Gaming PC Builds – May 2013
Choose Your Budget…
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $600 ): May 2013
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1000 ): May 2013
- Gaming PC Build of the Month ( $1500 ): May 2013
Yep, I have upped the per-usual low budget $500 build to a $600 this May 2013. I have felt that I kept getting pushed higher and higher to keep up with continually increasing prices while still providing a solid quality build – therefore a higher budget build category. This build will be for anyone who is on a tight budget who wants to be assured they are building a high performing gaming build, while keeping up with newer games.
The most exciting build in my opinion though this month is the $1000 build. I decided to go with all the rage and go with a super sleek compact Mini ITX gaming PC build. I use a BitFenix Prodigy case that comes in several colors and looks very nice. The best part about the build is that not only is it so sexy & compact, it still pumps out the same performance.
Down to the $1500 build you will find a super expandable build. One that not only comes with all of the power you will most likely need for Gaming right now, but room to always keep adding more. The current build comes with an all powerful overclocked version of the Radeon 7970 graphics card, an Intel 3570K to overclock the heck out of, a solid state drive, a total of 16GB of RAM and plenty of space in the full tower Fractal Design Define XL R2 to keep adding hardware as you please.
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $620 ): May 2013
(Game at Smoothly with Medium – High settings at 1920X1080 resolutions)
Gaming PC Build Recipe:All hardware is linked to Amazon.com – You Can also try Amazon.ca (CANADA) • Amazon.co.uk (UK) Newegg.com (US) • Newegg.ca (CANADA) Scorptec.com.au(AUS) pccasegear.com (AUS) to shop for these parts.
|Estimated Price:||$ 620|
|Processor||AMD FX-4300 FX-Series Four-Core Processor Edition, Black AM3 FD4300WMHKBOX
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard Price: $79.99|
|Graphics Card||EVGA GeForce GTX660 2048MB GDDR5 192-Bit, Dual DVI-D, HDMI, DP and 3-Way SLI Ready GPU Graphics Cards 02G-P4-2660-KR Price: $204.99|
|RAM||Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Core i3, i5, i7 and Platforms SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9Price: $59.98|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive – WD5000AAKXPrice: $56.00|
|Power Supply||Corsair Builder Series CX 500 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS (CX500)Price: $58.24|
|Computer Case||NZXT CS-NT-S210-B Black Aluminum Source 210 ATX Mid Tower / Computer CasePrice: $34.19|
|Optical Drive||Samsung 24x SATA DVD¡ARW Internal Drive without Software, Black SH-224BB/BEBEPrice: $17.99|
Overview: $600 Gaming PC Build
This month, I have decided to make the lower end budget Gaming PC Build into a $600 one. This allows me to still keep a budget oriented build, however with a higher confidence of knowing that you (the builder) are going to build a quality gaming PC, even if it’s at a budget.
This $600 gaming pc will be able to play the most recent games at anywhere from medium to the highest settings with a high FPS rating at resolutions of 1920X1080. The 2GB GeForce GTX 660 is a very capable graphics card that is the best in its class and budget, and especially so with 2GB of memory.
Paired with the AMD FX 4300, you can have some great performance expectations, especially if you keep in mind that this AMD processor can easily be overclocked due to its unlocked multiplier. ( Here is a helpful video if you need some help overclocking the FX 4300).
This month also includes a better motherboard – the Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 full ATX sized motherboard that has USB 3.0 and many features included in much more expensive boards; such as the potential to CrossFire and memory up to 32GB.
Overall you will have a great build with 8GB of total RAM, 500GB hard drive storage space, 500Watts in a quality Corsair Builder Series 500W PSU – and this will all be encased in a quality budget oriented NZXT CS-NT-S210-B PC case.
Upgrades / Alternatives for the $600 Gaming PC Build:
Here you will find some hardware alternatives to the hardware already included in the build above. Keep in mind that these are alternatives and are all compatible with the current build. If you want some more suggestions for alternatives or additions to the current build, you may leave a comment below and I will respond back as soon as I can.
|Processor Alternative: AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core Processor Black Edition AM3+ FD8320FRHKBOX ($167)||Alternative PC Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 – Mid Tower Computer Case with All-Black Interior (RC-430-KWN1) ($40.70)|
|Graphics Card Alternative: Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-Express 3.0 Graphic Card GV-R787OC-2GD ($249)||WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache – WD10EZEX ($66)|
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $990 ): May 2013
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
Capability: Game with Extreme settings at 1920X1080 resolutions and even High Settings in some games at 2560×1600All 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.
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1000 )
I absolutely love the $1000 build this month – it’s so compact and stylish. Utilizing the Intel 3570K processor again matched with the PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 “Boost Edition” 3GB graphics card you will have no fret gaming in all newer games maxed out at 1920×1080.
This month I decided to go with all the rage and do a Mini-ITX sized build using the very compact featured filled Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI motherboard with built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, USB 3.0 and PCI Express 3.0. This Mini-ITX motherboard fits perfectly into the sleek colorful BitFenix Prodigy PC Case. The Prodigy also comes in the following colors – orange, red, white and black. You can read more about the BitFenic Prodigy at BitFenix’s Wesbite.
