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Newb Computer Build

Gaming PC Builds of the Month: July 2012

July 2012 Gaming PC Builds:

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Gaming PC Build's of the Month - Newb Computer Build

Gaming PC Builds of the Month Introduction:

Another month and so many wonderful changes and additions. This July major changes are mostly included in the lower end $500 build and the higher end $1500 build.

In the $500 build I have swapped the previous Intel 2120 processor for the Pentium G850 processor to clear up some graphics breathing room for the GTX 560. This will prove to be a much better addition and is further explained in the $500 build below. The alrgest changes in the $1500 build was the switch to the newer NVIDIA GTX 670 graphics card which performs similarly to the higher priced Radeon HD 7970 used previously and the addition of a much larger 120GB SSD that will serve to be more than just a boot drive, but to include both your operating system and most used games to improve boot and loading times.

Last month was the first month and start of the promotion of the Newb Computer Build facebook page that was long overdue. I had some influx, but by far nothing significant yet so what do you say? The success of these articles has been significantly word of mouth and sharing, so keep on liking, sharing & get involved: 

Gaming PC Build of the month Less Than $500

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $505 ): July 2012

(Game at 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)  to shop for these parts.
 
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor G850 2.9GHz 3MB LGA1155 CPU, Retail (BX80623G850)
Price: $85.24
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel N/A Micro ATX DDR3 1333 Intel LGA 1155 Motherboard
Price: $59.98
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 2DVI/Mini-HDMI SLI Ready Graphics Card, 01G-P3-1460-KR
Price: $175.98
RAM: Corsair 8 GB 1333mhz PC3-10666 240-pin Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit 8 Dual Channel Kit – CMV8GX3M2A1333C9
Price: $41.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKX
Price: $64.99 (lowered from last month)
Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply Price: $34.98
Computer Case: Hercules ATX Mid Tower PC Computer Case, Black [HRC-26-05]
Price: $25.44 (lowered from last month)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $ 505

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( < $500 )

I have decided to go in a different direction this month for the $500 build and have swapped the previous dominant Intel 2120 processor for the cheaper Intel G850 processor. This opens up way for the more expensive GTX 560 processor which will actually proves to be a stronger alternative build for Gamers.

Specifically, check out these benchmarks done in the Toms Hardware sub-$200 Gaming CPU comparison article and as you can see the Pentium G850, G630 & the Intel i3-2100 all compare very similarly in StarCraft II at resolutions of 1920×1080. The processor I include is not exactly mentioned in that article, but it is the in between processor between the G850 and G860.

This gaming PC will still be able to play most game at medium to high settings (depending on the type of game) at resolutions of 1920X1080 (recommended).

Upgrade suggestions for the < $500 Gaming PC Build:

All of these hardware alternatives can be used and will be compatible with the above hardware. I would recommend upgrading either the processor or graphics card before considering the other hardware; cases can also be upgraded based on personal preference.

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 Pentium Dual-Core Processor G850 2.9GHz 3MB LGA1155 CPU, Retail (BX80623G850) Price: $85.24

Intel G850 Processor

The Intel Pentium G850 is a newly introduced processor for the $500 build as the previous processor that held this spot was the Intel 2120. Even though this processor is a lower performing processor when compared to the Intel 2120, it has been shown to perform similarly when gaming. So by being able to switch to this processor I was able to switch up to a GTX 560 graphics card enhancing gaming performance for less money!

Intel Pentium G850 2 cores 3.9GHz clock speed 2 threads

Technical Details:

  • Process Type: Intel Pentium Dual-Core Desktop Processor G850
  • Frequency: 2.9 GHz
  • Intel Smart Cache: 3 MB
  • Process: 32 nm
  • Socket: Socket 1155
  • Power Consumption: 65 W
  • This processor supports Execute Disable Bit capability
  • This processor supports Intel Virtualization Technology

Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel N/A Micro ATX DDR3 1333 Intel LGA 1155 Motherboard Price: $59.98

Simply a great H61 motherboard for a sandy bridge processor for only $60. The Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V motherboard separates itself from most others at this price point with features like two SATA 6 gb/s ports and a couple of USB 3.0 ports to name a couple. For a budget gaming PC in this range you really don;t need much more and there is plenty of memory upgrading potential with the possibility of up to 16GB of RAM capability.

Technical Details:

  • CPU: Support for Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron processors in the LGA1155 package. Chipset: Intel H61 Express Chipset
  • Memory: 2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory. Dual channel memory architecture. Support for DDR3 1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules. Support for non-ECC memory modules.
  • Audio: Realtek ALC887 audio codec. High Definition Audio. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel. LAN: 1 x Realtek 8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Expension Slots: 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots.
  • Storage Interface: 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 0/1/2/3) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 0/1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1.
  • Back Panel Connectors: 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port/1 x D-Sub port/1 x DVI-D port/4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports/2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports/1 x RJ-45 port/3 x audio jacks
  • Internal I/O Connectors: 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector/1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector/4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors/2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors/1 x CPU fan header/1 x system fan header/1 x front panel header/1 x front panel audio header/2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers/1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • USB: Up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 ports. Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel.

EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 2DVI/Mini-HDMI SLI Ready Graphics Card, 01G-P3-1460-KR Price: $175.98

Last month I thought I did a huge jump going to the Radeon HD 6850, but with the change in processors this month I was able to squeeze in this GTX 560 graphics card. This is a huge leap for the $500 build price point and you will most deinfitely notice a difference when gaming with more demanding games with the potential to play most great at 1920×1080 resolutions. A most definite sure choice for a $500 build!

