Newbie in need of a new gaming desktop

I need to upgrade my desktop and I am on the fence about buying prebuilt or attempting to build my own. The only thing I have ever done with a computer is upgrade my graphics card. I am looking to spend no more than $1500 (the lower the price the better!) The desktop would purely be used to run the game The Sims 3 plus the expansions, so I would just need something that would run that game on max settings. I have a 1gb Radeon HD 6770 graphics card now, but I would be willing to upgrade if there is something better. Does this sound like something a newb would be able to do or is prebuilt the way to go?
Thanks in advance.
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  1. Newegg has a pretty well-made DIY video series for building your own PC. You should watch the videos and see if you feel confident enough to give it a shot.
    http://www.newegg.com/Computer-Hardware/Store

    You can save a lot of money building your own system plus you get to hand pick every component inside (with help from here). Pre-built systems are fine but you have less control over what goes inside. You can build a VERY solid and fast gamer for less than 1500.

    Look on NewEgg in the wishlist section in the public wishlists and you'll see a lot of people's examples of gamer systems for every budget. I created one called "MIDRANGE GAMER" but it probably won't be posted until tomorrow sometime. My example came to 1200, including a 23" HD monitor (same one I have), and you can pop your 6770 in and should be good to go!

    ....or you can just go with something like this
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883258008
  2. This would be Better.
    Even a GTX 660 can run SimCity on Max, but when you have the Money get the Best.
    GTX 670 will max out any game.
    I didn't knew what you needed. So added almost Everything

    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 ($29.98 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Adorama)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($378.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($90.98 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Gaming 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1088.88
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  3. I'd have to say you can't go wrong with Sumukh's setup, FAR better than the pre-built one in that link, like I mentioned earlier. If you feel like you can do it, go for it!

    The wishlist I created on NewEgg is similar, but did not include the graphics card and the one he selected is far superior to the 6770.
  4. Thanks for all the help! Sumukh, your setup looks like it would be excellent. It looks like it is way better and a whole lot cheaper than the prices for pre-built desktops I came across!
  5. If you don't want to overclock, you can save and throw more into the GPU.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Adorama)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($449.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Gaming 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1091.47
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-07 20:27 EST-0500)

    Here are some benchmarks comparing 7970 GHz and 660 plus the 7970 will overclock better.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/618?vs=598

    No need to spend that much on a case either and once again, you're not going to get that 3570k for $169.99 unless you live near a Microcenter because that is in-store pickup only.
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