The other specifications for the $1000 build include, 8GB of Corsair Vengeance memory, a solid 750 Watt Corsair HX series PSU and 1TB of hard drive space with a Western Digital Blue hard drive.
$1000 Gaming PC Build Additions / Alternatives
The following are additions and or alternatives to pair with the $1000 PC build above; each of the hardware are compatible with the $1000 build. If you have any questions for further additions / hardware alternatives, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
|Add a SSD Boot Drive: Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2= + $129.99||Upgrade your graphics card: EVGA GeForce GTX670 2048MB GDDR5 256bit, 2x Dual-Link DVI, HDMI, DP, 4-Way SLI Ready Graphics Card (02G-P4-2670-KR) ($389)|
|CROSSFIRE with another PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 Boost State AX7950 3GBD5-2DHV4 Video Card ($299.99)||Add a CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R1) (Price: $33)|
Monthly Gaming PC Build ( $1494 ): May 2013
Gaming PC Build Recipe:
Game with Extreme settings at resolutions of 2560×1600
Overview: Gaming PC Build ( $1500 )
A very nice adaptable build the $1500 gaming PC build is this month. We have the usual Intel 3570K processor, which you will be able to easily overclock when paired with the infamous aftermarket Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler and the solid ASUS P8Z77-V motherboard. This ASUS motherboard also comes with built in WiFi, a couple of PCI Express 3.0 slot (home for a future second graphics card perhaps) and plenty of USB 3.0.
I have also included the very powerful MSI Radeon HD 7970 Overlocked 3GB graphics card that comes in at an attractive price this month. This Radeon HD 7970 will allow you to blaze through any new games (and up-coming games) all the way up to resolutions of 2560×1600 easily.
Other notable features include a 256GB Crucial m4 solid state drive to be used as a boot drive and the store your most used games & software. We have a ton of memory with the packaged of 2x8GB 16GB of Kingston HyperX Blu memory, a 1TB Western Deigital Blue Hard Drive, 750 Watts of power with the Corsair Professional Series 750AX modular power supply and all that will be stored in a nicely designed Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium PC case.
$1500 Gaming PC Build Additions / Alternatives
The following are some additional hardware / alternatives to what are already included in the build above. If you have any questions on these or if you want some other alternative ideas, please let me know by commenting below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
|Swap the Processor for an i7 – Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-Core Processor 3.5 GHz 8 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80637I73770K ($316.17)||How about a top of the line Graphics Card – EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB GDDR5 384bit, Dual-Link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI,DP, SLI Ready Graphics Card (06G-P4-2790-KR) Graphics Cards 06G-P4-2790-KR ($1094)|
Better CPU Cooler (To Overclock Intel 3570K):
Cooler Master Seidon 240M – Liquid CPU Water Cooling Kit with Pre-filled Coolant and Copper Heatsink ($95.99)
|A Larger Faster SSD: Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 512 SATA_6_0_gb Solid State Drive MZ-7PD512BW ($484.33)|
Concluding May 2013’s Gaming PC Builds:
Another great month for several PC builds. The biggest change to the builds this month, was the addition of a $600 gaming PC build. This took place of the previous $500, but allows for the ever increasing prices of our economy as well as a higher assurance of quality parts for your build.
A well notable change to the $1000 build, was my decision to go with a Mini ITX type build, to make it as sleek and compact as possible – without compromising performance. If I were to go with a build this month, my choice would be dead-set on the $1000 in terms of performance /price / style – not to mention the Mini ITX motherboard included comes with WiFi and Bluetooth built in, not too shabby for its size and price.
The $1500 build may not be as compact and stylish as the $1000 build, but it does pack one hell of a punch with the Radeon 7970 Overclocked graphics card. This build leaves plenty of room for future upgrades, packs a powerhouse of 16GB of memory and comes with a snazzy SSD.
As per usual, if you have any questions please let me know via the comments below!
This is my computer build i am thinking of buying, i would be thankful for your expert opinion on the parts and especially the GPU, and the CPU (AMD vs. Intel, AMD vs. Nvidia, etc.) Thanking you in advance. It is around 2000$ and includes everything from monitor to mouse to keyboard.
Asus VS248H-P 24-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10)
ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD FX-8350 FX-Series Eight-Core Processor Edition, Black AM3+ FD8350FRHKBOX
Cooler Master HAF X – Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0 Ports and Windowed Side Panel (RC-942-KKN1)
Corsair Professional Series AX 750 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold (AX750)
Samsung MZ-7TD250BW 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) 250 GB Sata 2.5-Inch
Anker High Precision Laser Gaming Mouse with 8000 DPI, 9 Programmable Buttons, Weight Tuning Cartridge, Omron Micro Switches for PC
Razer Goliathus Extended Mouse Pad-Control – FRML
Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (RZ03-00381900-R3U1)
Samsung 24x SATA DVD¡ARW Internal Drive without Software, Black SH-224BB/BEBE
WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache – WD10EZEX
Cooler Master Seidon 120M Liquid CPU Water Cooling System with Copper Heatsink and 120mm Radiator – 1 Fan
MSI AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB GDDR5 Overclocked Edition PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card R7970 TF 3GD5/OC BE
BTW This is purely for gaming, i do not intend to do any rendering or 3d model creating. also this was heavily influenced by your 1500 build 🙂 Thanks again.
