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Gaming PC with budget of $1400-$1500

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October 27, 2012 8:24:47 PM

Hello, I am planning on buying a gaming PC soon and could use all the help I can get. I've never built a PC before myself, so I decided to turn to you guys to ensure I get the best deal for my price range.

Approximate Purchase Date: The closest I could buy it is about November 7th-8th, I am strongly considering waiting until Black Friday to see if I can get some better deals and increase my spending power. I am not sure if it is worth it to wait though, I could use some advice in that regard.

Budget Range: $1400-$1500 after rebates and shipping, if a total comes a little higher I will take it under consideration though.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Gaming, watching movies, schoolwork, etc).

Are you buying a monitor: Yes. I am in the market for a 32' television that can fit my needs for gaming and watching movies. I didn't count it in the total, but I would prefer to spend somewhere in the range of $400-$600 for one. If anyone knows of one, I would appreciate it.

Parts to Upgrade: I have a laptop, so I don't have anything to contribute in this regard.

Do you need to buy OS: No, I already bought the standard OEM windows 8 for $69.99 because it was on sale at Newegg.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon is a possibility but I hate paying tax at Amazon because I live in Washington.

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Washington.

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I have heard excellent things about both Intel and Nvidia, so I am looking to get either an I5 or I7 (not too sure which one is more cost efficient compared to power), and either a Nvidia GTX660 or 670. If you have other suggestions though, I would be more than happy to hear them.

Overclocking: Maybe. I'm not planning on doing it right away, but I probably will when I need to.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe when sometime down the road when I want to give it a boost.

Your Monitor Resolution: I am planning on getting a 1920x1080 television.

Additional Comments: I would like to have a large standard hard-drive to store my games and stuff on and an SSD to load the operating system on. I am planning on watching Blu-rays, so having a drive that came with software to run them would be helpful. A quiet system would be preferable. I'd like a case that leaves me with a lot of expansion room, and it would be nice if it was stylish, although I want function over form.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My laptop just doesn't cut it anymore for running games.

Thanks in advance for any help you provide.

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a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2012 8:36:39 PM
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Nice system, should meet your needs.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($376.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($68.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1281.71
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 27, 2012 10:39:23 PM

malbluff said:
Nice system, should meet your needs.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.82 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($376.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($68.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1281.71
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


A few questions:

(1) Would it be worth it to take the extra cash and upgrade from the I5 to an I7 processor?

(2) Are there any big differences between a mid-tower and a full-tower case? I have the space to support pretty much as large of a case as I need and would prefer to have maximum space for upgrades.

(3) Would it be worth it to buy the next level of Seagate Barracuda and go for the 3TB for (currently) $119.99?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=22-148-...

(4) Are there any (relatively) cheap drives that come with the software necessary to play Blu-rays? That drive and the majority of the other ones I have looked at are all OEM and I'm not too keen on buying software separately.

Thank you very much for your help.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2012 11:17:42 PM

There is virtually no benefit to i7, for gaming. i7 only really has benefits for stuff like high-end photgraphy/video editing, or 3D design.
A good mid-tower, like the 500R is just as good as a basic full tower. Nothing wrong with getting a full tower, as long as it's a decent one.
Again, I doubt there's any real point going up to 3TB. You may prove me wrong, but doubt you'd ever fill it, plus, I think, efficiency begins to suffer, above 2TB. If spare funds, you could get the better WD Caviar Black.
You'd normally get the software separately. If anyone includes it (I'm not sure if anyone does), it would probably be Pioneer. Check their website.
October 27, 2012 11:41:50 PM

malbluff said:
There is virtually no benefit to i7, for gaming. i7 only really has benefits for stuff like high-end photgraphy/video editing, or 3D design.
A good mid-tower, like the 500R is just as good as a basic full tower. Nothing wrong with getting a full tower, as long as it's a decent one.
Again, I doubt there's any real point going up to 3TB. You may prove me wrong, but doubt you'd ever fill it, plus, I think, efficiency begins to suffer, above 2TB. If spare funds, you could get the better WD Caviar Black.
You'd normally get the software separately. If anyone includes it (I'm not sure if anyone does), it would probably be Pioneer. Check their website.


I agree with malbluff, in general for gaming get the best video card you can afford, and support it with a system that won't hold it back. You've got a 3rd gen processor, motherboard and an excellent performance-to-value video card, and it would be excellent for all your games. With a 3rd gen system like you've chosen, you can turn on Virtualogic and it will automatically take advantage of the onboard graphics processing as well, in an optimized way.

It's a fabulous setup for gaming, and you won't see a noticeable improvement with an i7 processor.
October 28, 2012 8:30:43 AM

Makes sense, in that case I'm happy with the I5 (I really don't want to pay the extra anyway haha).

I am considering this full-tower case, being as how it has excellent reviews, a ton of space, and is quite stylish.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do either of you think that it would be worth waiting an extra month for Newegg's Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales? If it won't change much in pricing, I might as well go ahead and buy all the stuff now, but I don't want to be kicking myself in a month over missing out on some deals.
October 28, 2012 11:27:06 AM

I've been watching the price of a case (green Vengeance C70) for a few months now, hoping the price will settle. Most current mid-tower or full size cases will work, although I'm stuck on this particular one because it's got a great theme for the only game I play - BF3.

Items are discounted to generate buying interest and to clear inventory, and generally aren't a discount option when popular or recently released.
a b 4 Gaming
October 28, 2012 11:41:05 AM

The drawback with waiting for things, like Black Friday, is it's impossible to know if "your" items are going to be any cheaper. What tends to happen, is that something "similar" to your chosen product, has a good deal. That's fine, provided you have the knowledge/experience, to work out if that "similar" product is as good, as your chosen item, or even compatible, with the rest of your parts. There can be some very good deals.
November 4, 2012 4:47:33 AM

Best answer selected by MechaGaiden.
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