Under $1200 new build

Okay so I'm an Australian girl looking to buy her first custom made desktop. I have a buget of just shy of $1200 but I can go up to $1500 if it really worth it.

I'm an architecture student so the computer needs to run things like AudoCAD and Revit but I'm also a reasonably serious gamer (if my computer would run the games that is). At the moment my computer hardly can even run The Sims 3 (most expansions and such) with my school Software.

I'm looking for something with great graphics, silent, serious storage and really good graphics.

Can any one help?


Approximate Purchase Date: 1-4 weeks

Budget Range: $1200 total (can go up to $1500 if its really worth it)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Architecture/Photography programs (autoCAD, Revit, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, etc), streaming/watching movies, Gaming (Sims 3 - all expansions + heaps custom content, Assassins Creed, Portal, etc)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, included with the build. Has to be 20-25 inchs. No widescreen please.

Parts to Upgrade: The whole computer, completely new build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, microsoft 64bit

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: pccasegear.com

Location: Australia (ship to Sydney)

Parts Preferences: Don't mind as long as it works and it doesn't cost excessively large amounts of money

Overclocking: No - I don't know anything about it

SLI or Crossfire: No - I don't know anything about it

Monitor Resolution something around 1600x1200+

Additional Information: Quiet and a space saver. Monitor has to be 20-24inch and not widescreen. It needs to have a REALY good graphics card, heaps of storage and be speedy. I also need a Card Reader and a good webcam for Skype. I'm not too worried about the case, as long as it has room for everything I need and is reasonably priced I will be happy (love the Fractal Design ones though).

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm going into a degree in Architecture and Graphic Design but I want to keep up my gaming habits along with my photography. At the moment my computer can barely take my Architecture software so as you can imagine I need to update.


This is my current set up. Please feel free to change things or correct me.

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770
Motherboard: ASRock H77-PRO4-MVP
Memory: Corsair Vengeance CML 16GX3M2A1600C10 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB ST3000DM001
Storage: Plextor PX-128M5S 128GB SSD
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 OC 2GB
Power: Antec High Current Bamer 520W HCG-520
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/BEBS SATA DVDRW Drive OEM
Card Reader: Astrotek V-301 3.5 Internal USB 3.0 Card Reader
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl
Moniter: Dell S2340L 23in IPS LED
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM


CURRENT TOTAL: $1750 apox.
6 answers Last reply
More about under 1200 build
  1. Yes it will be fine, just like last time you asked.
  2. Getting a z77 board is worth it (went with the same ATX size but you can grab a cheaper mATX [ http://au.pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz77md3hmvp ] if you want)
    It gets you SRT and you can OC the E3 1230v2 (which is a i7 3770 that is 100mhz slower but has 2mb more L3 cache) to about 4.1ghz using the turbo method and the $55 saved from the getting the E3 more than makes up for the z77 price
    Kept basically the same for the res of the build because it is good price/perf and 660 for the CUDA
    Could not find the case though

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($109.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($239.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.00 @ Foxcomp)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($19.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Monitor: Dell S2340L 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($219.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Total: $1446.00
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 17:11 EST+1100)
  3. manofchalk said:
    Yes it will be fine, just like last time you asked.



    My budget went down. I'm trying to see if I can build a similar one but for under $1200.

    Sorry if I'm becoming annoying, I don't mean to be.
  4. It's hard to keep you original build type and drop the price so much

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H-MVP Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($100.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Memory: Kingston 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($105.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
    Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($239.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.00 @ Foxcomp)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($19.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Monitor: Dell S2340L 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($219.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Total: $1363.00
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 17:59 EST+1100)

    Cheapest build to go without compromising performance much
    You can get an SSD when you have more cash
    AMD FX 8350 will do fine for CAD work


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($215.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($67.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Memory: Kingston 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($105.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($239.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.00 @ Foxcomp)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($19.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Monitor: Dell S2340L 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($219.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($139.00 @ PCCaseGear)
    Total: $1187.00
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 17:56 EST+1100)
  5. Those are two fine builds.

    If the case is not available you can get an Antec Sonata III... no USB 3.0 front ports but it comes with a good PSU and is very quiet.
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_733&products_id=5443
  6. ^ I second that but be aware the Earthwatts have split 12v rails so it is unlikey you will be able to SLI or add more gpu's unless you upgrade the PSU
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