I understand you are seeking Corey’s help, but I couldn’t hold back the knowledge that I have as well.
First off, your build is very nice. Not a single complaint.
Although, you point out that you want the build purely for gaming, which the AMD CPU you chose is not the best choice for gaming, but in fact rendering. The better choice for a CPU for gaming would be the famous i5-3570k.
http://www.bit.ly/10ywRxo 9 (i5-3570k)
http://www.bit.ly/10yxkzI (Tom’s Hardware info on HOW i5-3570k is better than FX-8350)
And because your Motherboard is AMD card specific, you’ll obviously have to change that. But not to worry, the motherboard that is most recommended (maybe you’ll get a better suggestion from Corey) for the i5-3570k is ASRock Z77 Extreme6.
http://www.bit.ly/10yxuXS ( ASRock Z77 Extreme6 motherboard)
Either than that, your build is very very good.
Thank you for your expert opinion, i am considering the i5, yet i am still kinda siding with the 8-core power of the 8350, since most next gen games will be utilizing eight cores instead of just four. I have watched several videos in which the 8350 is equal if not better to the 3570 with the difference being only a few FPS. recognize that alot of games are optimized for intel cpu’s yet i think this is a scenario in which i just have to wait and see. thanks again for the help and i look forward to hearing from Corey if he is available.
Sorry for leaving this out, but this is some form of evidence
not to mention, overclocking Intel chips voids the warranty, so that sort of comes into play.
First, thank you very much Luke for filling in as this would side with my opinion. Joe, this is a gorgeous build. Whether you want to go with the FX 8350 or not will ultimately be up you and plus that video you sent was actually really cool – I also really like how he factors in energy costs. I’m going to keep siding with the fact that most games still use max four cores – so the Intel 3570K. Although, keep in mind that I do monthly builds here, so I do choose builds based on a monthly cost per performance situation.
That being said, I would not be against the AMD 8350 8-core. This reminds me of choosing between an i5 Intel processor and the AMD 955 processor about 3 years back, I went with the AMD 955 and would not have changed my mind.
Keep in mind though, if you do go with the 8350, I would require some feedback on how it goes 😉 Just kidding, but it would be greatly appreciated. Let me know what you go with!
Corey and Luke,
Thank you for all of the help and the support, I appreciate you taking the time to help a first-build noob :). I think i will go with the 8350 and i definitely will try to get you some feedback after i have had some time with the PC. You have more than earned a faithful subscriber and a facebook fan, keep up the great work.
Thank you Joe and best of luck with the build!
What about the AMD 7990 instead of the GTX 690, which is better, Thanking you in advance for the feedback.
I’m going to be quite honest, in that since the Radeon HD 7990 has just been recently released it’s hard to tell (plus I can only seem to find it for about $1100 when it should be more like $999 – but this should calm when there is more supply). They should both be coming in at the same price and seem to be getting benchmarks that are the same performance wise as well. The GTX 690 supposedly uses about 75W less power then the AMD 7990, which would mean the GTX would be favorable in that sense, however the Radeon 7990 has significantly more memory, which may aid in greater performance in future games. I think as is with the prices, I would still go for a GTX 690, however when the prices do subside I may side with the 7990.
So where would you say the newly announced GTX 780 has any place? Most likely the 1.5k build, but $649 is a little too expensive for that build. Maybe you’ll have to consider starting a 2k build of the month.
Good question. I have done $2000 builds in the past and sometimes do depending on whether I believe there is a reason to or not; this may be one. It could also take precedence for a build alternative for the $1500 build graphics card, we’ll see!
Would you consider including some sort of Geforce GTX 680 (450$) in the $1500 build?
It is slightly better than the 7970 and include features like PhysX, Adaptive Vsync, Geforce Experience and more. You could decrease the RAM to 8GB and, if needed, use a case that’s a little cheaper.
Great build though!
PS: Love the MoBo choice for this month!
Thanks for your input! The reason I choose the Radeon 7970 GHz edition over the GTX 680, is that in my opinion they perform pretty similar and since the other costs about $50 more, in my eyes it’s just not worth it. Although, you are right about the GTX’s features and I have heard it can depend on the game.
For example –
AnandTech Review Conclusion – “The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition isn’t quite fast enough to outright win, but it is unquestionably fast enough to tie the GeForce GTX 680 as the fastest single-GPU video card in the world today.” (June 2012)
The GTX 680 is a much more efficient card though using much less power to get the job done, which may be helpful for someone building a PC as efficient as possible. If I found that the Radeon 7970’s Ghz edition card went up by $20, I may then suggest a GTX 680.