Light-Moderate Gaming Machine

Approximate Purchase Date: Late May-Early June

Budget Range: I'd like to stay under 1000 but can exceed

System Usage from Most to Least Important: School Work, Gaming, General Internet Usage, Movies

Parts Not Required: I have all peripherals; I only need the tower

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: I'm an intel and asus fanboy, always loved their parts.

Overclocking: I don't know. This depends on how much performance difference I can actually see and if it will make any difference gaming.

SLI or Crossfire: I could care less really.

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: Basically, just need some advice on parts, not really sure where to start, and I would also like some advice on overclocking. I'm not planning on doing any extreme gaming because of school to take care of, but I'd like to be able to play games on a decent setting SMOOTHLY with some capability for future games (I will upgrade as needed).
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More about light moderate gaming machine
  1. At that resolution i would go with a 2500k paired with a 560 ti. Asus have really nice motherboards, but for the price you might consider an ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 or Pro 3 board (just trying to offer an alternative). Let me throw some parts around in newegg.
  2. Your needs and budget are very similar to mine. I'll link my build so you can see what I'm going for, as I'm happy with how it ended up:

    Keep in mind:
    I'm waiting for Ivy Bridge, which you do not necessarily have to do.
    Also, many of the parts I bought had sales/rebates that may or may not be expired by now. However, my build should give you a rough idea of a solid system in or under your price range.
  3. Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.69 @ DirectCanada)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($99.99 @ NCIX)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Canada Computers)
    Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg Canada)
    Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Memory Express)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.98 @ NCIX)
    Power Supply: Antec 620W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ Newegg Canada)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS70 OEM DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg Canada)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($105.92 @ TigerDirect Canada)
    Total: $1073.53
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated 2012-04-22 18:09 EDT-0400)

    $1130 at I tried :-(
  4. Go for a faster HD 7850:

    That one has a good cooler and a great pre-overclock.
  5. kelthic said:

    I really like this a lot, thanks. Just a few questions: After the cooler master heatsink, would I need any more fans besides the stock ones in the case and video card or should I stick a 200mm on the top for even more airflow because I'm considering overclocking? And to make use of the PCIe 3.0 slot, should I get the new HD7000 lineup or wait for nvidea?
  6. the additional fans are nice to keep temps down. To be honest though, i would start with the basic setup and then add the fans later. It looks to me like the case is going to ship with a 120mm intake fan in the front and 120mm exaust in the rear. It also looks to have the option to change the front to a 200mm fan and have extra spaces for a 120mm fan on the side panel and a 200mm fan on the top.

    if you order 2 of, you can move the 120mm from the front of the case to an intake on the side panel and install 1 of these bad boys in the front of the case as an intake and the other as an exhaust at the top.

    The difference between PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 is the bandwidth available. PCIe 3.0 has twice the bandwidth of PCIe 2.0. However, even the GTX 680 does not fully saturate the bandwidth of a PCIe 2.0 x16, so this is less of a concern than you might think. The 7850 is a faster card for a similar price to the 560 ti, so unless you plan on waiting for the rest of the kepler line up (no word on dates to my knowledge), i would spring for that card.
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