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Gaming PC Builds of the Month: October 2012

October 2012 Gaming PC Builds:

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October 2012 Gaming PC BuildsIntroduction:

This October 2012 we finally have the release of the Ivy Bridge i3 processors, so this means that the previous Intel Core i3 2120 Sandy Bridge Processor has now been swapped for a newer Intel Core i3 3220 Processor; exciting news indeed. This will allow slightly better performance while gaming and along with that a lower power usage.

Since there really have not been many other major releases in the past month, the rest of the changes all factor in some varying price changes. The $1000 build has stayed pretty static and is still what I would think to be the best value per performance for a gaming pc. And the $1500 has had its fair share of hardware swaps with the addition of the Radeon HD 7970 3GB Graphics Card that will guarantee you playing games at their max settings and resolutions of up to 2560X1600 easily. Also, I have decided to include a much larger Solid State Drive in the $1500 build this month, which may be nice to use as your primary hard drive for your operating system as well as quite a few of your most played games & software.

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$500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer Build

Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $518 ): October 2012

(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: $124.99
Motherboard: MSI LGA1155/Intel B75/DDR3/SATA3 and USB 3.0/A and GbE/MicroATX Motherboard B75MA-E33
Price: $59.99
Graphics Card: Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB PCI-E Video Card (100315L)
Price: $134.99
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Price: $39.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKX
Price: $65.52
Power Supply: Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply Price: $34.98
Computer Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower Computer Case with All-Black Interior (RC-430-KWN1)
Price: $34.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $ 518.45 (Price is a little over with a warrant of quality + New Ivy Bridge i3’s!)

Overview: $500 Gaming PC Build

As I had stated in the introductory paragraph, this $500 build has some exciting changes this month with the newly released Intel Core i3 Ivy Bridge Processor line. I was able to swap the previous Intel Core i3 2120 for the Intel Core i3 3220 Processor and along with this include an affordable B75 Motherboard to suit the Ivy Bridge processor.

Furthermore, there are to other major changes or releases that would warrant additions into the $500, although I did decide to swap out the Generic PC case used last month to include a higher quality Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower case; it has sturdier plastic and has a nice blue glow to it. If you look below, you might also notice that the upgrade processor suggestion for this month also reflects the addition of the new Ivy bridge CPUs with the inclusion of an Intel Core i5 3450 as an processor swap suggestion.

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: $124.99

 

A perfect upgrade over the previous Sandy Bridge Intel i3-2120, we now have the newer line up of Ivy Bridge i3 processors from Intel. This Intel Core i3-3220 will give you a slight boost in performance for your budget gaming pc and uses less power.

Intel i3-2120 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

This MSI B75MA-E33 motherboard perfectly suits the budget $500 gaming PC build and the new Ivy Bridge i3-3220 processor. 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

Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB PCI-E Video Card (100315L) Price: $134.99

Another great addition for this month is the reintroduction of the Radeon HD 6850 graphics card for the $500 build. Last month prices went wonky and we had to substitute the card for a slightly lower card, but now we’re back!

Technical Details:

  • PCI-Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 256-bit DDR5 memory interface
  • Microsoft DirectX 11 Support
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Support
  • ATI Eyefinity Technology, support up to 3 displays

Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX Price: $39.99

A well priced package of 8GB RAM, you cannot go wrong and this will probably be the maximum amount of RAM you will ever need for this $500 build, so no worries here. And if you ever want more in the future, you can get up to 16GB.

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: $65.52

Western Digital 250 GB Caviar Blue

Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Blue

The infamous 500Gb Western Digital hard drive that has held this spot for a long while, still does. Keep in mind that this month you could also upgrade to 1TB for only about $8 more (see either the $1000 or $1500 builds hard drive suggestions below).

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: $34.99

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.

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

Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower Computer Case with All-Black Interior (RC-430-KWN1) Price $39.99

I was actually happy to squeeze this Cooler Master Elite 430 case back into the $500 as it is a much better quality than the previous Generic case I used, but sometimes you have to sacrifice the quality of non-performance enhancing hardware for the hardware that actually accounts for PC performance (ex. processor or graphics card); which is exactly what happened last month. No worries for October though as this case perfectly fill this spot.

