Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$1500 gaming PC (first build)

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 10, 2012 7:29:47 AM

Hi guys, I'm thinking that I'll finally get around to building a PC and so am seeking some (well, lots of) advice. Basically I'm looking for a PC that will last for 3-4 years playing most games at a reasonable quality (for comparison, the laptop I'm currently using struggles with Minecraft).


Approximate Purchase Date: November 2012

Budget Range: ~$1500 AUD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Primarily gaming - nothing else system intensive

Parts Not Required: Nothing, unfortunately.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: PC Case Gear, although alternative suggestions are welcome

Country: Australia

Parts Preferences by brand or type: I tend to lean towards Intel/Nvidia products. A 24" monitor seems good, but smaller would also work if that's over budget.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No, although the option to do so later would be nice (but not essential by any means)

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 would be nice, but I'm flexible on this.


Current parts ideas:

CPU: Intel Core i5 3470 ($189)

GPU: GTX 670 ($459)

Power Supply: Corsair CX-600 V2 ($89)

RAM: Corsair 8GB DDR3 ($69)

Case: Corsair Carbide 300R ($109)

Hard Drive: Toshiba DT01ACA100 1TB ($89)

SSD: Corsair 60GB Accelerator Series ($96)

OS: Windows 7 64 bit ($99)

Motherboard: Dunno

Disk reader: Dunno

Monitor/mouse/keyboard: Dunno - I may just buy these locally

That comes to $1200, but that's without the items at the bottom of the list, which will probably push me up close to (or more likely over) my budget.

My main questions are as follows:

1. Do all these parts work together?
1(a). Will they all fit in the case?

2. Have I forgotten any important parts?

3. As you can probably tell from the above, I know nothing about what to look for in a motherboard or disk reader. What would you guys suggest?

4. Would you suggest changing any of the above parts (overpowered/underpowered, poor quality etc.)?

Any and all help, suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated - I've never built a computer before, so it's all helpful :)  .

More about : 1500 gaming build

September 10, 2012 7:41:37 AM

1 & 1(a). Without knowing your mobo, hard to say, but ATX should be ok.

2. No.

3. Asrock/Gigabyte/Asus Z77 mobos. Any disk reader will do. Samsung/Asus should be fine.

4. Nothing I can see is wrong.
September 10, 2012 7:42:22 AM

Everything would work together, but it may be useful to upgrade to the i5 3570k as it provides the option to overclock. For the disk reader you would probably fine with a DVD Writer which would cost around $30, that leaves a lot of money for a motherboard but most people don't need more than a $200 mobo, considering your budget you should go with maybe an Asus z77-v or a cheaper alternative would be an Asrock extreme4 and with the left over money you could get a 120gb ssd.

Related resources
September 10, 2012 7:57:22 AM

Using PcCaseGear.com, I have devised this build

Motherboard: AsRock Z77 Extreme4
CPU: i5 3570k
Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 120gb SSD
HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB
Optical: LG DVD-RW Drive
GPU: Asus GTX 670 DCU2
Case: Corsair Carbide 300R Compact Gaming Case with Window
PSU: Corsair HX-650 V2 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM

Total Cost: $1523 AUD
September 10, 2012 8:14:55 AM

exTerrestrial said:
Using PcCaseGear.com, I have devised this build

Motherboard: AsRock Z77 Extreme4
CPU: i5 3570k
Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 120gb SSD
HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB
Optical: LG DVD-RW Drive
GPU: Asus GTX 670 DCU2
Case: Corsair Carbide 300R Compact Gaming Case with Window
PSU: Corsair HX-650 V2 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM

Total Cost: $1523 AUD


The problem is that I need to fit a monitor (and keyboard) into my budget as well, which I assume will be at least a couple of hundred dollars. Is it worth upgrading to the 3570k if I don't intend to overclock?
September 10, 2012 8:23:02 AM

Fain said:
The problem is that I need to fit a monitor (and keyboard) into my budget as well, which I assume will be at least a couple of hundred dollars. Is it worth upgrading to the 3570k if I don't intend to overclock?


No.
September 10, 2012 5:41:49 PM

Not bad for a first time crack at a build, but I'm one of those folks who don't believe in the necessity of SSDs. Unless you plan on doing other things than gaming on your PC like photoshop or visual design, I'd be inclined to drop it altogether for now, and wait until you can invest the money on a proper one and not just grab up any old one to stay in budget.

