New Gaming build within next two weeks - $1600 budget

Please note that while I have built one system myself about 6-7 years ago, I am have no practical knowledge of what my options are and so I am asking the pros here to steer me right. I have a budget of $1600 but that is soft, it could be more or less depending. I do have one factor in the mix: I have an Apple 27" iMac that I wish to use as a monitor if this is possible and advisable. I would like to build this within the next two to three weeks.

I am new to gaming, but I'd like this machine to play the most demanding games now and have an upgrade path as well.

New system build - gaming rig

Approximate Purchase Date: late Sept / early Oct 2012

Budget Range: ~ $1600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: almost exclusively a gaming rig

Are you buying a monitor: I have an iMac 27" that I would like to use as the monitor, if not advisible, please let me know what I should do

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (windows 7 ... what?)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, any reputable site really

Location: Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

Parts Preferences: I have none, would prefer an i5 processor

Overclocking: maybe, I have no experience

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, I do not know if I need or would benefit from this.

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (27" iMac)

Additional Comments: the smaller, the better. I would prefer the case to be nondescript. No need for lighting of any kind or any wild stylings. I do not need a keyboard or mouse. What I want is performance ... within my budget of course.
20 answers Last reply
More about gaming build weeks 1600 budget
  1. The iMAC is good. No need to get another monitor.

    2560x1440 will run best in SLI/CF.
  2. Does having the iMac with that resolution mean I have to have two video cards then? I am not so knowledgeable about parts, compatibility, etc.

    Thanks for the quick reply!
  3. No, you don't HAVE to have them, but it will help with fps at that resolution.
  4. I have no idea if that monitor will work or not. I know zilch when it comes to Apple/Mac's. This build allows you the option to add another one of those cards later on in SLI.


    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Tower-Gaming-Computer/dp/B0055Q7BR4/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1347746330&sr=1-4 $89.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW

    http://www.amazon.com/XFX-PRO750W-Semi-Modular-80Plus-Supply/dp/B005IUVYA2/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1347746224&sr=1-4 $111.71 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping| Price after rebate: $101.71
    XFX PRO750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus 750 Watt Power Supply (Silver)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1049920 $364.98 save: $20.00 FREE SHIPPING
    GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005O65JXI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A2EUTVCJXLAJ4K $32.42 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148544 $40.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00

    http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD-RW-Serial-Internal-DRW-24B1ST/dp/B0033Z2BAQ/ref=pd_sim_pc_6 $23.60 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
    Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Cache-Desktop/dp/B00461G3MS/ref=sr_1_3?m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1347672097&sr=1-3 $65.52 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX

    http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDX-240G-G25/dp/B006EKJ8UI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347747089&sr=1-1&keywords=sandisk+240+gb $186.60 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    SanDisk Extreme SSD 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SDSSDX-240G-G25

    http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-WINDFORCE-PCI-Express-Graphics-GV-N670WF2-2GD/dp/B008LZKLF0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1347747019&sr=8-4&keywords=gigabyte+gtx+670 $399.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 670 WINDFORCE 2X OC Edition 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 2x DVI/HDMI/DP SLI Ready Graphics Card GV-N670WF2-2GD

    http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Builder/dp/B004Q0PT3I/ref=pd_bxgy_e_text_z $91.05 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

    Total: $1,406.85 *not including shipping & rebates


    *** Here are some cheaper alternatives to look at that still give you the ability to over clock and allow the option for a future second card.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139011 $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-80PLUS-Certified-Modular-CP-9020015-NA/dp/B008RJZQSW/ref=sr_1_24?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1346646210&sr=1-24 $86.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair CX 750 Watts 80PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply CP-9020015-NA

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157330 $119.99
    ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-2-5-Inch-Solid-SDSSDP-128G--G25/dp/B007ZW2LY4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347126230&sr=1-1&keywords=sandisk+128+gb+ssd $89.95 + $0.00 shipping
    SanDisk 128 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SDSSDP-128G- G25)
  5. Thanks for that build ... I will check it out. I had been making this build in the meantime. I know I went over my budget but that was due to the dual video cards.

    This was just a wild stab. I don't even know - do I need a sound card? Please feel free to make better selections for me here if you would. If I have to bump it up to $1800 I am ok with that. I'd rather get performance then feeling like I shorted myself over a hundred dollars or so.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.98 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($56.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Constellation ES 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.00 @ B&H)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Corsair C70 Military Green (Green) ATX Mid Tower Case ($129.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (32/64-bit) ($158.99 @ Adorama)
    Total: $1972.85
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-15 18:38 EDT-0400)
  6. Good build, but change HDD to a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD.
  7. Is that power supply sufficient for everything in the mix?
  8. Get the TX750 V2.
  9. ArmchairGamer said:
    Is that power supply sufficient for everything in the mix?

    Nope, you want a 750w psu for dual 670's. Also cards with non reference cooling vent heat into the case and not out the back so I would look for a case with better cooling like the Corsair 500R.
  10. no, for an SLI config I'd go with 750
  11. How's this look? Should I get more RAM?

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($215.98 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($56.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.00 @ B&H)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($101.60 @ Mac Connection)
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $1760.48
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-15 19:20 EDT-0400)
  12. With that setup, will the internal fans of that case be sufficient?
  13. I'm not sure about the amount of fans that come with that case but from what i read 2 cards produce a lot of heat
  14. Yes. I have that case and it runs my system real cool.
  15. ArmchairGamer said:

    The 500R is twice the case. Better cooling, quality, etc... Multi channel fan controllers, LED on/off switch, 200mm side fan, dust filters, and the ability to add more fans.


    http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/carbide-series-500r-mid-tower-case.html
  16. Ok. I am sold on the case. Built to last. I don't need a sound card? Or more RAM? I just want to make sure I'm good. Thanks for all of your suggestions / direction / advice.
  17. You're good.
  18. ArmchairGamer said:
    Ok. I am sold on the case. Built to last. I don't need a sound card? Or more RAM? I just want to make sure I'm good. Thanks for all of your suggestions / direction / advice.

    Unless your a hardcore audiophile the on board sound will suffice just fine. 8GB of RAM is over kill for a gaming build but RAM is dirt cheap atm and it's a way of future proofing. Your good to go.
  19. Sweet, thanks again. Ordering parts now.
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