Technical Details:

  • Interior black coating makes stylish inside looks
  • Front 120mm fan with brilliant Blue LED provides the best airflow to HDDs
  • Rear: 80/90/120 mm fan x 1 (optional)
  • Tool-Free mechanical design for quick assembly and maintenance
  • Side ventilation holes for better cooling performance
  • Large transparent side window included

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99

The Lite-on optical drive fills the spot once again for the more affordable optical drive – hence why its here…again!

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 ( $993 ): October 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)  Scorptec.com.au(AUS)  pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
 
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K
Price: $229.99
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LX Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard
Price: $139.99
Graphics Card: MSI AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 DVI/HDMI/2xMini DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card R7950 TWIN FROZR 3GD5/OC
Price: $329.99
RAM: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Price: $39.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
Price: $74.99
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified High Performance Modular Power Supply CP-9020003-NA
Price: $105.98
Computer Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case – CC-9011014-WW
Price: $61.96
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $992.88 (Looking good!)

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )

Just some minor changes in the $1000 gaming pc build this month as everything in this department has been rather stable. I decided to switch up the case to a Corsair 300R due to its price decrease, making it a fantastic purchase for only $61.96 at the moment. Also, the same goes for the power supply unit – I have switched to a Corsair Enthusiast TX 750-Watt Modular power supply, this will give your build some extra buffer from the previous 650 Watts and I thought it was well fitting due to its current great price point.

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5 3570K Processor 3.4 4 BX80637I53570K Price: $229

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

ASUS P8Z77-V LX Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard Price: $139.99

As per the rest of the hardware this month in the $1000 pc build, this ASUS motherboard still holds strong. This is a highly rated mid range motherboard that is currently being purchased at a rate of 0.83% of all motherboards according to the Motherboard Section of at the Community at Futuremark. This motherboard has four memory slots for up to 32GB of DDR3 240pin memory, PCI Express 3.0 x16, great Realtek ALC887 audio with 8 channels, USB 3.0 and the best part is that it has a fantastic auto overclock utility that you can easily squeeze 4.5 GHz out of the Intel 3570K processor.

Product Details:

  • DIGI+ VRM : New Era of Digital Power Design that fully enables Superior System Stability, High Power Efficiency and Improved Performance Scaling
  • EPU:System Level Energy Saving and Real-time Power Management for Superb Platform Power Efficiency
  • ASUS USB 3.0 Boost :Set USB 3.0 devices into 3 modes: Normal, Turbo, UASP to improve overall read/write performance instantaneously
  • GPU Boost: Two simple ways to get quick free graphics upgrade
  • Anti-Surge Protection: Safeguard your device by providing voltage protection to all major onboard components

MSI AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 DVI/HDMI/2xMini DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card R7950 TWIN FROZR 3GD5/OC Price: $329.99

This MSI card has great airflow & keeps really cool, comes with the MSI overclocking utility, advanced fan speed control; if you are a gamer then you will not regret this purchase.

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:

  • Chipset: AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • EngineClock: 880 MHz
  • Video Memory: 3GB GDDR5
  • Memory Clock: 5000 MHz
  • Memory Interface: 384-bit
  • Connectors: DVI, HDMI,?2x Mini DisplayPort
  • Max. Resolution: 2560 x 1600

Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2×4 GB Modules) 1600 MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Kit (PC3 12800) 240-Pin SDRAM KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX Price: $39.99

The same as used in the $500 build, 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: $74.99

This is the newer version of essentially the Western Digital Caviar Blue line of hard drives now called simply, the Western Digital Blue. This 1TB drive is the perfect choice at only $74.99 now (only $8 more than the older 500Gb Caviar Blue drive this month).

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 TX V2 Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified High Performance Modular Power Supply CP-9020003-NA Price: $105.98

A tiny upgrade for the $1000 build this month, I have included the 750 Watt Corsair Enthusiast Modular PSU this month due to its price decrease, making it a definite buy for both the $1000 & $1500 builds this October.

