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Default Help me build a desktop PC for $2000.

February 17th, 2013, 18:39
Hello again. I've decided to at least consider building a desktop PC instead of a laptop, since everyone has recommended I do that because I can get more bang for my buck that way.

So I have $2000 to spend, and I'm looking to buy the best I can for that price. I want something that is going to last for years (hopefully) and play next-gen console ports and PC games of course for years to come. I probably will skip out on the next-gen consoles if I can play all the games on my PC.

I am probably going to build using the site cyberpowerpc.com, since someone here recommended me that site and it seems like a very good site for this sort of thing. If you have any suggestions for other sites that are comparable or better in your opinion, feel free to share.

So any help is appreciated. Just let me know your thoughts, etc, because I've been studying laptop components pretty heavily lately but I don't know much at all about desktops (and they seem much more complex when you are actually building one from the ground up).

Thanks.
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February 17th, 2013, 18:59
Don't use Cyberpower. My last desktop was from them because I was too lazy to do the assembly myself. It arrived with the 8800Gtx detached from the motherboard along with the soundcard, leaving my heat sink fins bent to hell. They never bothered to screw it into the pci-e slot. In short they should be avoided at any price. Just my 2 cents. I've built a few pc's and I've always simply used Newegg for the components. You can really maximize value that way…

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February 17th, 2013, 21:59
I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.
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February 17th, 2013, 22:08
Unless you intend to buy a super high resolution monitor (above 1080p) or play games on a multiple monitor setup, you can build a system that will meet your needs for much less.

If you are based in the US, you don't need to spend $2,000 to build a desktop that will run every game at 1080p. You can always upgrade your graphics card in the future if games suddenly become more demanding a few years down the road.
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February 17th, 2013, 22:15
Thanks Count. I will be playing on a 42" LCD TV via HDMI, so does that make any difference?
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February 17th, 2013, 22:25
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Thanks Count. I will be playing on a 42" LCD TV via HDMI, so does that make any difference?
Well, if it's a 1080p display, you won't need the top of the line graphics card in SLI to run games at that resolution. There are more inexpensive cards that will handle 1080p and you can always upgrade the graphics card in the future if necessary.
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February 17th, 2013, 23:58
TV sets usually use 1080p resolution. So if you're sure to do gaming on that you can scale your PC for it. Of course you could connect your notebook to the TV too.

2000$ are way too much. Not counting the monitor you'll be hard pressed to spend 1000$. You could even get away with 600$ and a few compromises.

What you need are an Intel i5 or i7 CPU, the latter has no advantage for gaming, a mainstream mainboard, 16 GB RAM, a brand name PSU, an SSD, a HDD, a Blu-Ray writer (a DVD-RW would do too - but why save 50$?), a case and maybe a gaming sound card (only if your surround set is good enough).
A below 250$ graphic card should be enough for 1080p. Upgrading it after 2 years is easy. The rest doesn't really have to be upgraded.

"Cordless" and "silent" are optional and not really expensive. More a matter of clever choices.
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February 18th, 2013, 00:53
Well you could try this if you want to spend close to that. It would be a bit much - could probably spend 20% less on all the most expensive parts and barely notice a difference even in games that won't be out for a year.

That does not include keyboard, mouse, or cables to connect to your monitor - but chances are you already have those and if not the cables at least can be found online for very little. You may want to add a soundcard if you are a bit of an audiophile; if so I'd reccomend one of the Asus Xonar soundcards over much of the Creative lineup. If you're not super anal about your sound though (if you don't already own a pair of Sennheiser or Ultrasone headphones or Shure earbuds then you're probably not) the onboard sound for that motherboard is more than adequate for gaming, movies and music.
Last edited by jhwisner; February 18th, 2013 at 01:04.
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February 18th, 2013, 01:45
First up, you don't need two video cards in SLI to run things at 1080p. I run things just fine at 1080p and have a 200 dollar mid-range gaming card

Second, $2000 could provide you with 3 good PC's or 2 great ones.

Get an Intel i5 or i7 processor (200 vs 300), a Nvidia 660 or 660 Ti (200 vs 300), 8 or 16 GB of ram, a motherboard and a case+PSU and you'll be set.

