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$1000 First Gaming Build - Future Crossfire


Mar 14, 2013
Hello all!

I am looking to build a $1000 gaming computer that can be updated in the future with a second Graphics Card. I want to be able to play most games that are currently out, as well as any upcoming games, on high or max settings.

This will be my first build, and I'm hoping it can last me at least 3 or 4 years before another full build is necessary.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month

Budget Range: Because I just purchased a PSU, my budget is now $900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (especially a lot of MMOs), Internet browsing, Watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Everything except storage and PSU

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: USA (not near Microcenter)

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Yes, although I'm still an overclocking newbie

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, I plan on adding another GPU when FPS in new games starts to become choppy

Your Monitor Resolution: Right now I have a very old CRT monitor at 1024x768, but I will upgrade to at least 1600x1050 or even 1920x1080 later on

Additional Comments: I will be playing a lot of MMOs like TERA Online, GW2, Elder Scrolls Online, but I also play some single player games like Skyrim and Sims 3.

Why Are You Upgrading: My current computer is well past its prime... I can hardly even run older games like WoW or Sims 2 with playable FPS.

I've started doing research for a new build over the past week and here is what I have come up with:
Note: I DO NOT need storage, I have a 1TB External HDD and I just recently bought a 240GB SSD. I also DO NOT need a PSU, I just purchased one.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($47.98 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $818.90

Already have:
-(Modular PSU) Thermaltake SMART Series SP-750M 750W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular
-(240GB SSD) OCZ VTX3MI-25SAT3-240G Vertex 3 Max IOPS 2.5" Solid State Drive - 240GB, SATA III 6Gbps
-(1TB External HDD) Toshiba Canvio 1.0 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive - HDTC610XK3B1 (Black)

I picked the NZXT Phantom 410 case mostly based on the look, but also because it has adequate cable management and decent cooling. I may add a side fan for Crossfire though.

I'd also be willing to consider another case if it also had a side window panel, room for cable management, and good cooling.

Any feedback is appreciated because this is my first build!

You will not see a difference between 1600 and 1866 RAM. Usually 1600 is cheaper.

Your build looks good. First build and all your components are great. I would suggest a 1920x1080 monitor. That size is pretty standard for 23/24" monitors and usually can find $150-300 (depending on how much you care about color accuracy vs response time)
Seeing that you are not going to buy a new monitor any time soon, and the type of games you will be playing, I would highly suggest you to go with a slightly lower powered graphics for now as anyways when you upgrade your monitor, you can add 1 more graphics card in Crossfire. Frankly speaking the current config is an overkill.
Or with the money saved, go with a new monitor right away...

Here are my alternatives for you current build -
HD 7850 - Still a very solid card and for the type of games would offer pretty good performance.
XFX Core 7850 2GB with 2 free games

PSU - Good alternatives that saves few bucks without compromising on quality and offering modularity as well
SeaSonic M12II 750

EVGA SuperNova 750W

Some good monitor options -


Mar 14, 2013
Thank you everyone for your feedback so far!

gkay09 - Thank you for your feedback! Although I must disagree with you about my current build being overkill. I'm sure the build seems overkill for most single player games, but MMOs tend to be very unpredictable, with a lot of characters on screen. I don't think a HD 7850 would be sufficient.

And I apologize for not making this clear earlier, but I am completely satisfied with my current monitor (even though it's old and low res).

Truth is that I'm very used to it, and I'd be perfectly happy using it for another 5 years if I had to. I was just considering a monitor upgrade in case I had some extra cash in the future, but it's by no means a priority atm. I just want to work on building a gaming pc with my budget and worry about monitors later.

I completely agree with you about the PSU though. I had originally planned on getting the Corsair HX750, but thanks to your feedback, I went back and did more searching and found a great deal for a good-quality PSU with similar specs. And it will save me over $45 after rebates!

I've also been giving some more thought to my RAM selection. I chose the Patriot Viper 3 only based on the low price (I realize this isn't always a good idea). But some other products that I've been considering are the following:

G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $65 at Newegg

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile - $65 at Newegg

I guess I like the black colored RAM (for aesthetic reasons) with a low profile so I can be guaranteed that it will fit with my CPU cooler.

As always, more feedback is appreciated!
A card whether is good or not is mainly dependent on the games you play and more importantly @ what resolutions you play. The HD 7850 the 2GB of vRAM, wont have any issues handling a large number of characters that too at 1024x768 resolution. What ever the number of characters, the card has to process only to O/P @ 1024x768. Please do check various sites for reviews and you will know what I am talking about.
Also when you go higher you can very well add another card in Crossfire, no issues. The mobo is a very fine choice and so are the new RAM options. Another nice option - Saves money but doesnt skimp on quality.
Crucial Ballistix Sport -

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