€1000-€1200 All-Round Gaming PC

Hey there.

A friend of mine is looking to buy his first desktop for around €1000 euros. It's a little over it, he's all right with that if it's worth the investment in the long run, but his aim is €1000.

The use will be all round gaming. He's starting university and needs to clear up his crappy laptop for school stuff and instead of buying a new laptop for school, he decided to buy a desktop for gaming and home stuff.

pcpartpicker link: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1ze6U

There are a few notes on the build:

- I couldn't find the RAM memory that we picked on pcpartpicker. So here's a seperate link: Corsair Vengeance 2x2GB Dual Channel

- When looking for HDD storage, I was looking for the Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB. The one we found (on a Dutch site much like pcpartpicker) lacked the 'Caviar' in the name. Is there a difference or just a bad description?

- He needs a copy of Windows 7 64-bit. He can buy it OEM in a local store here (that's how I got mine), or pirate it. Any good torrent links would be welcome!

I'm not an expert or experienced pc builder, I have some basic knowledge but that's about it. If there's anyone who can comment or suggest things, we both will be very grateful.

Thanks in advance,


It seems to be very expensive for what it is imo. Overall you could get something cheaper with an AMD setup (FX-8350) or something equally as expensive just with a better GPU. http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/1zeV7

Firstly, your gunna benefit from more RAM, stick with the vengeance RAM but get a 2x4GB kit at the least. It will greatly aid in the ability of the computer especially when you are doing multiple things.

As for the HDD, sounds like a bad description. Although you could save a few euros and go with a blue, you won't really notice too much of a performance difference. That brings me onto the SSD. The plextor drives are great, however you may find the samsung drives perform just as well and are slightly cheaper.

I advise you get a copy of Windows legally. You can download an iso image of the disk from Microsoft's website, which is handy. Which you can use with your legally obtained key. If you do get the iso from Microsoft, you could just look for a crack online. 7 Loader by Daz for example.

The best bit of advise I can give you is to test the hardware outside of the case. Check its all working before assembling it into the case. Just use the mobo box as your ghetto test bench. Also DO NOT test any hardware when it is laying on anti-static bags. They can actually short out the hardware, due to the micro wire in the material which gives it its anti static properties.

Is the FX-8350 stronger? On cpubenchmark.net I'm reading it is, by quite a lot even, which I find kind of weird, seeing that the price is so much lower. source:  http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html . I have also seen there are some reviews by Tek Syndicate and comparisons with this CPU. They are being compared to 3000 series, while (I'm assuming at least), the 4000 series is the newer generation? Some more light on this would be great.

For a GPU, I looked at any 760. I figured it had a very good price/performance ratio. I don't know what brands are good so we went with the recommended one on the build of the month post on www.mmo-champion.com . 770 sounds like it's obviously an upgrade, but I thought it wouldn't be that important. Not sure on the importance of a GPU in a gaming system though, so if it's the main deal, 770 sounds solid.

Thanks for the RAM tip. I thought 4GB was the minimum but still sufficient, 8GB being the soft-cap. We'll go with eight. More iz bettur.

On the storage topic. Storage lasts for quite a long time so I always prefer the method of quality buy over quantity. I rather buy only one HDD / SSD at a time than buy many 'inferior' ones. I'll tell my mate and he can decide what he spends his bucks on of course.

The best bit of advise I can give you is to test the hardware outside of the case.

Do you mean any time you buy PC parts to see if they're working, or to benchmark myself? Sounds like a big hassle, but of course you don't want to find out your CPU is DOA after you put it all together.

Thanks for your time.


Testing the setup on an open bench really doesnt take much time, get a monitor and a keyboard to where you assemble your pc, put the mobo on a cardboard box and put in the cpu, stock heatsink, psu etc. It would be a pain assembling the whole pc and not being able to post because your heatsink shorts your mobo or something and you start wondering if something might be DOA ( basicly never the cpu, psu and gpu quite often, mobo can not work too)

The parts you picked were not bad per se, but the price for the parts is too high, 150 for a 2 tb hdd is terrible.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1zhFs 200 $ less, ram included, better heatsink, same performance

The 8350 got 8 weak cores, the i5 got 4 strong cores, since most games only really use 2-4 cores right now id see the i5 ahead, but the 8350 can be better with mulltitasking, for example if youre streaming your game.


