$1500 gaming computer, help?


Jul 10, 2011
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, 3D Animation, Music, video editing (First two equally important, and music is more important than video editing)

Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully, the next couple days

Budget Range: Around $1500 (possibly a few hundred more)

Parts Not Required: Monitor (Viewsonic 16.5 in VX1962wm, model number: VS11979), Speakers (Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Computer Speakers), Norton Antivirus

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: What ever gives me the best bang for my buck

Overclocking: Maybe not at first, but I would like to in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, I’ll go with what ever setup is the best for me

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Additional Comments: Liquid cooling if possible, I would like the case to have a nice look to it but doesn’t have to, At least 1Tb hardrive, and a decent media card reader, and of course, Windows 7 home. Even though my monitor sucks, I'd rather get a new one later and get a better part than buy a new monitor

Thanks for help in advance :)
Well at your price range, you shouldn't have any difficulty building an absolutely fantastic machine.

To be honest though, you should include a new monitor into this build. They're only $130 and greatly improve the experience using your machine. I feel like it would be a travesty to pair a beast of a brand new machine with a 2002 monitor.

I've never had a media card reader that worked consistently so I just use USB ones. You'll have to pick one yourself.

ANTIVIRUS: Norton slows your computer down like crazy AND doesn't stop viruses pretty well. ADDITIONALLY, it costs you money. Save yourself a lot of trouble and get Avast! Antivirus Home. It's better and free. You do have to register it to an email address once a year, but that's a lot simpler than paying.

CPU: $315 i7-2600K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070&cm_re=i7_2600k-_-19-115-070-_-Product
Gaming only needs the i5-2500K for amazing performance. But other things like video work (and probably 3D Animation) can use the i7.

Cooler: $60 Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
I can't find something that shows this heatsink ships with a socket 1155 mount (Sandy Bridge CPU socket). It comes with good thermal compound though (Tuniq TX-3). You only need an aftermarket cooler if you overclock. The Xigmatek Gaia ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233082&Tpk=Xigmatek%20Gaia ) is the best choice I know of for that followed by the Hyper 212+. But this one looks cooler and works great. Liquid cooling is either expensive and a lot of work to have a good working system or a gimmick (because cheap liquid cooling isn't really any better than good air cooling).

Mobo: $130 GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128502
Since you're not a hardcore overclocker, this will do everything you want very well. You'll want Z68 since you're doing video work. It's got everything P67 or H67 has and costs the same as P67. If you think you might be more into overclocking, then drop $170 on this GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128498

RAM: $65 Kingston HyperX 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104173
Gaming only needs 4GB of RAM. With 3D Animation and video editing, you can use all the RAM you can get. Consider picking up another 8GB (2x4GB) kit of equal speed (MHz and latency) in a couple months as prices continue to drop. These two are also good http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220558 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220561

Graphics: $290 PNY GTX 570 w/ Lifetime Warranty http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133370&cm_re=gtx_570-_-14-133-370-_-Product
A $200 GTX 560Ti would be amazing at gaming and adding a second would make your build max out any game two years from now (more or less). That said, your price range allows for excess.

HDD: $50 Samsung Spinpont F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&Tpk=samsung%20spinpoint%20f3
Buy this RIGHT NOW because it's only this cheap once every couple months. Regardless of what you do with your computer, this is the fastest HDD out there and the one everyone will recommend anyways.

PSU: $85 Corsair TX750 V2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021
If you go with the GTX 560Ti, you can go with the $60 XFX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207014&cm_re=xfx_power_supply-_-17-207-014-_-Product
Do not cheap out on your PSU or you risk the safety of all your components! Stick to Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, and XFX unless you have an amazing stellar thorough review of another unit. Here's a typical bad unit: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&file=print&reid=204

Case: $80 ENERMAX SPINEREX ECA5010M-B-B http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811124141
This is a personal preference thing--so you have to decide what you want. What matters most is air flow and appearance (so long as you're not getting a super cheap one so that build quality really matters). You also want a bottom mounted PSU.

