First Build $1500 Budget

Hey Guys,

First time posting on this forum and I have just designed my first ever gaming rig. I am not a hardcore gamer but do enjoy playing many of the newest games and having them run very well.
Anyway this is what i came up with and would appreciate any advice possible!

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570 ($212)

mobo: ASRock H77-PRO4-MVP ($98)

RAM: Corsair Vengeance CML8GX3M2A1600C9W8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 ($69)

GPU: MSI Radeon HD7850 Twin Frozr 2GB OC ($255)

Power Supply: Corsair HX650 ($129)

Case: CoolerMaster HAF 912 Advanced ($99)

CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO ($37)

SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB ($127)

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB ($92)

OSS: Windows 7 64bit Home Premium ($92)

First ever Gaming Rig total of $1210

(Notes: not planning to overclock anymore than what was factory overclocked on my GPU. Not currently intending to SLI in the future. Will be deciding on a 20-24" monitor for under $170 in the next couple of days.)

all opinions both negative and positive welcome =]

10 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. I am in desperate need of sleep right now (11Pm here in Aus, I know, I'm a lightweight), so my feedback will be brief. I'l probably come back tomorrow and elaborate a bit more.

    Build's good, nothing overly wrong/incompatible with it. Just you can get a lot more for your budget.

    Get a Z77 board so you can overclock the 3570k (you should overclock by the way). AsRock Z77 Extreme4 is a great board for it.

    May want low profile RAM (corsair vengeance low profile or G.Skill Ares) if you might fill all the slots later.

    Case can get an upgrade, a $60 case doesn't belong in a $1500 rig. The HAF-XM is great mid-tower and has the same look of the 912.

    That GPU can also upgrade to a GTX670, either the ASUS or Gigabyte model.

    The 212 EVO is a good choice.

    Multiple AMD cards is Crossfire. SLI is Nvidia.
  2. Thanks for the quick reply and feel free to have some sleep before you reply again!

    I think i definetly will get some low profile RAM.

    With my motherboard, would it be good enough to get the ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M instead of just the Extreme 4......saves me $30

    In regards to my case, it is usually valued at $110 and after looking at many more expensive cases, i feel as if this will have adequate cooling and room for what i will be using at a good value price. Cooling is my main priority followed by sound which i have read that most CoolerMaster cases are quite good at.
    What exactly in the HAF-XM do you think will really increase the cases cooling and noise production??

    First time building is hard haha!!

    Looking forward to hearing from you and other members soon!!
  3. That list is looking great for a build a bit over $1200. If you are looking to go to $1500... like manofchalk says, I would change the GPU to a gtx670 and mobo to the ASRock Extreme4. And definitely get a low profile RAM kit.

    EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB

    ASRock Z77 Extreme4

    G.Skill Ares F3-1600C9D-8GAO 8GB

    The board you linked through is the Micro-ATX version. I'm not a big fan of micro unless you are needing 'small-ness' for a reason. Fiddly to work on, don't OC as well (which might not bother you), tend to heat up more, lower phase power... I think its $30 well spent to go with ATX :)

    Also to save a few $, maybe check out the TX version of those PSUs. Slightly cheaper and still great:

    Corsair TX-650 V2 = $115

    Review on TX PSUs:

    To save a couple more $ on the SSD:

    SanDisk Extreme Solid State Drive 120GB = $115

    I'd change that last.. only if you really need to cut down, those Samsung 830 are well priced and a great SSD
  4. Yea i definetly dont want the micro version, so scratch that......for what I am doing will i need the Z7 extreme4???
    If you guys think that i should definetly go the Z7 Extreme 4 i will be happy to put out the extra $50, but only if its necessary.

    Im quite happy with my video card choice as i dont usually try max out all my settings and this one should keep me going for a couple of years at least.

    Any other comments or suggestions on the build??
    Also can anyone recommend me a 20-24" monitor that isn't over $170

    Thanks Guys!
  5. Best answer
    Ah, you are a fellow Aussie (what were you doing up so late? You must be on the east coast if you purchasing from PC Case Gear).

    The Extreme4 is good board and worth the $155 you pay for it. The Extreme4-M isnt bad, but like Formata I think unless its a truly budget rig or you need it to be small, no reason for them.

    Just realized you specified the i5-3570, not the 3570k. That "k" means it has an unlocked multiplier and can be overclocked. Its $20 more, but you can leverage so much more performance from it. Temperature wise I wouldnt worry, if you dont go above 4.2Ghz it shouldn't kick out to much. My 3570k stays under 55C at full load (on the same cooler, ~20C ambient temperature).

    Low Profile RAM is good to have so you can add as large a heatsink as you want without worrying about not being able to use certain slots. I have that heatsink and board, and I wouldn't be able to insert the RAM I currently have into the far left slot.

    Among good cases, the temperature and cooling difference is minimal, as no matter what it wont go below room temperature. As long as theres good air flow, case performance isn't all that different. If you get the HAF-XM and are unwilling to get more fans, I would move the top 200mm to the side panel so you get more intake than exhaust (helps reduce dust) and hot air radiates up anyway.

