Need advice on $1000 build for a friend


Dec 25, 2012
A friend of mine is building a computer as part of his graduation present from college. He wanted me to ask this fine community what would be the best build for around $1000. He needs everything from the ground up. He does not have a preference between AMD and Intel, he knows Intel is better however AMD has better price/performance. I am currently reading through the forums for the best year end builds,,19836.html. These lists are giving me some thoughts, but I have not come to any decision yet. I am thinking due to the dual monitors AMD will be the way to go for the price difference....

Things he wants for sure (at the moment).
CM Xornet mouse (he loves mine).
Dual Monitors about 19-20"
Play most games in High-Max graphics
Windows 7 64-bit

He he is not into tinkering around and overclocking, but it would be a nice feature.

Games he plays:
Starcraft 2 WoL and HotS
Guild Wars 2
Diablo 3
Various Steam games (Crysis series and Bioshock series+ Bioshock Infinite on release)

He also does do web developing, some video editing and other stuff along those lines but nothing major.

Hope this provides a framework to go off. If I need to clarify anything please tell me and ask any questions needed so you all can have a better idea of what we are looking at.




Dec 25, 2012
Approximate Purchase Date: Beginning of next week preferable

Budget Range: $1000 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming > General Use

Are you buying a monitor: Yes (preferably dual)

Parts to Upgrade: Needs everything

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, Windows 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Tigerdirect, whatever has the best deal

Location: Provo, UT (no microcenters close by :( )

Parts Preferences: Intel preferable, but wants best performance for budget. May want AMD if that means dual monitors are possible.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Not sure, not a priority.

Additional Comments: Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Guild Wars 2, Bioshock series, Crysis series, Bethesda games (Skyrim, Fallout and etc). Use as multimedia center for movies, downloads and general use.

Building as a graduation present to himself and also to upgrade from his old macbook. He has recently come to dislike Apple and their irrepairable hardware and other practices of theirs.

Hope this is what manofchalk was hoping I would post....if not let me know. This is my first time posting, although I visit the forums daily.
If there is anything else I need to do to make this easier to rely to please, let me know!
Yep, thats what I was hoping you'd fill out.

Primary monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24". $200 ($20 rebate)

CPU: Intel i3-3220. $130

Mobo: AsRock H77 Pro4. $80

RAM: G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $44

PSU: Corsair Builder 500W, 80+ Bronze. $60 ($20 rebate, $10 promo)

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM. $80 ($10 promo code)

Case: Zalman Z9+. $50 ($10 rebate)

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM. $100

Total before rebates/promo's/shipping: $744

From here there are two options I can see, theres $250 left. He can spend it all on the GPU.
MSI Hawk HD7870. $260 ($20 rebate)

Or split the cash between a 1680x1050 monitor and a lower end GPU.
Asus VW226T-TAA 22" 1680x1050. $150
Sapphire HD7750. $100 ($10 rebate)

I would go with spending it all on the GPU, it will get him better performance and its a lot easier to add a monitor on later than it is to swap a graphics card. Also it means that if he wanted later on, he could get a 2nd 1080p instead of the 1680x1050 he would have to get if he buys the secondary monitor now.