No idea why I haven’t done this yet, but here’s what I’d do for a gaming rig under $1,000. Enjoy!
Computer Build Budget: $1000
Ideally, go with the Intel Core i5 2500K. Currently that CPU is unmatched when compared performance to dollar, but sometimes you have a budget and you have to stick to it. In this case, we’re trying to keep it under $1,000 so we’re going to go with the Intel Core i5 2400. Don’t be mistaken however. It’s still a quad core second generation Sandy Bridge processor running at 3.1GHz and will rock any game you throw at it.
Motherboard – MSI Z68MA45
Continuing with the frugal atmosphere, we’re going to go with the MSI Z68MA45. This motherboard is an excellent choice for this system as it’s in the lower end of the spectrum in terms of cost; however, deliver some pretty nice features such as rotated SATA bays (Very useful for the graphics card we’re about to put into this motherboard), 2x PCI-E x16 slots for Crossfire and SLI, SATA 3 6Gb/s support, USB 3.0 and much more.
Excellent low profile memory. 8GB will be more than enough for any gaming that you’ll be doing in the near future. If you’re picking up a different brand of ram, ensure that it’s 1.5v or you risk damaging the Sandy Bridge processor and voiding your warranty.
Video Card – Galaxy GeForce GTX 570 1280Mb GDDR5
This is a gaming machine and we want everything to run on ultra settings. That’s why we’re going to go with the Galaxy GeForce GTX 570. This card will run pretty much any game on ultra settings and currently Galaxy is running a promotion on the card by dropping in a $50 mail in rebate. With the rebate, you’re pretty much getting a GTX 570 for the price of a GTX 560 Ti. What a great deal!
Hard Drive – Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 500GB Hard Drive
Well, there’s two types of storage drives you can buy – an solid state drives and hard disk drives. SSDs are blazing fast, but have limited capacity and storage space. Hard disk drives are slower, but carry lots of space and are cheaper. Since we’re on a budget, a solid state drive isn’t an option so we’re going with a hard disk drive. You can always upgrade to a solid state drive later when finances improve.
Basic oem dvd drive for the first installation of Windows. You can buy a Blu-ray drive if you feel like you need that.
High quality Seasonic made power supply. Modular, 650w and includes a 5 year warranty. I use this for all of my builds unless there’s a need for anything more powerful.
Case – Cooler Master HAF912
This is an excellent little case with plenty of room to work with and excellent features especially considering its $50 price point.
(Optional) CPU Cooler – Hyper 212 Plus
Well, with the i5 2400, we’re probably not going to overclock it so the cpu cooler is an optional buy. However, at ~$20 there’s no reason not to stretch your budget a little bit, right?
Operating System – Windows 7 64 bit
Most games require Windows 7, so make sure you nab a copy. If you already have one, then you’ve saved $100.
Total current price on Amazon for this build is $1,040.37. (Without cpu cooler) Don’t forget to also include any rebates such as the $50 MIR from Galaxy! (Which puts this system under $1,000)
Anyway, that’s the build. If you have any questions, feel free to visit the forums at http://www.forums.custompcreview.com
Looking for more builds? Check out our Computer Builds page for more!