Best Price/Performance Gaming Build Under $1,000 or $1,200 [February 2012]
We’ve done many different builds over the past, but lately the price to performance sector has been neglected, so today we’ll be putting together a great price to performance build for under $1,000 or $1,200.
Budget: $1,000 – $1,200
Currently the price to performance king of CPUs, this is the best purchase you can make. Faster than AMD’s fastest offerings and equivalent in performance to the more expensive i7 2600K in most games, this is definitely the CPU to get.
Motherboard – MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3)
Following with the price to performance theme, we’ll be going with the Z68A-GD65 (G3), but this will be a limited time affair. This is one of the top motherboards in its class for rock solid stability and high overclocking capability, but what makes this EXTRA special is that MSI is currently running a promotion giving you a $30 rebate. That makes this amazing motherboard only $159.99 after rebate.
Is that a deal, or is that a deal?
Normally, I suggest you buy the 8GB Vengeance 1600MHz DDR3 Low profile 1.5v modules, but as I was searching around Amazon today, I found this little gem. Yep, it’s the 1.35V low profile edition memory. That means that this memory is just as fast as the 1.5v memory except it generates less heat and uses a bit less energy. Sweet! Not to mention the modules are white, which looks pretty dang nice.
Video Card – MSI GTX 560 Ti (448 Core) Twin Frozr III PE/OC
Again, we’re going back to the theme of price to performance and this time we’ve got the MSI GTX 560 Ti 448 Core on show. This graphics card will play pretty much anything you throw at it at high to ultra settings and will, in many cases, match the more expensive GTX 570! Not to mention this one is the Twin Frozr III edition, which means your card will overclock quite nicely, run cool, and run quiet. Oh and how about this for ya? MSI is currently offering a $30 rebate making this an even sweeter deal.
Hard Drive – Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1TB Hard Drive
Sigh, I really wanted to recommend an SSD this time around, but it just didn’t fit into the build or the budget. Unfortunately, hard drives are still kind when it comes to price/gb, but SSDs are dropping in price very fast. Now if you’re like me and you really want this machine to scream, drop in a Corsair Force GT for boot as well.
Don’t need 1TB of hard drive space? Drop that down to a 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM for some serious savings.
Do I need to explain this one? Grab either. OEM is recommended since they’re usually cheaper. Remember people, price to performance.
I really don’t think I can recommend this PSU enough. It’s a Seasonic built high quality power supply at a very affordable price. There’s really nothing I can think of that tops this when it comes to price to performance. I think it should be an automatic buy. Need insane efficiency, got a lot of money to spare, and thinking SLI in the future? Step up to the Corsair AX850. Definitely one of my favorite power supplies… EVER!
Case – Cooler Master 690 II Advance
This case is definitely a classic. Plenty of airflow, plenty of room at an affordable price. There’s a reason why this case has been on the market for so long.
Need something a bit bigger? A bit more manly? Step it up to a CM Storm Trooper. Again, plenty of airflow, an INSANE amount of space and because Cooler Master is celebrating 20 years, you also get a $30 discount making this case only $149.99.
CPU Cooler – Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Price to performance, there’s nothing I can think of that will defeat this cooler.
Operating System – Windows 7 64 bit
Total current price on Amazon for this build is $1,193.09. After a $60 rebate from MSI (Motherboard + GPU), it’s $1,133.09. Don’t need Windows? Drop that to $1033.10. Can live with only 500GB of hard drive space? Drop that down to $986.75.
Remember, if you have any questions, need some help, or need to fit the build into your budget feel free to visit the forums at http://forums.custompcreview.com. Feel free to request a custom build as well! Enjoy!