It is very unlikely you'll need a sound card at all. This isn't 15 years ago. Unless you find your sound options lacking from your motherboard, you shouldn't bother. It's totally a wait and see thing. Check review sites to see what you're getting.
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February 18th, 2013, 02:32
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Well you could try this if you want to spend close to that. It would be a bit much - could probably spend 20% less on all the most expensive parts and barely notice a difference even in games that won't be out for a year.

That does not include keyboard, mouse, or cables to connect to your monitor - but chances are you already have those and if not the cables at least can be found online for very little. You may want to add a soundcard if you are a bit of an audiophile; if so I'd reccomend one of the Asus Xonar soundcards over much of the Creative lineup. If you're not super anal about your sound though (if you don't already own a pair of Sennheiser or Ultrasone headphones or Shure earbuds then you're probably not) the onboard sound for that motherboard is more than adequate for gaming, movies and music.
$1800 for a pc with only a gtx660 in it is too expensive imo. Also, you recommenced a 2011 motherboard for a 1155 proc.

Anyway I think he wants a prebuilt, but I could be wrong. Fluent can correct me if i'm wrong.

I have no experience with Cyberpower but I wouldn't write them off because someone had a bad experience. do your due diligence and decide for yourself. I 've had bad experiences at walmart, target, bestbuy, amazon etc. etc. If I stopped using them because of a bad experience now and then I'd have no where let to shop.

That said i'm not endorsing Cyberpower either just saying do your own research before going with or ruling something out.

If you are going to build your own and have a microcenter near by, it would be worth checking out they have some of the best prices on procs.

Whether you build or buy I would say go with,

750w PSU minimum— overkill now but wont be in the future.

I5 or I7 ivy bridge— the I5 is probably the more financially sound decision but if you don't care about the price difference the I7 will offer a few more FPS and maybe last a little longer before needing an upgrade. If you build you'll want an after market cooler not the stock one. Ivy brides run hotter than sandy bridge.

I'd go with a gtx670 for video. I like nvidia over AMD simply for the few games that use Physx and better 3D support imo. If you dont care about that theres nothing wrong with AMD.

You'll need a 1155 motherboard. I like Asus but there are many good ones out there. You'll need to do a lot of research to decide the features you want.

I've always bought a discrete sound card and always will, having said that i've heard on board has gotten much better than it used to be.

I wouldn't go SLI unless you understand that some games simply won't work, some will kinda work (texture issues usually) some will work with a lot of research and fiddling and some will actually work right out of the box. In other words if you want SLI be prepared to educate yourself on how it work and be prepared for some frustration.

SSD for bot drive at least 128GB but i'd recommend a 256. then buy either a western digital black 7200 rpm 2TB min for game drive. If you want to spend a little money here you could get a 1TB raptor 10,00 RPM. But then you'd probably need 2 eventually and that would lead to raid which would lead to more educating yourself.

Lastly I'd go with windows 8. I'm sure many will disagree but win 7 won't be getting supported and you'll need to move up eventually. 8's not that bad and with a few tweaks you can forget about metro altogether.

There's really so much to cover one could post forever but there are the basic's according to me anyway.
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February 18th, 2013, 02:46
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
$1800 for a pc with only a gtx660 in it is too expensive imo. Also, you recommenced a 2011 motherboard for a 1155 proc.

Anyway I think he wants a prebuilt, but I could be wrong. Fluent can correct me if i'm wrong.
Yeah I added the wrong motherboard and $1800 for any PC is too much, however since the most likely item to be swapped out in two years time is the video card it actually makes less sense to spend much more money on that than it does on some other components. As far as bang for your buck goes I'd suggest generally spending the difference between a GTX 660 and 670 on a faster CPU instead and considering upgrading the video card at the end of two years.

Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Lastly I'd go with windows 8. I'm sure many will disagree but win 7 won't be getting supported and you'll need to move up eventually. 8's not that bad and with a few tweaks you can forget about metro altogether.
It won't be getting supported… after 2020 and mainstream support will continue into 2015 at least. Also if its going to be purchased relatively soon, I'd check game compatibility for windows 8 particularly if the user also has several retro games. If they do then it would make more sense to purchase windows 7 now and an upgrade license (which does not require you perform an upgrade installation as opposed to a clean installation) either now or at a later date. This would be especially advisable to consider if purchasing a pre-built PC through a manufacturer which offers discounted windows 8 upgrade licenses to users purchasing new windows 7 pcs (I've seen it for as little as $14.99 as an uninstalled extra.)
Last edited by jhwisner; February 18th, 2013 at 03:00.
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February 18th, 2013, 03:10
Yes do your research on Cyberpower (also known as iBuyPower). My experience isn't exactly unique.

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February 18th, 2013, 03:19
Check out Hardocp's forum, lots of vendor reviews there. In general the favored discount builder is Avadirect - or was as of a few years back. They offer value without bling generally speaking. But do check out that forum. Like notebook reviews its the biggest most helpful community in my opinion. Ask there!

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February 18th, 2013, 03:45
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Yeah I added the wrong motherboard and $1800 for any PC is too much, however since the most likely item to be swapped out in two years time is the video card it actually makes less sense to spend much more money on that than it does on some other components. As far as bang for your buck goes I'd suggest generally spending the difference between a GTX 660 and 670 on a faster CPU instead and considering upgrading the video card at the end of two years.



It won't be getting supported… after 2020 and mainstream support will continue into 2015 at least. Also if its going to be purchased relatively soon, I'd check game compatibility for windows 8 particularly if the user also has several retro games. If they do then it would make more sense to purchase windows 7 now and an upgrade license (which does not require you perform an upgrade installation as opposed to a clean installation) either now or at a later date. This would be especially advisable to consider if purchasing a pre-built PC through a manufacturer which offers discounted windows 8 upgrade licenses to users purchasing new windows 7 pcs (I've seen it for as little as $14.99 as an uninstalled extra.)
Can't argue with that strategy there's definitely more than one way to build a gaming rig. I usually put any extra money in to video card as that yields the most immediate benefit and I know I'll be upgrading both within 2 yrs. I see you added the 2015 extended support. Didn't know about the $15 deal sounds like a good way to go.
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February 18th, 2013, 03:50
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Yes do your research on Cyberpower (also known as iBuyPower). My experience isn't exactly unique.
Didn't mean any disrespect, just wanted to impress upon fleunt the importance of doing his own research.
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February 18th, 2013, 11:06
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
First up, you don't need two video cards in SLI to run things at 1080p. I run things just fine at 1080p and have a 200 dollar mid-range gaming card
Correct. The 200$ mid-range cards are similar (or even faster) than the top notebook cards. Of course you can go higher, but beware of noise … unless helicopter sims are your preferred genre.

SLI = trouble! Avoid it. Buy a single chip solution.


Second, $2000 could provide you with 3 good PC's or 2 great ones.
Agreed too, if you stay reasonable. Nobody needs a 300$ mainboard. Except for the very knowledgable guys at HardOCP. (I used to be there quite a lot years ago. These guys know their stuff.) A 100-150$ mainboard is just as fast.

Get an Intel i5 or i7 processor (200 vs 300), a Nvidia 660 or 660 Ti (200 vs 300), 8 or 16 GB of ram, a motherboard and a case+PSU and you'll be set.
Yup. There may be one or two games which push this to the limit, but most games can be played at max.
It is very unlikely you'll need a sound card at all. This isn't 15 years ago. Unless you find your sound options lacking from your motherboard, you shouldn't bother. It's totally a wait and see thing. Check review sites to see what you're getting.
Mainboard sound chips are absolutely okay nowadays. The only reason to buy a real sound card is if you have a surround receiver and a decent speaker set nearby. And I'm not talking about the stuff you get in a 250$ bundle with a BD-Player. If you would lose quality somewhere along the way, stick to the onboard sound. It supports surround too.


There are even more options. You could make hell of a digital TV recorder out of your PC, for example. All you need is a way to get the signal in and back out again. Simple recording capacity can be added for 50 bucks.
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February 18th, 2013, 12:02
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
I've built a few pc's and I've always simply used Newegg for the components. You can really maximize value that way…
+1 for Newegg. If you live in the US, there isn't a better dealer for computer components imo.

TigerDirect would probably be my #2 option.
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