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Gaming Build $1500-$2000

Last response: in Systems
February 5, 2012 7:19:09 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within 2 months.
Budget Range: $1500-$2000, aiming for $1500, but if there are significantly better alternatives for a slightly higher price, I can at most go up to $2000.
System Usage: Gaming > multimedia / multitasking.
Parts Not Required: Monitors, hard drives, standard peripherals.
Preferred Websites:,,,,
Country: Canada
Part preferences: None really.
Overclocking: Yes.
SLI/Crossfire: Yes. In the future. But not necessary, as I find SLI/Crossfire don't work so well at times.
Monitor Resolution: 2048x1152 [DVI], 2048x1152 [DVI] I have a suspicion most new graphics cards don't support DVI, but I am really hoping not to waste 2 SyncMaster 2343 as they're working perfectly fine.
Additional Comments: USB 3.0 and SATA3 is preferable, and if possible, less LED. The blinking lights keep me from sleeping. D:

Current Build:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940
RAM: OCZ ReaperDDR2 PC2 8500 2x2GB
Hard drives: Kingston SV100S264G SSD, 2x WD102FAEX
Mobo: M4A79 Deluxe
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W
Chassis: Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Edition
GPU: Sapphire 4870 1GB x 2 Crossfire

Thanks guys! And will there be a significant benefit to upgrading at the moment? I don't want to spend the money to find out they're changing standards again. Happened to me when I bought my current build; everything changed from DDR2 to DDR3, AMD2+ to AMD3, USB2.0/SATA2 to USB3.0/SATA3.

More about : gaming build 1500 2000

February 5, 2012 8:12:58 AM

To address your concerns about changing standards, I'm not aware of any of that taking place except for the PICe 3.0 coming out, which nothing Im aware of actually takes advantage of. As far as new hardware is concerned, the next gen Intel processors (Ivy Bridge) are set to come out in the next few months. I wouldn't worry about it too much though, because it's just a die shrink basically. I'm pretty confident you could buy now and not regret it later, but no one would blame you to wait for Ivy Bridge either since it's right around the corner.

If you do decide to buy now, here's my recommendation...

Part list permalink:
Part price breakdown by merchant:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
This is the best CPU for gaming around today. The i7s just add in hyperthreading which almost all games around today can't utilize.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
This is a good cooler at a good price. It will get you ,ore than adequate thermal head room to overclock.

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
This has 2 PCIe 3.0 so you can crossfire later if you wanted, USB 3.0, and Sata 3.

Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Excellent low profile high frequency RAM.

Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($557.86 @ Newegg)
Biggest and baddest graphics card on the block right now. They're a bit hard to get a hold of, so whatever brand you can find in stock would be fine.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Cases are really just a matter of preference, this and the others in Cooler Master's HAF series are just what I personally like.

Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($149.99 @ Newegg)
The wattage on this will more than cover your needs with some wiggle room. The only thing Im worried about is how mmany amps a 7970 pulls off the 12 volt rail. This PSU can do 70 amps, which will more than certainly take care of any single card, but without knowing how much they pull I cant for certain say it's enough.

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1245.66

(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-02-05 04:56 EST-0500)

You'll notice the lack of hard drives I'm sure. My suggestion is to just pull them out of your current build because new ones are just so freaking expensive.

With that said though you should be able to power your way through any game with this bad boy (after someone double checks the PSU anyway :kaola:  )
February 5, 2012 9:37:07 PM

Just a few questions:
1. How much overclocking potential is there for the build?
2. And if I'm not mistaken, the 7970 only has a single DVI output. Both my monitors are DVI/VGA support only. Are there adapters for Mini Display Port or HDMI to DVI without reducing the quality of the images?
3. Also, mass storage is not an issue. However, what would be a good SSD for this build? I'm not quite sure what the difference between a PCIe SSD and a SATA SSD is.
4. Not really a question, but the mobo appears to lack USB3.0 headers. Other than that, everything else looks great.
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Best solution

February 6, 2012 1:58:20 AM

1) I couldn't give you specifics, but I know you typically get 4Ghz at a relatively small voltage increase. You could do some Google searching to see what other people have gotten at what voltages, but no 2 processors are ever exactly the same.

2)I know there are Hdmi to DVI adapters. I've never heard of anyone having problems with them, quite the opposite actually. I wouldn't anticipate having any trouble with it.

3)I don't see any reason not to use the one from your old build. But if you wanted to buy a new one I would just say make it a SATA III connection and the storage you want. Beyond that the differences between each are rather minor.
As for the difference between a PCIe and a SATA SSD is it's just about how you're connecting your SSD to your motherboard. As previously stated, I would recommend a SATA III connection.

4) I'm almost certain they're there somewhere. It seems odd to not have them. If you want to play it safe you could consider that board's big brother...
and in the details it says... "1 x Front USB 3.0 Panel" So you should be good
February 7, 2012 1:54:13 AM

Best answer selected by DeathAbyss.