Help with a $1400 PC


Aug 26, 2011
Hi, I had put together a $2000 computer for work and gaming, but I just spent $600 fixing my car -_- I still really need a computer for work though. I'd also like it to be able to run games at a pretty decent setting. I'd like it to be easy to upgrade from.
Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))

Budget Range: $1400ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, 3d rendering, graphic design work.

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

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any

Parts Preferences: I would like it to have an intel cpu

Overclocking: maybe in the future

SLI or Crossfire: sli in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1900x1200

Additional Comments: I would like it to be as cool as possible without having to liquid cool.

Here is the build I was going to get.

OCZ OCZSSD2-1VTXPL120G Vertex Plus 2.5" Solid State Drive - 120GB, SATA II [...] 300$159.99

Western Digital WD1002FAEX 1TB Caviar Black Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gbs [...] CatId=2459

XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply [...] 6817207017

ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard [...] 6813157269

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K [...] 6819115070

NZXT Phantom PHAN-002OR Newegg Exclusive Black Finish w/Orange Trim Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case [...] 6811146073

EVGA GeForce GTX 590 Classified [...] Family&sw=

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL [...] 6820231468

SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-/+R 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support [...] 6827151232

Total = $1999.91


Aug 29, 2006
Drop the GTX 590 and go for the 580 its 300 cheaper. And will play most games on max. You could also drop down the the i5 2500k and save some more money should get you within your price range. You dont need the 850 Watt PSU then either a 650 would work fine unless you want the ability to run SLI later. I would also opt for a cheaper Mobo like the ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard that is another $100 saved.



Oct 9, 2010

Replace GTX 590 with this:
$410 gtx 580. Cheaper, and only a bit slower. For a single 1920x1200 monitor, you definitely will be able to run any game on the highest settings (crysis on max) easily. Any game for the next 3 years you can max out the settings and get 35-40 fps as a MINIMUM. So a gtx 590 for a single 1920x1200 monitor is like chucking a jet engine in a mini cooper :). If you do needmore firepower later on, a 2nd gtx 580 will power past the gtx 590 and be only $50-100 more.

Replace RAM with this:

Your ram is $40-50 more, yet doesn't offer anything more. 2133mhz ram is all good and well, but it doesn't really HELP with anything much. That $40-50 can be used to greater effect, esp as you are $599 over your reduced to 1400$ budget.

Replace your hard drive with this:

This is $60; $20 cheaper than the WD black caviar, and this $60 HDD is slightly faster than the black caviar. With the WD HDD, you pay more for an ever so slightly weaker product. In short, everyone here considers the spinpoint 1TB as their #1 HDD, unless they don't need anywhere near that amount of space.

Replace Power supply with..:
^ the 900watt version if you plan to sli your GTX 570 / 580. This psu costs $110 - lesser than your psu and more wattage and similiar qualit.y

or the 750 Watt version if you plan on just having a single GTX 580 (note, this will power any single graphics card you choose to buy in the next 5-10 years, even the most powerful one.. so you probably can get away with this unless you are sure you are going to sli your gtx 570/580.)
That said, you shouldn't sli a gtx 580 with a single 1920x1200 monitor; its too much power for a single monitor; you don't see a TV having 10000 graphics cards because it doesn't need that many to perform its job at the highest quality. So unless you want to get multiple monitors, a single gtx 580 is already overpowered to the point of insanity :).
(heres the 750 watt version $70

cpu: no choice. or something weaker like the i5 2400. For your budget, $1400 you must buy this because if you don't, you 'll have lesser money to spend on stuff thats actually going to improve the computers performance like the graphics card, and essential stuff like hdd/memory/case etc...

at $220, it gives you 99% of the performance of an i7 2600k. If you had a budget of $2500-3000 or more, then id possibly suggest the i7, but not in your budget - You need to invest the money in your weakest areas otherwise your system will be not perform as well as it could.

Motherboard: You stated you would 'maybe' sli and 'maybe' overclock in the future.
That means you probably aren't going to, and if you are not very much.

So theres no need for the $289.99 motherboard that has 100000 features you aren't going to use, and more overclocking power than you'll ever use.
This is a good solid motherboard that will allow you to sli and overclock; even this will have more features than you can count. So dont waste your money :D

Think about what your doing; if you think now you dont want to overclock/sli in the future, you can save a good $150. $40 on the power supply in which case you can buy the 750 $70 one instead of the $110 900 watter, and another good $50-70 on the motherboard, as well as a good $30-40 on cpu coolant.

Case. this is down to personal choice, but thats far too expensive on such a low low budget :D (I sound like a broken record, but im more experienced in this ;D)

Look for a cooler master of Lian Li case - Cooler master is cheaper/more looky, lian li is the classy and many of their cases are the best lookers on the market but these good lian lis are closer to $200.

By now, i've saved you a good $650-700 if you count up the price compared to your own build.

The main differences are;

Almost identical cpu and memory (no change), - Saves $95 and $50 each
GPU: Reasonable performance decrease, but much less heat and noise and power consumption.
$320 initial savings getting my gtx 580 for $410 ..
HDD/PSU: Saves $20 and $50 respectively but the products i selected are BETTER and CHEAPER products than the ones you originally chose
For your purposes a cheaper yet performing identically mobo: Saves $140
Case: Unknown savings, hopefully $20¬. Maybe splash $200 instead for the case and make it extra classy.

This puts you now more than $100 under budget. This means you can perhaps invest in that $200 lian li case.


Best quality, yet look great, and the lian li's have extra high price savings atm :)

However listen up; theres no way youll get more performance investing that $100 in cpu, theres no way to practically spend $100 more n the gpu and no point as you arent getting multiple monitors, etc. It costs $1300¬ now, but then you gotta pay newegg tax etc.. maybe buy some parts from amazon i.e. hdd... The only upgrade i see is perhaps more ram (Is your work memory intensive??) or perhaps getting an EVGA GTX 580 or something (lifetime warranty)... ecs is a good brand but nothing on evga.. evga is the gold standard, but 'only' 60¬ more for the same product with better warranty/servicing if something goes wrong.

So yeah, ive suggested my parts that ought to replace some you've seleceted; i really put in some time close to midnight so i hope you take it on board - They are all very good suggestions and none except the gpu change will actually hurt your pc's performance by more than 1-2%... and overall it saves you 33-40% of the cost, and yea :)



Aug 1, 2011
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500k $219.99
HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ $27.99
Mobo: Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX $129.99
RAM: Gskill RipjawsX 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $54.99
GPU: ASUS ENGTX590/3DIS/3GD5 GeForce GTX 590 (Fermi) 3072MB 768-bit GDDR5 - $749.99
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200rpm $59.99
DVD: LG DVD R/W $18.99
Case: Antec 300 Illusion $44.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W $99.99

Total : $1410 after rebates.

Using a GTX 580 could save you $300.


Aug 26, 2011

That is really great advice. The only thing is that I will at some point get multiple monitors. As soon as I get enough money I will. Multiple screens is really a must have for work. So I think I wil get a sli compatible mobo, but a cheaper one than what I had, like you suggested. Thanks.


Aug 26, 2011
Oh a quick question about PSUs in general: I read somewhere something about the 12v rails and how its better to have less of them? So whats the deal with that? is it best to have a PSU with a single rail?


Aug 26, 2011