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Old May 17, 2012, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4
Default Semi-Budget Gaming Setup, max budget ~$1000

Hi everyone,

This is my first time posting. Let me start off by saying that this website is wonderful; it's extremely informative. I am looking to build a PC this summer, and would like some advice. This rig will be used primarily for gaming purposes, with some video editing and rendering on the side.

My budget (for the desktop component) maxes out at $1000, not including the monitor.

Here are some of my thoughts thus far:

CPU: Intel i5-2500k

Motherboard: Z77? Z68? I'm not really sure about this component; motherboards tend to give me headaches.

GPU: Nvidia Geforce 560Ti (most likely one of the MSI cards; I love their cooling design)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB

SSD: I'm not sure if it would fit into my budget or not; I would really like one though!

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB (open to suggestion)

PSU: Not sure about this one either. I would think a 650W power supply would be more than enough for a single card? I would like to have the opportunity to upgrade in the future though. Also, I have the mindset that a good PSU is the backbone of a good build; as such, a PSU of good quality is a must.

Case: Coolermaster 690II advanced Mid-tower

DVD drives: irrelevant, really :P

And there you have it.

One point I am unsure of is cooling; I would like to overclock my CPU as well as GPU, and am uncertain if the stock cooling solution will be able to keep up. Anyways, any advice that you guys have for me would be great! Especially along the lines of motherboard recommendations and what kind of PSU to go for.

Thanks for your help in advance!
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Old May 17, 2012, 09:33 PM
Dzzope's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Irishman in Kiev, wOOoo, I'm an alien...
Posts: 3,308

My System Specs


For a 2500k get a z68 board.

SSD, really, I wouldn't bother... it reduces boot time of the system and speeds up the load times of whatever programs - games you have on it..
BUT beyond load times, there is nothing.. Personally I would give up the ssd for a better GPU..

That said, it depends on your gaming needs and if load times bother you or not.. (they don't bother me and I like all the shiny turned on to max)

Ram, basically get whatever.. makes very little difference unless benching

PSU, 650W from a seasonic based one.. (Seasonic, xfx antec corsair etc)

Case is decent for air-flow though I think there are some better ones for the same price (though not as good looking)..
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Old May 17, 2012, 09:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4

Thanks for the reply!

with respect to cases, what better ones for a similar price do you recommend?

Also, what would be a decent upgrade to the 560ti without blowing a ton of money on it? :P
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Old May 17, 2012, 09:41 PM
sswilson's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 17,251

My System Specs


I was pretty happy with my seasonic based XFX 1K unit, and their lower end units are usually a pretty decent price point.

As far as aftermarket cooling goes.... yes you need it!!!! Stock coolers bite these days and have a hard enough time keeping procs cool at stock speeds let alone with any kind of OC applied (and you're getting a K so I'm assuming some OC is in the works). It doesn't have to be a ton of money.... if it's a budget build, then there are always budget coolers (like the CM Hyper 212+, but I don't think it's quite the darling it used to be) for well under $50, and that's money well spent.

edit: as far as cases go... you really can't go wrong with the CM budget choices, but you might want to have a look at the bitfenix cases as well... I'm a big fan of how they're marketing their cases with modding options.
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Old May 17, 2012, 09:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4

Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely look into other cases. And yep, I am planning to overclock my CPU and GPU to reasonable levels, so non-stock cooling will definitely be another thing to watch out for.
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Old June 7, 2012, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 25

You're right in that stock cooling probably won't get you very far when overclocking. You can pick up a Noctua NH-D14 for $49 on sale sometimes; it's a great cooler.

Have you looked at the new i5 3750k? The price is comparable with the 2500k.
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