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$1300 Gaming PC - A Few Options

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May 15, 2012 12:56:20 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of the month

Budget Range: $1300 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Only need the tower. No optical drive.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Amazon, but others are ok too

Country: USA

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

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Trying to pick out my next build, and I've been entertaining a few different options. Here's what is winning in my head right now, and I'll toss out a few options. (Pricing from pcpartpicker for simplicity)

CPU: i5-3570K - $228.99
Cooler: CM Hyper 212 EVO - $29.90
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - $129.99
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR-1600 CL9 - $48.99
Boot Drive: Crucial M4 128 GB SSD - $109.99
Storage Drive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM - $149.99
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB - $399.99
Case: Inwin BUC 101 - $89.99
PSU: Corsair 650W - $89.99 -$10.00 Rebate

Total: $1267.82


Some ideas:

1. I'm pretty interested in the ASUS Maximus V Gene and would like to put it in a smaller case like the Fractal Arc Mini. I don't think I would have any heat problems, even overclocked. Would bump me up about $80 though.

2. I've also considered sticking with the i5-2500K, since it seems to be the better overclocker. I think the performance would be pretty equal either way, and I could go with a cheaper Z68 mobo (which would have me looking at the GENE IV, which is significantly cheaper).

3. I considered using a pair of 1TB drives in a RAID 0 array. I'm not convinced the speed increase would be worth it though. The Seagate seems to have good reviews and is a speedy storage drive, and since it isn't a boot drive it won't have issues being over 2TB.

4. The GPU. Endless turmoil. I was originally planning on crossfiring a pair of 6850s. It's amazing performance for the cost. When the 7850s came out, I figured I could up the budget enough to fit a pair of them in. They run cool and don't seem to have any micro-stutter issues the 6850s could suffer from. The 670 seems pretty awesome though, and it's nice to be able to put in a single card solution that rocks and doesn't make me sacrifice somewhere else.

5. The case is something everyone seems to have a personal preference about, but unless you have some specific technical reasons to go with a specific case I'll stick with my choice. I'd actually like the Inwin Dragon Slayer if I go mATX and they update it with a more elegant USB 3.0 setup.

6. I'm aware there are combo deals and cheaper similar memory deals every other week. But the problem is they change every other week so I don't bother to count them when pricing options. Feel free to let me know if there's a good one though.

Thoughts? Opinions?

More about : 1300 gaming options

May 15, 2012 12:03:17 PM

i recommend the MSI Z77a-gd65 over asrock extreme 4 as the msi has much easier overclocking and better connectivity. the gigabyte z77x-ud3h is also a good board. a fractal core 3000 could be a better case than the inwin
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May 15, 2012 12:18:30 PM

CPU: i5-3570K - $228.99
Cooler: CM Hyper 212 EVO - $29.90
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - $129.99
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR-1600 CL9 - $48.99
Boot Drive: Crucial M4 128 GB SSD - $109.99
Storage Drive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM - $149.99
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB - $399.99
Case: Inwin BUC 101 - $89.99
PSU: Corsair 650W - $89.99 -$10.00 Rebate

Total: $1267.82

I think that's a very good build!
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May 15, 2012 1:14:55 PM

TheBigTroll said:
i recommend the MSI Z77a-gd65 over asrock extreme 4 as the msi has much easier overclocking and better connectivity. the gigabyte z77x-ud3h is also a good board. a fractal core 3000 could be a better case than the inwin


I took a look at that MSI board. I see it has a slightly better configuration for multiple video cards and a firewire port, but other than that I don't know what you mean by better connectivity. It also costs $60 more, which I didn't see much justification for, especially since it would put me over budget. The Gigabyte looks like a solid choice, thanks.

Your comment on the case is exactly what I spoke about in my point 5 though. If you don't have any reasons why the Core 3000 would be a better case other than "it could be a better case", it's hard for me to see a reason to choose it. Thanks for putting it on my radar to consider though.

Any thoughts on the CPU or GPU?
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May 15, 2012 11:37:59 PM

If you're still evaluating the build then you should buy the gpu now because it might run out of stock before you buy the whole build. Also, as you've probably heard, the 3570K will OC hotter than SB, but at clocks of around 4.5GHz and above. So you should be fine with an aftermarket cooler, but just a word of warning.
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May 16, 2012 10:49:03 PM

Yeah, I know IB OCs a bit hotter, that's why I considered the performance difference to be relatively little. The cost difference is only about $20 unless I decide to go mATX (because of the cost of the different motherboards), so I thought I'd probably be happier grabbing the newer CPU.

