New Gaming rig for under $1000... thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by paleh0rse, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    1) What will you be doing with this PC?
    One Purpose: Gaming.
    One Goal: Need to be able to run Max/Ultra graphics settings at 1920x1200 on BF3, Bioshock Infinite, and upcoming BF4.


    2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
    $1000, tax and shipping included

    3) Which country do you live in?
    USA

    4) What exact parts do you need for that budget?
    CASE, MOBO, CPU, RAM, GPU, SSD, PSU

    5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing?
    DVD Burner and a few quiet fans.

    6) Will you be overclocking?
    Yes, but only on air with stock HSF. In other words, hardly at all, but I want the option to do so.

    7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
    1920x1200, 24"

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

    9) What features do you need in a motherboard?
    SATA 6GB/s, USB 3.0, HDMI, 4 memory slots, Crossfire or SLI support (depending on video card model).

    10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license?
    Yes.

    Notes:
    Here's my initial idea for a build, but I'd appreciate any/all feedback concerning potential bottlenecks, better deals, or any way to save a few more bucks while still meeting my goal spelled out in #1 above. The ability to play the three listed games on Max/Ultra settings at 1920x1200 is the most important aspect of the entire build.

    EDIT: Update 2

    CASE: $55.00 -- Rosewill LINE-M Micro-ATX Mini Tower
    CPU: $190.00 -- Intel Core i5-3570K
    GPU: $209.00 -- Powercoler HD7870 MYST 2GB (Tahiti LE)
    SSD: $164.00 -- SAMSUNG 840 Series 250GB (540 MB/s read, 250 MB/s write)
    MOBO: $110.00 -- GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H LGA 1155 Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX
    RAM: $115.00 -- G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB - 1866) # F3-1866C10D-16GSR
    PSU: $100.00 -- PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W High Performance, 80PLUS Silver, CrossFire ready

    Total: $943

    Thanks ahead of time!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  2. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,974
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Good build, but if you can knock off another $100 somewhere, I'd try for a 7950 or better if you're sticking with AMD. While 7870 will be able to turn on Ultra at that res, it will not keep 60FPS in most cases. Especially not for BF4 >_>

    If this is a rig mainly for gaming, GPU is more important above all else.

    Are you planning to go CF anytime soon or do you just like the option to do so?

    If not, cut the fat and focus on getting the best GPU you possibly can, as that will make the biggest difference as long as you don't have a bottleneck elsewhere. You can skimp on RAM/PSU/SSD size and it won't kill you any (and unless you forgot the "Pro" in that 840 listing, skip the non-Pro TLC version -_-). Also, if you're not going CF in the next 365 days, you can then get a smaller PSU easily, cutting costs there as well. Heck, you might be able to reuse your existing one then, if compatible.
     
  3. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Thanks for the feedback! I do plan to go CF as soon as I can hide another $200-$300 from the Mrs! LOL! That's the reason for the large PSU up front, for sure.

    The SSD size is definitely larger than I need, but none of the cheaper 128GB options appear to have the same read/write performance as these 840-series drives (even the non-PRO versions). Can you point me to a good 128GB solution that would shave some dollars from the total price, but also still perform as well as the 840's?

    Also, this Myst edition of the 7870 is said to OC to 1200/1600 without much effort, which is pretty darn high and VERY close to the 7950 performance. Are you sure that won't hit the 60 fps?

    Thanks again for the feedback! I definitely wouldn't mind grabbing the Powercolor AX7950 Boost GPU instead, but that is another $90 I'll have to find somewhere else in the build. Any specific suggestions to do so would be MUCH appreciated!

    EDIT: Microcenter has the 3570K CPU for $190 right now, so there's $30 off the total already! I just need to find at least $60 more in saving to step up to the 7950AX GPU.
     
  4. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  5. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,974
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    The problem with relying on SSD read/write speeds is that -- similar to RAM speeds -- they are pretty worthless unless you have something to compare them to.

    You won't even notice the real world difference between 128GB read/write SSD speeds and the advertised speed of 840-series 256GB because of other bottlenecks, either within the OS being used or the way games are coded. Unless transferring from SSD to SSD (or even SSD to RAMDISK), which I don't think you plan to do atm. For example, can you justify loading an area ONE second faster due to speed increases? While the numbers look high on paper, the real world difference is disappointingly low unless you get into the extreme end ($$$$$$$).

    NOTE: The deals on 256GB SSDs are much better than 128GB atm though, so if you can cut costs elsewhere, please do so. Just saying the performance difference is not something you are likely to see in real world practice, and you should be getting 256GB for SSD speeds + CAPACITY not epeen.