Your friend might be able to get windows for free (and legal) with dreamspark

Oh, and about GPUs, they are pretty much the most important part of a gaming pc. The thing is that GPU power advances very rapidly and it only takes about 2 years for the newer version of the same tier to be 2x as fast with newer technology, more vram and possibly free games. Its way better to upgradabout every 2 years, sell your old gpu and get a new one with a good price/performance ratio instead of paying double to get that extra 20% performance. The 7950 is the best in that regard right now ( and ice to oc), if you would want something that performs significantly better you would need at least a 780 or a dual gpu card, which cost around 600$.


We took another look at the whole of it and came down to this:


We went with cheaper storage as both of you recommended. The Plextor is in the Dutch hardware stores not that much more expensive than other drives (there's like a 10 euros margin on all SSDs of that capacity, Plextor not even being one of the more expensive ones). So we stick with the Plextor.

What Rolling Potatoe said on the cores sounds relevant for my friend. He won't be doing much other CPU-intsense business apart from gaming, and he won't be streaming on the back of that. We stick with the i5-4670K.

We added 8 GB Corsair RAM and lowered the PSU from 650 to 600 (which was a 20 euros drop in price). The estimated wattage of the system is about 430W. We considered the 500 version, but since he might get arond and overclock it, and since PSUs aren't 100% efficient, we thought 600 was playing it safe.

Only using the 120mm Noctua fan, because if we OC his CPU, we won't be pushing it a lot (lack of experience from both of us), so the added cooling capacity of the 140 shouldn't be that necessary, and the fan also seems a little bit too big for the mobo (not sure if it's possible to plug the GPU on the _2 PCI slot rather than the _1, but the _1 would be verrryyy close to making contact.

My friend is not the kind of person who goes about upgrading his pc. Buying a custom desktop like this is already an extraordinaire action. I told him he could go for a lesser GPU now and upgrade later (which, by his graphical needs, would be totally fine. He doesn't play many of the FPS killing games out there right now). But he said he would probably not have financial priorities on upgrading his pc in a few years and would rather get a stronger one that lasts for longer, so we went with the GTX 770 that Zanginator used in his example build.

Basically, he needs a pc that is functional, right now his laptop can handle just about nothing. He probably won't be upgrading his pc until this new build has gotten to the same stage as his laptop right now. That's why I didn't go with the ASRock mobo, but the ASUS and not the Patriot RAM but Corsair. These are more reputable companies whose products are considered A class and should last longer, both in terms of life time and performance.

Correct me if above is completely wrong, this is just the thoughtflow that we had when considering your advice.


Thanks once more for your help,


Do you have a seller in mind where you wanne buy your stuff? im from the Netherlands my self.. Your build looks good, but is there a reason why he wanne go with an Nvidia card for that money?  because an Msi 7950 Twinfrozer  performs allmost equal to a GTX770, if you overclock that card, and its on sale for only €250.. notice that the new AMD cards will be released soon... thats why theire highend cards are on sale right now.

OP you from the Netherlands? Amzing deals going on right now, asus 670 for 220 euro. use the tweakers.net pricewatch to see where things are cheapest. I shop with afuture.nl and they are very cheap(in the good way cheap) and reliable. RMAd a GPU and got a refund, even a month after ourchase date.

if this is a college build, go node 304. It is so nice and clean and small. And fits everything. I have one and it is great to transport from and to my dorm. 

Edit: I'm indeed Dutch. We have been using tweakers.net as well and randomly picked azerty.nl to buy the parts. we could check if afuture.nl offers the same parts but cheaper in total.

So I had written this reply, but the site went down ( or something ) and now I have to type it all over again.