Technical Details:

  • GeForce GTX 560 with 810 MHz core clock
  • PCI-Express 2.0
  • 1024 MB 256-bit GDDR5 Memory
  • 4008 MHz Memory Clock and 1620 MHz Shader Clock
  • 128GB/sec Memory Bandwidth
  • 45.4 GT/s Texture Fill Rate
  • Microsoft DirectX 11 Support
  • NVIDIA 2-way SLI ready

Corsair 8 GB 1333mhz PC3-10666 240-pin Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit 8 Dual Channel Kit – CMV8GX3M2A1333C9 Price: $41.99

Corsair 8 GB 1333mhz PC3-10666 240-pin Dual Channel DDR3 Memory

As I have said before 8GB could be plenty for an entry gaming pc build, but these days I am actually opting for up to 8GB; especially now that the prices really are right around $40 while going down to 4Gb may save you $10-15 when you may want to upgrade in the soon future anyways why spare it. Corsair is a very reputable brand of memory and the only reason I have switched to this particular bundle of ram this month is purely based on price.

Technical Details

  • Density: 8GB Kit (2x4GB)
  • Speed: 1333MHz
  • Timing: 9-9-9-24
  • Format: DIMM
  • Pin Out: 240 Pin
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Voltage: 1.5V

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKX Price: $64.99

Western Digital 250 GB Caviar Blue

Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Blue

I usually see budget builds around the $500 range include hard drive that are around 320GB etc. to save on cash and push as much as they can into the build in terms of processing and graphics capability. However, the price gaps really are not that large right now between this particular line of Western Digital hard drives so it just makes sense to go with 500GB.

Performance Details From Western Digitals’ 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: $34.98

So I have finally switched from the Cooler Master eXtreme 500W power supply and have decided to choose this quaint Antec 450 Watt one. The reasoning? The Cooler Master one was 500W, but it was up to 500W. This Antec power supply proves a continuous power of 450W and is at the same price point with many positive reviews. The continuous power essentially means that it never gives out at the power level of 450W, while the Cooler Master one may actually perform on average at around 450W anyways.

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

Hercules ATX Mid Tower PC Computer Case, Black [HRC-26-05] Price $25.44

Hercules ATX Mid Tower PC Computer Case, Black [HRC-26-05

I usually mix cases up every month, but I have had a small liking to this really budgeted case as it really is all you need to house all of your gaming PC hardware. Also, this month it has gone down in price some.

Technical Details:

  • Side air guide moves hot hot air directly outside to keep components cool
  • Six card slots for increased expandability
  • High strength lightweight steel construction
  • Front I/O for easy access
  • Four 5.25″ & seven 3.5″ drive bays

Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black) Price: $17.99

Last second I swapped the ASUS optical drive I had here only because in one day the price spiked from $16.99 to $23, not a huge price difference. but this is the cream of the crop optical drive, so lets skimp on the price where we can! I have recommended this Sony drive before and it is still priced the same making it my recommendation this month.
Product Features

  • Drive Type: Internal DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
  • Interface: SATA
  • Buffer Memory: 1 MB
  • Random Access Time: DVD – 160ms; CD – 140ms
  • O/S Compatibility: Windows 7 compatible
  • Write: DVD+R/-R: 24X; DVD+RW/-RW: 8X/6X; DVD+R/-R DL: 12X; DVD-RAM: 12X

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sony
  • Model: AD-7280S-0B
  • Hardware Platform: PC
  • Form Factor: 5.25-Inch
  • Buffer Size: 1 MB
  • Weight: 0.63 Kilograms


Gaming PC Build of the Month $500 - $1000

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $982 ): July 2012

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)  to shop for these parts.
 
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K
Price: $229.99
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 Z77 DDR3 1600 LGA 1155 Motherboards
Price: $180.99
Graphics Card: VisionTek Products Radeon 7850 2GB DDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card 900505
Price: $239.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD Platforms SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
Price: $48.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD10EALX
Price: $94.99
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms – CMPSU-750TXV2
Price: $89.99
Computer Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer USB 3.0 Mid Tower ATX Case with Window and Black Interior (SGC-1000-KWN1)
Price: $79.99
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)
Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $982 (Same performance – lower price)

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $500 – $1000 )

Comparing the pricing of the hardware from last month into this one, the price of the last builds hardware went from $988 to $1016; so around a $25 difference. I was able to swap some things around and used a different Radeon 7850 graphics card (From VisionTek),  a different set of Corsair RAM and a Cooler Master Storm enforcer computer case that has recently risen to be quite the case with many benefits.

Overall, not any large changes, but some minor beneficial ones!

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K Price: $229.99

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.

Using a newer 7000 Radeon graphics card and this newer Ivy Bridge processor we enable a faster connection between the CPU and GPU than ever. One caveat is that if you are planning to overclock in the near future I would recommend getting an aftermarket CPU cooler such as the Cooler Master EVO mentioned in the other hardware recommendations below the hardware overview.

