$1000 PC for gaming and video editing (and browsing)

Hi everyone,

My 4 year old Lenovo Laptop is becoming so slow that I cannot take it anymore. Over the last decade, I owned two laptops (each one lasting between 4 and 5 years). I realized that I never take them out of my room, so the next one I'm going to buy is a "normal" PC, not a laptop. I do not have much experience with buying PCs, so I browsed the internet some and I must say I really like this forum, so I thought I'd give it a shot. So here's what I'm looking for:

Approximate Purchase Date: next week

Budget Range: $1000 before rebates (plus $200-$300 for monitor plus $150 for Windows 7).

System Usage: Most of all for browsing the internet. Also, I want to be able to play Diablo 3 on it. Finally, I'd like to use it for some video editing (clips from holidays).

Parts Not Required: Need everything except mouse and keyboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I live in Switzerland and I still have to figure out where to order the stuff. I'll probably try www.digitec.ch, or www.pcp.ch. I think it's ok if any of your advice is based on prices on newegg.com, just don't pick special offers (and maybe parts which are available in other online stores as well, as this increases the chance they'll be available in Switzerland).

Country: Switzerland

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU (i7 if possible, but i5 would probably do as well). 24" LCD. Small SSD (250GB) and larger HDD (1-2 TB, I do need a lot of space for the video editing, but it would be ok to start with 1TB, then extend it to 2TB (or more) if necessary).

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No (had to look that up and I think it means you can use multiple graphics cards?)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 (24'' monitor)

Additional Comments:
- The most important thing is that it has to do the basic stuff fast, like opening folders and browsing (I usually have about 30 tabs open in a browser. I also usually have about 10-20 windows open (browser windows, folders, one or two programs). It also needs to start (or wake up) fast. For example I want to shortly check the weather before I leave the flat, so I need the PC to wake up and be ready to browse in at most 30 seconds. Up to now I achieved this by never shutting down my laptop (the monitor went black after a certain time, but it did not hibernate or go to sleep, so it was quite quick to go there and start browsing. Restarting it takes about 5-10 minutes, no kidding). Anyway, I guess this means I certainly want an SSD. Will there be a notable difference between an i5 and an i7?
- It should be quiet (I'm used to my laptop, so I don't want my PC to sound like a truck going uphills).
- I'm by no means a hard-core gamer. I know I want to try Diablo 3. I would like to be able to play games from time to time, because sometimes one of them catches my eye. However, I'm fine if it doesn't run on the highest resolution. As long as it doesn't lag all the time or crash during the final battle.
- The PC should last at least 2-3 years (with possible upgrades). Better yet 4 years like the laptops.

I first checked out some prebuilt systems. I really do like the Dell XPS 8500 on www.digitec.ch (sorry but I cannot find a direct link to it, but I printed out the overview which you can find here: http://freepdfhosting.com/4ff9408c5d.pdf ), which has the following specifications:

Intel Core i7-3770

8GB RAM (2x4GB)

Mobo: Intel H77 (don't know which brand)

1TB HDD

Graphic: AMD HD7570

Power Supply: 460W (don't know which brand)

Features: 2x S-ATA III, 2x S-ATA II (4 ports, 2 occupied), 1x eSATA

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (recovery disc)

2 (out of 2) reviewers say its a quiet PC.

cost: $960

Well, I like the processor. If I bought this computer, I would probably exchange the graphics card (which one would be recommended? Or would the provided card be enough for Diablo 3, so I could leave it at that and upgrade when I want to play a more "hungry" game?). Furthermore I'd install an SSD (however, one of the reviews on www.digitec.ch said that there are no more SATA slots, which I find does not match the description, so that's kind of strange. Also, I don't know whether I'll be able to do a clean install of Windows on the SSD with the provided recovery disc, so I might to still need to buy the OS separately). This would probably exceed my budget by $100-$200, so after all, this doesn't sound like a good idea, plus I don't like the fact they don't tell me which brand the components are.