    What you do get with the HAF-XM is a ton of features. Tooless drive bays, cable management grommets, hot swap bays, a 2.5" mount behind the motherboard tray, great front I/O ports (2xUSB3, 2xUSB2, Audio jacks along with standard power buttons). And its one of those "Mid-towers" that are only called that because they are just under full tower size.

    I'l admit I don't keep up with monitors, but the standard things to look for are 5ms or less response time and a 1920x1080 resolution, LED backlight is pretty essential as well. This monitor seems to be pretty good, 2ms response time, 1920x1080, 23" size and LED backlight.
    Dell S2330MX 23in. $160

    Dont forget to check out other stores. I know for instance the HDD you picked can be found cheaper at MSY.

    Umart is also another store to check out. Between Umart, PC Case Gear and MSY you will usually find the cheapest prices.

    I usually dont recommend pre-built systems, but this pre-built from PC Case Gear is amazing value, especially given our ridiculous pricing.
    Just throw a 212 EVO at it and it would be perfect.
  6. Thanks for the replies, yea Im from QLD so I have a MSY and umart within 20 minutes of me which is awesome, so im looking to get most if not all my parts from there.

    I have taken your advice to get the more expensive motherboard and also add the X onto my CPU which ends up costing an extra $65 roughly.
    Also will be getting the G.Skill Ares F3-1600C9D-8GAO 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 ($59 – MSY) which I believe should be low enough profile?

    Because of this I really was hoping to be happy with my $100 case instead of having to pay the extra $49 for the slightly bigger case…..Im a uni student on a fairly tight budget but that being said if you really think I need it, I could squeeze it out.

    Just a couple of questions on the case.
    I was under the impression that the 4 x 2.5” slots were going to be more then enough for me as I will only be putting in 1 x SSD and really wont be looking to add anything more for at least a couple of years (when I should be out of uni with a full time job and some money to spend =D)
    And you don’t think that the extra fan + fan size in the HAF XM will increase the cooling that dramatically?

    All in all, do you think that the HAF 912 Advanced will be a big enough case for all my parts, with good cooling and not to noisy?? (even if it’s not the absolute best) (they both come with the same USB ports)

    And yes that monitor does look quite nice for the price!!

    Thanks again for the help, it is very much appreciated as I am thinking of purchasing tomorrow!
  7. G.Skill Ares is 33mm high, which is a low as you can get, it should be fine. I think the only way to get smaller RAM is to get the "value" kits, which is just bare PCB (looks horrible though).

    In reality you only have two 2.5" bays, to get 4 you need to do something to the 3.5" ones. But yea, two 2.5" bays is more than enough as most people wont use more than 1 SSD. You also have six 3.5" bays with the potential for another, so plenty of HDD space as well.

    Upon closer inspection, the case should be good. (I'm used to Newegg which dont offer the 912 advanced, just the normal 912 with only two fans and missing a lot of the features). Coolermasters reputation are for big cases, I should know I'v got the biggest one, it will fit anything you could (within reason) throw at it.
  8. Ok awesome, yea the Advanced case which i am looking at comes with an extra 200mm fan on top and a few other features.
    So i think ill stick with that one as I am pretty sure everything fits!

    I honestly dont know if I will be overclocking or not though as I have never done before and have no idea how to do so either.....I play games like SC2, BF3, CSS, DOTA2 and usually dont max out the settings at all.

    I wont SLi or cross fire in the future because i only use one monitor and think that I would be better off in a few years just buying one high quality graphics card.

    How much will i actually notice if I do further overclock my already factory overclocked graphics card??

    If i wont be overclocking would i be better off just getting the Intel Core i5 3470 3.2Ghz for $50 less and the ASRock H77-PRO4-MVP Motherboard for another $50 less???

    I'm really sorry to bring these parts up again but just wanna 100% sure make sure that i am making the right decision with everything.

    Thanks again for the quick replies!

    EDIT: Also if I had the more expensive parts and didnt overclock would they give off much added benefit for the $100 extra??
  9. Overclocking on modern Intel processors is actually quite easy. Just get into the BIOS, enter the overclocking menu, and there should be an option called "CPU Ratio" on Auto.

    Set it to manual and two more option pop up, one is the Base Clock or "BCLK" (set to 1000) in the BIOS, and another called the CPU multiplier (set to 34). The easiest way to overclock is to increase the multiplier. The multiplier... multiplies the baseclock to get you the max clock speed. On stock configuration its 3.4Ghz, which is 34x1000 = 3400Mhz = 3.4Ghz. So increase the multiplier by 2, boot to windows and run a program called Prime95 and another called Core Temp. This will stress the CPU to full load and will show its temperatures. The CPU is good for temperatures up to 90C (though I personally don't let it above 70C). If your happy, rinse and repeat.

    So bump up the CPU multiplier until you think CPU temps are too high or it becomes unstable (then you have to start adding voltage, but you probably aren't comfortable with that yet).

    You can get to 4.2Ghz (so 42 on the multiplier) without having to mess with voltage.

    On the GPU, you will probably notice a big difference. The HD78XX series are great overclockers, and the factory overclock only comprises of +40Mhz on the core, so very conservative.
    This video will tell you how to overclock your card, I followed the instructions given and am enjoying a very good overclock on my 7870.
  10. Best answer selected by Jabba03.
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