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First Build in 8 Years, Mid/High-Range Gaming Build < $1000

by jwaysted



CPU Clock Rate

3.4 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.2 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.35 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

62.0° C


The last time I built my own computer back in the Radeon 9800 pro days, once that got outdated, I started using a crappy stock HP desktop with a HD 5670 for the past 3-4 years. I finally landed an I.T. job and had the funds to buy something nice for myself. I was looking to build a mid-range gaming computer with a budget of less than $1000. Through several months of saving up money, researching, and finding sales, I finally built a system that I am content with.

I know I could have gone with a non-mechanical keyboard and just bought a 7950, but I have been thoroughly enjoying the feel and responsiveness of my Storm Trigger, and I do not regret buying it one bit.

I have not OC'd my CPU & GPU yet, but I plan on doing so in the near future.

I also tried with my cable management, it looks all right, but I feel like I could have done a better job. :/


My graphics card was the last item I received, so you may notice one picture with my lame HD 5670.

My kingston SSD sata port was defective, it was really loose and fell off the first time I plugged it in. I know Kingston doesn't cover accidental damage, but I am about to send it in for an RMA early next week, hopefully they will replace it, but I am not counting on it. :(

Although PCpartpicker states that my build is ~$1200, I actually managed to get it a little under $1000 through several sales (and no MIRs).

Actual cost before tax:

i5 3570K: $169.99 (Fry's Microcenter Pricematch)

Asrock Z77: $104.99 (Newegg Black Friday)

CM Hyper 212 EVO: $29.98 (Amazon)

G.Skill Ripjaws: $35.99 (Newegg)

Gigabyte HD 7870 OC Windforce x3: $239.99 (Amazon)

Kingston SSD: $59.99 (Newegg Black Friday)

WD 2TB Caviar Black: $69.99 (Western Digital employee discount from friend)

Antec 620M: $83.99 (Fry's pricematch Newegg)

CM Storm Trigger: $79.99 (NCIX.US)

Razr DeathAdder Black Edition: $44.99 (Amazon)

CM HAF912 Tower: $54.99 (Amazon)

Before tax total: $974.88

6-22-17: replaced CPU/motherboard

Comments Sorted by:

Frostbyter 4 points 74 months ago

I agree with ungodly, more than mid range for a great price!

I applaud :)

Very balanced, and can even max out any game you throw at it, most likely.

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 74 months ago

Haha thanks! I am very happy with this new build and somewhat proud of the prices I got for certain components.

Oliver 5 Builds 2 points 74 months ago

Great Build!

ungodlypowers 2 points 74 months ago

I would say that this is more than a mid-range gaming. lol

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 74 months ago

Lol, I guess I was being modest!


Teejers 3 Builds 2 points 74 months ago

Great build! We have a lot of the same core components. Great job!

mecha37 1 Build 2 points 74 months ago

thank you for the frys price match info i did not want to drive 40 or 50 miles to my nearest microcenter to get an intel i5 3570k

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 74 months ago

Yeah man, Fry's is pretty good with their price matching policy.

However, I personally ran into some problems since the closet microcenter from where I live is over 300 miles away. Since the 3570k is an in-store only offer, I had to try out 3 Fry's before I could price match. The first two stores told me since it was not local, they could not price match. Luckily, the Palo Alto, CA Fry's was rather lenient and let me price match.

Alexanderr 1 Build 2 points 74 months ago

Sick price you got on the i5, overall the build is nice! Bit of a Nvidia fan boy here so I will ask why not a 670 or a 660ti?

And also sucks about the SSD, hope you can get that sorted!

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 74 months ago

I was definitely considering the 660ti as it was the only other comparable card to the HD 7870. However I went with the 7870 for several reasons:

1) The 660ti was around $290 on Amazon, and all the benchmarks and research I did led me to believe that the extra $50 was not worth it, especially if I OC'd. The 660ti out performs the 7870 in several instances, however, the 7870 seemed to have a better cost-performance ratio than the 660ti. I also had a $40 giftcard for Amazon, which I wanted to use on my new GPU.

2) The HD 7870 has a bigger memory bus than the 660ti, better DirectC and OpenCL support, better tessellation performance, and overclocking seemed to be better.

Thanks about the SSD, I am going to send it in tomorrow. If that doesn't work, I may need to resort to getting an Extended warranty off Newegg and try going through them. :(

brightshade782 2 points 70 months ago

You have the same CPU and GPU that I'm thinking of getting. If you're using a 1080p, how high settings can this setup handle?

jimbo118 1 Build 2 points 65 months ago

nice build mate, well done!

F35FLYER 2 points 64 months ago

Nice build, but I feel like you overpaid for the CPU as I run the same graphics card and type of ram but I got a AMD FX-6300 (3.5 Ghz) for about $120. Then again, Processing power is probably the fastest growing market in the industry so that depends heavily on when you purchased your intel CPU.

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Granted that this was built a over a year ago, before the AMD FX line even came out, there was no other option at that performance level.

yenko24 1 point 72 months ago

How's that CPU cooler? My build is set to overclock but I dont think I'm going to OC right away, but I want the setup ready for when I do.

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 72 months ago

So far it's great. I myself have not had time to OC my cpu as of yet, but I've only heard good things from others about the cooler. It's been serving me well so far, but we see once I OC.

yenko24 1 point 72 months ago

Right on, just ordered it myself. Probably like you I won't OC right away, don't know a whole lot so I want to read as much as I can about it. We have very similar parts, best of luck!

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 2 points 72 months ago

I just OCed and I'm loving the performance boost. :) Just make sure to read up on overclocking before doing so. I had to reset my CMOS a couple of times :x

tehfreeeman 0 points 72 months ago

PSU is upside down, have you fixed that already?

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 72 months ago

It is not upside down.... The PSU vent is supposed to push air out the case.

tehfreeeman 1 point 72 months ago

Sorry, I saw that the stickers were upside down. didn't see that there was no fan on top.

jwaysted submitter 1 Build 1 point 72 months ago

Lol. All good, I made that same mistake when I was first putting it in. The last computer I made was 8 or so years ago, when PSUs were always on top.

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