Building my first gaming PC with a $1200 budget

#1 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

As i said above, I have a $1200 budget for my first custom built gaming PC. I’ve checked various websites and forums for good components and have come up with this build:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kxio

It is a bit over budget as you can tell. Is this a good build? Would this be future proof? I am fairly new to PC gaming but I am very curious and open to learning new things. I’m a little stuck at this point and would appreciate more suggestions on different builds and components which would lower down the price tag but not lower down its performance by a big margin.

Thank you in advance for any support!

#2 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

I forgot to mention that I already have a good 1080p monitor, keyboard, and mouse. However, I would also love suggestions on any tried and true keyboards (backlit) and mice you all enjoy. I currently have my eyes on Logitech or Razer products. I have a laptop at the moment so I won’t be using any old components and I also intend to overclock my PC.

#3 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Yo, put spinners and shit on that ride.

#4 Posted by iBePeRFeCT (396 posts) -

If your PC is going to be used for gaming primarily then I would suggest getting an i5-3570k. The i7 isn't really going to increase the performance in any of your games and the i5 should be more than enough for quite some time.

Here's a link for the processor.

#5 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -

Looks good to me. I have a HAF X and a Hyper 212 Plus. Can't say enough good things about either of them. The Hyper 212 Plus, especially, is probably the best and most important $25 you'll spend on your computer. 
 
 
Do you have another hard drive? 128 GB really isn't all that big once you start putting things on it.

#6 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -
@iBePeRFeCT

If your PC is going to be used for gaming primarily then I would suggest getting an i5-3570k. The i7 isn't really going to increase the performance in any of your games and the i5 should be more than enough for quite some time.

Here's a link for the processor.

I'll second this. If you want to save some money go for the i5.

Anyways it looks good but you're going to be needing more storage beyond that solid state, you might want to get another HDD with the money you save by not getting an i7.

#7 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

Thank you for the responses!

I was contemplating on whether or not i would put an i7 or i5 cpu on it. The i5-3570k has been on my sights as well and would definitely lower down the price range a good deal so that sounds good to me!

I was also wondering about the 128 GB hard drive as well. i was looking into this one in particular for a bigger hard drive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227792&name=Internal-SSD

Would this suffice? Or should I be looking into HDD's with 1 or 2 TB of space?

LOL hell ill even put a money blowing machine with gold fans into it to give it some more swag. :P

Btw, are there any components that you see that could be replaced with a cheaper component to lower the price but still have good performance? Unfortunately, the build I've made is roughly $200 above my budget, but i have no idea which i should keep or switch out. Any other ideas aside from changing the processor?

#8 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio said:

I was also wondering about the 128 GB hard drive as well. i was looking into this one in particular for a bigger hard drive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227792&name=Internal-SSD

Would this suffice? Or should I be looking into HDD's with 1 or 2 TB of space?

LOL hell ill even put a money blowing machine with gold fans into it to give it some more swag. :P

Btw, are there any components that you see that could be replaced with a cheaper component to lower the price but still have good performance? Unfortunately, the build I've made is roughly $200 above my budget, but i have no idea which i should keep or switch out. Any other ideas aside from changing the processor?

I'd suggest getting a traditional hard disk drive as well as a solid state drive. Toss your OS and most-used programs on the SSD and put everything else on a much larger (and cheaper) HDD.

I'm unfamiliar with the NVIDIA lineup, but you could probably downgrade the GPU and get the same performance with slightly less efficiency and save a bit of dosh. Also check out Newegg for daily or bundle deals. Sometimes you can get CPU/mobo/RAM all in one go with a huge savings.

#9 Posted by LiquidPrince (15911 posts) -

I would go with an AMD card if you want more future proofing taking into consideration that all three future consoles will be using AMD graphics cards, so the transition between PC and console will go smoother (I would assume). Plus the cards are a bit cheaper. I would go with the 7970 GHz edition.