DVD: $20 Any DVD-RW will do

Monitor: $140 22" LED
Newegg charges tax and recycling fees for monitors. If you live in somewhere like California, I suggest buying your monitor on Tiger Direct. All that really matters is you want an LED monitor given the choice of LED and LCD at similar prices. And 22" is the sweet spot, price wise.

SSD: $240 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227706&cm_re=ocz_vertex_3-_-20-227-706-_-Product
Install your operating system and specific programs that you want to be REALLY fast on this drive. There are other SSDs you can get, but nothing's as fast as the Vertex 3. If you want to save a couple bucks, the Agility 3 is great too.

OS: $100 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986&cm_re=windows_7-_-32-116-986-_-Product

TOTAL: $1575

You will also need SATA cables, thermal compound (I buy Tuniq TX-2 off of Amazon or ebay), and a Phillips (+) screwdriver.

You also have to check cooler clearance inside your case. Some larger coolers (like the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme) won't fit in a lot of cases.

Do you care about blu-ray? That'll cost you $60 for a BD-RW on sale. Right now Blu-ray burning media is too expensive.

If you sign up for Newegg's email list, there will probably be some sales this weekend or next that will save you $100 total or so. I'd buy the HDD and case now though.

jason gran

Aug 25, 2010
Case: Cool Master storm scout-$89
Awesome case. High airflow. relativly cheap. big enough for all components

Cpu: intel i7 2600k-$314
FAST FAST FAST. You can overclock this chip far greater than any other chip around. Beats out the $1k i7s at some things. realiable and will stand the test of time

Cooler: cool master 212+ push/pull-$49
Easy to install. cooling is 1st class. Brings down cpu temps dramastically allowing higher overclocks

Thermal paste: Shin-etsu-$5
Nearly the best thermal paste ever made. non conductive. drying time is instant

"Dalauders Recommendation Mobo: $130 GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128502
Since you're not a hardcore overclocker, this will do everything you want very well. You'll want Z68 since you're doing video work. It's got everything P67 or H67 has and costs the same as P67. If you think you might be more into overclocking, then drop $170 on this GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128498

Ram: Corsair vengence 2x4gb-$75
Reliable brand. has heatsinks attached to the ram. looks cool. IS FAST

GPU: MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDr-5-$249
Fast. overclockable. msi software is easy to use for overclocking. SLI'ing it will max any game

PSU: Corsair hx650watt-$119
Modular (you choose what cords you need, less clutter, better airflow) Reliable. 7 year warranty...need i say more

harddrive: Spinpoint-f3-$50
Fastest 7200rmp drive. realiable

SSD: OCZ vertex 3 60gb$159
Has enough room for a game or 2/os system for faster load/startup times

OS: Windows 7 64bit premium-$99
64bit allowing 4-24gb of ram

Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner-$20
Fast. cheap. reliable

Screen: LG E2260V Glossy Black 22" Full HD 1920 x 1080p 5ms LED Backlight Slim Design 5,000,000:1-$169
Fast. clear. color is amazing. contrast is high

Optional Total: $1527
**before shipping+taxes**

Building ADVICE:
1)Get a modular psu. less clutter. more airflow. lower temps. looks cleaner.
2)Get An SSD. faster load times/startup is the best way to make your computer seem faster and make you believe you got what you paid for.
3)You get What you pay for most of the time. Cheaper parts are just that..cheaper parts
4)ground yourself to your case using a static strap and or mat
5)Turn your case on its side while u build reducing any accidents that can occur
6)Do you research. Do not take someones build and just buy it. make sure you understand what you are buying. You can save yourself alot of money if you substitute items. ie. mobo/ram/gpu/case/psu
7)I agree with dalauder. norton uses alot of resources and isnt all that good. I use AVG personally but avast is just as good. both are free and use less of your computer
@jason gran--He's into video editing. How can you recommend P67's and ignore Z68's Quicksync?'

I personally think the 60GB Vertex 3 is too close to the 120GB ($150AR vs $240) to warrant the downgrade, but that's the OP's call.

I thought the Hyper 212+ was $30? Why is it $50 on your posting? That doesn't seem worth it since it's louder than the Gaia with almost identical performance? Or is there something different about this model I'm not aware of?

