First PC Build, $1,200 - Any substitutions/better suggestions?

So like the subject says, this is the first time I'm going to tackle building my own PC. I'm an avid gamer already, and I'm looking for a system that can handle games like Skyrim on high settings and various MMOs, as well as handle design programs like Photoshop/Illustrator (which shouldn't be too hard, ha, but I am an illustrator and I like to have all programs open and running, along with paint tool SAI). I'm not looking for Crysis settings here, but as close as I can get on this budget would be awesome. I did a lot of research and found that my choices tended to be rated pretty high on most websites, but I'm wondering if there is anything I can replace or there's something better out there that I'm missing.

Plus I have some irrational fear I have no idea what I'm doing. Enjoy :D


Approximate Purchase Date: Mid September - hopefully two weeks

Budget Range: $1,200 max

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photoshop, Movies/Television, Internet, Word Processing

Are you buying a monitor: Maybe. I currently have an AOC 1080p model L24H898, resolution at 1920x1080. It's okay enough to keep. If I see another one I can justify buying...

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No real preference, I'm a regular newegg/amazon shopper though.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, NVIDIAgraphics, and blue LEDs (aesthetics matter :P)

OS: I'm a student, will probably get a deal on windows 7, don't worry about it.

Overclocking: Maybe, but not soon

SLI or Crossfire: No, not in the near future anyways.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I probably won't budge on the case, since I looked at too many before I made my decision. If there's a magical one out there with a window and blue LEDs a suggestion can be made, but I'm more concerned about the insides at this point.

Why Are You Upgrading: I own an eMachines computer. It was a gift. I cry about it a lot. Enough said.

Link to what I chose: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fEDa

For the lazy ones

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Hard drive: Western Digital RE4 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1.25GB Video Card
Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card
Case: Antec Nine Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer

Total: ~$1,200
7 answers Last reply
More about first build substitutions better suggestions
  1. chiisaimomo said:
    So like the subject says, this is the first time I'm going to tackle building my own PC. I'm an avid gamer already, and I'm looking for a system that can handle games like Skyrim on high settings and various MMOs, as well as handle design programs like Photoshop/Illustrator (which shouldn't be too hard, ha, but I am an illustrator and I like to have all programs open and running, along with paint tool SAI). I'm not looking for Crysis settings here, but as close as I can get on this budget would be awesome. I did a lot of research and found that my choices tended to be rated pretty high on most websites, but I'm wondering if there is anything I can replace or there's something better out there that I'm missing.

    Plus I have some irrational fear I have no idea what I'm doing. Enjoy :D


    Approximate Purchase Date: Mid September - hopefully two weeks

    Budget Range: $1,200 max

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photoshop, Movies/Television, Internet, Word Processing

    Are you buying a monitor: Maybe. I currently have an AOC 1080p model L24H898, resolution at 1920x1080. It's okay enough to keep. If I see another one I can justify buying...

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No real preference, I'm a regular newegg/amazon shopper though.

    Location: Chicago, Illinois

    Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, NVIDIAgraphics, and blue LEDs (aesthetics matter :P)

    OS: I'm a student, will probably get a deal on windows 7, don't worry about it.

    Overclocking: Maybe, but not soon

    SLI or Crossfire: No, not in the near future anyways.

    Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

    Additional Comments: I probably won't budge on the case, since I looked at too many before I made my decision. If there's a magical one out there with a window and blue LEDs a suggestion can be made, but I'm more concerned about the insides at this point.

    Why Are You Upgrading: I own an eMachines computer. It was a gift. I cry about it a lot. Enough said.

