I Want to build a gaming desktop for $1000

logan1

Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
987
As you can see from previous gaming rig i build (listed in sig below); Its been a while since i have even looked at computers. Also my laptop died and i am trying to decide weather i should buy a new gaming laptop or just buy a cheap laptop for general internet and MS office use and build a nice gaming desktop.


1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
This is primarily a gaming desktop.

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
$1000 and yes that is including tax and shipping

3) Where do you live?
Tulsa, OK

4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
I need a, Mother board, CPU, RAM, Video card, network card, HDD, DVD_RW, PSU, Sound Card, and a good heat sink for the CPU.

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
For now i will reuse my ATX case, my monitor(22"), and my Megaworks 650 6.1 surround sound system.

6) Will you be overclocking?
Maybe

7) What size monitor do you have and/or plan to have?
I currently have a 22" BenQ monitor with a resolution of 1680x1050 WSXGA+.

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Nov 2010

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? etc.
Not sure...what ever is best for gaming.

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If so, what OS? 32bit or 64bit?
I currently have WinXP but would like to upgrade for Win7. The price of the OS is not part of the $1000 rig build budget.


Thank you all for you help.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Which ATX case do you have?

Though since you're planning on buying in November, when the time comes to actually buy the PC, post another thread here and ask if the parts we recommend today will be a good choice in November. A lot of new parts are coming around that time so it's fair to say that the PC we recommend today will be somewhat different in November.
 

guachi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
132
Your last computer is so old that anything new will seem fast.

Here is what I come up with. All prices from New Egg:

Motherboard: Asus M4A87TD EVO $110.

I picked it because it has almost every kind of connector you could hope for (SATA 6, USB 3, eSATA, 1394) and no wasted on board video. It will only do x4 in dual xFire mode, but on $1000 we probably won't need it. The 800 series chipset from AMD added SATA 6Gb support, but you will have to specifically look for a board with the rest of the connectors. If you look, you should be able to find at least one board from the other manufacturers with these features for around $100, and if you don't upgrade often, it couldn't hurt to have a full featured mobo. Never know when you wish you had USB 3 to plug in an external HD.

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 BE $142.

It has an unlocked multiplier and it's $21 cheaper than the 965. 87% the cost for 95% of the performance.

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 $105

The motherboard supports DDR3 1600, so I picked it. I chose Crucial because I like the company, although there are bunches of options around $100.

Video Card: Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon 5870 $360 (after $20 rebate)

The 5870 is a great single card and the Vapor-X is is cool and quiet. It's overkill for your resolution, but I looked at this last and I had $391 left over so I put it all into the video card. If you keep your computer for awhile and decide to upgrade your monitor to 1920x1200, 2560x1600 or do Eyefinity, you won't have to worry too much.

Network card: Use the on board. $0

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1501FASS 1.5 TB 7200 RPM $110

Just bought this for myself and installed it about 30 min ago as a secondary drive to my SSD but it would also make a decent primary drive.

DVD/RW: Lite-On 24x iHAS 424-98 $24

Almost anything will work, but this is what I own.

PSU: I hesitate to name a specific brand, but modular PSUs are awesome and I'd go for 500-550W modular if you are only going to have 1 video card. ~$80

Sound card: onboard sound 0$

HSF: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ $38

Own this, too. May not be the best tower cooler, but it's cheap and quiet.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Well we still don't know what case the OP has so a bit premature there speccing out a build. Considering the age of his PC, more than likely the OP has a some old case that still uses 80mm fans or something like that. That would completely insufficient for your planned setup.

Also, I don't see how onboard video is a "waste" considering that it's a good backup just in case the dedicated video dies.
 

logan1

Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
987
Well we still don't know what case the OP has so a bit premature there speccing out a build. Considering the age of his PC, more than likely the OP has a some old case that still uses 80mm fans or something like that. That would completely insufficient for your planned setup.

Also, I don't see how onboard video is a "waste" considering that it's a good backup just in case the dedicated video dies.

You are absolutely correct on the case. I’m not sure on the make and model but its an old Aluminum ATX midtower case with 4 80mm fans (2 in the front of the case and 2 in the back). Will there really be that much of a difference between in computer parts between now and mid to end of November?

Also are there any advantages to going with the Intel i7 processor over the AMD Phenom II in terms of future proofing the machine for the next couple of years or overclocking?
 

guachi

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
132
While it's true having onboard video would mean he could use his computer if the video card dies in the OP's case, it's not a big deal. All he has to do is fire up his laptop, which the OP said he would also buy, purchase a new video card and wait two days.

Your current case will be fine for a system with one video card and one HD. I also had a case with 4x 80mm fans that lasted me 10 years. It's last iteration had a 4870 in it and the only thing that ever happened was that the fan on 4870 would spin up occasionally but it was loud and obnoxious no matter what so I replaced it with the 5870. Otherwise the temps and decibels were always fine.

If you wanted onboard video you could replace the mobo with a M4A88TD EVO and get all of the same features listed above and add video for $10.

On the Intel side, I've seen many people recommend the i5-750 for $190 as the most worthwhile gaming chip form Intel saying, basically, that spending over $200 on a anything isn't really worth it for gaming. The chip is, overall, 33% more expensive than the 955 for about 15% more performance. Also, the 1156 chipset is about $30 more than the AM3 chipset for a similarly featured motherboard.

