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$1500 Gaming PC Overview

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July 1, 2012 8:20:04 AM

Hi Tom's Hardware! I've been researching and doing my best to put together a new gaming build and wanted to share it with this community and just see if anyone has any opinions or advice on what I could possibly change or enhance.

Any advice you can provide me would be greatly appreciated. I am all about saving money where I can, but I also dread the idea of saving $20-$40 while getting a resulting product which is in every comparable way of poor quality. I hope that helps explain my enigma.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within 30 days
Budget Range: $1200 to $1500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming & Graphic Design
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com
Country: U.S.A.
Parts Preferences: Intel, Gigabyte, Asus, Corsair
Overclocking: Yes - I want to, but it would be my first time doing so.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments: I enjoy and strive for simplicity, stability, and fast builds.

With that out of the way. Let's take a look at what I have chosen thus far.

Case: Antec Eleven Hundred (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129178)
PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139020)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128544)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072)
CPU Cooling: ZALMAN CNPS9500 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118003)
Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233144)
Graphics: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7850(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125419)
Hard Drive: WD Caviar Black 1TB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533)
Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2412M (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824260047)

Total cost: $1,476.89
Shipped: $1,610.97

More about : 1500 gaming overview

a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2012 11:02:39 AM

i dont see the point of a 1920x1200 monitor so i just went with a 1080p monitor. the dell IPS screens arent that good for games but its not much of a difference for normal usage

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/baKd

heres my take on the build. this can max out any game out there on 1080p.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2012 11:12:03 AM

Your build looks pretty good but on your budget why a 7850 the GTX 670 eats that card for breakfast it's best bang for buck i would highly recommend it.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2012 11:19:57 AM

Dont get the DELL 2412M.There are lots of better monitors for gaming.
If you are in the market for a High quality gaming IPS monitor i suggest you take a look at this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(If youre looking for Monitor Reviews take a look at Prad.de and Digitalversus.com)

It gets 5 star reviews from every website i know.

As for the power supply.The one you chose is very good but it isnt modular and since you chose the Antec Eleven Hundred i know you want a good looking PC.
Here's a good 750W Modular PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can also upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i5 3570K.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has a promo code so it actually costs less!

Hopefully ive been helpfull have a nice day and have fun with that PC!
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2012 11:23:31 AM

Kamen_BG said:
Dont get the DELL 2412M.There are lots of better monitors for gaming.
If you are in the market for a High quality gaming IPS monitor i suggest you take a look at this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(If youre looking for Monitor Reviews take a look at Prad.de and Digitalversus.com)

It gets 5 star reviews from every website i know.

As for the power supply.The one you chose is very good but it isnt modular and since you chose the Antec Eleven Hundred i know you want a good looking PC.
Here's a good 750W Modular PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can also upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i5 3570K.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has a promo code so it actually costs less!

Hopefully ive been helpfull have a nice day and have fun with that PC!


telling you right now that the link to the monitor didnt work for me
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July 1, 2012 11:31:05 AM

Thank you both for the advice. I looked through the build you posted BigTroll and while some of it caught my eye, other parts of it I think I would prefer the components I have already chosen unless there was a major reason not to go with them.

That being said, I have taken the advice and exchanged the graphics card for the GTX670, the monitor for the 1080p Asus you recommended (very good reviews, and I do more gaming than design currently), and the CPU cooler out for the CM Hyper 212 EVO. The resulting build is thus: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/baMW

I am still hesitant to include an SSD (mainly because I don't want to tack on a guaranteed 100 bucks) but with those changes I am looking at $1,579.89 shipped to my door from Newegg. I plan to purchase and install an SSD in the future, but for the initial build I don't think I will. My research has shown me that gaming performance (actual in-game performance) is not much better using an SSD and this is also why I'm in no big rush to do so.

I really do like the looks of that Dell IPS monitor, but I did read a lot of negative reviews dealing with gaming. Some said it worked for them, others said it sucked. I guess it would overall be better to save the $150 on the monitor cost and put it towards a much stronger video card.
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July 1, 2012 11:36:37 AM

Kamen_BG said:

As for the power supply.The one you chose is very good but it isnt modular and since you chose the Antec Eleven Hundred i know you want a good looking PC.
Here's a good 750W Modular PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can also upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i5 3570K.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has a promo code so it actually costs less!

Hopefully ive been helpfull have a nice day and have fun with that PC!


Thanks! The link to the PSU did not work for me. It brings me to the standard homepage of Newegg. The reason I chose the TX650w is simply because of the cost and quality of it. It is not modular (something I'd like) but I'm not sure if spending $40 extra is worth it for modular. What are your thoughts here?

Regarding the 3570K, I know that a lot of reviews have shown me the 2500K is still considered king when it comes to gaming. Is this just simply not the case, or is it only the king over the 3570k if you plan on doing major overclocking? My heart is definitely not set in stone yet as far as overclocking is concerned. Part of me wants to because everyone makes the 2500K out to be just that good with it, but at the same time, I am a natural stability nut and steer clear of overclocking whenever possible.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2012 11:41:16 AM

order from ncix. they have a deal right now is that they can ship to you for 5 bucks if the order is less than 100 pounds

to comment on the build that you made.

1: there is no point of the i5 2500k when the 3570k is faster. the heat problems do not exsist until you overclock over 4.5ghz which you shouldnt anyways

2:corsair ram doesnt fit under the hyper 212 evo and the low profile ones just arent worth it when you can get some mushkin ram for a cheaper price that performs the same

3:the seagate drive performs slightly better. i can see that you opted for the caviar black due to the longer warranty but i dont think its worth the extra 20 dollars

4: i went with the asus board due to the easier to use bios and that it does the same job as the gigabyte z77x-ud3h for a cheaper price

5: the xfx xxx 750w is a higher quality unit than the tx650w v2. the xfx is both modular and 80+ silver. 650w is also not enough to do SLI in the future so going 750w would be optimal

if you do not plan on doing SLI in the future, a 550w unit from xfx would be enough. Corsair's tx series is made by CWT and xfx power supplies are all made by seasonic. seasonic makes corsairs ax series power supplies

6:if you are getting the 1100, i would just get the p280. the p280 has the same thermals as the 1100 but it is quieter. the internal layout is about the same
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July 1, 2012 12:06:10 PM

TheBigTroll said:
order from ncix. they have a deal right now is that they can ship to you for 5 bucks if the order is less than 100 pounds

to comment on the build that you made........................


Awesome points TBT. I didn't even consider the P280 case and after looking at it I can agree entirely with you. It literally is the 1100 just built cleaner and without a window. I don't even like windows ;) 

I never considered some of the stuff you mentioned, particularly the ram not fitting under the cooler. That would have been a rude awakening for me upon build day.

I've always been a Gigabyte fan when it comes to boards, but ASUS still holds a special place for me as well. My first motherboard was an ASUS afterall. It definitely is cheaper too.

SLI/Crossfire is simply never going to happen for me I'm afraid. So the 550w sounds about right. I love your knowledge on the various power supplies as well. Makes a lot of sense.

Basically your build with the case and psu revisions: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/baOx

I split the order up between Newegg and NCIX and found that shipped to my door using your recommendations is about $1,520. That's pretty much a hundred bucks off my original post selection.

I can't think of anything else at this point. The above looks very solid and even a lot better than I had originally composed with a cheaper price tag, so I can't complain there. Unless you can offer me anything else that I may be missing I'd say you and others here have been quite helpful. Thank you :) 
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July 1, 2012 12:08:29 PM

Best answer selected by blok-m.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2012 12:10:51 PM

no problem :D 
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