Would still love more opinions, especially on my 4 options, before I go ahead and pull the trigger.
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May 16, 2012 10:52:22 PM

l0v3rboi said:
CPU: i5-3570K - $228.99
Cooler: CM Hyper 212 EVO - $29.90
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - $129.99
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR-1600 CL9 - $48.99
Boot Drive: Crucial M4 128 GB SSD - $109.99
Storage Drive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM - $149.99
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB - $399.99
Case: Inwin BUC 101 - $89.99
PSU: Corsair 650W - $89.99 -$10.00 Rebate

Total: $1267.82

I think that's a very good build!



I agree with ^^^

this is an excellent build, the only thing I would change is the case...id make it a rosewill thor for $119...I thought it was pricey but the amount of air this thing moves is amazing. I love mine
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May 16, 2012 10:56:25 PM

mad2 said:
I agree with ^^^

this is an excellent build, the only thing I would change is the case...id make it a rosewill thor for $119...I thought it was pricey but the amount of air this thing moves is amazing. I love mine


The Thor is a ridiculously huge case and you only need it if you're running a monster motherboard like the Classified SR-X or Asus Rampage IV. Go with something like the Corsair Carbide 500R: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 16, 2012 11:15:56 PM

Yeah I was trying to stay away from a huge case, although the Thor only looks to be another couple inches each way. I never end up putting in more than 3 drives and I don't plan on using any optical drives so a big case will be a big, empty space (admittedly easier to airflow). But the case I chose has great reviews for airflow, and isn't too noisy about it, has USB 3.0 and eSATA, removable dust filters, lots of cable management options, a fully painted interior, tool less design, and I like how it looks. The Carbide 500R gets me one more included fan, swaps the eSATA for a Firewire port (not as useful for me), weighs a few pounds less, and costs an extra $35. I'm not as big a fan of the black and white color scheme, but it is a nice looking case. My point being, if you have opinions on a case, please let me know WHY you think they are a better choice. Something more than "great cooling and looks nice" would be very helpful.

I am happy everyone seems to be liking the components inside the case, and I'm assuming nobody has yet thought one of my proposed options was a better way to go.
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May 16, 2012 11:23:34 PM

lordravage said:
Yeah I was trying to stay away from a huge case, although the Thor only looks to be another couple inches each way. I never end up putting in more than 3 drives and I don't plan on using any optical drives so a big case will be a big, empty space (admittedly easier to airflow). But the case I chose has great reviews for airflow, and isn't too noisy about it, has USB 3.0 and eSATA, removable dust filters, lots of cable management options, a fully painted interior, tool less design, and I like how it looks. The Carbide 500R gets me one more included fan, swaps the eSATA for a Firewire port (not as useful for me), weighs a few pounds less, and costs an extra $35. I'm not as big a fan of the black and white color scheme, but it is a nice looking case. My point being, if you have opinions on a case, please let me know WHY you think they are a better choice. Something more than "great cooling and looks nice" would be very helpful.

I am happy everyone seems to be liking the components inside the case, and I'm assuming nobody has yet thought one of my proposed options was a better way to go.



As for my thor recommendation...I have one with an asus p8z68 le with my 2500k. I have some very low temps and the large side fan is great for cooling graphics cards..I imagine using sli or crossfire would run very cool. Also, it leaves lots and lots of room for expansion and your cm 212. It gives the option of plenty of room for water cooling. I liked the usb header allowing 2 usb 3.0 out the front. It has fan control knobs on the front as well. All this being said..if you dont have the room then Id have to not recommend the thor since it is pretty huge
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May 16, 2012 11:58:57 PM

Thanks for detailing your reasons for liking the Thor! It looks like an awesome choice for someone looking to have lots of expandability, but I think I'm looking for something a little more compact (hence my thoughts on going mATX). I will keep it in mind next time I am building big.
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May 17, 2012 7:16:21 AM

I would not get ATX just because some people tell you to. If you really want mATX and know you won't need more features, just get it.
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May 19, 2012 3:08:04 AM

lordravage said:
I took a look at that MSI board. I see it has a slightly better configuration for multiple video cards and a firewire port, but other than that I don't know what you mean by better connectivity. It also costs $60 more, which I didn't see much justification for, especially since it would put me over budget. The Gigabyte looks like a solid choice, thanks.

Your comment on the case is exactly what I spoke about in my point 5 though. If you don't have any reasons why the Core 3000 would be a better case other than "it could be a better case", it's hard for me to see a reason to choose it. Thanks for putting it on my radar to consider though.

Any thoughts on the CPU or GPU?




the fractal core 3000 has a entire mesh panel, good build quality, great cooling options and the removable drive cages. the reason i said it could be better is because some people might not like the black and white theme.

the msi board has all pci-e slots and has OC genie. oc genie is hassle-free overclocking that takes less than 1 second. yes the gigabyte board will also be a great option
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