As for future proofing, I believe the Intel and AMD chipsets are at the end of their lives and we won't be seeing anything substantially better in the chipsets we have. The best I could do on that front was pick a board with piles of external connectors and SATA 6Gb in case you needed them for an SSD or an external USB 3.0 drive.

Although for gaming you could always go SLI/Xfire and buy one card now and the second card in 1-2 years when they are cheaper. Except that by November the new AMD cards will be out and I don't know what their price/performance will be so I'll make suggestions with current hardware.

If you want to go AMD, we could upgrade the mobo to a M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 for $145 and that adds x8 mode. Although you'd probably want to upgrade the power supply to ~750 watts and get something like the CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX for $130 (after $20 rebate)

Unfortunately, the 5870 isn't awesome in Xfire mode and we've also exceeded the $1000 target by $50. You could downgrade to a 5850, but that gimps performance now on the off chance you will upgrade in the future.

For Intel, the best I could do is the Asus P7P55D-E motherboard for $140 or the Asus P7P55D-E Pro for $180. (The only reason I'm using Asus is I have their entire lineup from NewEgg in spreadsheet form so it's easy for me to compare). Paired with an i5-750 and the upgraded PSU, total cost is $1097 or $1137 and we'd probably have to move down to a 460 video card to hit budget. The upside is that the 460 scales fantastically and actually works in SLI mode on Intel boards.

As for overclocking, AMD will be easier because of unlocked multipliers, but I don't know that it will make a big difference in the final speed of your chip.

Short version: Upgrading in the future through a new CPU is probably out of the question, so you will need to look elsewhere on ways to future proof.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
You are absolutely correct on the case. I’m not sure on the make and model but its an old Aluminum ATX midtower case with 4 80mm fans (2 in the front of the case and 2 in the back).
I'd have to disagree with guachi and recommend a newer case. Might as well considering that the cost of computer cases aren't that high and you won't have to sacrifice too much performance to do so.

Some case suggestions:
$60 - NZXT M59 ATX Case
$70 - Lian Li Lancool PC-K56 ATX Case
$70 - Cooler Master RC-590-KKN1-GP ATX Case
$70 - Cooler Master CM690 II Basic ATX Case
$90 - Cooler Master CM690 II Advance ATX Case
$90 - Cooler Master HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP ATX Case
$90 - Lian Li PC-7B Plus II ATX Case
$105 - Fractal Design Define R3 Black ATX Case
$105 - Fractal Design Define R3 Titanium ATX Case
$105 - Fractal Design Define R3 Silver ATX Case
$100 - Lian Li Lancool PC-K7B ATX Case
$110 - Lian Li PC-7FN ATX Case
$120 - Velocity Micro GX2-W Silver Classic Aluminum Case with Side Window
$130 - Cooler Master HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP ATX Case
Will there really be that much of a difference between in computer parts between now and mid to end of November?
Yes. ATI is releasing their new video cards around that time. No one knows exactly if there will be a dramatic price drop on ATI's current lineup at that time or whether or the new cards will be well priced. In addition, there's no telling if the Nvidia might also drop prices on some of their GPU as well in response. So basically, in the GPU department, things are gonna be fuzzy in that time period.

In addition, rumors has it that Intel is also planning on releasing their new Sandy Bridge CPUs around that time. Pricing has not been announced for those CPUs nor does anyone know if there will be an effect on other CPU prices.

Also, Intel is planning on releasing newer, cheaper, and faster SSDs in that time frame. So even with your $1000 budget, there may be a possibility that you can fit a SSD in that budget.

Finally, if you're planning on buying from Newegg, newegg tends to have pretty awesome combo deals that tends to shave off $50 to $150 off the total depending on the build. That allows us to cram in faster parts with the savings. The thing is that Newegg combo deals tends to differ from month to month. Not to mention that Newegg combo deals expire at the end of the month they were introduced in. We don't know what Newegg combo deals there are until a week into that new month.

So case in point: As a result of Newegg combo deals, the higher-end $180 Asus P7P55D-E Pro was actually the same price as the $140 Asus P7P55D-E. As such, we recommended the Pro a lot more. If there was no combo deal, we probably would not have recommended the Pro at all. Subtle change in motherboard but still a difference nonetheless

So yeah, it may not be dramatically be different but a PC recommended today will be different from a PC recommended in Novemeber.
Also are there any advantages to going with the Intel i7 processor over the AMD Phenom II in terms of future proofing the machine for the next couple of years or overclocking?
Short answer: No.
Long Answer: Go with the Core i5 750 ot 760 instead since it's the right balance between the AMD Phenom II and Core i7 CPUs in terms of stock performance. However, like the Core i7 CPU, the Core i5 750/760 CPU outpeforms the AMD Phenom II CPUs clock for clock while also tending to OC a bit higher as well. This a 3.6Ghz OC'd i5 750 will outperform a 4Ghz Phenom II CPU. As such, if there's any plans at all for overclocking, we tend to recommend the i5 750 more often if it's within budget.
 

logan1

Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
987
Thanx for all the info

I'll check back with you guys mid november once i am ready to order the parts. Who knows maybe i can get some good deals on black firday.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
I'll check back with you guys mid november once i am ready to order the parts. Who knows maybe i can get some good deals on black firday.

See you then.

Though I would't hold my breath for good hardware deals on BF considering the poor deals over the past 2-3 years.
 
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