Shin-etsu: That stuff is the best.

$100 (AR) for a 650W just sounds like overkill to me. The XFX $60 one is good enough if your case has any cable management. Has anyone actually noticed the Corsair TX series being inadequate? The TX and HX series are both made by the same manufacturers (Channel Well and Seasonic).

I understand the downgrade to the GTX 560Ti, but I don't know if the Twin Frozr II is worth $30 on the Palit version: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814261100

Do you have any reason to recommend the more expensive Corsair Vengeance over the HyperX? Kingston is a top notch name in RAM nowadays (based off of all recent benchmarking I've seen). I'll accept that the Vengeance looks way cooler though. I paid more for my RAM largely for that reason (I was doing a red and black thing).


Jun 19, 2011
Here's a portable computer that fits your needs... It looks cool, it's fast enough to play on BattleField 3 on max settings at it resolution, and best of all, it's at your price range!
And if you want blu-ray and more space on HDD, get this:

Note: You can change one HDD for SSD... Also Here's a video for a review:
The monitor I originally posed was D-Sub (VGA) input only. That's terrible! VGA just doesn't look nearly as sharp as DVI. Don't get the one I posted. Although I think $169 is a bit steep for the 22" jason gran posted. I'll try to find a new monitor.

@Legendkiller--That's a heck of a laptop (although I think it's a tad overpriced). I wonder if the OP's considering laptops.

jason gran

Aug 25, 2010

It seems like you're taking this way to personal, as if your build wasnt good enough. HE asked for builds that is what im giving him. Everyone has their own opinions.
1)You're right,the z68 slipped my mind. You recommendation is a very good choice. thanks
2)ssd depends on what the user needs. I recommended what most people use it for which is just the Os/1 or 2 games
3) The Hyper 212 is 30. the extra pull fan however is 10-15 plus tax. (seems as if the 212 price raised too. hmm)
4)It comes down to modular. you pay the extra for airflow/case cleanliness. He can decide You/I are just giving him facts/options. XfX and corsair are 2 of the best brands however i perfer corsair for their realiablity and warranty
5)Msi version will run cooler. has higher class parts and has very easy overclockable technology. not saying pny does but ive never experienced it or heard if they do?
6)Corsair has always been reliable, long lasting, amazing warranty. Your option was $10 cheaper. Both are good choices however IMO get the corsair. looks/reliablity are better.

jason gran

Aug 25, 2010

You are not competing for anything...seriously, you're offering advice for a new build. If you find something better/cheaper than post it. It gets you further than attacking someone. $169 for those specs/looks/slim design is way more than fair. You can always find something cheaper but you get what you pay for. looks/specs/efficiency probably degrade along with the price. however if you find something more reasonable i have no problem switching my future recommendations, you arnt just helping him. you help the others who offer their thoughts and make them think twice.


Jun 19, 2011

How is the Laptop Overpriced? IDK what you mean but it's perfect for the price for what it got LOL...
Okay, you're right. I sound like I'm taking this too personally. Unfortunately, text cannot convey a tone very well. I didn't mean to be attacking anyone. I suppose I should've identified the monitor by it's name rather than your name--I was merely intending to identify it. $169 is fair for the monitor--I prefer slick deals though. I pretty much don't buy a single thing that's not on sale.

2) As I said, the SSD is the OP's call. I figured he'd want to transfer files he's currently working with so the larger size could matter for videos or something like that. But it's helpful to show the price of the valid alternatives.

3) Hyper 212+ Push-Pull is $50, got it. I thought I might've been missing something. That should be one amazing cooler.

4) Modular is nice and likely worth it at his price range.

5) PNY is not as high of quality as MSI. That's not to say it's garbage--just not MSI or better (like XFX for example?). I just figure that if he's going with the GTX 560Ti, it's to be cheap so he may as well go cheapest to make sure it's worth it. (Like if you're getting an AMD, you may as well get a $75 CPU because anything fancier is a waste).