#10 Posted by Mr402 (139 posts) -

First off the idea of future proofing is not something you should worry about. Single monitor 1080P is something that many cards can achieve easily. Only reason you should get the most expensive cards is if you are planning on multi-monitor super high resolution gaming. Cards like Geforce 680, AMD 7970's and higher are for those specific types of users. Cards like the 660TI (Which to me is the one you should go with) will run anything at 1080P at awesome settings. Core I5-3570K is all the processor you need for gaming but watch out when you overclock. Unlike Sandy Bridge the Ivy line runs a lot hotter. So you may want to invest in water cooling if you are going for a serious overclock. . Like others have said the extra hyper threading of the I7 is not going to make a huge difference in gaming performance. Same for SSD they are nice but honestly for the space to price ratio to me they are another thing that you could skip and sink the money into something else. My suggestion is to research the onboard sound option on your board. Does it support DTS or Dolby Digital signals? If it does not you should look into a more expensive board that does or purchase a dedicated sound card. I have my PC hooked up to my home theater/3DTV and my sound bar only support's SPDIF Dolby Digital which my onboard THX sound would not. So I had to purchase a dedicated sound card. I went with the Asus Xonar DX and could not be happier with the surround sound it produces for gaming. I know most folks don't worry about great sound but to me it's just another part of gaming that if your paying a premium for PC parts why skimp? Just something else you should think about. Main thing I always tell people is go for bang for your buck. Try websites like Toms Hardware or Maximum PC which give great build ideas. Sorry for wall of text but too many times I see folks spend way beyond what they should simply because they have the option too. It's about great gaming not big spending remember that. Have fun with what ever build you choose.

#11 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@UhOhCheerio said:

I was also wondering about the 128 GB hard drive as well. i was looking into this one in particular for a bigger hard drive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227792&name=Internal-SSD

Would this suffice? Or should I be looking into HDD's with 1 or 2 TB of space?

LOL hell ill even put a money blowing machine with gold fans into it to give it some more swag. :P

Btw, are there any components that you see that could be replaced with a cheaper component to lower the price but still have good performance? Unfortunately, the build I've made is roughly $200 above my budget, but i have no idea which i should keep or switch out. Any other ideas aside from changing the processor?

I'd suggest getting a traditional hard disk drive as well as a solid state drive. Toss your OS and most-used programs on the SSD and put everything else on a much larger (and cheaper) HDD.

I'm unfamiliar with the NVIDIA lineup, but you could probably downgrade the GPU and get the same performance with slightly less efficiency and save a bit of dosh. Also check out Newegg for daily or bundle deals. Sometimes you can get CPU/mobo/RAM all in one go with a huge savings.

I have looked at several forums saying that getting both an SSD and an HDD would be better in the long run but I was worried about the price. I've tweaked the build i previously made with your advice and I was surprised that the price range dropped! I added a 2 TB HDD:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148681

I also downgraded my GPU to this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

This is now my current build all together with a price range of my budget:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kzak

How does it look? Are there any other components i could downgrade to make it cheaper but keep the same or close to the same performance? I would like to note that I do love really good looking graphics so I was wondering if the GPU I chose would be good enough for games that require a lot in that aspect.

@LiquidPrince said:

I would go with an AMD card if you want more future proofing taking into consideration that all three future consoles will be using AMD graphics cards, so the transition between PC and console will go smoother (I would assume). Plus the cards are a bit cheaper. I would go with the 7970 GHz edition.

I took your advice and tried looking into AMD cards instead and you were right in saying they were generally cheaper. But the 7970 GHz edition GPU's seem to be a little bit too pricey for me. Should I switch a few other components with cheaper models to compensate?

#12 Posted by LiquidPrince (15911 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: If this is a gaming machine, I would drop the i7 in favor of the i5, and swap out the SSD for HDD. Very few games that I have come across take full advantage of SSD just because of the way they load their data. It will be faster, but getting a better GPU is more worthwhile in my opinion. SSD prices should drop in a couple of years, and you can get decent sized drives then. 128GB - 256GB in my opinion is a joke for the prices they're charging right now.

#13 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: Stay away from green drives. Since most of your programs are going to be living on it, any load times are going to be magnified by the slow spindle speed. Look into 7200 RPM drives; they're pricier but convey better performance (and are usually built better).

The Vertex series is a bit meh, honestly. The Samsung 840 is where you want to be looking; it's about as good as it gets, and it'll be out at the start of November. If you can wait I highly suggest you do. Look up some reviews (like this one from AnandTech) and decide if the extra boost is worth waiting a few weeks. If you don't mind the hassle and need the computer ASAP, you could always skip on the SSD until it's out and just transfer a few things around later.

It's also the same price as the Vertex.

#14 Posted by LiquidPrince (15911 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: Also, the 6850 in the current build is a very low end card. I would splurge and get the 7970 for $379. If you absolutely cannot go with that, the next best option would be the 7950 for $299. The 7950 offers double the speed increase over the 6850 in most games.

#15 Edited by SlasherMan (1725 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: That PSU is kind of a waste in a build like this. Go for a 600W Seasonic M12 or something similar, and put the money you save into a better GPU than the 6850 (a 7850 or a GTX 660 Ti should still keep the price close to your budget more or less).

