$1,200-$1,500 PC build - AVS Forum
HTPC Gaming > $1,200-$1,500 PC build
darkcreeder's Avatar darkcreeder 04:45 PM 08-12-2013
I want to build a gaming PC, but I know next to nothing about computers. If possible, I'd like to play most games on max settings. Another thing I'm interested in is learning graphic design/coding, so support for this would be a plus. My price range is $1,200-$1,500 (preferably closer to the former). I'll need everything, including a display, keyboard, ect.
If you're going to give explanations, I'd appreciate if it's in layman's terms.

Thanks.

Marafice Eye's Avatar Marafice Eye 05:21 PM 08-12-2013
With a $1,500 budget you can get something very nice, even with $1,200, the only thing that sucks is the OS and the monitor will take about $250-300 of the budget.

As for the graphic design and coding, the coding is just whatever you want to learn and the hardware shouldn't affect it much. Graphic design on the other hand, depends on the software you want to use and if that includes 3D modeling/rendering as that can be a hog on resources.

Give me a few and I'll see what I can come up with for a list.,

Questions : What size monitor do you want? What kind of keyboard? What kind of mouse? What kind of speakers (if any)

Initial List

Case: Antec Three Hundred - $60
Power Supply: Corsair GS700 700watt - $105
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 - $88
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K - $240
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $34
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 16GB DDR3 1600 - $123
Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 760 4GB - $300
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM - $135
DVD Burner: Samsung DVD Burner - $20
OS: Win 7 Pro - $140 (Win 8 is also $140 if you want that instead)
Monitor: ASUS VE228H 21.5" 1080p - $140

Subtotal runs about $1,400 before a keyboard, mouse, and speakers.
darkcreeder's Avatar darkcreeder 06:42 PM 08-12-2013
Thanks for the reply. Hmm... I want to get into the video game developing business, but I'm also a novice. I won't be able to take a college course for about a year, so whatever you recommend is fine.

Like I said, I have little experience with computers (having only owned two laptops that both got bad viruses). For a keyboard, whatever you recommend is okay as long as I can type easily. I write, so it would need to be comfortable. Again, whatever you recommend for a mouse is fine. Do I really need speakers, or can they wait? I'm getting a sound bar for the TV I'm buying, so maybe that will do. That display seems good, and I think I can hook a PC up to the TV, so size shouldn't really be a problem. What's the main difference between Windows 7 and 8?

Will this run games at max settings (or at least most)? And I can still stream and use the internet easily, right?
Marafice Eye's Avatar Marafice Eye 08:13 PM 08-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcreeder View Post

Thanks for the reply. Hmm... I want to get into the video game developing business, but I'm also a novice. I won't be able to take a college course for about a year, so whatever you recommend is fine.

Like I said, I have little experience with computers (having only owned two laptops that both got bad viruses). For a keyboard, whatever you recommend is okay as long as I can type easily. I write, so it would need to be comfortable. Again, whatever you recommend for a mouse is fine. Do I really need speakers, or can they wait? I'm getting a sound bar for the TV I'm buying, so maybe that will do. That display seems good, and I think I can hook a PC up to the TV, so size shouldn't really be a problem. What's the main difference between Windows 7 and 8?

Will this run games at max settings (or at least most)? And I can still stream and use the internet easily, right?

Speakers was an option, but you can just run HDMI from the vidcard to a TV if you want. That monitor has built-in speakers, not that they're really any good, at all, but they'll work for now. Or you could drop like $25 on a cheap pair of Logitech X-140s like I use.

Difference between Win 7 and Win 8 is going to vary based on who you talk to. Everyone likes to jump on the hate bandwagon due to Windows 8 using the Metro UI (looks like a tablet) but for $5 you can pretty much ditch that all-together, or free with another program. At its core, Win 8 IS Win 7 but with a smaller footprint and less usage of system resources. Given the choice of the 2, and them being the same price, I'd recommend 8 over 7, but that's me. I've been using 8 on my laptop and my desktop since the release candidate and I have no problems with it, works great and boots fast on my SSD.

This would run pretty much everything at max and 60fps, with a few exceptions like possibly Crysis 3(though you could probably max that and still manage 30fps+), or heavily modded Skyrim. Streaming is really down to the correct settings, and mostly has to do with your upload speeds. That hardware is more than enough to handle it, but your net needs to be up to it as well.

For a KB and Mouse, what I recommend is going to a store like Microcenter if there's one near you, or even a Best Buy and getting your hands on a KB and Mouse so you know what they feel like without buying blind. Logitech is the main brand I'd recommend though.