    Link to what I chose: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fEDa

    For the lazy ones

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    Hard drive: Western Digital RE4 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1.25GB Video Card
    Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card
    Case: Antec Nine Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case
    Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer

    Total: ~$1,200



    Swap the gtx 570 for a 7870
    you do not need an 850 watt psu swap it for a corsair tx 650
  2. redeemer said:
    Swap the gtx 570 for a 7870
    you do not need an 850 watt psu swap it for a corsair tx 650


    If I'm planning on keeping the power supply for a while would you still suggest this? I know 850 is kind of ridiculous, but I'm planning on keeping it for a few builds in the future if everything is compatible, hopefully for the next 4-5 years.

    edit - i was looking at corsairs hx 750 if that helps, too
  3. There's two Microcenter's in Chicago and they have the best deal's on cpu's I suggest you pick up your cpu from there
  4. guerrero said:
    There's two Microcenter's in Chicago and they have the best deal's on cpu's I suggest you pick up your cpu from there


    I'll make sure to check it out. I'm open to local and online, and I don't really care to stick with one retailer if the prices are better somewhere else, so thanks for the advice!
  5. You want the Hyper 212 EVO, not 212+. The EVO has a better baseplate with wider contact pipes, so you get a lot cooler idle temps primarily, but does help under load.
    CM Hyper 212 EVO. $35
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    How bout we double the capacity of the HDD and make it a bit faster, at no change in price?
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM. $90
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840

    Why the sound card, and why an expensive one at that? Unless you have an extensive and top notch surround sound system, onboard will be sufficient.

    Downgrade to a 750W supply, 850W is just more than you will ever need on this rig. The Corsair HX750 is pretty good.

    HD7870 over GTX570, much better power consumption, performance and a full 2GB of VRAM as opposed to 1.25GB. Overclocks very nicely as well.
    Sapphire HD7870. $260
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102983
    Even though that is a factory OC'd card, you can push it much further. Mine is running at 1150Mhz on the core and 1375mhz on the memory.

    Or with the cashed saved on the sound card and PSU, get yourself a GTX670. That will max out any game (Except Witcher 2's Ubersampling) at 1080p.
    Gigabyte GTX670. $400
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125423
  6. manofchalk said:
    You want the Hyper 212 EVO, not 212+. The EVO has a better baseplate with wider contact pipes, so you get a lot cooler idle temps primarily, but does help under load.
    CM Hyper 212 EVO. $35
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    How bout we double the capacity of the HDD and make it a bit faster, at no change in price?
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM. $90
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840

    Why the sound card, and why an expensive one at that? Unless you have an extensive and top notch surround sound system, onboard will be sufficient.

    Downgrade to a 750W supply, 850W is just more than you will ever need on this rig. The Corsair HX750 is pretty good.

    HD7870 over GTX570, much better power consumption, performance and a full 2GB of VRAM as opposed to 1.25GB. Overclocks very nicely as well.
    Sapphire HD7870. $260
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102983
    Even though that is a factory OC'd card, you can push it much further. Mine is running at 1150Mhz on the core and 1375mhz on the memory.

    Or with the cashed saved on the sound card and PSU, get yourself a GTX670. That will max out any game (Except Witcher 2's Ubersampling) at 1080p.
    Gigabyte GTX670. $400
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125423


    Hahaha, I actually WAS looking at a sound system, but then I realized I had settled on a nice pair of headphones for my roommates sake. Woops! Thanks for pointing that one out. Definitely like what I'm seeing on the GTX670 vs HD7870+ irrelevant sound card, and I'm pretty set on downgrading. The 850W was only twenty dollars more and I guess I felt like splurging LOL. But it makes much more sense to get the 750 and save myself a couple bucks.

    For storage I went to compare the one you suggested and a couple others and the specs beat out everything I saw within the same budget. Going to switch it out on the list as long as I figure out what the clicking/beeping noise is all about and make sure it isn't bad.

    Thanks for the help on this one!
  7. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1031726 $131.98 save: $18.00 FREE SHIPPING
    Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1020392 $139.98 save: $15.00 - $20.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1030095 $346.98 save: $18.00
    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
    ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A2EUTVCJXLAJ4K $33.45 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

    http://www.amazon.com/Lite--Super-AllWrite-Layer-Drive/dp/B002YIG9AQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1345672179&sr=1-4 $21.95 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
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    MSI N660Ti PE 2GD5 GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    Total: $1,069.32 *not including shipping & rebates


    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-Computer/dp/B0055Q7BR4/ref=sr_1_6?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1345839691&sr=1-6 $94.98 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW

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