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$1500 New Gaming System Advice

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July 31, 2012 11:44:03 AM

Hi Everyone,

I've been lurking around Tom's Hardware for the past few weeks and would really love some advice on a new build gaming PC. I've taken the template and put all of my motivation etc at the bottom:

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Asap - my 0% credit card is itching to go

Budget Range: £1000/$1500 MAX

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Primarily Gaming, with internet browsing and possibly some media/NAS functionality (though I already have a 2TB NAS at home so this isn't important).

Are you buying a monitor: Not initially, I have a 19" Acer VGA that will do for now.

Parts to Upgrade: Everything!

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No real preferences, though I often use overclockers.co.uk as have had good experience with them in the past. I also live close to the head office/warehouse of microdirect.co.uk so can get parts quickly (asssuming they are in stock).

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

Parts Preferences:
* I've been looking at the Asus P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt as a basis (not least because it's popular on the Tom's Hardware Facebook System Builder), but I am wary that this might be overkill and the Thunderbolt capability might be fluff I don't need to pay for yet. As long as my motherboard won't start looking obviously obsolete in 3 - 5 years, that's fine with me).
* I have no preference on AMD/Intel or Nvidia/Radeon.
* I'd like to throw in a good performance SSD for a quick boot (been looking at the Crucial M4 128GB as it's good value for the performance). I'm not worried about data storage right now because of my NAS and some old HDDs I can salvage from old PCs and reuse.
* Looks aren't important, so I don't need a fancy case - just something that will vent well.

Overclocking: Maybe - I have no experience so a Motherboard with user-friendly help for this would be great.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe - from my reading so far I don't think I need a dual GPU solution. That being said, I wouldn't want to rule it out in a future upgrade.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 X 1200 - as mentioned, this shouldn't be a limiting factor, as I will upgrade the monitor to something HD at some point in the near future.

Additional Comments: This is maybe a little obvious, but I'd like to future-proof as far as possible. If all goes well, I don't get bored and I'm still gaming on it in 2 years, I'd probably want to spend some money and upgrade it to keep pace.

Why Are You Upgrading: I used to be a fairly big gamer until a combination of circumstances (my girlfriend bought me an Xbox and my new job gave me a Macbook) meant my PC fell into disuse (The Xbox was meeting the gaming needs, and all my casual browsing was on the Macbook). Recently, my interest in PC gaming has been sparked again. I gave my girlfriend's old 2007 Acer a basic overhaul to try a few games I was interested in (For now, just Civ 5 and Funcom's The Secret World). Sure enough, my interest hasn't waned and I'm in a financial position to build a new PC so that I can more fully enjoy everything that's out there. Moreso, I know how much satisfaction you can get from building something yourself, so part of this project is for something interesting to do!

So far I'm aware of the GPU Hierachy and have read the articles on proper cooling etc. I tried reading up on Motherboards but it got a little too technical. In an ideal world I would love to be able to read everything, understand it, and make my own informed judgement, but I don't think I have nearly enough time to absorb the masses of information and benchmarking reviews that are out there (I think in terms of complexity it would be easier to pick a new car...).

Thanks in advance for any advice you are able to give :) 

More about : 1500 gaming system advice

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 31, 2012 12:22:53 PM

Well here is something you could use as a guide as to what to get i don't know the stores well in your area otherwise i would of just put links all from one place PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£174.73 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£24.97 @ CCL Computers)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£151.97 @ Dabs)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£65.65 @ Amazon UK)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£67.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£89.98 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£340.99 @ Dabs)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case (£89.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£82.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer (£13.31 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£72.96 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £1175.52
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-31 13:21 BST+0100)
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 31, 2012 12:26:03 PM

Here are some other case recommendations just in case you don't like the one i included in the above build see if you can find them at any stores on your side of town .

Case:Rosewill THOR V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case, support up to E-ATX / XL-ATX, come with Four Fans - 1 x Front Red LED 230mm Fan, 1 x Top 230mm Fan, 1 x Side 230mm Fan, 1 x Rear 140mm Fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:Thermaltake Chaser MK-I (VN300M1W2N) Black SECC ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper (SGC-5000-KKN1) Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:NZXT SWITCH 810 Matte Black CA-SW810-M1 Steel / Plastic ATX HYBIRD Full Tower Gaming Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:Antec DF-85 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 31, 2012 1:56:58 PM

bigcyco1 said:
Here are some other case recommendations just in case you don't like the one i included in the above build see if you can find them at any stores on your side of town ....


Hi BigCyco - thanks for the response. The Corsair case you included in the build does look awesome and I guess adds a lot of flexibility should I want to go all out and upgrade to a real monster machine in the future.

I see you didn't include the Thunderbolt version of the Asus p8z77v pro motherboard - was this for any particular reason or just because you were keeping the cost down?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 31, 2012 2:01:36 PM

wheelerdealer said:
Hi BigCyco - thanks for the response. The Corsair case you included in the build does look awesome and I guess adds a lot of flexibility should I want to go all out and upgrade to a real monster machine in the future.

I see you didn't include the Thunderbolt version of the Asus p8z77v pro motherboard - was this for any particular reason or just because you were keeping the cost down?
Well i think this is a pretty solid build i basically was trying to give you best bang for buck with the motherboard switch yes it's because i was keeping the cost down but honestly the mobo i replaced it with is top notch if you want the other motherboard instead i don't know of any reason not to get it so i will just leave that up to you to decide lol.
July 31, 2012 3:18:44 PM

bigcyco1 said:
Well i think this is a pretty solid build i basically was trying to give you best bang for buck with the motherboard switch yes it's because i was keeping the cost down but honestly the mobo i replaced it with is top notch if you want the other motherboard instead i don't know of any reason not to get it so i will just leave that up to you to decide lol.


I'm basically just trying to decide if it's worth paying the extra £30/$50 or so to have Thunderbolt compatibility in this build, future-proofing it for when Thunderbolt devices start being introduced for the PC. I read something about the interface only being single-channel (I may be misremembering something here...). I will dig some more...!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 31, 2012 4:58:13 PM

wheelerdealer said:
I'm basically just trying to decide if it's worth paying the extra £30/$50 or so to have Thunderbolt compatibility in this build, future-proofing it for when Thunderbolt devices start being introduced for the PC. I read something about the interface only being single-channel (I may be misremembering something here...). I will dig some more...!
o.k. i honestly don't know if it's worth it or not so doing some more digging is a good idea.
!