    Also, I recommend a 7950 or better because BF4 multiplayer may be pretty taxing. While it will definitely be playable with either card, you specified the desire to go MAX/Ultra, which is something I do not see the 7870 doing except to say "there, I did it".

    The user experience and longevity of a 7950 OC will be a lot better than the user experience of a 7870 OC imo. Clock speeds don't mean everything, but I'm sure that's not what you meant when you quoted 1200/1600: the 7950 will be able to do more than match clocks, which is why its performance is better and its pricing $100 more. I'd recommend a 7970, but you'd have to go used and not get scammed for it to meet your price point.

    THUMBS UP @ that build btw, Climber, and ty. I too lazy to be personal shopper
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  6. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    How do you get the 20% off on the 840 PRO? (I'm not sure what FS is.. lol)
     
  7. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,974
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    FS = Free Shipping

    20% off Promo is happening for all Samsung SSDs at Newegg at the moment, but I get taxed in California so no go for me -_-
     
  8. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Awesome feedback, but I'm really clueless as to which 128GB SSD would be worth it! lol

    As for the 7870 MYST OC info, the HardOCP review is what caught my eye:
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013...on_hd_7870_myst_edition_review/3#.UVZYeRyccmk
     
  9. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    oh... lol! I'm not seeing the 20% off in the cart -- it's still showing $239 for me? Is there a promo code for it?
     
  10. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    20% off Code SA20MAR

    Thanks to JohnleMVP in the Hot Deals Section

    I revised your build a bit, went up 15 dollars but you get a better motherboard and PSU. The 7950 is worth the cost over the 7870 IMO. Think the [H] has a review of the 660ti, 7870, and 7950 around somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.

    Here ya go on the review. Was the 660ti, 670, and 7950 cards.
     
  11. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    It's telling me that the SA20MAR code has expired. :(
     
  12. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,066
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    If you can swing it, go for the Samsung 840 Pro. Multiple reviews have shown the 840 Pro to be considerably faster than the 840 Series, and the 256GB/250GB models to be faster than the 128GB/120GB models.

    (Granted, if you're used to HDD speeds, any of the Samsung SSDs would show a noticeable improvement over an HDD.)

    As for the video card, what do you want the average frame rate to be while gaming?
     
  13. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Well bummer. The regular 840 isn't a bad SSD, but the 840 Pro is worth the extra cost if you can manage to swing it.
     
  14. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Is that TX750 PSU Crossfire-ready? I don't see that listed anywhere... or does it even matter if it's listed? Will it still have have the 4+4 connectors for two cards?
     
  15. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    I might step down to the 128GB 840 PRO for $140, but is the extra speed worth it to save the $30 over the regular 840-series 250GB?
     
  16. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    "hoping" for 50-60fps on max/ultra at 1920x1200. :)
     
  17. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Yes. You can double check the specs farther down the page. It has 4 4 pin connectors. For $10 more you can get the 850 if you're worried about the power consumption for Crossfire, but the 750TX is a good unit.
     
  18. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,974
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Even if he does 7950 CF he should be good with 750w, as those will carry 7970 CF fine (well, provided there isn't some insane OC on the 7970s)

    Also, I would not recommend doing 840 Pro for $140 when you could have gotten a 256GB 840 Pro for only $190ish if you didn't miss out on that deal. That's double the capacity, better speeds. Even if you probably will not notice the real world difference, I just can't recommend non-Pro 840 and its TLC without feeling guilty. There have been A LOT of deals on 256GB SSDs lately. The rest of the build Climber recommended looks good; just wait for a 256GB sale to happen in the next week or two, since they are very commonplace this season
     
  19. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    If all you're doing is gaming I wouldn't sweat it. An SSD is quite the upgrade over a normal HDD. However, with 128 GB SSD you may want to consider a regular 1tb HDD for storage as you'll probably fill up close to 70 GB with normal programs. Slapping some of those games on there and you'll be pushing 100GB easy. I wouldn't keep an SSD that close to full honestly so try and keep the 256gb if at all possible.

    Just go with this Crucial M4 256GB SSD for 188.00

    It is an excellent SSD and one that is in my personal gaming computer. Updated the build post with the Crucial M4 in it. Should be 1021 shipped using MC and Amazon Prime. Tax will probably bump it up since I don't know if Amazon will charge you tax.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  20. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    I run older SSD's in my HTPC's, so I know the benefits... just not sure where to save a few more bucks to hit my $1000 mark (which is already $250 more than my wife approved... lol!).

    Regarding the video card: The 7870 Myst card will probably have a twin in CF before BF4 comes out, so I may just have to count on that to reach the FPS I want down the road. I'm guessing that two of those cards in CF will be pretty insane... no?

