Gaming PC build: ~$1000+

Hello everyone! I'm not sure about the forum ethics around here but on the forums I've been on, "spoon feeding" is not accepted (asking for a complete list of stuff) so here is the current plan. Keep in mind, I have 0 experience building computers and more or less don't know what I'm doing. I've pretty much pulled everything from these two links:

GOALS: Able to run modern games like ARMA, BF4, etc. on MAXIMUM settings comfortably with room to spare for future games. I would rather go with a more expensive option than have to replace parts as games require more from computers. (I just want to be able to use it for a few years without improving stuff)

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H OR Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H ATX LGA1150
Memory: 8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz Low Profile
GPU: Most likely MSI GeForce GTX 780 3GB possibly Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case
Boot Drive: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB OR Samsung 840 PRO 256GB Is there a large difference between the two? Is the extra $$$ worth it? (Thanks, eBomzer for your input)
Optical Drive: "OEM' drive is confusing to me. I a fairly sure I can't just use any old thing off ebay. Any suggestions?
PSU: Corsair TX-650M
CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Plus
OS: Windows 8.1

Now I realize that is quite a bit over $1000, but my budget is flexible. Any critiques are welcome. Thanks! :biggrin:

BTW, I'm a mac guy so all this freedom is hard to handle. :p



Senior Member
Here is what I would change:

With all that about eliminating driver overhead with new APIs, the CPU won't be as important in gaming in the future. Nonetheless BF4 requires a decent CPU for Ultra settings but you definitely won't need a 4770k to max it out. The 1230 V3 is basically a 4770 that's $50 cheaper.
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($244.98 @ SuperBiiz)
This mobo is slightly cheaper than the UD5H but still packs most of what the UD5H offers. If you feel like you need everything the UD5H offers than ignore this suggestion.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($141.99 @ Amazon)

You definitely won't be able to max out BF4 with a 760 (I had one before). The 780 will max out BF4 and still have room for upcoming games. But if you can't shell out the $470 you can opt for the 770.
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($479.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($319.99 @ NCIX US)

For just $10 more than the 300r, you can't go wrong with the R4. I use one for my personal rig and it's amazing.
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
If you don't like the look of the R4 or if you just can't justify the extra $10, here are some other options.
Case: Cooler Master N600 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($61.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Core 3000 USB 3.0 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)

For the OS, it comes down to your preference. Personally, I love 8.1 and I have been using it since release. But if you don't dig the metro UI, 7 is still a great OS.

EDIT: The optical drive really isn't too important nowadays, unless you want to play Blu-ray or burn CDs. Don't bother if you know you're not going to use one or just a really cheap OD off of eBay.

Also, I would choose the 840 Evo b/c it is cheaper and you won't notice a difference between the Evo and the Pro.

Wow! Thank you! :D Yeah, $10 isn't much of a difference but I'll have to do some thinking on the 770 vs. 780. Definitely leaning toward the 780 since you may have saved me $50 on the motherboard.

As for the mobo (I guess thats what y'all call it?), would you mind going into detail on what the key differences are and how important they are? I pulled up the specs for each but pretty much don't know what I'm looking at.

Apologies for my newbness, but all honors in school is taking a toll and I don't have hours to spend surfing the internet. :/

Thanks again! :D

Edit: I still don't know about the CPU. I've heard great things about the Intel i7 and pretty much nothing about the Intel Xeon. Perhaps there is a difference in QC or reliability? Maybe it would be better to go with the 4770 just in case for future?

Also the CPU cooler......does your same advice to go for the EVO apply here as well?



Senior Member
Ok here are the differences between the UD5H and the D3H.

I/O on the UD5H
- 6 audio jacks
- 2 Intel NICs
- 2 HDMI
- 1 Displayport
(Btw, video ports on the mobo won't really matter b/c you are buying a discrete GPU anyways)

I/O on the D3H
- 5 audio jacks + optical
- 1 HDMI

And here are the main differences inside the mobo that I have graciously circled and labeled for you.