So I'd also be willing to assemble my own PC, I've done that with two small $300 computers that I use for backups. I'd be really grateful for some pointers on what to buy though, as I'm a bit lost right now.
17 answers Last reply
More about 1000 gaming video editing browsing
  1. Quote:
    Well, I like the processor. If I bought this computer, I would probably exchange the graphics card (which one would be recommended? Or would the provided card be enough for Diablo 3, so I could leave it at that and upgrade when I want to play a more "hungry" game?). Furthermore I'd install an SSD (however, one of the reviews on www.digitec.ch said that there are no more SATA slots, which I find does not match the description, so that's kind of strange. Also, I don't know whether I'll be able to do a clean install of Windows on the SSD with the provided recovery disc, so I might to still need to buy the OS separately). This would probably exceed my budget by $100-$200, so after all, this doesn't sound like a good idea, plus I don't like the fact they don't tell me which brand the components are.


    You can't really judge what they say on store reviews - they're baseless most of the time.

    Are you buying this pre built or are you building your own? If you build your own you can get a better system with better components for less money. If you know of a store post a link, if not then check the link in my signature.
  2. You're probably right. So I've decided to build my own computer. Here's the adapted specs:

    Approximate Purchase Date: still next week

    Budget Range: $1000 before rebates (plus $200-$300 for monitor plus $150 for Windows 7).

    System Usage: Most of all for browsing the internet. Also, I want to be able to play Diablo 3 on it. Finally, I'd like to use it for some video editing (clips from holidays).

    Parts Not Required: Need everything except mouse and keyboard.

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.digitech.ch and www.conrad.ch. Budget CHF1000 on these sites (without monitor or OS).

    Country: Switzerland

    Parts Preferences:
    Intel CPU, for example i5-3470, which is CHF198=212USD on www.digitech.ch
    24'' LCD
    SSD (128 or 250GB), for example OCZ SSD Vertex 4 128GB, SATA-3, 2.5'' which is CHF129=$138 on www.digitech.ch
    1TB HDD, for example Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm, 32MB, 1TB, SATA-3 which is CHF85=$91 on www.digitech.ch

    Overclocking: No

    SLI or Crossfire: No

    Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 (24'' monitor)

    Additional Comments:
    - Has to react fast -> absolutely want SSD
    - Should be quiet
  3. If you don't want to overclock CPU, then any of i5-3450, 3470, 3550, 3570 would be suitable, just slightly different performances/prices. If you only want a single graphics card, and don't plan to add a 2nd, then virtually any H77 motherboard would be suitable. It's just a question of quality, and "extra features". If you check on the sites of manufacturers of quality motherboards, like Gigabyte or Asus, you can compare specs of several versions of Socket 1155 H77, and pick the one that's nearest to your needs.
    Vertex 4 is fine for SSD. Samsung 830, or Crucial M4 are alternatives.
    Not too keen on Seagate, for reliability. WD Caviar Black are better, or at least have good warranty.
    You don't need powerful graphics, for Diablo3, although I would recommend waiting til you've got virtually everything else costed, and then get the best GPU, you can afford, with what's left.
    For monitor Dell U2410 is excellent allrounder. Prices vary considerably, so it pays to shop around.
    Assuming you don't decide to get a powerful GPU, you won't want more than 500w power supply (possibly less). Important to get a good one. Seasonic, Corsair, XFX, PC Power&Cooling, Antec all good makes.
    Get a good quality case. I like Corsair Carbide, but a lot is down to personal choice. If you pick a couple of Mid-Tower ATX cases, you like, we can say if one is particularly better.
  4. Quote:
    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.digitech.ch and www.conrad.ch. Budget CHF1000 on these sites (without monitor or OS).


    I couldn't get either of those links to work for some reason.

    So using my database I came up with this:

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus - € 66.85
    PSU: Corsair TX650 M - € 89.92
    Motherboard: Asrock H77 Pro 4/MVP - € 72.70
    CPU: 3.2Ghz Intel Core i5-3470 - € 158.85
    RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600MHz 1.5V 2 x 4GB - € 34.49
    HD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST - € 62.58
    SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 - € 94.44
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition - € 192.27
    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - € 94.44

    Total: € 866.64
  5. Very cool, thanks for the tipps so far!

    Here are the links again, seems like I managed to mess them up:
    www.digitec.ch
    www.conrad.ch

    My last WD HD died after a few months (can happen anytime I know), so I thought I'd go for a seagate, but I have no problems choosing a WD again (in fact I've only had WD's so far anyway).

