Gaming PC build ~$800 Suggestions

Hey everyone,

I'm new here but I have been lurking for a couple of weeks. I've historically been an off and on console gamer.

Now I'm about to graduate college and the HP entertainment "student" laptop I bought as a freshman is starting to show its age. I bought it new for around $750, so in considering my options around that price range, I figured I could just piece together a great system for around the same price.

Now I'm completely new to building computers. All the knowlege that I currently have is from researching -mainly this site- and watching videos. A week ago I couldn't have told you the difference between CPU and GPU haha. I've played plenty of PC games throughout the years, but its always been a battle of getting anything to work on any computer I've ever owned. The highlight of my PC gaming was getting HL2 to work on my family's Gateway in 2004 (I still don't know how it managed). It think the required steam download for the game took like 15 hours over my dialup line at the time.

Anyways In this Build I'm looking at a budget of around $700-$800, and about $200 or less for a monitor.

I've compiled this rough list of parts that I think are what I want. I don't really understand how everything works, I really just want a good system that will last me around 2-3 years of high setting gaming.

My biggest concern is that with the next gen xbox and PS on the horizon, how will my set up compare? Will I be left in the dust? I know PC gamers always say the consoles are so far behind, but how is it that a 2005 xbox can still play BF3? Even if it is low settings, I don't think a PC build around 2005/2006 could play BF3 at all, let alone look like it does on current gen consoles. Maybe i'm wrong, but that is what is confusing to me...

Okay enough rambling, here is my current parts list

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.30 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 3.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($217.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec DF-35 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Cooler Master 650W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($61.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $817.78
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-06 17:37 EDT-0400)

Here's the Monitor I was looking at - AOC I2353PH Review. It seems good for the price, but I don't know anything about monitors at all. I'd love some suggestions in this area!

I know its a little above budget, but I don't know where else I would feel comfortable making cuts.

GPU: possibly EVGA GTX 560 Superclocked for around $150-$180 (don't know if its worth the cut though)

CPU: I really was looking at the intel i5 3570k, but from what I hear its not worth the extra money compared to the i5 2500k. Ant thoughts?

Ok well there's what I have come up with. I would love to hear some opinions/suggestions from you all because, as I said, I'm new to this and I don't have any first hand experience.

5 answers Last reply
More about gaming build suggestions
  1. GPU:
    7870 is alot better than the one you chose :) never skimp on GPU and PSU, as these parts will last you long time. same with CPU, now you want an ivy bridge CPU, such as the i5 3750K , so you can take the pci x16 3.0 and double your bandwidth. that cpu is old tech sandy bridge, for 15 dollars more get the ivy bridge.
    and your cpu cooler get the cooler master hyper 212 PLUS , the plus!
    and the best board under like 170ish dollars is asrock Z77 extreme4 mother board.
    please note i do not have any of these parts listed above, but have done extensive research into the pc componets.
    here are some bench mark reviews for the graphics card i listed above at the top.,3148-6.html
    now on the bottom of this link there is a drop down menu, choose through all the games noise levels, heat levels, etc.
    hope this helps you :) good luck with your build!

    quick edit: uh you need 1600mhz ram, heres a link , the motherboard supports this ram, as not all ram is support for motherboards you gotta look on the manufactures website and read supported memory and central processing units.
    and dont forget your keyboard/mouse and a ANTI STATIC BRACLET!! if you are not wearing this when you are building your computer just from standing on carpet and moving without grounding your self you can and will fry what ever you are touching!!! ( no i have not had this experience as i ground my self with a braclet! )
    again edit, with the link to the bench marks, you can see the gpu i listed above, way above sorry for long message by the way, it competes with a 400+ dollar video card from i think 2010.. the 580. and 560 is not the best way to go as they are very out dated. and not very good for highest settings possible with AA and what not. i was planing on building a computer towards the end of this year and begining of next year, and was gunna get the 560 intil i read some benchmarks and reviews and posts on this site, its not very good for maxing stuff out, yes you can maxx out with it, just wont get very good FPS and probley alot of lagg. i know this is alot to read through and i am sorry about that just wanna help ya out!
  2. if you are going to buy core i5-2500K you can buy cheaper p67 motherboard for 73$
    the only difference P67 motherboards need flash bios to support ivy bridge CPUs
    so 7870 could fit in your budget
  3. Okay I've actually made a few changes over the past week, and made some purchases as well.

    I decided to go for the i5 3570k. I picked it up for $209, I couldn't pass that up.

    I went with a Gigabyte GA z77M d3h for $119 and it also came with free 8gb of RAM (G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB--2 x 4GB). At the time i bought the mobo, it didn't realize it was a microATX board, but I don't think that will be a huge problem...I hope.

    I'm starting to see some great deals on the 7870 GPU's. It seems like the price keeps dropping every other day almost. I think I'm going to pick one up this week. Do you think the price is going to keep dropping like a rock though? I mean with rebates some of the 7950's are coming in around $280, should I be trying to pick one of these up instead? How much better do you think they are?

    anyways here's what i've spent so far

    CPU: i5 3750k- $209
    MOBO: Gigabyte GA z77M d3h- $119
    Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB--2 x 4GB - Free

    Any other ideas or last minute suggestions? I think I'm going to order everything else this week.
  4. 7950 is 15% faster than 7870 but overclocking 7950 is easier.
    overclocking graphics cards depends on the graphics card cooler, some 7950s can be overclocked up to 1050 ,other 7950s cant be overclocked over 950 ,non reference coolers usually have more OC headroom ,just make sure the graphics card temperatures don't exceed 80c,7950 have very fast memory bandwidth so overclocking its GPU would be enough to boost its performance.
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