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$1,500 Gaming PC

Last response: in Systems
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April 28, 2012 4:48:52 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $1,000 - 1,7000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No Preference

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Best performance for the price

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No


Additional Comments: I'm looking into building a new gaming PC, and to be quite honest, I'm overwhelmed. It's been years since I last updated my old PC, and the market is filled with new products that I'm clueless about. In the past I used AMD Processors and Geforce GPU's, but I'm willing to go with whatever is getting the best performance now. Thanks for the help/advice.

More about : 500 gaming

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 28, 2012 7:11:30 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX ($135.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 CAS9 1.5V F3-1600C9D-8GAB ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 128GB ($136.00 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI N680GTX Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC ($547.86 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X 660W ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1359.79
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-04-28 15:07 EDT-0400)

Add whatever case you want as long as it can support everything else (and an optical drive if you want one).

Get this if you do want the option to SLI in the future:
NZXT Hale90 750W $140
http://www.amazon.com/HALE90-Power-Supply-Modular-HALE9...
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April 29, 2012 4:45:35 PM

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
I think I may go with a motherboard that can support SLI/Crossfire and Ivy Bridge when it releases, that way I have potential for upgrade, any suggestions?

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Related resources
April 30, 2012 11:48:43 PM

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($137.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($113.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.93 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($547.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Element G ATX Mid Tower Case ($113.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($144.49 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1624.01


This is the build I'm considering, comments/suggestions please. I think I'm just going to go with one SSD HD for now, I can always add another HD. Is a Mushkin SSD a good choice?
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May 1, 2012 12:37:34 AM

i wuldnt go with that hard drive. as of right now SSD are a little bit unstable for the long term in my opinion, but other than that i aprove!
n00b approval FTW
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May 1, 2012 12:42:41 AM

betterley said:
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($137.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($113.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.93 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($547.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Element G ATX Mid Tower Case ($113.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($144.49 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1624.01


This is the build I'm considering, comments/suggestions please. I think I'm just going to go with one SSD HD for now, I can always add another HD. Is a Mushkin SSD a good choice?

i see you have a micro atx selected for a mid tower case... do you know you're case supports mATX and full ATX mobo's. although there isnt much difference in microATX and full ATX mobo's a full mobo may look better to you since it's bigger. i see you still have 86 dollars in your budget. you could upgrade to a ASRock Z77 Extreme6.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for $40 more i would do it. or if you didnt want to do it i suggest a different SSD. i use this one and it is much faster than the mushkin. its the best 120gb ssd out there imo. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
:whistle: 
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May 1, 2012 1:24:42 AM

Ahhh, thanks for the heads up, guys, I didn't notice I had a micro board selected.

Will an Ivy Bridge i5 processor perform better than an i7 Sandy Bridge?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 1, 2012 9:57:48 AM

The only review I have noticed for the i5-3570K, which compares it to the i7-2700K.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i7-37...

You could check around for other i5-3570K reviews, but I think they all will show that for the most part the IVB i5 will outperform the SNB i7, especially in gaming.

16GB is overkill for gaming, you could save a lot of money going with 8GB and you won't notice a difference.
If you are going for the original Vengeance sets then they come with very tall heatspreaders which could potentially interfere with CPU coolers like the Hyper 212 Plus.

The Element G is a goog looking case and has fairly good layout and features. However Thermaltake cases of the Element G era are often criticised for their poor build quality.
An example of this is that for such an expensive case it shouldn't have non-reusable PCI slot covers IMO.

Mushkin SSDs get a lot of recommendations, I don't personally know why though.

The PSU is very good, didn't notice it was that price on Amazon.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 1, 2012 9:29:25 PM

I personally would go with Ivy i5 rather than Sandy i7, just because the i5 actually outperforms the i7 in a lot of gaming areas.
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May 2, 2012 3:56:15 PM

Which i5 Ivy Bridge CPU would you recommend?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
May 2, 2012 6:16:15 PM

i5-3570K
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 2, 2012 8:58:51 PM

The i5-3570k, if you ever want to over clock, unless you can find a way to unlock the locked version :p 
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May 3, 2012 1:13:34 AM

Thanks, I'm gonna go with the i5 3570k.
Considering motherboards, I think I'm going to get an ASRock z77 extreme 4, which jrwizbang suggested. Before I order it, I wanted to ask what the difference is between the varioius z77 models, such as the extreme 6 and professional, am I going to notice any difference while gaming?
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 3, 2012 1:31:58 AM

The only difference really is just some random pretty useless features. Nothing that will affect gaming in the slightest bit. The extreme4 is a very nice board.
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May 3, 2012 1:13:56 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7Gng
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7Gng/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/7Gng/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.69 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.90 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($147.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.79 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Scorpio Black 250GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Sandisk Ultra 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($547.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($138.98 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1530.27
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-03 09:12 EDT-0400)

Here is another build I tried out, let me know what you guys think.
I went with less RAM, and an additional HD. Also, can anyone really confirm if the Corsair Vengence memory will interfere with the CPU fan? Thanks.
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May 5, 2012 8:58:29 PM

Does anyone know where I can actually purchase a Twin Froxr 680? Anywhere I look they are out of stock...

Amazon does have some 680's avaliable, such as EVGA, but they are a lot pricier, are they worth it?

Amazon 680's
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2012 9:42:24 PM

So first off. The build looks good. 8GB is plenty. I can, in fact confirm, that the corsair vengeance heat spreaders do interfere with the cooler. I say this from experience. Corsair does make a low profile version of the same ram though.
Those 680s are quite pricey. I personally wouldn't pay that much more just to get it sooner, but that is just me.
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May 16, 2012 12:25:01 AM

Hey, everyone, thanks for the help. Here's my build:



CPU: i5 Ivy Bridge 3570k, Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
RAM: 8 Gig Corsair Vengeance, Low Profile
Video Card: EVGA Super Clocked GTX 670
Hard Drives: San Disk 120 GB SSD, Western Digital Scorpio Black 7200 ROM 250 GB
Optical Drive: Asus Blu-ray Player, DVD/CD Writer
Power Supply: Corsair TX 750
Case: Corsair Graphite 600T White

Thanks again for all the help.

I need to get another SATA 3 cable. Once all the installations were done I unplugged my optical drive, and connected my additional hard drive. I also have to purchase a converter for a USB 3.0 header. Other than that I think it went pretty well.

One final question (at least I think so): My CPU cooler has a little bit of play on top of the CPU. It sits on the CPU firmly, and there's no gaps in contact, but it can pivot very slightly, is that normal?
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!