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$2200 Gaming PC

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November 5, 2012 10:32:36 PM

Hello,
I'll be building an almost entirely new rig in two weeks and just wanted to run my parts list by you guys (HDD and SSD not required) My preferred store is PC Case Gear, as I'm limited to Australian based stores. Thanks in advance =)
Case: Silverstone FT02
CPU: Intel i5 3570k (will be overclocking on water)
GPU: NVidia EVGA GTX 670 FTW (also on water, not planning on SLI as I only game at 1920x1080)
Mobo: Asus Sabertooth Z77
PSU: Corsair AX 750
Radiator: XSPC AX 360
Pump: D5 Vario combo pump and dual bay res.

More about : 2200 gaming

November 5, 2012 10:55:13 PM

Looks like a good build but I would change the i5 to a i7 with your budget.
Anonymous
November 5, 2012 10:59:44 PM

I would start with a 30" 2560 x 1600 display, the display is the most important part to me then graphics card second. CPU third. And so on. GTX 680 ftw.
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November 5, 2012 11:10:18 PM

ThatMoose said:
Looks like a good build but I would change the i5 to a i7 with your budget.

I considered it, but it would be $100 extra for features that wouldn't impact at all on gaming (eg hyperthreading). I'd rather put that money towards a better GPU or moniter.
November 5, 2012 11:11:19 PM

If you want my opinion, (although I'm an American and I don't know your prices to the dollar) I would upgrade to the X79 platform with a i7-3820. Its a great CPU and ties the 3770k in most benches. If you can squeeze the extra money, get a 7970 over the 670. It will overclock much further and will leave even a 680 in the dust when overclocked. Seems as if you'll have no problems with overclocking considering you're on water, but make sure you get the highest "binned" card you can. When video cards are made, some don't meet the requirements it should, and is therefore put in the group of cheap cards and the good chips are put in the better cards. I'd suggest XFX simply because they are known to be the best overclocked 7970.

Love the build, and I hope you enjoy what you end up deciding on :D  !
November 6, 2012 12:02:44 AM

Josheyman123 said:
If you want my opinion, (although I'm an American and I don't know your prices to the dollar) I would upgrade to the X79 platform with a i7-3820. Its a great CPU and ties the 3770k in most benches. If you can squeeze the extra money, get a 7970 over the 670. It will overclock much further and will leave even a 680 in the dust when overclocked. Seems as if you'll have no problems with overclocking considering you're on water, but make sure you get the highest "binned" card you can. When video cards are made, some don't meet the requirements it should, and is therefore put in the group of cheap cards and the good chips are put in the better cards. I'd suggest XFX simply because they are known to be the best overclocked 7970.

Love the build, and I hope you enjoy what you end up deciding on :D  !

Thanks for all the advice, in Australia most of the 7970 cards are actually $50-$100 cheaper than the 670 FTW (barring the high-level factory overclocked models with fancy cooling). I've heard a ton of good stuff about the 7970, would I be able to buy just the reference card and overclock the hell out of it to push it past the 670? The only possible problem would be the length of the PCB, as the FT02 case rotates the mobo 90 degrees, so the card might end up bumping up against the radiator at the bottom. Time to do some measuring!
November 6, 2012 12:09:59 AM

Oops forgot you are in Australia so the currency is different :p .
November 6, 2012 12:16:18 AM

haha, that's ok, I had the same problem when I first went on newegg.com and was like 'holy **** these prices are amazing!'
November 6, 2012 12:18:40 AM

Lol. So how much would this cost with American dollars?
November 6, 2012 12:29:36 AM

KaiserFrederick93 said:
Thanks for all the advice, in Australia most of the 7970 cards are actually $50-$100 cheaper than the 670 FTW (barring the high-level factory overclocked models with fancy cooling). I've heard a ton of good stuff about the 7970, would I be able to buy just the reference card and overclock the hell out of it to push it past the 670? The only possible problem would be the length of the PCB, as the FT02 case rotates the mobo 90 degrees, so the card might end up bumping up against the radiator at the bottom. Time to do some measuring!


Actually, like I said earlier, if you get a somewhat-above reference ( lower binned cards ) you can overclock the hell outta them and they will beat the 680 and puts it back as the most powerful single GPU card besides GK110 of course. :ange: 

Aside from that, however, if the 7970 can fit, that is definitely the way to go. Especially so if you are running a high resolution ( above 1080p ) anytime in the future.

One thing first - MAKE SURE IT IS A GHz EDITION CARD, as they are the modified and slightly upgraded PCB designed cards with the ability to break 1.4 GHz. Now saying you'd hit that is a fat chance, but who knows. Here is an example of a great card:

Look for one of these in Australia -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - MSI

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - ASUS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - XFX

You'd probably be best off with the ASUS, if it will fit, since it has dual 8-pin, ensuring the best power delivery.

