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Gaming PC Builds of the Month: February 2013

February 2013 Gaming PC Builds:

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February 2013 Gaming PC Builds of the Month - newbcomputerbuildIntroduction:

Welcome to the 2013 edition of the Gaming PC Builds of the Month here at Newb Computer Build.

The $1500 build is as solid as ever with some very nice price decreases this month. Still rocking the Radeon HD 7970, a 250GB Samsung SSD and it even includes the very new Azza Genesis 9000W PC case; a very nice full tower spiffy looking case I might add!

The $1000 build has had an increase in graphics with the inclusion of a Radeon HD 7950 3GB BOOST edition card and a switch to an AsRock EXTREME6 motherboard.

This month the $500 build has stayed static as it has for the most part of the last few months. This is because I feel there has been no notable substitutes for any of its hardware constituents. This is good news as the budget $500 build has stood the test of time. Now lets get into the builds –

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$500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer BuildMonthly Gaming PC Build ( $513 ): February 2013

(Game at Smoothly with Medium – High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions)

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try   Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA)  Scorptec.com.au(AUS)  pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
 
Processor: Intel Core i3-3220 Dual-Core Processor 3.3 Ghz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80637i33220
Price: $119.99
Motherboard: MSI LGA1155/Intel B75/DDR3/SATA3 and USB 3.0/A and GbE/MicroATX Motherboard B75MA-E33
Price: $59.99
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1024MB GDDR5 128bit, Dual Dual-Link DVI, Mini HDMI, Graphics Card (01G-P4-3650-KR) Graphics Cards 01G-P4-3650-KR
Price: $139.99
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Price: $41.98
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKX
Price: $60.28
Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply Price: $38.24
Computer Case: GAMMA Classic Series ATX Mid Tower Interior Steel Chassis (Black)
Price: $35.75
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $16.99
Estimated Price: $ 523

Overview: $500 Gaming PC Build

The $500 build has stood strong few a few months now and I have literally changed nothing in it this month. Everything included is what I could consider a solid budget build and will be fully capable of playing most games relatively well.

The only thing I keep regretting is pushing the price point of the $500 build over the $500 budget – as you can see at the time of writing this article the price of this build in its entirety is $523; albeit well worth it as I would not skimp on any of the hardware included for a solid budget gaming build.

You will be able to play most of all games and get pretty decent performance playing Medium to Higher settings at a resolution of 1920X1080.

$500 Build Performance -

(*note: i do try to make these benchmark results as close to stock speeds as possible, although they may not always be 100% accurate. If you like you make also search for more benchmarks directly on the 3dmark.com website)

Here are the 3D Mark 7 benchmarks using the Intel i3-3220 processor and the GTX 650 Ti graphics card – http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/5472250

Intel i3 3220 and Radeon HD 650 Ti

Upgrade suggestions for the $500 Gaming PC Build:

The hardware below are all moderate increases from the hardware listed in the main $500 build and they can all be considered compatible with one another.

If you are ever stumped or have any questions as to the compatibility of any hardware please get in contact with me or leave a comment below and I will try to respond as soon as I can.

Want other suggestions? Then leave a comment and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i3-3220 Dual-Core Processor 3.3 Ghz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80637i33220 Price: $119.99

This Intel Core i3-3220 is the perfect choice for a budget gaming PC build and when paired with the GTX 650 Ti graphics card this month, you may be surprised at the amount of performance this gaming PC will be willing to squeeze out. The best in its class in my opinion, especially if you are not into overclocking. A second recommendation here could be the AMD route, where you can purchase an AMD FX-4170 for the same price, and overclock the heck out of it.

Intel i3-3220 2 cores 3.3GHz clock speed 4 threads

Technical Details:

  • L3 Cache
  • Ivy Bridge
  • Socket 1155

MSI LGA1155/Intel B75/DDR3/SATA3 and USB 3.0/A and GbE/MicroATX Motherboard B75MA-E33 Price: $59.99

A very affordable motherboard perfect for the Intel i3 3220 processor and has nothing more then what you need. At a price point of only $59.99 it has pretty much anything you will need in a build at this price – a couple of RAM slots with enough room to double the amount of RAM included in this build (8GB), 1x PCI Express 3.0 port for your graphics card, and some USB 3.0 ports.

Technical Details:

  • CPU: LGA1155; Supports 3rd Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron Processors
  • Chipset: Intel B75
  • Memory: 2x DDR3-1600/1333/1066 DIMM Slots, Dual Channel, Max Capacity?of?16 GB
  • Slots: 1x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 Slot; 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slot; 1x PCI slot
  • SATA: 1x SATA3 Port; 3x SATA2 Ports
  • Ports: 8x USB 2.0 Ports (4 rear,?4via headers); 4x USB 3.0 Ports (2 rear,?2via headers); 1x PS/2 Mouse Port; 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port; 1x VGA Port;?1x HDMI Port; 1x RJ45 LAN Port; Audio I/O Jacks
  • Power Connector: 1x 24pin ATX Power Connector, 1x 4pin ATX 12VPower Connector

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1024MB GDDR5 128bit, Dual Dual-Link DVI, Mini HDMI, Graphics Card (01G-P4-3650-KR) Graphics Cards 01G-P4-3650-KR Price: $139.99

New from last month the GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card is as good as it gets for around $150. With its low power demands and amazing performance its the perfect card for a $500 builds to keep performance up and power demands down.