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.
  • Exceptionally low noise level by varying fan speed in response to temperature.
  • Over-voltage and over-current protection, under-voltage protection, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety to your critical systems
  • 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.
  • An ultra-quiet double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow
  • The latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards and it is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 systems.

Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case – CC-9011014-WW Price: $61.96

The price on this gorgeous Corsair Carbide 300R case has dropped this month making it the best performance case for its price point. This case will keep all of your hardware nice and cool, plenty of space for upgrades / additions plus it looks sleek!

Technical Details

  • Room for graphics cards up to 450mm long
  • USB 3.0 front panel connectors
  • Built-in compatibility for SSDs in the four hard drive bays
  • Keep your system cool with up to 7 fan mount locations
  • Easily accessible dust filters keep the cool air flowing over your valuable components
  • Compatible with ATX and mATX motherboards
  • Install or upgrade your CPU heatsink quickly with the easy-access backplate cutout
  • Optimize airflow and keep your system neat and tidy using the intelligent cable management system.

 

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99

The Lite-on optical drive fills the spot once again for the more affordable optical drive – hence why its here…again!

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: OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 Series SATA 6.0 GB/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (SSD) With Industry’s Highest 120K IOPS And 5-Year Warranty – VTX4-25SAT3-128G = + $100.78 
- Switched from the previous Kingston SSD
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. Then swap this for the optical drive and you can add blu-ray burn / read functionality!LG Electronics WH12LS30 12X Blu-ray SATA Writer Drive - WH12LS30K
 Do CROSSFIRE with another MSI AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 DVI/HDMI/2xMini DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card R7950 TWIN FROZR 3GD5/OC = + $329.99  Better CPU Cooler (To Overclock Intel 3570K):Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2) = + $27.99 This would be a great addition if you plan to overclock! Plus, the price has decreased by about $5 this month.

Additions / Part Swaps Overview

These are some of the additions of hardware swaps you could consider either now or in the future for the $1000 Gaming PC Build. These will act to supplement an already great gaming pc with hardware such as the perfect OCZ 128GB Vertex SSD, an LG Blu-Ray drive, CrossFire (Double the AMD graphics cards) with another MSI Radeon 7950 graphics card, or a Cooler master Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooling to overclock and get the most out of the Intel unlocked 3570K processor.

$1500 Gaming PC Build - Newb Computer BuildMonthly Gaming PC Build ( $1470 ): October 2012

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: $229.99
 
CPU Cooler (For OverClocking): Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1)
Price: $27.99
Motherboard: AS Rock LGA1155 DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 Quad CrossFireX and Quad SLI A GbE ATX Motherboard Z77 EXTREME4
Price: $189.50
Graphics Card: Diamond AMD Radeon HD 7970 PCIE 3G GDDR5 Video Graphics Card 7970PE53G
Price: $419.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3 240 Pin DIMM Memory CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10
Price: $85.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1 TB WD Blue SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive
Price: $74.99
SSD Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (MKNSSDCR240GB-DX)
Price: $169.99
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified High Performance Modular Power Supply CP-9020003-NA
Price: $105.98
Computer Case: Thermaltake VN300M1W2N Black SECC CHASER MK-1 Full Tower USB 3.0 Computer Case
Price: $147.95
Optical Drive: Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99
Estimated Price: $1470

Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )

There have been quite a few swaps in hardware this month for the $1500 gaming PC build. The motherboard has been swapped for a more budget per performance conscious motherboard – the ASRock Z77 EXTREME4 motherboard that has it all for a much better price than last months Sabertooth motherboard. The graphics card has been swapped from the previous $500 GTX 680 for the Radeon HD 7970. which provides similar performance at a much much lower price.

Due to the above changes and a drop in overall prices I have now been able to slide in a much higher capacity Solid State Drive at 240GB. This means that you can most likely install you Operating System as well as a bunch of your most played games onto your your Solid State drive; significantly increasing boot times.

If you have any further questions in regards to any of the builds remember that you can leave a comment below or use the contact form on the main menu at the top.