Fractal Design is great, it's extremely elegant. My friend will be living with his parents since his uni is in the same city, so the Define R4's size is not an issue.

I do have a question on size: How do you generally check for things to fit? We were looking at the Noctua NH-U14S and it's said to be very big and might just not fit with your GPU. We had no way to really check this for our setup though. I'm assuming just browsing forums for user experience is the best way to go?

As I'm understanding it, using www.cpubenchmark.net, it goes as:

GTX 770 >> GTX 670 > HD 7950

By this logic, would buying the GTX 670 for 30 euros less with more power base clocked than the HD7950 not be better? If we're going t obuy the 7950 with the mindset of OCing it, we could just as well buy the 'better' GTX 670 and do the same.

I understand that now all cards are as OC'able. I don't know about these cards though, or about cooling and what the limits are.

As I mentioned before, we're both slightly reluctant to OC very much (or at all even). Is the benchmark you know of where the 7950 comes out almost as good as the 770 a very strong OC? Because then we might be better off with the 670 and only slightly OCing it or not at all (sorry we're just noobs).

Also wondering about the importance of GPU RAM. Seeing there's the ASUS 670 with 4GB for 40 euros more. would that be worth or is the difference insignificant?

Thanks for the help.


Azerty is good too I heard. I did not pcik them because shipping to Belgium was 30 euro and with afuture only 9.95 . Azerty's website is also way easier to browse. 

Yes if size is not an issue then the R4 should be great. The noctua cooler is also a good choice. Seeing that you went with an ATX board you will have absolutely no compatibility issues with the cooler. you should check the maximum allowed height of coolers on the case, which is at the website most of thr time, and then check the height of the cooler. But normally it should fit without issues.

just want to add, since you are using pc part picker so prices don't reflect those in the netherlands, don't overspend on the motherboard. Basically pick the cheapest Z87 board that you can as it has no impact on gaming performance. 

yes the 670 asus for 220euro is the best deal right now. Faster than 7950,more silent, less power consumption. Yes you can oc the 670 too, then you hit 680 territory. You can oc 680 too, then you hit 770 territory :p GPU overclocking is very safe. If it is too much, it crashes, you reset and no harm done.

i'll make you a nice build on azerty after my lunch :p 

well a Radeon 7950 is better performing card stock or overclocked then a GTX670.

Wenn you overclock a Radeon 7950 it also beats a GTX770 oc at 1440P in some games,in other games the scores are realy close allmost equal performance.. ofc there are some games that run better on nvidia, its how they are designed.  at 1080p gaming a 7950oc also performs  equal to a much more expensive GTX770 oc Thats the point i was making.. a GTX670 is totaly out of the picture unless you use software that needs the cuda cores.


  1. Msi 7950 twinforzer €274
  2. Msi GTX 770 2GB   €355
  3. Msi GTX 670 2GB   €300

Grtz Angel ☺


Alright made you a solid build.


Apparently all 670s are sold out at that bargain price. So went with a 770. The MSI is a the most quiet model. I took the 770 over 7970 because of the silent cooler and much lower power consumption. Performance will be about the same.

Took the ballistix because they are solid and run at 1.35V instead of 1.5V which saves power and doesn't do anything on performance.

The motherboard is just solid and you don't need a more expensive one.

I went for the U14 instead of the U12 noctua because of the small price difference and the fan being begger it means it can run slower and be more quiet.

The PSU is great, I have the 400 watt model and it is so quiet. Unbelievable. The efficiency is also mad, as well in idle as under load. Reaches into platinum territory. The wattage is just perfect for your build too. It will have enough juice trust me. My 3770k with 680 only draws 280 watt max of the wall while gaming. 

I also went for a 250gb ssd meant to put al the games on, 120gb will be full soon with only windows and some programs. 250 gb for 150 euro is also better bang for buck than 90 euro for 120gb. The EVO is the newest samsung model and is a very solid ssd. As a consumer you won't notice the difference between it and the more expensive ones.