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

MSI Z77A-GD65 Z77 DDR3 1600 LGA 1155 Motherboards Price: $180.99

MSI Z77A-GD65 Z77 DDR3 1600 LGA 1155 Motherboards

A very high quality MSI Z77 motherboard that will make overclocking your Intel 3570K processor a breeze. Comes with everything from 3X PCI Express 3.0, USB 3.0, SATA 6GB/s and UEFI BIOS and up to 32Gb RAM. View the product details for even more features –

Product Details:

ChipsetsNorth BridgeIntel Z77
MemoryNumber of Memory Slots4×240pinMemory StandardDDR3 2667*(OC)/ 2400*(OC)/ 2133*(OC)/ 1866*(OC)/1600/ 1333/ 1066Maximum Memory Supported32GBChannel SupportedDual Channel
Expansion SlotsPCI Express 3.0 x163 (16/8/4)PCI Express x14
Storage DevicesSATA 3Gb/s4SATA 6Gb/s4 x SATA 6Gb/sSATA RAIDSATA1~6 ports support RAID 0/1/5/10) by Intel Z77
Onboard VideoOnboard Video ChipsetNone
Onboard AudioAudio ChipsetRealtek ALC898Audio Channels8 Channels
Onboard LANLAN ChipsetIntel 82579VMax LAN Speed10/100/1000Mbps
Rear Panel PortsPS/21 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse portVideo PortsD-Sub + DVIHDMI1 x HDMIUSB 1.1/2.04 x USB 2.0USB 3.02 x USB 3.0S/PDIF Out1 x Optical, 1 x CoaxialAudio Ports6 Ports
Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0Onboard 13941 x 1394Other Connectors1 x Multi BIOS Switch1 x TPM Module connector1 x Front Panel connector1 x Front Panel Audio connector1 x Chassis Intrusion connector1 x Voice Genie connector (optional)1 x MultiConnect Panel connector (optional)1 x V-Check Points Set1 x Power button1 x OC Genie button1 x Reset button1 x Clear CMOS jumperCPU x 1 / System x 4 FAN connectors
Physical SpecForm FactorATXDimensions12.0″ x 9.6″Power Pin24 Pin
FeaturesFeaturesMilitary Class III components: Top quality & stabilityOC Genie II: Auto OC to boost performance in 1 secClickBIOS II: Easy-to-use UEFI BIOS interfaceSuper Charger: fast charge iPad/iPhone/smartphoneTHX TruStudio PRO: deliver the fullest audio experienceSupport USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s

 

VisionTek Products Radeon 7850 2GB DDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card 900505 Price: $239.99

I have never used a VisionTek graphic card yet in my builds, but this one comes at a very ncie price tag and has great reviews. One of such reviews is here: Pure Overclock.

The Radeon 7850 is a great higher end graphics card and will 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:

  • 3GHz HDMI 1.4a with 7.1 Sound
  • PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface
  • DirectCompute 11
  • DirectX 11-capable graphics
  • Shader Model 5.0 and OpenGL 4.2 support
  • AMD CrossFire multi-GPU technology
  • DisplayPort 1.2 Max resolution: 4096×2160 per display Multi-Stream Transport
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Cases and Expand-ability

  • Size (LWH): 10.5 inches, 8 inches, 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds

Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD Platforms SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Price: $48.99

8GB of RAM is a perfect sweet spot right now and you cannot go wrong with Corsair. This is a change form the Corsair Dominator memory from last month, but this was expected to come since the Dominator memory was at a strangely low price previously. Regardless this RAM does some in with similar specs and is still a great package of RAM that I have previously recommended before.

Technical Details:

  • 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 for AMD, Intel Dual processors and upcoming 2nd Generation Intel Core platforms
  • Speed: 1600MHz
  • Timing: 9-9-9-24
  • Voltage: 1.5V
  • Vengeance heat spreader for styling and performance

Technical Details

  • Model: CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • RAM Memory Technology: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Memory Storage Capacity: 8192 MB
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz

Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD10EALX Price: $94.99

Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Desktop Hard Drive – WD10EALX

As per using this exact hard drive in previous months there is really no need to change form this infamous 1 TB hard drive. As quoted –  “…This…1 TB Western Digital Caviar Blue hard drive, need I say more? This is a quality hard drive from a quality company and 1TB for a Gaming PC is plenty! This is why I have used this hard drive ever since the prices have dropped. You cannot go wrong here, just check out the performance details below -

Performance Details From Western Digitals’ Website:

Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM (nominal)
Buffer Size 32 MB
Load/unload Cycles 300,000 minimum
Transfer Rates
Transfer Rate (Buffer To Disk) 126 MB/s (Max)
Physical Specifications
Formatted Capacity 1,000,204 MB
Capacity 1 TB
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
User Sectors Per Drive 1,953,525,169
Physical Dimensions
English
Height 1.028 Inches
Depth 5.787 Inches
Width 4.00 Inches
Weight 1.52 Pounds
Metric
Height 26.1 mm
Depth 147 mm
Width 101.6 mm
Weight 0.69 kg
Environmental Specifications
Shock
Operating Shock (Read) 30G, 2 ms
Non-operating Shock 300G, 2 ms
Acoustics
Idle Mode 28 dBA (average)
Seek Mode 0 33 dBA (average)
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.
  • 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 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms – CMPSU-750TXV2 Price: $89.99

Corsair Enthusiast Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms - CMPSU-750TXV2

Corsair Enthusiast Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms – CMPSU-750TXV2

The power supplies in the builds change seldom and this month is no caveat. The Corsair Enthusiast series in my opinion is still a great PSU and will be sufficient for this builds any any upgrades. In fact, this month I am using the same one in the higher end $1500 build.

Product Details:

  • Conforms to the latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards, and is backward compatible with the ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 standards
  • A dedicated single +12V rail offers simple configuration and maximum compatibility with the latest graphics cards and other components
  • An ultra-quiet, 140mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow with exceptionally low noise levels by varying fan speed in response to temperature
  • Complies with the European Union ErP Directive (2009/125/EC) so the power consumption of the whole system, in either standby or off mode, can be less than 1W when used with a properly configured, ErP-compliant motherboard
  • 80 PLUS® Bronze certified, delivering up to 85% energy efficiency under real-world load conditions
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.99
  • Universal AC input from 90~264V
  • Over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety for your critical system components
  • High-quality Japanese capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability
  • A five year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair’s legendary technical support and customer service
  • Safety Approvals: cTUVus, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC, C-tick

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer USB 3.0 Mid Tower ATX Case with Window and Black Interior (SGC-1000-KWN1) Price: $79.99

The Cooler Master Storm Enforcer computer case is a recent computer case on my radar and an impressive one indeed. This case comes with everything from a front I/O panel with USB 3.0, dust filters, cable arrangement, a strong reinforced front door, and plenty of room for all of the large hardware components.

