Best Bang For The Buck $1000-$1200 PC


Somebody I know might be interested in having me build a PC for him and I want to know you guys' opinion on what parts to pick.  He is currently looking at the alienware x51, but I'm trying to persuade him otherwise.  The x51 seems over priced( so I told him that i could build a better one for the same price.  If I was wrong in that statement, please tell me, but if not then please help me out.  To sum it up I would like to know the best PC for the price range($1000-$1200).  It must have windows included and be faster than the alienware he is considering.  Thanks a lot guys :)

Well, I'm going to assume he's not overclocking since that x51 is both overpriced and not overclockable.

Would it be possible to move the I5 to and I7 without having to change the PSU?  If I do change it to an I7 would there be any benefits?

It depends on what this "somebody" is going to be doing on this PC. If the primary use is gaming i wouldn't say so. It would be better to some extent in games that are more optimized for it, nothing i personally would look into

It would be primarily be for gaming.  I'm not sure what else he would do on it because I'm 99% sure he won't be doing any rendering or anything else that would require the I7.  I just wanted some other people's opinion

well if you were going off the build posted above it would be better to dedicate the money to try and get either a 290x/780 rather than put towards a i7. The next tier GPU up will give a day and night more performance rather than the next tier CPU.

also if we are going off of that build posted above i would recommend a 600w PSU if its just going to be a single card or more if you think this "somebody" might plan on going dual gpu in the future

Alright.  I think i may change it to a 290x :)

With that though i would warn that the 290x runs extremely hot and loud

Okay, are there any extra fans you would recommend?  I haven't ventured into the whole cooling area before.

PS: I Changed the build up a little bit.

sorry im not knowledgeable in the area of cooling to feel confident in giving advice.


The only other thing i personally can advise is that 16GB is unneeded, for a gaming rig 8GB is enough

Oh, okay.  I think the person who originally posted that build was trying to match the alienware.

R9 290 also performs about the same as the 290X, and is cheaper.

Both the R9 290 and 290X are loud and hot cards with their reference cooler, though.

Price: 979USD

FX8350, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, R9 290


  • PSU allows for overclocking and expansion through crossfire.
  • I believe the FX6300 was showing bottlenecks with r9 290 in same games.
  • 4770k/3770k is barely better fullstop, in gaming it makes little difference because games are more GPU intensive than CPU intensive and FX8350 is powefull enough, on poorly coded games this is worse, but difference is small and 4770k is twice as much, so not worth the extra performance per cost.
  • SSD for OS in this price range essentially means comprimising on the R9-290, even savings on a worse CPU (which I don't think is worth the performance drop) isn't enough to pay for SSD. And SSD just means applications load faster that are installed on SSD, if you want fast bootup speeds I suggest putting computer into hibernation mode instead of turning off everytime. SSD will only make some things load faster, but R9-290 will run all the games very well, max setting at 1920x1200 with mods installed. Its up to you, do you want games to run and look really good, or want 6 second faster bootup?
  • If you want a 4770k because it is a few FPS faster on less graphically intensive games (talking mainly about games over 60-100 FPS which is more FPS than most monitors can handle), and you want fast booting speeds then you are going to have to spend more for little performance increase, or have performance decrease because you cant get a good graphics card (rather an entry card like GTX260 or Radeon270.

Oooh, That's a pretty nice build.  I will definitely consider it.

I would avoid CoolMax as their power supplies are usually trash.

otherwise that build is pretty good.