Technical Details:

  • Core Clock: 1071
  • Memory Clock: 5400 MHz
  • Cuda Cores: 768
  • PCI-Express 3.0
  • 1024MB GDDR5 128 Bit
  • Microsoft DirectX 11, NVIDIA PhysX Technology, NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready, NVIDIA CUDA Technology, PCI-Express 3.0 Support, OpenGL 4.3 Support
  • Nvidia SMX Engine, NVidia Adaptive Verticle Sync, Nvidia Surround, Support for Concurrent Displays, Nvidia PhysX, Nvidia 3D Vision Ready, Nvidia SLI Ready, Nvidia CUDA Technology

Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX Price: $41.98

The usual well priced 2X4Gb 8GB package of RAM and I have decided to go with the very well priced Kingston Technology HyperX RAM for yet another month.

Technical Details

  • 8GB Kit including two 4GB modules of 1600MHz Class 9 DDR3 Desktop Memory
  • Utilizes HyperX module with faster latency timing for higher performance and speed
  • Specifically designed and tested for compatibility in various makes and models of desktop computers
  • From the industry leader in PC memory
  • Non-ECC Low-Latency 240-pin unbuffered DIMM type
  • Model: KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • RAM Memory Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 8.0 GB
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKX Price: $60.28

Western Digital 250 GB Caviar Blue

Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Blue

500GB for a budget build seems to be a good amount of space. Need more later because you hoard tons of music, movies and other sorts of media? Then by all means, just connect another hard drive later on, or find one that goes spontaneously on sale, but for now a nice solid 500GB hard drive should do the trick.

Performance Details From Western Digital’s Website:

Performance Specifications
Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM (nominal)
Buffer Size 16 MB
Load/unload Cycles 300,000 minimum
Transfer Rates
Transfer Rate (Buffer To Disk) 126 MB/s (Max)
Physical Specifications
Formatted Capacity 500,107 MB
Capacity 500 GB
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
User Sectors Per Drive 976,773,168
Metric
Height 26.1 mm
Depth 147 mm
Width 101.6 mm
Weight 0.69 kg
Temperature (English)
Operating 32° F to 140° F
Non-operating -40° F to 158° F
Temperature (Metric)
Operating -0° C to 60° C
Non-operating -40° C to 70° C
Electrical Specifications
Current Requirements
Power Dissipation
Read/Write 6.80 Watts
Idle 6.10 Watts
Standby 0.70 Watts
Sleep 0.70 Watts

Product Details

  • WD Caviar Blue hard drives have a multitude of features to deliver rock solid performance and ultra-cool and quiet operation.
  • 3rd generation SATA interface for 6 GB/s maximum data transfer rates.
  • WhisperDrive technology minimizes noise to levels near the threshold of human hearing.
  • 500 GB capacity holds up to 100,000 digital photos, 125,000 MP3 files, and 60 hours of HD video.
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
  • 3rd generation SATA interface for 6 GB/s maximum data transfer rates
  • 500 GB capacity holds up to 100,000 digital photos, 125,000 MP3 files, and 60 hours of HD video
  • WD Caviar Blue hard drives have a multitude of features to deliver rock solid performance and ultra-cool and quiet operation
  • WhisperDrive technology minimizes noise to levels near the threshold of human hearing

Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply Price: $38.24

This Antec power supply proves a continuous power of 450W with many positive reviews and a price point of about $35 bucks for a PSU there was no reason not to include it. Also to note, this PSU has a continuous power rating of 450W, which means that it will always give out a continuous amount of 450 watts – in other words this power supply unit is a fantastic deal and will run all of the required hardware in this build perfectly.

Technical Details:

  • 450W of continuous Power!
  • Dual +12V rails ensure greater system stability
  • ATX 12V version 2.3 compliant
  • 120mm fan delivers quiet, reliable cooling
  • Black exterior complements any system

NZXT Technologies Source 210 Computer Case (Black) Price $35.75

One of the most possible budget cases and with good reason. The NZXT Source 210 PC case looks good and is quite affordable.

Technical Details:

  • 6 fan capability ( one rear 120mm included )
  • Black Interior
  • Wire routing: motherboard punched holes allows for quick CPU bracket removable and optimal wire routing, turned HDD also helps with managing cables
  • High end graphics card support, the Gamma features space that is especially designed to fit longer 10.5-Inch cards
  • Brand Name: Nzxt
  • Model: GAMMA Black
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Color Name: Black
  • Warranty: All NZXT cases comes in 1-year top to bottom Warranty, please email your request to RMA@NZXT.COM

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $16.99

The usual not so special optical drive at a decent price. Generally all I use my DVD optical drives for these days is to install my OS and maybe backup a few older CDs and games. So there really is no reason to go all out here and the Lite-On drives have yet to disappoint me.