Product Details:

  • Front I/O Panel with USB 3.0 (internal)
  • Tool-free for 5.25″ device
  • Dust Filters on bottom and front intakes
  • Cable management for better cable routing
  • Reinforced front door protects your vital devices
  • Removable & Rotatable HDD cage for convenient installation
  • Support high-end graphics cards including AMD Radeon HD 6990 and NVIDIA GTX 590
  • Supports rear internal 120mm water cooling radiator

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Cooler Master
  • Model: SGC-1000-KWN1
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Form Factor: Mid Tower
  • Supported Motherboard: ATX
  • Device Type: Computer Case

Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black) Price: $17.99

Last second I swapped the ASUS optical drive I had here only because in one day the price spiked from $16.99 to $23, not a huge price difference. but this is the cream of the crop optical drive, so lets skimp on the price where we can! I have recommended this Sony drive before and it is still priced the same making it my recommendation this month.
Product Features

  • Drive Type: Internal DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
  • Interface: SATA
  • Buffer Memory: 1 MB
  • Random Access Time: DVD – 160ms; CD – 140ms
  • O/S Compatibility: Windows 7 compatible
  • Write: DVD+R/-R: 24X; DVD+RW/-RW: 8X/6X; DVD+R/-R DL: 12X; DVD-RAM: 12X

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sony
  • Model: AD-7280S-0B
  • Hardware Platform: PC
  • Form Factor: 5.25-Inch
  • Buffer Size: 1 MB
  • Weight: 0.63 Kilograms

$500 – $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: Mushkin Chronos 120 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (MKNSSDCR120GB) = + $100
- Can be used for installing OS to boot quick on this 120Gb SSD (Better than the 90Gb last month!)
LG Electronics WH12LS30 12X Blu-ray SATA Writer Drive - WH12LS30K
Add a Blu-Ray Optical Drive: LG Electronics WH12LS30 12X Blu-ray SATA Writer Drive = + $79 - Perhaps you are a movie buff?  or need to Backup Media etc.
Better CPU Cooler (To Overclock 
Intel 2500K): Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2) = + $38 Are you planning on overclocking very soon? Then you may want to indulge in this well rated CPU cooler to keep your CPU a tad cooler, thus increasing overclock potential. 

 

Do CROSSFIRE with another VisionTek Products Radeon 7850 2GB DDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card 900505= + $240

Additions / Part Swaps Overview

The additions and part swaps section is to give those interested, an idea of what other hardware they could add / swap if they wanted to upgrade in the future of have some extra cash to spend right now.

Above there is a nice Mushkin Chronos 120GB SSD drive that could be used as an operating system drive to boot up your computer faster as well as a few games. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo cooler as an affordable CPU cooler that can help keep your CPU cooler while trying to overclock (and highly recommended for this Ivy Bridge processor), this in turn can increase the potential overclocking frequencies. You could add an LG Electronics Blu-Ray drive if you have a collection of Blu-Ray movies or want to “back-up” anything onto Blu-Ray disks. OR another suggestion above is to add a second VisionTek Radeon 7850 graphics card in Crossfire (a great thing to keep in mind for future upgrading potential).


Gaming PC Build of the Month $1000 - $1500

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $1473 ): July 2012

Gaming PC Build Recipe:

Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1600 and you would be breathing smoke at resolutions of 1920×1080

All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try   Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA)  to shop for these parts.
 
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K
Price: $229.99
 
CPU Cooler (For OverClocking): Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1)
Price: $35.55
Motherboard: ASUS Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard P8Z77-V PRO
Price: $209.99
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX670 2048MB GDDR5 256bit, 2x Dual-Link DVI, HDMI, DP, 4-Way SLI Ready Graphics Card (02G-P4-2670-KR)
Price: $399.49
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
Price: $89.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD10EALX
Price: $95.81
SSD Hard Drive: SanDisk Extreme SSD 120GB GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s2.5-Inch Solid State Drive- SDSSDX-120G-G25
Price: $112.99
Power Supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply – CMPSU-750TXV2
Price: $106.98
Computer Case:  Antec Eleven Hundred Black Super Mid Tower Computer Case
Price: $92.99
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)
Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $1473

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 – $1500 )

Looking back at the hardware from last months $1500 build, the prices for the hardware overall has actually gone down to $1433 from the previous $1473. Since there have not been any hardware releases over the past month that would take precedence over any of the base hardware, this is the point now where I look at the previous hardware and decide what I can improve from.

So far from the hardware from May, we have a top of the line build where it can be hard to think of anything of benefit – such as we already have what I would think to be the top gaming processor the Intel 3570K, a quality high end Gigabyte motherboard, a high end Raden HD 7970 graphics card, more than plenty of RAM at 16GB, an upgraded computer case from the $1000 build – the Corsair 400R and even a modular quality power supply unit. Also, there is also a Cooler Master Evo 212 CPU cooler and a Crucial 64GB Solid State Drive included in the base build!!

The conclusion here? Well everything is pretty much staying the same for this build as it is still running strong. One exception may be the switch of the graphics card for a minor performance increase on the GTX 680 graphics card, but supplies on these seem to be slim and I have decided it is not worth it yet., so maybe next month.

