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Build under $1000

Hi All,

Like many other posters on this forum I too am looking for a gaming desktop that will last me at least 5 years. I am looking to replace my old Acer Aspire 8730 laptop, which can still play games albeit at low specs.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next 1 -2 weeks

Budget Range: Under $1,000 including OS

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, streaming video, surfing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, but not right now. I have a crappy monitor I will use in the meantime.

Parts to Upgrade: New build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix.ca

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel, ASUS, Gigabyte

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, in the distant future.

Your Monitor Resolution: I will get a 1920x1080 monitor before the end of the 2012.

Here are the parts I have selected based on prolific reading of these forums. Many thanks to all the posters, I would have been completely lost otherwise.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ldcg

Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core - $189.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=72279&vpn=BX80637I53470&manufacture=Intel&promoid=1295

Asus P8H77-V ATX LGA1155 - $132.99 (does not include $20 MIR)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=69888&vpn=P8H77-V&manufacture=ASUS&promoid=1360

Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 - $36.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=59431&vpn=CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1295

Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM - $139.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=66009&vpn=ST3000DM001&manufacture=Seagate&promoid=1295

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB - $247.10 (does not include $20 MIR)
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/241574/Gigabyte/GV_R787OC_2GD/

Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower - $49.99 (does not include $10 MIR)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57910&vpn=Z9%20Plus&manufacture=ZALMAN%20TECH&promoid=1295

Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V - $119.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=38649&vpn=CMPSU-750HX&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1295

LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer - $17.41

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) $92.49

Total = $964.49 price matched at www.memoryexpress.com

Any advice on the build would be much appreciated. Thanks!
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build 1000
  1. Have you got a 750w PSU, because you intend to get a 2nd GPU in crossfire. If so, recommend you change mobo, to a modest Z77, like ASRock Z77 Extreme3. Although you won't use it's CPU overclocking features, Z77 has better support for two graphics cards. If you don't intend to add another GPU, you could drop PSU, to 550w, even 500w. A Rosewill Hive 550w might be a good modular choice.
    Do you really need 3TB HDD? If not you could drop size, and use money from that, plus any you save, if lowering PSU rating, and get an SSD, as well, like 128GB Samsung 830, OCZ Vertex 4, or Crucial M4.
  2. malbluff said:
    Have you got a 750w PSU, because you intend to get a 2nd GPU in crossfire. If so, recommend you change mobo, to a modest Z77, like ASRock Z77 Extreme3. Although you won't use it's CPU overclocking features, Z77 has better support for two graphics cards. If you don't intend to add another GPU, you could drop PSU, to 550w, even 500w. A Rosewill Hive 550w might be a good modular choice.
    Do you really need 3TB HDD? If not you could drop size, and use money from that, plus any you save, if lowering PSU rating, and get an SSD, as well, like 128GB Samsung 830, OCZ Vertex 4, or Crucial M4.


    The PSU choice was really because it was similarly priced to 600W PSUs and yes it would give me future flexibility. I am not familiar with ASRock mobos, are they comparable to ASUS and Gigabyte boards? Your recommended board is cheaper than my choice and provides more flexibility which is great! Thanks for that.

    The 3TB is about $40 more than 2TB, which seemed like very little for an extra TB. I didn't want to regret later on not getting another TB for just $40.

    I don't really play multiplayer games, which I understood is where SSDs come in handy, hence why I didn't pick one. Are there benefits outside of multiplayer games?

    Thanks for the advice.
  3. fully2005 said:
    The PSU choice was really because it was similarly priced to 600W PSUs and yes it would give me future flexibility. I am not familiar with ASRock mobos, are they comparable to ASUS and Gigabyte boards? Your recommended board is cheaper than my choice and provides more flexibility which is great! Thanks for that.

    The 3TB is about $40 more than 2TB, which seemed like very little for an extra TB. I didn't want to regret later on not getting another TB for just $40.

    I don't really play multiplayer games, which I understood is where SSDs come in handy, hence why I didn't pick one. Are there benefits outside of multiplayer games?

    Thanks for the advice.


    I agree with you on the $40 extra terrabyte, but SSDs aren't just for multiplayer games....they boot Windows in 10-15 seconds. Now go clean your brain matter off the walls from that mind grenade. I personally don't own one, but they do come in handy from use on friend's computers. They are definitely worth investing in.
  4. fully2005 said:
    The PSU choice was really because it was similarly priced to 600W PSUs and yes it would give me future flexibility. I am not familiar with ASRock mobos, are they comparable to ASUS and Gigabyte boards? Your recommended board is cheaper than my choice and provides more flexibility which is great! Thanks for that.

    The 3TB is about $40 more than 2TB, which seemed like very little for an extra TB. I didn't want to regret later on not getting another TB for just $40.

