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New Gaming PC - End of Month. $1000-1200

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April 14, 2012 1:03:13 AM

Hi all,

I've been reading around on the different Build threads and I've seen some great advice. I've been planning on putting together a new gaming PC for upcoming game launches. My current PC was built a little over 4 years ago with a minor CPU, HDD and GPU upgrades. It's time for a new one.

Following the sticky:

Approximate Purchase Date: End of April/Very Early May

Budget Range: $1000-1200 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Streaming (Twitch, Justin, Hulu, NetFlix), Surfing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Optical Drive, HDD, Monitors, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference, used NewEgg for initial pricing. Least expensive legit site is "preferred"

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 - 2x At that resolution

Additional Comments: Quiet PC that is Easy to clean (dust wise) is very important! A Computer that will be "future proofed." Would be nice to get same usage as my last gaming computer. I plan on streaming my games on Twitch. I do not have a Microcenter near me.

My initial thoughts:

Case: Corsair Graphite Series 600T CC600TM Mid-Tower Gaming Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 159.99

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 89.99

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 54.99

GPU: EVGA 025-P3-1579-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD 2560MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 349.99

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 219.99

CPU Cooler: CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 69.99

MOBO: ASUS P8Z68:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 154.99

SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 159.99

The build did not include any other cooling fans because I have no idea what to get that doesn't already come with the Case.

Further, with speculation of Ivy Bridge coming in the next 10 days or so; will Sandy Bridge Procs drops in price?

I'm also looking to get a gaming mouse and USB headset. Looking at:

Mouse: RAZER Naga Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 70.00
Don't really need all the extra buttons but wouldn't hurt and I've heard great reviews

Headset: Logitech H530 USB Connector Circumaural Headset
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 43.99

Total* (Non-Mouse/Headset) : $1259.92 (before shipping)
Total* (Mouse/Headset) : $1373.91 (before shipping)

*I did not include mail-in rebates in the price

What I built was a little over what I'd like budget wise. Thoughts? Could I stay the same and shop elsewhere?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
April 14, 2012 1:32:57 AM

I just did a similar build and I have a few suggestions for you.

For processors if you want to overclock it opt for the i5 2500K, as the 2500 without the "k" has a clocked multiplier and limited overclock ability.

For SSD I would recommend looking at the drive I link below. It is a quality drive and is a great deal currently on newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case you have looks fine, you might also want to look into the coolermaster storm scout/sniper cases, which are rather nice.

Mouse-wise, I use a Razer death adder, but Razer tends to make very buggy drivers and I refuse to even install their drivers anymore after some of the experience I had with it.

Ivy is coming out soon, if you want to wait there will be a slight performance increase, but I would not expect the Sandybridge prices to drop very much (usually it just doesn't happen)
April 14, 2012 1:59:22 AM

revolution2718 said:
I just did a similar build and I have a few suggestions for you.

For processors if you want to overclock it opt for the i5 2500K, as the 2500 without the "k" has a clocked multiplier and limited overclock ability.

For SSD I would recommend looking at the drive I link below. It is a quality drive and is a great deal currently on newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case you have looks fine, you might also want to look into the coolermaster storm scout/sniper cases, which are rather nice.

Mouse-wise, I use a Razer death adder, but Razer tends to make very buggy drivers and I refuse to even install their drivers anymore after some of the experience I had with it.

Ivy is coming out soon, if you want to wait there will be a slight performance increase, but I would not expect the Sandybridge prices to drop very much (usually it just doesn't happen)


Thanks for the catch on the CPU, I must have read right over the "k" when doing the search.

That SSD is great! I'll keep that in mind and hopefully the deal continues through the end of this month.

Looking at the cases you recommended, the styles are really nice. How is the cleaning though? My current case is a Cooler Master and it seems like I clean the thing once a week because of how dusty it gets - case is very close to the ground because I don't have room on the top of the desk (Yes I vacuum the carpet near by weekly).

For your Razer has the lack of drivers had any negative affect?