Technical Details

  • Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS124-04 BLACK/BULK (Black)
  • 6.7 x 5.8 x 1.6 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Interface: SATA; Buffer Memory: 2 MB

$1000 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer BuildMonthly Gaming PC Build ( $997.54): February 2013

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Capability: Game with Extreme settings at 1920X1080 resolutions and even High Settings in some games at 2560×1600

All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try   Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA)  Scorptec.com.au(AUS)  pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
 
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K
Price: $219.99
 
CPU Cooler *none included (if you decide you want to overclock soon, be sure to purchase one – see other recommendations or next build for recommendations)
Motherboard: AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME6 $151.99
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 HDMI / DVI-I / Dual Mini DP with Boost PCI-Express Graphics Card 11196-16-20G
Price: $299.99
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Price: $41.98
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
Price: $76.99
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze (TX750)
Price: $89.99
Computer Case: NZXT Technologies H2 Classic Silent Midtower Chassis CS-NT-H2-W (White)
Price: $99.82
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $16.99
Estimated Price: $997.54

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

The $1000 build has had a tiny ‘boost’ this month with the addition of the Radeon HD 7950 3GB BOOST edition card, a manufactured overclocked version of the Radeon 7950.

We have also upped the motherboard to the AsRock EXTREME6 version instead of the previous EXTREME4. – The reason behind this was mostly cost as the previous EXTREME4 version I had linked shot up in price (above the EXTREME6 version at that).

And finally, the $1000 build includes the NZXT Classic H2 Silent Mid Tower Case – a very nice case that comes in either white or black. Has a nice sleek smooth front and puts off a really minimalistic vibe. I was going to try and include the newly announced Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Advanced case, however I could not find it for sale ye; perhaps next month!

$1000 Build Performance -

(*note: i do try to make these benchmark results as close to stock speeds as possible, although they may not always be 100% accurate. If you like you make also search for more benchmarks directly on the 3dmark.com website)

Here are the 3D Mark 7 benchmarks using the Intel i5-3570K processor and the Radeon HD 7870 graphics card –  http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4791976

Radeon hd 7950 and Intel i5 3570K

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K Price: $219.99

Intel 3570K Prcoessor

Like most processors this month, the Intel 3570K processor still holds strong as the processor of choice for Medium to High end gaming PC builds.

This is the current mainstream high end gamer processor. The Intel 35070K is included in both the higher end and mid range gaming pc builds of the month. This processor is easily overclocked and perfect for all hardware enthusiasts and gamers alike.

The Intel Core i5-3570K has four cores and an unlocked multiplier that allows you to freely adjust the frequency – overclocking made easy! Note: if you plan on overclocking please consider buying an after market CPU cooler such as the Cooler Master Evo 212 included in the Hardware Suggestions section for this $1000 build.

Intel Core i5-3570K 4 cores 3.4 GHz clock speed (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Socket

Product Details: *From Intel

Essentials
Status
Launched
Launch Date
Q2’12
Processor Number
i5-3570K
# of Cores
4
# of Threads
4
Clock Speed
3.4 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency
3.8 GHz
Intel® Smart Cache
6 MB
Bus/Core Ratio
34
DMI
5 GT/s
Instruction Set
64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions
SSE4.1/4.2, AVX
Embedded Options Available
No
Lithography
22 nm
Max TDP
77 W

 

AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME6 Price: $151.99

The AsRock EXTREME6 is a great well priced motherboard.

Product Details:

  1. Premium Gold Caps
  2. Digi Power Design, 8 + 4 Power Phase Design
  3. Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2800+(OC)
  4. 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 Slots, Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™, CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA®Quad SLI™, SLI™
  5. PCIE Gigabit LAN
  6. Supports Intel® HD Graphics with Built-in Visuals
  7. Multi VGA Output options : DVI-D, D-Sub, HDMI
  8. Combo Cooler Option (C.C.O.)
  9. 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898 Audio Codec), Supports THX TruStudio™
  10. Supports ASRock XFast RAM, XFast LAN, XFast USB, OMG, Internet Flash, No-K OC, Dehumidifier, UEFI System Browser
  11. Supports Intel® Smart Connect, Intel® Rapid Start, Lucid Virtu Universal MVP
  12. Free Bundle : CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5 Trial, ASRock MAGIX Multimedia Suite

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 HDMI / DVI-I / Dual Mini DP with Boost PCI-Express Graphics Card 11196-16-20GPrice: $299.99

The “Boost” version of the Radeon HD 7950 3GB graphics card. Essentially it is a manufactured overclocked card so you do not have to do it yourself to risk messing anything up or voiding any warranty.

You will be able to play most if not all games at max settings at 1920×1080 resolutions and will even play well if you have a super high resolution monitor at 2560×1600.

Technical Details:

  • 850/925(Boost) MHz Core Clock
  • 5000 MHz Effective Memory Clock
  • 1 x Dual-Link DVI
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 2 x Mini-DisplayPort
  • DisplayPort 1.2

Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX Price: $41.98

The same as used in the $500 build both this and last month, but 8GB is a good fit for the $1000 build as well. This package of Kingston 8GB RAM still holds this spot because it is still at the exact same price as last month – holding at $39.99. Last month his package was chosen for its strong Kingston brand name as well as the most affordable price point for a package of 8GB RAM – so here it is again!
Technical Details
  • 8GB Kit including two 4GB modules of 1600MHz Class 9 DDR3 Desktop Memory
  • Utilizes HyperX module with faster latency timing for higher performance and speed
  • Specifically designed and tested for compatibility in various makes and models of desktop computers
  • From the industry leader in PC memory
  • Non-ECC Low-Latency 240-pin unbuffered DIMM type
  • Model: KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • RAM Memory Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 8.0 GB
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive Price: $76.99

1TB of hard drive space is a good amount of hard drive space for a $1000 build and the newer line of Western Digital hard drives is a quality drive to takes this place.

