$700 - $900 All Around / Gaming i7 build

Approximate Purchase Date: Couple weeks

Budget Range: $700-$900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: School use, Music production, gaming

Already have: Monitor, OS, KB/M, 1.5 TB Hard drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Microcenter

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Fayetteville AR; My dad will be in Boston in a week or two so I was hoping to have him pick up the mobo/proc from Microcenter.

Parts Preferences: Intel i7

Overclocking: Maybe but probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Down the road

Additional Comments: Okay, so I built my last computer from some suggestions off here and it was great, but I moved into my apartment at school and I'm not paying for cable, so I kind of converted it into an HTPC. Just got my refund check for $800 and I'd like to build a new rig. My main priority is future expandability, but I'd like it to run great for now of course. I'm looking for a motherboard with at least 32GB max ram (want 1 stick of 8GB for now), and about 6 or 7 SATA ports. I would like a fast i7 processor (although I'm not sure if I can get a better i5 for the same price). Basically I just want this to be solid for me for at least 5 or so years.

I was also thinking about the possibility of dual booting with OSX, but I'm not very knowledgeable with all that. I wanted the ability to run Logic through OSX and I've been somewhat reading about building a hackintosh, so that would be cool too, but it's not necessarily a priority at the moment.

I found a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 560 Ti 1GB card on sale locally for $130, so I'd like to include that in the build and count it torward the budget. I would also like to get an SSD to pair with this 1.5 TB drive I have laying around.

Alright, so -

Motherboard - ??
Processor - Preferably i7
Graphics Card - NVIDIA Geforce GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($130)
SSD - ??
HDD - 1.5 TB Drive (currently owned)
Ram - Preferably 8GB
Case / PSU - ??
10 answers Last reply
More about gaming build
  1. For what you're doing, the i7 isn't necessary.

    Try this...

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.30 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($317.86 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $843.59
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-04 01:11 EDT-0400)

    If you want a SSD, then you'll need to sacrifice a bit of GPU power to make room in the budget. Try this...

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.30 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($117.99 @ Adorama)
    Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $843.71
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-04 01:13 EDT-0400)
  2. I was hoping for 1x8gb on the ram, and gaming isn't such a huge importance, I more so want an all around system that can game. I also already have the graphics card listed for $130. I'm not looking to drop $300 on a graphics card, I usually only buy games on Steam that are $7.50 or less so I don't even have anything new at the moment anyway.
  3. Then drop your budget down and get a Radeon 6870.
  4. Millertime2325 said:
    I was hoping for 1x8gb on the ram, and gaming isn't such a huge importance, I more so want an all around system that can game. I also already have the graphics card listed for $130. I'm not looking to drop $300 on a graphics card, I usually only buy games on Steam that are $7.50 or less so I don't even have anything new at the moment anyway.

    All the more reason you don't need an i7. lol. An i5 will do the job for you. Even the CPU intensive stuff that might be implied with the "music production" can be done with an i5 just fine. Unless you're a professional already doing this stuff full time, and even then really an i7 probably isn't necessary. Also, don't plan on maxing your motherboard out at 32GB of RAM, 16GB was overkill for me, and I multitask quite heavily. By the time even 16GB is necessary, we'll be on DDR4 RAM, maybe even DDR5. Its not like the days of XP. Operating systems back then didn't like to give back the RAM space when it was finished with it. Newer OS's since then have improved this a lot.
  5. How about this build?

    Processor - Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz LGA 1155 Processor $290
    Motherboard - ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard $160
    Graphics Card - NVIDIA Geforce GTX 560 Ti 1GB $130
    Ram - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $40
    Case - Broadway Com Corp A3728-Series A3728-Red Glossy Black Computer Case FREE (pull from HTPC - will get new HTPC case for $80)
    PSU - XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $65
    HDD - 1.5TB Drive (Free)

    So the total for that comes to 685 not including the HTPC case I need to buy for my other build and the SSD I plan to get, after all that I should be around my target. Thoughts on all that?
  6. As said earlier, drop the i7. i5=i7.
  7. Well I'm kind of a noob when it comes to processors I'll admit haha, what's the reason you guys are reccomending the i5 over the i7? I would imagine the i7 that I listed would age better than any of the i5's but like I said I don't know much on the topic
  8. The i5 will get you the same framerates as the i7 listed.
  9. The main reason, because I assumed that you were expecting it to "age better". It doesn't matter what CPU you buy today, it will be old trash just the same in 4-5 years compared to whats new on the market.

    The primary difference between i5s and i7s.. well the only difference, the i7s have a technology called "HyperThreading". HyperThreading is essentially a function that allows the CPU to "pretend" to have more cores than it actually does. For example, the i7-3770K has 4 physical cores (which means the computer thinks it has 4 processors), this allows the workload to get divided up. HyperThreading adds 4 more "pretend" cores, this in theory, depending on the program substantially impact performance.

    As to why the i7 "aging better" is not really a selling point. As I said, not all programs use HT, or need it for that matter, and probably never will. For example, you don't need a lot of CPU power to run Microsoft Office, browse the web, watch a youtube video, basically any of your daily tasks just wont see a benefit. Now, depending on what you mean by music production, yes some of that might be CPU intensive, but HyperThreading probably still isn't that necessary for the extra cost the i7 commands over the i5.

    If you have 10 minutes of your time, this is a video I link to people a lot who ask the same things you do. Unlike Geico, it can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK4ip08auGg
  10. Very informative. Thanks
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