1. The UD5H has 2 Intel Ethernet ports while the D3H only has 1.
(you most likely won't need 2 ethernet ports)
2. The UD5H has 16 phases while the D3H has 8.
(phases are for overclocking; they provide more power to the CPU)
3. The UD5H has a BIOS switch plus a built-in power/reset button while the D3H does not.
(For overclocking purposes, if the BIOS becomes corrupt you can switch the BIOS or have different BIOS versions on each switch. The D3H has an automatic backup BIOS but you cannot choose which one the motherboard can use)
4. The UD5H has voltage read out points where you can connect an external voltage monitor for overclocking.
(Again, for overclocking. People want to be extremely accurate with their voltages)
5. The UD5H has an LED post # display while the D3H does not.
(For POST problems when you are building your computer for the first time. It's not necessary, but it makes troubleshooting slightly easier)
6. The UD5H has an additional 4 SATA ports (Marvell) while the D3H has only the 6 base Intel ports.
(won't matter to you unless you want to run 10 drives)
7. The UD5H provides internal 1394a ports (firewire) while the D3H does not.
Also, 2 more things. The UD5H has 5 system fan headers while the UD3H only has 3. The UD5H uses Realtek ALC898 codec while the D3H uses the ALC892 codec.

About the CPU, I forgot to mention the reason why the 1230 V3 is much cheaper. The 1230V3 does not include Intel HD onboard graphics. CPUs are basically made equal in terms of quality, so no need to worry about that.

I have the Evo but from other people's advice, buy the Plus instead. Performance is nearly identical between the 2 but the fan on the Plus (Blademaster) are quieter than the ones on the Evo.

Hope this helps and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Thank you for your graciousness!! ;) I'll update the build list in a few minutes. Would you mind telling me what exactly the Intel HD onboard graphics does? More is more, IMO, so is it just not worth bothering with/extra $ or what?

Edit: Few more questions: I assume the "Fan header" Just helps cool the system down? Any noise difference? Also, I sort of understand what codec is. But I have no idea what the difference is between those two....

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but POST is a system check the computer runs before booting up, correct? I was reading my dad's old computer books (1993, lol) and it was saying something about POST check....

I searched what a BIOS was but got different answers. Apparently it has something to do with gaming keyboards????

It also seems it might be better to have more phases to provide more power consistency when overclocking....

Separate question, we have Apples WiFi router in our house. What ways can I optimize a connection? I don't think hardwiring is an option for me because I'd have to drill through a floor....although I may move the router to me room to make that possible. But regardless, what ways can I optimize a fast connection? (I have Verizon FIOS if that helps)

Ok, so lets talk outside the computer case. :p I'll need a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. I have all those now but that would be like buying a gold plated iPhone and using it soley to make calls. Everyone raves about razer so I guess I'll keep in the cool crowd and go with some of their stuff if it's just that good.

Monitor: This is where I need help.

I have summarized that I would need a 120hz monitor and/or 2-5ms delay. How does that sound? I think my computer would outperform a 60hz monitor so I wouldn't want to waste all that money to have a crappy monitor, haha. Not sure what size yet, I'm leaning toward a 24" to cut cost. Any suggestions?

Edit: I feel like this is turning into a $1500-2000 build. >.< I don't want to splurge THAT much though.



Senior Member
The Intel HD is basically a built-in "graphics-card" on your CPU. With integrated graphics, you can use one of those video output ports on the mobo. Obviously these are definitely not for gaming. You most likely won't need integrated graphics since you're buying a discrete GPU anyways.

Fan headers are internal ports on the mobo that come in 3/4 pin variants. You plug fans into them so that your mobo can control them. More fan hubs allow you to run more fans on the mobo. Sometimes cases have built-in fan controllers (like the R4) so that you won't have to run any fans with the mobo. I think 3 fan hubs are good enough.

You are right about the POST thing. If there is an error during POST you can easily identify it with the POST LED read-out on the UD5H or with beep sequences on basically any mobo.

BIOS is an interface that allows you to change or update your mobo settings. It's also known as UEFI. I don't think the BIOS has much to do with gaming keyboards lol.

Are you going to run this PC wirelessly or wired? If you're running wired then there isn't much you can do to "optimize" connection. But if you're going to go wireless, you can experiment with channels, dual-band, different frequencies, etc. But most tweaks won't give you a huge difference in connection.

Hmm, $80 for a scissor-switch keyboard is a little steep. With $80 you could buy a pretty decent mechanical keyboard. Unless you prefer scissor-switches I recommend buying Razer's Tournament Edition Blackwidow keyboard or Coolermaster's QuickFire Rapid keyboards (I use the brown-switch version of the Rapids). Both are great options and give you a choice of many different switches, including Razer's new exclusive switches.

I agree, your build is getting a bit pricey. I think you would have to build a PC around $800-900 and an extra $400 for these peripherals, or a $1000-1100 PC and cut down the peripherals to $200-300 for your build to be under $1500. I would suggest sticking with your current monitor, keyboard, and mouse and slowly upgrade those overtime so that you don't have to drop the bank for all of these items.