Product Details

  • WD Caviar Blue hard drives have a multitude of features to deliver rock solid performance and ultra-cool and quiet operation.
  • 3rd generation SATA interface for 6 GB/s maximum data transfer rates.
  • WhisperDrive technology minimizes noise to levels near the threshold of human hearing.
  • 1 TB capacity holds up to 200,000 digital photos, 250,000 MP3 files, and 120 hours of HD video.
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 750 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze (TX750) Price: $89.99

A nice solid 750W PSU that has more then enough juice to power this build. The only instance I would recommend more wattage is if you decide to go Crossfire with this build, but even so you would still be good with 750W.

Product Details:

According to Corsair.com –

  • The Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 power supply delivers 750W of clean, stable, continuous power, making it a great choice when you need an affordable, premium quality, and energy-efficient power supply for your high-end gaming rig or workstation. For systems with even higher power needs, there is also an 850W (Model TX850V2) version available.

NZXT Technologies H2 Classic Silent Midtower Chassis CS-NT-H2-W (White) Price: $99

This case attracted me because it looks so damn slick. The NZXT H2 Classic Silent hides everything with a very nice plastic steel front cover. Don’t like the White? Well then there is also a black version available.

Technical Details

  • MODEL: H2 /CASE TYPE: Mid Tower Steel /FRONT PANEL MATERIAL: Plastic/Steel
  • COOLING SYSTEM: FRONT, 2 X 120mm @ 1200rpm ( included )REAR, 1 X 120mm @ 1200rpm (included)TOP, 1 X 140mmBOTTOM, 1 x 120mm /
  • Three fans included:2 x120mm front touch powered fans1x 140mm rear fan
  • Top hot swap capable SATA HDD Dock (requires an AHCI capable motherboard and hot swappable HDD) and USB 3.0 port for the most up to date function
  • Noise dampening foam and a top magnetic fan cover for minimal PC noise
  • 30W 3-step fan control for airflow settings at 40%, 70%, and 100% of maximum fan spee
  • Ample 25mm space behind motherboard for cable management
  • COOLING SYSTEM: FRONT, 2 x 120mm @ 1200rpm (included )REAR, 1 x 120mm @ 1200rpm (included)TOP, 1 x 140mmBOTTOM, 1 x 120mm
  • Cooling System: DRIVE BAYS: 3 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS 8 INTERNAL 3.5″/2.5″ SlotsScrewless Rail Design /
  • DIMENSIONS (W x H x D): 215 x 466 X 520 mm /Motherboard SUPPORT ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT
  • DRIVE BAYS: 3 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS 8 INTERNAL 3.5″/2.5″ Slots crewless Rail Design /

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $16.99

The usual not so special optical drive at a decent price. Generally all I use my DVD optical drives for these days is to install my OS and maybe backup a few older CDs and games. So there really is no reason to go all out here and the Lite-On drives have yet to disappoint me.

Technical Details

  • Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS124-04 BLACK/BULK (Black)
  • 6.7 x 5.8 x 1.6 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Interface: SATA; Buffer Memory: 2 MB

$1000 Gaming PC Build Additions / Swap Suggestions

Note: Prices are in additional $ amounts… These additions are to act as additional or supplemental hardware the the Gaming PC Build Recipe Above

Add a SSD Boot Drive: Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2= + $113
Add a Blu-Ray Optical Drive: Asus Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-Ray Drive (BC-12B1ST) = + $56 - Perhaps you are a movie buff?  or need to Backup Media etc. Then swap this for the optical drive and you can add blu-ray burn / read functionality!
CROSSFIRE with another Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 HDMI / DVI-I / Dual Mini DP with Boost PCI-Express Graphics Card 11196-16-20G= + $299.99  Liquid CPU cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120M – Liquid CPU Water Cooling Kit with Pre-filled Coolant and Copper Heatsink = + $61 A small adaptable liquid CPU cooler should do the trick!

Additions / Part Swaps Overview

If you are thinking of upgrading your system beyond the basic $1000 build, then the recommendations above may be for you. If you have any further questions regarding upgrades or suggestions please leave a comment below the article.

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer BuildMonthly Gaming PC Build ( $1448 ): February 2013

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1600 – How perfect is that!?

All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try   Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA)  Scorptec.com.au(AUS)  pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
 
Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 – BX80637I53570K
Price: $223.79
 
CPU Cooler (For OverClocking): Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1)
Price: $33.24
Motherboard: AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME6
Price: $151.99
Graphics Card: Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-E 3.0 Graphics Card GV-R797OC-3GD
Price: $399.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10)
Price: $89.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
Price: $69.99
SSD Hard Drive: Samsung Electronics Samsung 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) 250 sata_6_0_gb 2.5-Inch MZ-7TD250BW
Price: $173.33
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze (TX850M)
Price: $118.99
Computer Case: Azza Genesis 9000W Full Tower Case, White (CSAZ-9000W)
Price: $169.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $16.99
Estimated Price: $1448

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

Prices for the $1500 dropped overall this month which makes the purchase overall a great value this month. This build has all of the necessities of a high end gaming build such as the incredible Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, a large 250GB Solid State Drive, 16GB of RAM and lets not leave out the very new awesome looking Azza Genesis 9000W Full Tower PC Case!