6) $40 (after $25 rebate) Kingston HyperX 8GB (2x4GB) http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/54934/buy.com-8gb-2x4gb-kingston-hyperx-ddr3-1600-desktop-memory

Build recommendations are tough when the budget is adequate to choose between parts instead of just recommending the cheapest.

Laptop Price--I just mean that all it's got over the $900 HPs i7-2630QM 17" laptops is a GTX 560M instead of a Radeon 6770M and some RAM that will barely get used. That's not much for $900. I'd rather install a $240 120GB Vertex 3 for that price. If the laptops you posted were $1,400 I'd say they were good prices. I merely can't call those ones you posted good deals. They're still GREAT laptops.

jason gran

Aug 25, 2010
Agree'd it is hard to convey tone. I'm just trying to help him and get his thoughts aimed in the right direction. i'm sorry if i got too defensive.

1) he stated he was buying from newegg.com. i wasnt sure if he was open to other sites as they have their buying programs etc. 40 for that ram is a good deal..but then again rebates are almost never expected to come. It took me over 4 months till i saw my gpu's rebate.
2) I also found my ram for $44.99 at frys or frys.com they confirm every rebate is good before they sell it to you and will even print out a rebate form for you and explain what you need to do. (curtesy of the website you posted)
3) my advice to the builder. shop around. look at every stores prices. you never know what youll find.


Jul 10, 2011
Jesus Christ Guys! I didn't relize that you'd put this much time into this. Thank you so much!

I think my parents might donate a few hundred dollars, so I'll keep that in mind.

I am subscribed to Newegg, thats how I got Norton for only $5 so it's not to big of a loss if I shouldn't use it.

I don't care about Blu-Ray, I have no use for it.

I would like to have desktop, I've never been much of a laptop person, and desktops tend to be stronger and cheaper.

I am open to other sites but I would much prefer to buy from Newegg, because, one, their services are amazing, and two, I get two day free shipping on everything except the case.

I think a ssd is a good idea, just something small and not pricey to run the os and a few high end games.

I've had my eye on Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case, and plus it comes with a good deal of fans and all the reviews are positve

Dammit Dalauder and Jason Gran, I'm probably now going to spend all night working through your posts, experimenting with it all :)

@Dalauder, the Samsung Spinpont F3 1TB is a wonderful deal, but I was looking for 6.0Gb/s drive

Also, on a side note, I would like to overclock, just not at first

Thanks again all of you, I would be completely lost without you guys


Jun 19, 2011

the one i posted got 16GB RAM which is $200 plus the wireless is BigFoot Killer(Something like that) for around $40... AND it's look cooler and also cool down better than that laptop... Also it has 2 HDD with 500GB each in RAID 1(Or 0) which is better than 1HDD and what i mean is that it double the speed of a regular HDD... It's not overpriced because it's a bit cheaper than that Laptop because the keyboard has all those cool colors and it's made my Steel(Something like that on keyboard)... It's perfect for the price....
6.0Gb/s--doesn't matter at all*.

*What you're talking about there is the SATA III interface versus the SATA II 3Gb/s interface. Magnetic Hard Disk Drives (not SSDs) only use roughly 1/2 the SATA II bandwidth at most. 3Gb/s is for practical uses about 300MB/s and HDDs only use up to 150MB/s. However, SSDs can utilize much more bandwidth and were bottlenecked by SATA II, so the SATA III standard is handy. However, it won't slow down a traditional hard drive at all. You're welcome to not trust my word on that, but you should find a reference to support a differing opinion before you let it impact your purchases. I own 3 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB's for a reason--it's because they're the best bang for your buck there is. (And Raiding 2TB drives is too expensive!).

SSD: 60GB or 120GB--only you can decide. I like 120GB because it will give you enough space to work with videos or other content on before you transfer it back to a hard drive. But whether that's worth $90 is your call.

That case--the Antec 1200 is a very nice case. I thought that Enermax I suggested was on sale, but it's actually just got a fat rebate--I don't like rebates.