One other thing I would recommend is spending another $100 or so and getting a 128GB solid state drive for your OS drive and main programs and using the 3TB regular drive for everything else. SSDs are much faster, have no moving parts, and last longer, so having one as your OS drive is a great thing.
darkcreeder's Avatar darkcreeder 07:27 PM 08-13-2013
I'm a PS3 gamer, so I doubt 30fps would really bother me. By the way, is gaming with a keyboard easy to get used to?

I can always upgrade, right? I know that's one thing PCs have over consoles, the fact that you can upgrade without making a totally new system.

Thanks for the help.
Marafice Eye's Avatar Marafice Eye 07:57 PM 08-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcreeder View Post

I'm a PS3 gamer, so I doubt 30fps would really bother me. By the way, is gaming with a keyboard easy to get used to?

I can always upgrade, right? I know that's one thing PCs have over consoles, the fact that you can upgrade without making a totally new system.

Thanks for the help.

Hell I'm pretty much a full on PC gamer at this point and 30fps is perfectly fine to me as long as it's smooth. KB/Mouse gaming is pretty easy to get used to, but really unless you want to get into competitive gaming, you can easily get a controller and game on that. I use a wired 360 controller for racing games and certain 3rd person games like Assassin's Creed. If you get a bluetooth adapter, you can use a PS3 controller, although it's a bit more finicky to get it to play nicely where as the 360 controller is pretty much plug-n-play in most games that have controller support.

And yes, you can always upgrade. With the build I listed, you should be set for at least 3-4 years if not longer. You may want to upgrade your video card after 3 years, but honestly the rest should still be perfectly fine.

My CPU is technically 4 years old at this point, and my GPU is 3 years old and I'm still playing today's games just fine at 1080p. Not necessarily maxed out, but good and over 30fps. The only games I struggle with are Planetside 2 (but that's just poor optimization on SOE's end) and Arma 3 which is still technically in beta.
DaverJ's Avatar DaverJ 09:15 PM 08-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcreeder View Post

I'm a PS3 gamer, so I doubt 30fps would really bother me.

Once you start gaming at 60fps, it's hard to go back to 30. biggrin.gif 30 smooth is fine, but 60 is so nice.

Personally, I would notch eye-candy down to hit 60fps, but that's me. Others would be happy maintaining 30fps with extra visuals - YMMV. Good news - with Eye's recommended parts, you'll be hitting 60fps maxed visuals with the majority of games, and the most of the ones that can't you will be able to dial down to get 60fps and it will look almost identical. Seriously, you'll often be hard pressed to tell the difference between some games' maxed highest setting and one or two levels down, even though framerate improves greatly on the "lesser" quality visuals.

As he said, there's some unoptimized titles, and others that have certain sections that can bring a modern computer to it's knees, but for the most part that build is solid for 95% of the PC titles out there.
lurkor's Avatar lurkor 02:43 AM 08-14-2013
60 is the new 30. More power, more glory.
darkcreeder's Avatar darkcreeder 02:51 PM 08-14-2013
Can you provide links to the parts? There seems to be more than one type with the same name for some of them. Or maybe that's my lack of knowledge kicking in.

What part influences the FPS?

To DaverJ- I can imagine. I'm finally upgrading from my old JVC TV on Friday and I can already tell CRTs will never look the same to me.

Anybody want to recommend some games? I'm definitely getting Skyrim, and FFXIV: ARR when it releases (I played the PS3 beta, so the PC version will probably be amazing). I was thinking about Guild Wars 2, but I'm not sure yet. RPGs are my favorite genre.

Oh, how do you make sure the OS and stuff goes on the SSD while games go on the hard drive?
Marafice Eye's Avatar Marafice Eye 03:15 PM 08-14-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcreeder View Post

Can you provide links to the parts? There seems to be more than one type with the same name for some of them. Or maybe that's my lack of knowledge kicking in.

What part influences the FPS?

To DaverJ- I can imagine. I'm finally upgrading from my old JVC TV on Friday and I can already tell CRTs will never look the same to me.

Anybody want to recommend some games? I'm definitely getting Skyrim, and FFXIV: ARR when it releases (I played the PS3 beta, so the PC version will probably be amazing). I was thinking about Guild Wars 2, but I'm not sure yet. RPGs are my favorite genre.

Oh, how do you make sure the OS and stuff goes on the SSD while games go on the hard drive?

CPU and GPU influence fps the most, as either one could theoretically bottleneck the other. It's going to come down to your settings in game mostly.

For games, just keep an eye on Steam, the sales are always worth it. And also watch the Humble Bundles.