$1500 Build Performance -

(*note: i do try to make these benchmark results as close to stock speeds as possible, although they may not always be 100% accurate. If you like you make also search for more benchmarks directly on the 3dmark.com website)

Here are the 3D Mark 7 benchmarks using the Intel i5-3570K processor and the Radeon HD 7970 graphics card –  http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/5618955

Intel i5 3570K and Radeon HD 7970

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 – BX80637I53570K Price: $223.79

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor

It has been said that the Intel 3570K is the best price per core performance gaming cpu with the ability to overclock unsurpassed in this range. Want to read some benchmarks on the Intel 3570K? – Then check out some of techradars benchmarks.

I have included an aftermarket CPU cooler – the Cooler Master EVO, which will make overclocking a simple feat while keeping temperatures under control. I dare you to try overclocking up to an easy 4.8GHz!

Intel Core i5-3570K 4 cores 3.4 GHz clock speed (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Socket

Product Details: *From Intel

Essentials
Status Launched
Launch Date Q2’12
Processor Number i5-3570K
# of Cores 4
# of Threads 4
Clock Speed 3.4 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency 3.8 GHz
Intel® Smart Cache 6 MB
Bus/Core Ratio 34
DMI 5 GT/s
Instruction Set 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE4.1/4.2, AVX
Embedded Options Available
No
Lithography 22 nm
Max TDP 77 W

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1) Price: $33.24

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler

I have used the Cooler Master 212 EVO CPU cooler for months because it is still a basic well rated and performance CPU cooler that is priced very cheap when compared to others of its caliber. Yet another month with a slight price drop in the Cooler Master hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler!

Product Details:

CPU Socket Intel Socket:LGA 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 775 *AMD Socket:FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2
CPU Support Intel:Core™ i7 Extreme / Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium / CeleronAMD:FX-Series / A-Series / Phenom™ II X4 / Phenom™ II X3 / Phenom™ II X2 / Phenom™ X4 / Phenom™ X3 / Athlon™ II X4 / Athlon™ II X3 / Athlon™ II X2 / Athlon™ X2 / Athlon™ / Sempron™
Dimension 120 x 80 x 159 mm (4.7 x 3.1 x 6.3 in)
Heat Sink Dimensions 116 x 51 x 159 mm (4.6 x 2.0 x 6.3 in)
Heat Sink Material 4 Direct Contact Heat Pipes / Aluminum Fins
Heat Sink Weight 465g (1.03 lb)
Heat Pipes Dimensions ø6mm
Fan Dimension 120 x 120 x 25 mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1 in)
Fan Speed 600 – 2,000 RPM (PWM) ± 10%600 – 1,600 RPM (PWM) ± 10% (EU Version)
Fan Airflow 24.9 – 82.9 CFM ± 10%24.9 – 66.3 CFM ± 10% (EU Version)
Fan Air Pressure 0.3 – 2.7mm H2O ± 10%0.3 – 1.7mm H2O ± 10% (EU Version)
Fan Life Expectancy 40,000hrs
Fan Noise Level (dB-A) 9 – 36 dBA9 – 31 dBA (EU Version)
Bearing Type Long Life Sleeve Bearing
Connector 4-Pin
Fan Rated Voltage 12 VDC
Fan Rated Current 0.22A0.19A (EU Version)
Power Consumption 2.64W2.28W (EU Version)
Fan Weight 104g (0.23 lb)
  • Well-balanced cooling performance provides fin optimizations with perfect balance between high and low speed operations.
  • Wide-range PWM fan with unique wave-shaped blade design for excellent airflow.
  • 4 Direct Contact heat pipes with the patented (Continuous Direct Contact) technology – creating a perfect, sleek surface for heat conduction.
  • Versatile all-in-one mounting solution supporting the latest Intel LGA 1366 /1155 and AMD FM1 / AM3+. Includes the LGA 2011 mounting bracket.

AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME6 Price: $151.99

Tons of expansion capability for more graphics, ram, peripherals and more.

Product Details:

  • CPU: LGA1155; Supports 2nd/3rd Generation Intel Core i7/ i5/ i3 Processor; Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology; Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
  • Chipset: Intel Z77
  • Memory: 4X DDR3-2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 DIMM Slots, Non-ECC, Unbuffered, Dual Channel, Maxi Capacity up to 32GB
  • Slots: 2X PCI-Express 3.0 X16 Slots (single at X16/X8 or dual at X8/X8), 1X PCI-Express 2.0 X16 Slot (runs at X4), 1X PCI Express 2.0 X1 Slot, 1X mini-PCI Express Slot, 2 X PCI Slots
  • SATA:?4X SATA3 Ports (one shared with eSATA3 port),?Two Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 4X SATA2, Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
  • Power Connector: 1X 24-Pin ATX Main Power Connector, 1X 8-Pin 12V Power Connector

Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-E 3.0 Graphics Card GV-R797OC-3GD Price: $399.99

Again we include the fantastic Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, and this month its price has drop to $399 making this a great purchase!