Thanks for the help!
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
April 14, 2012 2:47:24 AM

Ivy Bridge cpu's are due out April 29th. <---- PCI-E 3.0 with Z77 + Ivy Bridge + new gen cards

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy-bridge-preview-c... <---- Ivy Bridge cpu review with benchmarks




http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Tower-RC-922M-KKN1-... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master HAF ATX Mid Tower Case, RC-922M-KKN1-GP (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $69.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
OCZ ZS Series 750W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://pcper.com/news/Processors/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-Proce... $225
Intel i5-3750K Ivy Bridge CPU 3.4Ghz

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2... $34.29 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99
SAPPHIRE 11199-00-20G Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Total: $1,088.41 *not including shipping and rebates


http://www.anandtech.com/show/5691/the-retail-radeon-hd... <------ 7870 2GB > gtx 570
April 14, 2012 3:37:26 AM

Not sure if anyone said this but, don't get a hydro series cpu cooler. people have been telling me that they aren't that good. Instead get an CoolerMaster EVO. The best for under $40
April 14, 2012 3:41:38 AM

zonagamer said:
Thanks for the catch on the CPU, I must have read right over the "k" when doing the search.

That SSD is great! I'll keep that in mind and hopefully the deal continues through the end of this month.

Looking at the cases you recommended, the styles are really nice. How is the cleaning though? My current case is a Cooler Master and it seems like I clean the thing once a week because of how dusty it gets - case is very close to the ground because I don't have room on the top of the desk (Yes I vacuum the carpet near by weekly).

For your Razer has the lack of drivers had any negative affect?

Thanks for the help!


Same situation with the cases, I have the scout version, both sides have removable panels and it is pretty easy to clean out. It has dust screens over the intake fan and the entire front grill, but it is open air with the vents on the side clear panel. I'm happy with it.

As far as the razer drivers are concerned, I've had bad experience with it. On my old XP system the driver update did not work (yes I uninstalled the old driver and did it clean). The new install was bugged for some reason and kept sending me to blue screens when i tried to remove it.

And then these new deathadder drivers I'm putting onto my windows 7 system cause the pointer to jump around, but I guess I need to update the firmware before i can make a decision on these. They're just notoriously buggy. I love the mouse, but the drivers are very hit or miss.
April 14, 2012 3:07:30 PM

I've hear that the 600D has poor cooling with that having to turn the fans up to max to get decent temperatures, and with that the 600T is based on the same design so maybe Corsair 500R? Just based on what I've heard, also the 600T does not come with dust filters so if your going for the 600T maybe get this?

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

April 14, 2012 9:28:58 PM

Thanks for the info all!

@kevumi: What do you mean the 600T does not come with dust filters? Aren't those removable grates dust filters? Am I missing something?

@Why_Me: I took a look at your list the pricing is MUCH more reasonable. After going to Fry's Electronics today I took a look at the HAF you posted. Looks good, I have been debating between that and the Sniper that revolution posted. Do you have any knowledge of the primary differences? Also, I noticed when you first posted you put up a MSI Vid card now you changed it to a Sapphire. Any difference between the two? Also, do you think Ivy Bridge will be for sale at retailers (online) end of April? Fry's said they would get it 2 weeks after launch which may be too late for me.

@BuBzXXL: Any reason why the Hydro isn't very good? Also, won't I need an exhaust fan with the EVO? If so, which would you recommend?

@revolution: Thanks for the information on the Razer, I'm now debating between the Naga and Death Adder.

Thanks all for your information! More information is always appreciated making the most informed decision is important to me.
a b 4 Gaming
April 14, 2012 9:41:48 PM

zonagamer said:
Thanks for the info all!

@kevumi: What do you mean the 600T does not come with dust filters? Aren't those removable grates dust filters? Am I missing something?

@Why_Me: I took a look at your list the pricing is MUCH more reasonable. After going to Fry's Electronics today I took a look at the HAF you posted. Looks good, I have been debating between that and the Sniper that revolution posted. Do you have any knowledge of the primary differences? Also, I noticed when you first posted you put up a MSI Vid card now you changed it to a Sapphire. Any difference between the two? Also, do you think Ivy Bridge will be for sale at retailers (online) end of April? Fry's said they would get it 2 weeks after launch which may be too late for me.

@BuBzXXL: Any reason why the Hydro isn't very good? Also, won't I need an exhaust fan with the EVO? If so, which would you recommend?

@revolution: Thanks for the information on the Razer, I'm now debating between the Naga and Death Adder.

Thanks all for your information! More information is always appreciated making the most informed decision is important to me.

I always try to post a balanced build. If your on a budget and you put a lot of $$$ in one component, it means you have to skimp on another component.

