First gaming rig with a ~$1000 budget

I'd like to build a machine that can run most of today's games on max settings. I am not super computer savy but have in the past helped put computers together for friends. I think in my price range I can get close to top tier CPU and graphics card. However, I am not familiar with motherboards, PSU, cooling parts and cases.

I would like for this to last at least 2-4 years with maybe a SLI upgrade around the third year.


Thank you for your help and assistance, your advices are appreciated.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: by the end of summer 2012

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) $1000 give or take $100 after rebates/before shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or tigerdirect.com or anything with reasonable shipping

Location: NC, USA

Parts Preferences: overclockable Intel i5 Ivy bridge CPU, $400 graphics card (GFX 670 or better), small SSD, 8GB ddr3 1600 ram.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: will probably in the future, but not for now

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, will probably buy another monitor and a TV.

Additional Comments: This is my first post here so please excuse me if I'm doing this wrong.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: currently gaming on a 3 yr old thinkpad that runs everything at minimum specs.

Thanks again!
9 answers Last reply
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  1. =D I'm from NC too.

    Try this...
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cnrn

    If you want to save a little more cash and fit the budget, drop the gtx 670 to this...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125414
    It's still an extremely fast GPU, with huge overclocking potential.

    The asrock motherboard is packed full of features and, for the price, it's a great mobo.

    I included an aftermarket cooler; you'll need it if you plan on overclocking. I would recommend that you did not overclock this CPU above 4.5GHz on an air cooler. Keep temps at around 70-75ish or below.

    [Edit]
    oops, i just noticed you plan on possibly doing sli or xfire in the future. You'll want to grab a PSU such as this if you plan on doing that...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021
  2. ^good build. +1.
  3. Thank you for the suggestions, it definitely fits my price range. I've read a lot of good reviews about the gtx 670, I don't know much about radeon cards, how do they compare? if gtx is slightly better then I'd be willing to pay 50$ for more futurep proof
  4. If you have a Microcenter in your neck of the woods you can get a 3570k processor got about $189 and a discount on the motherboard for it too.


    As for Video Card wise. Cannot go wrong with a GTX 670.
  5. royalassassin109 said:
    Thank you for the suggestions, it definitely fits my price range. I've read a lot of good reviews about the gtx 670, I don't know much about radeon cards, how do they compare? if gtx is slightly better then I'd be willing to pay 50$ for more futurep proof

    The gtx 670 is a much better card than the 7950. Definitely worth the extra $50. However, the 7950 is a beasty card too. And if you can't fit the gtx 670 in the budget, the 7950 would be an excellent alternative.

    Here's a couple benchmarks comparing the two and a few other cards in bf3 and skyrim...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-review,3200-5.html ==> Battlefield 3


    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-review,3200-7.html ==> Skyrim
  6. I would go with a bigger SSD. 120GB at least, OCZ has a 120GB agility 3 for 84.99 @ newegg.com.
  7. DarkOutlaw said:
    I would go with a bigger SSD. 120GB at least, OCZ has a 120GB agility 3 for 84.99 @ newegg.com.


    Gotta be careful with the OCZ SSDs. Quite a few people have had trouble with 'em failing and what not. That is a good deal for a 120gb SSD.
  8. Techguy1 said:


    I respect quite a few of that guy's builds, but I do not like this one. First of all, the PSU he chose is a terrible choice. Not everyone needs 2tb of storage. That's a waste; you can put the extra cash towards a better GPU. His build is overall far more weaker than the options I gave. Would not recommend it.
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