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Gaming desktop: Budget around $1000-$1500

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December 29, 2012 4:07:12 PM

Hi guys, first off - advanced happy new year! I just recently joined tomshardware and I've heard many good things about this forum where i could get inputs on building my own gaming pc. I would like to be as educated as possible when coming to a decision with regard to this one so any help is greatly appreciated - i would also make an effort to look through the forum and get some inputs from there.

This is my first try at building my own gaming pc so I'd like to make sure of:
- compatibility of the parts - will they perform best when built together?
- lowest cost - I'd like to think of it more as 'getting the best with as little cost as possible" - I am a bit flexible with this one.
- to note - typically i'd like to run games like Far Cry 3 and other new games (crysis 3?) on high-ultra if possible.
- any other considerations?

Below is a build given to me by one of our local shops for a relatively 'high-end' gaming PC. Basically i am trying to get the 'best' of everything first and then from there just trying to adjust with accordance to budget. So let me know if this is okay or what I could change!

I am from the Philippines so no luck on getting parts from Newegg i think. Also note that some names of parts might seem a bit different. Hope it all clears out:

- Budget - $1000 - $1500
- Motherboard - Intel i7-3770 (3.4ghz)/8mb cache/4000 hdgfx/22nm LGA1155 processor
- Graphics Card - Powercolor hd7850 ddr5 PCIE 2GB 256B DUAL DVI HDMI

[What is the difference between a graphics card and GPU? I tried searching for it but to no avail]

- RAM - G5KILLSRIPJAWS X-RED 8GB (2X4GB) DDR3 1600MHZ F3-12800CL90-8GB XL
- HDD - Seagate 1TB SATA

[still a bit torn between getting an SSD and HDD, but most likely i would still get an HDD]

- Case - Cooler Master HAF 912 (CM-RC-912-KKN2)

Any other essentials? [no need for monitor/mouse/keyboard/speaker]

Thanks for the help.
December 29, 2012 4:36:17 PM

1) For compatibility, I'd suggest using Pcpartpicker.com . This site will make sure all your components are compatible.
2) You're going to have a tough time with a custom build if you can't use newegg, expect to pay a bit more.
3) Your budget isn't compatible with your requirements. If you want a system that will play games like Crysis 3 on ultra settings for the next 2-5 years you'll need to spend at least $2500.
4) There is no difference between a graphics card and a GPU, they both mean the same thing. GPU means "Graphics Processing Unit"
5) Definitely go with an SSD. It is currently the number one upgrade you can get to get the most noticeable difference in performance.
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December 29, 2012 4:42:02 PM

ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... "fix it"

get an i5, gaming does not require i7. there you save about 100$ => put toward better videocard/ better CPU cooler.

Please.... no powercolor card ;)  that was my first videocard, it's more of a budget card, get something like sapphire/gigabyte

ram looks ok

you could get a WD velociraptor (10,000rpm) if you dont want to go all the way with SSD.

Power supply is also an important part.... im going to make a suggestion;

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Corsair H80 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Asus Maximus V Formula EATX LGA1155 Motherboard
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB 3.5" 10000RPM Internal Hard Drive
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card
Cooler Master HAF XM
Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply


this is about 1600$ before tax. :( 

now you can go for gigabyte 9750 which is 100$ cheaper if you wish. or if you dont wish to overclock you can get a cheaper motherboard.
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a c 278 4 Gaming
December 29, 2012 4:44:59 PM

Quote:
- compatibility of the parts - will they perform best when built together?


If you post the store you're going to be buying from we can suggest a system. If you don't know of one check the link in my signature. But for games you don't need the 3770, get the 3570K and then upgrade your GPU to something like a GTX 670 or Radeon 7970 - that's where games will benefit the most.

Quote:
1) For compatibility, I'd suggest using Pcpartpicker.com . This site will make sure all your components are compatible.


