$1000~$1300 new build (Gaming / programming)


Sep 29, 2011
Approximate Purchase Date: This week ~ 1 month. Hopefully in time for BF3, but if costs will drop from new hardware released... than I'm willing to delay, or if there are good combos right now I'll do it now.

Budget Range: $1000 ~ $1300 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming(BF3, SC2 and others, but these 2 have the highest reqs), programming, video/image editing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel / Nvidia

Overclocking: Maybe, I have to do more research

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024, 1920x1080

Notes: I switch between a CRT monitor (1280x1024) and my Acer H243H, depending if I want to play my ps3 while computer's running. I may also buy a 50''-ish TV and hook desktop up to that occasionally for giggles if that counts for anything towards the GPU.

Additional Comments: Price and quality are big priorities, shouldn't have a problem with cooling as I don't plan on OC'ing much. I've been lurking on the forums here for about 2 months seeing what people are building around this price range and I think I have most of my parts chosen... but I've got a few questions about a few parts.
This will be my second custom built computer, my first one was... interesting, I had a little help from a friend who I thought knew his stuff but apparently let me buy an 800w PSU when I really didn't need it (my fault for not researching thoroughly)

Warning, lots of notes as I like to provide information to get a better understanding.

CPU: $219.99
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

Cooler: $26.99
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel

Notes: If I don't OC the CPU, I can just go with the regular I5 2500 and save some money there.. Is there a noticeable difference between stock 3.3GHz and OC'ing to somewhere around 4.0Ghz or whatever people do nowadays? (I've never OC'ed before if you can't tell)

RAM: $99.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9Q-16GBRL

Note: I've read on a lot of posts that 8gigs is overkill, or future proof. Reason I want 16 is because I plan on doing development work (programming) and learning how to do video/photo editing, specific programs are UDK / blender / GIMP. UDK "recommended" is 8gigs, and blender is between 8~16.

MOBO: $113.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Notes: No particular reason that I chose this mobo, I think I may have got it from another of the new build threads. Do you guys know of better deals / combos / reasons I should use something else?

GPU: $489.99 ($20 MIR) = $469.99
EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Notes: I really want the 580 for a single card GPU, I 'might' SLI in the future, but it seems if I don't do it within a year or 2, I might as well skip SLI because everything will be outdated?
Also, do number of fans matter? Like the mobo, I don't have a particular reason for choosing this vid card either, although the $20 MIR is nice. If multiple fans make a difference in cooling or better performance or whatever, I'd go with that.

PSU: $114.99 (Was $159.99?)
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-900 900W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE

Notes: Future proofing incase I want to SLI, if I don't want to, I can cut costs here and drop to.. I think people said 700w for a single GTX580.

HD: $54.99
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Notes: I considered an SSD but the cost / benefit of it doesn't seem worth it to me at this point, I might get another HD 250GB or something for my OS.

Case: $99.99
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

note: I currently have for my first comp

most reviewed case, liking it. Problem is it doesn't have USB 3.0, I would really like USB 3.0 as I forsee myself transfering a lot of stuff between the machine and external HD's.

Reason I chose the HAF922 is the $10 MIR, the dust filters look good, 3 fans, and can turn off the red LED(no offence to those who like red). But it seems a lot of the bad reviews say there's broken plastic parts at the top, or broken top fan, or malfunctioning top fan after a couple months and that worries me. I need some help here in choosing a case.

Optical: $20.99 - 20.99 saving?
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B - OEM

Note: I'm confused as why this shows as $0 on newegg with the $20 saving

Total: $1,220.92

After MIR = $1190.92

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


Oct 21, 2009
Couple of quick things:
Asrock extreme3 gen3 for motherboard. Ivy bridge ready with usb3 (back port) and pci3.0. If you want usb3 front port, check out the asrock extreme4 gen3.

Samsung f3 spinpoint 1TB, generally considered the fastest (and reliable) mechanical hdd.

Check out the corsair 400r and 500r for case.

Alternative 750w psu:

The antec high current gamer is a decent choice too. And i believe it comes in a 750w version, if that's what you need.

Nim Chimpsky

Jan 9, 2011
If you won't OC, then yeah, step back to the 2500. You can stick with the stock cooler too.

This board has PCIe 3.0, so that if you upgrade to Ivy Bridge, you can upgrade your graphics card to something next-gen. If that is your plan, I would get something more cost-effective now than the GTX 580, like a Radeon 6950 or a GTX 560 Ti.

EDIT: Hah, Sky03 beat me to the motherboard. But I wouldn't say the F3 is the fastest mechanical hard drive, just the most popular because it's relatively fast and reliable. The 2TB Caviar Black is faster, for example, and any 7200RPM 3TB drive would beat it. But for the price, I would recommend the F3 as well.


Sep 15, 2011
I also like the Samsung drive, but the Western Digital "Black" drives are even better "unless you get a dud of course, which is rare". I would not choose the drive you had listed. Trust me, there is nothing like an SSD. The Crucial m4 is one of the best and at a very good price. Try to get DDR3 1600 or better RAM. The motherboard will support speeds above 1333.