Help optimizing performance for $600-800 build

Hello all, I've decided to finally build my own desktop ($600-800) after being stuck with a near dying laptop for the past two years. I am building this machine mainly as a gaming computer and possibly some streaming, as well as my workstation for college (although I don't think I'll be running anything too intensive in Comp Sci). This is my first build, and although I've tried to research quite a bit, I know I'm not too familiar with all of the components. That being said, here is my planned setup so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
MoBo: ASUS P8Z77-V LK Intel Z77
Graphics card: Geforce GTX 560 or GTX 660 (See question 1)
HDD: WD Blue 500GB HDD
RAM: PNY 2x4GB 1333MHz
Power: Corsair CX600
Tower: Still deciding. Nothing fancy, just something with good ventilation.
Monitor: Definitely nothing above 1600x1200, most likely smaller

-I'm not going to run any integrated graphics so if there is a better CPU to grab in this regard please let me know.
-I'm also not taking my monitor into my budget.
-I am not planning to buy this immediately, probably will order this by summer.

A couple questions to run by you guys before I settle on this:
1) Obviously, is there any components that I have chosen that can be replaced with a cheaper/better alternative that i'm missing?

2) For the graphics card, would it be better to just buy the 2gb GTX 660 or get one 560 and save for another one to pair them? Is their a significant advantage to running dual 560's over one 660?

Any tips or advice would be awesome.
Thanks for the help guys.
(Sorry for no links, I can't get the html to work)
7 answers Last reply
More about help optimizing performance build
  1. You should probably wait for Haswell and Radeon 8000 series to launch which should be by this summer.
  2. Wouldn't haswell be upwards of $300? A bit out of my price range.
    Might wait to see the 8000 series though. I heard somewhere that they were around $200
  3. PNY MAKE RAM?!?!

    Anyways, if you need the build now, go for the 660, which is there to replace the 580, which in turn is two 560's.

    Two 560's is around the same performance as a single 660, and the single 660 has less power, heat and no SLI bugs. Go for the 660, no doubt.

    I would try and save for a 1920x1080 monitor at least, they don't cost too much, and its a world of difference over other lower resolution monitors.

    I would also go for a 1TB drive, in most countries there is little difference in price between a 1TB and 500GB, most of the time around 10 dollars.

    Also, go with a case with good airflow, and room to expand. It'll save you a money in the long run. I'm not saying go for a case like the HAF X, which is pure overkill for your build, but something like a Elite 430 from CM or a 500R from coolermaster are good.
  4. Hahaha yeaaa my parents bought me the RAM (naturally they aren't the most tech savvy) so I'll take it until I feel like upgrading to 1600Mhz. I'm just happy they got ddr3.

    Ok awesome then the 660 it is. That also saves me a ton of money. And a larger monitor would be nice...I think I'll get it.

    I was thinking of not getting a 1TB drive and instead getting a 120GB SSD in a bit to put windows and some other apps on.

    You can subtract the RAM and get Windows 7/8 and still be on budget
  6. Does $600-800 include Windows? That extra $100 makes a difference. I assume you would need to buy a copy as part of your budget.
  7. Lucky for me, I do have a disk windows 7 lying around.
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