First Time $800-1000 Build - Workstation & Casual Gaming


Jul 7, 2011
Hey guys,

I apologize for the long read on some of my comments. This is my first time choosing parts and building a computer on my own. Please bear with me.

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime next week or early Aug

Budget Range: $800-1000 (Have more budget to go further, but I am trying to stay within this range)

System Usage: Most of the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects) > Casual gaming

Parts Not Required: I got everything except O.S. WIN7 (I have been using WinXP for the past 6 years)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NCIX (Local) or Newegg (If necessary) I try to keep it local with NCIX

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: I prefer GeForce over Radeon in terms of video cards. (But If I must, I can switch to Radeon Cards)

Overclocking: Maybe (I am a total hardware noob as I have no idea how to overclock. I am willing to learn if I need to in the future)

SLI or Crossfire: I do not plan to SLI right now. Maybe in the future.

Monitor Resolution: I am currently using dual monitors for work purposes: 1680x1050 & 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I have done a lot of reading and researching for the past weeks. I am hoping to get an advise on my current build if they are sufficient enough for Adobe Suite CS5 and as well some games (Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Vindictus, Witcher 2). I do not absolutely need to run these games at MAX settings (although preferred), but I am looking for mostly performance and smooth flow.

I am also currently looking into my very first SSDs. But after reading so many review and topics in the forum, it seems like SSD does not seem to have a very long life span in general. I like my parts to last for a good 3-4 years before I replace them. The only SSDs I am considering are probably Intel 320 or Crucial C300 as they seem to be the most reliable and stable among all of them. So jury is still out on this one...should I get a SSD for my system usage? Thanks guys.

My Current Build:

*I have a friend working at NCIX and can get ~10% off on some of the items.

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core - $219.99

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 - $129.99

My friend recommended me this one. But I heard this motherboard is not very good OC-ing in some of the Newegg reviews. So I am not sure what would be a good motherboard for my usage. I do not intend to pay more than $150 for the motherboard. Looking for the best and bang-for-the-buck type of mobos. Any thoughts?

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr II OC - $229 (after $20 MIR)

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 8GB CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 - $80.87
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 - $59.99

I read many forum topics here...and G.Skill Ripjaw seemed to be the most used RAM overall, and they seem to be cheaper than Vengeance by $20. However, I have heard from my friend who works in RMA that they've been getting a lot of returns for the Ripjaws due to instability? So I am sort of debating here. Please enlighten me on this one.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar BLACK 1TB - $89.98
or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99 spinpoint f3

It seems like the Spinpoint is the favorite among the forums over the WD Caviar Black (probably due to the huge price range). It is a bummer that NCIX doesn't sell the Spinpoints f3. The question Spinpoint faster and quieter than the WD? I have read over the forums, and it seems they are roughly the same except the price. What do you think guys?

Case: Coolermaster Haf 912 - $59.98

PSU:Antec High Current Gamer 620W or 750W (For SLI in the future)

DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X - $19.99

O.S: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.97 (PMed via Tigerdirect)

SSD: (Optional) Intel 320 120GB or Crucial C300 128GB
Still debating on this one.

Please advise.

Thanks guys :)


I think the Mobo is fine for your use, just because the mobo is not ideal for overclocking, it doesn't mean that you couldn't overclock.
Unfortunately the better OC boards go for $160-200.

The main issue i guess is the VCore a clip here about it courtesy of newegg:
-- start clip --

Pants the Smeargle
7/21/2011 4:40:09 PM

Pros: this motherboard has been everything i've ever wanted.

Cons: absolutely none whatsoever. it's been a dream.

Other Thoughts: THIS BOARD DOES OVERCLOCK. certain people on here have not spent time to take a second look at their bios. the people saying that you cant alter the vCore are WRONG. i currently am using this board with my 2500k overclocked to 4.7 with a vcore of 1.4. THERE IS LITERAL NO VCORE OPTION. but what we have is DYNAMIC VCORE in voltage control. you pick increments of voltage to add or subtract from your vcore. simply bump your multiplier up one at a time while stress testing in between. eventually stock voltage wont do it for you any more this is where you bump up your DYNAMIC VCORE. then continue to overclock. it's really not that difficult and people who are claiming that you can't change core voltage clearly didn't read their manual nor look on the internet for help. you're welcome.

-- end clip --

So it's probably fine.

RAM: Well since if they sell more they get more RMA's as well. Unless the percentage is significantly higher you don't really have to worry. And i'm sure Gskill will get you a memory set that will work, eventually anyway.

HDD: easy: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - fast, cheap, reliable - bang for buck is much much better than the WD, esp since the samsung is faster :)

PSU: Go 750W here, gives you headroom to SLI, OC CPU and the GPU's.

SSD: if you want to go for more speed: OCZ vertex 3


Jul 18, 2007
Hi, SSD performance rocks both in gaming and photoshop!!!! it is better to put it since the begining to put the OS in it...

I'm happy with my 120gb Intel 320 but the OCZ vertex 3 are faster and 20% more expensive...


Jul 7, 2011
Thanks guys for your inputs.

@rvilkman: Thanks for advice. I will stick with my current motherboard for this build. I probably will go with the Ripjaw and the Spinpoint F3...since so many people swear by these.

@mvx15n: Thanks for the heads up. I have been leaning towards Intel 320 for the longest time (Until recently I found out about the 8mb bug). I think I am definitely going to go for SSD, but probably just not now for the time being.

Overall my build will look like this:

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core - $219.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 - $129.99
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr II OC - $229 (after $20 MIR)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 - $59.99
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $59.99
Case: Coolermaster Haf 912 - $59.98
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 750W - $69.99 (after $35 MIR) from Newegg
DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X - $19.99
O.S: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.97

Am I ready to push the order button :D?


Aug 3, 2013
i know its AMD but its amazing, (i use this build):

CPU:AMD FD8350FRHKBOX FX-8350 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition ($194.67 @ Amazon)

Motherboard:GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard ($133.99 @ Amazon)

PSU:Corsair CX750 Builder Series ATX 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Power Supply ($88.24 @ Amazon)

Graphics Card:EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2762-KR GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)

RAM:Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL9 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin Memory BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00 ($66.18 @ Amazon)

Case:RAIDMAX Seiran ATX-902WR Red Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($64.99 @ Amazon)

Total: $808.06

~Supports 3-4 Monitors (more monitors, Slower PC)

~Runs all games, even crysis on high-MAX maintaining around 50-80 fps - Minecraft 300-500 fps

~PSU will last around 4 years

~High end CPU and Motherboard

~Motherboard supports 2 CrossfireX graphics cards and 2 SLI cards

~Motherboard supports Overclocking extremely well

~Latest AM3+ slots

~Graphics card is already overclocked (So you dont have to, makes it easier)

~RAM is DDR3 1600Mhz 1.5V 8gb (4gb 1333Mhz DDR3 is still standard for everything so having 8 is amazing for multitasking)

~The Red/Black/Blue Case (depending on which you choose) Has ALOT of space for building and adding parts

~The Case has a no-tool design so you dont have to unscrew the DVD ROM, HardDrives, or SSD's

~For $800 you cant go wrong with this build, This is very upgradable and will last years. (this is gonna be my life PC - ill keep upgrading it throughout life)

~You get to build it

~8 Core CPU allows for extreme multitasking. (if you had 2-4 monitors youll be able to have things like: Skype, A Game, Internet tabs in Google Chrome. All open at once)

~With a 8 core AMD pc you'll be able to record,upload and stream faster (for videos)