1st Build $1200 budget Gaming PC

I am going to build my first purely gaming PC. After looking at all the prebuilt gaming systems I just couldn't find anything that I thought seemed to be a good deal.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: 1200-1300 Shipped. Hopefully no rebates (I'm bad about sending those in)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and web browsing

Are you buying a monitor: No


Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon (Prime member)

Location: Tennessee, USA

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: Maybe a little

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: I just want PC that will be able to play new games for a while without needing an upgrade i.e. COD, Borderlands 2, and Minecraft with High rez texture packs with no lag


OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive

Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8 GB (2x4GB) PC3-12800 1600mhz 240-Pin DDR3 Dual Channel Memory

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti WINDFORCE 2X OC Edition 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

Cooler Master MegaFlow 200mm Red LED Computer Case Fan

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Gaming Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 Ports

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply

Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA1155 AMD CrossFireX W/HDMI,DVI Dual UEFI BIOS ATX Motherboard GA-Z77-D3H

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler with Four Direct Contact Heat Pipes

Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155

I have researched and researched and this is what I have come up with. I am wondering if this system would get me through a couple of years and still be able to play new titles. I thought about water cooling but didn't know if it was really needed. I still have a little $$ to play with so if someone has a little tweak here or there that would improve performance that would be great!
I forgot to mention that I have 2tb WD storage HDD and BD writer already.
12 answers Last reply
More about build 1200 budget gaming
  1. Hey Rip! Yes you definitely don't need water cooling. If you're also referring to the Hydro series from Corsair or Khuler series from Antec, both aren't really worth it at all. Air coolers for about $30-$50 less can perform just as good if not better with similar dBA.

    As for the build check out my $1100 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module147312351
    Gets you a better SSD IMO (More consistent and if anything more reliable as Samsung has proven), better GPU, better motherboard providing 8x/8x and a better PSU.

    ALL PARTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE PURCHASED ON AMAZON FOR SIMILAR PRICE AS NEWEGG

    Would suggest you upgrade your monitor to a 1080P monitor of your choice but would suggest it for the sake of not bottlenecking the 7970.

    Here's some reasons to go with the 7970 or AMD in general:

    7950 OC vs 670 OC vs 660 Ti OC: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_660_ti_gc_oc_vs_670_hd_7950/3
    Keep in mind the 7950 is about $100 less than the 670.

    660 Ti review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-benchmark-review,3279-17.html

    Clock for clock the 7970 is better than the GTX 680 (both are the flagship cards of both AMD and Nvidia respectively): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/toxic-hd-7970-eyefinity-6gb,3264-3.html

    7970 OC vs GTX 680/670 OC: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/14/geforce_680_670_vs_radeon_7970_7950_gaming_perf/3
  2. http://www.amazon.com/XFX-ATX-550-Power-Supply/dp/B004RJ8EKI/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1348372975&sr=1-1 $65.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    XFX ATX 550 Power Supply - P1550SXXB9

    or...

    http://www.amazon.com/PC-Power-Cooling-Silencer-compatible/dp/B0064XAJ30/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1348373134&sr=1-3 $64.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping | Price after rebate: $44.99
    PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157304 $84.99 FREE SHIPPING
    ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1057647 $257.98 save: $11.00 FREE SHIPPING
    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
    Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PV38G160C9K

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A2EUTVCJXLAJ4K $32.08 & 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/LG-Electronics-GH24NS90B-Super-Internal/dp/B00632SB2I/ref=pd_cp_pc_1 $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
    LG Electronics GH24NS90B 24 X SATA Super Multi DVD+/-RW Internal Drive - Bulk without Software - Black

    http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-PCI-Express-Displayport-Graphics-GV-N660OC-2GD/dp/B00942TK8I/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1348373054&sr=1-2&keywords=gigabyte+gtx+660 $229.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/Displayport SLI Ready Graphics Card GV-N660OC-2GD

    http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Builder/dp/B004Q0PT3I/ref=pd_bxgy_pc_text_y $90.63 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack
  3. aznshinobi said:
    Hey Rip! Yes you definitely don't need water cooling. If you're also referring to the Hydro series from Corsair or Khuler series from Antec, both aren't really worth it at all. Air coolers for about $30-$50 less can perform just as good if not better with similar dBA.

