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New build - US$1100 budget

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October 31, 2012 8:08:22 PM

I'm considering building a new system over the holidays and would like everyone's input. My budget is around US$1,000-1,100, including a monitor.

Current build: Core2Duo E8400 on an eVGA nForce 680i LT mobo; 6 GB of mis-matched RAM; ATI Radeon 3870; 500 GB hard drive (5 yrs old) in a Lian-Li case (which I intend to keep and re-use). Yeah, it's outdated. My only constraints are that I only need to power the type of monitor selected below: 1080p resolutions, max. Also, I'm not interested in an SSD. Loading and boot times don't bother me; the best frames per second bang for the buck is my target. To that end, I'm planning to do some mild overclocking.

Planned build:

i5 3570K
MSI Z77A-G45 mobo
8 GB RAM, DDR3-1600
ATI 7870 GHz Edition (no regular 7870s available on Newegg)
WD 1TB hard drive
Antec 650w PSU
DVD-RW drives x2 (Current ones still use the old IDE ribbons)
ASUS 23" monitor - 1080p resolution
Cooler Master Hyper 212 heatsink

Total cost in cart: $1,000.90

More about : build 1100 budget

October 31, 2012 8:18:06 PM

Here's a very similar build I did for someone else (adding 2nd OptDr).
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

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 ($26.22 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($90.53 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1019.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 31, 2012 8:22:27 PM

PS
That build has 750w PSU, to allow for future addition, of 2nd GPU. If you don't want that, the 550w version would be more than enough. That may even give scope, within $1100 budget, to use GTX670, or HD7950 for GPU.
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October 31, 2012 8:26:33 PM

Your build looks good. I would recommend switching motherboards if you plan on overclocking though.
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November 1, 2012 12:56:26 PM

Thank you for the feedback. My jaw dropped a little at the Microcenter price for the CPU. Provided I can get to a store to pick it up, that plus keeping my current case would save more than enough money to get a better graphics card.

Shepherd, what are the issues with the MSI board? I've seen that Gigabyte and ASUS tend to do better with overclocking (and my experience with ASUS other than their crappy website is excellent), but is there a particular problem with MSI?
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November 1, 2012 2:17:00 PM

As a matter of interest, what problems are you having, with Asus site? Gigabyte are quite good, but I find Asus and Gigabyte's sites miles better than any others.
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November 1, 2012 6:20:09 PM

It's been a year or so since last I needed to use it, but I remember it being very rudimentary once you get into the section that holds drivers; it's better than others, in the sense that they don't require registering your product just to get drivers and documentation, but I had very slow downloads. Using eVGA's site, for example, for the same drivers would usually take half as long. I've tried to get ASUS more for their reliability than the sophistication of the website. I used to build servers and workstations, and our motherboard selections for non-server systems were almost universally ASUS. We had one system come in for a repair that was 7 years old, and the motherboard was still rock-solid. It turned out to be a failed memory stick. But I digress...
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