First time builder, $1000 - $1500 gaming desktop


Sep 20, 2011
Hello everyone,

I've always bought premade systems and have recently realized how much money i wasted doing this. Thus i am finally going to bite the bullet, spend a few hours googling and put one together myself:

Approximate Purchase Date: tomorrow hopefully

Budget Range: $1000 - $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

Additional Comments: N/A

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS70 OEM - OEM

Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

As for the mobo i am pretty sure the Z68 is the best choice for me but there is a $100 range between these 3 models and i have no idea what the difference is or what i need...

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

And please forgive me in advance for the stupidity of these questions....

1) Are all these parts compatible?
2) Is the PSU large enough?
3) Do i need to get any cables to connect any of the components or will they be included?
4) Any glaring omissions? Important parts i will need that are not on the list?
5) Do i need any type of network card?
6) Will this system be compatible with a 3d monitor and the nvidia glasses?
7) Should i add a sound card if i will be playing with surround sound headphones almost all the time?

Obviously i know i will need a case but assume that any full size tower will work with just about anything so i more concerned with getting the right components. But if anyone knows a relatively cheap one with good ventilation/cooling feel free to suggest it.

Thank you all very much in advance for the help, it is much appreciated.



Yes the components are compatible.
No you do not need more power.
I recommend that you add an SSD.
The WD Caviar Black is a good drive, but if you go SSD I'd opt for a cheaper green drive (Samsung or Hitachi) for storage.
Plan to pay extra for a 3D monitor.
Cables should be included with the mobo but if not they are cheap.
You shoud get an aftermarket CPU cooler.
I recommend the Corsair Graphite 600T case.
No network card is needed because a LAN should be on board the mobo.
I recommend a sound card to take the stress off the CPU & mobo.


No you still wouldn't come close to that, you'd need about $2K for that build but here's a detailed one if this suits:

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 400R - $99.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX-750 V2 - $104.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $179.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ - $29.99
RAM: 16GB Kingston Hyper X Gray PC 1600MHz (4 x 4GB) - $54.99 each ($104.99)
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $227.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB - $139.99
Video Card: 2X XFX Radeon 6950 2GB - $249.99 each ($499.98)
Optical: Lite-On 12X Blu-Ray Burner - $79.99
Keyboard / Mouse: Logitech MX520 - $49.99
OS: Windows 7 Professional - $139.99
Monitor: Asus VE247H - $179.99

Total: $2117.83



Sep 20, 2011
Thanks for all the help everyone, I am definitely narrowing it down but i have just a few more questions...

First of all, I will be going with an ssd drive in addition to the HDD.

As for the gpu, i would love to go with an ati because of the performance to price ratio but gaming in 3d is an essential to me, so i have to go nvidia i believe. Correct me if i'm wrong.

Also i definitely see that the 560 ti sli is the better choice over the single 570 but now im wondering something else. The 560 ti is priced at $205, whereas the 560 is priced at $165, so i have 2 questions:

Is the ti version worth the extra cost? Also is a gigabyte or MSI card just as good as an EVGA even though they're cheaper?

Additionally, is 750W still enough power now that im going SLI?

And just one last thing. I believe the z68 is the mobo im going to go with but the problem is there are like 8 different variations to choose from ranging from $110 to $250. I think i figured out that x16/x8 is better than x16/x4 cause the 2nd card runs faster or something like that right right? But other than that the only difference i see is the more expensive ones say UEFI BIOS instead of touch BIOS. So what do u guys think would be better suited to my needs, between these 3 for instance, since i obviously dont want to spend more if something cheaper is all i need (the first one has 3 pci slots unlike most of the more expensive ones which i thought was weird.)

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS