I'm looking to build a new pc with playing Skyrim on maximum settings, both the vanilla game and a plethora of community mods, being it's primary purpose. Best rig for a build price between $1500 and $2000? Not looking to over clock anything. Budget may be decent but I would prize getting the most bang for the buck versus just buying the most expensive components.
Intel Core i5 (3450, 3470, 3550, 3570 - all of these are good)
8GB of DDR3 1600 RAM
A Z77 or H77 board of your choice
Nvidia 660/660ti/670 or AMD 7850/7870/7950
Good PSU with about 600W
256GB SSD for boot drive with a 1TB HDD for storage
A case for your choice
Maybe a optical drive?
And if you need wifi, an external PCI-e 1x wifi card if you don't pick a board with integrated wifi
^ generally all this will play Skyrim well as well as many other games
Best bang for the buck comes with overclocking, otherwise things are usually priced by their performance level. ie - you get what you pay for. (sales/shellshockers excluded)
Unfortunately skyriim is one of the games that seem to use as many cores as you've got and uses some cpu bound graphical effects. Fortunately it seems to favor intel cpus so you will be able to go with the standard i5-3570 cpu and a decent GPU . For ultra settings at 1080 you'd probably need a 660 or equivalent to maiintain at least 30fps. A lower lever card could do it but with a drop in AA settings if thats important to you or not.
If you plan on gaming at something like 2560x1600 resolution the fx8350 8core AMD chip catches up to the Intels, at 1080 it's ~20frames/sec behind.
Thanks for the input. I had heard (much to my chagrin) that AMD just hasn't been able to keep up with the Intels in the past 2 years especially, but I guess I just have a hard time letting go. So consensus is an i5 3570K. I'll probably go Radeon just for old times' sake. Was thinking ASUS for the mobo as I'm just unfamiliar with ASRock, but I'll do some research. Definitely doing a blu-ray readable optical drive, as I have to quit playing once in a while to let the kid watch Toy Story or something. I made the switch to SSD a few years ago so I should be able to shave some money there. Anyways, thanks again! You've all been an immense help.
That's a nice set up for sure, and it fits within the OP's budget regardless -- but I have to ask: is there some sort of monstrous combo deal or coupon option in there that I'm missing? Because when I add those components up, I get a total cost nearer to $1200 than the $880 you quoted.
I'm guessing you just forgot to count the video card or something. Don't mean to nitpick; I do that sort of thing all the time -- it's just worth noting.
The only thing I can think to add otherwise is that if the OP doesn't wish to overclock, then there's no reason to buy a K processor. There's probably no reason to buy a z77 motherboard, for that matter.
you are absolutely right! Edited to show correct value thx Fulgurant
Heh, np. Happens to the best of us.
Your build is still well within the OP's budget. Now that I think of it, and to add to what I said earlier, if the OP doesn't want to overclock, he can avoid the K processor, the z77 and the aftermarket heatsink.
And with that money saved, he could easily afford to grab up an i7 CPU for better general computing performance. $1500 ought to buy an i7 and an HD 7970, easily. It'd be overkill for Skyrim, but hey.
Or, the OP could go for a bigger SSD. That'd be a good investment too.