What I did decide to do with the saved cash this month was upgrade the motherboard to a nice ASUS P8Z77-V-PRO that includes a wifi adapter and I also swapped the computer case for a NZXT Phantom Black & White (you can choose the color – Black and White + Gunmetal are the new colors).

In the end, the June 2012 $1500 build still costs less than last months and you can be sure that it will last you and keep you gaming for years to come.

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K Price: $229.99

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.

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: $35.55

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 calibre. As I have said before “CPU coolers do not change too often until there are changes to CPU socket sizes, so this Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler is one of the higher rated and affordably so CPU coolers you can purchase. Sure, the Intel 3570K processor comes with a stock cooler, but that cooler may not be able to match the cooling needs of overclocking if you decide to do so. If you are not planning to overclock, then you do not really need this cooler, but at only $30 it might be a worthwhile addition to keep your CPU as cool as possible, which in turn increases your overclocking speed potential.

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.

ASUS Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard P8Z77-V PRO Price: $209.99

ASUS Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard P8Z77-V PRO

The second month in a row I am using this ASUS Intel Z77 P8Z77-V PRO motherboard since I think it is priced perfectly and comes with everything most of any enthusiast would agree is what they need & want.

As quoted from Tech Radars review article the Asus P8Z77-V-Pro is – “An update to our favourite Z68 board in Z77 flavours. Mmm, tasty”. 

Another great reccomendation would be the ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE as you can see the rgeat review given by Hot Hardware, but it comes at a much larger price tag (around $279).

There is much to be said about this premium ASUS motherboard. For one, it has Wi-Fi GO, which prvoides onboard wifi. Fan Xpert 2, which is an auto tune function for optimizing fan speeds for each individual fan and much more, just check out the product details below –

Product Details:

ChipsetsNorth BridgeIntel Z77
MemoryNumber of Memory Slots4×240pinMemory StandardDDR3 2600(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333Maximum Memory Supported32GBChannel SupportedDual Channel
Expansion SlotsPCI Express 3.0 x162 (x16/0 or x8/x8)PCI Express 2.0 x161 (@x4)PCI Express x12PCI Slots2
Storage DevicesSATA 3Gb/s4SATA 6Gb/s4 x SATA 6Gb/sSATA RAID2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports with RAID 0,1,5,10 support
4 x SATA 3Gb/s ports with RAID 0,1,5,10 support
Onboard VideoOnboard Video ChipsetNone
Onboard AudioAudio ChipsetRealtek ALC892Audio Channels8 Channels
Onboard LANLAN ChipsetIntel 82579VMax LAN Speed10/100/1000MbpsWireless LANWiFi IEEE 802.11b/g/n
Rear Panel PortsPS/21 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse portVideo PortsD-Sub + DVIHDMI1 x HDMIDisplayPort1 x DisplayPortUSB 1.1/2.02 x USB 2.0USB 3.04 x USB 3.0S/PDIF Out1 x OpticalAudio Ports6 Ports
Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB4 x USB 3.0 + 8 x USB 2.0Other Connectors1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x Optional Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x TPU switch(es)
1 x EPU switch(es)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback button(s)
Physical SpecForm FactorATXDimensions12.0″ x 9.6″Power Pin24 Pin
FeaturesFeaturesDual Intelligent Processors 3 with SMART DIGI+ Power ControlSMART DIGI+ – Get a Blazing Performance Boost and CPU Wattage Cut in Half!Wi-Fi GO! – DLNA Streaming and Remote Desktop Made EasyFan Xpert 2 – The Most Customizable Fan ControlsUSB 3.0 Boost – Faster USB 3.0 Transmission with UASPQuad-GPU SLI and Quad-GPU/3-Way CrossFireX Support!

EVGA GeForce GTX670 2048MB GDDR5 256bit, 2x Dual-Link DVI, HDMI, DP, 4-Way SLI Ready Graphics Card (02G-P4-2670-KR) Price: $399.49

This month I have switched up the graphics card for the higher end $1500 gaming pc build to the newer GTX 670, that is much more obtainable this month! The GTX 670 graphics card compared very well with the previous Radeon HD 7970, but is priced $50-70 cheaper right now (and even a couple of months ago is was seen as high as $550). This is a must have card if you are within this budget.

Product Details:

Codename: GK104
Process: 28 nm
Universal Shaders: 1344
Texture Units: 112
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 915
Memory Speed MHz: 1502 (6006 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5
Max TDP: 170 W
  • Base Clock: 915MHz
  • Boost Clock: 960MHz
  • Memory Clock: 6008MHz
  • Cuda Cores: 1344
  • PCIe 3.0
  • 2048MB GDDR5 256bit
  • Nvidia SMX Engine, Nvidia GPU Boost, NVidia Adaptive Verticle Sync, Nvidia Surround, Support for Concurrent Displays, Nvidia PhysX, Nvidia 3D Vision Ready, Nvidia SLI Ready, Nvidia CUDA Technology 

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: EVGA
  • Model: 02G-P4-2670-KR
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA
  • Graphics Ram: 2048.0 MB
  • Warranty: 3 year warranty upon registration at evga.com

Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B Price: $89.99

Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B

Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B

The same Corsair Vengeance kit for the $1500 build and as I said last month…”People keep telling me 16GB is too much! But come on this is a $1500 gaming PC build that will last you years. This is a package of four sticks of 4GB RAM in a package to total 16GB of RAM. An excessive amount of RAM? Yes it is, but you can assure the future proofness of this to go with the other fantastic hardware included in this $1500 build. If you can find a package of RAM with two 8GB stick to total the 16Gb at a reasonable price, that would be even better, but you just cannot beat this price for 16GB.

If you feel you do not need 16GB, then you could save about $40 and get the 8Gb kits included in the above $500 & $1000 builds and you will do just fine!

