First time build- needs to last for several years, under $1200

Approximate Purchase Date: This Week

Budget Range: Up to ~$1200 [$1500 max including monitor(s)]

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Video Watching/Gaming (MMOs, StarCraft II, Civilization, etc.), Work from home (MS Office), Surfing the Web

Parts Not Required: Need everything

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference

Country: USA (Houston, TX)

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Undecided, never overclocked before

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Not sure

Additional Comments:

I was wondering about getting a solid state drive plus a 1TB internal HDD. Also, I want this computer to last for several years and still be able to play the current games extremely well (I'm mostly a console gamer so I don't need it for FPS or other games you can buy on consoles).
9 answers Last reply
More about first time build years 1200
  1. if all you want to do on it are play mmo's/watch videos and do basic ofice work then why are u spending $1200 on it ? i assume that u are assuming it wil be more future proof if you spend more? WRONG.
    spend as much as you need for NOW and stop worrying about the FUTURE.
    for your needs let me outline a basic computer.
    intel core i5-3570k
    gigabyte Z77-ud3h
    gskill ripjawsX 8gb 1600 mhz
    msi gtx670 power edition 2gb
    wd caviar 1tb
    samsung spinpoint 128gb ssd
    antec 550 watts eathwatts series
    any samsung 23 inch 1080p monitor
    antec 300 case
    lg dvd burner

    trust me this will easily let u do whatever it is ur looking to do now and for some time to come.
    no need to spend 1200 when all u want to do can be done for cheaper.
    hardware prices will keep coming down. so spending more money than what you need now will do you no good.
  2. Thanks for the quick replies!

    @Mohit9206: I understand where you're coming from. I listed the budget as "up to ~$1200" because I wasn't sure how much it would cost to build the system I needed. Thanks for describing how I could go lower.

    @jrgong: Is there a way to bring down the cost of the build? I'm trying to find a balance between building a decent machine that I can upgrade later as tech evolves and the budget. Thanks!
  3. Quick Question: In both your recommendations, I don't see a sound card. Is there a reason for that?
  4. Quote:
    PCPartPicker part list:
    Price breakdown by merchant:

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.37 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($407.86 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
    Monitor: Acer GD235HZbid 120Hz 23.6" Monitor ($249.87 @ Amazon)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1455.85
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    Pretty untouchable, let me know if you need to save some dollars i could probably get that cost down for ya
    this is a good build but you could get a 60 Hz 1080p monitor for half the price, and a cheaper PSU for $30 bucks cheaper. Actually I would just take this build as a guide and pick a cheaper version of everything listed here so it fits in your price range...
  5. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($149.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.00 @ Compuvest)
    Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($247.55 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)

    Well most mobo sound chip is good enough for everyday use (It quite good actually).... anyway are u also need a speaker?
    Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung
  6. most all new mb have sound cards built into them as they have the ethernet and usb ports on the back. take a look at toms hadware builds for the last few months. look at the low end and the mid end pc. the builds that are dropping have good i5 cpu that last you many years before there outdated. the issue on a gmaing build/budget is the gpu. this is where you have to look at how well gpu runs x game at set video size and gives you y frame rate. the top of the line 680/670 and ati 7000 cards will play any game you toss at it with very good frame rates. but are there the cheaper 7800 and 660 line that going to save you some cash will they meet your needs of your build. a lot of times games do the sli on the cheap. where they buy the older tech and sli two cards. amd and nvidia within the next 6 months be dropping there newer gpu. amd should be out soon and nvidia should be around april of next year. there a lot of info now on how fast these cards may be. when the cards do come out or are close to dropping amd and nvidia have to clear out there older cards.
  7. Quote:
    Yes unless you have a really badass sound setup (maybe youve got it plugged into a bitchen 7.1 home theater with ATON of juice) or are doing music production, there is no point to having a sound card. On board audio is more than adequate, sounds great. Myself i have 2 pc's both are hooked up to 7.1 systems (nothing to crazy ~300 setup on one, ~750 setup on the other) and both sound EXCELLENT.

    Yes you could, however they would both be downgrades. First of the PSU is of sufficient wattage to allow crossfiring. Secondly for that wattage it comes at a great price from the best PSU company there is (XFX psu's=made my seasonic). The monitor is alot more expensive than a standard 1080. However for what it provides its a fantastic deal. 120hz with 2ms refresh time is going to look ULTRA ULTRA smooth, especially when paired with a 7970. Every game he is rockin will be maxed at 120 fps on his screen and it will be smoother than butter, smoother than a babys behind, smoother than 10000 grit sandpaper, smoother than... well you get the point it will be damn pretty.

    Two more questions:

    1) Right now Newegg is offering the "Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PV38G160C9K" for free with the "ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard". Should I still buy the G.skills RAM and have 16GB or just use the Patriot?

    2) If I'm not planning on overclocking, do I still need the CPU Cooler "Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler"?
  8. Case : COOLER MASTER Storm Scout Black Steel Mid Tower Case. ($69.99)

    Motherboard : GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155. ($149.99)

    CPU : Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo). ($229.99)

    GPU : GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 ($359.99)

    RAM : CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 . ($41.99)

    PSU : CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 650 Watt 80 PLUS BRONZE. ($64.99)

    HDD: Western Digital RE3 WD7502ABYS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache. ($59.99)

    SSD : Kingston SSDNow 120GB SATA III. ($84.99)

    CPU COOLER : COOLER MASTER V6 GT DynaLoop CPU Cooler Universal bracket & Dual Fan. ($49.99)

    Optical : SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R ($17.99)

    TOTAL = $1130

    Good Luck Dude ;)
  9. Best answer selected by lazyguardian.
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