Overview: The Gaming PC Hardware

Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 – 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. 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: $27.99

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 EXTREME4 Price: $189.50

I really love how in the past couple of years AsRock has been showing some really good promise in the motherboard market. This motherboard really does have it all for a motherboard that is quite comparable to much more expensive motherboards of MSI& ASUS. Reading the review of this motherboard at Vortez.net you can see that you can even overclock your Intel 3570K processor quite easily up to 4.8GHz and where they claim the AsRock EXTREME 4 motherbaord as being “Vortez Amazing Value” and “Vortez Gold”.

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 (runs at X8), 2 X PCI Express 2.0 X1 Slots, 2 X PCI Slots
  • SATA: 4X SATA3 Ports (one connector is shared with eSATA3 port), Two Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; 4X SATA2 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
  • Ports: 8X USB 2.0 Ports (2 rear, 6 via header); 6X USB 3.0 Ports (4 rear,?2 via header); 1X PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Port; 1X?VGA Port; 1X DVI Port; 1X Optical SPDIF Out Port; 1X HDMI Port; 1X eSATA3 Port; 1X RJ45 LAN Port; Audio I/O Jacks
  • Power Connector: 1X 24-Pin ATX Main Power Connector, 1X 8-Pin 12V Power Connector

Diamond AMD Radeon HD 7970 PCIE 3G GDDR5 Video Graphics Card 7970PE53G Price: $419.99

Even the main models of the Radeon 7970’s have the capacity to be pretty overclocked easily, which makes the value of the Radeon HD 7970 comparable to any of the $500 graphics cards (ex: GTX 680 used last month for the $1500 pc build). This card will have you playing any game without any problems at Max Settings with resolutions soaring up to 2560X1600 easily.

Product Details:

  • Play the latest PC games supporting DirectX 11.1
  • Work and Productivity Application
  • Video playback and editing
  • HD video playback (Blu-ray and HD DVD) and editing
  • Everyday home computing applications with Windows7
  • GCN Architecture

Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3 240 Pin DIMM Memory CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 Price: $85.99

Last month we saw a significant drop in 16Gb RAM kits that had 2X8Gb sticks and this month this stands true still. Except this month so did the Corsair Vengeance series of RAM, which simply look great.

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: $74.99

With double the Cache than the previous Western Digital Caviar Blue Hard Drive. The newer Western Digital Blue drives now have double the cache, are quieter and for some reason come in at a price point that is about $20 cheaper than in August.

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.

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (MKNSSDCR240GB-DX) Price: $169.99

Now we have 240GB of pure Solid State Drive included in the $1500 builds arsenal. This is a well performance Muchkin Chronis SSD that will have you loading your OS and games amazingly fast!

Technical Details

  • Max Sequential Read Up to 560MB/s and Max Sequential Write Up to 520MB/s
  • Up to 90,000 IOPS Random 4KB Write
  • SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface (backwards compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s)
  • TRIM support (OS/driver support required)
  • 3.5″ desktop adapter bracket included
  • Access Time <0.1ms
  • Built-in BCH ECC (Up to 55 bits correctable per 512 byte sector)
  • High speed MLC NAND

Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified High Performance Modular Power Supply CP-9020003-NA Price: $105.98

The Corsair Enthusiast Series Modular Power Supplies are at similar prices as the non-modular versions, so pick it up quick. By going modular yo can clear up some of that cord clutter and leave more space for you gaming PC to breath and plus it just looks cleaner.

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 in response to temperature.
  • Over-voltage and over-current 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.
  • The latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards and it is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 systems.
  • Under-voltage protection, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety to your critical system components.
  • Brand Name: Corsair
  • Model: CP-9020003-NA

Thermaltake VN300M1W2N Black SECC CHASER MK-1 Full Tower USB 3.0 Computer Case Price: $147.95

This is simply, a great looking PC case. It looks good, hass a few USb 3.0 ports, color-shift LED, a fan speed and led control knob and fantastic airflow to keep your case nice and cool. A perfect look for a high end gaming PC build.

Product Details

  • New – Retail
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Thermaltake VN300M1W2N
  • Thermaltake VN300M1W2N Black SECC CHASER MK-1 Full Tower USB 3.0 Computer Case

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive – Bulk – IHAS124-04 Version C (Black) Price: $17.99

The Lite-on optical drive fills the spot once again for the more affordable optical drive – hence why its here…again!

