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~$1100 Gaming PC build (first-timer)

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September 23, 2012 10:49:42 PM

Hi there, never built a PC before, but considering making one for myself now since I've been reliant on laptops to do most of my work for the past few years (and consequently my desktop is a bit out of date). Here's the breakdown:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next two months
Budget Range: 1000-1400
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, 2D design (e.g. PS-type apps), 3D rendering (e.g. 3DS/Softimage)
Parts Not Required: N/A - my last desktop was a Shuttle PC and most components are too far out-of-date. Will be transferring mouse&keyboard
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: N/A
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: N/A
Overclocking: Not planning on it
SLI or Crossfire: No plans to
Monitor Resolution: 1920*1080, although the monitor is part of the build (my old LCD monitor is a 15ish-in standard width screen, and I'm looking to upgrade
Additional Comments: I've taken a look at some similar builds in the forums and used PCPartPicker to create a build, but it's pretty much an aggregate build (based on popularity of parts and general rating), given my lack of experience in this area.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ikRI

If there are places I can pare down, please let me know. I've tried not to be overly frugal and avoid some of the less-preferred manufacturers here, but again, no experience.
September 23, 2012 10:54:10 PM

No point in Windows 7 Pro for your uses unless you need the extra networking functions. The Z68 and 2500K are kind of pointless anymore - they've been replaced by Z77 and the 3570K. And then there's also no point in purchasing a 560TI - there's far better and newer GPUs on the market that use less power.

Try this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($281.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1125.86
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-23 18:52 EDT-0400)

I went a little over and didn't include OS but everything there is current and should hold up well.
September 24, 2012 12:07:44 AM

Much better build. Power supply could be dropped, though, to 500w/550w, as OP doesn't want Crossfire. Something like PC Power&C, or Antec Basiq Plus.
!