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Which Maingear Potenza should I buy as my first gaming PC?

Last response: in Systems
October 4, 2012 2:45:05 PM

Hey Everyone,

Long time reader, first-time poster. I have finally decided to make the jump to PC gaming, console gaming simply doesn't cut it anymore (especially after hearing the dismal rumored specs for the next gen). I toyed with the idea of building my own, but since I really want a small-form factor system (more difficult to build?) I have decided to go with Maingear PC's Potenza.

I have configured 2 different builds listed below:

Configuration 1: ------$1756.00

Chassis: Potenza with VRTX Cooling Technology
Motherboard: Asus® P8Z77-I Deluxe Featuring USB 3.0, SATA 6G, 802.11n/Bluetooth, Lucid Virtu MVP
Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 3570K 3.4GHz/3.8GHz Turbo 6MB L3 Cache HD 4000
MAINGEAR Redline Overclocking Service: YES! - Redline™ Overclock My System!
Processor Cooling: MAINGEAR EPIC 120 Supercooler
Memory: 8GB Corsair® Vengeance™ DDR3-1600 1.5V (2x4GB)
Power Supply: 450W Silverstone ST45SF 80 Plus Bronze Certified PSU
Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator: NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 670 2GB GDDR5 w/PhysX [ENTHUSIAST]
Hard Drive Bay One: 120GB Corsair® Force GT SSD SATA 6G (w/ TRIM) [555MB/s Reads]
Wireless Network Adapter: Integrated 802.11b/g/n Wireless - up to 300Mbps!

Configuration 2 --- $1520

Same components above except:
Motherboard: Asus® P8H77-I Mini-ITX Featuring USB 3.0, SATA 6G, Lucid Virtu
Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 3550 3.3GHz/3.7GHz Turbo 6MB L3 Cache HD 2500
MAINGEAR Redline Overclocking Service: Intel® Turbo Boost Advanced Automatic Overclocking
Processor Cooling: MAINGEAR Certified Intel® Retail Cooler
No Wireless Network Adapter

I just wanted to hear everyone's opinion on which build I should go for, and why. Should I think about completely changing certain components entirely? Is the $236 worth downgrading the components? I'm interested in playing all of the mainstream titles in gaming at max settings on 1920x1080 resolution (BF3, Skyrim, Mass Effect, etc.) I might want to overclock, but only down the road when it might be required to run certain games. Your input is much appreciated!!
October 4, 2012 2:59:05 PM

either will run everything you might throw at it, but I cringe at the costs!

if you are willing to build your own:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($25.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($28.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.28 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($359.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($359.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Essential 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.29 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($92.21 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Logitech 920-003693 Wired Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($19.99 @ Adorama)
Total: $1589.68
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 4, 2012 3:12:34 PM

no reason to not build your own.
October 4, 2012 4:17:24 PM

wow great site, nice interface. and that you showed has a LOT better value. This could change my mind