$1200-1600 Ivy Bridge Gaming Desktop

Approximate Purchase Date: End of May to Mid June 2012.

Budget Range: US$1200–1600. Maybe more if needed…

System Usage: gaming, HD movies, web browsing, computer simulations

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, Nvidia graphics, Asus motherboard, Corsair/Kingston memory

Overclocking: Yes / Maybe. Little experience in this area. I’ll rely on the community for their advice.

SLI or Crossfire: ??? No experience in this area. I’ll rely on the community for their advice.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 24” Dell UltraSharp U2412M (Possible future upgrade to 2560x1440 27" Dell UltraSharp U2711)

Additional Comments: Upgradability, quietness and stability are the main things.

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Hi all, my Lenovo T61 laptop just died and I need a new computer. The boutique sites like Maingear, Velocity Mirco, and Falcon HW are too expensive, so I’ll build my own gaming machine. I want to play Battlefield 3, Fallout 3, Crysis 2, etc. on my 24” monitor (soon to be 27”?). My main thing is deciding between certain specs, so if you could help me out. Quietness is paramount as is upgradability. Let me know if any of the parts are overkill as well. The main things I don’t know are the cooling and power systems. Also, overclocking?

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Case
??? It needs to have room for future upgrades but also not too big. (Compatibility with all the specs below too.)
Thermaltake Commander MS-I Snow (this is a little too big, also, white?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133196

Motherboard
ASUS Maximus V Gene
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131830
OR
ASUS P8Z77-V LK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837

CPU
Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116501
OR
Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116502

RAM
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) (future upgrade to 32GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233246

Graphics Card (I will add on a second card in the future; this is my biggest question mark. Should I get better card(s)? Note my monitor specs.)
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604
OR
EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1.2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130593

HDD
2x WD Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM (both in raid-1)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
OR
2x Seagate Barracuda 1 TB 7200 RPM (both in raid-1)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840
OR
128 GB SSD (instead of the RAID drives. Which is better for gaming?)

PSU
??? I’m not sure, is 600 Watts enough to power everything? (plus a second graphics card in the future?)

CPU Cooler
??? Again, not sure. I do NOT want to skimp on cooling my (overclocked?) unit, but it also needs to be quiet. (Liquid cooling is too much of a hassle; I’m looking at fan cooling)

120MM Fans for optional slots
??? Needed? Quiet?

Am I missing anything?
Thanks!
5 answers Last reply
More about 1200 1600 bridge gaming desktop
  1. 1. There is NO reason to go with the plain 3770 instead of the 3770K. None. Overclocking on this generation of SB/IB processors is easy, risk-free, and takes literally 4 minutes.

    2. If you're paying $200 for a motherboard, and you're considering crossfire/SLI later, get one that's x16/x16. If two video cards are not that important, just pick up something for $100.

    3. No need for 16GB of RAM unless you're a professional graphic designer or videographer. For gaming, 8GB of it will sit there doing nothing. In fact, more like 12GB will sit there doing nothing, but you might as well get 8GB because the price of 2x4GB kits are so cheap.

    4. For a serious gaming machine, go with an SSD. 128GB will work, but it would drive me crazy; I wouldn't do it with anything less than 240GB or 256GB. Your call though. You can also get a regular HDD or two for storing a lot of photos or movies if you are into that, but I don't think the extra money for a Caviar |Black is worth it in that case if it's not your primary.

    5. A 600W PSU will be enough for everything easily. It will not be enough if you add a second video card, or at best you'll be pushing it. Go 750-800W for that.

    6. Go with the GTX 570.
  2. 1. Well right now i dont have much experience on building, but just in ase you know , the CASE you bought i am also going to buy it because of you :] , it looks awesome.

    2. I think you will have to get a better psu, even for future upgrades 750 or 800 i recomend.

    3. by the way why so much ram? 8gb is alright for gaming, might aswell save the money, and maybe later on put 8GB more.

    4. CPU Cooler , you can buy it when you get the 2nd GPU. i dont think you need to overclock right know, and if you dont plan on overcloking at all, cpu cooler is out of the question and do not buy i7 3770k, buy the i7 3770


    5. I am going to use the MOBO p8z77 [ the one u put there ], and from what i heard is pretty prety nice. i would recomend that.


    6. HDD and SSD, do you only plan to buy a 120gb SSD as a primary hard drive?

    why not buy a 120gb and a 500gb / or 1tb HDD? if you install the OS on the SSD, it will still be runing fast, and even make the hdd a litle faster from what i heard. even push it more and buy a 250gb.

    those are my opinions, thank you for the case ^_^
  3. hueytwo50 said:
    Approximate Purchase Date: End of May to Mid June 2012.

    Budget Range: US$1200–1600. Maybe more if needed…

    System Usage: gaming, HD movies, web browsing, computer simulations

    Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com

    Country: USA

    Parts Preferences: Intel processor, Nvidia graphics, Asus motherboard, Corsair/Kingston memory

    Overclocking: Yes / Maybe. Little experience in this area. I’ll rely on the community for their advice.