When you install your parts the first time, and boot up the first time with the OS disc in the drive, it will ask which drive you want to use, just make sure you put the OS on the SSD. After that any installs you do you ALWAYS have free reign on where you want it to install to.

Anyway, here's all the links. Some prices have changed by a few bucks already. (RAM and CPU cooler)


Case: Antec Three Hundred - $60
Power Supply: Corsair GS700 700watt - $105
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 - $88
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K - $240
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $40
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 16GB DDR3 1600 - $140
Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 760 4GB - $300
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB - $110
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM - $135
DVD Burner: Samsung DVD Burner - $20
OS: Win 7 Pro - $140 (Win 8 is also $140 if you want that instead)
Monitor: ASUS VE228H 21.5" 1080p - $140
Hawkwing's Avatar Hawkwing 11:01 PM 08-14-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

CPU and GPU influence fps the most, as either one could theoretically bottleneck the other. It's going to come down to your settings in game mostly.

For games, just keep an eye on Steam, the sales are always worth it. And also watch the Humble Bundles.

When you install your parts the first time, and boot up the first time with the OS disc in the drive, it will ask which drive you want to use, just make sure you put the OS on the SSD. After that any installs you do you ALWAYS have free reign on where you want it to install to.

Anyway, here's all the links. Some prices have changed by a few bucks already. (RAM and CPU cooler)


Case: Antec Three Hundred - $60
Power Supply: Corsair GS700 700watt - $105
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 - $88
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K - $240
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $40
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 16GB DDR3 1600 - $140
Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 760 4GB - $300
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB - $110
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM - $135
DVD Burner: Samsung DVD Burner - $20
OS: Win 7 Pro - $140 (Win 8 is also $140 if you want that instead)
Monitor: ASUS VE228H 21.5" 1080p - $140

That's a pretty good list for posting up quick. However, IMO you don't need Win 7/8 Professional. You can save $40 right there just going with the OEM premium version. In fact, Newegg just had Win 7 Premium 64bit on sale for $79 a few days ago (which would save you $60 over the above suggestion). Also, that powersupply is probably overkill unless you intend on doing SLI or Crossfire (save you another $40). You want to build a PC for real cheap, you can just wait on stuff as it goes on sale and just slowly buy the parts if you have the patience. Check out this sight for some deals (they have a monitor section too). Be careful of the "after rebate". In my experience, I actually receive the rebate about half the time. It's kinda BS.
http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_2_0

P.S. the GTX 760 is an awesome performance/value card!
Marafice Eye's Avatar Marafice Eye 11:23 PM 08-14-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkwing View Post

That's a pretty good list for posting up quick. However, IMO you don't need Win 7/8 Professional. You can save $40 right there just going with the OEM premium version. In fact, Newegg just had Win 7 Premium 64bit on sale for $79 a few days ago (which would save you $60 over the above suggestion). Also, that powersupply is probably overkill unless you intend on doing SLI or Crossfire (save you another $40). You want to build a PC for real cheap, you can just wait on stuff as it goes on sale and just slowly buy the parts if you have the patience. Check out this sight for some deals (they have a monitor section too). Be careful of the "after rebate". In my experience, I actually receive the rebate about half the time. It's kinda BS.
http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_2_0

P.S. the GTX 760 is an awesome performance/value card!

True, I just don't buy anything other than the Pro version of the OS's, so it's simply a habit.

The PSU is a bit overkill now, but it's also a tad bit of future-proofing. If he decides to to upgrade his vid card in a couple years, he'll need something 600-650w. But yeah I was just doing a quick build on Newegg, you can find deals in other places as well.
darkcreeder's Avatar darkcreeder 09:03 PM 08-15-2013
I hope I can find most of them on Amazon. I get free shipping with Prime (for most stuff).
darkcreeder's Avatar darkcreeder 09:03 PM 08-15-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkwing View Post

That's a pretty good list for posting up quick. However, IMO you don't need Win 7/8 Professional. You can save $40 right there just going with the OEM premium version. In fact, Newegg just had Win 7 Premium 64bit on sale for $79 a few days ago (which would save you $60 over the above suggestion). Also, that powersupply is probably overkill unless you intend on doing SLI or Crossfire (save you another $40). You want to build a PC for real cheap, you can just wait on stuff as it goes on sale and just slowly buy the parts if you have the patience. Check out this sight for some deals (they have a monitor section too). Be careful of the "after rebate". In my experience, I actually receive the rebate about half the time. It's kinda BS.
http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_2_0

P.S. the GTX 760 is an awesome performance/value card!

Thanks for the link. I won't actually be buying the parts until next month.
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