This card will have you playing any game without any problems at Max Settings with resolutions soaring up to 2560X1600 easily.

Product Details

  • Ultra Durable VGA materials – GPU Temperature 5%-10% down – Overclocking Capability 10%-30% Up – Power Switching Loss 10%-30% down.
  • WINDFORCE 3X with “Triangle Cool” Technology for the absolute best cooling performance at whisper silent operation.
  • Factory Overclocked Edition: Core Clock: 1000MHz (Std 925MHz)
  • Supports PCI-Express 3.0 Interface; Supports AMD CrossFire, Avivo HD, Eyefinity 2.0, and EyeSpeed technologies.
  • Features DVI-I/HDMI/2x mini-Displayport outputs with HDCP protection.
  • Minimum Recommended Power System Power Supply unit 550W.

Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10) Price: $89.99

We have switched back to the Corsair Vengeance 16GB package of RAM this month as prices have no subsided back to normal.

Product Features:

  • 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 for AMD and Intel Dual Channel processors
  • Speed: 1600MHz
  • Timing: 10-10-10-27
  • Pin Out: 240 Pin
  • Voltage: 1.5V
  • Density: 16GB (2x8GB Module)
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive Price: $69.99

The newer version of the Western Digital Blue series of hard drives, this 1TB drive will have plenty of room to store a ton of gaming media.

Performance Details:

  • WD Blue hard drives have a multitude of features including third generation SATA interface with 6 GB/s transfer rate, plus rock solid performance and ultra-cool and quiet operation.
  • WhisperDrive technology minimizes noise to levels near the threshold of human hearing.
  • SoftSeek technology streamlines read/write seeking algorithms, resulting in more efficient operation.
  • 1 TB capacity holds up to 200,000 digital photos, 250,000 MP3 files, and 120 hours of HD video.
  • 2 year limited warranty.

Samsung Electronics Samsung 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) 250 sata_6_0_gb 2.5-Inch MZ-7TD250BW Price: $173.33

This Samsung 840 SSD is a great deal for only $175 – 250GB space is amazing at this price point with the following Reading / Write speeds and power consumption –

Sequential Read: 540 MB/s
Sequential Write: 250 MB/s

Power Consumption (Active): 0.071 W
Power Consumption (Idle): 0.046 W

Technical Details

  • Optimized to improve everyday PC productivity, including web-browsing, email, multimedia and gaming
  • Enables you to boot up your computer in as little as 15 seconds
  • Energy efficient – improves battery life by up to 50 minutes
  • Solid-state design provides greater shock protection for data and brushed metal case blocks dust and corrosion
  • Worry-free data security with AES 256-bit full-disk encryption
  • 100-percent genuine Samsung components from the #1 memory manufacturer in the world
  • Backed by a three-year limited warranty
  • Superior multi-tasking performance with 4th-generation 3-Core Samsung MDX Controller

Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze (TX850M)Price: $118.99

The Corsair Enthusiast Series Modular Power Supplies are at similar prices as the non-modular versions, so pick it up quick. 850 Watts is plenty of wattage for this hardware with so much more to spare for additions of hardware in the future (or now if you choose too!).

Product Details

  • 80PLUS Bronze certified, delivering up to 85% energy efficiency at real world load conditions.
  • A dedicated single +12V rail offers maximum compatibility with the latest components.
  • An ultra-quiet double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow at an exceptionally low noise level by varying fan speed
  • Over-voltage and over-current protection, under-voltage protection,
  • Universal AC input from 90~264V. No more hassle of flipping that tiny red switch to select the voltage input!
  • A five year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair’s legendary technical support and customer service.
  • Short circuit protection provide maximum safety to your critical system components.
  • The latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards and it is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 systems.

Azza Genesis 9000W Full Tower Case, White (CSAZ-9000W) Price: $169.99

A newly released Full Tower PC case – The Azza Genesis 9000W case has fantastic airflow and a ton of room. Do keep in mind though, that this case is gigantic! If you want to learn more, then please visit the http://azzatek.com/csaz-9000-techspec.html website.

Product Details

  • R-ATX Design: Reversible motherboard tray can be rotated 180 degree to orient graphics cards at the top, next to the top fan to enhance the efficiency of heat dissipation.
  • Idea Aerodynamic Airflow: An idea vertical airflow is generated to offer Exceptional system cooling.
  • Maximum Compatibility: Accommodates XL-ATX , E-ATX , Full ATX , Micro ATX and all NVidia and ATI graphics cards up to 400mm in length.
  • Maximum Capacity Water Cooling: Top Mount Radiator: supports up to 480mm radiator, Bottom Mount Radiator: supports up to 240mm radiator.
  • Supports Dual-Power Supply: Power supply can be located at either front or rear bottom, also supports dual-power supply.
  • Dimensions(H x W x D): 25.1-Inch x 9.8-Inch x 23.2-Inch, Weight: 36 lbs.
  • Exceptional Cooling System: Total 7 fans, 2 x 230mm fans on top, 2 x 140mm fan on bottom, 2 x 120mm fan on side panel, 1 x 120mm fan in rear.