If not, grab the XFX. If you decide you don't want to run it on water, MSI's cooling is the best of the best with triple overvoltage.
November 6, 2012 12:41:45 AM

One thing I overlooked: What is your fancy with that case. I don't quite understand.

Tell me - what don't you like about the ThermalTake Level 10 GT or the Corsair 600T ( I prefer the latter ) and it will even save you money. It eliminates nearly all your restrictions when it comes to the water cooling and video card conflicts, and gives you a much better overall build. Has better airflow along with more accessibility.
November 6, 2012 1:34:02 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.00 @ 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 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($217.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case ($189.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Plus 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($145.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1468.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

if not SLIing/CFX get a 500-600W, if you have the money i would try to get a NZXT 810 switch for water cooling. Get a 360 rad on top and a 240 rad on the HDD bay.

the 7970 is a few bucks cheaper than a 670 and performs better than it.
November 6, 2012 4:05:20 AM

ThatMoose said:
Lol. So how much would this cost with American dollars?

probably around $1800, but that's only an estimate.
November 6, 2012 4:09:50 AM

Josheyman123 said:
Actually, like I said earlier, if you get a somewhat-above reference ( lower binned cards ) you can overclock the hell outta them and they will beat the 680 and puts it back as the most powerful single GPU card besides GK110 of course. :ange: 

Aside from that, however, if the 7970 can fit, that is definitely the way to go. Especially so if you are running a high resolution ( above 1080p ) anytime in the future.

One thing first - MAKE SURE IT IS A GHz EDITION CARD, as they are the modified and slightly upgraded PCB designed cards with the ability to break 1.4 GHz. Now saying you'd hit that is a fat chance, but who knows. Here is an example of a great card:

Look for one of these in Australia -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - MSI

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - ASUS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - XFX

You'd probably be best off with the ASUS, if it will fit, since it has dual 8-pin, ensuring the best power delivery.

If not, grab the XFX. If you decide you don't want to run it on water, MSI's cooling is the best of the best with triple overvoltage.

I can get the MSI card for only $60 more than the 670 FTW, which is fine, but I don't believe it's the GHz edition. Would I still be able to overclock it as much?
November 6, 2012 4:16:34 AM

Josheyman123 said:
One thing I overlooked: What is your fancy with that case. I don't quite understand.

Tell me - what don't you like about the ThermalTake Level 10 GT or the Corsair 600T ( I prefer the latter ) and it will even save you money. It eliminates nearly all your restrictions when it comes to the water cooling and video card conflicts, and gives you a much better overall build. Has better airflow along with more accessibility.

I don't have my heart set on the FT02 or anything, I just really liked the look of it and its mobo rotation, good build quality and vertical air flow design features. Personally I hate the look of the Thermaltake Level 10, no offense =), but Corsair cases are great, but I'd have to get the 800D to fit my water cooling stuff, and that case is expensive. I was in love with the Switch 810 for a while, but the build quality just isn't as good as Corsair or Silverstone. I was also looking at the BitFenix Shinobi XL, plenty of room and cheaper than the Silverstone. Sorry for the multiple posts!
November 6, 2012 8:37:45 PM

KaiserFrederick93 said:
I can get the MSI card for only $60 more than the 670 FTW, which is fine, but I don't believe it's the GHz edition. Would I still be able to overclock it as much?


MSI cards are great overclockers, and I actually used their 7950 variant w/ Twin Frozr III cooling, and I DID replace the thermal compound ( I always do ) and I got 1350 core on 1.12v!!! And that's on air!

That is a reason to get the MSI one. I guess the whole reason to get a GHz edition card is that they revised the GPU ( Tahiti XT to Tahiti XT Pro I believe ) and made it so that even though they are priced along the 670's range of cards, they will overclock like a beast and blow away the 680.

If you can't get the GHz edition - that's fine. The non-GHz editions still overclock really well. Just keep this in mind: You want the best aftermarket card you can get, not necessarily for the cooling, but since they are the higher binned chips. When these manufacturers ask AMD for the chips, they ask for the best ones, that way they can be overclocked and beat the competition in terms of stability when overclocking and the voltage regulation. MSI is usually first in line, sometimes behind XFX.

That is why you don't get a reference card, because the manufacturers can skimp on getting a higher binned chip because they doubt you'd be overclocking. They can charge less too, that way they keep the competition steady but the profit margins the same.

One thing from another post I read - if you don't like Tt's option, and the 800D is the only Corsair case that fits - have you considered the Cooler Master HAF X?
November 7, 2012 4:50:44 AM

Josheyman123 said:
MSI cards are great overclockers, and I actually used their 7950 variant w/ Twin Frozr III cooling, and I DID replace the thermal compound ( I always do ) and I got 1350 core on 1.12v!!! And that's on air!

