LOOKING TO BUILD GAMING DESKTOP - BUDGET $2500AUD

Hello everybody,

I'm new to this forum despite spending a lot of my time on here as people post some fantastic advice when it comes to PC's. However, I need opinions on a new desktop build. Scholarships for uni come out in about three weeks time, and I'm getting about $3,500AUD should I be successful in winning them. I've budgeted my absolute maximum amount for the PC to $2,500AUD.

I'm looking for a build that'll run GTA IV (and the up & coming GTA V), Battlefield 3, Skyrim etc.. in full detail with little or no problems. I want to build something that's going to be future proof & that'll pretty much run any game I throw in the CD drive. I have a few things that I'd prefer for the build;

-No AMD processors.
-Preferably no ATI GPU's unless they're good for crossfiring (which I'd really like to do if it's worth it).
-I'd like to run crossfire or SLI with the best GPU within my budget, don't really care if I'm spending $500 or so on a GPU. If it's better I do 3-way SLI or crossfire with cheaper cards for better performance, then I'll do that.
-Liquid cooling is a MUST!
-Asus maximus boards are the ***, I'd love one.

I know it's like really picky of me, but this is a first time build & I wanna make sure I don't need to spend cash for the next few years or so, hence the rather large investment. I already got a case sorted out (Corsair Graphite 600T White Edition (windowed)).

Your opinions on the build are highly valued!!
27 answers Last reply
More about looking build gaming desktop budget 2500aud
  1. WHat online retailer will you be using to purchase your components and i will help you, do you need a monitor keyboard mouse windows etc etc.
  2. Uther39 said:
    WHat online retailer will you be using to purchase your components and i will help you, do you need a monitor keyboard mouse windows etc etc.


    www.pccasegear.com is my go to store for parts. I'll need windows but peripherals I'll buy myself, same with the monitor :D
  3. Firstly, Id like to advise you to avoid SLI/Crossfire configurations - just go with a strong single GPU.

    Reasons:
    A) SLI/Crossfire frequently leads to stuttering and lagging issues
    B) A lot of games (especially console ports like GTA) have very poor SLI/Crossfire support at launch, and some even continue to have poor support long after
    C) More power consumption = more heat generated = more money needs to spent on cooling and on powerful/capable/reliable PSU.

    For the games you listed, a Nvidia GTX 680 seems to be your best bet for the graphics department.
  4. How about this build? :)

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($149.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Formula EATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($365.00 @ Mwave Australia)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.70 @ Mwave Australia)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.00 @ Mwave Australia)
    Storage: Intel 330 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($459.00 @ Scorptec)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($459.00 @ Scorptec)
    Case: Thermaltake VN700M1W2N ATX Full Tower Case ($135.00 @ Mwave Australia)
    Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($135.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (64-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
    Total: $2511.70
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-21 00:26 EST+1000)
  5. You don't need a i7, get the i5 3570K.
  6. CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K $235
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20138
    CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H100 CPU Cooler $149
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=17961
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 Motherboard $209
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20001
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 $69
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_218_1125&products_id=16459
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD $239
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_902_903&products_id=19999
    Storage: Western Digital WD Blue 1TB WD10EZEX $89
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_344&products_id=21231
    Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II Overclocked $679
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=193_1377&products_id=20456
    Case: Corsair Carbide 500R Case - Black $145
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_961&products_id=18307
    Power Supply: Corsair HX-850 Power Supply $215
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_354&products_id=12111
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (64-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)

    Total:$2128
  7. +1 ^

    Though Id swap the Mobo for an Asus Maximus because a) he wants one and b) its well within the budget

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20927
  8. Don't get Vertex 4 SSD, it isn't good. Intel 330/Samsung 830/Crucial M4 are much better ones. Also, do you really think he needs PSU for $215? Lastly, GTX 670 SLI would be much better choice than single GTX 680, since it fits in his budget.
  9. Sunius said:
    Don't get Vertex 4 SSD, it isn't good. Intel 330/Samsung 830/Crucial M4 are much better ones. Also, do you really think he needs PSU for $215? Lastly, GTX 670 SLI would be much better choice than single GTX 680, since it fits in his budget.



    Well thats funy cos i just read a review on the vertex 4 that said it was the best value for performance out there, and also 1 gtx 680 is all he will need for his games and that way he avoids micro stutter and driver game compatability issues.
  10. That's an old review. Many people had troubles with Vertex 4. That's why I am not recommending it. Also, it's slower than Intel 330 yet has higher price tag. How is that better value?

    Lastly, microstuttering occurs when you SLI together two low end cards. It will most certainly not happen with GTX 670s! And he'll have almost double performance when compared to single GTX 680...
  11. Sunius said:
    That's an old review. Many people had troubles with Vertex 4. That's why I am not recommending it. Also, it's slower than Intel 330 yet has higher price tag. How is that better value?

    Lastly, microstuttering occurs when you SLI together two low end cards. It will most certainly not happen with GTX 670s! And he'll have almost double performance when compared to single GTX 680...


    Ive had a Vertex 4 for 6 weeks now with no such issues and its fantastic and lightning quick, anyway the decision will lye with the OP, and yes stutter still occurs with high end cards. Also he is more than likely going to be playing games at 1080p which im sure you will agree not only is a Single 680 more than enough but also maybe even overkill, so SLI gtx670s is damn right wastefull, but one thing i would say for the OPs needs a single GTX670 would be plenty.
  12. Well, it seems that SLI may be a bit of a toss up. Is microstuttering really bad? I understand that it's more visible in crossfire setups but even still, SLI still shows problems.