    Here's what I've found:

    PCU: They don't have Corsair TX650M, but they do have the following:
    Corsair TX650 V2 for CHF113=$121 at www.digitec.ch (reduced price right now)
    Corsair TX550M for CHF91=$98 at www.digitec.ch
    Antec HCG-520 for CHF80=$86 at www.digitec.ch
    Antec HCG-620 for CHF106=$114 at www.digitec.ch
    Seasonic X-660 (SS-660KM) Gold for CHF128=$137 at www.digitec.ch

    RAM: They don't have the G.Skill Ares, but they do have:
    G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB Kit, DDR3-1600, CL9-9-9-24@1.5V, for CHF44=$47 at www.digitec.ch

    Case: I really have trouble deciding on a case, as I have no idea what's important there. I don't care at all about looks, and it doesn't have to be illuminated or anything, as it will sit under my desk where I don't see it most of the time anyway. I do want enought space inside (such that I don't have to get creative when trying to squeeze all the cables in), it should have enought slots (HD, and whatever else is needed), and some decent connectors (USB3 for example if the Mobo provides that). It should be pretty stable, as I don't want it to rattle everytime I read or write to the HD. Which cases are known to be quiet? There of course also should be no problems with heat. That's all I can think of now. They for example do have the following:
    Corsair Carbide 500R Midi-Tower for CHF121=$130 at www.digitec.ch
    Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus for CHF89=$95 at www.digitec.ch

    Monitor:
    Dell UltraSharp U2412M, 24" LED for CHF329=$353 at www.digitec.ch
    DELL UltraSharp U2410 for CHF450=$482 (cheapest according to www.toppreise.ch). Is this a TFT? Do I need that? Is a bit above my price range.
    What about Samsung monitors, such as Samsung SyncMaster S24B350H, for CHF219=$235 at www.digitec.ch?
  6. Quote:
    My last WD HD died after a few months (can happen anytime I know), so I thought I'd go for a seagate, but I have no problems choosing a WD again (in fact I've only had WD's so far anyway).


    Either one is fine, they all come off the same assembly line anyways.

    Quote:
    Corsair TX650 V2 for CHF113=$121 at www.digitec.ch (reduced price right now)


    That's the one I was trying to link to earlier but couldn't find it.

    Quote:
    RAM: They don't have the G.Skill Ares, but they do have:
    G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB Kit, DDR3-1600, CL9-9-9-24@1.5V, for CHF44=$47 at www.digitec.ch


    That's fine.

    Quote:
    Case: I really have trouble deciding on a case, as I have no idea what's important there. I don't care at all about looks, and it doesn't have to be illuminated or anything, as it will sit under my desk where I don't see it most of the time anyway. I do want enought space inside (such that I don't have to get creative when trying to squeeze all the cables in), it should have enought slots (HD, and whatever else is needed), and some decent connectors (USB3 for example if the Mobo provides that). It should be pretty stable, as I don't want it to rattle everytime I read or write to the HD. Which cases are known to be quiet? There of course also should be no problems with heat. That's all I can think of now. They for example do have the following:


    What you should look for is bottom-mounted PSU, cable management, and mounts for top, side, and front fans - included would be the best but if you have to get extra no big deal. The 500R meets all those requirements. The HAF 912 isn't a bad choice either.
  7. Whilst not perfect, the Fractal Design Refine R4 is a quiet case, worth checking out.
  8. Nearly there...

    Here's what I currently think I'm going to buy:

    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 for CHF117=$125 at www.digitec.ch
    PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 for CHF113=$121 at www.digitec.ch (reduced price right now)
    Motherboard: Asrock H77 Pro4/MVP for CHF101=$108 at www.pcp.ch
    CPU: 3.2Ghz Intel Core i5-3470 for CHF198=212USD on www.digitec.ch
    RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600MHz 1.5V 2 x 4GB for CHF44=$47 at www.digitec.ch
    HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 - 1TB - 64MB - S-ATA 6Gbps for CHF97=$104 at www.pcp.ch (CHF10 cheaper than WD caviar black)
    SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 for CHF129=$138 on www.digitec.ch
    Optical drive: Asus DRW-24B5ST for CHF34=$36 at www.digitec.ch
    Video Card: ??? see below
    + Monitor: ??? (not included in my budget)
    + OS: Windows (not included in my budget)

    I hope I haven't forgotten anything.

    Case: The Carbide 500r has fantastic reviews, but it is not a quiet case. The R4 is very quiet, but has quite high temperatures inside. Nevertheless, I think the way I'm going to use the computer (mostly for browsing), this will be fine. If not I can always exchange the fans with better ones.