The CM Sniper is a nice case, but how much does it cost and what is your budget? Like that Hydro...it's spendy for what you get out of it. With SB cpu's and most likely will be with IB cpu's...anything past 4.4 - 4.5ghz nets your pretty much a zero gain in regards to FPS. So why blow that money on a pseudo water cooler when that CM EVO will get you a nice 4.4Ghz o/c ? You can always add another fan to it later on for a push - pull effect...amazon has those fans for $10 atm, but no need to get one now.

I see people on here all the time getting stuff like $180 case, fancy bright light keyboards that glow in the dark, and then they end up having to skimp on the important stuff like vid card, psu, etc.... I never understood that.

For that MSI card...no card maker matches MSI atm in non reference cooling. That card runs as cool as ice. I switched cards to save a few $$$. If your into o/c your vid card then the MSI card I posted at first is king in that dept, but that Saphire is no slouch either.

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Computer-Cooling-R4... <---- That's an optional fan that fits on that CM 922 HAF. It will hold one more 200mm fan (CM Megaflow).
April 14, 2012 10:01:30 PM

Why_Me said:
I always try to post a balanced build. If your on a budget and you put a lot of $$$ in one component, it means you have to skimp on another component.

The CM Sniper is a nice case, but how much does it cost and what is your budget? Like that Hydro...it's spendy for what you get out of it. With SB cpu's and most likely will be with IB cpu's...anything past 4.4 - 4.5ghz nets your pretty much a zero gain in regards to FPS. So why blow that money on a pseudo water cooler when that CM EVO will get you a nice 4.4Ghz o/c ? You can always add another fan to it later on for a push - pull effect...amazon has those fans for $10 atm, but no need to get one now.

I see people on here all the time getting stuff like $180 case, fancy bright light keyboards that glow in the dark, and then they end up having to skimp on the important stuff like vid card, psu, etc.... I never understood that.

For that MSI card...no card maker matches MSI atm in non reference cooling. That card runs as cool as ice. I switched cards to save a few $$$. If your into o/c your vid card then the MSI card I posted at first is king in that dept, but that Saphire is no slouch either.

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Computer-Cooling-R4... <---- That's an optional fan that fits on that CM 922 HAF. It will hold one more 200mm fan (CM Megaflow).


I completely appreciate the advice while still looking at the budget. One of the things that attracts me to Sniper (even over the 600T) is that it has Fan/LCD control. Having a light sleeper in the room where the box makes small noise and less obtrusive light a nice bonus. I do like the HAF and it's much more in my budget, will have to see if it remains the same price come end of month.

If the EVO will work as good as the pseudo water cooler then I'd rather go with the EVO. It's less expensive and I can still o/c with it. I'm sure in the future I'll end up o/c'ing my video card so I'd probably go with the MSI seeing how it's the same price (after rebate - I prefer not having to send rebates but if its necessary I won't be upset).

Thanks for your advice it means a lot! I'm definitely trying to put my money to the most important products (GPU/PSU) while still getting decent components in the other areas. Balanced is the perfect term. It's funny you mention the fancy lighted keyboards etc, I got an old G-15 (love the keys) for $15 off of Craigslist and it works like a DREAM! The keyboard LCD is broken but I don't need it. I feel like I'm contradicting myself when I'm looking to purchase a Razer, but I'm not looking to purchase the expensive one. If I could find one of those on Craigslist for a respectable price I'd probably buy it!

I'm going to start seeing if I can find any Newegg coupons for shipping or any of these items. So when the purchase comes if I can lower the price at all I'll have the opportunity.


a b 4 Gaming
April 14, 2012 10:37:11 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Gaming-CC-... $116.16 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid Tower Gaming Case CC-9011012-WW

Optimize airflow and keep your system neat and tidy using the intelligent cable management system.
Removable hard drive cages for optimum GPU airflow and to accommodate GPUs up to 452mm in length
Mesh side panel can accommodate two 120mm or 140mm fans, or included 200mm fan for outrageous cooling potential.
Built-in multi-channel fan controller for optimal cooling adjustability.
Front panel includes USB 3.0, Headphone, Mic, multi-channel fan controller, and an LED on/off switch.
Built-in compatibility for SSDs in the six hard drive bays gives you the flexibility you need.
Install or upgrade your CPU heatsink quickly with the easy-access backplate cutout.
Keep your system cool with up to 10 fan mount locations (four 120mm, six 120mm/140mm)


http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <----- A better look at that case
a b 4 Gaming
April 14, 2012 10:48:26 PM

It also comes with a restart button. Handy if you ask me. :p 
April 14, 2012 11:49:05 PM

