New Gaming Build for 2012

Approximate Purchase Date: About two weeks
Budget Range: 2 – 3 k Before Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Gaming and too btw
Parts Not Required: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, suggestions on other sites, I have always used Newegg.
Country: U.S
Parts Preferences: historically I would go with AMD/nVidia combo, though probably going Intel/nVidia this time around.
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments: Not into the case customization w/ lights etc any more. Just need a system that put out some power with max settings on the current games and will last into the next year or so with maybe an upgrade to SLI

The current parts list I have put together are as follows:

MOBO: ASUS Maximus V EXTREME LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics

FAN: ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

GPU: EVGA 04G-P4-2673-KR GeForce GTX 670 Superclocked+ w/Backplate 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

RAM: CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 Desktop Memory Model CMD16GX3M4A2400C9

PSU: Need a Recommendation on this one…wattage etc..

HD: x2 SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC256B/WW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Currently its quite late where I am and I wish to sleep, so I'l keep my feedback brief and go into a bit more detail tomorrow sometime.

    $1500 is more than enough for a top of the line(ish) gaming rig, any more than that and you start wasting money. At this budget you need multi-monitor setups to justify spending that much.

    Mobo is ridiculously expensive and uneeded. Can get much cheaper boards that will do the same job.

    3570k over 2500k. Typical Ivy benefits.

    Get a Noctua NH-D14 since you don't mind aesthetics. Or go for a cheap custom Watercooling kit, you could probably afford it quite easily.

    No point for a 4GB 670 if your playing at 1080p. If you take my advice and go multi-monitor, a 7970 is a better option. And not EVGA cards, reference design cooling runs hotter and louder.

    Why Platinum RAM! These have popped up like a plague. Overpriced and pointless. RAM half its price is just as good.
    Also no reason for 16GB on a gaming rig (get 8GB), or for speeds above 1600Mhz.

    750W will cover you for dual cards, 650W for single. XFX, Seasonic or Corsair supplies preferably.

    No need for two 256GB SSD's, don't need that much (I'm having trouble filling my 128GB). If you want mass storage get a HDD.

    Optical drive is meh, but it doesn't need to be anything better. Nobody uses discs anymore so performance here doesn't matter.
  2. For the money, you can do a lot better. I agree with most of what the above said, but I did include lots of SSD space. Additionally, this mobo allows for two more 670's. This build is pretty sick.

    PCPartPicker part list:
    Price breakdown by merchant:

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)

    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($83.24 @ Amazon)

    Motherboard: Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 EATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($260.01 @ Newegg)

    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($48.99 @ Newegg)

    Storage: Corsair Force Series 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Newegg)

    Storage: Corsair Force Series 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ Newegg)

    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($389.98 @ NCIX US)

    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($389.98 @ NCIX US)

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 ATX Full Tower Case ($159.99 @ Newegg)

    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)

    Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($54.99 @ Amazon)

    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($93.20 @ Amazon)

    Total: $2155.34

    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  3. Thanks for the feedback manochalk. I have managed to get the price done a bit with some of your recommendations.

    Any pointers on a Monitor, Dual ones would be cool to do again but I recall when I used them years ago I still only played on one screen and use the second one to play around on the net.

    As far as water cooling goes, I have always been a bit uneasy with it. The idea of water and my computer just doesnt sit right. Any pointers on that end..starting points etc. Also, doesnt hte maitenance go up with one of those systems?
  4. You are correct with the monitors. If you want to game on more than one monitor, then you would need at least three. Additionally, it would be a good idea to switch to 7970 with 3GB of VRAM to support them. Otherwise, you could only utilize one while gaming.

    Here are a couple recommendations for some monitors. One is 60Hz, and one is 120Hz.

    60 Hz- ($260)

    120Hz- ($250)

    Just to note: the 60Hz is 1920x1200 and the 120Hz is 1920x1080. I would personally get the 120Hz for the more fluid picture.

    As for the water cooling goes, I wouldn't really worry about it. The Noctua D14 is just as good if not better. as some of the low-end water cooling solutions that you would get into.

    Hope this helps!
  5. manofchalk saved me some work. All the points are good save perhaps the SSD suggestion.

    There is little value in ram faster than 1600. Here is a report on why:

    I have no idea of your SSD space needs. But, I would use a single 500gb ssd in preference to two 250gb units. A larger ssd will perform slightly faster, and will manage free space better.

    I would not use a cooler with a 92mm fan. they are noisy and poor performers. You would be pleased with a cm hyper212 for about $30. If you want the best, the Noctua NH-D14 or phanteks @$80 or so will be as good as it gets. They will cool just as well as all in one liquid coolers in a well ventilated case, be quieter, and more reliable as well.

    I love dual monitors. You end up gaming on the primary, and the secondary can hold static stuff like email and monitors. When web browsing, it is nice to have two full pages side by side.

    If budget is not a great issue, look at the 2560 x 1440 monitors. The better resolution is great for gaming. They will be 27" and have a better 178/178 viewing angle.
    They are expensive, $700 or so, but they will last you for several generations of PC's

    If you are willing to take a chance, you can buy on ebay 2560 x 1440 monitors under different names like catleap for half the price. Do some research on forums and you will see some very satisfied buyers. Here is one link to get you started:
  6. For monitors, you need 3 or 6 if you want to game across them. Imagine playing BF3 with the crosshair in between the screens, that's why.
    I currently have three monitors (all different resolutions and one's plugged into integrated, no Eyefinity for me... :( ) and it is very useful for productivity. Video Editing is much easier when your timeline, preview areas and such aren't crammed into a small space. Same for online research, office applications and such.

    Basic things to look out for when picking a monitor. A 1920x1080/1200 resolution, LED backlighting, 5ms or less response time and VESA mounting. Then its down to looking at reviews of the monitors you find to figure out which is best. The physical size of the monitor is more personal preference and budget oriented than performance or quality.
    The above is good for your standard monitor.
    There are other options like IPS panels, 120hz and Uber-High resolution monitors to consider.
    IPS panels have much better colour reproduction, so the image will appear more vivid. Response times are a bit higher though. Cant get 120Hz IPS panels due to the higher response rate.
    A 120hz can display an FPS up to 120 (as opposed to the standard 60/75), so the movement onscreen will seem much smoother. You will be limited to a 1080p resolution though.
    And Uber-High resolution screens. Exactly what it says on the tin, you get more pixels. Only real downside to these are cost. You can get high resolution IPS panels, like the Dell U3011, but they are doubly as expensive ($1200 is the current price on the Dell).

    If you are interested in water-cooling, first place to start is the water-cooling sticky. It will explain the basics (and some advanced stuff like TDP) and point you in the right direction. Just remember that if you don't understand something or need help, can always start a thread there. For the first time watercooler, I would suggest getting a kit like I did, something like an XSPC Raystorm or EK H30.
    Water-Cooled rigs don't need to be maintained more often than any normal rig (every 6-9 months), but there is more work in maintaining it. Draining and refilling the loop with fresh water is about the extent of it though, with the occasional cleaning of water-blocks and such. If you take proper precautions like a Killcoil or Biocide and make sure everything's clean when you install it (including the water itself), Algae and Corrosion wont be an issue.
  7. Best answer selected by smithbc82.
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