That is a reason to get the MSI one. I guess the whole reason to get a GHz edition card is that they revised the GPU ( Tahiti XT to Tahiti XT Pro I believe ) and made it so that even though they are priced along the 670's range of cards, they will overclock like a beast and blow away the 680.

If you can't get the GHz edition - that's fine. The non-GHz editions still overclock really well. Just keep this in mind: You want the best aftermarket card you can get, not necessarily for the cooling, but since they are the higher binned chips. When these manufacturers ask AMD for the chips, they ask for the best ones, that way they can be overclocked and beat the competition in terms of stability when overclocking and the voltage regulation. MSI is usually first in line, sometimes behind XFX.

That is why you don't get a reference card, because the manufacturers can skimp on getting a higher binned chip because they doubt you'd be overclocking. They can charge less too, that way they keep the competition steady but the profit margins the same.

One thing from another post I read - if you don't like Tt's option, and the 800D is the only Corsair case that fits - have you considered the Cooler Master HAF X?

Cool, thanks for all the info on the 7970, you've given me a lot of food for thought. As to the case, I know I'm being nit picky here but the Coolermaster cases just don't catch my eye like the Corsair, Silverstone or NZXT Switch 810 cases did. Since I'll be water cooling I don't really need the side fan, plus I think it kinda defeats the purpose of having a windowed case. Go for maximum airflow (ie mesh side panel) or no airflow, a half measure looks sloppy and won't provide the temps you need.
November 7, 2012 10:25:46 PM

KaiserFrederick93 said:
Cool, thanks for all the info on the 7970, you've given me a lot of food for thought. As to the case, I know I'm being nit picky here but the Coolermaster cases just don't catch my eye like the Corsair, Silverstone or NZXT Switch 810 cases did. Since I'll be water cooling I don't really need the side fan, plus I think it kinda defeats the purpose of having a windowed case. Go for maximum airflow (ie mesh side panel) or no airflow, a half measure looks sloppy and won't provide the temps you need.


Well, since I can't seem to give you much advice regarding your case, one thing I'll tell you is don't go for looks if airflow looks like it could EVER present a problem. I'm sure you already knew that, it's just that if you look below, there is my rig ( and haha yes I have the 670 FTW - ONLY FOR PhysX :D  ), and I once had all that ( minus the 670, I had a Zotac 550 ti - YUCK ) in a ThermalTake Armor A30. That case has bling, and looks kinda neat - you can do a Google search if you wish - but I had problems with airflow, even using a modular PSU. So I took the move to a Fractal Design Define Mini, and couldn't be happier. Note: I'm on the mATX side of things, just for portability. Plus, this rig was initially on a budget and I opted for the 2500k for 179.99 USD ( a steal ).

Sorry, as that was aside from the point here, I really hope that I haven't drawn you away from your own opinions, since they matter the most - as you will be the one using this build. So if you really do like the Silverstone case you originally had, and you can't find something else that suits your fancy, then go for it. If the 7970 doesn't fit, then get the 670. My entire point is that YOU need to be able to ENJOY YOUR BUILD.

Apologies for the long posts, I just like to clearly get my point across.

Oh, and actually, just now looked at the BitFenix Shinobi XL Windowed ( literally as I'm about to click "Submit" ) and I truly think that case would suit your fancy. You may want to grab just one or two extra Spectre fans ( yes I know you're water cooling, but fans still help maintain positive air pressure inside your case. They could also be used in push/pull's with your radiators.
November 8, 2012 3:14:08 AM

ok, after much deliberation and consideration of all your advice (thanks especially to Josheyman12), here is the final build, minus the water cooling equipment (ordering the parts Friday):
CPU: Intel i5 3570k
Mobo: Asus Sabertooth Z77
GPU: EVGA GTX 670 FTW
RAM: 2x4 GB Corsair Dominator (1600)
Case: NZXT Switch 810
PSU: Corsair AX 750
I finally decided to go for the Switch 810 for three main reasons - it's bigger than the FT02, so no problems with lengthy graphics cards or thick radiators, it has great airflow potential with a large number of places to put 140mm fans (all dust filtered, yay!), and it just looks so damn good in white. Sure, I give up aluminium and steel for steel and plastic, but I do save $50 and get a case with way more space.
Turning down the 7970 for the 670 was tougher, but the more expensive cost of the larger 7970 water blocks and the need for more radiators and fans to keep in running cool and quiet makes it more expensive than the 670 by over $100. Plus the games I'll be playing most (Shogun 2 and BF3) favour NVidia cards, and 2GB of VRAM is more than enough for a single 1920x1080 moniter.
Thanks again for your advice, I'll probably upload photos of the finished build.
November 8, 2012 4:11:23 AM

dont get the sabortooth its a waste of money get the UD5H instead.
November 8, 2012 4:51:34 AM

mrdowntownkiller said:
dont get the sabortooth its a waste of money get the UD5H instead.