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $`16.99

The usual not so special optical drive at a decent price. Generally all I use my DVD optical drives for these days is to install my OS and maybe backup a few older CDs and games. So there really is no reason to go all out here and the Lite-On drives have yet to disappoint me.

Technical Details

  • Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS124-04 BLACK/BULK (Black)
  • 6.7 x 5.8 x 1.6 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Interface: SATA; Buffer Memory: 2 MB

$1500 Gaming PC Build Additions / Swap Suggestions

Note: Prices are in additional $ amounts – These additions are to act as supplemental or swaps for the hardware in the $1000-$1500 Gaming PC Build recipe above

Swap the Processor for an i7 -

Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-Core Processor 3.5 GHz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80637I73770K=  $317.26

Further increase the Graphics Power w/ Crossfire and add one more: 
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-E 3.0 Graphics Card GV-R797OC-3GD = + $399.99
Better CPU Cooler (To Overclock Intel 3570K): Cooler Master Seidon 240M – Liquid CPU Water Cooling Kit with Pre-filled Coolant and Copper Heatsink= + $97.50
Larger SSD: Mushkin Direct Chronos 480GB Solid-State Drive = + $394.34 (480 GB of pure Solid State Drive – You may even be able to skip and go with just this if you do not need the extra room!)

Overview: Additions / Part Swaps

The above hardware are examples of hardware upgrades / replacements for the $1500 build. For example: You could do crossfire with a second Radeon HD 7970, or instead of an Intel 3570K processor you could use the above Intel i7 3770K processor. It’s all up to you and if you have any questions about these hardware swaps or any other additions then please leave a comment below.


Concluding February 2013’s Gaming PC Builds:

This has been a great month for the Mid and High range $1000 & $1500 gaming pc builds specifically. And even though the $500 build has yet stayed the same, this just means that it has stood the test of time and still stands strong.

The $1000 build had a a graphics card increase with the additions of a Radeon HD 7950 3GB BOOT edition graphics card as well as the addition of the AsRock EXTREME6 edition motherboard. While the $1500 went down in price for the same performance capabilities and the inclusion of the very new spiffy Azza Genesis 9000W pc case!

Have any questions? Then please leave a comment below!

February 2013’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video:

$1500 Build Video

$1000 Build Video

$500 Build Video

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21 Responses to “Gaming PC Builds of the Month: February 2013”

  1. Mitchell Thomas

    Hey Corey, your articles are awesome. I am a newbie at building pc’s and i was wondering if these components would work (based largely off of your suggestions) and whether or not there would be any bottlenecking. Thanks!

    Chassis: Cooler Master Elite 430 – Mid Tower Computer Case with All-Black Interior

    Motherboard: MSI LGA1155/Intel B75/DDR3/SATA3 and USB 3.0/A and GbE/MicroATX Motherboard

    PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX600 600 watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel and AMD Platforms ATX 700 CMPSU

    Hard Drive: WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache

    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1866 MHZ (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory

    GPU: Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7850 1GB GDDR5 DVI/HDMI/2x mini-Displayport PCI-Express 3.0 CrossFire ready Graphics Card

    CPU: AMD FX-6300 FX-Series Six-Core Processor Edition

    Also, if there are any other components I need to buy for assembly (aside from peripherals) I could use some help on that too.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Mitchell Thomas

      Found out that that motherboard wont work with the processor that i have selected, is there a different motherboard in the same price range that would work (without bottle necking)?

      Reply
    • Corey

      Hey Mitchell,

      Thanks for the comment. You are right you did choose an Intel motherboard for that last one, instead you need one with an AM3+ socket to support the AMD processor. Something like the ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AMD 970 & SB950 ATX DDR3 800 AMD – AM3+ Motherboard would work just fine (Currently $89). You can also go a little cheaper with a smaller motherboard (MicroATX), but the RAM / memory support just is not as high and seeing as you would like 16GB you are getting a much better value going with the motherboard suggested. Other then that everything looks pretty good and this build should run you around $720 right? Let me know if you have anymore questions!

      Reply
      • Mitchell Thomas

        Actually, like $680 :D

        I have been doing more research and decided to switch to the intel i5 core 3470 processor. Would the Gigabyte LGA 1155 Intel B75 Motherboard be a good choice? Or do you have any suggestions?

        And what OS should I put on it? I was thinking windows 7 or 8, and I’ve heard arguments for either. What’s your preference?

        Reply
        • Mitchell Thomas

          Is 16 gb of ram worth it? I was thinking of getting just 8 gb. If I do, how much benefit will i see from the dual channel platform; should i just get the 2×4 or the 1×8 with the possibility of adding another stick later?