    Regarding the SSD: OK, this is where I'm torn the most. Speeds/capacity/price sweet point still seems to be the non-pro 250GB version (or wait for a 256GB deal as Xinmosni suggested). I do already have a 7200RPM 1TB drive that will be used as storage, so space wouldn't be TOO much of an issue -- although I do really hope to fit all apps, games, and OS on the SSD.

    hmmm... I'm almost there, which is the good part! Thanks again for all the suggestions! Trust me, I'm digesting everything you're writing! :)
     
  21. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,974
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    I run an OCZ Vertex 3 128GB (the Yin to Crucial M4's Yang) and also recommend it, but that's without knowing how different the new controllers are versus Sandforce.

    Regarding space, I would not use a 128GB SSD for a current "Gaming" rig. It's simply too small to house many games at the same time. I end up picking 3-6 (depending on their size) and leaving the rest uninstalled on my HDD Raid. I don't install superfluous junk and have ~30GB free with around 3 games at the moment. I got my girlfriend a Patriot Pyro SE 256GB and she hasn't had to worry about space at all, whereas I have to micromanage my shit every time a new/huge game comes out. Only reason I haven't replaced mine is because I want to move to 3x Vertex 3 in Raid 0, but no one's selling. Otherwise, 128GB was fine when I got it 2 years ago but seems smaller and smaller as games get bigger and bigger.

    *scratches head* I don't see you being able to cut anything else but the PSU. Could always just get a smaller one / reuse your 520 in sig, then upgrade when you get second card? If reuse is possible, you're golden!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  22. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHZ OC 2 GB DDR5 240.00

    I also added the Crucial M4 256 GB SSD to the original build post. By switching to the 7870 you'll save an extra $60.00 Going XF with it should provide you an excellent gaming experience.


    If you can do this you can save yourself a good bundle and make the wife happy. The 520w PSU will be enough for the system and either one of the video cards you choose. You'll just want to upgrade the PSU for sure when you get a chance as I'm not a fan of OCZ PSUs
     
  23. aviphysics

    aviphysics [H]Lite

    Messages:
    75
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    I would say a 250GB 840 SSD will give you a lot more room for about the same price and performance is still very good.

    A 520 W PSU would definitely be sufficient, so I wouldn't bother upgrading that unless you want something quieter.

    For GPU, I wouldn't plan on XF right now until AMD gets its drivers sorted. The 7870 seems like a good GPU, from my limited experience, though I suspect it will need to be replaced in just a year or two to keep up with the nextgen crossplatform titles. You could get something like a Titan, but I think it makes far more sense to get something good enough now and then sell it in one or two generation to get something better.

    In contrast to what some others have said, I would say stick with a good CPU. Upgrading a CPU later can be a PITA. Might even have to buy new MB or RAM or buy a dated and expensive CPU that works with your old MB 2 years from. It also might be hard to sell your old dated low end CPU. GPU's by comparison are very easy to sell and upgrade. Also, the bang for the buck curve is currently greatly in favor of getting a midrange GPU now. As you go beyond the 7950, the return on investment is relatively small. I think the absolute best bang for the buck right now is the 7870 Tahiti cards, assuming they give you a level of performance you can live with and you can find one in the $210 range (seems like they keep selling out).
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  24. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,974
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    That's not in contrast to what anyone has said, avi, as neither Climber nor I have recommended cutting the CPU.

    OP will not get much bang for his buck by moving to i7 or another socket for a Gaming rig though, which is why I didn't recommend it. 3570K, like 2500K, will do him wonders for the foreseeable future. If for more than gaming, sure, knock yourself out with i7 if you can fit it in, but the 3570K (IB builds) and 2500K (SB builds) are the undisputedly best bang for buck for gaming-centric systems atm.
     
  25. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Unfortunately, the 520W PSU was re-purposed for my WHS rig a few years ago. I've been away from PC gaming for some time now, but I did build a great HTPC and 10TB WHS rig during that time. :)

    I think the only sticking point is the SSD. I'll keep my eye out for a decent deal on a 256GB in the next week, or so. I'm also going by Microcenter to grab the CPU at $190, so maybe they'll have a 256GB SSD that catches my eye!

    As always, thanks for ALL the advice guys, you've given me some great info to think about!
     
  26. aviphysics

    aviphysics [H]Lite

    Messages:
    75
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    I assumed cut the fat meant going to a lower end CPU from the 3570K. Sorry if I misinterpreted that. Personally I would get the i7, but I also bought the Q6600 back when everyone said that getting a quad core for gaming was a waste. The thing is still going strong today. It really is one of those things you have to decide for yourself and the 3570K definitely is a good chip.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  27. aviphysics

    aviphysics [H]Lite

    Messages:
    75
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    To bad about the PSU.