If you must have the SSD though, I see the one you picked out is 280mb/s read and write times and SATA II 3 Gb/s, for 90 bucks.. That's overpriced IMO. Especially when I found this little guy on that very same site:

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

At almost double the write and read times, SATA III 6Gb/s interface, and half the price, I see no reason at all to buy the Corsair one. OCZ is also a great brand, currently using one of their ModXStream pro 600w PSU for 2 years now, and never had any problems.

Speaking of the the power supply, I highly recommend going for the very same one I listed above. Now, I know virtually nothing about Power Supplies so I may be out of line, but I do know that this one works, and has been working for 2years now, no hiccups. It's modular, it's at a great price, and it's got enough awards to match the amount of cables you could put on it.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Offering the same 600w (less amps though on everything but the 12v rails, if that means anything), modular cables, reliability and @ 10 bucks cheaper makes it a champion IMO.

Moving on to RAM, and at this point I'm feeling bad because it seems like you really like Corsair and I've been taking them all off the list, so it's about time they won.

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Not a whole lot saved, again about $10, but when you're on a budget the savings stack up pretty fast. In fact I think we're up to 60-70 bucks saved, that's the price of just about anything but a GPU/CPU in a mid-range build, and you still haven't picked out a mobo yet.

The last gigantic elephant in the room is that case.. There's just no way around it. When it comes to shopping for cases I can't ever bring myself to go over $50-60, and only because that's the entry price for cable management peripherals.. The case is just about the least important part of a computer IMO, and I'd run mine from a cardboard box if I could. So, my advise would be to find a nicer case at half that price and then get yourself a nice solid $100+ mobo and maybe even upgrade that CPU to like a 3550/2500k for 20-30 bucks more. Get a DVD drive for like 16-25 bucks, and call it a build.

Good luck. :D 

September 10, 2012 8:59:37 PM

Thanks for the help so far guys, it's certainly food for thought. I'll probably end up running with one of your motherboard suggestions, I'll check them all out this evening. Pstjean, I don't actually have a Corsair fetish (I've merely had a friend recommend them, so I look at their products first), so again I'll probably run with most of your suggestions. I do rather have my heart set on an SSD though :)  . Just in regards to the case, my motivation for choosing a big one was both so that everything would fit in (I don't want to have to be improvising on a first build), and to maintain good airflow - do you think these would be compromised with a smaller case?

Finally, a question about the monitor. I know most components have an approximate 'drop-off' point, where spending more money achieves rapidly diminishing returns. Is there a roughly equivalent point for monitors? In other words, how much should I be looking to spend to get a good quality one?
September 10, 2012 9:25:07 PM

Here's my recommendation...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($234.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($465.50 @ Mwave Australia)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($125.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Antec 620W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Monitor: LG E2441V-BN 24.0" Monitor ($175.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (64-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $1490.50
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-11 07:21 EST+1000)

The HD 7970 is currently the fastest single GPU out there. Just throw in whatever keyboard and mouse you want. If this is over budget, drop the GPU down to a HD 7950 and then overclock the hell out of it.

I know you stated you're not comfortable with overclocking, but I highly encourage you to give it a try. You don't have to rush straight into it; just research it for a bit, and then you can give it a try once you get your computer squared away and set up correctly.

You'll appreciate the 15-25% or more in performance gains if you do decide to overclock.
September 11, 2012 8:49:54 AM

DeusAres said:

The HD 7970 is currently the fastest single GPU out there. Just throw in whatever keyboard and mouse you want. If this is over budget, drop the GPU down to a HD 7950 and then overclock the hell out of it.

I know you stated you're not comfortable with overclocking, but I highly encourage you to give it a try. You don't have to rush straight into it; just research it for a bit, and then you can give it a try once you get your computer squared away and set up correctly.

You'll appreciate the 15-25% or more in performance gains if you do decide to overclock.


I may consider overclocking my GPU a few years down the track, when graphics start to outpace it, but is it really necessary to overclock the CPU? From what I've read graphics tends to be the main bottleneck for most games, and it would be nice to save the extra cash from the CPU upgrade and spend it on the monitor or something. Then again, I do play some games that I assume are relatively processor-heavy (e.g. Total War series), so maybe it's best to play it safe and keep the possibility of overclocking down the track.