    As for the build check out my $1100 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module147312351
    Gets you a better SSD IMO (More consistent and if anything more reliable as Samsung has proven), better GPU, better motherboard providing 8x/8x and a better PSU.

    ALL PARTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE PURCHASED ON AMAZON FOR SIMILAR PRICE AS NEWEGG

    Would suggest you upgrade your monitor to a 1080P monitor of your choice but would suggest it for the sake of not bottlenecking the 7970.

    Here's some reasons to go with the 7970 or AMD in general:

    7950 OC vs 670 OC vs 660 Ti OC: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_660_ti_gc_oc_vs_670_hd_7950/3
    Keep in mind the 7950 is about $100 less than the 670.

    660 Ti review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-benchmark-review,3279-17.html

    Clock for clock the 7970 is better than the GTX 680 (both are the flagship cards of both AMD and Nvidia respectively): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/toxic-hd-7970-eyefinity-6gb,3264-3.html

    7970 OC vs GTX 680/670 OC: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/05/14/geforce_680_670_vs_radeon_7970_7950_gaming_perf/3



    Ok I am going to go with the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 MB and Radeon 7950 GPU can someone tell me which brand has the best performance? I am leaning toward getting the
    Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-Express Graphic Card GV-R795WF3-3GD
  4. ripdime said:
    Ok I am going to go with the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 MB and Radeon 7950 GPU can someone tell me which brand has the best performance? I am leaning toward getting the
    Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-Express Graphic Card GV-R795WF3-3GD

    I'm guessing you want the option to add a second card later on yes ?
  5. Why_Me said:
    I'm guessing you want the option to add a second card later on yes ?


    Yes when and if needed.
  6. Here's a few components to have a look at that will allow you to SLI/Crossfire and give you enough juice to push two of those cards.


    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-80PLUS-Certified-Modular-CP-9020015-NA/dp/B008RJZQSW/ref=sr_1_24?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1346646210&sr=1-24 $86.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair CX 750 Watts 80PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1066148 $336.98 save: $13.00
    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 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme3/ <----- another look at that board


    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A2EUTVCJXLAJ4K $32.08 & 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.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233186 $38.99 FREE SHIPPING
    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9
  7. Yes go with the Z77 Extreme4 and 7950. Any of the brands will do you alright but it's up to you which one you choose. All brands are pretty solid in terms of aftermarket coolers which is basically what you're paying for. HIS makes nice ones, Sapphire is definitely alright, MSI is decent, Asus is great, Gigabyte is wonderful as well.
  8. aznshinobi said:
    Yes go with the Z77 Extreme4 and 7950. Any of the brands will do you alright but it's up to you which one you choose. All brands are pretty solid in terms of aftermarket coolers which is basically what you're paying for. HIS makes nice ones, Sapphire is definitely alright, MSI is decent, Asus is great, Gigabyte is wonderful as well.

    The extreme3 is cheaper with that combo and the only difference between that and the extreme4 is two less SATA 6/b ports and a 8+3 power phase configuration vs 8+4.
  9. Either way he'll be making a good choice. The Extreme4 is only $15 more but in the end it is his choice.
  10. aznshinobi said:
    Either way he'll be making a good choice. The Extreme4 is only $15 more but in the end it is his choice.

    $1,200 budget so why pay more $$$? His choice of course but he came here for advice so I would think saving him $15 for a near identical board would be the way to go. The only benefit the extreme4 gives if he plans on using more than two hard drives.
  11. Thanks to both of you for your input. I got everything in and assembled and it is running great!
  12. Great! Pick a best answer and close out the thread!
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