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=  $309.99 (this price has dropped for October)

Double the Graphics Power w/ Crossfire and add one more: 
Diamond AMD Radeon HD 7970 PCIE 3G GDDR5 Video Graphics Card 7970PE53G = + $419.99
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) = + $86.26
Larger SSD: Crucial 512 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT512M4SSD2 = + $399.99 ($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

If you have some extra cash to spend or want ideas of what else you could add /swap in place of what is already included in the $1500 gaming PC build, then you may be interest in the above ideas. The Intel i7-3770K may be of interest to someone wanting to splurge a tad more on an i7 processor; this may be good for someone that does much more than gaming. Or perhaps you want to really get the most graphics power you can, then perhaps going CrossFire and purchasing two 7970 cards (great idea for future upgrade perhaps?). Or, perhaps you want to go with just a Solid State Drive so purchasing a 512GB SSD would make sense as to utilize its as a main drive.


Concluding September 2012’s Gaming PC Builds:

Another great month of gaming PC builds, especially with the lower end $500 build and the higher end $1500 builds and the $1000 still stands strong as it is. If you have any questions in regards to any of the builds, hardware or anything really, then please leave a comment below and let me know.

Remember if you liked this article to visit the  Newb Computer Build Facebook Page as I would greatly appreciate any love and / or participation here!

October 2012’s Gaming PC Hardware Overview Video:


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10 Responses to “Gaming PC Builds of the Month: October 2012”

  1. sif

    Hey Corey , i have another question.

    If i get the i5 3450 instead of the i5 3570k would the i5 3570k still be better then the 3450 in gaming ‘fps’ with non of them overclocked ? If so how much fps difference in like a cpu dependent game like bf3 and arma 2 ?

    Because i want to check first before wasting more money.
    Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hey sif,

      I doubt you would notice much of a performance benefit since the benefit of the i5 3570K is that it is unlocked so you can overclock it quite high (so there is more potential). I can’t say an exact FPS, but I would not expect them to differ by only a few.

      Reply
  2. sif

    Hey Corey, Nice monthly builds :)
    I just wanted to ask , how is this build for kinda a budget build.

    I5 3570k
    Sapphire 7850 2GB
    G.Skill GSkill DDR3 8GB
    ASUS P8B75-M Intel B75
    Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3 6GB/s 3.5 – I dont need much storage, I got 1 1GB external to store other
    Cooler Master K350 – How is this case for my specs and air flow and such ?
    CoolerMaster Extreme Power Plus 500W Power- Should this do the trick ?
    Windows 7 Home premium

    Thats about it , Thanks

    Reply
    • Corey

      Hello sif!

      I would not go with the B75 motherboard as I would go for a Z77 chipset motherboard instead for overclocking the i5 3570K. If you don’t plan on overclocking then that motherboard would be just fine, but you could also save some bucks and get an i5-3450 processor for similar base performance.

      Also, I would upgrade the power supply to more around 600 watts for a higher end build like this.

      Other than that everything looks good :)

      Reply
    • Corey

      Totally skipped my mind this time, when I have a few minutes I’ll try and throw them in. Thanks for noticing!

      Reply
      • Aedan

        Sure guys.. No problem.. :D
        But I have another query.. The three new cards from Nvidia 660ti, 660 and 650.. Where do these fit into the builds you guys have designed??
        I really like your builds a lot.. and I am planning all my upgrades according to your recommendations which are really thorough.. :-)

        Reply
        • Corey

          Hey Aedan,

          Thanks for the kind comments!

          The GTX 650 would not be suitable for any of the builds other then maybe the $500 one if you wanted to save a little cash.

          The new GTX 600 cards (The 660Ti & 660) would be good for builds in between the $500 & $1000 as they are no better than the Radeon 7950 found in the $1000 build.

          A great read on these cards would be either Toms Hardware’s roundup of the 650 & 660 cards. Let me know if you have any more questions!

          Reply
          • Aedan

            Yeah man.. I read the article and i clearly see your point! Nice man.. I agree that the 7950 is the ideal card for the time being in the $1000 build. :-) :-)
            Great work once again man! Keep it up man..

            Reply

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