@LegendKiller--If you like all the cool colors then buy that laptop. I'd pay less and buy the $35 of RAM myself instead of paying $200 for the upgrade. Then I'd put in a solid state drive instead of 2 hard drives and if 500GB isn't enough for me, I could always transfer files off to an external (which is a much safer place to store files) for less money. What do you do with 16GB of RAM? VMs or a RAMdisk? You've got me with BigFoot Killer--but what is that and how is it worth $40? Performance wise--the one I was suggesting would perform better for less money.
You are getting some good advice here, but I want to address the monitor issue a bit.

First off, the monitor you have listed is actually a 19" monitor capable of 1680x1050 resolution. Here is the manual:

I'm not saying this is terribly good, I'm just wanting to sort out what you actually have now. That's the only way to recommend an upgrade.

Also, how important is accurate color representation to you? Graphics professionals usually demand higher quality IPS panels in their monitors, but the question does not usually arise with 3D modeling people. It needs to be asked though.

jason gran

Aug 25, 2010
i think you'll be much happier with a desktop too. atleast that you can upgrade to stand the test of time.

1)i have the antec 902 black, its the same case as the 1200 except 2 bays smaller and i love the case. easy hook up. i have a nzxt fan controller that controls 5 fans to any speed i choose. keeps my gear quiet. only pain is removing the fan filters for cleaning. you have to unscrew roughly 30 screws to remove the screens...anoyying if you clean it as much as i do
2) 60gb should be enough for few games+os.
3)the screen i suggested is a beast. 1080x1920, 5m/1 ratio, 5ms response. 169 is very reasonable and ull notice a big difference from your current screen
4)i have the f3 in my rig and its impressive how fast the loads are
5) keep an eye on rebates/warranties
6) if you bought the i7 2600k...the only thing you would need to upgrade is the graphics cards in the future. with your parents money (if you get it) you could sli the gtx 560 and your rig would be dominating.


Jul 10, 2011
So using the tips, guidelines and recommendations you gave me, I've come up with this:

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case = $159.00

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K = $315

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 = $75

HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive = $65

OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) = $259

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard = $170

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ... = $50

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM = $100

Thermal Paste
MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material = $5

CD/DVD Drive
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM = $21

Total = 1559.85 + Free shipping on everything but the case

The reason that there is no Power supply is because: since I changed the parts from your recommendations, I'm really not sure what power supply to get.

I'm pretty sure my parents will donate to the cause, I'll talk to them tonight.

And I would like to get a monitor, but the reason that it wasn't on the list was because I just got an email from Newegg and they're having a sale on monitors, power supplys and all kinds of different parts, I would look through now, but I have to go so I'll browse a bit later. Here's the page:

You don't need thermal paste unless you are buying an after market CPU cooler.

You won't get many recommendations for Hitachi HDDs on this board. Most people favor the other major brands. WD would be my choice for a data drive paired with an SSD.

On the SSD, my preference is also for reliability over performance. I would favor the Intel 120GB 510:

Or the 160GB 320 (which I own)
Hitachi HDD?

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB is the fastest and (except for 1.5TB & 2TB sales) the cheapest. It's on sale on Newegg right now. Get it while it's hot! 6Gb/s (SATA III) won't do anything for your hard drive--that only helps SSDs.

I don't know about reliability with the SSDs, but I haven't heard OCZ Vertex 3's are bad. I do know they're fastest.

Power Supply & Graphics: If you go with the GTX 560Ti, get the 650W PSU we recommended. If you go with the GTX 570, get the 750W PSU we recommended. The GTX 560Ti is plenty for graphics and if you eventually go SLI, it's sheer awesomeness may cause your head to explode. That said, the GTX 570 is slightly more awesome, but less bang for your buck.

Parents: Are you a student? If so, you can get Windows for $30.


Jul 10, 2011
I am a student, I'm going into my junior year of highschool, so that would be great.

I talked to my mom and she said she could bump up my budget to around $1800

And in terms with monitors, I found this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824254052&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL071211&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL071211-_-EMC-071211-Index-_-LCDMonitors-_-24254052-L09C
$50 off and you get a $30 off code.

I've noticed that in all your suggestions, you've gone with the GTX series, since I'm trying to get the best parts for my budget, would it be better to go with what you suggested instead of the Readon 6970 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102915)? It seems to be a pretty powerful card.