Product Features:

  • Designed for Sandy Bridge Platform and AMD Platforms
  • 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 for AMD, Intel Dual Channel processors and Sandy Bridge 2nd Generation Intel Core platforms
  • Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) Support
  • Speed: 1600mhz
  • Timing: 9-9-9-24
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Pin Out: 240-pin
  • Voltage: 1.5v

Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD10EALX Price: $95.81

Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk:OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD10EALX

Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk:OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD10EALX

Having this 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue hard drive will provide plenty of space for your Gaming PC, especially if you put Windows 7 and your most played games on the 120Gb SanDisk SSD also included in this build.

In fact a great idea if you were eager would be to try and go with an SSD only build if you don;t mind getting rid of some HD space. Right before writing this article an individual in the comments in Junes build asked me if he could specifically do this since he currently uses under 100GB anyways. I thought it was a fantastic idea!

Performance Details:

Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM (nominal)
Buffer Size 32 MB
Load/unload Cycles 300,000 minimum
Transfer Rates
Transfer Rate (Buffer To Disk) 126 MB/s (Max)
Physical Specifications
Formatted Capacity 1,000,204 MB
Capacity 1 TB
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
User Sectors Per Drive 1,953,525,169
Physical Dimensions
English
Height 1.028 Inches
Depth 5.787 Inches
Width 4.00 Inches
Weight 1.52 Pounds
Electrical Specifications
Current Requirements
Power Dissipation
Read/Write 6.80 Watts
Idle 6.10 Watts
Standby 0.70 Watts
Sleep 0.70 Watts

SanDisk Extreme SSD 120GB GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s2.5-Inch Solid State Drive- SDSSDX-120G-G25 Price: $112.99

Over double an increase in Solid State Drive size when compared to Junes build! This SSD recently came into my radar when reading some reviews and this relatively low priced SSD comes in at 120GB. A prefect amount of space for both Windows 7 and quite a few of your most played games. This way you can ensure faster PC boot times and game loading times.

Performance -

    Max Sequential ReadUp to 550 MB/s
    Max Sequential WriteUp to 510 MB/s
    4KB Random ReadUp to 23,000 IOPS
    4KB Random WriteUp to 83,000 IOPS
    MTBF2,500,000 hours

Product Details:

  • Noise reduction for quiet drive operation
  • Low power consumption for cooler operation and extended battery life
  • Delivers reliability, durability, and high-performance for your laptop or PC
  • Designed to withstand shocks and vibration for high durability

Cases and Expandability

  • Size (LWH): 2.78 inches, 3.96 inches, 0.39 inches
  • Weight: 2.88 ounces

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply – CMPSU-750TXV2  Price: $106.98

The Corsair Enthusiast PSU is no stranger to my gaming pc builds, but it is to the higher end $1500 build. For months I have used this one in just the $1000 build while using a similar modular version for the $1500 build. This month however I wanted to squeeze in a higher & better SSD drive while keeping all the same performance in processing power and graphics so I decided to go with the non-modular version of Corsairs power supplies which at 750W of continuous power will keep your gaming PC running for years and allows much rom for upgrading.

Product Details:

  • Conforms to the latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards, and is backward compatible with the ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 standards
  • A dedicated single +12V rail offers simple configuration and maximum compatibility with the latest graphics cards and other components
  • An ultra-quiet, 140mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow with exceptionally low noise levels by varying fan speed in response to temperature
  • Complies with the European Union ErP Directive (2009/125/EC) so the power consumption of the whole system, in either standby or off mode, can be less than 1W when used with a properly configured, ErP-compliant motherboard
  • 80 PLUS® Bronze certified, delivering up to 85% energy efficiency under real-world load conditions
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.99
  • Universal AC input from 90~264V
  • Over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety for your critical system components
  • High-quality Japanese capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability
  • A five year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair’s legendary technical support and customer service
  • Safety Approvals: cTUVus, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC, C-tick

Antec Eleven Hundred Black Super Mid Tower Computer CasePrice: $92.99

The Antec Eleven Hundred case was chosen this month for its sleekness and ability to easily hold all of the large hardware components included in this months build including both the GTX 670 graphics card and the external Cooler Master EVO 212 CPU cooler. I love the look of this case and you can be sure to easily fit everything as well as anything else you may want to add in the future.

Antec’s Specifications of the Antec Eleven Hundred -

Model Eleven Hundred
Case Type Mid-Tower
Color(s) Black
Cooling System - One 200 mm blue LED top fan
– One 120 mm rear fan
– One 120 mm intake fan behind. motherboard for CPU cooling (optional)
– Two 120 mm internal intake fans (optional)
– Two 120 mm front intake fans (optional)
– Two 120 mm side panel fans to cool graphic cards (optional)
– Fan power hub (allows you to connect four 3-pin fans to a single Molex
for improved cable management)
Drive Bays - Three 5.25″ tool-less drive bays
– Two 2.5” drive bays (dedicated)
– Six 3.5” tool-less drive bays (rail-mount design)
Front Ports - Two USB 3.0 with internal motherboard connector
– Two USB 2.0
– Audio In/Out
Expansion Slots /
video card size
- Nine expansion slots
– 13″ (330 mm) video card size
Maximum CPU cooler height 6.7” (170 mm)
PSU None
Motherboard Support XL-ATX [13.6” x 10.3” (345 mm x 262 mm)], Standard ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX)
CPU Cutout Enlarged CPU Cutout
Cable Management Grommet-lined cable routing holes with 36 mm of space behind the motherboard tray
Side panel features - Side Panel Window (Right side)
– Two 120 mm fan mounts (Right side – Optional)
– One 120 mm fan mount behind motherboard (Left side – Optional)
Dimensions - 20.7” (H) x 9.3” (W) x 21.5” (D) /
– 527 mm (H) x 237 mm (W) x 546 mm (D)
Weight - Net weight: 15.3 lbs / 6.9 kg
– Gross weight: 18.7 lbs / 8.5 lbs

