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$1000 first time gaming build

Hi, I'm looking for some feedback / a dumb check on a system I'm building, since this is my first time.

Approximate Purchase Date: next 2-3 weeks

Budget Range: $1000 - $1100 after shipping + rebates

System Usage: gaming, streaming video, some programming in VM

Are you buying a monitor: not immediately, but would like to be able to upgrade to multiple monitors in the next ~6 mo

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon, microcenter (in-store okay)

Location: Boston, MA

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, but again, will be looking to upgrade within ~6 mo.

My build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jLec

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K_34GHz_LGA_1155_Processor

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/product/387556/GA-Z77X-UD3H_LGA_1155_Z77_ATX_Intel_Motherboard
$308.10 together with CPU

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233299

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150606

Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129180

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341018

Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)
www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q0PT3I/


Questions:
Is the power supply overkill? What if I want the option of adding a second (Crossfire) card?

Is the Radeon HD 7870 the best card to be looking at for this price range? Is there a big difference between the different manufacturers?

Will I need any additional cooling?

Anything else I can do to squeeze out more performance for this price?

Thanks!
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1000 time gaming build
  1. Quote:
    Is the Radeon HD 7870 the best card to be looking at for this price range? Is there a big difference between the different manufacturers?


    If you can squeeze the 7950 into your budget that would be ideal but if not the 7870 is a great bang-for-buck option.

    Quote:
    Is the power supply overkill? What if I want the option of adding a second (Crossfire) card?


    If you want the option of Crossfire you're looking at a 750W, get something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703027

    Quote:
    Will I need any additional cooling?


    Get a good aftermarket CPU cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 or Noctua NH-U9B.

    Quote:
    Anything else I can do to squeeze out more performance for this price?


    Get different RAM - those tall heat sinks will not be good to work with, try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231560
  2. Thanks for your feedback. I've revised my build a bit:
    - down to a 600W power supply, with the understanding that if I want crossfire, I'll have to upgrade that.
    - Switched to the lower-profile G.Skill Ares memory - the DDR3-1600 rather than the DDR3-1866 you linked, since I don't think my motherboard supports 1866. Is it worth spending more on the motherboard to accommodate the faster RAM?
    - added an aftermarket cooler
    - Switched to a Radeon HD 7950 card. This is the one I'm least sure of, since the card I picked seems pretty cheap for a 7950. Is there some drawback to this model that I'm not seeing?

    I'm now pretty much on-target for $1000, but that's not a hard cap if there's something that could be improved for relatively low cost (such as the motherboard/RAM issue).


    Revised build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jMCR (price here doesn't include some discounts)

    Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/388577/Core_i5_3570K_34GHz_LGA_1155_Processor

    Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/387556/GA-Z77X-UD3H_LGA_1155_Z77_ATX_Intel_Motherboard
    $308.10 together with CPU

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065
    $19.99 after rebate

    G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231606
    $84.99

    Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
    $89.99

    Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006
    $289.99 after rebate

    Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129180
    $68.99

    OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017

    SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA Model SH-224BB - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151256
    $49.99 after rebate + combo with power supply

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q0PT3I/
    $92.25

    Total: $1004.29
  3. Best answer
    Quote:
    - Switched to the lower-profile G.Skill Ares memory - the DDR3-1600 rather than the DDR3-1866 you linked, since I don't think my motherboard supports 1866. Is it worth spending more on the motherboard to accommodate the faster RAM?


    Oh I didn't realize I linked to 1866 - don't spend the money though - you won't notice the speed increase as it's very minor at best. Spend the money on the GPU.

    Quote:
    - Switched to a Radeon HD 7950 card. This is the one I'm least sure of, since the card I picked seems pretty cheap for a 7950. Is there some drawback to this model that I'm not seeing?


    Nope. AMD reduced the prices of all Radeon 7XXX cards to be competitive with the NVIDIA models and so far on the benchmarks they prove to be a better price - performance ratio.
  4. Best answer selected by shaydwyrm.
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