PC Part Picker doesn't list stores for the Philippines where the OP is from. They currently only cater to the US, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. I wish they'd use my database and expand into more countries - that would make things a lot easier. :lol: 

Quote:
you could get a WD velociraptor (10,000rpm) if you dont want to go all the way with SSD.


No. No expensive storage gimmicks. A 10K RPM hard drive doesn't outperform a 7200 RPM hard drive and it comes nowhere close to offering the speed that an SSD does - they're not worth purchasing anymore.

Quote:
this is about 1600$ before tax.


Keep in mind that the OP is in the Philippines - US prices won't carry over there.

Quote:


Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Corsair H80 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Asus Maximus V Formula EATX LGA1155 Motherboard
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory


That liquid cooling unit is horrible. the motherboard is major overkill, and you have slow RAM with modules that are overkill for a gaming rig. You only need 8GB and you don't need to pay that much for a motherboard.
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December 29, 2012 8:55:16 PM

^+1..that pretty much covers everything..providing a website will make it easier to suggest parts..
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a b 4 Gaming
December 29, 2012 9:23:22 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($359.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($113.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($98.39 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1216.24
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-29 18:22 EST-0500)

if anything, i would upgrade the mobo to a asrock extreme6
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December 29, 2012 9:36:15 PM

the minimun spec said that for ideal performence you'll need a 680, no need to spend 2500 bucks...
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a b 4 Gaming
December 29, 2012 11:11:31 PM

bobo370 said:
the minimun spec said that for ideal performence you'll need a 680, no need to spend 2500 bucks...


680 is a lot more than a 670 with very little gain.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 29, 2012 11:14:04 PM

colebooner said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/uSsm

$1356.. Take away the SSD if you'd like.

$1246 Without the SSD.

Just a suggestion, there's people on here who know much more then me.


No need for WD black if you have an SSD.
those Dimms are pretty pricey, i think you can find a better deal.
The XFX xxx750W costs less and performs just as well not to mention it is also modular for better cable management.

Nice build though overall
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December 30, 2012 2:52:52 AM

Thanks guys! Really helpful.

Alright, some things i was able to note from the comments.

- I am going to buy from PC Express [http://pcx.com.ph/] hopefully that would help clear things up. EDIT: I have looked at g-unit's list of shops [thanks man] and I found another store which might have more variety i.e Sapphire video card [http://pchub.multiply.com/products] i might have a look into that as well.

If you guys have any recommendations on good stores in the Phil or other alternatives, i would definitely keep an eye out! Please note that prices may be a bit different in our area [maybe even higher and some parts may not be available! which sucks] but for starters i'd like to focus on getting a good foundation first then from there just adjust based on price/performance considerations.

- I am still unsure if some of these parts are available in our stores will check as soon as I could but please see the below for the adjusted build:

- For budgeting purposes - I will still maintain the $1000-$1500 ceiling as of now. Exchange rate stands at average of Php41 per $1.

- Motherboard/CPU:
I should get an i5 instead of i7 [3570k]
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz 6mb 22nm

- GPU:
i dont think we have any sapphire or gigabyte
any diff between GTX 670 and 680? [we have Inno3D/EVGA/Asus for this one - recommendations?]
or should i get Radeon 7970 instead? [Asus HD7970 DCII Top 3gb ddr5 384bit]

- RAM:
G5KILLSRIPJAWS X-RED 8GB (2X4GB) DDR3 1600MHZ F3-12800CL90-8GB XL [so far is still the same, any inputs on this one?]

- Storage:
Still a blank on this one. I know that SSD may be the best thing right now, but i am not too sure esp with regard to price/space.

- Power supply:
Looking into this one right now, which would be a good one for the budget?

- Case: Cooler Master HAF 912

Thanks again.
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a c 278 4 Gaming
December 30, 2012 4:24:10 AM

Quote:

- Motherboard/CPU:
I should get an i5 instead of i7 [3570k]
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz 6mb 22nm


Yes. Any other CPU you pay more for something that you really won't benefit from.

