intimidated. All I've heard about OCing is it can damage your computer.

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Preferably a cool looking case that is easy to work with, obviously performance comes first. I don't play really intensive games like FPS's. The most intensive game I would play is probably The Witcher 2. Perhaps some MMORPGS.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My store-bought computer is getting old, and I am going to college for Computer Support, so I would like some hands on experience. Plus I would like a quality gaming computer.


I anticipate any help you all may be able to offer me. I've been choosing parts for the last month, all the choices are giving me a big headache. The only part I have stuck with is the video card and some miscellaneous parts. Here is the incomplete build I have so far. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bNVb
23 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. So I take that means I should OC? Haha. Also that HDD is half of my current one for not that much less. Same with the PSU, it's 100 W lower?
  2. Best answer
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($246.97 @ Newegg)
    Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $934.88
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
  3. SilentxHero said:
    So I take that means I should OC? Haha. Also that HDD is half of my current one for not that much less. Same with the PSU, it's 100 W lower?
    LOL well you can go cheaper but no OC the CPU it's really up to you i did another build without OC what PSU do you have might be able to use it
  4. Which would you personally recommend? Both look good to me. I'm just nervous about OCing.
  5. Also another thing to note is I may be able to get the OS for free from school. So the money from that can be used for other parts.
  6. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77-DS3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($95.98 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($266.97 @ Newegg)
    Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: XFX 450W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $739.89
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

    Cheaper build no OC - GPU pre overclocked.
  7. You could add a 120 GB SSD to my build if you want to spend the full 900 ish.
  8. SilentxHero said:
    Which would you personally recommend? Both look good to me. I'm just nervous about OCing.

    well i would recommend the first build of course because i am addicted to OC :lol: but you half to spend time learning how to overclock first which takes allot of reading so you might be better off not going that route it's up to you
  9. I know a fair amount about computers and such. Voltages I'm a complete moron when it comes to it though. Would it be worth it to go ahead and buy the OC build, but not OC until a later date? Or should I just go with a non OC build and save myself the hassle? By the way I've chosen the Corsair Enthusiast 650W PSU.

    I've read people saying there is no point in buying K processors if you aren't going to OC. Which I can understand. Is OCing really worth it? And if so, how hard is it to learn?
  10. SilentxHero said:
    I know a fair amount about computers and such. Voltages I'm a complete moron when it comes to it though. Would it be worth it to go ahead and buy the OC build, but not OC until a later date? Or should I just go with a non OC build and save myself the hassle? By the way I've chosen the Corsair Enthusiast 650W PSU.

    I've read people saying there is no point in buying K processors if you aren't going to OC. Which I can understand. Is OCing really worth it? And if so, how hard is it to learn?
    Would just avoid the hassle it's not that big of a deal
  11. Best answer selected by SilentxHero.
  12. You don't need anything near 650W since you're not planning Xfire. The XFX I linked would be just about perfect.
  13. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bOaU

    There's the build I have so far. Assuming I get the OS for free, what can I do to upgrade this build?
  14. SilentxHero said:
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bOaU

    There's the build I have so far. Assuming I get the OS for free, what can I do to upgrade this build?
    You could add a SSD PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($246.97 @ Newegg)
    Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.64 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $944.53
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
  15. SilentxHero said:
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bOaU

    There's the build I have so far. Assuming I get the OS for free, what can I do to upgrade this build?

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($314.98 @ Newegg)
    Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.64 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $917.55
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.) You could get a 7870 why do you keep getting that ram it's over priced lol
  16. Why not go for Ivy?
  17. FinneousPJ said:
    Why not go for Ivy?
    He could do that to i just figured what for it cost 20 bucks more but i was wrong it's only 10 dollars more
  18. here you go with ivy PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($102.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($314.98 @ Newegg)
    Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.64 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $925.11
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
  19. What are the perks of Ivy? I've chosen that RAM because it's the highest rated low profile RAM I've been able to come across. I guess it doesn't really matter if I'm not getting a CPU Cooler. Would the 7870 provide a huge performance difference in the games I'm looking to play?

    Also I've been looking into OCing, it's still a bit intimidating, and seems time consuming, but it doesn't seem overly complicated.
  20. You can read about ivy vs sandy all over the net it's basically ivy is a little better here a link if you are interested http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&sqi=2&ved=0CHoQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcmag.com%2Farticle2%2F0%2C2817%2C2405317%2C00.asp&ei=ltT9T5L_MIaa2AWFqLXzDA&usg=AFQjCNEXGYD7yhwZulHXBrKkDzzUlXucPA&sig2=G-keKbp_WLZlaTgiVWEhWg as for the 7870 it's a more powerful card than the 7850 so of course it would provide better performance but either one is fine for the games you intend on playing
  21. Thanks for the link. I now have two different builds, and I have plenty of time to research and decide considering I have some time before I have the money.

    Non-OC build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bQmi

    OC Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bNMS

    Also, want to recommend some quality 8 gb RAM to me? I'd like good low profile and non low profile. One for each build. Also it's fairly easy to upgrade to 16 gb RAM later isn't it?

    EDIT: Also, I'm probably going to spend the money I'm not using on a better case. Hard when there is so many choices :pt1cable:
  22. Anyone? D:
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