First-time Build, gaming rig 1000-1500


Nov 14, 2012
I am new to building rigs so please bear with me, if i am missing anything down below.
Thank You

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: 1000-1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Gaming, Movies and school work

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Not sure I do have a copy of windows vista

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or what ever is cheaper

Location: College station, Texas, 78595

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to upgrade to Intel CPU)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080,

Additional Comments: Would be playing games such as COD, Dragon Age 2, Sid Miers Civ 5, and auto-cad, with Microsoft work

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Old computer can’t ploy newest games anymore :( and figured that building a gaming rig is better and cheaper than a gaming laptop.
This is a list of the parts I am thinking of buying.

COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case:
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ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard:
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Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-750 750W Continuous @ 50°C, 80 PLUS GOLD Certified, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92, SLI Ready, CrossFire Ready, Active - PFC Power Supply:
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Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770:
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OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD):
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G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL10D-16GBXL:
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LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM SATA 12X Blu-ray Burner with Blu Ray 3D Feature IHBS112-04 - OEM:
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Linksys WMP600N Wireless Adapter with Dual-Band IEEE 802.11a/b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI WEP, WPA & WPA2 Personal, WPA & WPA2 Enterprise:

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/FM2/AM3+
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GPU: not sure yet. maybe a 680 or a 7970

Feel free to create a new list no problem with me.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($285.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $892.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-15 01:55 EST-0500)

Maxing everything on a single monitor with the 7950 will be no problems, you also get 3 free games (far cry 3, Sleeping Dogs , and Hitman). You won't need more than 8gb for gaming.


Nov 14, 2012
Can someone else give me their opinion on this build or a better one, and can someone tell me if it would be worth to get the Nvidia 680 or get something cheaper.
Thanks you guys


Jun 12, 2012

I like this build except that you put a locked CPU into a Z77 case. OP, this is a good build, just swap the CPU listed here for the i5 3570k, which is unlocked and will take advantage of the Z77 board.

Yes. There's no point. In gaming, you won't use the extra CPU power, so why pay the premium for it? The i5 3570k is really in a sweet spot of performance and price right now.

The 680 isn't really worth its price. The benchmarks show that it doesn't really perform much higher than the 670, but it costs significantly more. The GPU above is a good option, but check out this article and pick the one in your price range:,3107-6.html

They say in the $400 range that the 7970 is the best option, and I would agree with that. You can always Crossfire it in the future, as well.

Also, you live in College Station (hello fellow Texan, I'm in Dallas myself), so if you can make the drive to either Houston or Dallas, you should ABSOLUTELY do it and hit up the Microcenter for a great price on your CPU and MOBO. They have the i5 3570k for IIRC $179.99 in-store and generally run a promo where if you buy the Ivy Bridge CPU with a Z77 MOBO then you get an extra $50 off. Nobody else can beat that price, so it's worth the trip IMO.

Here's the Microcenter link to the Houston store: