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$1000 Gaming PC Build That Balances Current Bang-4-Buck with Future Upgradabilty

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March 22, 2013 8:59:34 PM

Hello Everyone,

I've been reading this forum extensively to research a PC build that started at a $600 budget and then moved to $1000 as I kept reading the forum. I feel that I'm at a good stopping point in the budget. I'm building a pc for gaming (i'm a console convert, so I'd like to see some eye-popping graphics come out of the machine, compared to my Xbox 360) and general use like streaming movies, web browsing, etc.. I've configured a build on PCPartPicker and figured this is the place for advice. I'm aiming for maximum bang for my buck while retaining some future upgrade possibilities such as OC'ing the CPU, adding a couple more sticks of RAM, adding a second video card in crossfire, an SSD etc.. Thus, the reason for the large PSU output capacity, the unlocked CPU, and the particular motherboard capable of over clocking.

I currently have an 27" LG E2742V-BN @ 1920 x 1080 that I'll be using as my display. I have a keyboard and mouse that will work as such for now.


Parts to Upgrade: Everything

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any reputable site, I plan to buy the CPU and Mobo at Microcenter in Fairfax, VA as there is currently a $40 savings on the bundle.

Location: DC Metro, USA

Parts Preferences: Agnostic, most likely Intel.

Overclocking: Yes--Especially if it will prolong the amount of time between buying/building a new PC

SLI or Crossfire: Yes--I was planning on crossfire in the future to avoid buying/building a new PC

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Here's my proposed build:


CPU
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $219.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570k

CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $29.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r...

Motherboard
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $134.99 $134.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extr...

Memory
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $56.98
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cmz8gx3m2a1...

Storage
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $66.93
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-h...

Video Card
Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card $234.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100354...

Wireless Network Adapter
Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter $20.37
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-wireless-network-...

Case
Cougar Volant (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $54.99 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cougar-case-volant

Case Fan
Cougar Vortex 70.5 CFM 140mm Fan $12.98 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cougar-case-fan-cfv14h

Power Supply
Raidmax 700W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Suppl $54.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/raidmax-power-supply-rx700...

Optical Drive
Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer $16.97
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lite-on-optical-drive-ihas...

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $89.98
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/microsoft-os-gfc02050

Base Total: $1024.15
Mail-in Rebates: -$30.00
Total: $994.15

Any comments or suggests would be greatly appreciated. As I said before, I've been on the forum for research and this is by far the best place for information and reasoned consideration of technology trends.

Thanks!
March 22, 2013 9:32:15 PM

You should check on Newegg.com for prices; they are sometimes cheaper and always have more variety. I don't have time now to gather a build for you right now, but I will upload a build later.
March 23, 2013 6:08:54 AM

neodymium said:
You should check on Newegg.com for prices; they are sometimes cheaper and always have more variety. I don't have time now to gather a build for you right now, but I will upload a build later.


Thanks Neodymium, any help would be greatly appreciated!
Related resources
March 23, 2013 3:16:34 PM

If anyone on the forum would like to take a look and let me know if the system is O.K., that would be great!
March 23, 2013 3:53:38 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120M 86.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Raidmax ATX-238WU ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($85.00 @ Newegg)
Total: $873.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-23 18:54 EDT-0400)
a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2013 3:55:23 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LIFo
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LIFo/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LIFo/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.30 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($248.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Rosewill BlackHawk ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $992.16
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-23 18:55 EDT-0400)
March 23, 2013 4:38:04 PM

Thanks Toms_Expert and Bodeen2012,

I see the Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card and the Power Color Radeon HD 7950 3Gig are the same price. Is the Power Color 7950 the OBVIOUS choice in this case or am I missing something?
March 23, 2013 6:15:42 PM

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core -$219.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED -$69.99 (subtract $20 because of rebate) @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard -$144.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R -$62.99 (subtract $10 because of rebate) @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Solid State Hybrid ST1000LM014 1TB 64MB Cache 2.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Laptop Hard Drive -Bare Drive -$129.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS GTX650-E-2GD5 GeForce GTX 650 2GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card -$139.99 (subtract $10 because of rebate and add $2.99 for shipping) @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Centrino 6235 IEEE 802.11n Mini PCI Express Bluetooth 4.0 - Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Combo Adapter -$31.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case -$69.99 (subtract $10 because of rebate) @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair Air Series SP120 High Performance Edition CO-9050007-WW 120mm High Static Pressure Case Fan -$16.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply -$89.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM -$19.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total + Shipping w/o rebates: $999.88
Total +Shipping w/ rebates: $949.88 ($99.88-$50)


March 23, 2013 11:18:47 PM

pcpeet said:
Thanks Toms_Expert and Bodeen2012,

I see the Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card and the Power Color Radeon HD 7950 3Gig are the same price. Is the Power Color 7950 the OBVIOUS choice in this case or am I missing something?


7950 is better.
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2013 12:17:46 AM

7870xt is based on AMD’s Tahiti architecture with its 256-bit memory interface, and 1280 stream processors and 80 Texture units, unlike the remainder of the HD 7800 series that uses the Pitcairn architecture. Configured with 2GB of high speed GDDR5 memory running at 1500 MHz (6GHz effective) the SAPPPHIRE HD 7870 XT has a core clock of 925MHz which dynamically rises to 975MHz with PowerTune Boost, AMDs dynamic performance enhancement for games.

i think the only difference is 7950 is 3GB and 7870xt is 2GB

you can barely measure any performance difference at 1920x1080

but the 7870xt has more powerful heatpipe and heatsinks which will give you more cooling performance, less power hungry and yes its produce less noise.

go for the 7870xt and save some money.
March 24, 2013 8:32:52 AM

Just asking, what kind of games do you want to play on the rig, because if you are playing demanding games (Crysis 3), you want an AMD because it is cheaper and has more power, but if you are playing games such as Half Life 2, you would want an Nvidia because it is more efficient and does not heat up as much as the AMD.
March 24, 2013 9:16:58 AM

I don't know what you did, but I have pretty much the same build for $150 cheaper.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/JLYd
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/JLYd/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/JLYd/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($46.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($234.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNWD-N1502UBE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($9.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Hannspree HL229DPB 21.5" Monitor ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $857.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-24 12:16 EDT-0400)
April 3, 2013 6:22:46 PM

Here's what I actually went with for my build:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Me3J
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Me3J/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Me3J/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($238.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($20.37 @ Amazon)
Case: Cougar Volant (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Cougar Vortex 70.5 CFM 140mm Fan ($12.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($100.17 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1119.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-03 21:21 EDT-0400)

Edit: The actual price was about $100 (US) less due to a Microcenter Mother Board & CPU combo that I was able to score.

Also, the video card is the same as the PowerColor 7870 Myst Edition except with a different fan shroud (plastic) supposedly making the card quieter in operation. I got the video card on Newegg and it came with a $30 MIR as well as Bioshock Infinity & Tomb Raider bundled. I'm quite excited to get it all put together.

Again, big thanks to all of the help from the Toms Forum!!!!
April 3, 2013 6:27:14 PM

Also thanks to all who helped with my build. Bodeen: the clarification of AMD video cards was very helpful!
!