Also, hard drive isn't good enough. This is the hard drive where you'll be keeping your games, is it not? I would suggest getting a 7200 RPM 1TB drive instead (and if you need more capacity you can add it later, but for now, performance is a more important factor). I personally like Western Digital's Black (performance) series, so I'd suggest getting this.

#16 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

@LiquidPrince said:

@UhOhCheerio: If this is a gaming machine, I would drop the i7 in favor of the i5, and swap out the SSD for HDD. Very few games that I have come across take full advantage of SSD just because of the way they load their data. It will be faster, but getting a better GPU is more worthwhile in my opinion. SSD prices should drop in a couple of years, and you can get decent sized drives then. 128GB - 256GB in my opinion is a joke for the prices they're charging right now.

I have changed the i7 to the Intel Core i5-3570K.

This my current build right now if you want to check:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kzak

But I did some more research and tried out your suggestion with removing the SSD. I found a reasonably priced GPU:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125418

This is my new build with the changes:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kzjZ

How does it look?

#17 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Way too much to spend for little graphics increases from a high end system, with the next generation of consoles coming out next year now is not the time to spend over 1200 on a gaming PC. Like when the 360 came out gaming PC components went down alot, as the 360 offered a pretty high end gaming experience for alot cheaper than what a high end system went for at the time. So I expect the components to see a big drop in price after the 720 is released. Plus go with AMD, Nvidia is just overpriced in my opinion.

#18 Posted by trebert (45 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio:

I'd suggest waiting for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, if you can afford to wait. I don't know what your situation is, but it's a little over a month out, and you're certain to save a few hundred bucks, and probably walk away with a better rig.

#19 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

That CPU is way overkill, I have a Phenom II x4 965be that I got for 100 bucks 2 years ago and that does fine all that really holds me back now is the GPU and a SSD. But I still play everything on high.

#20 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

I'm sorry i haven't taken into account some posts here! (I forgot to refresh the page... >__>)

Thank you guys for all the suggestions and I will be putting more research on my build right now.

I suppose you're right with that. I'll take that into consideration but I do have my personal reasons why I popped up into building a PC at this time.

#21 Posted by LiquidPrince (15911 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: Honestly, I just wouldn't go with that GPU if you want smooth performance in the majority of games in 1080P on Max setting (which I assume is the goal if you're willing to spend $1200 on a new PC). I would still drop the SSD in favor of a regular HDD and save $100 for now. Also looking at your current build, your power supply is pretty overpriced. I bought a 600W corsair power supply for $59.99. I'm rocking a 7970, a i7 2600k, 8GB of 1600Mhz RAM and I still have decent headway on my power supply. I'm not saying you should drop down to a 600W, but find a cheaper power supply.

Ultimately, GPU is the most important thing for a gaming build. I would get the absolute best one I could afford and then build the rest of the PC so that it doesn't bottleneck my GPU. Your processor is great, but needs a GPU that keeps up.

#22 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: Gaming PC's are great but just don't go too overkill unless you have heaps of money to burn, the only games I brought on 360 this year are Trials Evo, ME3 (because of Save data) and FIFA 13 because of friends. All my other games are on PC on my 42inch TV most the time with a controller. But the great thing about PC's is you can upgrade them aswell, I started with mid range parts and after 2 years replaced them with my 965BE CPU and a 5850 GPU for a total of 200 bucks which pretty much tripled the performance of my PC. I will probably search on 2nd hand sites for another cheap 5850 to SLI it. Thats some of the fun things I like about PCs is upgrading it like replacing the stock fan on my noisy AMD processor with a silent after market one that made it cooler so I could overclock my CPU ftom 3.4ghz to 4.2ghz and that fan cost me 10 bucks. So you can get alot of performance the cheapest way possible instead of going for the biggest and best card each year, go 2nd hand for the best card from 1 year ago because alot of PC gamers are like Apple users they will upgrade there GPU for maybe a 10% increase in power every year and put there old card on ebay that has nothing wrong with it.

#23 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@LiquidPrince: Dont drop SSD, you can get decent intel ones the 330 model for pretty cheap now http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167121&name=Internal-SSD.

You must have a old hard drive you can use for media anyway. SSD is pretty much essential for a decent gaming PC now as eliminates load times and your PC boots up in seconds. I would say get a 64bit OEM Windows 7 OS, get a high end 6000 series instead of a 7000 series as the price difference is alot for pretty marginal differences.

