~$1500 IB CAD & Gaming System

Approximate Purchase Date: By August 1, 2012

Budget Range: I’m shooting for ~$1500, but do not want to sacrifice quality

System Usage from Most to Least Important: CAD (SolidWorks 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and simulations), Gaming (League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Dirt 3), occasional Photoshop and video editing @ 1080p

Parts Not Required: Monitor, OS, and speakers. Mouse and keyboard not required, but I’m looking for recommendations! Currently have something like the M705 and am looking for a change b/c it's wearing out.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, but open to others, just worried about shipping primarily.

Country: U.S. (Pennsylvania)

Parts Preferences: Intel IB CPU (3570K or 3770K). Was thinking Nvidia GPU, but anything with performance greater than or equal to that of the GTX 580 would be great. Also open to workstation GPUs (of which I know very little about).

Overclocking: Maybe (Something I might try eventually, but isn't pivotal to my build)

SLI or Crossfire: Eventually (not initially, but I want to have the option in the future)

Monitor Resolution: I acquired a monitor, but not sure on resolution. 1920x1080 for reference. I will be running dual monitors.

Additional Comments: I plan on using this computer as my work computer after college (in two years) and I am an engineer.
Will need be starting w/ 2x8GB RAM and then up to 4x8GB when necessary.
I plan to have a 1TB HDD (@7200RPM) coupled with a small SSD (it can be as small as 60GB, no need to go bigger unless its the same price).


Ordering within next three days:
LG 22X DVD Burner (it reads and writes, I don’t care about speed too much) ($17)

Arctic 5 Thermal Compound ($12)

Polk Audio RM6750 5.1CH Speaker System (this is going to the T.V. downstairs, but just wanted to see if anyone had any extra opinions) ($180)

Pioneer VSX-821-K 5.1CH Receiver (for the surround sound, just wanted to see if anyone had any extra opinions/suggestions) ($150)

Coupon codes and shipping included in prices.

A rough guess at my build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7z2Q

I will try to update this as much as possible as I figure out more things.

Thank you in advanced!

4/28 edit: Edited graphics card preferences.
4/29 edit: Edited CPU preferences.
4/30 edit: Added rough build.
15 answers Last reply
More about 1500 gaming system
  1. You should not use one 8 gig stick of RAM rather than two 4 gig sticks . That would mean you'd be in single channel and kill off half the badwidth of the cpu- RAM connections. Do that and you can expect system performance to drop 7-8 %


    Intel 2500K
    Motherboard with a Z68 or Z77 chipset
    2 x4 gig of 1600 MHz 1.5 volt RAM
    RADEON 7850 [ are there 6xxx series nVidias available besides the GTX 680? ]
  2. By August the gtx 670 and gtx 660 series cards should be out on the shelves.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157282 $214.99
    ASRock X79 Extreme4 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=X79%20Extreme4 <----- another look at that board


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157289 $249.99
    ASRock X79 Extreme6 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=X79%20Extreme6 <----- another look at that board

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115229 $309.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 2011 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73820

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103176 $69.99
    Cooler Master TPC 812 RR-T812-24PK-R1 120mm Sleeve with Dual Vertical Vapor Chamber TPC 812 CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103106 $39.99 FREE SHIPPING
    COOLER MASTER RR-H612-20PK-R3 120mm Sleeve with 6 Heat Pipes Hyper 612 PWM CPU Cooler (LGA 2011 Version)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231556 $104.99 FREE SHIPPING
    G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9D-16GAO


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231558 $114.99 FREE SHIPPING
    G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C10D-16GAO


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231557 $209.99 FREE SHIPPING
    G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9Q-32GAO


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231559 $239.99
    G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C10Q-32GAO

    For a Z77 build, just replace the motherboard and cpu with this down below.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293 $134.99
    ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extreme4 <---- another look at that board.

    http://www.guru3d.com/news/intel-ivy-bridge-gets-prelaunch-price-cut/ $313
    Intel Ivy Bridge 3770K 3.5Ghz
  3. @Outlander:
    Do you have something that further explains that? I honestly didn't know that. I mean, 4x4GB or something would probably be good for a while.

    The reason why I said Nvidia 6xx was b/c I thought there was going to be a big upgrade from the Fermi to Kepler. I am also open to workstation GPUs if you think they would be good enough or better than the other options over the next couple months.

    I have updated my original post with the graphics card information.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I will be checking them out more as the week goes on (I have finals Monday and Tuesday) and getting back to you.
  4. If you go X79 like Why_Me suggested with the ASRock Extreme 6 board (what I have, actually), you'll have 8 DIMM slots, which means you can have up to 32 gigs with 4GB sticks. So you could get 4x4GB now and 4x4GB later. Not a bad option.

    Also, do you plan to install Solidworks and Photoshop on your SSD? I think you should, and a 64GB SSD might be cutting it close. SSD prices are low and getting lower, so I'd recommend a Samsung 830 or Crucial m4 at 128GB.
  5. For keyboard reccomendations, get something with mechanical switches. I like MX Browns (the balance feedback against noise).
  6. 8 DIMM slots would be perfect, I just didn't really know it went that high (I've seen up to 6), I know I won't need more than 32GB of RAM throughout the lifetime of this computer.

    SolidWorks is only ~5GB installed (I don't have all of the simulation stuff yet b/c I get it through my school, I think it totals to ~16GB with everything at most). I don't use Photoshop often enough to justify a large SSD honestly. On the other hand, if it's only like a $10-$20 difference, it's worth the cost to me.

    I'm reading about mechanical keyboards now and pretty much I just would have to try one out and then make a decision.
  7. Yep, get 4x4GB kits for quad-channel on the X79 Platform.
  8. Updated processor preferences. 3570K vs 3770K? Given my usage and the $100 price difference, I would like to here some opinions. BTW - with that sort of price difference, I couldn't justify a 3820K.

    With this processor preference, I must also go with a mobo that has 4 DIMM slots, so I will be starting with 2x8GB sticks.
    G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C10D-16GAO unless there is something else I should go with. (maybe Corsair Vengeance?)
  9. I have come up with a rough outline for my build. Let me know what you think:

  10. Get the Radeon 7970. It OCs better and uses a lot less power, plus it is a lot better in performance. Get the Crucial M4 128GB SSD.
  11. I sort of just temporarily picked the GTX 580 for now b/c I do plan on getting a 600 series card. Exactly what one? No idea yet... Given this, would you still recommend the Radeon 7970? If I got that card, I would eventually get a second one. (something like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127645 would make sense to me)

    I do have the Crucial M4 in there. I will be using that for my boot disk and SolidWorks. The remainder of my stuff will be on the 1TB drive.

    I have no idea what to do as far as motherboards go... they confuse me.

    Is the 3570K sufficient for my needs or should I go with the 3770K?
  12. The 7970 is still going to be more powerful than the GTX 670, but if the GTX 680 gets back in stock, get that over the 7970 as it is more powerful.
  13. Is the 850W PSU going to be sufficient for dual 680s?
  14. mxrcdude said:
    Is the 850W PSU going to be sufficient for dual 680s?

    A decent 750w psu will push dual 680's, but an 850w gives you a nice chunk of headroom to work with.
  15. What about 7970s? I would prefer 680s, but there's a pretty significant price difference between the two and, for me, the performance difference just doesn't seem to be worth it. From what I can find, it seems like 850w is still good.

    Any motherboard opinions? They still confuse me...
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