I got my first gaming computer back in 2008. It was an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 with Geforce GTS 250. It maxed out most of the new games excluding Crysis (good job crytek.) and was amazing for the price (paid $800 on cyberpowerpc). Fast forward to 2012..Games started to require quad cores and 2gb + GPU ram for high resolution gaming just to play on medium settings. Being on a budget, I could not afford a brand new computer so I decided to look into overclocking and bought a relatively new Geforce 660 which was one of the best price/performance GPUs available at that time. Even with the GPU upgrade (gts 250 to Geforce 660 is a HUGE upgrade), my overclocked cpu bottlenecked the gpu heavily and frequently suffered from stuttering in many cpu intensive games. In 2013, I was busy from school and even if I wasn't, I couldn't play the newer games that most people and friends were playing. Then months passed. I saved up a quite a bit of money from not buying any games, pc parts. As the holidays approached, I saw many deals of consoles, games, and it got me interested in gaming again. With the new generation consoles coming out and pre black friday ads were leaked, I saw great deals on ps3, xbox 360, and even had enough money for ps4 and xbox one. I was actually considering becoming a console gamer partly from all the advertising/brainwashing and partly for the initial costs which is a lot cheaper than a gaming computer that I personally would be content with (range around $1000 to satisfy lol). However, I thought about how much of a downgrade it was going to be. In 2008, I used to play left 4 dead on my friend's xbox 360 all the time. When I got my new computer, I was maxing out left 4 dead at 1650x1080 resolution and i never touched his xbox 360 again. While the new gen consoles are a huge improvement from the previous consoles (obviously), it still won't be able to look as half as good as a $600-700 AMD build with a good enough GPU to max out most new games. After watching some new gen console vs pc videos on youtube and looking at how disgustingly bad grand theft auto 5 looks on ps3, I made up my mind. I was going to get a PC! Now that I have wasted a good few minutes of your precious lives, I will actually discuss about my parts. (sorry for the useless rant, I am really excited! currently waiting for my ssd!)
Before I talk about the actual parts, I will talk about the prices first.
The reason why the prices are so low on certain parts is because I bought most of them on black friday sale. That doesn't mean black friday is the only time to buy computer parts. There are equivalent deals throughout the year so pay attention to the prices and buy parts one at the time if you're on a budget.
The Price you see are pre-rebate prices.
prices after rebate
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" SSD $127.27 MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB $235.11 Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower $24.99 Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V $59.99 Asus VS247H-P 23.6" $129.99
extra $90 saved!
I got 3570k for $162 by price matching from staples.com to micro center. 3570k's were going on sale for $150 the week before black friday and I was able to price match. Thanks to staples and micro center :D
As for the Geforce 660, that's the only part which I bought in december of 2012, so the price is shown a lot higher than current prices for 660s. I think I will upgrade my GPU when non reference R290s to come out. I can't wait!
CPU - 3570k at $150 needs no explanation. However, I kind of regret not spending extra $50 for the 4770k for $200 that micro center was also doing a sale for. Many people have seemed to price match at staples.com for 4770k instead of 3570k so I believe it was out of stock anyways and I live too far from micro center. I think there were great deals for AMD 8 cores that were similarly priced but I'm building this mainly for gaming and intel does a better job when it comes to gaming (currrently)
Cooler - Most popular air cooling currently. I was too lazy to research because it had so many good ratings and reviews. Price was cheap although i read that it was actually lower before (maybe it was on sale). Still can't complain
Motherboard - Also was a bit lazy with motherboard (I don't recommend. research for good motherboards) I saw a lot of similar star/egg (on newegg) percentage for motherboards. Lot of them seemed to be around 50-60% for 5 eggs and similar for 4-1 eggs as well. I guess many people get faulty motherboards? Thankfully, mine is working fine! Anyways, it seemed that asrock extreme4 is the most popular motherboards for intel Ivy series so I just decided to go with majority. Besides 50% of couple hundred is a lot higher than 50% of couple dozens.
Memory - It was on sale. Suck that ram was much cheaper last year :(
SSD - samsung 840 evo is probably regarded as the best budget (?) ssd's currently. It was on sale on tigerdirect. I feel like 120gb is too small so I went with 250gb.
HDD - Wasn't sure whether to get blue or black but after reading numerous reviews and discussions, I concluded that I will go with longevity and stability. Warranty for black is also a little longer. I forgot the exact figure.
GPU - 660 was one of the best price performance GPUs in 2012. After one year, it's already outdated (Not really. But in terms of maxing out newer games maybe haha I won't be able to max out battlefield 4) Considering upgrading to R290 when non reference cards come out
Case - One of the best rated cases on newegg. Normally cheap but was cheaper during sale. Fits motherboards, 212 evo cooler, and ram perfectly. I did have to move the ram to 2nd and 4th slot though.
PSU - It is probably back to $100 right now. Got it on sale for 80 and will be claiming rebate for $20. $60 for a 750w corsair bronze PSU seems like a steal if you ask me. 750w was only $10 more than 650w. Also keeping options open for GPU upgrade for later.
Optical drive - I guess I need it for installing OS? Maybe burn a cd or two in 2014 lol. This model is slightly slower than the other Asus model with over thousands of reviews. It was $4 cheaper so I went with this one. I'm probably only going to use less than 10 times anyways.
OS - Windows 7 home was on sale for $80. People hate windows 8 for some reason so I just got windows 7 for sale.
Monitor - I used a TV as monitor until I bought this monitor. I ran into many problems when playing video games because of resolutions not being supported with the TV. Asus vs247 also has higher resolution than my HDTV so I am anticipating high resolution gaming when my SSD finally arrives so that I can install softwares.
oh yea by the way. any cable management tips would be greatly appreciated :D