With regards to the graphics card, I hadn't realised that the HD 7970 was so cheap compared to the GTX 670 - if the relative price is similar when I buy the parts in November, I'll definitely run with it. I'm not sure how much effect 3GB of video memory has compared to other factors, but it sure sounds impressive :D  .

Finally, I'm also curious to know what the differences are between the Antec PSU you suggested, and the OCZ one mentioned above (apart from the extra 20W)?

September 11, 2012 3:15:10 PM

Fain said:
I may consider overclocking my GPU a few years down the track, when graphics start to outpace it, but is it really necessary to overclock the CPU? From what I've read graphics tends to be the main bottleneck for most games, and it would be nice to save the extra cash from the CPU upgrade and spend it on the monitor or something. Then again, I do play some games that I assume are relatively processor-heavy (e.g. Total War series), so maybe it's best to play it safe and keep the possibility of overclocking down the track.

With regards to the graphics card, I hadn't realised that the HD 7970 was so cheap compared to the GTX 670 - if the relative price is similar when I buy the parts in November, I'll definitely run with it. I'm not sure how much effect 3GB of video memory has compared to other factors, but it sure sounds impressive :D  .

Finally, I'm also curious to know what the differences are between the Antec PSU you suggested, and the OCZ one mentioned above (apart from the extra 20W)?


It's not necessary to overclock the CPU per se; however, it does help.

In regards to the PSU, Antec is made of better quality parts. It is based on the structure of the Seasonic M12 line of PSUs. It's overall better and more reliable in my opinion.
September 12, 2012 6:55:36 AM

Thanks for all the help guys, I think I'm close to finalising a build now. Just one last question - what is the difference between the AsRock 'Pro4' and 'Extreme4' motherboards (which have both been suggested), and their 'M' variants?
September 12, 2012 5:48:02 PM

The "M" variants indicates that they are microATX boards. You don't want this. You're gonna want a regular ATX board. They offer more features and better overclocking ability.

The Extreme4 comes with two PCIe 3.0 slots and supports SLI. The Pro4 only comes with one PCIe 3.0 slot. The extreme4 board also has a deal currently going for it...if you buy it now, you can get 8gb of G.Skill Ares DDR3 RAM for free.

ASRock Z77 Extreme4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM that comes with the above board...
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 12, 2012 11:21:35 PM

Okay, here's my pretty much final build. Please note that the case is provisional - I'd like to take Pstjean's advice and go for a smaller (and cheaper!) one, but I'll do some research first to make sure I'd still have enough room/airflow/parts compatibility. I'll also have to add a monitor, keyboard and mouse, which will likely push me slightly over budget, but I've always been willing to stretch it by up to $200 anyway so that's no biggie.

http://pcpartpicker.com/au/p/hhtv
(Is there an easy way to insert that into the post itself?)

You guys have managed to convince me into allowing for future overclocking :)  . However, before I decide to do so will I need a separate cooler to the fans already included in most cases?
September 13, 2012 9:49:24 AM

Hi mate. That list is all looking good. I'd change the PSU to something not labelled 'ECO'. Many supposed 'Green' PSU's have been a little notorious in the past for delivering an inconsistent supply, although I believe many newer models are now better. This one is $5 more and reviews well (Pretty similar):

Antec High Current Gamer 620W
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

If you are now considering OCing your CPU, I'd definitely have a look at an after market cooler. You don't need one that costs the earth, or that is complicated to install. For $30 odd, this cooler is well recommended. Compared to the stock intel cooler your CPU comes with, this cooler will drop your temps by 15-20 degs easily:

CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

The only other thing I'd point out, is that while PCPartPicker is nice... what it doesn't show is how much you will be slugged for shipping from all those different retailers. Once you add on, you could be looking at $70-$150 extra depending where you live in AU. One shipping charge from PCCaseGear might actually save you money even if the individual parts are a few bucks more here and there.

Big shipping tip.... See if you can grab that case from a local supplier. Not having to ship a massive box for a full case will probably cut your freight in half.

See if you live near an MSY store:
http://msy.com.au/

Their website is ugly, but I just download the pdf pricelist and then call my local to check for stock availability etc.

September 13, 2012 5:55:19 PM

The Antec NEO ECO is based off the newer Seasonic platform which is high quality and performance.
!