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1000-1500$ gaming build

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October 27, 2012 9:50:43 AM

Hello everyone, Any help on completing/changing the build will be much appreciated :) 

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-3 weeks

Budget Range: <$1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web surfing, watching movies/videos...

Parts Not Required: OS, Monitor, Keyboard/Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.com

Country: Australia, Most parts will be bought here and cost 10-30$ more

Parts Preferences: Gigabyte

Overclocking: Most likely

SLI or Crossfire: Unlikely

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Parts Considering:

CPU: i5 3570k

GPU: Gigabyte Windforce OC 670

RAM: Corsair/G.skil/Kingston 16GB (1600?)

Motherboard: z77 (which model/brand?)

HDD: 1TB

SSD: 120 or 128 GB

Case: Plenty of room so no limits on case size.

Additional Comments: Would I be better sticking with the Gigabyte gtx 670 or would a 7970 Ghz be a better option. I mainly play RTS and RPG games. I live in Australia therefore most parts cost upwards of 10$ over the US price. I would like to avoid upgrade for at least 1 year.

More about : 1000 1500 gaming build

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October 27, 2012 10:03:41 AM
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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($101.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($469.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($125.00 @ Scorptec)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Plus 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($158.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1453.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

How's that? Feel free to change the case if you don't like the looks.
October 27, 2012 10:17:47 AM

Will a CPU cooler actually be necessary? What benefits will it provide? Also for the extra 30$ (roughly) for the 7970 GHz is it worth it considering the difference between Nvidia and AMD (driver updates and what not), the cards themselves and what I will be playing primarily (RPG/RTS). Lastly the case looks ok but what others options do I have around that price point?
Related resources
October 27, 2012 10:24:31 AM

The cooler is a good idea if you plan to OC. The stock cooler is fine, but your chip will overheat if you try to OC it at all. Other option is something cheaper eg CM Hyper212 Evo, but that is louder and less effective.

The 7970 GHz outperforms the 680 currently, and AMD drivers are fine.

Take a look through Tom's review of 15 gaming cases recently.
October 27, 2012 11:01:39 AM

I've heard and actually seen the 7970 Windforce 3 actually sagging the PCIe slot, and I once held it. Its actually quite a heavy card, and the cooler is quite loud. I recommend the 7970 GHZ, but not that particular one.
October 27, 2012 11:06:26 AM

It's pretty much that or the HIS one for $140 more according to PCPartPicker, though I suspect it's wrong. I've heard a couple of people say that now, though I thought Toms' 670 review said it was one of the smaller, lighter coolers? Maybe it's that it doesn't have a backplate.
October 27, 2012 11:10:44 AM

I know you said you didn't want SLI or Crossfire but since your budget allows it and you will be overclocking, then this PC is just a much better choice than the ones listed above.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($105.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($341.60 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($341.60 @ Mwave Australia)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($77.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: OCZ ZT 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($121.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Total: $1538.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 27, 2012 11:22:39 AM

I would rather stick with a single card for the time being. Also I am not strict on the GPU brand I just read the windforce cooler is quite a good cooler. Any other recommendations on GPU would be much appreciated.
October 27, 2012 11:27:48 AM

The Sapphire 7970 GHz Edition is pretty nice; I just couldn't be bothered finding someone selling it. MSI and ASUS are both good too.
October 27, 2012 11:29:00 AM

Also when I overclock it will likely be quite minimal due to it being my first time. With that in mind will I need: Silverstone Strider Plus 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
October 27, 2012 11:36:31 AM

850W is enough for OCed 2x7970GHz. 550W is enough if not doing CF/SLI.
October 27, 2012 12:22:05 PM

I found the Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Ghz Edition Vapor-x 3gb for 499$, 30$ more than the Gigabyte 7970 GHz card. Worth it?
October 27, 2012 12:27:41 PM

Also at 500$ for the performance increase relative to the cost difference would I be better sticking with my original choice of the Gigabyte Windforce 3 gtx 670?
October 27, 2012 12:33:40 PM

You might be. 7970 GHz Edition is overkill for 1080p, and the 670 will still max out pretty much everything.
October 27, 2012 12:50:54 PM

Considering the overall amount I am spending (the budget isn't strict) would I be better spashing on the Sapphire 7970 GHz over the Gigabyte 670 Windforce OC. Would the 7970 GHz be better for future-proofing?
October 27, 2012 12:54:54 PM

It would be better and last longer, but it wouldn't be a huge difference, or worth $140 or however much it is. Getting a 750W PSU and 670 would let you add a second one later.
October 27, 2012 1:00:11 PM

Yes.As you can see from the recent review's on AMD's updated driver there is still a lot of room for improvement in the HD 7970.If the cost is similar you should pick a HD 7970 over a GTX 670 (IMO).
And about the HD 7970 Windorce being heavy... well yes i've heard the same but spending so much money on a marginally better cooler just isn't worth it in my opinion.