Quote:

- RAM:
G5KILLSRIPJAWS X-RED 8GB (2X4GB) DDR3 1600MHZ F3-12800CL90-8GB XL [so far is still the same, any inputs on this one?]


That's fine.

Quote:

- Power supply:
Looking into this one right now, which would be a good one for the budget?


See below.

Quote:

- Storage:
Still a blank on this one. I know that SSD may be the best thing right now, but i am not too sure esp with regard to price/space.


You want a 1TB minimum. Definitely get an SSD if you can squeeze one into your budget, but ignore the people who tell you to buy overpriced storage gimmicks like the WD Velociraptor.

Try something like this:

Case: NZXT Phantom - ₱ 9,070
PSU: Corsair TX750M V2 - ₱ 6,100
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - ₱ 8,350
CPU: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - ₱ 11,180
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - ₱ 1,890
RAM: G.Skill Ares 8gb Dual ddr3 1600 CL9 F3 1600C9D 8GAB - ₱ 2,580
HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7200 RPM - ₱ 3,750
Optical: N/A
Video Card: HIS HD 7950 IceQ X2 Boost Clock 3gb/384bit ddr5 - ₱ 15,630

Total: ₱ 58,550 (USD $1,425.27)
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December 30, 2012 6:31:00 AM

Thanks man! You've been really helpful. Hope to get this one started up - definitely an exciting progress for me in terms of having a foundation-build!
Will look into getting an SSD and adding it up to my list if it indeed has that much of an effect on pc performance.

Would you have an idea on how this build would be performance-wise? Let's say in current games [i.e Shogun 2 total war/Far Cry 3/etc] - would there be an avenue by which i'll be able to know how it performs?

Also in terms of monitor-size, what is the usual size by which i could maximize on resolution and still keeping it from being too big? Would 20" be enough perhaps?
I am not familiar with this one, in terms of OS which is best to use now? Would it still be Windows 7 or should i move forward to Windows 8?

Again, thanks for the help.

EDIT: Hi all, thanks for the help so far. I've researched a bit and began asking around in other avenues as well and I got a bit of a 'newer' build from there. So my question is, how does B go head to head with A? Any recommendations/suggestions? For budget, im generally going for a good build for the lowest cost from $1000-$1500 range - the close to 1000 the better, just have to make sure that it's still good!

'A - g-unit's'
CPU: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - P 11,180 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - P 8,350 
RAM: G.Skill Ares 8gb Dual ddr3 1600 CL9 F3 1600C9D 8GAB - P2,580 
HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 7200 RPM - P 3,750 
Optical: N/A 
Video Card: HIS HD 7950 IceQ X2 Boost Clock 3gb/384bit ddr5 - P15,630 
PSU: Corsair TX750M V2 - P 6,100 
Case: NZXT Phantom - P9,070  *Not too particular about casing - basically basing it on performance impact!
Monitor: ? Not sure yet of this one.
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - P 1,890 
Total: 58550php (USD $1,425.27)

'B'
cpu, i5-3570k - 10000php
mobo, ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 - 6800php
ram, 8gb 4x2 DDR3 1600cl9 GSkill RJX - 2000php
hdd, Hitachi Deskstar 1TB - 3100php
odd, any DVDRW - 900php
gpu, Sapphire HD 7950 3GB 384bit GDDR5 - 14100php
psu, Seasonic M12II 520w 80+ Br - 3100php
atx, Cougar Solution AF2 - 2100php
mon, Philips 22" LED Full HD 221EL2SB - 6300php
hsf, CM Hyper 212 Evo Turbo Dual Fan - 1900php

Total: 51480 (USD $1255.61)



Thanks for the help.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 30, 2012 7:58:18 AM

For OS, get what ever is cheaper. You can make Win8 have a start menu which will help out immensely. for monitor i like to stay 24" under because its not to big while looking great.
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!