    I don't really play multiplayer games, which I understood is where SSDs come in handy, hence why I didn't pick one. Are there benefits outside of multiplayer games?

    Thanks for the advice.

    The ASRock board is a basic one, that has decent features, and gives greater flexibilty, over your Asus board. Asus, of course, are very good quality, so there is some loss on that front. If you want higher quality, the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H also is well featured. As mentioned, those boards, in addition to better crossfire support, also allow overclocking, with an unlocked processor. If using one of them, it may be worth getting an unlocked i5-3570K, for modest extra cost. It does have slightly better performance, anyway, plus, even if you didn't want to overclock now, it's a useful thing to have in reserve, for the day when you start to feel your processor is no longer "up to" the latest games, and you can give your system a boost, to extend its life.
    Go with the 3TB, if you wish, but unless you have a large library of films, and stuff, you will never use half of it, and large HDDs don't tend to have the same efficiency, of the smaller ones. An SSD is definitely worth it, if not struggling with budget. Put you OS and main games on it. You can then use a bit of that large HDD, as a back up, to it.
  5. For under 1000 I would heavily suggest spending less on the motherboard and cpu, your original 3470 choice is fine. If you pair it with a $90 h77 you can bump the gpu from a 7870 to a 7950, which is a way better performance boost for gaming than a heavily overclocked cpu, which you won't be able to do anyways.
    Also crossfire has proven to work progressively better with higher end gpus due to micro-stutter, so it would be a better idea to invest in more gpu now. An uprgrade path could then be to switch out the motherboard/cpu/ram platform and add a second 7950.
    Looking at those currencies and shipping I would feel better having it shipped in the US and taking a lovely trip over the border to pick it up, but that's just me.
    The exchange rate is almost equal right now, but some of the parts are quite a bit more expensive on the canadian site you use compared to american newegg.
  6. Lots of suggestions thanks for that.

    First the motherboard. I am inclined to go with a higher quality board. I feel that since it is the base of the computer from which all things run it should be of high quality. I will switch to the Gigabyte Z77. There is a small price difference between the choice I made and the Z77.

    I am a little uncomfortable overclocking. I would assume that overclocking my CPU would require more cooling components, possible water cooling. I am trepidacious about this added complication.

    Advice taken, I will drop the 3TB and add in a 128MB SSD.

    The 7950 is about $70 more than the 7870 with, what seems like, an okay bump in performance, at least according to this: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/550?vs=548
    Would I really lose that much in performance down the road if I crossfired two 7870s instead of 7950s?
    Also upgrading all that in the future seems daunting. I was just hoping to get away with adding another GPU.

    Heh, going to the US would be nice if I had a car and if I could guarantee that Canadian customs wouldn't find me hauling $1000 worth of stuff over the border. They don't like Canadians shopping in the US :(.

    Thanks for help!
  7. Crossfiring the 7870s wouldn't be too much of a decrease in average framerates, the problem is with framerate consistency. The higher end gpus are much better at maintaining minimum framerates than lower end ones, and amd has been shown to have driver problems with managing this.
    Therefore while you won't see too much of a difference between the two options in terms of average framerate, you'll still have a visually smoother experience with 2 7950s.
  8. Apart from the higher cost of an unlocked processor, the only additional cost is for an aftermarket cooler. A Coolermaster Hyper 212Evo would cost around $30, but you wouldn't need that unless and until. However, wouldn't argue against anyone who makes a concious decision not to overclock. Just feel it can be a useful option, to have for the future.
    Don't drop HDD, altogether. A 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD is a good combo.
    Don't get too worried about Crossfire, unless you are planning it very soon. By the time you come to do it, there are quite likely to be better options, with new cards. Best policy is usually, get the best graphics card you can afford, on the day. Performance, very generally, follows price. No one card stands out as so exceptional performance, to be a "no-brainer"
  9. If that is all it takes to cool the CPU then I should be able to handle that. I will go with either the 2500K or 3570K.

    Yeah, I was going to just use a 1TB drive and 128GB SSD.

    I will have to go with the 7870, it is the best card within my budget.

    Thank you both for you help, it is very much appreciated.
  10. Best answer
    fully2005 said:
    If that is all it takes to cool the CPU then I should be able to handle that. I will go with either the 2500K or 3570K.

    Yeah, I was going to just use a 1TB drive and 128GB SSD.

    I will have to go with the 7870, it is the best card within my budget.

    Thank you both for you help, it is very much appreciated.

    Definitely go with 3570K rather than 2500K. Better performance, suits mobo better. Similar price.
  11. malbluff said:
    Definitely go with 3570K rather than 2500K. Better performance, suits mobo better. Similar price.


    Okay will do. Thanks again.
  12. Best answer selected by fully2005.
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