Product Details:

  • The highly expandable Eleven Hundred accommodates XL-ATX measurement
  • Eleven total drive bays, 3 x 5.25′ ext., 2 x 2.5″ dedicated internal bays and 6 x 3.5 tool-less drive bays (rail-mount design)
  • Nine expansion slots!
  • Standard Cooling, 1 x 200mm blue LED topfan, 1 x 120mm Rear fan.
  • Optional cooling, 1 x 120mm behind the Mobo, 2 x 120mm internal intake fans, 2 x 120mm front intake fans, 2 x 120mm side panel fans to cool graphics cards.
  • Fan power hub: allows you to connect up to four 3-pin fans to a single Molex for improved cable management.
  • Features 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0 Audio in and out.
  • PSU intake & front air filters, Water cooling support: rear water cooling grommets, enlarged CPU cuotot

Ports and Connectivity

  • USB Ports: 4

Cases and Expandability

  • Size (LWH): 21.5 inches, 9.33 inches, 20.75 inches
  • Weight: 19.84 pounds

Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black) Price: $17.99

Last second I swapped the ASUS optical drive I had here only because in one day the price spiked from $16.99 to $23, not a huge price difference. but this is the cream of the crop optical drive, so lets skimp on the price where we can! I have recommended this Sony drive before and it is still priced the same making it my recommendation this month.

Product Features

  • Drive Type: Internal DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
  • Interface: SATA
  • Buffer Memory: 1 MB
  • Random Access Time: DVD – 160ms; CD – 140ms
  • O/S Compatibility: Windows 7 compatible
  • Write: DVD+R/-R: 24X; DVD+RW/-RW: 8X/6X; DVD+R/-R DL: 12X; DVD-RAM: 12X

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sony
  • Model: AD-7280S-0B
  • Hardware Platform: PC
  • Form Factor: 5.25-Inch
  • Buffer Size: 1 MB
  • Weight: 0.63 Kilograms

$1000 – $1500 Gaming PC Build Additions / Swap Suggestions

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

 

Go modular with your PSU! (no extra dangling cales) Corsair HX Professional Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply Compatible with Core i7 and Core i5 – CMPSU-750HX = + $138.98

 

Double the Graphics Powerw/ SLI 
and add one more: EVGA GeForce GTX670 2048MB GDDR5 256bit, 2x Dual-Link DVI, HDMI, DP, 4-Way SLI Ready Graphics Card (02G-P4-2670-KR) = + $399.49
Corsair Hydro Series H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH80)Better CPU Cooler (To Overclock Intel 3570K): Corsair Hydro Series H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH80) = + $90.73
Larger SSD: Crucial 512 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT512M4SSD2 = + $399 ($512 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 additions or part swaps are recommendations if you have a little more to spend or are wondering what other upgrades you could supplement your high end $1500 gaming build with. The examples above include a modular power supply (included in previous builds) that will make cable management much more efficient since you can get rid of any unused ones. You could add another EVGA GeForce GTX 670 in SLI to have double the graphics cards for an increased graphics potential. If you are an overclocking enthusiast you could opt for a Corsair Hydro Series CPU cooler to increase that cooling capability. Also, if you are wanting to either go with pur Solid State Drive you could opt for a 512 GB SSD that may have plenty of space for all of your files and games.


Concluding July 2012’s Gaming PC Builds:

As per usual I hope that you have enjoyed reading this months gaming pc builds. The biggest changes this month were in the lower end $500 build and the higher end $1500 build. Specifically the lower end build I swapped the processor for a Pentium G850 to allow for more graphics potential using a GTX 560, which actually increasing gaming performance. And the largest change in the higher end build was the switch to an NVIDIA GTX 670 graphics card which is essentially a lower priced Radeon HD 7970 and the inclusion of a much larger SSD that can be used to increase boot times and game startup times.

Also, last month was the first month I started advertising the Newb Computer Build Facebook Page, so please if you feel ever inclined like and participate as I hope to actually use it. I’ve had a few bites & likes so far, however would like to encourage anyone else to like the site as well!

Until next month, take care and I wish everyone luck when building your new Gaming PCs!

July 2012’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video:

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18 Responses to “Gaming PC Builds of the Month: July 2012”

  1. Sif

    Hey corey i got another question.
    How much fps would i get with skyrim and bf3 on high and ultra with a GTX 560 1Gb and with a 3rd gen i5 3450 ? At resolution of 1920 *1080 and 1080* 720?

    And would the new 3rd gen i5 3450 give it an extra boost with the GTX 560 than a lets say a 2nd gen intel core 13?

    Also how much wattage would u guess they would need ? Is 500w enough ?
    Thanks and sorry if your getting annoyed from my questions.

    Reply
  2. Sif

    Hey corey

    Just asking what settings and fps and resolution will the GT 650m 2GB run skyrim on ?

    Reply
    • Corey

      I would say its a little overpriced, but definitely worth it considering you cannot ship from here especially well. I would also recommend you follow through with upgrading to squeeze that GTX 560 in it since it will make the biggest impact. Let me know if you go through with this one :) Sorry I have not been keeping up especially well with your comments!

