$1200 Gaming System - Need Advice


Apr 16, 2009
Hello Everyone,

It is about time for me to build a new PC. I am not new to homebuilt systems, but it has been quite a few years since I have purchased any hardware. For shits and giggles, here is my current "gaming" setup from my last upgrade:

Athlon 64 3000+
1 GB DDR 200 RAM
Geforce 6800 GS
Some podunk MSI motherboard

Bahahaha. When the weather is right, sometimes I can play Red Alert 3 on the lowest settings.

Anyways, I have always been broke in the past and I would end up with severe system bottlenecks. So now I am ready to build a good, solid gaming system that will last me 2 years until I graduate from college, with some upgrades along the way.

Here is what I have so far:

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

ASUS Rampage II GENE LGA 1366 Intel X58 uATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail

EVGA 01G-P3-1285-AR GeForce GTX 285 SC Edition 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

This all comes out to $1,300, which is my limit. Basically I am just looking for some more knowledgeable input -- any better performing parts, cheaper parts, etc. I have a monitor with a max resolution of 1440x600 (I think...it could be my ghetto video card imposing that limit) so if I could get the price down and throw in a decent display, I would definitely be pleased.
It looks good. I'd replace the MB with a GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI (save $40, get an additional PCI slot and an additional SATA port). I don't like that GENE thing because it's micro ATX and because one single PCI port is too little.

You can save a bit more with a smaller HDD, WD6401AALS 640GB.


Feb 2, 2008
If you are not going to exceed 1680x1050 then I would recommend a HD4870 (1gb) or the gtx260 core 216. Either one of those will allow you to max out the settings @ 1680x1050 and save you $150.
If you follow the advice above and get the HD 4870 1GB then get the GA-EX58-UD3R (not the SLI version) and save $25 more. You can also downsize the 850TX to 650TX and save another $55.

If you get the GTX 260 stick with the GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI and the 850TX, they're perfect for later SLI with that card.


Dec 24, 2008


Apr 16, 2009
Thank you for your help guys, I think I have decided to go with the Gigabyte motherboard. I am still unsure about the video card.

I already Vista and a DVD drive, so those expenses will not be necessary.