    Video Card: The above parts sum up to CHF833, which leaves CHF167=$180 for the video card. I think this is not really a lot, so I'd be willing to spend up to $100 more for the video card. So any suggestions for good video cards that cost up to $280?
  9. Probably the best GPU, in that price bracket would be HD7870. The GHz edition, if within budget, where you are, or MSI's TwinFrozr.
  10. Ok, how about this one? Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 - GHz Edition - 2GB. Costs CHF256.40=$275 and therefore within budget, yay!

    Or this one: MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC - 2GB. Costs CHF263.30=$282.

    What's the difference between the two, anyway? The fan?
  11. Ok, so here is the final build:

    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 for CHF108=$116
    PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 for CHF102=$109
    Motherboard: Asrock H77 Pro4/MVP for CHF88=$94, or for CHF101=$108 at www.pcp.ch
    CPU: 3.2Ghz Intel Core i5-3470 for CHF202, or for CHF198 on www.digitec.ch (not available right now)
    RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600MHz 1.5V 2 x 4GB for CHF55.80
    HD: Western Digital Caviar Black, 7200rpm, 64MB, 1TB, SATA-3 for CHF108, or Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 - 1TB - 64MB - S-ATA 6Gbps for CHF97=$104 at www.pcp.ch (CHF10 cheaper than WD caviar black)
    SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 for CHF 118.05, or for CHF129=$138 on www.digitec.ch
    Optical drive: Asus DRW-24B5ST for CHF34=$36 at www.digitec.ch
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 - GHz Edition - 2GB for CHF256.40

    Total CHF1072=$1148
  12. ulrichta said:
    Nearly there...

    Here's what I currently think I'm going to buy:

    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 for CHF117=$125 at www.digitec.ch
    PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 for CHF113=$121 at www.digitec.ch (reduced price right now)
    Motherboard: Asrock H77 Pro4/MVP for CHF101=$108 at www.pcp.ch
    CPU: 3.2Ghz Intel Core i5-3470 for CHF198=212USD on www.digitec.ch
    RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600MHz 1.5V 2 x 4GB for CHF44=$47 at www.digitec.ch
    HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 - 1TB - 64MB - S-ATA 6Gbps for CHF97=$104 at www.pcp.ch (CHF10 cheaper than WD caviar black)
    SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 for CHF129=$138 on www.digitec.ch
    Optical drive: Asus DRW-24B5ST for CHF34=$36 at www.digitec.ch
    Video Card: ??? see below
    + Monitor: ??? (not included in my budget)
    + OS: Windows (not included in my budget)

    I hope I haven't forgotten anything.

    Case: The Carbide 500r has fantastic reviews, but it is not a quiet case. The R4 is very quiet, but has quite high temperatures inside. Nevertheless, I think the way I'm going to use the computer (mostly for browsing), this will be fine. If not I can always exchange the fans with better ones.

    Video Card: The above parts sum up to CHF833, which leaves CHF167=$180 for the video card. I think this is not really a lot, so I'd be willing to spend up to $100 more for the video card. So any suggestions for good video cards that cost up to $280?


    That looks really good. For GPU - in that budget nothing beats a Radeon 7850. The GTX 560TI is decent but the 7850 is better.
  13. How did we end up with HD7850. I thought we were talking about HD7870. Not that the 7850 is bad card, but if dropping from HD7870, the GTX660 is definitely worth a mention. It obviously depends on prices, where OP is, but with a $280 budget, I don't see why drop, anyway.
  14. malbluff said:
    How did we end up with HD7850. I thought we were talking about HD7870. Not that the 7850 is bad card, but if dropping from HD7870, the GTX660 is definitely worth a mention. It obviously depends on prices, where OP is, but with a $280 budget, I don't see why drop, anyway.


    I posted that before seeing the final build. In that case ignore my previous comment. :lol:
  15. No, worries, I'll go with the 7870 (see my last post with the final build, ordering today, yay!).

    Thanks for all your help, it is really useful to have some guidance through the jungle of hardware. I really feel like I have a neat build now.
  16. ulrichta said:
    No, worries, I'll go with the 7870 (see my last post with the final build, ordering today, yay!).

    Thanks for all your help, it is really useful to have some guidance through the jungle of hardware. I really feel like I have a neat build now.


    I did a build 2 weeks ago with this card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161404

    I am happy with it
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