And if you really don't want to go with a dual GPU build then ill just build you a killer future proof PC.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.00 @ Mwave Australia)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($219.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($85.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($105.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($415.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($77.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: OCZ ZX 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($161.50 @ Mwave Australia)
Total: $1496.50
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

October 27, 2012 1:11:50 PM

If it was between the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card and the Gigabyte 670 windforce OC I would rather go for the 670 however I was curious as to whether the Sapphire 7970 Ghz 3gb would be worth it over the Gigabyte 670 windforce OC for an extra $70-$90.
October 27, 2012 1:13:55 PM

Going for the 3820 is pretty pointless, as you can get a 3770K that OCs. Or a 3570K that will perform the same in most games and also OCs.

LGA2011 mobos are expensive too, and you want quad-channel RAM to take full advantage of it.

My build (up top) beats it in terms of gaming, and can do CF/SLI as well. If you aren't doing dual-GPUs then get a 600W PSU.

EDIT: It's probably not worth it unless you wanted to run 5760x1080 or 2560x1440. A 670 will max out anything at 1080p.
October 27, 2012 1:18:44 PM

If I had a 1080p or 1200p monitor I would buy a 670 to future proof. You'd get benefits from a 7970 but I believe the benefits are really based on monitor resolution or if you have multiple monitors. Most gamers or heavy users upgrade every 2-3years, so you'd want something new down the road anyways. Maybe a new monitor. In the meantime, the 670 is a beast.
October 27, 2012 1:24:07 PM

Ok, Here is the revised build

GPU: Gigabyte 670 Windforce 3 OC
CPU: i5-3570k
MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
PSU: Silverstone Strider Plus 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
RAM: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
CASE: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

I might try SLI at some point and will lightly Overclock the processor, What PSU would you recommend? Also that case looks damn nice, thanks for showing it to me :) 
October 27, 2012 1:46:51 PM

Not so sure on OCZ PSUs, I have seen a lot of negativity towards them. What other good Brands/models alternatives are there?
October 27, 2012 1:56:46 PM

Antec, Corsair, Z/ZS/ZT/ZX/Fatal1ty OCZ, PCP&C, Hive/Capstone Rosewill, Seasonic, or XFX are good ones. OCZ's old models were bad but the new ones are pretty good.
October 27, 2012 1:57:35 PM

Personally, if I wanted 2TB then I'd break it up into 2 x 1TB. So I could put a disk image on my second HDD and back up some important files. Yet, I'd have tons of space.
October 27, 2012 2:02:36 PM

Someone Somewhere said:
Going for the 3820 is pretty pointless, as you can get a 3770K that OCs. Or a 3570K that will perform the same in most games and also OCs.

LGA2011 mobos are expensive too, and you want quad-channel RAM to take full advantage of it.

My build (up top) beats it in terms of gaming, and can do CF/SLI as well. If you aren't doing dual-GPUs then get a 600W PSU.

EDIT: It's probably not worth it unless you wanted to run 5760x1080 or 2560x1440. A 670 will max out anything at 1080p.


Umm did you forget that the I7 3820 IS overclockable? And im not talking 100 or 200 mhz.It overclocks at least as well as the i7 3770K.It also uses a higher end platform - LGA 2011 which also has a very nice upgrade path while LGA 1155 is pretty much a dead end.Your build will have a slight advantage in gaming but that's due to the graphics card's higher clock speed.That advantage will be nullified when both cards are clocked at the same frequency.And the one i listed actually tends to overclock a bit higher.Quad Channel RAM also has its benefits although at gaming it will not add any FPS.The build i made also uses a much better power supply than the one you listed and the motherboard has 2.5 times more PCI-E lanes so it IS a better machine for SLI and Crossfire.
And yes i do kind of agree about the last thing.The build i made does have a bit more power than he will need.But that just makes it more future proof.
October 27, 2012 2:03:39 PM

Not sure whether this is worthy of a new thread or if I should just ask it here. Oh well here goes, would I be better getting a 7970 or a 670 (7970 is roughly $30 cheaper)
October 27, 2012 2:04:39 PM

If you're investing $1500 in a computer, you better be damn sure you get a quality PSU and that the PSU never sees a wall socket. That means you need a to get a quality UPS.

Secondly, an 850watt is a leagues overkill. Try a 550-600watt for your uses.

Corsair GS600 600-Watt Power Supply

Also,

http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/ups-systems/a...

Use this to plug all your equipment in. I realize the UPS is expensive, but power components cannot be cheap'ed out on. You can find good deals on both parts though, you can likely find it much cheaper on other sites than the MSRP.

Edit:

Didn't see you wanted SLI in the *revised* build. You can just edit the OP. You can use the same models as i just linked, but more powerful versions...GS800 and the CP1300.
October 27, 2012 2:08:15 PM

I would prefer it lasted a while but I am happy to upgrade after 1 year if needed.
October 27, 2012 2:13:16 PM

Kamen_BG said:
Umm did you forget that the I7 3820 IS overclockable? And im not talking 100 or 200 mhz.It overclocks at least as well as the i7 3770K.It also uses a higher end platform - LGA 2011 which also has a very nice upgrade path while LGA 1155 is pretty much a dead end.


Uh... Did you not catch the part where the 3820 has a locked multiplier?