If the case comes with a build in fan controller and I believe it does, this will be a kick ass uber silent build. The cooler, GPU and PSU are selected on their amazing performance and doing it quiet. That's what my priorities lie. You could do it a bit cheaper but then you give up silence.

Feel free to change some things but I would leave the base of the asus mobo with the ram cpu and PSU in place. 


These are 1440p benchies. Not that relevant on 1080p unless op's friend plans on getting a 1440p anytime soon.

7950 oc beating out 770 oc I don't see that happening in 1080p anytime soon. General concensus is 770 oc and 7970 oc are on equal footing. Some games 770 wins, some games 7970 wins. 


Actually OP, 7950/7970/770 are all very solid cards and their performance gaps are not that big. Definitely 7950 is most bang for buck. 7970 is also a great deal around 300 euro but its coolers are not that silent as the 700 series from nvidia. 770 is solid performer; bit more expensive than 7970 but very quiet cooler(at least the MSI). So basically it comes down to what you want to spend.



at 1080P you see a GTX770 wins at some games but the diffrences are  arround 2/4 FPS? is that worth €100?  ofc its not, the Radeon 7950 is just the best Bang for buck

You cannot trust entirely on Linus' reviews but I get your point and you are right, as I said above. It just occured to me that all these cards are quite close in performance and that the 100 euro is not really worth the price increase unless you really need the extra performance. 

Also keep in mind 9000 series from AMD coming out mid october. But yea maybe your friend doesn't want to wait till then and I understand.

So if you buy now; probably a 7950 is what he should go for. Didn't find any great deals on the azerty site though. 

i agree i would personaly now go for a 7950, unless he could afford a GTX780, thats ofc a totaly diffrent storry... but yeah the new AMD cards are gonne be released soon, that is something to keep in mind.

my point was indeed the minimun in performance diffrence would not be worth the money. for only gaming, unless you use software that likes cuda cores. or if you like phsyX

Yea totally agree actually. But just checked the 7950 prices on tweakers and it seems many good deals are already out of stock. Clearing inventory for 9000 series I guess. I was going to recommend the 7950 windforce for 220 euro but can't find it anymore. 

yeah the windforce for 220 euro is not a bad deal,  even wenn its voltage locked.. it still can overclock a little bit, and the fans are a bit loud from what ive heard..

Msi 7950 Twinfrozers or HiS 7950 iceQ X2 are not voltage locked..


3 till 5 days dillevery. seems like indeed, the sellers gonne sell out theire stocks, so the new amd cards will be soon released.

Just a quick post before I'm off to training:

All right, I think the 7950 then should be the best. Now to have an GPU rather than just the chipset.

As I gather, good options are:

- Gigabyte Windforce http://tweakers.net/pricewatch/302383/gigabyte-radeon-hd7950-windforce-3.html

- MSI Twinfrozer (still available at 4launch) http://tweakers.net/pricewatch/330886/msi-r7950-tf-3gd5-oc-be.html

- HiS IceQ X2 http://tweakers.net/pricewatch/333036/his-7950-iceq-x-boost-clock-3gb.html

Any of these should be OC-able and of sufficient quality then? Since they're running out of stock I think it's best we push our purchase a bit. I think we're happy with the build we had, only changing the GPU. Thanks anyway Ribozyme for the build you made on azerty.nl

Our build basically needed to be a bit cheaper, and switching GPUs was the way to go. Now we managed the budget and should be okay I think!



Those are all nice cards, but id advise against the HiS one since it has a boost bios. Ive got a 7950 boost and i had to mod afterburner to allow 50% more power consumption to stop the clockspeed from jumping around on load.

i don't really know which ones are voltage locked and which aren't. Check some reviews. But I don't think you can go wrong with either of them.


No problem. In the end you gotta make your own choices and choose where your priorities lie, the experience of selecting your own components by researching and picking up some advice here and there is what is important. The next build you'll see hmm maybe I wanted that to be a little quieter or jee that's a stupid mounting mechanism and hey I don't need this or that. It is a learning experience. So best of luck to hou and your friend and let us know how it worked out!