#24 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: A 128 GB SSD at this point is a bit silly. I can't believe people keep telling other people to build a PC that only has an SSD big enough to help you START YOUR COMPUTER FASTER. Or LOAD CHROME FASTER. Just get a cheap 512MB (which you can get a good one for about $300) so you have enough space to install windows and most of your games and programs, and use a storage drive for media or extra crap, whatever that happens to be for you. Potentially games you don't care about load times or whatever if you really ave so many games that 400GB isn't enough for you. Unless this is a two game system (at which point $1200 is a lot to spend), you want the SSD to have your games on it. That's what you're spending the money for, faster drive. So spend a little extra, maybe find something you can drop in price a bit, and get something you can be happy with, instead of just having an SSD for a few things you use a lot but because you use a lot are bound to be tiny quick looking things or things you load ONCE and then use for an extended period of time (any production software, sure, will take a few seconds to load, but is a few seconds being cut down to like 2 seconds really worth the price? I'd rather use the SSD than constantly realize "Oh god I have no space to put anything on this, why did I even buy this?"

Personally, I'd say you should go nVidia. Their latest generation is really amazing, it has support for things like CUDA if you are in to production, PhysX which can actually be pretty cool, and generally does better with DX11 features. Or did, maybe ATI has finally figured that shit out.

You'll also find your drivers to be wildly more powerful, flexible, and reliable (assuming you stick to stable releases, and don't listen to most people who complain about nVidia drivers, because it's usually NOT stable drivers).

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Way too much to spend for little graphics increases from a high end system, with the next generation of consoles coming out next year now is not the time to spend over 1200 on a gaming PC. Like when the 360 came out gaming PC components went down alot, as the 360 offered a pretty high end gaming experience for alot cheaper than what a high end system went for at the time. So I expect the components to see a big drop in price after the 720 is released. Plus go with AMD, Nvidia is just overpriced in my opinion.

If you want a high end video card, nVidia is a pretty sweet spot with their latest generation. The 670 is a very excellent deal. And I cannot stress enough how many issues games have had over the last several years where AMD people just couldn't play for like a month because the game was broken for AMD drivers. Major releases.

And for people saying you "can't" future proof because of the next generation of consoles, they aren't that far away from this generation of hardware (In fact they almost certainly will be using hardware based on architecture that exists right now, I wouldn't be surprised if the new Xbox was a Kepler (nVidia 600 series) machine. On top of that, the CPU and RAM won't be blowing anyone out of the water even my today's standards. Expect 4-6 GB of ram in next gen consoles, and a CPU that is pretty good, but nothing incredible. So really, you could get a really solid computer today, wait two years until you can get a new video card that easily lasts the entire console generation at least for playing console games but better. The only thing you will need to upgrade with new consoles is MAYBE the video card, and even then, not at launch because the games won't be making full use of the hardware and pushing the limits and all that. People telling you to wait over a year are just beign overly cautious. If you want a kick ass machine now, build it now. It's NOT that hard to keep it up to speed, and you can spend a few hundred ever couple/few years and be really happy with it. Just go for it dude. Enjoy it. I'm building a really kick ass machine right now (my 680 gets here tomorrow in fact), and I don't care about all of the people syaing I should wait for the next gen of nVidia stuff and the next gen of intel stuff and the new consoles and blah blah blah. Granted, I'll probably be in Afghanistan by the time the new consoles are here (or some equivalent war torn shit hole [don't care, too tired to be classy about it]) so I'm going all in to enjoy stuff before boot camp, but fuck man, if you have the money, and want a kick ass machine, get one! That doesn't mean buy the best parts money can buy, because unless you need it, 16GB of RAM is silly for gaming. Hell, 8 is maybe even a bit excessive. And a CPU doesn't really need to breath logic-fire. It just needs to be fast enough to give instructions to the rest of your components. An i5 is the sweet spot for that, certainly. Even a video card, sure you can go all out and get a 680, but again, unless you really need or want that bleeding edge performance, a 670 is a good way to get really high end performance for less price. And again, the new consoles aren't going to be blazing some huge new path. The current generation of hardware is capable of some BALLER shit, but no one is building for it so we aren't seeing it. a 670/680 will almost certainly handle next gen launch titles, and then after a year or so of that, you can upgrade, either to SLI or to a new architecture that beats the console's around the head and humiliate them. Or, just stick with what you have if it makes ya happy.

#25 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: Well I have played all the big games on PC with no problems with a ATI can you point out a few games this has happened to?

#26 Posted by DetectiveSpecial (466 posts) -

I just built my first gaming PC a few weeks ago, and have one piece of advice for you - if possible, get your CPU and motherboard from Microcenter. They offer the i5-3570k for $189, and they have even further discounts on motherboards when the two are purchased together. It is only available in store, however. I got a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard for $99 with this deal. Even with my terrible Chicago sales tax, I spent less on the i5-3570k than I would have ordering an i5-3550 from any website.