Why_Me said:
Ivy Bridge cpu's are due out April 29th. <---- PCI-E 3.0 with Z77 + Ivy Bridge + new gen cards

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy-bridge-preview-c... <---- Ivy Bridge cpu review with benchmarks

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph5626/44758.png


http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Tower-RC-922M-KKN1-... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master HAF ATX Mid Tower Case, RC-922M-KKN1-GP (Black)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $69.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
OCZ ZS Series 750W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://pcper.com/news/Processors/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-Proce... $225
Intel i5-3750K Ivy Bridge CPU 3.4Ghz

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2... $34.29 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 FREE SHIPPING
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99
SAPPHIRE 11199-00-20G Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Total: $1,088.41 *not including shipping and rebates


http://www.anandtech.com/show/5691/the-retail-radeon-hd... <------ 7870 2GB > gtx 570



I second this build. It brings you in nicely under your budget, and is loaded with quality parts. The HD 7870 is really the "sweet spot" for gaming right now, in my opinion. You are getting huge performance for around 350 dollars. MSI has the Twin Frozr in this series, and it has an amazing cooling solution, that's not to say that Sapphire is bad-- no, it also has large heat pipes and dual fans, so it can OC just as well, most likely, maybe with just slightly more fan noise, but what's a lil' noise. The major reason I would pick Sapphire is the fact that it comes with a FREE copy of Dirt 3 (a $50 value)! MSI does not! I don't know if you're a dirt fan, but if you like racing games at all, dirt wins big.

If you wanted to nickle and dime your budget you could grab a modular PSU, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., it's $20 more and could make cable management a bit easier, that's the only change I'd make, and it's certainly not necessary, just a preference.
April 17, 2012 11:48:28 PM

kwb said:
I second this build. It brings you in nicely under your budget, and is loaded with quality parts. The HD 7870 is really the "sweet spot" for gaming right now, in my opinion. You are getting huge performance for around 350 dollars. MSI has the Twin Frozr in this series, and it has an amazing cooling solution, that's not to say that Sapphire is bad-- no, it also has large heat pipes and dual fans, so it can OC just as well, most likely, maybe with just slightly more fan noise, but what's a lil' noise. The major reason I would pick Sapphire is the fact that it comes with a FREE copy of Dirt 3 (a $50 value)! MSI does not! I don't know if you're a dirt fan, but if you like racing games at all, dirt wins big.

If you wanted to nickle and dime your budget you could grab a modular PSU, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., it's $20 more and could make cable management a bit easier, that's the only change I'd make, and it's certainly not necessary, just a preference.


Noticed a couple things when looking at both the Sapphire and MSI. Both do not support dual DVI Crossfire. This is crucial since my dual monitors are both DVI (I might have forgotten to mention that when I editted my main post to match the Sticky).

Any ideas? Friend of mine referred me to the XFX 7870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). However, I'm not familiar with XFX or their cooling.

Thanks for the continued advice.
a b 4 Gaming
April 18, 2012 12:28:42 AM

zonagamer said:
Noticed a couple things when looking at both the Sapphire and MSI. Both do not support dual DVI Crossfire. This is crucial since my dual monitors are both DVI (I might have forgotten to mention that when I editted my main post to match the Sticky).

Any ideas? Friend of mine referred me to the XFX 7870 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). However, I'm not familiar with XFX or their cooling.

Thanks for the continued advice.


http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_... <---- See if that card has what you need.

http://www.amazon.com/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utili... $349.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon 2GB DDR5 VGA/DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort GPU Tweak Utilities PCI-Express 3.0 Graphics Card HD7870-DC2-2GD5
April 18, 2012 4:49:53 PM

Why_Me said:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_... <---- See if that card has what you need.

http://www.amazon.com/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utili... $349.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon 2GB DDR5 VGA/DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort GPU Tweak Utilities PCI-Express 3.0 Graphics Card HD7870-DC2-2GD5


From the looks of it I think I'm going to need one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., to run my dual-DVI (input) monitors with the current crop of video cards being recommended.

I'm currently using a GeForce 9800 Gx2 which has 2x DVI Outputs, it doesn't looks like many 7870's support that other than the XFX I linked. Would using the Adapter reduce performance? Is there a better solution to this problem?

PS: I like my monitors.

EDIT: Just Google'd around this issue. Looks like the adapter would be the way to go. Unless anyone has a better solution.
!