Again, I suggest sticking to your monitor for now not only for your budget but also b/c GSync is just around the corner and you'll be kicking yourself for not waiting a little longer for this revolutionary tech.

Thanks, I'll reply in detail tomorrow. I basically can't use the monitor or peripherals I have now so I'll need something to get in the meantime. (I might be able to use the monitor. It's just not the best but the keyboard and mouse is complete poopoo)

Edit: Ok, here's what I wrote last night but didn't send, haha.

Peripherals are not included in the budget. And sticking with what I have isn't really an option. The monitor kind of works but it's tiny, the keyboard I would probably fail miserably trying to game on (I have to push the keys down a ton), and the mouse works about 3/4 the time. :p Gonna have to get new stuff anyway. About keyboards, I am a mac user, and hate PC keyboards where you have to push down the keys a lot. I think I'll like the 2mm of movement the DeathSralker Ultimate provides. About a mouse, I don't know. The rasers look BA, but I'm looking at the ouroboros, which is $150. $150. :p

Another question.....would be possible to hook up some sort of controller in leu of arrow keys? I've looked at the orb weaver, I wish I could try it out before buying though. I'm not sure how it would feel....think a microcenter or bestbuy would have a display on it?



Senior Member
Oh ok that makes sense.

Well in that case, how much are you willing to pay for the peripherals? It's up to you if you want to spend $150 on that Razer mouse or not. Personally I don't think it's worth it since it only has 4 buttons, but if you like the aesthetics and the adjustability, why not? If you think $150 is too steep, the Deathadder is an amazing mouse (I use it)

For monitors, you wanted a fast-response TN panel, right? It really depends on how much you are willing to spend. The BenQ XL2420TE's TN panel has fairly decent color reproduction for a TN panel and a 144Hz refresh rate but it'll cost you around $300. TN panels under $300 will be more-or-less the same: fast response times with shoddy color accuracy.

So I'm hearing you can use a Razer XBox controller with ARMA 3 and BF4 (BF4 having some issues). Is there anything I would need other than the controller to run it?



Senior Member
Do you mean other hardware requisites for the controller? It uses a USB port so I think you just need the controller.

Oh, ok. Yes, I thought I might need extra hardware/software. Thanks. :) Monitor wise, any idea on GSync? I've heard very little on the interwebz regarding a solid release date.

My father is inquiring about the power supply and if it is too much/too little for the current setup. What do I tell him? :p



Senior Member
Back in CES vendors were saying by Q2 (April - June), GSync monitors would hit the shelves. Nobody is actually sure when the other vendors are going to release them though, hopefully it'll come soon...

About the power supply, the TX650 has ample power for two STOCK 780s (in case you want to add in another card in the future). But if you are certain you probably won't go SLI, a quality 500w (or a really nice 450w) PSU would suffice.

Alright, thanks for the info. Tis appreciated. I had some time over spring break to go over some things and edumacate myself. :p So, as of now this is where I'm at.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($153.95 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($319.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($85.00 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit) ($94.99 @ Best Buy)
Monitor: Asus VG248QE 144Hz 24.0" Monitor ($269.99 @ NCIX US)
Keyboard: Razer DeathStalker Ultimate Wired Gaming Keyboard w/Touchpad ($247.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Razer Ouroboros Wireless Laser Mouse ($119.13 @ NCIX US)
Total: $2085.97

Plus, the sabertooth. Because of the price, I'm going to wait on a monitor until they start producing G-Sync monitors from the factory (cheaper) and I'll get a cheaper keyboard to tide me over. Because of the skimping (well, not really), I'll get the Sabertooth as a main controller. Any comments?

Oh, I decided to go with the i7, that's pretty solid.
Oh again, the power supply. I don't want to skimp. I am fairly sure that will be enough but can I get confirmation on that?

Ok, so another update. I've decided to get a cheap keyboard and use the Sabvertooth, and wait until the GSync monitors come out.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($188.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($153.95 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($319.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($85.00 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit) ($94.99 @ Best Buy)
Mouse: Razer Ouroboros Wireless Laser Mouse ($119.13 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1661.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-21 22:26 EDT-0400)



Senior Member
Looks like a solid build to me :)

650w is perfectly capable of two 770s, if you want to add another one in the future.

Ok. So some guys on another forum were saying I won't be running BF4 on ultra with te 770. The 780 is an option, but how would my power supply be with that? Also might be looking at getting the ASUS equivelant motherboard - have yet to pinpoint one.