If you can afford an SSD, then get nuts - but don't let anyone shame you into one. They work wonders on your OS, but make most games only marginally faster. If you are coming from console gaming, you'll notice faster load times even with a regular hard drive.

And for what it's worth, I went with the MSI 660 TI Overclocked Edition and couldn't be happier.

#27 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

Personally, I'd say you should go nVidia. Their latest generation is really amazing, it has support for things like CUDA if you are in to production, PhysX which can actually be pretty cool, and generally does better with DX11 features. Or did, maybe ATI has finally figured that shit out.

You'll also find your drivers to be wildly more powerful, flexible, and reliable (assuming you stick to stable releases, and don't listen to most people who complain about nVidia drivers, because it's usually NOT stable drivers).

I cannot overstate this enough; AMD (ATI is dead, remember?) cards look great on paper but the driver support is usually far inferior to what nVidia puts out.

Of course, this is coming from a crazy person who has had a less then stellar Crossfire experience with his dual 6970s, but on the whole I've noticed that nVidia seems to both update their drivers faster and has made a larger leap with their new GPUs this time around.

I still think he could get away with a 256GB SSD, and I'd rather see him spend the extra cash to pump up his GPU as far as possible to delay the inevitable replacement (especially if we're talking about <=$250 cards where $50 could mean a major increase in performance), but I guess that's up to personal preference and your view on an acceptable time to the first upgrade.

I'd also advise going no lower then 8GB of RAM as I find myself routinely using more then 4GB which would be the next step down in a dual channel system, and due to the almost negligible increase in overall price.

#28 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Picking hardware is complicated. Putting it together is hella easy.

#29 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -
@SlasherMan said:

@UhOhCheerio: That PSU is kind of a waste in a build like this. Go for a 600W Seasonic M12 or something similar, and put the money you save into a better GPU than the 6850 (a 7850 or a GTX 660 Ti should still keep the price close to your budget more or less).

Also, hard drive isn't good enough. This is the hard drive where you'll be keeping your games, is it not? I would suggest getting a 7200 RPM 1TB drive instead (and if you need more capacity you can add it later, but for now, performance is a more important factor). I personally like Western Digital's Black (performance) series, so I'd suggest getting this.

I second this post about the hard drive. I've had multiple friends put Seagates into their PCs only to have them fail inside of two years. I'm using two 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blacks and couldn't be happier.
#30 Edited by Kidavenger (3532 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MordeaniisChaos: Well I have played all the big games on PC with no problems with a ATI can you point out a few games this has happened to?

They won't because there aren't any, AMD has come a long way in their driver support, it's time for people that don't know what they are talking about to stop giving shitty advice.

AMD vs Nvidia, it doesn't matter, they are both good and it's really just personal preference at this point and there is no point in slinging shit at either of them, that is retarded fanboy shit.

If you want to pick one over the other, you should look at the games they are giving away, Nvidia is giving away Borderlands 2 with most of their cards, AMD is giving away Sleeping Dogs and/or Dirt Showdown with most of their cards.

#31 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Kidavenger: No, up until pretty recently, I had a lot of issues with a somewhat older card just having major graphical artifacts, poor performance, etc. It's gotten better, but not for long enough for me to trust it. I can't think of anything off of the top of my head because usually those issues are eventually fixed, and I've gotten used to games not being quite right on my card.

Actually, I believe Walking Dead had some pretty rough edges on ATI cards, but it had pretty rough fuckin edges in general, give that I cannot even start the game STILL.

And even if that isn't true, I still know for a fact that the nVidia drivers are more robust in their feature-set. If you want to tweak things, and do a lot f pretty cool stuff, nVidia is pretty much always the way to go. I'm not even sure why, but a lot of the more ambitious graphical mods tend to either work much better, or ONLY with nVidia cards. That's just experience from me, and no, I'm not going to provide you with my findings because hey, this is a forum and I just got like 3 hours sleep and need to go to work in half an hour, so I could care less.

But I certainly know what I am talking about. I USE an ATI card, and I still search to see if the game has an ATI specific issue first if I see graphical artifacts or poor performance. Have they gotten better? Maybe over the last 8 months, sure. That's not enough time for me if I'm going to invest $600 in a card. Especially when the one disfavored is already lacking in features, if not a whole lot/any in performance.

I'm not a fanboy. ATI cards are good for one thing 100% of the time: rendering. They don't need to protect a high end computing platform so they don't lock stuff up on their high end cards like nVidia does (which is understandable, to be fair). So they are almost always better for rendering. Certainly this generation is, from what I've heard, a good example of that.