Can you expand a bit more on this? I've only heard great things about the Sabertooth, but after skimming through a couple of reviews the UD5H doesn't seem to offer as many features as the Asus board. Plus the Sabertooth has a crazy 5 year warranty, and is actually cheaper than the UD5H at the moment on PC Case Gear.
November 8, 2012 12:17:39 PM

the sabertooth features is very away from the price and i hate that cover on the board which attracts heat ( is was supposed to keep heat away but it makes the opposite )
and about the price the sabertooth costs $240 while the UD5H costs $180 , anyway your build doesn't need a supersonic mobo a UD3H will be more than perfect with your other parts.
November 8, 2012 6:10:55 PM

mrdowntownkiller said:
the sabertooth features is very away from the price and i hate that cover on the board which attracts heat ( is was supposed to keep heat away but it makes the opposite )
and about the price the sabertooth costs $240 while the UD5H costs $180 , anyway your build doesn't need a supersonic mobo a UD3H will be more than perfect with your other parts.


@mrdowntownkiller - You are missing his point. He likes the ASUS not only for looks and warranty but also the fact that the features to price ratio is better at his retailer. He's not in the US where those prices you gave apply.

@KaiserFrederick93 - After the info you have given regarding the price of the 7970's waterblocks ( which I had not considered unfortunately) is not pleasing, but is understandable, just please keep in mind that you will have to get a GTX 680 waterblock, since the EVGA 670 FTW uses the 680's PCB. I am unsure whether you already knew and/or considered this - just wanted to give you a heads-up.

Overall, I think your final build is great - except for the fact that maybe ( and I may be wrong ) you skipped over the part where I suggested to look at the i7-3820 and the LGA 2011 platform. Maybe you didn't overlook it, but ASRock makes some amazing 2011 boards - and if it's in your price range, or not too far off, then I would definitely consider it.

I really hope you enjoy your final build and yes! Please upload some pics! It'd be great to see your handywork with your new machine, especially with how you set up your water cooling equipment + cable management. :) 
November 8, 2012 9:59:02 PM

@Josheyman12 - I did end up looking into the LGA 2011 platform, it looks good but 1155 is better able to suit my needs. I don't need the extra power/awesomeness 2011 provides over 1155, I only really need one PCIe x16 slot on my mobo as I don'y plan on going SLI or XFire, and to take advantage of the quad channel memory I'd need more RAM. As cheap as RAM is right now, I think anything over 8GB just doesn't get used on a pure gaming rig.
Going back to the 7970, I was actually able to find a full coverage water block for the same price as the 680 block, but unfortunately I need a card that uses the reference PCB so that it will fit on. The 670 FTW works really well for me in this way, as it uses the reference 680 PCB, but after a good hour of searching I can't find any Australian retailers who sell 7970 GHz editions that use the reference PCB =(

@mrdowntownkiller - I kinda see your point about the Thermal armour, Asus says that it works but opinions from owners of the board are split but with the Switch 810 I can ensure that enough air is getting to the board. Worst case scenario I can just remove the cover.
November 8, 2012 10:13:09 PM

okay now it's up to you make your choice and good luck with your build :) 
November 11, 2012 12:01:47 AM

Don't get dominator ram, it's overpriced I would vengence ram it's cheaper and is better
November 11, 2012 3:53:52 AM

ThatMoose said:
Don't get dominator ram, it's overpriced I would vengence ram it's cheaper and is better

Hmm, never looked into the performance/price ratio too closely, but I can get Vengeance RAM with CL8 timings for $10 cheaper, which i guess is a no brainer, plus it has some sweet red heatspreaders. Vengeance it is!
November 22, 2012 10:33:32 PM

nice rig m8 , should be proud , nice blue scheme ;) 
November 23, 2012 4:33:04 AM

mrdowntownkiller said:
nice rig m8 , should be proud , nice blue scheme ;) 

thanks, cable management is pretty much non existent right now, will have to clean it up one of these days :na: 
November 24, 2012 12:37:58 AM

What case is that
November 24, 2012 1:19:35 AM

from the looks of it NZXT switch 810, not my type of case but its pretty neat
November 24, 2012 4:06:18 AM

ThatMoose said:
What case is that

It is the Switch 810, it's a pretty good case, lots of room not as nice build quality as from a company like Silverstone, Case Labs or Corsair. It's good for doing some mid-level water cooling on a budget, with room to expand.
November 24, 2012 4:22:37 AM

agreed, has some nice WC potential for the price it is at right now($120-130)

triple rad on top double rad near HD bay
November 24, 2012 2:45:21 PM

Glad to see it came together so well!
November 25, 2012 1:51:13 PM

That is a nice build, will you post some pics when its done?
!