    Is it worth SLI for performance or should I compensate & buy a single, very powerful GPU?
  13. Well, it seems that SLI may be a bit of a toss up. Is microstuttering really bad? I understand that it's more visible in crossfire setups but even still, SLI still shows problems.

    Is it worth SLI for performance or should I compensate & buy a single, very powerful GPU?
  14. No it's really not, it gets apparent only when you get to 40 fps range. However, you'll get nothing near that number with SLI GTX 670s.
  15. Sunius said:
    No it's really not, it gets apparent only when you get to 40 fps range. However, you'll get nothing near that number with SLI GTX 670s.


    So you're saying I'd get a higher FPS running an SLI setup or lower? (Sorry for the stupid question, I'd expect to get more FPS from two GPU's but it's just for clarification :lol: )
  16. Lower FPS.
  17. Of course higher.

    Check this review:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/

    Its conclusion:


    Quote:
    Even for some its earliest drivers, GeForce GTX 670 SLI provides near-linear performance upscaling over single GTX 670. With a power draw of just 28W in idle, and 250W average load, the GTX 670 SLI, for the first time, makes a dual-GPU flagship card look silly, in terms of performance/Watt. Even an efficient 600W PSU should handle the GTX 670 SLI just fine. Gaming at 2560x1600 is smooth on the GTX 670 SLI, and importantly, a large majority of the games in our test-suite are playable at 5760x1080 (3D Vision Surround 3x 1080p). All said and done, the GeForce GTX 670 SLI is an unbelievably good graphics platform. NVIDIA will face a different kind of problem now: that of being able to sell GTX 690 for all its premium mojo, and GTX 680 by the numbers.


    @jay_nar2012: come one man, do you really think that GTX 670 SLI is slower than GTX 680? :lol:
  18. That's not 40% higher :P. 100/62 = 1.613, and that's 61.3% increase in fps :P.
  19. Sunius said:
    Of course higher.

    Check this review:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/

    Its conclusion:
    http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/images/perfrel_1920.gif

    Quote:
    Even for some its earliest drivers, GeForce GTX 670 SLI provides near-linear performance upscaling over single GTX 670. With a power draw of just 28W in idle, and 250W average load, the GTX 670 SLI, for the first time, makes a dual-GPU flagship card look silly, in terms of performance/Watt. Even an efficient 600W PSU should handle the GTX 670 SLI just fine. Gaming at 2560x1600 is smooth on the GTX 670 SLI, and importantly, a large majority of the games in our test-suite are playable at 5760x1080 (3D Vision Surround 3x 1080p). All said and done, the GeForce GTX 670 SLI is an unbelievably good graphics platform. NVIDIA will face a different kind of problem now: that of being able to sell GTX 690 for all its premium mojo, and GTX 680 by the numbers.


    @jay_nar2012: come one man, do you really think that GTX 670 SLI is slower than GTX 680? :lol:



    40% higher FPS rates, I'm down for that! SLI config would last me a few years before I'd have to swap out my cards :na:
  20. Sunius said:
    That's not 40% higher :P. 100/62 = 1.613, and that's 61.3% increase in fps :P.


    Excuse my math (I study law :pt1cable: ) So, despite the high probability of microstuttering that it's worth the SLI configuration? I mean if it stutters I can change the FPS cap in-game which I've read works with a lot of games or I can take out one GPU if certain games can't handle it. After all, I'm looking to dual/tri screen in the future.
  21. I think it's more than worth it. It's probably one of the most powerful setups you can get today. And trust me, you will not get microstuttering with GTX 670s.

    Also, in games that don't work with SLI you don't have to take out one card. All you need to do is disable SLI in nvidia control panel.
  22. Sunius said:
    I think it's more than worth it. It's probably one of the most powerful setups you can get today. And trust me, you will not get microstuttering with GTX 670s.

    Also, in games that don't work with SLI you don't have to take out one card. All you need to do is disable SLI in nvidia control panel.


    Woot! My problems are solved. Thank you very much for clearing my doubts :bounce:
    I'll be getting two of these 670's just for the aesthetic appearance;

    http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/27571-gainward-gtx-670-phantom-2gb-in-sli-tested-not-ready
  23. Looks great ;).
  24. Sunius said:
    Looks great ;).


    They do yeah? And they're actually relatively cheap compared to a lot of the other 670's on the market. I'm buying mine retail, there's a store out east from where I live that has them in stock :sol:
  25. Sunius said:
    Of course higher.

    Check this review:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/

    Its conclusion:
    http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/images/perfrel_1920.gif

    Quote:
    Even for some its earliest drivers, GeForce GTX 670 SLI provides near-linear performance upscaling over single GTX 670. With a power draw of just 28W in idle, and 250W average load, the GTX 670 SLI, for the first time, makes a dual-GPU flagship card look silly, in terms of performance/Watt. Even an efficient 600W PSU should handle the GTX 670 SLI just fine. Gaming at 2560x1600 is smooth on the GTX 670 SLI, and importantly, a large majority of the games in our test-suite are playable at 5760x1080 (3D Vision Surround 3x 1080p). All said and done, the GeForce GTX 670 SLI is an unbelievably good graphics platform. NVIDIA will face a different kind of problem now: that of being able to sell GTX 690 for all its premium mojo, and GTX 680 by the numbers.


    @jay_nar2012: come one man, do you really think that GTX 670 SLI is slower than GTX 680? :lol:


    I've read that a single 670 has around 90-95% the processing power of a single 680. I believe they took a few things out the 680 to make the 670 a more affordable alternative. Surprisingly, not a very big loss in power!
  26. Yea I suppose so :). That's the reason GTX 670 has so much better value than GTX 680.
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