But hey, you can get lucky and not have any issues, just like you can get the shit I get all the time and half the time your games are an unplayable mess or you're locked out of pushing your games as far as you theoretically could. I don't speak as a fanboy, I have an ATI card, I hate the problems I've had and continued to have, and I greatly prefer nVidia even in the places I don't find ATI to be offensively bad. So before you start assuming no one knows what they are talking about, maybe you should consider that they do in fact have first hand experience, and aren't just spouting bullshit. There is a reason ATI gets as much shit as it does. Is it getting it's act together? Sure looks like it. But until things remain at a good place for longer, I'll choose nVidia pretty much every time.

#32 Edited by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@MordeaniisChaos: Well I have played all the big games on PC with no problems with a ATI can you point out a few games this has happened to?

They won't because there aren't any, AMD has come a long way in their driver support, it's time for people that don't know what they are talking about to stop giving shitty advice.

AMD vs Nvidia, it doesn't matter, they are both good and it's really just personal preference at this point and there is no point in slinging shit at either of them, that is retarded fanboy shit.

If you want to pick one over the other, you should look at the games they are giving away, Nvidia is giving away Borderlands 2 with most of their cards, AMD is giving away Sleeping Dogs and/or Dirt Showdown with most of their cards.

This is mostly true, I usually go for the cooler/quieter option, which was Nvidia in the GTX 5XX series. Personal preference here, but I think the Nvidia control panel has a nicer interface (having used both it and CCC).

#33 Edited by OrfBC (43 posts) -

This is not my first PC (but it's been awhile), and my budget is a little more than $1200, but I would love any feedback people can give on my build.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kCO7

I want to play Dishonored, Witcher 2, XCOM, etc. at 1920x1080. I'm not super price sensitive, but I also don't want to waste money on bleeding edge parts that are overkill. I *think* I've got this to a pretty good place, but what do you think? Thanks!

#34 Posted by Cronus42 (275 posts) -

One big thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread so far is PSU's. I would suggest putting out the extra $20 or so for a Corsair on of the same power. Iv'e seen cheap PSU's go bad and its not pretty. Bad capacitors of that size tend to blow up and flame when they fail. Plus corsair has some of the best included warranties there are. I want to say mine is 6 years or something crazy like that.

Also for GPU's, I know its mostly personal preference, but if you plan on doing a lot of tweaking for graphics performance and the like, I would go with NVIDIA. Not because of hardware, but drivers. Almost all my experience with AMD drivers has been bad, or at least worse than using NVIDIA's. Again that's mostly personal preference.

Now a few comments for @OrfBC. If you want to cut the price down a bit I would go for a 660 Ti. A very minor step down and with some tweaking can match a 670 pretty easily, but it saves you a good chunk of cash. I would personally suggest only 8gb of ram unless you're doing video editing or other programs that devour ram. If you need more later you can get another 8gb and slam it in pretty easy. Also get a cpu cooler. A bunch of love the the coolermaster hyper 212 here for good reason. Best value cooler by a long shot, and its only $25.

#35 Posted by OrfBC (43 posts) -

Thanks for the tips. I'm not planning on overclocking at all, the hassle and risk just isn't worth it to me. Is a separate cooler still important, or will the stock one be OK? I'm assuming the processor wil come with something, maybe that's a wrong assumption.

#36 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@OrfBC: a 670 is overkill depending on what resolution you want to play at. You can get a 570 gtx for almost half the price and still max out most games.

#37 Posted by OrfBC (43 posts) -

Ordered all my junk today. Thanks for the advice, and !

#38 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

I've finalized my build and I'm liking the results! With some advice from a few other people, I came up with this.

It looks like it's a little over budget but i plan on purchasing all the parts on Cyber Monday. Would there ever be a chance that any of these components become out of stock around that time though? That thought has been swimming in my head for the past couple of days. Either way, leave me some feedback on how you like the build or if there's anything you think I should change as I'm still open to new ideas. Thanks for all the help to whoever gave me these awesome suggestions!