      Reply
  3. sif

    Hey Corey, I got a problem , i got interested in your $1000 gaming build but
    i just found out that amazon and newegg dont ship to australia (sydney)
    and there the most cheapest websites , all australian gaming parts are so expensive comparaed to these sites. Im so Pissed (lol). You no any other websites that ship to australia ? Or companys in australia? ALso i buy from ebay and the prices there are cheaper but not cheaper than amazzon and newegg , there like $20-40 more than the prizes from amazon and newegg.
    I’ll really apreciate if you help. :( Thanks.

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hey Sif,

      Yikes that’s a shame if the prices are much higher there in Australia! You sure Amazon.com won’t ship? They have shipping rates – http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=596190 They ship for about $4.99 per item (so $4.99 X 8 items form the $1000 build = $39.92 maximum shipping costs in US dollars). If it still does not work let me know, I’ll have to shop / look around for good Australian ship deals since I don;t have any on the top of the head at the moment.

      Reply
      • Sif

        Thanks for the reply Corey,
        Before i tried buying something cheap from amazon and when i got to the purchase side and told me to enter address it said “sorry we could not ship to that address”.
        And i searched it out on yahoo answers, and some said they dont ship to Australia. and some says they Do. I’m not sure/
        Thanks

        Reply
        • Sif

          I just found out that NOT all items they have sell to australia, only specific ones. I hope they ship computer parts to australia. LOL
          Thanks

          Reply
  4. Peter

    Hi Corey,
    this site is a god send. Looking at building a gaming rig for roughly the $1500 region. I live in Ireland however so I’ve had to make a couple of changes to your suggestions above and I was wondering could you give them the once over in your spare time to see if you think they should work well together?
    Thanks in advance.

    Asus P8Z77-V PRO S1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 ATX
    Intel Core i5-3570K S1155 3.4GHz 6MB
    Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 Intel CPU Cooler (LGA 2011, 1155 & 1156 Socket)
    Corsair Memory 16GB (4x4GB) Vengeance Performance DDR3 1600MHz
    Western Digital 1TB Caviar Blue 3.5 Western Digital 1TB Caviar Blue 3.5″ SATA-600 32MB 7200RPM
    Sony Optiarc 24x Internal DVD Multi Writer (DVD-RW/RAM) with Black Bezel Bare
    MSI GeForce GTX 680 1006MHz 2GB PCI-Express 3.0 HDMI
    Antec Eleven Hundred Mid-Tower Case
    OCZ Technology 120GB Agility 3 SSD Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5″ Solid State Drive
    Corsair Memory 800W Gaming Series GS800 High Performance 80 PLUS® Certified PSU

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hello Peter,

      And thank you very much for that :) That build you have there is absolutely gorgeous and at first I was like whoa whoa…that won’t fit into $1500 haha, but considering $1500 USD is around $1800 Euro that makes sense! You will have absolutely no problems with this build Peter – both building and most definitely performance wise. Best of luck!

      Reply
  5. sif

    Hey Corey, just wondering can you just list me down a AMD build for under
    $700 please ? So name me processor, graphics card, motherboard, Memory, Storage and so on.

    If your busy then you dont have to do that. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Mike

    Hi Corey,
    I’m looking to build a home pc for my Dad. Needs to do basic stuff like web browsing, watching movies, checking emails, etc. I looked over the $500 gaming build I would like to upgrade the cpu and maybe the motherboard since I wouldn’t be needing a discrete GPU. Let me know what you think!
    Mike

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hey Mike,

      Presuming you want to stay around the $500 mark without the graphics card currently the build would be at around $340.55 giving you an extra $155 to spend. For the most part I would recommend pumping this into an Ivy Bridge processor since it packs more punch than any of the Sandy Bridge processors in terms of integrated graphics and even though the purpose of this PC will be for web, it might be nice.

      So you could go with one of the lower end Ivy Bridge processors such as the Intel Core i5 3450 Processor for $189.99 OR a Intel Core i5 3550 Processor for $210

      This leaves you at about $445 or $465; With this I would reccomend a motherbaord with HDMI support – a motherboard such as this Intel Desktop Board Media Series Micro-ATX BOXDH67BLB3 Motherboard for $89.99 (which also has 4 memory ports.) If you use the Intel 3550 Processor this comes out to a total of $485.29.

      you can either stay at this price point or pour the extra little bit into a slightly better case such as – NZXT GAMMA Classic Series or a Cooler Master HAF 912, but this is totally up to you.

      Let me know if this works for you!

      Reply
      • Mike

        Corey,
        The build looks great and thanks for all the suggestions! I’ve looked over this site and learnt so much from it. I’ll be building a gaming pc hopefully later on this summer. Looking forward to bothering you then. Mean while keep up the good work!
        ps. liked your page on fb.

        Reply
        • Corey

          Thank you kindly for your words and for the ps! And I look forward to see you around then later on :)

          Reply
  7. sif

    Hey corry, i love your new $500 build for this month just a few question about it.

    Do you think the low GHz on the new processor could hande game skyrim and bf3 ?
    Also what could i change to make it abit better but in the 500-550 price range ?

    also inst that video card way more powerful than the last HD Radeon 6850?

    So will this build be enough to run games like skyrim, bf3 and those kinda late games on high to ultra with more fps than the other $500 build ?

    Thanks and sorry for these nooby questions, im still learning lol. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hey sif!

      The low GHz should be no problem for these games as you can see in this article –
      Picking A Sub-$200 Gaming CPU: FX, An APU, Or A Pentium?

      What matters most here is the graphics card and what resolutions you will be playing at. My recommendation to make it better would be to add a GTX 560 Ti and if possible a Radeon HD 785(but that would be stretching the budget). In short yes this one would be better for those games and even more so with a GTX 560 Ti and you should be good on higher settings on as you said before lower resolutions.

      No problem for the “nooby” questions, that’s what this site is for! Let me know if you have anymore. Best of luck!

      Reply

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