You could get better performance by spending the money from the higher-end mobos elsewhere.
October 27, 2012 4:10:19 PM

If 7970 is cheaper, then that's my vote.
October 27, 2012 4:35:42 PM

Someone Somewhere said:
Uh... Did you not catch the part where the 3820 has a locked multiplier?

You could get better performance by spending the money from the higher-end mobos elsewhere.


Im pretty sure you don't know how overclocking is done on LGA 2011.On LGA 2011 you do not need an unlocked multiplier in order to overclock.
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/intel_corei7_38...
October 27, 2012 6:35:17 PM

I like it. Unless you plan on doing multi-monitor or higher than 1080P gaming, I think a GTX670 is overkill not the most efficient purchase, but if you are then by all means.

Also, why bother with Windows 7?...Windows 8 just came out yesterday.
October 27, 2012 7:21:29 PM

I'm going to but in here saying that purchasing a 670 is one of the most retarded moves a person would make. For just a couple extra bucks you have a 7970GHz edition. Right now Nvidia's "higher end" cards are horrible compared to AMD's. A 7970GHz Editio performs equal, if not better than a 680 which is roughly $500.
October 28, 2012 1:15:38 AM

I dislike a few aspects of Win 8 and considering the performance differences in gaming between the two OS is virtually none I will choose win 7
October 28, 2012 1:53:54 AM

I am only able to find benchmarks that date back to June. These benchmarks (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...) seem to show that performances are very game specific. Sometimes showing the 670 trumping the 7970 GHz. Just to clarify (cause I know nothing about driver updates) what improvements have been made to the 7970 GHz during that 4 month period and is it worth choosing it over the 670 for an extra 70$ (in my country). For performance gains,futureproofing and most likely multimonitor would the 7970 GHz be a better choice?
October 28, 2012 2:20:51 AM

EchoSx said:
I am only able to find benchmarks that date back to June. These benchmarks (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-ghz-...) seem to show that performances are very game specific. Sometimes showing the 670 trumping the 7970 GHz. Just to clarify (cause I know nothing about driver updates) what improvements have been made to the 7970 GHz during that 4 month period and is it worth choosing it over the 670 for an extra 70$ (in my country). For performance gains,futureproofing and most likely multimonitor would the 7970 GHz be a better choice?


12.11 Drivers just made it (Finally after all this time) defeat the 680 in the popular Nvidia sided game, Battlefield 3.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6393/amds-holiday-plans-c...

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_P...

I'm just using Battlefield 3 as an example, there are plenty of other games in which the 7970 GHZ owns, and the 670/680 owns in. Generally speaking, in this review (The next link) AMD won.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Catalyst_12.11_P...

October 28, 2012 3:05:25 AM

Considering I mainly play World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 (670 wins in both) and the 670 is considerably cheaper (70$) for possible dual monitors would the 670 still be a safe bet?
October 28, 2012 3:36:58 AM

You don't need such a powerful graphics card for the games you play. Really, a $700 build would do you fine. If your not into those fancy fps games, or games like The Witcher 2, then you really don't need a $1500 build.
October 28, 2012 3:51:29 AM

Currently those are my main games because I can run them hehe. With a more powerful pc I would start on Shogun 2, BF3 and many others I cant run at the moment.
October 28, 2012 6:33:42 AM

EchoSx said:
Considering I mainly play World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 (670 wins in both) and the 670 is considerably cheaper (70$) for possible dual monitors would the 670 still be a safe bet?


Not really..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The HD 7970 is quite a bit faster than the GTX 670 overall.And it does not cost a lot more

Also if you're going to play on multiple monitors or a single high-resolution monitor then again the HD 7970 is a way better choice.
Just look at the builds i made you.
Both of them are great and certainly better than the one you listed lastly.
October 28, 2012 9:34:22 AM

In Australia it is at minimum 70$ more

EDIT: Oh I was looking at the GHz Edition. The standard is actually cheaper than the 670
October 28, 2012 9:37:49 AM

So based on price (and performance) it seems I would be better off with the 7970. Which 7970 card/s would you recommend?
October 28, 2012 9:46:10 AM

Anything that isn't a reference cooler. I love Sapphire's coolers, quiet, efficient, and look good. I have a 7850 with their cooler and I love it, they do such a good job at only 20% (Completely quiet)
October 29, 2012 7:43:02 AM

Best answer selected by EchoSx.
October 31, 2012 8:25:55 AM

Quick question, considering AMD's recent lay-offs of up to 30%, would buying a 7970 still be a fine option?
October 31, 2012 9:21:42 AM

Ya. Remember AMD are going to make a ton from consoles(Next gen), and their CPU's are used HEAPS in budget builds. Also having the crown of best performer in Battlefield 3, means now they'll get more sales as well. Winning Battlefield 3 was a key point in their survival.
October 31, 2012 1:55:54 PM

Well the HD 7970 is as fast as a GTX 670 but it comes with an amazing bundle and it's a hell of a overclocker.
So yeah a HD 7970 is a fine choice.Just make sure you buy one with a good cooler.
October 31, 2012 11:22:44 PM

Im leaning towards the Sapphire 7970 OC however the gigabyte 7970 seems fine.
!