Help on component selection - $1k build


Nov 7, 2011
I'd appreciate any feedback on the system build below. I'm stuck on a couple of the components and having difficulty choosing. If possible, please identify if you have actual experience with the components.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 weeks

Budget Range: ~$1000 Before Rebates. I don’t have a super strict budget, but I do want the most bang for my buck and do not want to overspend. I don’t need to have the fastest and the best, just what is sufficient for my needs. I don’t play the most graphics intensive games.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (LOTRO, Flight Sim X, Strategy, really don’t play the first person shooters)

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, maybe DVD burner

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any larger name reputable dealer (Newegg, Tiger Direct, Amazon, etc.)

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: None really. Prefer “name brands”.

Overclocking: Probably will try it, novice at it though, CPU only though, probably not GPU. Not interested in messing around with extreme OC’ing.

SLI or Crossfire: Down the road, yes.

Monitor Resolution: single, 1920x1200, but may be interested in 3 monitor setup down the road

Additional Comments: Interested in decent quality, reliable components. Willing to pay a few $’s more for quality and reliability. Upgrading from a 4 year old build.

Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

Video Card
I wanted to keep the card under $200, so picked the 6870, and plan on crossfire down the road. I’m struggling a bit picking the correct card. I’ve narrowed my list to those below based mostly on Newegg reviews. Good cooling is important for me since my current card overheats during gaming and is driving my new build. Interested in Crossfire down the road as well, when prices come down a bit.

SAPPHIRE FleX 100314FLEX Radeon HD 6870 1GB
Seems to have decent reviews

MSI R6870 Twin Frozr II Radeon HD 6870 1GB
Factory overclocked? Do I want that? It seems that if the card was designed to run at faster clock, it would be that way? Is there a danger of overheating problems? Also concerning is reviews with driver issues and that say I need to setup my own cooling fan profile, and that proper cooling is dependant that I do it correctly. Shouldn’t the mfg do that?

XFX HD-687X-CNFC Radeon HD 6870 2GB
Generally good reviews, but do I need 2 GB, or should I get the cheaper 1 GB below? Only thing I read is that 2 GB could help with multi-monitor setups, which is something I may want to try later.

MSI R6870 Hawk Radeon HD 6870 1GB
Generally good reviews, clock speed at 930.

XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB
Cheaper 1 GB version of above XFX

The 650 is a little cheaper than the 750. I ran some numbers and 650 is probably the min I would go.
Antec EarthWatts Series EA-750 Green 750W

Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

I currently have a NZXT window-sided case with a side fan and I like it. The Storm Enforcer was similar and had decent reviews. However, I am concerned that it does not have a side fan option for the window and am worried about cooling over the GPUS. Do you think I need the side fan for proper cooling? Also want the case to have decent cable management because this has been something I’ve struggled with. Never had a case that had any special management (other than my ingenuity and cable ties), and a modular PSU is getting a bit out of my budget.

COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer SGC-1000-KWN1

If a side fan is needed, I like the 2 cases below. The IN WIN looks like a nice case, but a bit pricey. The Rosewill is a similar looking case, but much cheaper. For Rosewill, however, concerned about cable management, flimsiness, and value of the stock fans. If I have to spend $25 to upgrade the stock fans, I might just spend a little more.


Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower

Price is right for the Gigabyte. MIS would be the pricier option if the Gigabyte isn’t a good board.

MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1

I think OEM will be fine since I don’t swap in-out a lot of components. Once in a while, I have to reload windows. And might implement SSD down the road.
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB

I’m going to pass right now until SSD’s come down in price a bit. HDD prices are rising and it’s eating into my budget. I was thinking about putting into a 60 GB SSD. Additionally, I read that SSD’s don’t provide much improvement for LOTRO gameplay. When prices come down I can revisit.


Sep 30, 2011
HDDs are cheaper in amazon by a mile.

Get this motherboard, it is one of the best for the price.

With the tri monitor setup. You need 2gb vram. get the XFX.

Get the 750w. 650w is good but it does not leave much headroom for additional parts.

The Rosewill Challenger is a pretty good case.


Jul 30, 2010
This is a build I am currently working on
Couple places to save:
Mobo: ASRock Z68 has around a $128 mobo
Cooler: Hyper 212+ is great an easy $20 saved
The case can be taken down to a $49 Roswell that will work as well too.

Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $100.00

Intel Core i5-2500K - $220.00

ASRock Z68 Extreme4 - $180.00

Enermax ETS-T40 T.B.APOLLISH CPU Cooler - $44.00

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB - $270.00

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB - $140.00

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $47.00

Rosewill Xtreme Series RX750-S-B 750W Continuous @40°C ,80 PLUS Certified - $90.00

Total: $1091 (not including MIRs/Shipping)



Jun 20, 2011

+1 to those statements


Nov 7, 2011
@cutebeans and dominyon,

I'll check out the ASRock and amazon. Thanks for the tip. Do you have personal experience with the Challenger Case? how are the stock fans and cable management with a non-modular?

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