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Parts advice for $800-$1000 computer

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October 18, 2012 10:01:08 PM

Hi. If I can, I would like some advice building my first ever build. I have kind of come up with my own parts list, but I would like to see what some of the more experienced builders would use. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with. Thanks in advance for your help.


Approximate Purchase Date: Not sure.

Budget Range: $800-$1000. Would like to stay on the lower end if possible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (EVE Online, WOW, Skyrim, etc,), internet, writing, with possibility of video editing and virtual dj-ing.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes. Wanted to buy this one Asus PA238Q, but not tied to it. Eventually wanted to have a dual monitor setup.

Parts to Upgrade: Building from scratch.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. Was going to do Windows 7, but eventually would like to try Linux. I have never used it but in an article I read, it sounds pretty great that you can customize it to your needs. I just don't know if I should try experimenting with it?


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Micro Center would prefer, but could do Newegg.

Location: New York/NJ or Boston.

Parts Preferences: Would like it to be Intel Ivy Bridge, but if it keeps costs down would do AMD. I posted another thread in a different section about first using AMD and then when $$$ able could switch to Intel & Ivy.

Overclocking: Not to start, but later on down the line yes.

SLI or Crossfire: I would like to have the option if I should so choose.

Your Monitor Resolution: I have to buy a monitor. I was going to buy the Asus PA238Q. Down the road when I have more money I would like to have a dual monitor set up.

Additional Comments: Mid Tower case with a window, but most important is that I have really great protection from dust. I live in an area where I have cats that shed, and a lot of pollen coming in the windows. I would like to use and SSD in the system. I also would like a setup that I can upgrade when and if necessary.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I do not have a desktop PC. I only have an old all white MacBook laptop.

October 18, 2012 10:33:06 PM

Are you saying that monitor and OS has to come out of PC budget. You will appreciate, if you are trying to get down to $800, and take $400 out, for monitor and OS, you're not going to get a much of a gaming PC, certainly not with overclockable Intel Ivybridge, SSD etc.
October 19, 2012 12:35:56 AM

Above guy has got it. You're going to need more funds I think to get the computer you want


As far as your dust problem.

Most of the good cases will have some dust filters but they are not going to help the situation. The case choice is going to be a minimal factor

What you would need to do is:
0) potentially isolate your computer away in a cabinet or some other physical barrier to the dirty air.
1) vacuum regularly (the room not the computer)
2) get a room air cleaner (hepa) to keep the air clean.

You can either choose your parts wisely, then your computer won't be running hot, and won't need so much air flow.
Or you can go with a powersucking computer and leap into water cooling where you can have the radiator out in the open, and minimal air flow in your actual computer.
Related resources
October 19, 2012 12:49:31 AM

malbluff said:
Are you saying that monitor and OS has to come out of PC budget. You will appreciate, if you are trying to get down to $800, and take $400 out, for monitor and OS, you're not going to get a much of a gaming PC, certainly not with overclockable Intel Ivybridge, SSD etc.



Sorry. No, I would not take out from the overall budget for the monitor. So it would be $800-$1000 for all the parts & OS. The monitor would not be included in that budget. I just put it out there what I was going to get for one. Btw if there is a better monitor out there that is cheaper, I would go with it if someone recommends one. Thanks and sorry for the confusion.
October 19, 2012 12:53:22 AM

raytseng said:
Above guy has got it. You're going to need more funds I think to get the computer you want


As far as your dust problem.

Most of the good cases will have some dust filters but they are not going to help the situation. The case choice is going to be a minimal factor

What you would need to do is:
0) potentially isolate your computer away in a cabinet or some other physical barrier to the dirty air.
1) vacuum regularly (the room not the computer)
2) get a room air cleaner (hepa) to keep the air clean.

You can either choose your parts wisely, then your computer won't be running hot, and won't need so much air flow.
Or you can go with a powersucking computer and leap into water cooling where you can have the radiator out in the open, and minimal air flow in your actual computer.


Unfortunately I don't have a place to put the PC like a cabinet. I have the top of a file cabinet. Just not much room in my apt. I thought about water cooling like a closed loop thing so I don't have to worry about refilling it. Do those kind work well?
October 19, 2012 12:55:06 AM

Check out my $850 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module14708687...
You'll be running about $845 at that point. But, as you do have MicroCenter locally, the CPU will bring the build total down to only $795.

OS +$69: http://www.softwaresupplygroup.com/microsoft-windows-7-...
Monitor +$150: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1014

The OS is a great deal, especially since the retailer is BBB approved with an A+ rating.
http://www.bbb.org/memphis/business-reviews/computer-so...
Also, the build itself is solid, specially since you're getting a pretty nice monitor. You get the ability to OC in the future, and SLI/CF at 8x/8x as well.
October 19, 2012 1:01:52 AM

There are measures to minimise dust getting into PC. It's impossible, in practice to stop it altogether.
Fit decent filters to all intake fans, and MAINTAIN them.
Cover, or fit filters, to all openings, that don't have fans fitted.
Get a case that does, or rearrange fans to, ensure there is a positive pressure in case, to minimise dust being SUCKED in via any minor gaps.
October 19, 2012 1:14:27 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.05 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($309.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($93.20 @ Amazon)
Total: $915.18
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 19, 2012 1:16:45 AM

^ OP needs a monitor.
October 19, 2012 1:29:27 AM

aznshinobi said:
^ OP needs a monitor.


OP has already picked a monitor and clarified that it does not need to come out of the parts budget.

+1 to Malbluff's build. Only things I would point out is you can get the RAM for free by swapping the motherboard for a comparable model, such as the Asrock Z77 Extreme4, the ASUS P8Z77-V LK, or the GA-Z77MX-D3H.

There's also a sale on the Galaxy GTX 670 for only $25 more than that 660Ti on TigerDirect. You could put the money you saved on RAM towards that and still come out ahead.

Uh, also I'm not seeing a PSU in that list. Does OP already have one and I just missed? If not you can still fit one in and come in under budget. I'd look at this XFX 550W for $60.
October 19, 2012 1:40:38 AM

ckholt83 said:
OP has already picked a monitor and clarified that it does not need to come out of the parts budget.

+1 to Malbluff's build. Only things I would point out is you can get the RAM for free by swapping the motherboard for a comparable model, such as the Asrock Z77 Extreme4, the ASUS P8Z77-V LK, or the GA-Z77MX-D3H.

There's also a sale on the Galaxy GTX 670 for only $25 more than that 660Ti on TigerDirect. You could put the money you saved on RAM towards that and still come out ahead.

Uh, also I'm not seeing a PSU in that list. Does OP already have one and I just missed? If not you can still fit one in and come in under budget. I'd look at this XFX 550W for $60.

You haven't missed anything, I did. It's late (in UK). At least, that's my excuse. Add in

PSU: Rosewill Hive 550 80 Plus Bronze Modular @ $56 from Newegg.
Seems to be cheapest decent power supply, that's modular. Apologies for omission.
October 19, 2012 1:53:59 AM

Didn't catch that the budget for the monitor was seperate.

Check out my $850 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module14708687...
You'll be running about $845 at that point. But, as you do have MicroCenter locally, the CPU will bring the build total down to only $795.

OS +$69: http://www.softwaresupplygroup.com/microsoft-windows-7-...
Swap the GPU from the 7870 to the 7950 (+$65): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $979

Reason for the 7950:

7950 OC vs 660 Ti OC vs GTX 670 OC: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_66...
The 7950 is almost $80-$100 less, after the OC the 7950 comes close to surpassing the GTX 670 if not beating it. The 7950 just easily can be seen beating the GTX 660 Ti.

Average performance from 6870-660 Ti at bottom page.
www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-geforce-gt...
The 7870 is pretty close to beating the 660 Ti in AVG performance and it's almost $50-$60 less. Keep in mind the 7950 is much better than the 660 Ti.
!