          Reply
          • Mitchell Thomas

            Final (?) Build:

            PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Hkxx
            Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Hkxx/by_merchant/
            Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Hkxx/benchmarks/

            CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
            Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($72.99 @ Newegg)
            Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Amazon)
            Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.49 @ Outlet PC)
            Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5″ Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ Adorama)
            Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ Amazon)
            Case: Raidmax ATX-248NWU (Black/Blue) ATX Mid Tower Case ($48.20 @ Amazon)
            Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
            Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Full (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
            Monitor: Asus VS208N-P 20.0″ Monitor ($103.10 @ Amazon)
            Keyboard: Gigabyte Force K3 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($27.99 @ Amazon)
            Total: $981.71
            (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
            (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-03 19:22 EST-0500)

            Reply
            • Corey

              Hey Mitchell,

              I like the final build, well done, as you have definitely managed to squeeze quite a bit for nearly under the $1000 mark! You went with just 8GB of RAM, which will be plenty fine as 16GB may be too much for the build, especially and yes always do the dual channel as it is generally better then one stick as it increases the memories speed (decreases bandwidth of the two memory sticks). As for the Operating System, this will be mostly preference and I honestly need to dive deeper into the Windows 8 world before I can give it’s recommendation, so completely up to you here.

              Also, I do agree on your switch to the Intel i5 3470. I would say if you’re happy with the build go for it!

              Reply
  2. Jesse

    Hi Corey,
    I have used pcpartpicker to create a $1500 PC aligned with most of your specs. Could you tell me if I have made a good choice with the parts? Also whether I need to buy anything else from newegg aside from these components(screws, wires, software other than windows etc.)

    CPU Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
    CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
    Motherboard ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
    Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB
    HD: WD Blue 1TB
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiat TX750 12V

    Thanks a lot btw, your articles have helped me a lot.

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hello Jesse,

      It all looks good to me! Other then not including a case lol. And you honestly would not need anything to get up and running other then the OS, mouse, keyboard and monitor.

      Reply
  3. Justin

    I’m debating on building your $500 pc. But I’m thinking of using the Sapphire Radeon HD 7770. Do you think that I would see much of a difference in performance? I’m just trying to save a few dollars anywhere that I can.

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hello Justin,

      You could probably get away just fine with a Radeon HD 7770. I was able to play games like StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, Deus Ex etc. all on max using a Radeon 5770 (the older version alike to the Radeon HD 7770) all on maximum settings, 1920X1080 resolutions perfectly fine. Although in more graphics intensive games you may have to play tad lower. So if you can find a cheaper Radeon HD 7770 I would say go for it.

      Reply
  4. James

    Hi Corey,

    I’m building my first PC and was wondering if you could give me any advice with the components I’ve chosen, I’m looking to play games on high to ultra settings at 1920 by 1080. I was wondering if these parts are all compatible with each other as I am a complete novice to computers. Also if there is anything included that can be downgraded for the purpose of upgrading the motherboard that would be a big help as by years end I’ll most likely be upgrading to an i5.

    Processor: Intel Core- i3 3220

    CPU: ASRock B75M-DGS R2 Motherboard

    GPU: MSI Radeon HD 7850 1GB

    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

    Power Supply: Corsair CX-600v3 600W

    Memory: Corsair 2X4 GB Memory

    I apologise if any of this didn’t make much sense,

    I would really appreciate any advice you could give me,

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hello James,

      No it all makes sense no worries! Everything you have chosen is compatible too.

      You could try going with this AS Rock LGA1155 Intel Z77 CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0 A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 PRO3 currently only at $89, a Z77 motherboard and would be perfect for an Intel i5 3570K later on. You could save a bit of cash going with a 500GB hard drive as well to compensate for the bit of more money that motherboard costs. Could also add another 500 GB hard drive later in the year as well if one goes on sale or you run out of room, up to you!

      Let me know of any more questions you may have :)

      Reply
      • James

        Thank you Chris,

        I have one final question for the build as I’ve downgraded the hard drive to a 500GB and power supply to a 500W to upgrade the GPU to an HD 7870 (Only $10) more. Are the processor and motherboard still alright for the card? I have every intention of upgrading the processor and motherboard at the end of the year now but I’m wondering just how much the CPU and motherboard can handle.

        Thanks

        Reply
        • Corey

          Hey James,

          Keep in mind 500 Watts is the minimum wattage for a Radeon 7870, not a huge deal as everything will work just fine, but just to let you know.

          Yep, everything would still be compatible and it is not necessarily “how much the CPU and motherboard can handle” as how much performance will be able to be pumped out from the Graphics Card. The concept of “bottlenecking” kicks in when the CPU simply cannot keep up with the Graphics card. Such as you may not be getting the full potential of the graphics card because the CPU simply cannot keep up. This is not a big deal for you if you plan to upgrade to an i5 in the future, and may not be a big deal anyways.

          But you are good to go with everything you have chosen, get back to me if you need any more clarification :)

          Reply
  5. Christopher Fernandez

    Is there anything that is comparable to the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950? The price for it seems to have shot up tremendously.

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hey Christopher,

      You are right and quite the increase in the Radeon 7950 “Boost” cards with almost a $50 increase. I would go with either the standard Radeon 7950 such as this Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 going currently for the $299 the Boost card was at OR if you want to save a tad more you could also go with a Radeon HD 7870 LE “Boost” card such as this Power Color Radeon HD 7870 LE for a current $269.

      Reply
      • Christopher Fernandez

        Thank you for your input, Corey! I had planned on spending the original $300 on the Boost card, so I’ll just switch over to the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950.

        Reply

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