    All I can say about the SSD is that I got the 500GB 840 and though it is bottlenecked by my MB's SATA 2 controller, it is still blazing fast. Windows boots so fast that Steam freaks out about loading before the ethernet has time to connect up. Basically what I am saying is, I wouldn't spend to much time stressing over the SSD benchmarks.
     
  28. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,974
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Ah no, my bad, and I hope the OP didn't read it the same way. Just meant get rid of any excess if possible. I agree with everything else you posted, though, and I'm glad you reinforced the CPU points: it'd be really dumb to downgrade the chosen CPU for any reason other than some mega deal where it comes with a free 256GB 840 Pro.
     
  29. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    I just placed the order for the video card (Powercolor 7870 MYST 2GB -- aka "the HD7930", lol -- for $209)... so, after years of being away, it has officially begun again... w00t! :D
     
  30. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Good luck with your build!
     
  31. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

    Messages:
    22,043
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Does the OP live near a Microcenter?
     
  32. wtburnette

    wtburnette 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,581
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Yeah, they're king for CPU deals if he lives near one. My son and I were pricing out the build he wants to do this summer and the CPU prices were around $50 better on average at Microcenter vs Newegg or Amazon. Only problem is, those deals are in-store only.
     
  33. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    I do! Going there today to snag the 3570k for just $190 and to see what other parts they may have. :)
     
  34. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

    Messages:
    22,043
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Well no need to buy anything else from there, you'll most likely find a cheaper version or better quality part online.

    With that being said; that case is not that great at all. It has little to aboustely no cable management features what-so-ever. Look up the NZXT Source 210 Elite case. Much better case, lots of room, cooling and cable management features. It's also cheaper.

    That RAM is over priced. You will not notice an iota of performance difference between DDR3 1333 and DDR3 1866. Newegg has some XMS3 DDR3 1600 2x8GB RAM kit for $80.
     
  35. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Well those were the recommendations I gave earlier so hopefully he takes them into consideration.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  36. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

    Messages:
    22,043
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    No I did not, simply because the OP is the only thing I am concerned with. Reading the rest of the thread means I will also have to nitpick your build, which I would rather not do.
     
  37. Climber

    Climber [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,283
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Ahh you caught my op, it sounded rude so I edited it. I don't mind if my recommendations are nitpicked as it will help the OP save money or get a better system. Constructive criticism is always a good thing.
     
  38. tiraides

    tiraides [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,066
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Just a reminder: Micro Center is closed tomorrow, which is Easter Sunday (in the U.S.). So today's the last day for the current sale prices and bundle deals.

    If you buy nothing else, grab the processor and motherboard today. (Speaking of which, my recommendation on a motherboard is the MSI Z77A-G45.) If you're really serious about overclocking, however, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is on sale at MC (granted, its MSRP is around $35, but still...).
     
  39. paleh0rse

    paleh0rse [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Ok, the deals at MC were too good to pass up, so I bought everything! lol

    Here's the final build specs:
    CASE: $67.00 -- Antec Three Hundred Two
    CPU: $190.00 -- Intel Core i5-3570K
    GPU: $420.00 -- (2 in Xfire!) Powercoler HD7870 MYST 2GB (Tahiti LE)
    SSD: $150.00 -- SAMUNG 840 Series 250GB (540 MB/s read, 250 MB/s write)
    MOBO: $75.00 -- Asrock Z77 Extreme4 ATX
    RAM: $90.00 -- Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix Sport (PC12800)
    PSU: $110.00 -- Corsair TX750M, Bronze, Modular
    COOLING: $30.00 -- Cooler Master Hyper212 EVO

    Tax: $48.00
    Total: $1180.00

    Game on!! :)
     
  40. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

    Messages:
    46,062
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    If you can, go back and return the case and PSU.

    The case because it's very overpriced and won't provide sufficient cooling or space for your planned setup. Go for the Corsair 200R or 300R cases instead. The Antec 1100 and Corsair 400R are also good choices. Either way, you're just shooting yourself in the foot by going with a very cramped and overpriced case like the Antec 302

    As for the PSU, again, also overpriced since the non-modular TX750 V2 is actually of higher quality than the TX750M. Considering that only a handful of the TX750M's cables are actually modular and those modular cables are the ones you will have to use for your Crossfire setup, might as get the higher quality PSU if you're gonna end up using most of the cables anyway. So return that TX750M and go with the higher quality Antec High Current Gamer 750W or the Corsair TX750 V2.