@Mr402 said:

First off the idea of future proofing is not something you should worry about. Single monitor 1080P is something that many cards can achieve easily. Only reason you should get the most expensive cards is if you are planning on multi-monitor super high resolution gaming. Cards like Geforce 680, AMD 7970's and higher are for those specific types of users. Cards like the 660TI (Which to me is the one you should go with) will run anything at 1080P at awesome settings. Core I5-3570K is all the processor you need for gaming but watch out when you overclock. Unlike Sandy Bridge the Ivy line runs a lot hotter. So you may want to invest in water cooling if you are going for a serious overclock. . Like others have said the extra hyper threading of the I7 is not going to make a huge difference in gaming performance. Same for SSD they are nice but honestly for the space to price ratio to me they are another thing that you could skip and sink the money into something else. My suggestion is to research the onboard sound option on your board. Does it support DTS or Dolby Digital signals? If it does not you should look into a more expensive board that does or purchase a dedicated sound card. I have my PC hooked up to my home theater/3DTV and my sound bar only support's SPDIF Dolby Digital which my onboard THX sound would not. So I had to purchase a dedicated sound card. I went with the Asus Xonar DX and could not be happier with the surround sound it produces for gaming. I know most folks don't worry about great sound but to me it's just another part of gaming that if your paying a premium for PC parts why skimp? Just something else you should think about. Main thing I always tell people is go for bang for your buck. Try websites like Toms Hardware or Maximum PC which give great build ideas. Sorry for wall of text but too many times I see folks spend way beyond what they should simply because they have the option too. It's about great gaming not big spending remember that. Have fun with what ever build you choose.

No worries with the wall o' text! I actually enjoy reading detailed and helpful posts. In regards to the sound card, I do enjoy the sound quality, but I might want to wait on that for now. I suppose it's not something i desperately need in my pc for it to work the way i really want it to but your insight got me thinking about it more than before so I might consider it.

Now in regards to your GPU suggestion, you think i should downgrade it? I know for a fact I wont be multi-screening it so your suggestion caught my eye, not to mention I don't even have the table space for two screens lol. Anyone else agree to downgrading my GPU? I would love to have a water cooling system instead of a fan, though the fan I chose is a great one from what I've heard. Lets get a debate going on here! :D

#39 Posted by Mr402 (139 posts) -

Yes I would downgrade the video card. 7970 once again is mainly for overclocking, high resolution multi-monitor. Go With 7950 jif you are set on AMD or 660TI (660TI is only a hair under 670 in performance.) which ever is cheaper. There is very little difference between AMD or Nividia other then Nvidia putting physx in many games which AMD cannot run. Physx is overrated in my opinion but it's nice if you have a nvidia card (I do not.) Down the road if performance degrades throw another card in your machine for SLI or crossfire. By that time both cards will be alot cheaper while giving you double the performance. Watch out for cards which tout huge amounts of memory which equals expensive. Memory has nothing to do with the core speed of your video card. Memory really only effects how much data can be loaded into the frame buffer. Most games don't go over 1gig maybe 2 at the most. Though Skyrim and BF3 with ultra settings can go above 2. Your cooler will work fine for a small overclock let's say 4.2 ghz or lower. Any higher and your temps will run too high for 24 hour use. In fact if you want yoru budget even cheaper then go with a intel I5-2500K. Much cooler overclock potential on air cooling plus performance would not be impacted significantly at all. Most games still are not utilizing all 4 cores anyway. Hit me up again for more questions anytime.

#40 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

Whoa, I'm loving this thread. I've been too busy to keep up with the responses and suggestions that i didn't get to read all of them. My apologies for that one guys. I honestly dont mind bumping up the price tag a bit to keep some of the stuff I have on the list. My main confusion now comes from my PSU, memory, and GPU. I've been collecting info from other sources other than this thread and many say to keep the graphics card or tone it down. I'm honestly starting to lean toward toning it down but I do want to max out my graphics in any game I play. Mr402 makes very convincing statements though I would still like some more input on other people if downgrading the GPU is really what I should be doing.

THIS is my latest build. would the PSU suffice in this PC? Also in regards to what Mr402 said, is it wise to downgrade the CPU? a few others have suggested to keep the i5-3570K so I am a little unsure. I don't really have much experience with high end computers so I'm a little in the dark in all this so all this help is much appreciated.

One more thing, I'm planning to major in Computer Science. Would this change anything in my current build in terms of my future interest in coding?

#41 Posted by Andorski (5270 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: When it comes to PSU quality, I would just go with one that doesn't have a lot of Newegg reviews saying that it fried their PC components. One thing I can say for sure though is to go with a PSU that's modular. Makes cable management way easier/less cluttered.

#42 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio said:

One more thing, I'm planning to major in Computer Science. Would this change anything in my current build in terms of my future interest in coding?

First thing is if you are a student you can can Windows 7 much cheaper as a student.

Also, 3 gigs of video ram is kinda useless on that card, very very few games would even come close to using all of that.

As for Computer Science nothing will hurt any compiling performance really so you should be fine.

#43 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1062 posts) -

@UhOhCheerio: I'm a graduate of the same field you are going into for school and here is my recommendation.

- Your current PSU on that list is top notch. As long as it is above 650w then it's fine. (Assuming you don't Crossfire in the future)

- Memory is more of a personal investment for yourself. I think 8GB is fine for gaming but in computer science, you will be using a lot of virtual machines and they will use a lot of your RAM. Just leave it at 8GB for now and if you need more you can always buy more. RAM is so cheap these days.

- As for GPU, tone it down to an AMD Radeon HD 7950. It's the sweet spot for Price/Performance ratio.

- I personally think you should get a cheaper PC Case. $179 is way too expansive for just a case. Is there a reason why you are going with that case? Will this be fine? http://pcpartpicker.com/part/bitfenix-case-shinobiwindow

- I'm not sure if you want an SSD but maybe you can combine a Crucial M4 128 and 500GB hard drive. Again, this is personal preference but I think it's about time for everyone to have an SSD.

Now for some good news. This build will last you through your entire major in computer science... if you start soon lol.

#44 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

@mosdl: Oh yea! I forgot about the student discount on the OS. Thanks for the heads up on that.

@IrrelevantJohn said:

@UhOhCheerio: I'm a graduate of the same field you are going into for school and here is my recommendation.

- Your current PSU on that list is top notch. As long as it is above 650w then it's fine. (Assuming you don't Crossfire in the future)

- Memory is more of a personal investment for yourself. I think 8GB is fine for gaming but in computer science, you will be using a lot of virtual machines and they will use a lot of your RAM. Just leave it at 8GB for now and if you need more you can always buy more. RAM is so cheap these days.

- As for GPU, tone it down to an AMD Radeon HD 7950. It's the sweet spot for Price/Performance ratio.

- I personally think you should get a cheaper PC Case. $179 is way too expansive for just a case. Is there a reason why you are going with that case? Will this be fine? http://pcpartpicker.com/part/bitfenix-case-shinobiwindow

- I'm not sure if you want an SSD but maybe you can combine a Crucial M4 128 and 500GB hard drive. Again, this is personal preference but I think it's about time for everyone to have an SSD.

Now for some good news. This build will last you through your entire major in computer science... if you start soon lol.

Thanks for this! I don't think I would use more than one GPU any time soon so I don't think that would be a problem. And I never realized that school work for my major would eat up my RAM so that's a good insight too! I'll cross that bridge when I get to it though and as you said, RAM is pretty cheap these days. In regards to your suggestion on GPU, you're actually the first to suggest that specific one. I'll have to look into it more but it does sound promising. For the PC case... well... the case I picked just looked damn sexy lol. I also wanted to go with a red theme to the PC and I've heard good reviews with the size and ventilation of it. If I go way over budget then that I would probably downgrade that though. Nice pick on a case and pretty affordable too! I've also heard good things about the SSD. If only it were cheaper and could hold more memory then we wouldnt need HDD's much anymore. I'll think about that SSD/HDD combo some more though. Overall, extremely helpful and I'm glad to see someone with the same interest in CS! Appreciate the help.

I will look more into my build and keep all of you posted. Like I said, I will be purchasing all of this at Cyber Monday which is around a month away so I'll have time. Give me more suggestions if possible guys! When I do purchase my build, I'll see if i can post pics of it on here to complete the thread and maybe help out anyone else with questions like mine.

#45 Posted by Mr402 (139 posts) -

Here's my final thought. Just buy it, build it and enjoy it. Take everyones advice at heart but in the end you will nit pick yourself into insanity until you pull the trigger and go for it. Once again my suggestion is 660TI, or 7950, I5-2500k or 3570k and screw the SSD because for the size your spending too much. Remember you can always upgrade a part in the future if it's needed. Have fun dude in whatever you go with.

#46 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

Get another of the screen you've got right now. Just got another one of mine and I can't understand how I lived without it for so long.

#47 Posted by UhOhCheerio (10 posts) -

@Mr402 said:

Here's my final thought. Just buy it, build it and enjoy it. Take everyones advice at heart but in the end you will nit pick yourself into insanity until you pull the trigger and go for it. Once again my suggestion is 660TI, or 7950, I5-2500k or 3570k and screw the SSD because for the size your spending too much. Remember you can always upgrade a part in the future if it's needed. Have fun dude in whatever you go with.

I'm actually going along with downgrading the GPU because from all the reviews I've seen for the GPU that i have picked have said not to buy it unless you're intent in tri-screening your games. Now I'm still a little confused on whether to get nvidia or ATI though. And one more thing, has anyone ever tried buying components on black friday or cyber monday? If so, would there ever be a chance that stores or websites would be out of stock of a certain component? I assume not because these things aren't flying out stores like a newly released video game but it's just a thought lol.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.