    SLI or Crossfire: ??? No experience in this area. I’ll rely on the community for their advice.

    Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 24” Dell UltraSharp U2412M (Possible future upgrade to 2560x1440 27" Dell UltraSharp U2711)

    Additional Comments: Upgradability, quietness and stability are the main things.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi all, my Lenovo T61 laptop just died and I need a new computer. The boutique sites like Maingear, Velocity Mirco, and Falcon HW are too expensive, so I’ll build my own gaming machine. I want to play Battlefield 3, Fallout 3, Crysis 2, etc. on my 24” monitor (soon to be 27”?). My main thing is deciding between certain specs, so if you could help me out. Quietness is paramount as is upgradability. Let me know if any of the parts are overkill as well. The main things I don’t know are the cooling and power systems. Also, overclocking?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Case
    ??? It needs to have room for future upgrades but also not too big. (Compatibility with all the specs below too.)
    Thermaltake Commander MS-I Snow (this is a little too big, also, white?)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133196

    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus V Gene
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131830
    OR
    ASUS P8Z77-V LK
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837

    CPU
    Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116501
    OR
    Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116502

    RAM
    CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) (future upgrade to 32GB)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233246

    Graphics Card (I will add on a second card in the future; this is my biggest question mark. Should I get better card(s)? Note my monitor specs.)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604
    OR
    EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1.2GB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130593

    HDD
    2x WD Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM (both in raid-1)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
    OR
    2x Seagate Barracuda 1 TB 7200 RPM (both in raid-1)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840
    OR
    128 GB SSD (instead of the RAID drives. Which is better for gaming?)

    PSU
    ??? I’m not sure, is 600 Watts enough to power everything? (plus a second graphics card in the future?)

    CPU Cooler
    ??? Again, not sure. I do NOT want to skimp on cooling my (overclocked?) unit, but it also needs to be quiet. (Liquid cooling is too much of a hassle; I’m looking at fan cooling)

    120MM Fans for optional slots
    ??? Needed? Quiet?

    Am I missing anything?
    Thanks!


    My two cents...

    You should check out the Corsair 600T cases, I have the 600T and it is by far the easiest case I've ever built with. Awesome amount of room to route cables behind the Mobo, Easy access to everything because there's tonnes of space on the inside, will easily fit any graphics card you throw in, as well as any giant CPU cooler as well. Its also full matte black inside and outside, white fan lights, love the way it looks. Fan speed is also manually controllable from the top of the case, which is great for when you want to easily quiet down the system @ night, and ramp it up when the computer is being pushed.

    Definitely go with the i7-3770K for overclocking, like one of the other responses said, takes no time to do a decent overclock, ESPECIALLY if you pick an Asus mobo (flip the TPU switch, you're @ 4.5ghrtz)

    MOBO - I'd be getting something from Asus. You should look @ the differences between their P8Z77 models, the one you picked is I think the "cheapest" one... so maybe the one that is a step up from that could be worth it for you. Also depends if you'd like to be running SLI in the future (don't think you'll need SLI in your current budget and for the current games you want to play).

    RAM - Save a little money, you don't need more than 8gb for now ;)

    GPU - Personally, Id wait a bit till you can get your hands on the new GTX 670, read up on it a bit, looks like its launching officially in 2 days? GTX 570 and will run the games you've named @ decent frames, but if you're looking to not do any upgrading for a while... id say 670 instead.

    PSU - Assuming you don't want to upgrade to SLI anytime soon, get yourself a good brand good quality PSU (80+ rated) @ ~600 watts. I've never had problems with Corsair Enthusiast series. Could go with the semi-modular one for less clutter inside your case.

    HDDS- I'd get a small SSD for your OS (~120GB) and then 1 1TB WD Black for everything else. Unfortunately you wont have much room for every game that you'd like to install on the SSD (could probably install a few of your favorites), but your OS will run really nicely :)

    CPU COOLING- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    Best performance for the price.
    You could go with something more flashy - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055&Tpk=cooler%20master%20v8
    Now, I bought the second one on a whim and because it was on sale, and not knowing much about it. Now, I think that it is slightly less efficient, but from personal experience I can tell you, the thing is super quiet while the computer is idling. I don't think many air coolers will remain quiet under CPU load, since the fan speed obviously needs to ramp up. It also has a manual fan speed adjustment for the back of your case, although id set up a custom fan profile with your Mobo.

    With the 600T case, you definitely won't need any additional fans :)
  4. Thanks guys. I have an extra 128GB SSD from my dead laptop I can run alongside the RAID HDD's. I'll go with 8GB RAM for now.

    Clydefrog1: I'll look into the GTX 670 when it comes out. Again, will a 600W PSU work or should I get something more powerful?

    Thanks!
  5. 600Watt is plenty, as long as its decent quality :)
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